A Brew Day Walkthrough with DigiBoil!

A Brew Day Walkthrough with DigiBoil

Thanks to u/duffman13jws on r/homebrewing for this write-up!

100%. I’m using a digimash with the neoprene jacket, which essentially is just a de-featured Brewzilla. I went that direction because I already had a third party external pump and whirlpool arm (SpinCycle overboard). Here’s my brew process (setup on 240v in my basement):

1-2 Days Prior

  • do my water math and measure out my salts

  • Pour my water in the system and add salts

  • Build a yeast starter if I’m doing a lager

Brew Day

  • 7AM – wake up, put on coffee

  • 7:15 – walk down to basement, set strike temp. With a Brewzilla you can program this the night before so it will start warming and be at strike when you wake up you want it to. It’s also nice because you could have it set to be at strike when you get home after work or something like that.

  • While it’s warming: mill grains, portion out hops.

  • 7:45-8AM – Mash in and set my recirc rate. The system warms at about 2F/minute on 240, so my heating times are extremely predictable based on the initial water temp.

  • Go upstairs and cook breakfast. Bring the kids down to the basement, play, and stir the mash every 20 minutes or so.

  • 9AM – set mashout temp, go upstairs and do dishes from breakfast.

  • 9:20 – Set boil temp, lift grain basket, sparge. I typically hold back 2 gallons of water that I warm to 170F in a pasta pot with a sous vide and just do a pour-over with a pitcher. Check temp when I’m done and figure out how much time gets me to 205F and set a timer

  • do other crap until my alarm goes off

  • ~10AM Boil – I stand over the system and cycle the high power element on and off during hot break to ensure I don’t have a boil-over, set my timer once it’s stable, and follow my hop schedule.

  • 15 minutes left in boil – put in chiller, start cycling my whirlpool, add yeast nutrient (all beers), and whirfloc (anything that’s not a NEIPA or wheat beer).

  • ~11AM – Flameout/Whirlpool/chill – whatever is necessary per the recipe. Fill 3 hardware store buckets with chiller waste-water for cleaning

  • Rack to the fermenter, pitch yeast, and cleanup. For the system I dump trub and leftover hop matter, scrub with a sponge, and rinse the inside with a hose. Then I run the pump with 5 gallons of an Oxi-Clean solution heating to 120F for 10 minutes, dump it, then follow up by doing the same with water. Let everything dry.

Depending on the mash/boil/whirlpool lengths for the recipe, I’d say I average around 4 hours from strike to cleanup. I know from brewing 3-vessel on Igloo cooler HLTs and mash tuns and propane with friends that I’m saving at least 2 hours of time. Also, because of the nature of electric, there is far less babysitting of the system to do; I can be productive around the house and interact with my kids while it’s mashing or during the middle part of the boil. Since I have my brewery area set up as a permanent fixture of my basement, I also save myself the 20-30 minutes where I used to lug everything upstairs and get set up in my garage/driveway, and the same on the back end breaking down at the end of the day – bonus for no lugging a full fermenter down a flight of stairs..

I was brewing extract for a while, and then BIAB outdoors. I haven’t touched either since I invested in the new system, and I honestly don’t think I ever will. Moving indoors on electrical is honestly the best brew decision I’ve ever made. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It’s made me a better brewer, and it’s also made my process easier to a point that I can be a more productive husband and more engaged father while I do it. If you really want to continue brewing and your reason for cutting back in the first place was kids, it’s 100% worth considering.

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