Grainfather pump

A forum to discuss one pot automated brewing systems.
Wilfy
Tippler
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:06 pm

Grainfather pump

Post by Wilfy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:01 pm

Anyone had any problems with this. Running a cleaning cycle which was fine with the recirc arm. Attached the chiller and the pump isn’t working. Just sounds like it’s trying to pump but failing. Blew down pipe and that’s clear. Do I need to get a replacement, machine is less than two months old.

aamcle
Drunk as a Skunk
Posts: 767
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:42 am
Location: Newton-le-Willows ( St Helens/Warrington)

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by aamcle » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:46 pm

If it works with the arm then it's working, you need to check for blockages in the chiller or partial blockage of the disconnected and valve were the arm joins the vertical riser. Connect the cooling coil to a tap and check the flow.
If you still cant find anything strip the pump it may be partially blocked with grain.

aamcle

User avatar
FUBAR
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 652
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:12 pm
Location: Lenham Kent

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by FUBAR » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:47 am

I find with mine sometimes you need to switch the pump on and off a few times to get it to work.
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

chefgage
Hollow Legs
Posts: 492
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:37 am

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by chefgage » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:16 am

FUBAR wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:47 am
I find with mine sometimes you need to switch the pump on and off a few times to get it to work.
This is what i have to do some times. The pump is not very powerfull so when you have the chiller attached it slows the flow right down. I found that a tiny bit of air in the pump would stop the flow altogether. I found the best way to sort this is to either stop and start the pump a few times. Or disconnect the chiller and blow down the pipework that leads down to the pump. If you still have the non return ball and spring in the valve then the actual valve will need to be removed for you to do this.

Digby
Piss Artist
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:54 pm

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Digby » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:19 am

Hi,

The pump failed on my nearly new Grainfather recently. It worked at lower temp such as mash recirculation but when recirulating at the end of boil to sanitize the chiller it failed. Made an awful noise and refused to work.

Seems to have been temperature related as worked again when cooler but failed again when tested with boiling water.

The guys at Malt Miller were excellent as always and I received a replacement pump within a few days. Simple job to swap them out.

Not sure if this is similar to your issue but it may help you or someone else.

Regards,

Matt

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk


Wilfy
Tippler
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 6:06 pm

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Wilfy » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:38 pm

Mine has cut out again mid mash so the home brew company are getting an email with a video.

They can send me a kit as well to replace this one that’s not going to be any good now. Only the third brew on it and have had problems with two now.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7585
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Kev888 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:50 pm

Does your cleaning cycle use a hot oxy laundry-cleaner, or something of that kind?
Kev

Midlife
Piss Artist
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:30 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Midlife » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:02 pm

I was thinking this part of the grainfather is quite weak, during the mash/boil/cool if the pump fails you ideally want to bypass it with a temp pump and carry on. Then sort/clean the pump later. On my bulldog if the pump packed up and needed a clean it was easy to swap it out for another mag pump and carry on.

Does anyone or has anyone modified the pipework outlet with a tap or flexible pipework to do a swap out? I was thinking of modifying this area to get the flexibility.
Attachments
Grainfather pump.jpg

Midlife
Piss Artist
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:30 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Midlife » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:51 pm

Ok so I might have killed this thread with my suggestion of modifying the pipework?

I ran mine for the first time doing the cleaning cycle and can see the pump issue as soon as it gets air bubbles in it, same as this quote.
FUBAR wrote: ↑Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:47 am
I find with mine sometimes you need to switch the pump on and off a few times to get it to work.
This is what i have to do some times. The pump is not very powerfull so when you have the chiller attached it slows the flow right down. I found that a tiny bit of air in the pump would stop the flow altogether. I found the best way to sort this is to either stop and start the pump a few times. Or disconnect the chiller and blow down the pipework that leads down to the pump. If you still have the non return ball and spring in the valve then the actual valve will need to be removed for you to do this.
What does the non return valve actually achieve, unless I'm being thick I cant see why you need it?

On the plus side it is a very nice brewer!

Dave S
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2503
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:38 pm
Location: Wirral, Merseyside

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Dave S » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:09 am

Midlife wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:51 pm
Ok so I might have killed this thread with my suggestion of modifying the pipework?

