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gspot

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Thanks a lot everyone! After reading this thread, I placed my order this morning. I'm stepping down from my half-barrel propane brewery, although I might continue to use it for session beers.

In my late 40's with a family and far fewer friends nowadays, I can't go through ten gals as quickly as in the past. Takes me about 5-6 weeks to drink 10 with a couple pints daily. Plus I'd rather have more variety than such a large quantity of the same thing. I wish this type of brewing had been around when I started 15 years ago. I might never have started brewing 10 gals in the first place.

Looking forward to this!
 

blizzard

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Are most of you folks brewing in the kitchen with a vent hood on nearby? I'm in Denver so moisture is not a big concern, but SWMBO doesn't enjoy when I fill the house with the delicious smell of boiling wort.
 

chezhed

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Three velcro spots work well on the reflectix without issue. Mine are under the recirc line from pump to top. Not sure why you would lean it against the counter to clean.....just dump trub, add water and PBW or Carboy Tab (works great) and heat and recirculate....if you want to scrub, go ahead.

I still brew 10 gallon batches (for events or shared brews) or the occasional 1.16 gravity beer and the GF can't handle that so I kept my 10 gal system....kind of hard to get rid of "my baby." :)
 

gspot

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I still brew 10 gallon batches (for events or shared brews) or the occasional 1.16 gravity beer and the GF can't handle that so I kept my 10 gal system....kind of hard to get rid of "my baby." :)
Agreed. Will be nice to have options to fit either the recipe, situation, or weather. Winter's coming...
 

Lazer Wolf Brewing

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I just ordered mine this morning as well :) Super excited for my first brew.

Question for you Grainfather owners regarding chilling the wort...please forgive a possibly stupid question.

does anyone run the wort-out hose back into the Grainfather? if it takes about 20 minutes to drain wort straight into fermenter, that means hot wort is still hangin out inside the Grainfather waiting to be pumped out for up to 20 mins. Would running cool wort back into the Grainfather be beneficial in preventing DMS?

Thanks!
 

DarkUncle

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I just ordered mine this morning as well :) Super excited for my first brew.

Question for you Grainfather owners regarding chilling the wort...please forgive a possibly stupid question.

does anyone run the wort-out hose back into the Grainfather? if it takes about 20 minutes to drain wort straight into fermenter, that means hot wort is still hangin out inside the Grainfather waiting to be pumped out for up to 20 mins. Would running cool wort back into the Grainfather be beneficial in preventing DMS?

Thanks!

What you want to do is after turning off the element, recirc the hot wort through the counterflow and back into the Grainfather for about 5 minutes to sanitize it without running the cold tap water through just yet. After that then you run the tap water until you feel the wort out hose cool to the touch. At this point close the valve and put the wort out hose into you fermenter. Then open the valve about 3/4 of the way and empty the GF. If the wort out is still a bit warmer than pitching temp restrict the valve a little further. Do not recirc the cool wort back into the GF. You are pretty much just wasting time by doing that.

As far as I know DMS production has nothing to do with the wort cooling process. In fact, many people do the no chill method and pitch the yeast the following day.
 

DarkUncle

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Are most of you folks brewing in the kitchen with a vent hood on nearby? I'm in Denver so moisture is not a big concern, but SWMBO doesn't enjoy when I fill the house with the delicious smell of boiling wort.

I have absolutely no problems with steam using the GF. You really don't get much more then if you were boiling water on your stove. The GF doesn't produce one of those crazy vigorous boils that would effectively create a personal weather system in the house. The boil is a nice rolling boil that is just right.

As for the smell, yeah you will be producing a lovely aroma though. Whether it's offensive to your significant other will remain to be seen I suppose. Luckily my wife very much enjoys the smell of boiling wort and hops.
 

chigundo

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Fair enough. To each their own. I have no intention of testing that though. Lol I'm on Long Island where it gets quite cold in the winter as well, though so far this winter is not representative of that.

Standing over a pot in the cold is not enjoyable for me so my brewing would go way down during the winter months. Now I setup in the kitchen and plop my arse down on the couch having a homebrew in the next room until I reach a step time. Lovin it!

I don't have any place inside that has exhaust and the smell of delicious wort is only pleasurable to me and not the other house guests.
 

Kampenken

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@Gspot- I'm with you on the variety over volume. I figure GF will make it that much easier to test batches.

