GF sparger or standard boiler?

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Equipment Discussion' started by Bashley, Mar 13, 2018.

Help Support The Homebrew Forum UK by donating using the link above.
  1. Mar 13, 2018 #1

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hi guys

    Very, very soon I'll be purchasing the Grainfather. Rather than invest the 80 odd quid for the GF sparger I thought it might be more prudent to invest the same in something that could be multi purpose. If I bought a standard 20L gas boiler with tap and thermometer would it do the same job? I ask because then if I ever have a problem with my GF at least I could do a few BIAB brew using the boiler. As for heating it up I guess either I could use the grainfather to boil the water first. But maybe during the brewing process it would cool down too much? I could always boil small amounts of water while the grainfather is mashing.
    Anyway, any advice would be welcome!
     
  2. Mar 13, 2018 #2

    aamcle

    aamcle

    aamcle

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    854
    Likes Received:
    106
    Location:
    Newton-le-Willows
    I'm happy getting 75%+ mash efficiency with a cold water sparge, if that's enough for you then you don't need a heater.

    If you want to keep preheated water warm just store it in an insulated cool box.


    aamcle
     
  3. Mar 13, 2018 #3

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    8
    Thanks aamcle, then at least I can use the cooler for other things. Are all insulated coolers able to take boiling water?
     
  4. Mar 13, 2018 #4

    Fil

    Fil

    Fil

    Regular. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,112
    Likes Received:
    971
    Yes, but boiling water might remain too warm for the sparge if you bear in mind that over a 90 minute mash most budget cold boxes will maintain a mash temp within 5c without any extra insulation upgradeing. so a little testing in advance may be wise ;)

    tho fwiw my old budget cold box tun was preheated with a couple of off the boil kitchen kettle fulls of off the boil water..

    for the g/f sparge heater option you could even retire a suitable (PP) fermentor and add a budget kettle element.

    While many report good results (BHE) with a cold water sparge hot water straight from the hot water tap could be used too..

    Perhaps consider how your going to deliver the sparge volume to the top of the g/f 'tower', a lil brown solar pump or silimar (heat and food safe) may be more useful than a heater so you can avoid manhandling a large volume of scolding temp water to the height needed to sparge the g/f system.
     
  5. Mar 13, 2018 #5

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    8
    I guess I was just thinking I'd fill up a glass jug several times.
     
  6. Mar 13, 2018 #6

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    625
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    Surrey
    Interesting idea - but how do you heat 15l of sparge water? Do you just boil the kettle 5 times and top up with cold?
     
  7. Mar 13, 2018 #7

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    8
    Surely it would work with just a a couple of kettle boils and a couple of big pans on the stove. Would be half the price of the GF sparger and you can use it for family trips in the summer.
     
  8. Mar 13, 2018 #8

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    625
    Likes Received:
    253
    Location:
    Surrey
    Definitely a benefit in the cool box having other uses but might be a bit of a faff to have a couple of pans going, rather than just having a single water heater. Dunno, just thinking out loud really.
     
  9. Mar 13, 2018 #9

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Bashley

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    8
    Yeah, I know what you mean. I've also heard that a fish tank pump can be used to pump from wherever to the grainfather. No idea which one would be suitable though.
     
  10. Mar 13, 2018 #10

    MmmBeer

    MmmBeer

    MmmBeer

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2017
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    Bromsgrove
    Only done 2 brews with my Grainfather so far, but this is what I have done. Put a big pot of water on the hob, corrected temperature using kettle or cold water, then sparge with a jug.

    I have been looking out for a second hand tea urn, to reduce the faff.

    Looking forward to getting another brew done, once my Brewtility room is fitted out.
     
  11. Mar 13, 2018 #11

    Oneflewover

    Oneflewover

    Oneflewover

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2016
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    196
    Location:
    Dorsetshire
     

Share This Page