Ahh, I see. Oh well. Scratch that option.The Pico-free isn't a "step filter" made from Polycarbonate, but rather a filter insert (shaped like a picopak). There currently isn't at mold for the step filters and this is the single most problematic issue I see for the future.
There was talk from the main assembly line worker from Picobrew saying they were able to modify the Z filter to work with a Zymatic and that was why some of the "strange" structure at the bottom of the filter... But has since gone silent (no idea why, but could understand wanting to put that hurtful company experience and culture behind and move on!)
Finding a way to fix with a food safe high temp solution to me is your best choice (cheapest and most likely available). I haven't out too much thought into what could be used reliably though.
Will definitely pay it forward,. having already benefited from others who have shared their hard-earned knowledge.Whatever you end up trying definitely come back with lessons learned or how the process went for you as if is only a matter of time unt the next is in the same boat.
Thanks Trevor. Yes, it was shared in reply to a post that I had made about my issue. I should have thought to share it here for those not in that Facebook group. Thanks for doing that, Trevor.Someone just uploaded this to the Facebook group for converting a Z step filter to be compatible with the Zymatic. Photos kinda suck, but hey better than nothing.
At the end are "packing" instructions that look to be how these would have been packaged to ship.
I bought one, right before Picobrew folded. This is exactly how it arrived at my house.Someone just uploaded this to the Facebook group for converting a Z step filter to be compatible with the Zymatic. Photos kinda suck, but hey better than nothing.
At the end are "packing" instructions that look to be how these would have been packaged to ship.
Have you thought about JB Water Weld? It’s drinking water safe.Ahh, I see. Oh well. Scratch that option.
I've been looking at food safe adhesives for acrylic and although it's actually quite toxic during application, Weld-on 3 is a solvent which actually melts the surfaces of the pieces being mated, then evaporates. Seems like it has potential to either fix the crack or bond the second layer. Apparently, one way to keep the crack from growing is to drill a tiny hole at each end. Of course, that would need to be covered or filled, too.
Interesting. Might be good as a filler if I end up drilling holes to stop cracks from growing. It's a putty, so it's quite thick. Good to know that it's safe!Have you thought about JB Water Weld? It’s drinking water safe.
You simply run a modifid “clean cycle with PBW” on a heated bypass of 150F for 30 minutes, then run a regular rinse with water only.
One more improvement to this cleaning hack and a warning. I decided to add a tray to contain any liquid in case I make a blunder with the recipe or a hose slips. That was all well and good, but when I had left PBW recirculating through the passthrough, I came home to a large puddle on the floor of my workshop, which fortunately has sheet vinyl over concrete flooring. The sampling port had apparently suffered the same fate as the step filters and had snapped in half, causing cleaning solution to spew out. Gladly, I had used only a gallon of liquid so that I didn't have more liquid than the safety net tray could hold.this is a follow up from the earlier post (see above)... I believe this is a great solution to be able to deep clean HEX and maintain your Zymatic with PBW or other strong cleaners, without worry of damaging you StepFilter.
I disassembled the pump heads and don't believe that running dry would have done any more damage than was clearly already there. The output pump's actuator (rotating piece attached to the shaft of the motor) was completely rusted,. including the bearing around its perimeter, which turned with significant resistance. I need a new pump. The output pump was clean as a whistle.I don't know how long the pumps ran dry after the sampling port broke because I wasn't around, but the output seems lower now. Is it likely that they were damaged? The actual output on passthrough at the moment is .7l per minute. Well below the pump ratings. I'm not sure how much resistance is designed into the system, though.
The part that rusted I don't believe is even supposed to get wet. The cam rotates and alternately depresses a valve at the top of bottom of the head. However it got wet, it was quite corroded. I can't even pull it off the motor shaft, whereas the one on the other pump slips right off. I guess I'm have happy that the problem exists. It's a good explanation for why my grain bin didn't fill completely and it's a cheap fixYour pumps will be fine running dry...SeaFlo makes good equipment and those things could probably run dry for days. But for $30 it's an easy replace. Never seen them rust up and they are used in marine environments all the time...
I like your bypass solution! Glad it restored your flow rate. But take note of my recent experience with PBW and the acrylic sampling port. You might want to swap out to a different hose when doing a PBW cleanse.. Here’s how I just ran a PBW cleaning through my system without my step filter. I run a modified brew cycle at 150 f for thirty minutes and dude did it make a difference. Flow rate is back to the way it was when it was new. There was a ton of stuff in the two gallon bucket I used to clean it. It’s probably not the right way to do it but it really worked for me! Now for the never ending search to find a new step filter or a new electric system.
