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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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.

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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

Fternolad
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by Fternolad » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:24 pm

I used to post a bit on here years ago, not much but I seem to have lost everything. Username password the whole shabang. Any way they let me back in again so thanks for that.
I've been brewing for a number of years in one form or another, currently BIAB.
I live in Greece now and can get my ingredients from a variety of suppliers in Athens even though I'm the other side of the country.
I've been considering buying a grainfather, I tend to brew real ales not large grain bill type beers as its about the only thing I miss about the UK.
I've read reviews and watched videos about the grainfather and I must admit I do have some concerns about it's reliability. I don't want to lay out some serious cash and then start having problems with pumps, filters etc as it wouldn't be a case of just popping into town to get replacement parts.
How reliable is this piece of kit? Is it just people who have had problems that tend to post more? Like I say I don't make big grain bill or heavily hopped beers, would that be easier on the pump?
Thanks in advance to your responses.

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Kingfisher4
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by Kingfisher4 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:40 pm

Fternolad wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:24 pm
I used to post a bit on here years ago, not much but I seem to have lost everything. Username password the whole shabang. Any way they let me back in again so thanks for that.
I've been brewing for a number of years in one form or another, currently BIAB.
I live in Greece now and can get my ingredients from a variety of suppliers in Athens even though I'm the other side of the country.
I've been considering buying a grainfather, I tend to brew real ales not large grain bill type beers as its about the only thing I miss about the UK.
I've read reviews and watched videos about the grainfather and I must admit I do have some concerns about it's reliability. I don't want to lay out some serious cash and then start having problems with pumps, filters etc as it wouldn't be a case of just popping into town to get replacement parts.
How reliable is this piece of kit? Is it just people who have had problems that tend to post more? Like I say I don't make big grain bill or heavily hopped beers, would that be easier on the pump?
Thanks in advance to your responses.

Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk
I am just waiting to reach the boil at the moment on my 38th brew with my Grainfather since starting in Jan 2018.

I have no prior comparison as I started then straight in with the Grainfather, but I love it. I brew mainly English bitters and English Golden ales. I have had no issues at all, other than minor software glitches as they've updated it recently, but those bugs are being ironed out.

No hesitation to recommend on that experience.

I understand the English mail order homebrew stockists have great service for replacement parts but have not yet needed to test that out.

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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by Fternolad » Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:15 pm

[quote="Kingfisher4"][quote=Fternolad post_id=846164 time=1571145846 user_id=23220]
I used to post a bit on here years ago, not much but I seem to have lost everything. Username password the whole shabang. Any way they let me back in again so thanks for that.
I've been brewing for a number of years in one form or another, currently BIAB.
I live in Greece now and can get my ingredients from a variety of suppliers in Athens even though I'm the other side of the country.
I've been considering buying a grainfather, I tend to brew real ales not large grain bill type beers as its about the only thing I miss about the UK.
I've read reviews and watched videos about the grainfather and I must admit I do have some concerns about it's reliability. I don't want to lay out some serious cash and then start having problems with pumps, filters etc as it wouldn't be a case of just popping into town to get replacement parts.
How reliable is this piece of kit? Is it just people who have had problems that tend to post more? Like I say I don't make big grain bill or heavily hopped beers, would that be easier on the pump?
Thanks in advance to your responses.

Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk
[/quote]
I am just waiting to reach the boil at the moment on my 38th brew with my Grainfather since starting in Jan 2018.

I have no prior comparison as I started then straight in with the Grainfather, but I love it. I brew mainly English bitters and English Golden ales. I have had no issues at all, other than minor software glitches as they've updated it recently, but those bugs are being ironed out.

No hesitation to recommend on that experience.

I understand the English mail order homebrew stockists have great service for replacement parts but have not yet needed to test that out.[/quote]Thanks for that. My supplier in Athens also sells the grainfather albeit slightly more expensive due to our vat. I should check with him about spares I suppose.

