Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

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Hairybiker
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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by Hairybiker » Sun May 13, 2018 12:21 pm

Strange I have never had any issues using the formula from the manual (via my own android app) I usually have 5Kg of grain, 17L in the mash and 12L (cold from the tap) in the sparge for 20L in the FV for my cornies. This gives me about 1060 in the FV @20L. (dependant on the added adjuncts or straight PA)

Mind you I use the old version of the GF never went the connect way.

Anyway use VIM by all means I use "Astonish oven and cookware cleaner" on mine. As long as you rinse no problems.
For cleaning I dump in 10L of hot water and add some Oxiclean dropping in the sparge arm and pumping through the chiller for 15 min @66 then empty and add 10L of hot water and put it on boil for another 15min. Drain and put it away till next time. The grain basket gets cleaned manually after emptying it. Using the same Astonish as above if needed or just a hose and a scrubby,

Sparge varies for me can be as quick as 10min and as long as 40. I usually put it on boil UNLESS it is taking longer then I just switch it off and back on when the sparge is finished, I don't usually let it get above 85C while sparging (with cold water)

I find a cold sparge is fine as long as you have done a 75C stage all the sugars are pretty much out by then and the water warms as it flows through the bed. One side effect is that the grain is usually handleable by the time it has finished, no longer waiting for it to cool to handle.
Brewing (and loving it) on a Grainfather.
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Robhaigh
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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by Robhaigh » Sun May 13, 2018 12:29 pm

Tried using oxyclean on mine. Live in a hard water area.. didn't work..
Left horrid white residue in the gf.
Spent forever cleaning again to get rid.


Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk


chefgage
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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by chefgage » Sun May 13, 2018 1:41 pm

Robhaigh wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:29 pm
Tried using oxyclean on mine. Live in a hard water area.. didn't work..
Left horrid white residue in the gf.
Spent forever cleaning again to get rid.


Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk
Yep i did the same :) At least the outside of mine looks shiney.

Jomay
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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by Jomay » Sun May 13, 2018 7:06 pm

Hello Again

Thought I would let you know that I had another brewday today. I brewed a Wolverhampton Mild, bit of a change fron the APA, and took all your suggestions into account. The brew went well and I had no real problems. I used Dave Ss calculations for the water quantities, the results were near perfect, it was for a 18 litre batch with a OG of 1.034. I got 18 litres with a OG of 1.036. Not a true test as it was a BIAB recipe, and low grain bill. But I am v pleased, I never got that close when I was BIABin :-)

I brewed in the garage, which in many ways is better as I have a brew bench, with all my bits of various kit etc. However I did hope to brew inside in the winter. I can still do it as I have a utility room and actually have a couple of semi prof extractor fans, but they will require setting up and probably more kit !!!

I didnt use the app, just dialed times and temps in on the controller. I thought I would keep it simple for now. Not really sure what real advantages the app will have, plan to give it a couple more goes manually so I am more familiar with the GF and then give the app a try.

The cleaning went well but it still took a fair amount of time, ie a lot more than the Grainfather vids led me to believe. I was a bit sceptical because they never showed the emptying out of the crud. But I thought it would be quicker than its actually taking. Perhaps with time :-) Wishful thinking :-)

The boilover I had last time was because of my BIAB past, I have a large pot/kettle and with a 23 litre batch (my most common brew) there is noway it will boil over. I have/had got used to not paying attention to the start of the boil :-)

In fact I have not finished the cleaning, on the bottom plate I have got a build up of what looks like scale. Its not great at the moment but I can only see it getting worse. I gave it a scrub with a kitchen brush, that had no effect, so I gave it a good rub with Cif, that shifted some but not all. Am thinking to pour in some vinegar and leave it overnight. Anybody any better suggestions? Do any of you use Star San, thats a weak acid solution and might help.

Anyway thanks to all who replied your advice was really helpful, yes it really was :-)

Very Best Wishes - John

chefgage
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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by chefgage » Sun May 13, 2018 7:26 pm

Glad your brew day went better this time :)

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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by chefgage » Sun May 13, 2018 7:28 pm

I have used the app from the start with the grainfather. Having used beersmith and manual methods etc.. i like the simplisity of the app. Ok its not perfect especially with the grain absorbtion figure but i find it complements the grainfather rather well.

