I made the mistake of not using a hop bag for my pellets and it appears that my pump and/or the pipes around the pump are clogged. Any thoughts on the best way to gain access to the pump (I have the V3 model)?
So here I am replying to my own post. Having not received any feedback, I took matters into my own hands and discovered that in fact the pump was clogged.
For those of you who are concerned about dissembling your Robo V3, never fear! With a few simple tools it can be done is short order. I was amazed at the simplicity of design of the product inside the base; a circuit board, 2 ceramic heating coils, a few wires and the pump. Speaking of the pump, it is a small 6 watt magnetic unit, and, after removing the front end, I can see why it got clogged. The outlet hole has what amounts to 4 rather small ports through which the wort and any particulate matter must pass.
The recipe I was brewing was a saison that called for a 10 minute whirlpool. Well, hey; I’ve got this nifty Robo V3 with a pump, so I can use that to whirlpool with; awesome! Except dummy me did not put the hop additions (pellets) in a hop bag; the result of which was a clogged pump. Live and learn!
I’ve just found your post. I had the same problem with hop debris and managed to fix it without taking anything apart.
Find yourself an outdoor tap with an electricity supply nearby, attach one end of a garden hose to the tap and hold the other end over the outlet hole that goes through to the base in the bottom of the robobrew.
Turn the water tap on quite high to get some pressure going and while this is happening turn the robobrew on and start the pump. It took about 20 seconds to clear mine. You’ll need someone to help you.
Now I make sure that I run clear water through the pump as part of my cleaning process
Hop bag or small hop spider screen mesh i.e. Duda Diesel?
Painful experience forces me to disagree with skinniedipper’s recommendation. I tried exactly what he suggests a few months ago. My pump had slowed to a trickle as I completed a batch. While cleaning up I put a garden hose over the pump inlet at the bottom of the kettle and applied some pressure to try to free up the pump. Immediately I heard a loud “pop” followed by lots of lots of water running onto the ground. Bummer. I disassembled the bottom of the Brewzilla and found that a custom silicone elbow had burst under the pressure. As I learned, the Brewzilla fittings aren’t designed to carry more pressure than what the pump delivers.
I was able to replace the burst hose with some high-temperature silicone tubing from my LHBS but had to wait a couple of weeks for the Brewzilla to thoroughly dry out before using it again. Lesson learned.
I recommend following Boomer10’s suggestion. The pump can be easily cleaned out once it is disassembled. Be careful because there are lots of sharp metal edges inside the base of the Brewzilla and the mounting screws for the pump are awkwardly placed.
My problem? A bee had found its way into the pump. I don’t think water pressure from a garden hose would have ever dislodged it. I renamed the completed batch from “Shelter in Place IPA” to “Stinger IPA”.
I tried unclogging my pump with this a bike pump, then I tried unclogging it with the garden hose method. It ended up exploding my silicone tubing from the pump to the outside steel pipe. What is the part number and name for the silicone tubes.
I don’t know of a source for OEM parts, but I repaired mine with ½ inch ID high temperature silicone tubing like this: https://www.morebeer.com/products/high-temp-silicone-tubing-12-id.html. I was able to reuse the original hose clamps. The hose you burst turns a much tighter angle than mine, so my repair may not work for you. I’ve attached a photo of what I did.