Grainfather mash water level

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Aub
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Grainfather mash water level

Post by Aub » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:14 am

Hi all,
I've done about 7 brews on my Grainfather to date, the beers have turned out great. Each time during the mash cycle the water level is usually above the overflow pipe, I'm curious to know if this happens to others. Maybe I'm doing something wrong?

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FUBAR
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by FUBAR » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:40 am

Won't do any harm and just makes sure the pump doesn't run dry.The key to stopping it happening is the grain crush that needs to be on the coarse side,then the wort will run clear and it's level will never overflow. A grain mill is a good piece of kit to have so you can dial in the crush to your requirements .
I buy my grain & hops from here http://www.homebrewkent.co.uk/


I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me - Winston Churchill

Kingfisher4
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by Kingfisher4 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:51 am

If I understand your question correctly, that is normal for me as well. The pump essentially pumps a greater volume of wort than can be filtered through the grain basket and the grain.
The overflow ensures good mixing of the wort.
There is a calculator on the Grainfather Connect app which will allow you to work out your extraction efficiency. Mine has varied between approximately 80 and 89% with a 60 minute mash followed by the 75°C mash out, with the overflow you are describing.

steviebobs83
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by steviebobs83 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:50 pm

I must admit, I've wondered about this myself a few times as I would imagine it would be difficult to tell if you had a stuck mash if the wort is just recirculating via the overflow. All my beers have turned out fine mind so I'm pretty sure it's normal but I'd be interested to know if anyone's had a stuck mash in the GF.

I recently bought a 25kg bag of crushed grain from a different supplier and had a difficult time sparging with my second batch out of the sack. Once I lifted the basket out, it sucked the top mesh right down into the grain bed and it was too hot to dip my hand in to grab it. Had to faff about with a big spoon and eventually disturbed the grain enough to let the wort flow again. I realise as I'm typing this I've gone off topic a bit, so apologies. Anyone else had this issue?

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FUBAR
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by FUBAR » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:01 am

I dont quite get what you mean?,the top plate should rest on top of the grain for the sparge.And most times I have to physically push the top plate down so it touches the grain bed after lifting the basket.The only thing I can think of is you are lifting the basket with the speed of a clean and jerk weightlifter? .That would create a lot of suction with the top plate acting like a piston heading towards and compressing the grain bed .If thats the case,when you lift the basket,make love to it,dont shag it :lol: .
I buy my grain & hops from here http://www.homebrewkent.co.uk/


I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me - Winston Churchill

Aub
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by Aub » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:21 am

FUBAR wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:40 am
Won't do any harm and just makes sure the pump doesn't run dry.The key to stopping it happening is the grain crush that needs to be on the coarse side,then the wort will run clear and it's level will never overflow. A grain mill is a good piece of kit to have so you can dial in the crush to your requirements .
I have a grain mill and have been using a 1.3mm setting, the last brew I changed it to 1.26mm to see if there was much difference.
What brewhouse and mash efficiencies are you achieving and what grain mill setting have you found to be the best ?

Aub
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by Aub » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:31 am

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:51 am
If I understand your question correctly, that is normal for me as well. The pump essentially pumps a greater volume of wort than can be filtered through the grain basket and the grain.
The overflow ensures good mixing of the wort.
There is a calculator on the Grainfather Connect app which will allow you to work out your extraction efficiency. Mine has varied between approximately 80 and 89% with a 60 minute mash followed by the 75°C mash out, with the overflow you are describing.
My mash efficiencies are similar to yours, although my last brew I used a finer crush and mash efficiency was only 74%.
As long as the beers are good there is no problem, I was just curious, as most videos I see the wort doesn't seem to be overflowing.

Aub
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by Aub » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:38 am

steviebobs83 wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:50 pm
I must admit, I've wondered about this myself a few times as I would imagine it would be difficult to tell if you had a stuck mash if the wort is just recirculating via the overflow. All my beers have turned out fine mind so I'm pretty sure it's normal but I'd be interested to know if anyone's had a stuck mash in the GF.