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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon May 14, 2018 4:46 am

Jomay wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:06 pm
Hello Again

Thought I would let you know that I had another brewday today. I brewed a Wolverhampton Mild, bit of a change fron the APA, and took all your suggestions into account. The brew went well and I had no real problems. I used Dave Ss calculations for the water quantities, the results were near perfect, it was for a 18 litre batch with a OG of 1.034. I got 18 litres with a OG of 1.036. Not a true test as it was a BIAB recipe, and low grain bill. But I am v pleased, I never got that close when I was BIABin :-)

I brewed in the garage, which in many ways is better as I have a brew bench, with all my bits of various kit etc. However I did hope to brew inside in the winter. I can still do it as I have a utility room and actually have a couple of semi prof extractor fans, but they will require setting up and probably more kit !!!

I didnt use the app, just dialed times and temps in on the controller. I thought I would keep it simple for now. Not really sure what real advantages the app will have, plan to give it a couple more goes manually so I am more familiar with the GF and then give the app a try.

The cleaning went well but it still took a fair amount of time, ie a lot more than the Grainfather vids led me to believe. I was a bit sceptical because they never showed the emptying out of the crud. But I thought it would be quicker than its actually taking. Perhaps with time :-) Wishful thinking :-)

The boilover I had last time was because of my BIAB past, I have a large pot/kettle and with a 23 litre batch (my most common brew) there is noway it will boil over. I have/had got used to not paying attention to the start of the boil :-)

In fact I have not finished the cleaning, on the bottom plate I have got a build up of what looks like scale. Its not great at the moment but I can only see it getting worse. I gave it a scrub with a kitchen brush, that had no effect, so I gave it a good rub with Cif, that shifted some but not all. Am thinking to pour in some vinegar and leave it overnight. Anybody any better suggestions? Do any of you use Star San, thats a weak acid solution and might help.

Anyway thanks to all who replied your advice was really helpful, yes it really was :-)

Very Best Wishes - John
Glad it went much better.

I have only done 6 brews so far with GF but have also had a steep learning curve.

The only additional tips I would add are:

Watch the wort coming up to the boil like a hawk from about 95 degrees to 5 mins into rolling boil, hot break and froth need patting / stirring down with a paddle or spraying water.

When the sparge water run off is slowing down take the grain tube off the top of the GF and pop it onto a cheap clean 10 or 15 litre fermentation bucket, sits nicely on the top and slowly drains the rest of the weak wort, which you can add during the boil if you need more volume, between 1 and 2 litres when runoff seemed minimal near end of sparge in my experience so far. This extra weak wort will also froth a bit if added to e boil due I presume to more hot break. This trick allows you to start the heating up whilst sparging and saves time without boilover risk.

I brew in utility room with door and window open during the boil, add a fan if calm or cold day, no condensation issues at all.

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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by chefgage » Mon May 14, 2018 8:20 am

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 4:46 am
Jomay wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 7:06 pm

When the sparge water run off is slowing down take the grain tube off the top of the GF and pop it onto a cheap clean 10 or 15 litre fermentation bucket, sits nicely on the top and slowly drains the rest of the weak wort, which you can add during the boil if you need more volume, between 1 and 2 litres when runoff seemed minimal near end of sparge in my experience so far. This extra weak wort will also froth a bit if added to e boil due I presume to more hot break. This trick allows you to start the heating up whilst sparging and saves time without boilover risk.
The newer type controllers will not reach boil untill you tell it the sparge is finished. Whilst it is still set to sparge it will heat up (unless you click the heater off) untill it reaches 96'c and will then sit at that temperature untill you tell it the sparge is finished. So it should not boil over whilst you are sparging.

Kingfisher4
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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon May 14, 2018 2:12 pm

Thanks, that’s reassuring, but I do have one of the new connect controllers and managed to skip on to the boil sequence from Sparge, whilst trying to count down the litres of Sparging water on the control box.
Probably a school boy error, but I find the auxiliary fermenting bin to collect the last runnings of the Sparge water quite useful.

