We’ve had a horrible time using the DigiBoil we ordered some four or five months ago. The temperature is way off. The manufacturer says there’s no calibration on the unit — and, if we want to be able to calibrate the unit, we should pay the money for a Brewzilla. A quote from their latest e-mail:
“The Digiboil is primarily designed (and marketed) for other purposes – we sell a great many for use with stills or as HLTs, typically. To that end, the granularity of temperature control of the Brewzilla is not typically needed for the Digiboil.”
In my opinion, that’s a little disingenuous. We ordered a DigiMash — a package to turn the DigiBoil into an all-in-one electric brewing system.
We were considering the iteration with a pump included
I’d totally believe it was originally designed as a HLT, accessories packages were put together to make it a brewing system but those accessories were discontinued because the thing doesn’t work well enough to be a brewing system. But my opinion is that it was certainly was marketed as something fully functional. And the extra couple hundred bucks for the Brewzilla got you more advanced features like step mashing.
The strangest thing is that the problem seems to be the controller — building up a NodeMCU-based controller would make something better than a Brewzilla (you can flash your own firmware if you want the logic to change — we got put off the Brewzilla because v3.1.1 units weren’t available in the US when we were looking to purchase something. The v3.1 logic started the timer when the elements kicked in. You’d have to buy an upgraded 3.1.1 board to get the new logic that starts the timer when the target temp is reached (and sixty minutes at 155 isn’t the same as sixty minutes spent going from 135 to 155 then holding at 155).
We ordered a DigiBoil (well, we really ordered a DigiMash, but it turns out that’s a DigiBoil with the mashing kit) in November. We’ve still not managed to brew beer. Our first unit looked like it got mangled in manufacture. I rather question KegLand’s quality control process — the two fermenters we purchased had the butterfly valve handles installed backwards. Easy enough to take a wrench and turn them around, but it’s an odd oversight. And upside down doesn’t work since the handle would turn up into the fermenter plastic and stop before being fully turned.
We got a replacement DigiBoil, We washed the unit, then dumped in a few gallons of water to test it out. No leaks – great. Turn on elements — all three work, also great. Water boiling … awesome, except the temp readout was 203 degrees F. I know the temp at which water boils, so the temp reading was obviously wrong. We measured the resistance on both thermistors and found the original one read lower than the one on the replacement. And the resistance went down as the temperature warmed up … so possibly the original one was better. We swapped the thermistor from the dented up unit — and water boiled at 206 degrees. Scott tried contacting KegLand to see if there’s some calibration on the controller (sealed behind the big sticker with a logo … not something we’d want to pull apart on a whim), but it seemed like they blew him off. We got a third DigiBoil and it, too, either has a bad thermistor or a miscalibrated controller. This is getting silly. They cannot/will not send us a thermistor or provide details about calibrating the controller. That would be a lot less effort for everyone involved. Three out of three thermistors report different, significantly wrong, temperatures at boil.
Our beer-brewing equipment arrived today! The packaging was not robust — every box had some fairly substantial damage. There’s a dent inside the kettle and one of the fermenters has a pushed in section (supposedly this will pop right out when we fill it). My first surprise was that we got a DigiBoil in a box and the mash upgrade kit in another box. The kettle is even branded as DigiBoil. Which … from a manufacturing / material standpoint makes sense. Why would they have two different sets of packaging and product labels? And three different SKU’s — DigiBoil, DigiMash kit, DigiBoil Mash Upgrade. It was a better deal buying the DigiBoil package — the DigiMash 65L was $259.99 and the mash upgrade $89.99, so we saved ten bucks ordering