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Author Topic: GrainFather  (Read 1167 times)

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Offline DrSmurto

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2017, 03:31:10 PM »
My Grainfather arrives Thursday. I bought the 'sparge water heater' after using something similar when brewing with a borrowed Grainfather.

Time, reduced footprint, automation, mash temperature control were amongst the reasons I bought one.

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Offline edelbrock1

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2017, 05:38:02 PM »
I am a big fan of my Grainfather.  But I have never used anything else.  So nothing to compare it to.

Offline bookworm1707

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2017, 06:16:17 PM »
I have a 10l urn that was purchased off the net, was less than $50, can't remember where from but it was a no name brand job. Lasted about 3 years so far.

Offline Growler

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GrainFather
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2017, 10:03:03 PM »
Hi Scrivenovski,

I moved from 3 vessel to a Braumeister last year. I do both sparge and no sparge, and found no difference in beer quality, that said the efficiency is not as good with no sparge, I'm always a few points short, but the beers are still balanced and taste great.

You really need to decide and commit to one or the other. No sparge is more simple but you use a tad more grain. As you said if you sparge you require more equipment and you have a larger brew footprint and power.

If you are sure the grainfather does no sparge with no issues then that sounds like the go for you.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Cheers
Growler
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 10:04:43 PM by Growler »

Offline bookworm1707

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2017, 10:27:22 PM »
So it seems aldi sells an urn for less than 50. Others are about $80.

As to what to buy... I have two brau's. 25 and 50l, they're great. There is nothing wrong with them.

But if I was looking now I would really be looking at a grainfather. The price is great! (my concern, and its the same for the brau is the grain capacity. the single batch brau is about enough to get a 6% beer. Not bad, at all. And can be higher with some more steps. Just my thoughts)

Offline FishersFirst

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2017, 10:27:46 PM »
The grainfather has a maximum mash capacity of say 32L, once you have the malt pipe and the grain factored in, if you want a pre boil volume of 28L, you really can't do a fill volume mash, unless you just plan on topping up with water. Just buy a cheap 10-15L urn on Gumtree or something to sparge with.

Offline Scrivenovski

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2017, 12:04:58 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I'm leaning toward lashing out the $150 for the sparge heater, but will look into the urn option too. I guess the sparge temp is not as critical as mash temp provided you do a mash out. As long as sparge water is somewhere in the range of 70-76 degrees it probably wont have any detectable difference to the beer, and for this application a cheap urn is probably perfect.

Offline gadjitsteve

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2017, 01:04:51 PM »
How much are the grain fathers?
I really gotta get brewing again.

My shares in Cooper's have well and truely matured

Offline Hopmonkey

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2017, 03:05:55 PM »
Anyone know if we can get a bulk buy?

I am starting to think I may want one as well.

Offline Canuk

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2017, 11:51:31 AM »
Anyone know if we can get a bulk buy?

I am starting to think I may want one as well.

make it happen and i'd be interested. $1200+ is to rich for me. but would love one

Offline cronessa

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2017, 04:50:18 PM »
I use an urn I bought for $20 at trash and treasure and a $10 STC1000 I put together.

One of the things I like about the GF is there are big user groups on social media discussing just about everything. Apparently folks on there reckon it's fine to sparge with water at room temp with very little loss of efficiency but really, my urn and STC1000 doesn't add any time to the brewday.

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Offline Scrivenovski

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2017, 08:14:29 AM »
First brew with the Grainfather yesterday. Overall it was pretty good, BUT there were a few issues that were really inconvenient and if fixed would make this a brilliant contraption:
1.   The Bluetooth connectivity didn’t work. There seems to be a lot of posts online of people having issues out of the box.
2.   It was really inconvenient to stir the mash, having to remove the recirculating arm and top perforated plate. Also got a bit of malt down the overflow tube when stirring which was then in the kettle.
3.   You cant see the volume markings on the inside of the kettle while sparging so have to guess when you think you have reached the pre-boil volume.
4.   It really lacks power. It took about half an hour to get from 94 degrees to boiling, and was not able to produce a rolling boil unless the lid was on. Was more a simmer than a boil.
5.   The heat exchanger was great - really effective, but I don’t like how has to sit on top of the vessel. This means you need to have the lid on for the last 10 minutes of the boil while sanitising it and as such makes late hop additions really difficult.

For the price it is a good unit, but for another hundred or so they can solve much of this and make it a lot more user friendly.

