New Grainfather owner

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Wrongway
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New Grainfather owner

Post by Wrongway » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:28 pm

I received a new Grainfather last Friday and have been busy reading up and watching Youtube videos over the weekend. I have returned to brewing after about a 15+ year gap. After it's initial clean yesterday I started a brew this morning, a nice recommended Beerly Deloved American type IPA. It took longer than I expected, probably due to it being first time. But a few things I did notice. It seemed very slow pumping out to the fermentation vessel, well over an hour. I had used hop pellets and they were caked around the filter. Is this normal or should I have used a hop bag ? One of the videos I saw done by the manufacturers themselves suggests using a metal paddle during the boil, scraping the bottom occasionally to stop sticking on the bottom. I did this and even though could not detect and eveidence of sticking made some bloody awful scratches on the bottom. What do other people do or is this correct and I can expect the bottom getting scratched so early in its life.

Really enjoyed it. But it was an all day job !

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DeadFall
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by DeadFall » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:00 pm

I place the cf to the side of the grainfather rather than on top. After pumping the hot wort through the cf chiller back into the gf for 5 mins I give the wort a damn good stir to create a whirlpool effect and then leave for 20 minutes so the break and hop debris settles in the centre. I have a lot less issues with the filter clogging now.
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Wrongway
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Wrongway » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:03 pm

Thank's. I'll give that a try next brew. In fact I think I saw a video where the chap did the same sort of thing, preferring to keep the CF to the side.

bryanferry
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by bryanferry » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:23 am

I have done a few batches with mine now and not had a problem with pellets or leaf hops. Never had a problem draining it through the pellet debris which coats the filter and much easier to clean it all down afterwards than leaf. A plastic mash paddle has been quite handy in avoiding scratches and washing down with a soft scourer afterwards.

One lesson I forgot was drying the unit down after using the cleaning fluid. Last time it must have been slightly damp and some lovely mold sprung up.
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Dave S
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Dave S » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:35 am

Wrongway wrote:I received a new Grainfather last Friday and have been busy reading up and watching Youtube videos over the weekend. I have returned to brewing after about a 15+ year gap. After it's initial clean yesterday I started a brew this morning, a nice recommended Beerly Deloved American type IPA. It took longer than I expected, probably due to it being first time. But a few things I did notice. It seemed very slow pumping out to the fermentation vessel, well over an hour. I had used hop pellets and they were caked around the filter. Is this normal or should I have used a hop bag ? One of the videos I saw done by the manufacturers themselves suggests using a metal paddle during the boil, scraping the bottom occasionally to stop sticking on the bottom. I did this and even though could not detect and eveidence of sticking made some bloody awful scratches on the bottom. What do other people do or is this correct and I can expect the bottom getting scratched so early in its life.

Really enjoyed it. But it was an all day job !
I've done about 8 brews in mine and brew days are no shorter than they were before. In fact they may be slightly longer. That's not why I got mine. I got it mainly for ease and convenience of use and the RIMS feature. I haven't so far had a problem emptying into the FV, though I haven't yet used pellets. I have heard that there could be problems with filter clogging using pellets. I've now replaced the STC-200 with the modified STC-1000 which (almost fully) automates the process.
Best wishes

Dave

Wrongway
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Wrongway » Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:43 pm

I think it was the pellets that slowed it down a lot Dave. Although I tried a whirlpool of the hops the filter was absolutely caked with the hops. Looked more like green polyfiller :shock: . I believe it has a good filtering effect though so not too worried. I was thinking about an STC1000 myself as I have all the gear for programming it. But as I understand it the only place I can get one is Aliexpress via slow boat from China. And they don't take PayPal. I don't trust giving card details to distant companies like that. I got ripped off once.

