PicoBrew Model S

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Heron1952
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by Heron1952 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 2:30 pm

UKtony wrote:
Tue Sep 08, 2020 11:34 am
Lolly molds received from Amazon. Now to work out how to link them.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1
Did you get anywhere with joining together? They seem to be fairly small
aka Rhys

UKtony
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by UKtony » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:37 pm

Not yet been too busy think about the options and how much to step down. Size wise they comfortably hold 20g of coffee beans* to 2/3 full and unless I'm mistaken that''s a lot of hop pellet for a 5L batch. Usable volume is approx 6cm (H) x 2cm (W) x 5cm (W) so 60cm3.

Cacluation of 20g pellet 12% AA 60 min boil gives 26% utilisation and 126 IBU assuming 6L boil volume. Have yet to run a real brew

* All my hop pellets are vacuum sealed so used coffee beans instead

Heron1952
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by Heron1952 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:12 pm

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TEFEN-Male-B ... %7Ciid%3A1
I was thinking of using these but can't find a nylon nut to fit 1/8 bsp thread
aka Rhys

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barneey
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by barneey » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:19 pm

Just noticed on the FB Pico forum an old thread has been resurrected, with someone publishing a 3d mould to produce a silicone hop holder.

Heron1952
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by Heron1952 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:32 pm

barneey wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 5:19 pm
Just noticed on the FB Pico forum an old thread has been resurrected, with someone publishing a 3d mould to produce a silicone hop holder.
Yes saw that but he thought all the kit would cost less than $100 !! So I lost immediate interest.
aka Rhys

UKtony
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by UKtony » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:14 pm

No FB for me.

Frustrations
- 19L Cornie does not work as the pumps don't seem to cope
- 9L Kegs mainly out of stock or very expensive
- Dried yeast will make the final product very expensive due to 5L batch size unless harvested for reuse
- Lots of bits missing (as stated by supplier) which mean more costs even to manually brew

Taken delivery of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06 ... UTF8&psc=1 to be able to try a manual brew plus second https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06 ... UTF8&psc=1 to be able to create a keg adapter.

For the hop lolly project some 10mm OD silicone tube and inserts looks to be the way to go and might go larger OD. Tempted to double up the bittering bin or use a large container as 12% AA is at the high end.

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barneey
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by barneey » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:45 pm

Image
Image
Image
Image

I have made a few things up for mine

UKtony
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by UKtony » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:47 am

Great! What is the hop holder made out of - it looks like it holds x3 of the lolly contraption I've started on

UKtony
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by UKtony » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:57 pm

Arggg! On attempting a reservoir empty with a 'Barneey' wand water started appearing under the machine.

Tearing the machine down (pictures to follow) turns out the vacuum pump had broken loose from its mounting, probably during shipping but not help by only two of the four anti-vibration mounts had been fixed to the pump body (hence allowing it to break the plastic mounting post).

Then on the bottom was a broken (split) circular gasket. No obvious place for it to have come from underneath. I'm guessing it's from the top part but how it came off is puzzling.

I would suggest taking the bottom off (simple screws on the bottom only) and checking for any damage, the SSR cover being in place, and the pump mounting.

Heron1952
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by Heron1952 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:50 pm

UKtony wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:14 pm
No FB for me.

Frustrations
- 19L Cornie does not work as the pumps don't seem to cope
- 9L Kegs mainly out of stock or very expensive
- Dried yeast will make the final product very expensive due to 5L batch size unless harvested for reuse
- Lots of bits missing (as stated by supplier) which mean more costs even to manually brew

Taken delivery of these https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06 ... UTF8&psc=1 to be able to try a manual brew plus second https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06 ... UTF8&psc=1 to be able to create a keg adapter.

For the hop lolly project some 10mm OD silicone tube and inserts looks to be the way to go and might go larger OD. Tempted to double up the bittering bin or use a large container as 12% AA is at the high end.
9l cornies here
https://brewkegtap.co.uk/products/a-gra ... -corny-keg
aka Rhys

UKtony
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by UKtony » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:38 pm

Nightmare continues. Turns out it was not the pump but the rotary valve where the silicone tubing is clamped shut by a set of 'fingers'. All tubes sidewalls had welded together and the bypass line then failed (hence the pump did not work well and leak.

The gasket I found in the bottom of the machine is the rubber band that keeps the fingers tight against the tubes and it looks like they had to use two as there is one still intact on the valve but running tests there is flow in some of the lines when there should not. It is not a good design and I suspect over time others will experience the problem.

Press and hold the control button whilst powering up to select Service mode. Then select 'Test' and scoll down to test which allows you to select the flow route to check each line is working. Replacing a line involves removing the rotary valve, disconnecting the flow in, removing the three screws which attach the plastic valve to the locating plate, removing the four screws on the base and the center screw at the top.

f00b4r
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by f00b4r » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:05 pm

That’s good info Tony. Have you tried contacting the seller about it, he seems pretty responsive.

UKtony
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by UKtony » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:59 pm

Shipping costs mean returns not really practical and having torn the machine down not really fair to complain. I like to understand how my technology works so more than happy to take sably tuff apart. Will post some pictures and more detail about how the machine works (or not) and some musings on how to improve some of the elements where Pico saved money sacrificing reliability and performance.

Tomorrow will reassemble and test again with 19L keg as I think it will work. The pumps are capable of 2.6L/min but the 6mm ID tubing used is probably restricting the flow significantly. There is evidence that a different rotary valve had been considered and the stepping down of the shuttle pump also indicates something went on with the design entering production.

Edit to correct tubing ID

geogaga
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by geogaga » Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:37 am

This is why I bought two.

UKtony
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Re: PicoBrew Model S

Post by UKtony » Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:35 pm

geogaga wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:37 am
This is why I bought two.
Good strategy and there a couple of nice pumps inside plus a few other bits like disconnects so for the money not bad and you probably can do two brews at the same time.

All seems to be working now - just running first proper brew (manual)

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