I recently bought a 25kg bag of crushed grain from a different supplier and had a difficult time sparging with my second batch out of the sack. Once I lifted the basket out, it sucked the top mesh right down into the grain bed and it was too hot to dip my hand in to grab it. Had to faff about with a big spoon and eventually disturbed the grain enough to let the wort flow again. I realise as I'm typing this I've gone off topic a bit, so apologies. Anyone else had this issue?

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Yeah, all my beers have turned out fine too. I haven't had a stuck mash or sparge but the grain always seems to end up an inch or two below the mesh. I wonder whether I should be pushing the mesh down a little firmer, but worry about compacting the grain bed if I do ?

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Grainfather mash water level

Post by ciderhead » Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:31 am

If you have wort flowing though the overflow its not flowing down through the grain. I do two things with my finer crush, adjust the flow with the valve on the side so that it’s just below the overflow, you still get a good flow through this. I chuck in washed rice hulls which create spaces for the wort to flow.
I also recently added one of these as I didn’t like grain in my boil. Works ok and with hulls doesn’t adversely affect flow.

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FUBAR
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by FUBAR » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:42 pm

Aub wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:21 am
FUBAR wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:40 am
Won't do any harm and just makes sure the pump doesn't run dry.The key to stopping it happening is the grain crush that needs to be on the coarse side,then the wort will run clear and it's level will never overflow. A grain mill is a good piece of kit to have so you can dial in the crush to your requirements .
I have a grain mill and have been using a 1.3mm setting, the last brew I changed it to 1.26mm to see if there was much difference.
What brewhouse and mash efficiencies are you achieving and what grain mill setting have you found to be the best ?
1.4 mm and I get between 85 to 90 % efficiency,at that setting a lot of the grain looks like it is un crushed but a gentle squeeze between the finger tips and the grain husk breaks.Nice clear wort from the start of the mash to,used to get loads of grain in the boil with shop bought ready crushed .
I buy my grain & hops from here http://www.homebrewkent.co.uk/


I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me - Winston Churchill

Aub
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by Aub » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:21 am

FUBAR wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:42 pm
Aub wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:21 am
FUBAR wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:40 am
Won't do any harm and just makes sure the pump doesn't run dry.The key to stopping it happening is the grain crush that needs to be on the coarse side,then the wort will run clear and it's level will never overflow. A grain mill is a good piece of kit to have so you can dial in the crush to your requirements .
I have a grain mill and have been using a 1.3mm setting, the last brew I changed it to 1.26mm to see if there was much difference.
What brewhouse and mash efficiencies are you achieving and what grain mill setting have you found to be the best ?
1.4 mm and I get between 85 to 90 % efficiency,at that setting a lot of the grain looks like it is un crushed but a gentle squeeze between the finger tips and the grain husk breaks.Nice clear wort from the start of the mash to,used to get loads of grain in the boil with shop bought ready crushed .
Thanks for that, I'll give 1.4mm a try. How do you find that setting goes with wheat malt ?

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FUBAR
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by FUBAR » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:35 am

Aub wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:21 am
FUBAR wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:42 pm
Aub wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:21 am


I have a grain mill and have been using a 1.3mm setting, the last brew I changed it to 1.26mm to see if there was much difference.
What brewhouse and mash efficiencies are you achieving and what grain mill setting have you found to be the best ?

1.4 mm and I get between 85 to 90 % efficiency,at that setting a lot of the grain looks like it is un crushed but a gentle squeeze between the finger tips and the grain husk breaks.Nice clear wort from the start of the mash to,used to get loads of grain in the boil with shop bought ready crushed .
Thanks for that, I'll give 1.4mm a try. How do you find that setting goes with wheat malt ?
I've never used wheat malt so sorry wouldn't know .
I buy my grain & hops from here http://www.homebrewkent.co.uk/


I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me - Winston Churchill

MarkF_2703
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Re: Grainfather mash water level

Post by MarkF_2703 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:00 pm

I am at 1.3mm ATM and still getting overflow throughout the mash but a fairly quick Sparge, will try 1.4mm next session. Had poor efficiency last brew, down 4 points, followed recipe of 66 deg mash instead of my normal 65 deg.

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