Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

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Fastline
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Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Fastline » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:28 pm

Well I'm using my Grainfather for 1st time, just running some pbw through it as we speak

7 litres of water and 50 grams pbw

At first I put water in, within 2 seconds of putting heat on to test it all died

It was fitted with a 3 amp fuse, Hopefully that's only scare for the evening

Will keep you posted through the evening on how it all goes

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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Fastline » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:26 pm

I brewing a exceedingly good ipa cascade from the homebrew shop

I'm not sure if the instructions are really related to the Grainfather, it refers to draining to your boiler

I'm going to be mashing in 12 litres of water at 67 degrees and then need to top up after an hour with 8 litres of water at 80 degrees recirc for 15 mins

Then drain to boiler or bucket in this case

Then need 13 litres at 80 degrees mixed and recirculated for 15 mins then drained to bucket

I'll then boil the lot for an hour doing the hops as needed

Seems a little drawn out, is there a better way with regards to mash volumes

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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Fastline » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:03 pm

Well all best made plans go out the window in battle

I had set mash water temp to 75 degrees thinking grain would suck lots of heat out, but only down to around 72 degrees

Anyway mash was really thick so I have added 8 litres of cold water to get me down to target 67 degree mash temp

I'll take this off the next mash step

So that's 20 litres for mash, will do 13liters of sparge

Aiming at collecting 28 litres for boil

Never weighed the grain but I'm guessing around 5kg

Mangrove jacks m44 yeast

No weights on the hops but I'm making it:
17grams 60min
35grams 15min
50grams 0min

Fastline
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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Fastline » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:03 pm

Well all best made plans go out the window in battle

I had set mash water temp to 75 degrees thinking grain would suck lots of heat out, but only down to around 72 degrees

Anyway mash was really thick so I have added 8 litres of cold water to get me down to target 67 degree mash temp

I'll take this off the next mash step

So that's 20 litres for mash, will do 13liters of sparge

Aiming at collecting 28 litres for boil

Never weighed the grain but I'm guessing around 5kg

Mangrove jacks m44 yeast

No weights on the hops but I'm making it:
17grams 60min
35grams 15min
50grams 0min

Fastline
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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Fastline » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:48 pm

After sitting down and reading the gf instructions I realised I hadn't put the pump on :roll:

Kicked it into life and soon the temp dropped to about 61 degrees the heating element soon kicked in and brought it up to the set 67 degrees in no time

I've got my stock pots heating sparge water

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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Fastline » Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:20 pm

Got 28 litres pre boil took a reading of 1.030 at 45 degrees

Currently 15mins into the boil

Sparged and drew off a few litres that I put back through, worth was pretty clear

I had planned to put the hops in hop bags but they have vanished so I've just chucked them in the pot

Could do with a longer paddle, the instructions say about scrapping the bottom to avoid the unit tripping, fingers crossed I'll be ok

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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Manngold » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:06 am

Fastline! What a nightmare. Don't worry, it gets much easier. The more you play the easier it will be.
My last brew had about 5.5kg grain. I used 18l for the mash, sparge with 13 l, ended with 22l.

Bare in mind the dead space after the boil. If using pellets give it a really good whirl pool.

John

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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Fastline » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:18 am

Finished all cleaned up

1 o'clock in the morning

Forgot to use protofloc :cry:

Wort looked clear collected 23l at 1.040

Counterflow chiller was great

The leaf hops was a bit of a pig to clean up need a hop spider would save lots of time on clean up

Used connect control manually, got the app on my tablet, doesn't take much to loose blue tooth connection

Think there might be some efficiency gains on the sparge side of things, will need to get better understanding of mash and sparge volumes

Recipe said I should have been at 1.045 so a little way off at 1.040

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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by orlando » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:57 am

Well done, have to admire your stamina. Like any bit of kit it takes time to get to know it and how to get the most out of it. =D>
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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by chefgage » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:35 am

A few points to hopefully make it easier next time.

If the recipe calls for 67'c mash temp then set the grainfather to this temp to heat the water. Do not worry about the grain 'sucking' the temperture down. This is part of what the recirculation does when you are mashing for the 60 minutes. The heater and pump will keep the mash at the desired temperature.

With regards to the mash being thick. This is ok, the mash will still recirculate. Make sure you have the top plate pushed down to the grain (just touching it is where it needs to be) and the overflow attachment fitted. If there is a slight stuck mash the wort will flow down the overflow pipework.

There is no need to remove the wort into a bucket, not sure why you would need to do that.

For sparging alot of us are just using cold water. As i use tesco ashbeck water for making the beer , i also use this as the spargr water which will be at about 20'c as its been sat in my kictchen.

You mention you took a gravity reading at 45'c. Did you adjust for the temperature diffrence? A gravity reading should be taken at 20'c but you can take the reading at any temperature as long as you adjust for the temperature difference.

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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Manngold » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:42 am

Well done Fastline for seeing it through to the end.

I strongly recommend watching David Heaths Grainfather videos on YouTube. He goes throtlots of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Grainfather. One thing I have learnt is to not worry too much. When I over think things that is when it goes wrong.

Well done.

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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Hairybiker » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:30 pm

Totally agree with above comments.
With the GF ignore any comments about adding extra water etc. Use the formula in the manual and calculate the water values needed.
I just heat to sparge temp, add the malt sleeve, malt and stir as it goes in, once all added and well stirred then put the top plate on pressed just to the top of the mash, make sure you have the pipe pulled up a bit over the mash. Add the overflow pipe to the top and press down to the plate.
Put on cover and fit sparge recircuation arm, turn on pump and leave for the mast time (for me 60min). Then up to 75C and leave for 20 min.
Then lift the grain in the sleeve and place the feet on the top "spring clip". Sparge (I just use cold water from the tap).
I usually get 80+% looking at 1060-70 from 5Kg into 20L in the FV.

No need to recirculate the wort after you have finished mashing as it has been recirculating all the time.
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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Fastline » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:56 pm

Even though it took some time, it was a fairly stress free game.

Far easier than the couple of stove top brews I had done in the past.

Sparging with water on the stove was a hassle.

I have lots of pellet hops in stock, how well does GF cope with those?

Going to get some fuses just in case the 13 amp one I fitted pops and need to replace the one i pinched from my heat gun to get the brew started.

There was another problem, my fermentation control consist of a fish tank heater heating water in a big builders bucket filled with water, the heater i use seemed to be coming on as soon as plugged in even though the water bath was higher than the heater was set. so think its time i look into building a fermentation fridge and reorganizing my under stairs cupboard.

Oh and the mop head broke off my mop as soon as i went to clean up spillages on floor at the end of the brew.

Think it will be much easier next time, ill be better prepared.

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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Hairybiker » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:58 am

I use pellet hops all the time, no real difference. Just do a whirlpool after "flameout" to get them to move to the middle.
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Re: Grainfather 1st use, bad start to long night

Post by Fastline » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:16 pm

Left this in the fermentation bucket under the stairs for 4 weeks, bit longer than I wanted but was busy with other stuff. Gravity was 1.008, I assumed that's done. Added around 60grams of brewing sugar to bottling bucket got 42 bottles. Looks a bit hazy but was a little expected as forgot the protoflock
Tasted ok. There was only a thin layer of yeast/trub at the bottom of the fermentation bucket, much less than I usually see with kit brews.

I had bought a variety of crushed grains quiet a while ago, for stove top brews, looks like most is out of date now by nearly a year so think this will end up in the bin or as chicken feed.

Any recommendations for a nice all grain best bitter or ESB kit that I can give a try on the Grain Father.

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