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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Dave S » Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:05 pm

Wrongway wrote:I think it was the pellets that slowed it down a lot Dave. Although I tried a whirlpool of the hops the filter was absolutely caked with the hops. Looked more like green polyfiller :shock: . I believe it has a good filtering effect though so not too worried. I was thinking about an STC1000 myself as I have all the gear for programming it. But as I understand it the only place I can get one is Aliexpress via slow boat from China. And they don't take PayPal. I don't trust giving card details to distant companies like that. I got ripped off once.
Yeah, sounds like a problem with pellets. I've not used them before except for a kit I made up recently. I've since bought three varieties in T90 form but am intending to use them for dry hopping.

Aliexpress is indeed the place to get the flashable STCs. Whether anyone else does them I don't know. It's a pity about the non-Paypal friendliness but I had no problem with them and they are a very widely renowned company. Not heard of anyone having a problem with them either. Delivery was about 2-3 weeks. I can recommend the upgrade, it adds quite a bit to the GF's functionality.
Best wishes

Dave

Wrongway
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Wrongway » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:20 pm

Dave S wrote:
Aliexpress is indeed the place to get the flashable STCs. Whether anyone else does them I don't know. It's a pity about the non-Paypal friendliness but I had no problem with them and they are a very widely renowned company. Not heard of anyone having a problem with them either. Delivery was about 2-3 weeks. I can recommend the upgrade, it adds quite a bit to the GF's functionality.
So very tempted. Just wish I knew how much the new GF controller is going to be. Either way an STC will be a fraction of the cost. I like the Bluetooth to smartphone idea of the the new controller. Not for controlling remotely, but to keep an eye on temperatures. Also the new controller will be a PID type with PWM control of the element which should give a lot finer control. The STC-1000 is only on/off with dead band adjustment isn't it?

Has anyone got an STC-1000 from Aliexpress recently to confirm that they are still mod able. I seem to think I read somewhere it's revision 1.0 board or earlier that worked.

f00b4r
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by f00b4r » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:47 pm

This is the one you want (the custom firmware project tracked down the original manufacturer here): http://www.aliexpress.com/item/temperat ... 66302.html

Wrongway
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Wrongway » Wed Jun 22, 2016 9:52 pm

f00b4r wrote:This is the one you want (the custom firmware project tracked down the original manufacturer here): http://www.aliexpress.com/item/temperat ... 66302.html
Ah...Glad you said that. I was looking at this which might not be the correct version. http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product ... 93655.html

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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by nibber » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:45 pm

Just a thought, although your Grainfather is new (was it old stock?), is it fitted with the later type (modified) longer pump filter on it? i bought mine last year and recently replaced the original short stubby filter that pushes directly into the outlet with the newer longer one that fits with a rubber boot onto the outlet. My Grainfather pumps out into the fermenter in about 10 minutes. :)
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Wrongway
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Wrongway » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:46 am

Yes, it has got the latest filter. But with using pellet hops which seem to break up into a slurry as opposed to the more usual hops the filter resembled a courgette when the boiler was finally empty. This had slowed the flow to the fermenter to a bit more than a trickle.

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Goulders
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Goulders » Sat Jun 25, 2016 11:55 am

No filter is good for pellets and because the grainfather has a smallish diameter whirlpool will be difficult. Try a hop spider. Made mine for about £10

Wrongway
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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Wrongway » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:18 pm

I did look at hop spiders. The Mangrove Jack one on Grainfathers site is £34 and is 800 micron mesh which some say is not fine enough for pellet hops. Otherwise I saw this one http://www.angelhomebrew.co.uk/en/filte ... -x-14.html which is 300 micron mesh and is probably more suitable. But at £52 is a tad steep. Would be interested in your £10 design :). I have bought a couple of straining bags to try as well.

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Re: New Grainfather owner

Post by Dave S » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:41 pm

I think I'll stick to leaf in the GF and pellets in the FV :D From what I can gather, the new controller will not add any functionality but make temperature control tighter with the use of a PID.
Last edited by Dave S on Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best wishes

Dave

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