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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by Fil » Mon May 14, 2018 5:25 pm

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 4:46 am
Watch the wort coming up to the boil like a hawk from about 95 degrees to 5 mins into rolling boil, hot break and froth need patting / stirring down with a paddle or spraying water.
Hey @kingfisher4 I think you may have browsed one too many US forums, the Hot break is when protiens clump up and fall out as trub after a minimum of 40 minutes boiling, the initial foam up is generally the result of a complete evacuation of all disolved gasses in the liquor as it hits the boil point and is a completely different thing. I dont know why US brewers confuse these two unrelated brewday milestones, but it raises my hackles every time i come accross it, hence this pedantic post.. ;) [-X
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
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Monkeybrew
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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by Monkeybrew » Mon May 14, 2018 8:18 pm

Certainly been an interesting little read this thread.

I am ordering my GF this week and will be coming from a 3V system, so expect to see a time saving on my normal brewday and clean up, which normally takes about 6 hours.

My sparge normally takes about an hour at the moment, so 30 minutes sounds good, but I certainly won't be rushing this stage.

I am also going for a tweak to a tried and tested 1.042 best bitter brew, to give me a straight forward recipe to use as a benchmark.

Glad that your second brew went a little better Jomay.

Cheers

MB
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On Tap:
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Conditioning (bottles):

Kingfisher4
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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon May 14, 2018 9:38 pm

Fil wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 5:25 pm
Kingfisher4 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 4:46 am
Watch the wort coming up to the boil like a hawk from about 95 degrees to 5 mins into rolling boil, hot break and froth need patting / stirring down with a paddle or spraying water.
Hey @kingfisher4 I think you may have browsed one too many US forums, the Hot break is when protiens clump up and fall out as trub after a minimum of 40 minutes boiling, the initial foam up is generally the result of a complete evacuation of all disolved gasses in the liquor as it hits the boil point and is a completely different thing. I dont know why US brewers confuse these two unrelated brewday milestones, but it raises my hackles every time i come accross it, hence this pedantic post.. ;) [-X
Thanks, easy to get confused on this steep learning curve, appreciate your shared experience, not pedantry at all!,

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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by Jomay » Tue May 15, 2018 5:42 pm

Hello Monkeybrew

As is obvious I dont have a lot of GF experience. My first impressions are that it works very well. The mashing and mash outs I did were much more exact than, even with great care, than I could achieve with BIAB. OTOH BIAB is simple, cheap, relativly quick and easy but a bit rough and ready.

The negatives for me were - its not sensible to use in a kitchen which is one of the things I wanted. I think I probably can attain this, but it will need some experience of using it and fitting some sort of extractor. The other thing is the cleaning, from the vids I watched it seemed quick and straightforward. This is not the case, I live in a hard water area so I am starting (even after 2 brews) to get scale build up on the bottom plate. I covered it with vinegar overnight and that seemed to do the trick, whether it will in the long term remains to be seen. May heve to revert to more abrasive methods. The cleaning took me a fair amount of time but as I gain experiece and establish a routine I expect this will get much quicker. The suggestions and experiences of people who replied indicated that my first experience would not be the norm :-)

Overall I am pleased with my GF and while it has not quite turnrd out to be a maidens prayer, I am still happy and would do the same again.

Best Wishes - John

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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by f00b4r » Tue May 15, 2018 6:32 pm

I would consider just using a pedestal fan, as others have also said, an open window and a fan is all your really need and they are very cheap from CPC or eBay. I picked one up locally from eBay for a fiver and it works fantastically.

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Re: Grainfather first brew - bit of a disaster

Post by chefgage » Tue May 15, 2018 7:43 pm

f00b4r wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 6:32 pm
I would consider just using a pedestal fan, as others have also said, an open window and a fan is all your really need and they are very cheap from CPC or eBay. I picked one up locally from eBay for a fiver and it works fantastically.
This is what i do. Seems to get rid if most moisture. I dont have water running down the walls anyway :)

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