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Kevwaller
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by Kevwaller » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:13 am

Fternolad wrote:
Kingfisher4 wrote:
Fternolad wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:24 pm
I used to post a bit on here years ago, not much but I seem to have lost everything. Username password the whole shabang. Any way they let me back in again so thanks for that.
I've been brewing for a number of years in one form or another, currently BIAB.
I live in Greece now and can get my ingredients from a variety of suppliers in Athens even though I'm the other side of the country.
I've been considering buying a grainfather, I tend to brew real ales not large grain bill type beers as its about the only thing I miss about the UK.
I've read reviews and watched videos about the grainfather and I must admit I do have some concerns about it's reliability. I don't want to lay out some serious cash and then start having problems with pumps, filters etc as it wouldn't be a case of just popping into town to get replacement parts.
How reliable is this piece of kit? Is it just people who have had problems that tend to post more? Like I say I don't make big grain bill or heavily hopped beers, would that be easier on the pump?
Thanks in advance to your responses.

Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk
I am just waiting to reach the boil at the moment on my 38th brew with my Grainfather since starting in Jan 2018.

I have no prior comparison as I started then straight in with the Grainfather, but I love it. I brew mainly English bitters and English Golden ales. I have had no issues at all, other than minor software glitches as they've updated it recently, but those bugs are being ironed out.

No hesitation to recommend on that experience.

I understand the English mail order homebrew stockists have great service for replacement parts but have not yet needed to test that out.
Thanks for that. My supplier in Athens also sells the grainfather albeit slightly more expensive due to our vat. I should check with him about spares I suppose.

Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk
Have you priced buying direct from gf?


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Fternolad
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by Fternolad » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:59 am

[quote="Kevwaller"][quote="Fternolad"][quote="Kingfisher4"][quote=Fternolad post_id=846164 time=1571145846 user_id=23220]
I used to post a bit on here years ago, not much but I seem to have lost everything. Username password the whole shabang. Any way they let me back in again so thanks for that.
I've been brewing for a number of years in one form or another, currently BIAB.
I live in Greece now and can get my ingredients from a variety of suppliers in Athens even though I'm the other side of the country.
I've been considering buying a grainfather, I tend to brew real ales not large grain bill type beers as its about the only thing I miss about the UK.
I've read reviews and watched videos about the grainfather and I must admit I do have some concerns about it's reliability. I don't want to lay out some serious cash and then start having problems with pumps, filters etc as it wouldn't be a case of just popping into town to get replacement parts.
How reliable is this piece of kit? Is it just people who have had problems that tend to post more? Like I say I don't make big grain bill or heavily hopped beers, would that be easier on the pump?
Thanks in advance to your responses.

Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk
[/quote]
I am just waiting to reach the boil at the moment on my 38th brew with my Grainfather since starting in Jan 2018.

I have no prior comparison as I started then straight in with the Grainfather, but I love it. I brew mainly English bitters and English Golden ales. I have had no issues at all, other than minor software glitches as they've updated it recently, but those bugs are being ironed out.

No hesitation to recommend on that experience.

I understand the English mail order homebrew stockists have great service for replacement parts but have not yet needed to test that out.[/quote]Thanks for that. My supplier in Athens also sells the grainfather albeit slightly more expensive due to our vat. I should check with him about spares I suppose.

Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk[/quote]
Have you priced buying direct from gf?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk[/quote]No mate didn't know you could. Thanks I'll look into it.

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Dave S
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Re: Pros and Cons?

Post by Dave S » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:47 am

Fternolad wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:24 pm
I used to post a bit on here years ago, not much but I seem to have lost everything. Username password the whole shabang. Any way they let me back in again so thanks for that.
I've been brewing for a number of years in one form or another, currently BIAB.
I live in Greece now and can get my ingredients from a variety of suppliers in Athens even though I'm the other side of the country.
I've been considering buying a grainfather, I tend to brew real ales not large grain bill type beers as its about the only thing I miss about the UK.
I've read reviews and watched videos about the grainfather and I must admit I do have some concerns about it's reliability. I don't want to lay out some serious cash and then start having problems with pumps, filters etc as it wouldn't be a case of just popping into town to get replacement parts.
How reliable is this piece of kit? Is it just people who have had problems that tend to post more? Like I say I don't make big grain bill or heavily hopped beers, would that be easier on the pump?
Thanks in advance to your responses.

Sent from my moto g(6) play using Tapatalk
The kit itself is very reliable, I've been brewing with it for four years now. The control software, as others have said is a fiasco, but don't let it put you off getting one.
Best wishes

Dave

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