Grainfather / robobrew sparging

A spot to talk general homebrew
Post Reply
darciandjenn
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:05 pm
Name: Jennifer & Darci Shaw
Location: Halifax

Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by darciandjenn » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:30 am

So the wife and I got sick of brewing out in the cold so we bit the bullet and bought a Grainfather during Nobel Grape's boxing day sale. 3 brews in and we are very happy with our purchase.

However, I do find it's a long brew day, even if it's a significantly warmer and easier one.

I'm wondering if there are any time savings to be had in switching from the recommended fly-sparge to maybe a batch sparge (i.e. dunk the grain basket in a bucket of sparge water) or even eliminating the sparge altogether and just living with the loss in efficiency. Right now we are doing a cold fly-sparge and our efficiency has been fantastic but it takes forever!

What is every body else doing?

User avatar
danlatimer
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:45 pm
Name: Daniel N Latimer

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by danlatimer » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:33 am

I heat up the sparge water on the stove, the fly usually takes 20 minutes or so. How long is your sparge taking with cold water?

Another trick is to get the grain father heating up to a boild during the sparge. You need to wait for it to come to a boil anyway.

User avatar
mdentremont
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:52 am
Name: Matt d'Entremont

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by mdentremont » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:34 am

We tend to use the hot water from the tap and a second pot on the stove to speed up hearing the mash water. We do this for the other brews as well, saves almost 20 minutes each on the mash and sparge steps.

PMackie
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:04 pm
Name: Paul MacKinnon
Location: Sackvegas

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by PMackie » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:20 pm

I actually found the fly sparging with cold water perfectly fine and my efficiency is quite high since I slowed it down. I use to just pour water on top and let it drain threw but I found it drained too fast and didn't properly rinse the grains. As mentioned above I turn my machine up to boil temp and let it start heating up while I sparge, this is a huge time saver.
Kegged: Bitter SOB (ESB), One Brown Eye Brown Ale
Fermenting: Cadbeery Milk Chocolate Stout
On deck: BS Comp Beer, All Ryell'ed Up(Rye APA)
In the hole: ???

Swine
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 217
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:30 am
Name: Ryan Swinamer
Location: Hammonds Plains

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by Swine » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:43 pm

My last 2 sparges have been SLOW. Grain crush was smaller than it had been before. So lesson learned there. However I have the next 3-4 batches already milled, so I am stuck with SLOW sparge going forward.
When I lift the basket of the ROBOBREW to drain the mash, I start adding sparge water in at a slow pace to kind of keep the water on top of the mash the same as it was when lifted.
Also, as someone mentioned, once you lift the mash backset, I turn both elements on and set for boil.

I heat my sparge water. I made an electric kettle using an 8gal pot I had, 1500W, 120V element from Dave installed. I made it automated using an STC1000 and a relay for the element (STC1000 can't handle the current the 1500W element draws). So this is all heating right next to the ROBOBREW while the mash is going.

My last brew day was about 4.5hr from time starting to heat sparge water to final clean up. If I mill at a larger setting, I think I can speed this up by 20-30 minutes.

Not sure what your procedure is, but the above is mine. The others have some good procedures as well. I've heard of the cold water sparge as well working well as Paul mentioned.
Good luck speeding it up!

KB1138
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:57 pm
Name: Kevin
Location: Fairview HFX

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by KB1138 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:41 pm

I'm not sure about the Grainfather but with my robo I've found taking out the finer mesh screen from the bottom of the pipe really speeds up the sparge. Haven't had issues with grain getting through into the boil either.
On tap:Mango Berliner Weisse
Bottled: Baltic Porter, Brett Saison, Dumb Idea Stouts, Sahti
Fermenting: NEDIPA
Planning: Too many to list

saosborne
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:05 pm
Name: sean osborne
Location: Fall River

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by saosborne » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:04 pm

I've got an induction burner and 5g pot that I use, heating during the mash. once the mash is finished turn on the burners and sparge away. sparge is always finished before it comes to a boil.

elreplica
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:36 am
Name: Don
Location: South Shore, NS

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by elreplica » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:38 am

Grainfather sparge vessel or pot with a hotrod...eitherworks well but the Gf HLT works great. In for a penny out for a pound...
At Bat: several Czech Pils
On Deck: Cream Ale
In the Hole: Kolsch
Clean Up: Tall Ships Ale clones
On tap: Propeller Pils, Festa Cream Ale

darciandjenn
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:05 pm
Name: Jennifer & Darci Shaw
Location: Halifax

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by darciandjenn » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:37 am

Thanks for the replies, everyone! I honestly haven't timed the fly sparge but it seemed to take a lot longer than I anticipated. That said, we keep forgetting to turn on the burner to ramp up to the boil during the sparge so that's probably compounding the problem. Next brew day, we'll be sure to do that. We're also going to collect our water the day before so it's at least at room temperature when we start the brew day (we are filtering from an outdoor tap).
Cheers!

User avatar
LeafMan66_67
Award Winner 2
Award Winner 2
Posts: 4515
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:10 am
Name: Derek Stapleton
Location: Lower Sackville, NS

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by LeafMan66_67 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:16 pm

I use my Anova sous vide stick to heat my sparge water during the mash. Does a great job. With respect to a slow fly sparge, try some rice hulls in the mash next time. For me, any time I use my pils malt I need the rice hulls to keep everything flowing.
"He was a wise man who invented beer." - Plato

Brewhaha!
Registered User
Registered User
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:41 pm
Name: Kyle Connolly

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by Brewhaha! » Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:27 pm

There is lots of research out there that shows you do not actually need to heat your sparge water at all... Doing so decreases your brew day slightly because it takes less time to get to a boil if you're using hot waterl, but does nothing for actual efficiency.