@Blizzard- Same, SWMBO isn't fan of the brewing smells (but likes the beer!), and I too am curious on the steam.

@Chezhead- Glad to see you've got the Velcro idea working, and here I thought I was being original! :)

@Dark Uncle- thanks for all your comments, they've been very helpful, especially latest on the recirc- I've always chilled with an I/C so this will be new to me. If I move to basement I wonder if venting will be necessary even if its simply fan running towards basement walkout door? I realize without venting I'll still "fill" the house with those wonderful (but not appreciated) smells!

FedEx tracking has my GF in Sacramento currently and has just pushed back delivery date to Sat, from Friday. :mad: With any luck, they will still make it on Friday, or at least during the day Saturday...
 

erschwenk

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So Grainfather arrived last night. I assembled and ran some cleaner through, but I ended up with a couple of screws and some gaskets that I don't know where they belong. I could not find any leaks, any ideas?
 

Dave83

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So Grainfather arrived last night. I assembled and ran some cleaner though, but I ended up with a couple of screws and some gaskets that I don't know where they belong. I could not find any leaks, any ideas?
Extra screws are for securing your temp controller to the grainfather. Extra gaskets and o rings are replacements if ones on the unit get damaged or lost.
 
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BrewMeister49

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I know there is a small baggy with extra tiny black gaskets. That possibly? The only screws belong to the recirc arm. Where it attaches to the gf kettle.
 

pullen0

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I've never seen a Grainfather in person yet so my idea may be impossible. I was thinking of a way to aerate the wort as you pump it into the fermenter. On a hydraulic system, if you have air leaking into your suction pipe going to the pump, you make the oil foam up. Is there a way to introduce air to the pump on the Grainfather?
 
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BrewMeister49

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I would have no idea? Not sure why you would want to? I can see trying to do two things in one, but to manipulate something beyond its intent? I would just get an aeration system and do it that way with real O2.
 

kh54s10

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I've never seen a Grainfather in person yet so my idea may be impossible. I was thinking of a way to aerate the wort as you pump it into the fermenter. On a hydraulic system, if you have air leaking into your suction pipe going to the pump, you make the oil foam up. Is there a way to introduce air to the pump on the Grainfather?
I have not used a pump but from what I know about them is that you do not want to run them while dry or cavitating. You might get an air pump and introduce the air downstream of the pump...
 

pullen0

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I have not used a pump but from what I know about them is that you do not want to run them while dry or cavitating. You might get an air pump and introduce the air downstream of the pump...
Some pumps can run dry and some can't. Just thought it might be an easy way to aerate the wort as you pump it into the fermenter.
 

DarkUncle

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@Gspot- I'm with you on the variety over volume. I figure GF will make it that much easier to test batches.

@Blizzard- Same, SWMBO isn't fan of the brewing smells (but likes the beer!), and I too am curious on the steam.

@Chezhead- Glad to see you've got the Velcro idea working, and here I thought I was being original! :)

@Dark Uncle- thanks for all your comments, they've been very helpful, especially latest on the recirc- I've always chilled with an I/C so this will be new to me. If I move to basement I wonder if venting will be necessary even if its simply fan running towards basement walkout door? I realize without venting I'll still "fill" the house with those wonderful (but not appreciated) smells!

FedEx tracking has my GF in Sacramento currently and has just pushed back delivery date to Sat, from Friday. :mad: With any luck, they will still make it on Friday, or at least during the day Saturday...
Venting is certainly not required. The steam produced by this unit is no where near enough to warrant that unless you are simply trying to get rid of the smell. In which case I'm not sure how effective that would be. Picture trying to vent the smell of freshly baking cookies in an oven out of your house. Same principle. Just isn't happening. But as I said, no one in my house finds the heavenly smell of wort and hops offensive. And if they did, too bad! I love it! :mug:
 

chezhed

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I've never seen a Grainfather in person yet so my idea may be impossible. I was thinking of a way to aerate the wort as you pump it into the fermenter. On a hydraulic system, if you have air leaking into your suction pipe going to the pump, you make the oil foam up. Is there a way to introduce air to the pump on the Grainfather?
The venturi effect is exactly what causes the foam in the oil, so it will work. If that isn't enough O2 for you (and it's not really O2, it's air) then you could simply modify the counterflow chiller like I did (previous posts in this thread show the mod https://www.dropbox.com/sc/tndc9siflo4xicn/AAA5chGFdUxRESIPc-JcTZpua list some parts #99) and instead of putting a thermometer in there, you could attach an O2 tank :)
 

kevreh

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In terms of venting, just make sure the moisture has somewhere to go so it doesn't stay trapped in your brewing room and potentially cause mold. Maybe a fan in a nearby window blowing out. 1 gal of evaporated wort trapped in a 100sf room is a lot worse then throughout a whole house or apartment.
 