Thanks dude! When I saw that sampling port photo I nearly broke down as I know how hard it is finding parts for this unit. Luckily that port can easily be bypassed. Thanks for all your earlier posts as they have been really helpful! I wish there was an easy fix for the step filter. Mines about to break I feel.I like your bypass solution! Glad it restored your flow rate. But take note of my recent experience with PBW and the acrylic sampling port. You might want to swap out to a different hose when doing a PBW cleanse.
This is a common problem on the Zymatic but is a fairly easy fix. Tear down the arm with the arm in the Home psoition. Clean everything really well and then reassemble with this lube: Hayes Lubri-Film PlusI got my zymatic running after help from @Mike Howard on the glycol top-up and instruction from @Trevor Mack on the Pi server. Thanks again guys. However now 5th brew in I sprung a leak at top of the fluid arm.
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Anyone else run into this issue? Know how to repair or replace the part?
I'm also having periodic issues with the control knob enter function. Scroll works fine but after the machine gets hot pushing the knob doesn't seem to send the enter signal. I suspect this may be resolved with the leak as I guess condensation is inundating the board that runs the control knob.
If someone really wanted to replace their sample port, Googling "needleless injection luer lock T-port" will get you close to what you are looking for. For me, removing and getting on with brewing was the answer.Thanks dude! When I saw that sampling port photo I nearly broke down as I know how hard it is finding parts for this unit. Luckily that port can easily be bypassed. Thanks for all your earlier posts as they have been really helpful! I wish there was an easy fix for the step filter. Mines about to break I feel.
This is for a Zymatic, right?I ordered a pair of pumps. These seem to be shown by Picobrew to pump at a higher rate than the old pumps, based upon handwritten labels, although the new ones seem to be gallons per minute and the old ones in liters per minute.
I have a few questions regarding these pumps, which I believe were intended for the Z series and not necessarily the Zymatic, as the hose barb configuration is different.
1) Should I replace them as a set?
2) Does it matter how much faster the output pump pumps than the input pump? If so, how much differential is allowable? Can this be adjusted, or is the output rate a luck of the draw thing? There's a pressure switch which allegedly is set to 30psi, but I don't think this should affect flow rate.
3) There are some sort of electrical filters just in front of my pumps. I assume they should remain in the circuit after replacing the pumps. Is that correct?
The Zymatic works on an overflow principle with a restrictive drain. This is why they have the rubber drain plugs. As the Step filter grain compartment fills up, a portion will drain through the lower port into the bottom of the Adjunctent chamber and out through the drain port.Batch size limits?
I did some searching in this thread and couldn’t find anything definitive on batch size limits. I see someone mention a 4 gal batch and some batch splitting/combining.
I’ve been brewing directly into a (modified) anvil 4 gal fermenter. It works great, fits the standard batch sizes and doesn’t occupy a keg during fermentation. I also have a 7 gal SS Brewtech that I used to use for my larger batches on a biab system. I can certainly modify that to be connectable to the Zymatic. If I were running a low gravity recipe, could I run a 5 gal recipe in a single session or is there a limit on how much water you can start with. It’s not clear what controls the amount of water passing through the step filter at any given time.
I got SFDP1-007-020-21 pumps. These 2.6 lpm pumps appear to be more similar in flow rate to the original 2.5 lpm pumps shown in this photo, but the barbs are removable 90-degree swiveling elbows.This is for a Zymatic, right?
What pump did you get? You should have ordered SEAFLO SFDP1-012-035-21, 4.3lpm/1.2gpm, 12V 1.7a These pumps will work perfectly fine in the Zymatic.
You do not need to replace them as a set, just put the faster pump in the drain position. Same for if you ordered a pair.
Never seen anything like those components in the electrical loop. Can you Google the part numbers and see what you get?
Thanks, that’s helpful info.The Zymatic works on an overflow principle with a restrictive drain. This is why they have the rubber drain plugs. As the Step filter grain compartment fills up, a portion will drain through the lower port into the bottom of the Adjunctent chamber and out through the drain port.
If the liquid flowing in surpasses the amount of liquid that is draining through the lower port, it will overflow over the back edge of the grain compartment and into the adjunctent compartment. This is why it is very important to make sure the Zym is level.
