First Grainfather brew

Discussion in 'Beer Brewdays!' started by Granarian, Feb 14, 2016.

Help Support The Homebrew Forum UK by donating:

  1. Feb 14, 2016 #1

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    23
    So, finally splashed out on a Grainfather. Had my first brew today, which was a fairly ordinary bitter:

    Maris Otter Pale 4.9Kg
    Dark Crystal Malt 400g
    Crystal malt 200g
    Flaked Maize 200g

    Single stage mash with 18.9L for 60 mins at 67C, then a 13.7L sparge at 77C.

    Hop-wise:
    10g Admiral, 20g Progress 60 mins
    32g Bramling Cross 30 mins
    25g Fuggles 5 mins

    15g Irish Moss 15 mins

    Then pitched with Mangrove Jack M07 at 20C

    Everything went pretty well, although I think the sparge was a bit too fast, taking only about 15 minutes. I got a bit panicked when measuring SG, which showed as 1.012 but this was probably because I hadn't stirred the wort properly at that stage.

    I measured OG at 1.056, which was a bit higher than the 1.046 I was targeting but made more sense!

    Using the GF was dead easy, and I'm now a massive fan of counter-flow chillers - the chilling was done with basically no fuss and used half of the cooling water that my old immersion cooler used.

    The recirculation during the mash also had some effect, with a really clear wort the result.

    My final wort was a bit cloudy even with the Irish Moss in the boil, so will have to see how that settles down. I'm also a bit worried about the hops, as all of the grain and hops are nearly a year old now. Time to restock I think!!

    Cleaning up was even easier than normal - most of the bits of the GF went straight in the dishwasher!

    So my total brew day from switching on the boiler to post-clean up packing away was six hours. Let's see how it turns out......

    IMG_1876.jpg

    IMG_1878.jpg

    IMG_1880.jpg

    IMG_1882.jpg
     
  2. Feb 15, 2016 #2

    Fil

    Fil

    Fil

    Landlord. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,115
    Likes Received:
    975
    looks and sounds like a very successful brewday ;)
     
  3. Feb 15, 2016 #3

    TheRedDarren

    TheRedDarren

    TheRedDarren

    Landlord.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    442
    Excellent stuff.
    I'm looking forward to getting one of these later in the year. Except I may go for the braumeister, we'll see...
     
  4. Feb 22, 2016 #4

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    23
    So, been bubbling away for a week now, gravity down about 30 points but still at 1.025. That's fine as was planning 2 wks in the FV anyway.

    The thing that's bothering me more is that the beer is really hazy, more than any of my other brews. It's at about 20C so I don't think it's a chill haze. Any ideas / advice? Planning to move to mini kegs at the weekend.
     
  5. Feb 22, 2016 #5

    Twostage

    Twostage

    Twostage

    Landlord.

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2015
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    325
    Location:
    Northumberland
    Personally I wouldn't worry about haze while it's still fermenting. For me that means the yeast is in suspension and doing its job.
     
    Dutto likes this.
  6. Feb 23, 2016 #6

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    23
    OK, will keep calm and let the beasties carry on.....what's the best way to get them out of suspension prior to moving to keg / secondary?
     
  7. Feb 23, 2016 #7

    buzzharvey22

    buzzharvey22

    buzzharvey22

    Regular.

    Joined:
    May 8, 2013
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    16
    Cold crash for a few days at around 2c before kegging/bottling.
     
  8. Feb 23, 2016 #8

    Fil

    Fil

    Fil

    Landlord. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,115
    Likes Received:
    975
    did you add kettle finings irish moss or protofloc?
     
  9. Feb 24, 2016 #9

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    23
    Hi; I added 10g of Irish Moss at 15 mins. Thinking about using beer finings at the end of the primary.
     
  10. Feb 24, 2016 #10

    Wardy

    Wardy

    Wardy

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Cumbernauld, Scotland.
    Brilliant. I've done 2 brews with my Grainfather today and although unconventional I offer 1 tip. 10 minutes before the end of the mash I switch off the pump and disconnect the recirculation arm then lift the basket like you would doing the sparge. When the wort drains below the top grain mesh I take off the overflow cap and raise the overflow tube then take the top mesh out. I then slowly lower the basket back into the wort (it floats for a short while ) then I use my paddle to stir up the grain and evenly mix it making sure I have scraped the bottom mesh. I then put the top mesh back in and lower it to the top of the grain then fit the overflow cap and push it down, put the lid on and fit the recirculation arm. I then run it for the last ten minutes of the mash and through the mash out. The sparge goes a little bit slower but only takes around 20 minutes. I switch the GF to boil as soon as I start the sparge and it's around 90 C when sparge is finished.
    One of the brews I did today was an AG kit with expected OG of 1062 and the other was made using a brew ingredients calculator and expected OG was 1064 but both were in the 1070s and efficiency was 86% for both.
    So far I'm over the moon with my GF and I'm sure that you will be too.
    By the way. Your quick sparge is just what I got with my first 2 brews but efficiency was only 68 and 70% so stirring up the grain definitely helps efficiency but increases the sparge by about 5 minutes.
     