I personally just use hot tap water with my Grainfather, and as soon as I lift the grain basket, I up the temp to 100c...

Fyi, best thing you can buy is a plug in submersion heating coil to augment the Grainfather heating element... Speeds things up massively.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk


Last edited by Brewhaha! on Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
danlatimer
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:45 pm
Name: Daniel N Latimer

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by danlatimer » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:13 pm

Brewhaha! wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 6:27 pm
Fyi, best thing you can buy is a plug in submission heating coil to augment the Grainfather heating element... Speeds things up massively.
Do you have a link to show which one you picked up. I googled it and saw a few on amazon

elreplica
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:36 am
Name: Don
Location: South Shore, NS

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by elreplica » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:46 am

I purchased this one online from TSC...they were $31 in the US stores and $69 in Canadian stores. They’re only as Far East as Ontario and I picked one up while visiting friends. Ukal on Amazon.ca has the same one...

https://www.tscstores.com/1000W-CS-PAIL ... 11097.aspx

https://www.ukalcanada.com/en/winter-ac ... M4EALw_wcB
At Bat: several Czech Pils
On Deck: Cream Ale
In the Hole: Kolsch
Clean Up: Tall Ships Ale clones
On tap: Propeller Pils, Festa Cream Ale

User avatar
danlatimer
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:45 pm
Name: Daniel N Latimer

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by danlatimer » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:02 pm

Nice! Thanks, I'll probably pick one up at some point :D

Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk


Brewhaha!
Registered User
Registered User
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:41 pm
Name: Kyle Connolly

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by Brewhaha! » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:54 pm

danlatimer wrote:Nice! Thanks, I'll probably pick one up at some point :D

Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk
Just make sure you plug it into a seperate dedicated circuit or you'll blow a fuse. ;)

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk


User avatar
danlatimer
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 204
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:45 pm
Name: Daniel N Latimer

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by danlatimer » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:16 pm

lol! good point :D

DocksideBrewing
Registered User
Registered User
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 11:34 am
Name: Stew

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by DocksideBrewing » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:00 pm

I'm planning on picking up one to the new Robobrew V3.1's from Everwood once they come in stock. How simple is it to build a recipe for on BeerSmith3? I guess my main concern is what type of mash profile do you set it up as? With my current set up on the stove, I have all my recipes set up for Single Infusion with a Batch Sparge. Will Robobrew be the same?

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks!

darciandjenn
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 220
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:05 pm
Name: Jennifer & Darci Shaw
Location: Halifax

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by darciandjenn » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:18 pm

There is a RIMS/HERMS mash profile in BeerSmith 3 that is recommended for the Grainfather & Robobrew... I had to tweak that and the equipment profile slightly (I don't have the details with me here but I believe it was based on another post in the forum). After a few brews, I had it dialed in and I generally hit my targets bang on.

DocksideBrewing
Registered User
Registered User
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 11:34 am
Name: Stew

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by DocksideBrewing » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:45 pm

darciandjenn wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:18 pm
There is a RIMS/HERMS mash profile in BeerSmith 3 that is recommended for the Grainfather & Robobrew... I had to tweak that and the equipment profile slightly (I don't have the details with me here but I believe it was based on another post in the forum). After a few brews, I had it dialed in and I generally hit my targets bang on.
Okay I just saw that in my beersmith app, so I'll make sure to use that. I'll have to do some research on what it means so I understand this moving forward.

Thanks again!

User avatar
Naboo
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 5:26 pm
Name: David
Location: Truro, NS

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by Naboo » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:58 pm

DocksideBrewing wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:00 pm
I'm planning on picking up one to the new Robobrew V3.1's from Everwood once they come in stock. How simple is it to build a recipe for on BeerSmith3? I guess my main concern is what type of mash profile do you set it up as? With my current set up on the stove, I have all my recipes set up for Single Infusion with a Batch Sparge. Will Robobrew be the same?

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks!
Using the Add-ons in Beersmith you can add Robobrew equipment and mash profiles. I'm still learning myself but struggled with an early batch on my Robobrew because I had the wrong mash profile.

DocksideBrewing
Registered User
Registered User
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 03, 2018 11:34 am
Name: Stew

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by DocksideBrewing » Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:07 pm

Naboo wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:58 pm
Using the Add-ons in Beersmith you can add Robobrew equipment and mash profiles. I'm still learning myself but struggled with an early batch on my Robobrew because I had the wrong mash profile.
Perfect, I did already have the Robobrew equipment add on, but not the mash profiles. I just added it and will take a look. I want to try to have a good understanding of what to do, for when I actually get my system. Just waiting for Everwood to get their order in. They said it's supposed to be in first couple of weeks in March!

Thanks!

elreplica
Verified User
Verified User
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:36 am
Name: Don
Location: South Shore, NS

Re: Grainfather / robobrew sparging

Post by elreplica » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:01 am

And...on my second APA with the DH hack tip RB false bottom in my GF...it’s working fantastically. My last whirlpool with the GF aerator and a slew of hops glued to it...no worries about the original filter flying off and not a crumb of crap on it...
At Bat: several Czech Pils
On Deck: Cream Ale
In the Hole: Kolsch
Clean Up: Tall Ships Ale clones
On tap: Propeller Pils, Festa Cream Ale

Post Reply

Return to “General Homebrew Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: JohnnyMac and 17 guests