The Grainfather

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elreplica
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Re: The Grainfather

Post by elreplica » Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:36 am

Celiacbrew wrote:
elreplica wrote:Curious as to the quality of beer produced by the Grainfather. I brewed all grain years ago under the auspices of a brew vint in Ontario, and have done several types of extracts and partials over the years. I'm looking to go all grain with a Grainfather in the near future but have yet to see any reviews of its products as I have for many other brews. All feedback on any types of beer is muchly appreciated. :mebeer:
Just noticed this request for reviews. The Grainfather makes excellent wort. it rexirculates the wort which filters it pretty well so you end up with a pretty clear beer going into your fermentor. The hops will also act as a second filter when you transfer from kettle to fermentor. So very clear wort goes into your fermentor. It for several batches under my belt and can't speak highly enough of the system. I will probably post a more complete review at some point cut in the meantime if you have questions about the system let me know.

Thanks for the info, Mike.
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Re: The Grainfather

Post by Celiacbrew » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:30 pm

just learned something new. I had been connecting the recirc arm and the chiller together with some 1/2 inch tubing for the cleaning cycle. Worked but was a little leaky. Tonight I discovered that the outlet hose on the chiller fits inside the recirc arms tubing. Much neater.
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Re: The Grainfather

Post by MitchK » Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:08 am

Wow thanks for the tip. That just saved me 10 minutes per brew day at least.

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by Jimmy » Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:48 pm

I see OBK is clearing out their remaining Grainfather inventory at $899. Reading through the comments on Facebook, they cite the Grainfather as the #1 customer support product that they carry, and are removing it due to "not meeting expectations for the cost".

Decent discount if someone was in the market for one!

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by McGruff » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:04 am

I am not going to buy it after all. I think I will make my own biab system in the future. My current sanke keg system is getting to heavy to lift lately.

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by MitchK » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:46 am

That OBK clear out is surprising. I love mine, seems like a perfectly solid bit of kit.

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by Celiacbrew » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:47 am

I would guess OBKs service level would be about the same for an ebiab system but their margins are slimmer because it is manufactured and distributed by someone else. Also it probably has to do with the fact that OBK provides the customer service and not the exclusive distributor of the product for the country. It's a bad business model for all involved since problems with the product reflect on the retailer and problems with the service reflect on the manufacturer.
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Re: The Grainfather

Post by MitchK » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:45 am

I was thinking about trying a partigyle brew. Maybe pump the first runnings into a pot on the stove, do a 120 minute boil on the stove while sparging, boiling, and chilling the smaller beer in the GF, then transferring the big beer back to the GF to chill. Get myself a wheat wine from the first runnings and then a session wheat beer from the second perhaps?

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by Celiacbrew » Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:18 am

MitchK wrote:I was thinking about trying a partigyle brew. Maybe pump the first runnings into a pot on the stove, do a 120 minute boil on the stove while sparging, boiling, and chilling the smaller beer in the GF, then transferring the big beer back to the GF to chill. Get myself a wheat wine from the first runnings and then a session wheat beer from the second perhaps?
so how much wheat wine would you get out of that?
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Re: The Grainfather

Post by MitchK » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:29 pm

I dunno. I'd probably want to check gravity of the first runnings and then dilute. Partigyle means a lot of on the fly math and head scratching I think.

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by Celiacbrew » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:55 pm

there are tables/calculators out there that will help you out. They are based on weight of grain vs weight of water. You just look up your values and it will tell you your expected gravity. here is an example http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Un ... efficiency" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Do you think you will alter your usual liquor to grist ratio? I tend to go as thin as I can with the grainfather, but I figure I would want to thicken it up for something like this.

I think this is an interesting experiment. It might be worth its own dedicated thread so that it doesn't get buried.
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Re: The Grainfather

Post by MitchK » Sun May 22, 2016 10:20 pm

Just got an email - the grainfather is getting an updated controller later this year (available as an upgrade for those of us who already own one). Bluetooth connectivity and a phone app for programming automatic step mashes and such, nicer screen + panel (splash resistant so no more cover needed), and the one feature that is going to sell me on it completely is that is appears to have a setting to delay heating so I could fill it, plug it in, and have it start heating my strike water an hour before I get home from work or get up in the morning.

edit: also its PID so it should be more accurate in general and also not require switching element wattage - I do wonder if that means it will also have a non-thermostat actually variable power control for use of the "water purification" accessories. That is a feature that exists on some third party controllers anyway.