You shouldnt have any trouble with extra liquid, but realize that if it does begin to overflow, that liquid is not passing through your grains. You should observe the behavior if this condition occurs because you don't want to overwhelm your drain pump and fill up the adjunct compartment during mash. That shouldn't happen in a perfect world, but you never know.
Wow, never seen a pump like that in a Zymatic. But yea you should be fine with that Seaflo. I opted for the slightly larger pumps and have had 0 issues. What is the part number on your power supply for that unit. My thinking is due to the different pumps you may also have a diferent power supply that required that filter. I have two Zymatics and have seen dozens of internal photos of other guys Zyms and have never seen those electronics. You have an older Zymatic I think.I got SFDP1-007-020-21 pumps. These 2.6 lpm pumps appear to be more similar in flow rate to the original 2.5 lpm pumps shown in this photo, but the barbs are removable 90-degree swiveling elbows.
Regarding the small in-line circuit board, the board itself is labeled as "Picobrew ? 2015". The two 7110-R components are common mode chokes, which seem to be a little circuit to smooth out surges. There's no part number for the assembly. I'm thinking it's there to limit surges caused by changes in motor demand and is OK to remain.
Might take a bit longer to reach temps, but I don't see an issue. I've done a couple and I know guys doing 5 gallon batches. You'll just have to try it and see how it works.Thanks, that’s helpful info.
Do you see any problem with the Zymatic’s ability to heat that volume of water to mash/boil temperatures? Using the Picobrew recipe crafter, a 5 gal recipe calls for 6.1 gal of total water volume.
Running your PBW clean thanks for sharing. Can you let me know what concentration the citric acid clean you used after the PBW clean. Thanks!As talked about chagtag this "simple" cleaning vessel isn't needed for the newer Z Series devices. There is a proper "passthru" that doesn't involve the step filter at all (touches both drain and keg pumps while also going through the HEX and rotary valve position #5/P).
Here is the offline server "recipe" I have custom created for a real good deepcleaning scrub... I've run this 3-4 times with clean solution each time and still getting gunk out of the HEX and internal hoses. If you are used to PBW it would be easy to tell you that my tubing and even the luer-lock T connector are nearly brand new (bye bye beer stone). First 2 runs there was chunks of black/dark brown bits (protein build up) laying at the bottom of the keg.
It is best to start the deepclean, if you are encountering Error 1 during heat phases, at the closest temp to your HOTTEST tap water available. This will jump start the cleaning process and bypass the need to heat COLD tap water.
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After 2-3 cleans or when liquid is ending up in the keg mostly clear/clean move on to the next step which is an Acid Rinse/Clean. To test to see if the Error 1 is resolved by the deepclean I've relied on an Acid Rinse with the machine's built in clean, but you could also repurpose the "PBW Deepclean" or a shorter modified "Acid Rinse or Clean" also included below. The purpose of the acid rinse is to inactivate the active ingredient in PBW I typically use Citric Acid for this in the Pico while using Starsan when cleaning kegs and other SS equipment.
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After the Acid Rinse run a normal cleaning cycle after the machine has had a chance to cool down (if the wort temp is low and the HEX is >26 degrees higher Error 1 is tripped) or you can run a "Circulate" utility to get the temps to equalize to the incoming tap water temperatures. After this normal cleaning cycle is successful run 2 rinses to make sure all cleaner in the machine is flushed and replaced with water.
At this time given there are no channels for easy step filter replacement (all from the earlier auction have sold out by various folks in the community for an emergency backup and/or for modifications and measuring for molds) I don't recommend running a PBW wash through any other "Location" other than "PassThru" which by-passes the Step Filter. Given the beatings that earlier Zymatic SFs took from owners using PBW and only 1 year of the Z in the hands of the community we don't yet have long term wear statistics for the Z's newly designed SF. Cleaning this in a dishwasher or by hand is best (in addition to the build in "clean" utility function on the device).
Oh that is a good question... Don't know if I wrote that down, but I think I usually throw in 1Tbsp per gallon. I've started doing a citric acid rinse after each deep clean (every 3 cleans). Which since I switched to cleans every 2 sessions instead of 3 that is usually after 6 brew sessions. Remember after the citric acid to run at least 1 rinse, but I'd recommend even 2 if you have the patience and time.Running your PBW clean thanks for sharing. Can you let me know what concentration the citric acid clean you used after the PBW clean. Thanks!