Your First Grainfather Brew - A Walkthrough

Discussion in 'Beer Brewing "How-To" Guides' started by strange-steve, Jan 11, 2019.

Help Support The Homebrew Forum UK by donating:

  1. Jan 14, 2019 #21

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    Landlord.

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,195
    Likes Received:
    522
    Location:
    Surrey
    Good write up Steve.

    In the first post where you are explaining how to attach the recirculation pipe, you have a picture with the lid on the GF and the clips holding the lid in place. It doesn't look like you have then closed the clips so there won't be any strain on the lid, but probably worth clarifying that clipping the lid on can damage the lid - the clips are provided for use with the optional still.
     
  2. Jan 14, 2019 #22

    jceg316

    jceg316

    jceg316

    Landlord.

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    Messages:
    1,840
    Likes Received:
    566
    Thanks for writing this up. I've done many brews on my Grainfather and still a useful read. Your GF is really clean! Mine is covered in brown stains and all the silicone tubing is dark brown.
     
    strange-steve likes this.
  3. Jan 14, 2019 #23

    Metacomet

    Metacomet

    Metacomet

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2017
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Stockport
    Nicely written guide Steve.
    My top tip: When you're recirculating hot wort through the chiller, make sure the wort out tube is securely aimed back into the GF. Don't leave it running and leave the room, in case it falls out and pumps your entire batch all over the floor. aheadbutt
     
    DixeySJ likes this.
  4. Jan 14, 2019 #24

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    Quantum Brewer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,419
    Likes Received:
    2,071
    Location:
    Galle Crater, Mars
    That's a good point, I should have mentioned that. I'm no longer able to edit the post though, hopefully nobody will smash their lid trying to clamp it in place :confused:
     
  5. Jan 14, 2019 #25

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    Quantum Brewer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,419
    Likes Received:
    2,071
    Location:
    Galle Crater, Mars
    I have a feeling you're speaking from experience there? :eek:
     
  6. Jan 15, 2019 #26

    DixeySJ

    DixeySJ

    DixeySJ

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2017
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    NULL
    No worries - when I have had a bit of experience, I'll post something if nobody else has ...
     
  7. Jan 15, 2019 #27

    Chippy_Tea

    Chippy_Tea

    Chippy_Tea

    Administrator. Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    25,254
    Likes Received:
    5,370
    Location:
    South Cumbria.
    I am sure @Manxnorton has used the micro pipework but not sure if it was for low gravity beers.
     
    Manxnorton likes this.
  8. Jan 16, 2019 #28

    Lawrence22

    Lawrence22

    Lawrence22

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Newtownabbey
    Great write up. I have the micro pipe work and did use it for a low gravity beer (3.8kg grain) once but in future will probably be used for smaller batches. I usually pour some boiling water over the malt pipe before inserting the bottom plate and it slides in easier.
     
  9. Jan 16, 2019 #29

    Norfolk79

    Norfolk79

    Norfolk79

    Landlord. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2016
    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    247
    Location:
    Norwich
    I've used the micro pipework a few times now for lower gravity beers. 4.2kg-ish and below (for a 23l brew) I use the Micro Pipework, anything larger I use the standard pipework.

    My last brew was a 4.2kg grainbill and I wished I have used the Micro Pipework as I couldn't get the pipe to go down far enough to meet the top of the screen during the mash. (Only by 1/2 a cm or so though)

    Top tip though, if you do use the micro pipework and realise that you should have gone for the standard pipework whilst mashing in, you can just lift the basket, let the grain settle, remove the top part of the pipework and replace it with the top part of the larger pipework.
     
  10. Jan 17, 2019 #30

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    575
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Hallow all,
    Yeah the micro pipe work is a great alternative, (for me anyways) small experimental batches.
    Had to laugh /?Chippys comment of low gratify beers he knows me soo well!
    Actually I won the pipe work on the comp long time ago.
    Now this is where you should understand if you know me my memory or my coms is pretty crap, so I don't know if what wofffle im writing is any help...know what I mean lol.
    getting what you know about out of the way, hoping then to makes sence!
    for all I was a heavey drink once upon a time, my saying was always 'Drink for effect!' childness maybe, bit I never wanted to drink 'session' low gravity beers/lager etc, waste of money in my mind!
    For all I don't drink a lot (only sample the brews) I got into a regime of asking how strong you wan it! lol.
    The micro pipe work was a all new ball game to and my battered brain.
    having a 6kg grain bill for 10l batch for example is asking for things to go wrong.
    stuck mash, stuck sparge and once upon a time the pump got so blocked I flapped like albatross and ended up binning the whole thing!!!
    Think chippy and few remember my fanny in on!
    Looking back a massive learning curve for me.
    Using beer smith with your mash/kit profiles for small batches was the key...
    And of course a bit on noggin!! thinking to Yousef "is 5kg grain bill going to work, what about husks etc, does it really matter.
    Getting a large brew is soo forgiving tbh!.
    one thing have done only once, I think @Gillie mentioned settling the grain bed befor resurc.
    I rested for 30 mins (24l batch) and I'm sure it help, specially on the sparge which was the best I've had btw lol.
    Ohhh btw I smash the lid ages ago.....like a few wasn't happy with possible DMS issues.