I ran mine for the first time doing the cleaning cycle and can see the pump issue as soon as it gets air bubbles in it, same as this quote.
FUBAR wrote: ↑Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:47 am
I find with mine sometimes you need to switch the pump on and off a few times to get it to work.
This is what i have to do some times. The pump is not very powerfull so when you have the chiller attached it slows the flow right down. I found that a tiny bit of air in the pump would stop the flow altogether. I found the best way to sort this is to either stop and start the pump a few times. Or disconnect the chiller and blow down the pipework that leads down to the pump. If you still have the non return ball and spring in the valve then the actual valve will need to be removed for you to do this.
What does the non return valve actually achieve, unless I'm being thick I cant see why you need it?

On the plus side it is a very nice brewer!
It stops you getting showered with hot wort if you inadvertently decouple the recycling arm or CFC while the pump is running
Best wishes

Dave

User avatar
Hairybiker
Hollow Legs
Posts: 339
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2014 10:28 am

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Hairybiker » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:30 am

Mine stopped for the first time on the last brew (2+ years use now), a blow down the pipe and off it went again. This was at the mash recycle part.
I have always cleaned it using oxy (1 scoop in ~10L) @66 for 15 min through the chiller, then boiling water for 15 min, I drop the recycling arm into the bottom to get cleaned as the water recycles.
Brewing (and loving it) on a Grainfather.
Happy Linux Mint User.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7585
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Kev888 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:53 am

I didn't get an answer to my question, so I'll just mention that all oxi cleaners are not equal. Some create much more gas and bubbling (and at lower temperatures) than others.

I don't have a grainfather, but the pump arrangement on my kettle is a very similar layout. When pushing cleaner through the restrictive CFC coil: the pump is completely happy with grainfather cleaner, works fairly well with PBW, and yet shrieks like it is being tortured with a cheap oxy-cleaner I got from the pound shop, due to the gas pocket created around the impeller. I was slow to realise the impact of this, and it has become damaged.

I tried said oxy-cleaner in a cup with near-boiling water, it was half empty afterwards due to all gas and foam that escaped, it was like watching one of those lava firework things. I've had other oxy laundry cleaners in the past that have fizzed a bit, but done nothing like that. So it could perhaps (in some cases) be unfair to blame grainfather, if not using specific cleaners that they have recommended.
Kev

Midlife
Piss Artist
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:30 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Midlife » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:54 pm

Hello,

The pump was ok on the cleaning cycle at 55C and circulated very well with the grainfather cleaner.

I did a dry run on hot water to understand how to control the chiller and in the hot water there were allot of bubbles and the pump was struggling to push around the chiller, hence why I was thinking does the one way valve restrict flow. It may be different when it's hot wart, I will find out when I do my first brew.

Dave S
Even further under the Table
Posts: 2503
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:38 pm
Location: Wirral, Merseyside

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Dave S » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:55 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:53 am
I didn't get an answer to my question, so I'll just mention that all oxi cleaners are not equal. Some create much more gas and bubbling (and at lower temperatures) than others.

I don't have a grainfather, but the pump arrangement on my kettle is a very similar layout. When pushing cleaner through the restrictive CFC coil: the pump is completely happy with grainfather cleaner, works fairly well with PBW, and yet shrieks like it is being tortured with a cheap oxy-cleaner I got from the pound shop, due to the gas pocket created around the impeller. I was slow to realise the impact of this, and it has become damaged.

I tried said oxy-cleaner in a cup with near-boiling water, it was half empty afterwards due to all gas and foam that escaped, it was like watching one of those lava firework things. I've had other oxy laundry cleaners in the past that have fizzed a bit, but done nothing like that. So it could perhaps (in some cases) be unfair to blame grainfather, if not using specific cleaners that they have recommended.
Well worth knowing, Kev, thanks. I always use PBW which, as you say works fine, and is the only alternative recommended by GF. I was thinking of switching to a cheaper OXI alternative but now I don't think I'll bother.
Best wishes

Dave

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7585
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Grainfather pump

Post by Kev888 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:19 pm

Yeah, I was taken aback by its enthusiasm. A costly mistake in my case; it was just a trial too, to see how well it worked (I normally use a more PBW-like concoction), I suppose I got my answer.

It must be said though that I've used oxy-cleaners in the past which perhaps bubbled a bit more than PBW but really weren't too bad. So you may well be fine with the right type, but IMO its at least worth a test with any new stuff, before trusting pumps to it.
Kev

Post Reply