Ordered a Grainfather!

A forum to discuss one pot automated brewing systems.
Post Reply
gobuchul
Steady Drinker
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:07 pm

Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by gobuchul » Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:05 pm

Well, I have decided to go over to a Grainfather. Any hints and tips gratefully received.

I moved house last year and lost my workshop where I stored my kit and did a lot of my brewing.

So I have decided to go for a Grainfather, to reduce the footprint and hopefully get me brewing again. I looked at a 50l Braumeister but couldn't really justify the expense. If this goes well, I might upgrade next year.

I have also ordered the insulation jacket and the hop spider, as I tend to use a lot of pellets and have heard there have been issues with blocked filters. As I am hoping to save a bit of time on my brew day, I wanted to avoid any delays.


Also, I was also wondering if it's realistic to do 2 brews in 1 day? Any Grainfather users done this?

If I set the timer and start almost as soon as I get up and heat mash water for the 2nd batch while cooling the wort, with a quick rinse through before the next batch, would it be possible to get 2 done between 8am and 6pm?

User avatar
FUBAR
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 649
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:12 pm
Location: Lenham Kent

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by FUBAR » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:40 am

You certainly wont regret buying the GF and the graincoat, the hop spider you might do.I have one that got just one use before being filled away to the brew room grave yard because the hop utilisation was abysmal .
Yes 2 brews in that time span are doable,do 2 liquored back low ABV brews to 50 litres and the potential of 100 litres in a day is achievable if you have the FV('s) and temperature control for fermenting available .
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
Piss Artist
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:03 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by Kingfisher4 » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:08 am

I had no previous brewing experience before starting to use my Grainfather in January but it is fantastic. 2 brews in a day would definitely be doable and reduce time taken per brew considerably, the clean up takes a while in particular so 2 brews from 1 cleanup would be good!

I don't have the graincoat as I'd seen mixed reviews but do have the storage bag, seemed relatively expensive but good quality and keeps it clean, dust and spider free in garage.

I know hop pellets are much easier to store, but have not had good experiences on the 2 brews using these with my Grainfather, though another thread has made suggestions on here to help so may revisit.

I have also developed a brew day instruction sheet which is now on about it's 6th iteration to try to remind me not to miss important steps etc. Have found it v useful, don't have access to it currently but if you would find it useful p.m. me and I could try to send a word version that you could adapt to your needs, if it looks any good to you.

gobuchul
Steady Drinker
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:07 pm

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by gobuchul » Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:17 pm

Thanks Kingfisher - very kind - PM sent.

User avatar
LeeH
Under the Table
Posts: 1537
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:42 pm
Location: North Lincs
Contact:

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by LeeH » Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:42 pm

Funny, I’m just looking at the Robobrew. It seems very comparable but 1/2 the price?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
To monitor my latest fermentation 27/10 click here
To view my new AG build click here
Keg 1: Berliner Weisse
Keg 2: APA
Keg 3: Stout (Nitro)
Keg 4: Empty

Secla
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 626
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:26 am

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by Secla » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:16 pm

Great kit. Has limitations like all one pot systems but you'll make consistently good beer

ciderhead
Piss Artist
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:18 am
Location: Emerald Isle

Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by ciderhead » Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:57 pm

My main kit is a 60 60 80 boiler herms with throttled chugger but I also bought a Grainfather. To compare the two

Upsides
Footprint
Ease of use
Control with GF connect
Robust, over 30 boils now

Downsides
I miss hands on
I don’t like grain husk/germ in wort see below
Fiddly with return arm and initial insertion or cables into controller and Temp probe
Burning crud on bottom plate
Time to boil
Cleaning is fiddlier because of the built in pump

I never use my stainless hop basket in it as I know you never get to the 100 degrees in the liquid inside it and I like good roll with hops and it gets in the way.
Jacket is essential to maintain and achieve temp quickly, especially outdoors.

Like all my homebrewing I added/ modded, so have a 3kw insertion element to speed up to boil and cut out a mesh filter on base to stop fine grain into wort.
Next step is quick disconnects on return arm.

I have used my big rig a couple of times in the last 12 months for volume or monster beers but am happy with GF and especially the connect.
I formulate beers BeerSmith and it’s a simple import to the connect.

Do a smash as your first beer to get a feel for what’s involved in the process and then complicate things.

On the hops topic a whirlpool and a 10 min wait will resolve any potential blockages

I bought a second connect and use it with element along with a small Chinese pump underneath thermopot to control HLT

Forgot to say I have done loads of double brews and even a treble that was 8-8 though and only because I had three very different beers.





Last edited by ciderhead on Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

gobuchul
Steady Drinker
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:07 pm

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by gobuchul » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:02 pm

Funny, I’m just looking at the Robobrew. It seems very comparable but 1/2 the price?
I had a look at a lot of the cheaper options, the Bulldog, the Brew Devil etc. All looked pretty similar but TBH I preferred the location of the controller on the Grainfather. I know I'm paying a bit of premium but it's a treat to myself after a very, very, busy year, work wise. I'm hoping it will kick start me brewing again as well.

Also, if this works well for me, I might go the whole hog and buy a 50l Braumeister and a s/h Grainfather is very easy to sell on.

Aub
Tippler
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri May 18, 2018 6:21 am

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by Aub » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:52 am

You wont regret buying a Grainfather, I've now done seven brews with virtually no problems and the beers have all been great.
I use a hop spider with pellets and haven't had a problem with utilisation........just give them a good stir now and then. I haven't had any scorching on the bottom either....simply give it a light scrape with the paddle three or four times during the boil and you wont have a problem.
I find cleaning simple...just hose out after use and refill with about 15 lt of water with a tablespoon of sodium percarbonate and heat to about 55c and recirculate through chiller as well for 15 minutes or so, empty and do again with clean water all that remains is a bit of wipe down and dry.
Have a look at David Heaths videos on youtube he gives lots of great tips on the Grainfather.
Good luck with it and I doubt very much that you'll be selling it on.

nibber
Tippler
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:46 pm
Location: Ashford,Kent.

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by nibber » Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:13 am

A great purchase-I bought one when they first came out, 2015 I think-mine has been bullet proof -only had to change the filter (upgraded and FOC at the time as had problems with the original filter getting blocked) and mine was the old version with the old controller so also bought the Grainfather connect controller upgrade. It's a great bit of kit .

Kingfisher4
Piss Artist
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:03 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by Kingfisher4 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:02 pm

gobuchul wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 1:17 pm
Thanks Kingfisher - very kind - PM sent.
Pleasure. Let us all know how you get on with the GF.

gobuchul
Steady Drinker
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:07 pm

Re: Ordered a Grainfather!

Post by gobuchul » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:00 pm

I'm haven't had a chance to get at the Grainfather yet, I work away and won't be home the end of next week at the earliest. I only ordered it early to take advantage of the free delivery from the Malt Miller in August, then they extended the offer to September.

I'm really looking forward to it, I have plans to fill my fermentation fridges in the first time in nearly 2 years, I have space for 100 litres and haven't got anyway near that for ages. Hopefully I can get that sorted fairly quickly and get some stocks for Christmas.

Post Reply