Pros and Cons?

A forum to discuss one pot automated brewing systems.
Kingfisher4
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:50 am

Good luck, you will no doubt enjoy it enormously.

Unlike myself, you are not starting from zero experience and almost certainly already have the fermentation temperature control in place. Helpful advice from this forum emphasised how critical that was, in a way that my book reading had glossed over!

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PeeBee
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by PeeBee » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:53 am

Binkie Huckaback wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:17 am
Thanks to everyone who replied. I think I'll go for the Grainfather.
I think there is only one regret I have about getting a Grainfather (ignoring their recent foul-up "upgrading" the software. Fixed now; I think? … I hope!) and that is: I couldn't wait for them to bring out the new bigger 50L version! (You can still do 20-25L batches in a 50L GF).

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LeeH
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by LeeH » Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:04 pm

I feel for you pal, I work 4 days on 4 off plus 20 hols. I don’t would really struggle to find time to brew like I do if I ever left shift work. (Not that I’m planning too)


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Keg 4: Empty

Binkie Huckaback
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by Binkie Huckaback » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:45 pm

Kingfisher: controlled temperature fermentation has been on my to do list for years, so am thinking of the triple bundle.

PeeBee: do Grainfather make a 50 litre version? I've not been able to find one.

LeeH: thanks for the sympathy. Having a job is great the only thing I would change is to longer hours/less days.

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PeeBee
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by PeeBee » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:26 pm

Binkie Huckaback wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:45 pm
… PeeBee: do Grainfather make a 50 litre version? I've not been able to find one. …
Oops. I said 50 litre didn't I. Not available yet, but it's coming (probably New Year now 'cos they must have all been tied up with the software "upgrade" fiasco recently):
https://grainfather.com/grainfather-g70/
And I'm not so sure it can do 20-25L, I think I made that up? The "G30" (current 30L jobbie) will do 10L with the alternative pipework apparently (I've got the unused alternative pipework because I "discovered" full-boil-volume-mashing and have no use for the alternative pipes).

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LeeH
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by LeeH » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:01 pm

^^^wow, nice.

With equipment like this now appearing on the market in quick time, are us 3V system builders the last of our breed?

I really enjoyed my build but it was expensive and hugely time consuming and arguably produces no better beer or more of it. I have 3 75l ss pots that cost a bomb without anything else.


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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

MTW
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by MTW » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:31 pm

Good luck with the GF. I spent £300 on a Klarstein (see also Hopcat/Brewdevil/guten etc) 30L after years of brewing in coolbox/pots. I would say the following to your original post:

1. Definitely not, as others have confirmed. If I'd never brewed before, I'd have probably sat back, trusted what it was doing, and been happy with the beer; but I bought it for the added control, as well as convenience. See #5 below.

2. Despite #5 below, I'm very happy I got one. I look forward to the brewing process far more. It's dynamic and self contained, without the transfers. I just like it as a 'thing' too.

3. No. £300 was enough for me to spend on it, and I'm happy with the Klarstein. If a £650+ system keeps the true temperature more accurate, without as much intervention, then that's definitely an improvement, though not a £350+ improvement for me.

4. It's more fun.

5. On mine, the lag between the reading at the probe in the bottom (8L below the basket) means you have to be switched on yourself during the brew, if you want to keep the real temperature as closely controlled as you would in a simple insulated mash tun. I've evolved settings and tweaks to make things work well, but I'm damn glad I was a pretty competent brewer before using one. The big space under the basket also changes the liquor treatment a bit, which I've discussed in another active topic. The controller is also less than intuitive, but compared to the fully hands-on setup I used to have, it's a small problem. It also took a while to get my efficiency up, and to avoid the stuck mash I got first time out with it. Like any setup, you have to get your head around it and make adjustments.

Perhaps the most obvious thing, though worth pointing out, is that you're boiling in the same vessel in which you mash, so any particles that get through the mash and bottom plate remain in the boil. To what extent that's a problem, I don't know. My beers have been good. The recirculated wort is clear, but then the particles appear once it's boiling and they become buoyant, before settling out before transferring.

6. Slightly. I don't think my clean up is any quicker though, by the time I've dug out, disassembled, run some oxi through the machine, rinsed, drained/dried. The clean up of everything else (chiller, kitchen, various buckets for sanitiser and grains, tools etc) is the same regardless.

Best of luck
Busy in the Summer House Brewery

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PeeBee
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by PeeBee » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:46 pm

LeeH wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:01 pm
… With equipment like this now appearing on the market in quick time, are us 3V system builders the last of our breed? …
You probably right. I very nearly gave up on my 3V system which is only just coming back on-line after a 9-month outage - a gap filled rather too well by a Grainfather! I'm even edging out of the 3V dinosaur brigade by fitting my system out with an extra vessel (4V?) and measuring up for a "malt tube" for the 100L boiler.

But it's just natural progression - who remembers "floating mashtuns"? I reckon I'll live long enough to join in laughing at ageing "one-pot" systems.

MTW
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by MTW » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:27 pm

PeeBee wrote:But it's just natural progression - who remembers "floating mashtuns"? I reckon I'll live long enough to join in laughing at ageing "one-pot" systems.
Yes, I do! I had one attempt at a floating bucket in a Burco boiler I got from a scrap yard in about 1994, as per the Dave Line book. My first all grain attempt. Sadly, my grasp of brewing was virtually zero at the time, and nothing drinkable came from it.
Busy in the Summer House Brewery

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