Offline FishersFirst

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2017, 09:06:55 AM »
First brew with the Grainfather yesterday. Overall it was pretty good, BUT there were a few issues that were really inconvenient and if fixed would make this a brilliant contraption:
1.   The Bluetooth connectivity didn’t work. There seems to be a lot of posts online of people having issues out of the box.It seems to be a problem more with Android than iPhone, read onto that what you will. I set a profile, start the brew session and leave it alone, seems to play up when you try interrupt it or close the app and launches it again.
2.   It was really inconvenient to stir the mash, having to remove the recirculating arm and top perforated plate. Also got a bit of malt down the overflow tube when stirring which was then in the kettle.There's no need to stop to stir the mash. If you really take the time to stir in well when mashing in, you get good efficiency.
3.   You cant see the volume markings on the inside of the kettle while sparging so have to guess when you think you have reached the pre-boil volume.If you've pre measured your Sparge volume, you'll have the right preboil volume. The upper bar that connects the Sparge arm on the outside is directly in line with 28L
4.   It really lacks power. It took about half an hour to get from 94 degrees to boiling, and was not able to produce a rolling boil unless the lid was on. Was more a simmer than a boil.Agree with the time taken to reach boil. The grain coat helps. The boil vigour is good I find, better than the braumeister.
5.   The heat exchanger was great - really effective, but I don’t like how has to sit on top of the vessel. This means you need to have the lid on for the last 10 minutes of the boil while sanitising it and as such makes late hop additions really difficult. Yep, a lot of guys build a stand so you can ha enough the chiller next to the GF and the sparge urn on top.

For the price it is a good unit, but for another hundred or so they can solve much of this and make it a lot more user friendly.Agreed

Offline cronessa

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2017, 09:12:19 AM »
1. Can't comment on this because I haven't upgraded to the Bluetooth controller. I hear this is a shortcoming.

2. I only stir the mash at the beggining before the plate and recirculation arm go on and get good efficiency.

3. I find the calculators are pretty accurate for sparge volume.

4. It shouldn't take anywhere near this long. This is commonly caused by crud sticking to the bottom of the kettle which acts as an insulator. Next time, try scraping the bottom of the kettle with your mash paddle I bet it will be a lot faster - just don't knock off the filter!

5. A couple of pieces of cheap tubing will fix this problem but agree it should be longer out of the box. I guess they wanted to keep the footprint smaller / have a self contained unit.



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Offline Scrivenovski

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2017, 09:50:58 AM »
Thanks for the comments. Sounds like I will be able to get around a few of the issues by adjusting my process. My phone couldn't even see the Grainfather to try to connect to it, tried several phones, I think it's just not working. Will follow up during the week. Might need to shell out for the grain coat because my boil just wasn't cutting it.

Offline Dirtystew

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2017, 10:35:06 AM »
What device are you using to try and connect the Bluetooth?

Offline cronessa

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2017, 10:42:43 AM »
Thanks for the comments. Sounds like I will be able to get around a few of the issues by adjusting my process. My phone couldn't even see the Grainfather to try to connect to it, tried several phones, I think it's just not working. Will follow up during the week. Might need to shell out for the grain coat because my boil just wasn't cutting it.
Try the trick I mentioned first mate. I have had that same issue and scraping the bottom fixes it. Lagged at the same temp as yours as well, around 94C.

I get a very vigorous boil and I'm pretty sure I recall Dr Smurto commenting recently that he was impressed with the boil also.

Bit of a pain in the arse, but maybe fill with plain tap water and see what kind of boil you get and what times so you know what to expect.

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Offline Scrivenovski

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2017, 04:21:32 PM »
Thanks for the comments. Sounds like I will be able to get around a few of the issues by adjusting my process. My phone couldn't even see the Grainfather to try to connect to it, tried several phones, I think it's just not working. Will follow up during the week. Might need to shell out for the grain coat because my boil just wasn't cutting it.
Try the trick I mentioned first mate. I have had that same issue and scraping the bottom fixes it. Lagged at the same temp as yours as well, around 94C.

I get a very vigorous boil and I'm pretty sure I recall Dr Smurto commenting recently that he was impressed with the boil also.

Bit of a pain in the arse, but maybe fill with plain tap water and see what kind of boil you get and what times so you know what to expect.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
Thanks Chris, I will try scraping it next time. I did notice however that when I cleaned it there wasnt much crap stuck to the bottom then, so I'd be surprised if that helps, but will try nonetheless.

Tried connecting to bluetooth with 2 different iphones and a galaxy s5. It just wasnt visible to connect to. Will speak to place of purchase to see what they say.

Offline Dirtystew

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Re: GrainFather
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2017, 04:59:25 PM »
Did turn the Bluetooth on,  then open the connect app and then pair to the controller?