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by jtmwhyte » Sun May 22, 2016 11:01 pm

MitchK wrote:Just got an email - the grainfather is getting an updated controller later this year (available as an upgrade for those of us who already own one). Bluetooth connectivity and a phone app for programming automatic step mashes and such, nicer screen + panel (splash resistant so no more cover needed), and the one feature that is going to sell me on it completely is that is appears to have a setting to delay heating so I could fill it, plug it in, and have it start heating my strike water an hour before I get home from work or get up in the morning.

edit: also its PID so it should be more accurate in general and also not require switching element wattage - I do wonder if that means it will also have a non-thermostat actually variable power control for use of the "water purification" accessories. That is a feature that exists on some third party controllers anyway.
These features may be enough to push me over the edge to buy one. I love my electric biab system, but it is a bit of overkill with my only doing 5 Gallon batches... decisions
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Re: The Grainfather

Post by McGruff » Mon May 23, 2016 8:36 am

I changed my mind on buying one, at least for now. This may change my mind. I need to downsize since these old sanke kegs are just too heavy at cleaning time. When you say, " nicer screen", are you talking the screen at the bottom for trub and hops?

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by MitchK » Mon May 23, 2016 9:25 am

No, this is purely an upgrade to the controller box that hangs off the side. The "brain" of the thing.

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by spickup » Mon May 23, 2016 5:47 pm

MitchK wrote:No, this is purely an upgrade to the controller box that hangs off the side. The "brain" of the thing.
Was the email directly from Grainfather? Sounds like a nice little upgrade.

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by elreplica » Tue May 24, 2016 2:37 pm

spickup wrote:
MitchK wrote:No, this is purely an upgrade to the controller box that hangs off the side. The "brain" of the thing.
Was the email directly from Grainfather? Sounds like a nice little upgrade.

Yes. The email is as follows:

Grainfather Connect Control Box!
We're sure you've been hearing a lot of talk about a new control box for some time and we're finally at a stage where we can tell you all about it.

We have been busy working on the new Grainfather Connect Control Box with app integration, so your Grainfather can be controlled by the Grainfather Connect app.

We want to make sure you know what our plans are for this as we're sure you will start to see and hear about it online.

Please read the below information in entirety before contacting us.
Beta Launch
We are first sending out a small amount of of beta units, which we are having tested by people in New Zealand first. Due to the location of our head office and the practicality of conducting this beta launch, we are not able to extend this outside of New Zealand.

The beta launch will be happening at the end of the month/beginning of June 2016. Those involved will be required to buy the unit and help us with testing and feedback.

The control boxes will be available for purchase separately (for those who would like to upgrade) and will be included in Grainfathers being sold in stores and online. This is estimated to happen around October 2016. We will update you with any news or changes on that timing as we hear it.

What if I buy a Grainfather now?
The Grainfathers that are currently being sold will be compatible with this new control box. The price of the control box + what you paid for your Grainfather will be roughly the same price as the Grainfathers that will be sold later in the year with control boxes. So basically if you order now and upgrade later - you don't have to wait to brew and make delicious beer in the meantime!

Features & Specs:
Control Box FaceComplete control over the heater power using a modified PID algorithm, gives more accurate temperature control and removes the need for the Element Variation Switch. No longer is the element simply on or off.
A Bluetooth connection between your device and the new control box allows the unit to be controlled from your device, and give you updates to your device while still allowing complete manual control on the system itself. Our new auto mode uses this Bluetooth connection to automate the control of the Grainfather, making brewing a breeze.
New simple user friendly design - screen/buttons.
Water resistant face (no cover anymore).
Fits all Grainfathers currently on the market (attachment lugs can be moved to suit), and you can swap between Celsius & Fahrenheit as desired.
What else should I know?
There will be an entirely new app which you will need to download - Grainfather Connect, in order to control the unit, rather than the existing one. This will be available at the same time as the control boxes. This will be available on Apple and Android devices. The control box will also be useable with or without the app.
At Bat: several Czech Pils
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Clean Up: Tall Ships Ale clones
On tap: Propeller Pils, Festa Cream Ale