    Right...I fear that an interetor is needed for my woffle!
    For all I haven't used the micro pipe work for a long long time, I feel it has a important place if I was to small batches again, or low gravity......but if I ever wanted low gratify beers i'd use the large pipework and adjust the brain bill on Beer Smith in conjunction with the Grainfather site for mash/sparge water.
    In time, experience with the GF knowing losses etc. I know the amounts straight away.
    All about learning the kit and experimenting....of course a lot of people haven't time on there hands (job,busy home life etc.) to experiment.
    Finally wish two thing they'd improve with the GF.
    1. that bloody filter!!! say no more!
    2. a 50l GF :-)

    I'll leave it here, b4 I spout mor Klingon.....
    Thanks
    Bri
     
    Chippy_Tea likes this.
  11. Jan 17, 2019 #31

    Lawrence22

    Lawrence22

    Lawrence22

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2017
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    103
    Location:
    Newtownabbey
    Just had a look back on my notes for the brew I did with the micro pipe work. It was actually a 3.7kg bill and I achieved 1.040 for a 22L batch which is pretty much what I was looking for. I intend to brew this beer again (an Irish red) but will probably up the grain bill a bit and use the standard pipework and aim for 25L. I the future I will probably use the micro for small batch more specialist beers that won't be drunk as much, Xmas beer or experimental beers.
     
    Manxnorton likes this.
  12. Jan 18, 2019 #32

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    575
    Location:
    Newcastle
    nice one pal! :-)
    Bri
     
  13. Jan 18, 2019 #33

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Manxnorton

    Senior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2013
    Messages:
    2,030
    Likes Received:
    575
    Location:
    Newcastle
    say no more lol.
    [​IMG]
    Bri
     
  14. Jan 18, 2019 #34

    lhooq

    lhooq

    lhooq

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Brighton
    Nice one.

    Similarly, do not check the temperature, etc, and get the wort pumping happily into the fermenter, then wander off to do something else for ten minutes, then come back and find that you forgot to screw the tap back into the fermenter when you sanitised it... and have pumped *quite a lot* of wort onto the floor. What kind of idiot would do that?

    One maybe actually useful addition - it is possible to clean the recirculation arm and the chiller at the same time by sliding the tube of the recirculation arm onto the wort-in screw connection on the chiller. Unless there's a particular reason not to do this (?) it saves a few minutes.
     
    strange-steve likes this.
  15. Jan 18, 2019 #35

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    Quantum Brewer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,419
    Likes Received:
    2,071
    Location:
    Galle Crater, Mars
    Nice tip, I never thought of that athumb..
     
  16. Jan 26, 2019 #36

    MagnusTS

    MagnusTS

    MagnusTS

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    125
    Location:
    Leeds
    Thanks for this write up @strange-steve, very thorough and useful.

    I have a couple of questions:
    Does anybody have any ideas why my top grain plate keeps collapsing into the grain during the mash? Happened on the last 3 brews. Came back to the GF at the end of mash-out and found the top plate at an angle embedded in the grain, lots of grain above the top plate. Not a big problem, but I don't get the usual crystal clear wort going into the boil.

    And is that Graincoat in your photos homemade? Looks really good, bungee cord fasteners are a great idea. what's it made out of, and do you have a template? Maybe you could do a make your own Graincoat guide, like on Blue Peter?
     
    uDicko likes this.
  17. Jan 26, 2019 #37

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

    Quantum Brewer

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2014
    Messages:
    3,419
    Likes Received:
    2,071
    Location:
    Galle Crater, Mars
    Not sure why that's happening, I haven't experienced that. I've found the top plate is a fairly tight fit and would require a bit of force to move it aunsure....
    Yep way ahead of you, have a look here :hat:
     
    MagnusTS and uDicko like this.
  18. Jan 26, 2019 #38

    DixeySJ

    DixeySJ

    DixeySJ

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2017
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    NULL
    Have you checked that the silicon seal ring has not become dislodged? I found it easily gets 'rolled' off the edge which can allow the grain plate to rotate. Also, is the overflow pipe sitting snugly into the opening? that should help keep the plate in place. However, I think if you straighten it out before sparging, it shouldn't affect the wort too much.
     
    MagnusTS likes this.
  19. Jan 27, 2019 #39

    Peter Scandlyn

    Peter Scandlyn

    Peter Scandlyn

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2017
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    NULL
    The plate collapses due to compaction of the grain bed. I manage to achieve this from time to time. Can't find any particular reason why it should be so random.
     
    MagnusTS likes this.
  20. Feb 1, 2019 #40

    ITMA

    ITMA

    ITMA

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2017
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Sheffield
    Finally got round to this - sorry for the delay.

    Good news is that the tests are unaffected by the temperature - so you can definitely get cracking with heating while you fiddle with syringes etc!
     
    strange-steve likes this.

Share This Page