    Slid likes this.
  11. Feb 24, 2016 #11

    Wardy

    Wardy

    Wardy

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Cumbernauld, Scotland.
    IMPORTANT.
    I've just noticed from the pics you put the counterflow wort out pipe back into the GF.
    You should put the pipe into your FV and regulate the cold water flow so that you get wort at around 23 C going into the FV or whatever temperature your yeast suggests. Wort goes to the FV in about 10 minutes and at perfect yeast pitching temperature. I get a lot of trub at the bottom of the FV because of the cold crash but it has never effected the taste of the finished beer.
     
  12. Feb 25, 2016 #12

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    23
    Thanks Wardy. I only had the out pipe in the GF for a few seconds while I took the photo! It cooled down really quickly.

    I've decided not to use beer finings this time and see what happens. The weather's pretty cold tonight, so going for a cold crash in the garage and see what happens!!
     
  13. Feb 25, 2016 #13

    wfr42

    wfr42

    wfr42

    Landlord.

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Messages:
    941
    Likes Received:
    320
    Did you do biab before moving to the grainfather?

    I'm tempted to go for one over a biab starter kit but interested to hear if it produces better beer again from biab.
     
  14. Feb 25, 2016 #14

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    23
    No, I had a simple AG set up before with the usual tea urn, modified cool box etc. The GF makes it v easy without the faff and is much easier to clean up afterwards! Really pleased with it, although it is quite expensive. I was just lucky enough to get a bonus at work that paid for it. And a compensatory expensive handbag for Mrs G!!:)
     
    wfr42 and Dutto like this.
  15. Feb 25, 2016 #15

    Wardy

    Wardy

    Wardy

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Cumbernauld, Scotland.
    I just dove in to AG brews with the Grainfather. The only input I can give is I've done 4 AG kits so far and the instructions say the expected efficiency of mash is 72% but I've got between 85 and 88% with the last 3 brews. The first was about 75% if my memory is right but for the last three I stirred the grain. I think the key is the constant recirculation that makes it like a sparge so mixing it up frees the grain and let's more sugars out. It does go from clear to cloudy wort doing that but it goes crystal clear after another 10 minutes. I suppose you can do similar with BIAB but it's so easy and no mess with the Grainfather.
     
  16. Feb 25, 2016 #16

    Wardy

    Wardy

    Wardy

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    466
    Likes Received:
    112
    Location:
    Cumbernauld, Scotland.
    Just the same as me then. I do that to sterilise the pipe before turning the cold water on and pipe in the FV.
    I did the same putting a finished brew outside to try clear it but it didn't change after 2 days. That was probably because of a big mistake because I noticed big clumps in the FV after pumping the wort through the counterflow chiller so decided to airiate it and filter the clumps by pouring it through a muslin bag into another FV but all it did was break the lumps up and make cloudy wort. Lesson learned.
     
  17. Feb 27, 2016 #17

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    23
    So, bottling/kegging day today. Gravity has stabilised at 1.016, which is pretty close to recipe. I'm going for 3x mini kegs and 10x 500ml bottles. Milton fluid and oven for the bottles, just Milton for the kegs.

    There is still quite a lot of floating debris in the FV. I've taken the majority of the krausen off this morning - it was about 2cm thick, very rubbery, and broke up a bit so probably haven't helped myself!! Wondering whether to run it through a coffee filter to take the big pieces out as it goes through the funnel into the keg.....any advice appreciated.

    I bought a stainless steel GF FV, which has so far been great - but the tap on it isn't conducive to bottling!! I'm going to move the last 5L from there into another FV which has a bottling wand attachment. I guess it's a balance between oxidising the beer and making a huge mess!!!
     
  18. Feb 27, 2016 #18

    cheapbrew

    cheapbrew

    cheapbrew

    Junk and disorderly

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2015
    Messages:
    1,524
    Likes Received:
    559
    Location:
    The Spout of Herts
    Have you had it somewhere cold for a few days to help crash out the yeast?

    As long as you don't have the brew sitting around open for hours it will be fine to filter out the bits that you can, a coffee filter might be a bit too slow though, maybe a net curtain or fine muslin cloth.
     
  19. Feb 27, 2016 #19

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Granarian

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    23
    Thanks - it's been in the garage for a couple of days with the cold nights. It's been below 8 degrees and probably a lot colder for some of that time. Muslin cloth sounds like a better idea.
     
  20. Feb 27, 2016 #20

    Dutto

    Dutto

    Dutto

    Dutto

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    6,375
    Likes Received:
    3,221
    Location:
    East Lincolnshire
    You can also rip the tights off SWMBO ... :thumb: :thumb:

    ... and as you get older you won't have to remember why you ripped them off in the first place! :whistle: :whistle:
     
    hoptoit and cheapbrew like this.

Share This Page