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by elreplica » Tue May 24, 2016 2:42 pm

McGruff wrote:I changed my mind on buying one, at least for now. This may change my mind. I need to downsize since these old sanke kegs are just too heavy at cleaning time. When you say, " nicer screen", are you talking the screen at the bottom for trub and hops?
You might want to talk with Everwood Dave on this...OBK had some communication issues with iMake - the manufacturers of the GF...many of their units got dinged up and are being sold as such - as is where is. So if you buy one from them, you pays yer money an takes yer chances. At least local, you open the box and say yay or nay.
Oops, I see you're in Cavan, near my old stomping grounds as I used to see a gal in Millbrook.
At Bat: several Czech Pils
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In the Hole: Kolsch
Clean Up: Tall Ships Ale clones
On tap: Propeller Pils, Festa Cream Ale

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by MitchK » Tue May 24, 2016 5:42 pm

spickup wrote:
MitchK wrote:No, this is purely an upgrade to the controller box that hangs off the side. The "brain" of the thing.
Was the email directly from Grainfather? Sounds like a nice little upgrade.
Yeah, I wanted to post about it earlier when a certain shop owner mentioned he had heard about it but I wanted to make sure I was allowed to spill the beans first... And then the email came :p

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by spickup » Tue May 24, 2016 8:13 pm

Sounds like a great little upgrade.

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by elreplica » Wed May 25, 2016 10:16 am

Yes...a nice upgrade for sure...BTW, the OBK intel regarding the Grainfather was on Facebook...I read a few posts/ explanations as to why they were abandoning iMake. It makes sense though...I still would not want one of these shiny things banged up unless it was real cheap!
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

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by Lucas » Wed May 25, 2016 5:53 pm

Hope the upgrade comes sooner rather than later. I'm strongly considering buying one after I move across the country.
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Re: The Grainfather

Post by MitchK » Wed May 25, 2016 6:27 pm

The upgrade I think is coming alongside a price increase, so it should equal roughly the same price to buy then upgrade as it would to just buy after the upgrade becomes standard. Cheaper if you decide not to bother upgrading.

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Re: The Grainfather

Post by Lucas » Thu May 26, 2016 1:26 pm

MitchK wrote:The upgrade I think is coming alongside a price increase, so it should equal roughly the same price to buy then upgrade as it would to just buy after the upgrade becomes standard. Cheaper if you decide not to bother upgrading.
Right on.
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Re: The Grainfather

Post by SFR709 » Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:03 pm

Hey guys,

I did my first AG and first grainfather brew this past Saturday and made a bunch of rookie mistakes, my OG was off I believe because I added too much water while sparging, but I really had a blast all the same. Naturally I've got a few questions to avoid some problems next time and to streamline my process because it's got a ways to go. So here goes:

1. I gave the "unfiltered style" simmer (Mitch K talks about in the unfiltered clone thread) a try. Mostly because it was late by the time I got started, things took longer than predicted, and I didn't want to be brewing until after 12 at night. So I did the simmer for 14hrs at 180F. I didn't turn on the pump though, am I right is thinking that was a mistake? And for anyone who has done this before do you skim off the solid bits that form on the surface when you've finished the simmer? That leads in to the next question.

2. Are there any extra precautions people take to avoid pump clogs? I feel like this happened because I left the pump off during the simmer, I did use a mesh bag from NG for my hop additions as I had read they often clog the pump as well. My Pump clogged quite a bit while I was running the counter flow chiller, I kept scrapping crud off of the inlet with a sanitized spoon, but by the time it was within 10degF of pitching temp I threw in the towel and let it chill for 30mins in the primary until it was within the temp range of my yeast. I was on my back deck and to avoid turning the yard into a lake I was draining the tap water into a 5gal bucket.... That was probably my worst idea but made up for the missed workout haha. I'm a little off track but ultimately I'm just wondering if other people are experiencing the same problems? And if so how are you fixing the issue?

For my recipe I tried to keep it simple and go with one from the app, I chose the jacked up APA. In time I'll get beer smith and try tweaking a few recipes.

Thanks for any info or advice you can provided, thanks to Mitch, Celiacbrew, and Lisa J for the advice so far! Looking forward to the next brew day!

Cheers,

Scott

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