gspot

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Guess what just arrived! :ban: I think I'll leave it boxed however and let Santa give it to me. I've got 35 gals in the pipe, so I'm not in a hurry. It'll take me 3 months to drink all that.
 

blkandrust

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Great thread! i pulled the trigger on one of these yesterday.Main selling point was ease of use. I currently brew outside on a 3 vessel propane system. The thought of weather no longer dictating when I brew, makes me happy. Very very happy.
 

jbb3

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Ok all you GF owners. I have been following most of this thread and have read many praises about the convenience and ease of use when brewing with the GF. That is certainly a great thing. But I have seen very little comment about the quality of the beers being produced with the GF!?

So for those GF owners who were experienced HB'ers before purchasing the GF, how does the quality of the beers that are brewed through the GF compare with those that you brewed before the GF purchase?
 
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BrewMeister49

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No different. I made fantastic brews before the gf and make them with the gf. The process is just way streamlined and simple. In fact had a small birthday party today and someone wanted to try one. Now I'm down about 15 bottles and some wanted some to take home!
 

pagrider

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First two brews ok due to me. dumped one. Last three excellent just had to get to know the machine. 2 of the three I had brewed before and they are better on the GF. Much clearer beer.
 

singybrue

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So I just received mine yesterday. Ran some PBW through it to clean, and unfortunately, started thinking.
Should this thing be passivated? The instructions don't mention it, but doesn't stainless stuff need to be passivated? My SS brewbucket did, my pots did.
I think I'm going to give it a scrub with barkeepers friend for some extra cleaning and so I stop thinking about it.
 

ccfoo242

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So I just received mine yesterday. Ran some PBW through it to clean, and unfortunately, started thinking.
Should this thing be passivated? The instructions don't mention it, but doesn't stainless stuff need to be passivated? My SS brewbucket did, my pots did.
I think I'm going to give it a scrub with barkeepers friend for some extra cleaning and so I stop thinking about it.

Pretty sure John Palmer said SS passivates when exposed to air. So clean with barkeepers friend, rinse and dry and you're good.
 

RockyMountainCraftBrewing

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I am glad I bought it as it is such a wicked all in 1 system.I got into home brewing nearly 3 years ago and I jumped into the deep end and went straight to all grain.Built my own mashtun/HLT from a couple of coolers and bought an 8 gallon kettle which I used on my stove to heat strike/mash water and to boil as well.

I almost bought a Braumeister but the power requirements put me off as did the price.When I first saw the Grainfather it was a no-brainer but I held off until the bugs were worked out with the 1st generation not to mention the US 110V was not available.I ordered my through Williams Brewing and they flat rate shipped it to AtTheBorderStorage for me.I then went down on the following Saturday and picked it up and I got waived by customs on the way back so I paid no duty/GST :rockin:

I wish the Grainfather had been developed 4 years ago as I would have bought one then and skipped the 3 vessel route.

I did re-purpose my old immersion chiller to make cooling with the Grainfather even more efficient.I attach a washing machine hose to the kitchen faucet and then clamp that onto the immersion chiller.I attach the cold water in hose for the counter flow chiller to the immersion chiller and put the immersion chiller in a sink with cold water and dump in 4 trays of ice cubes when I am ready to chill the wort.It chills it down super fast and uses a lot less water to do it.Definately helps using a 25' ice bathed pre-chiller.

Hope this helps :mug:

RMCB
 
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BrewMeister49

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I didn't passivate. I just ran/run pbw through it and it's fine. Another easy way to passivate is to just use starsan.
 
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Man you guys are santize freaks! :D

So $.50 worth of sanitizer isn't more valor ban your ingredients for theme batch? Not to mention your time?
I feel three of the
Most important keys to successfully making good beer are cleansing (B-Brite), sanitizing (StarSan) & ferm temp control.
 

seabrew8

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So $.50 worth of sanitizer isn't more valor ban your ingredients for theme batch? Not to mention your time?
I feel three of the
Most important keys to successfully making good beer are cleansing (B-Brite), sanitizing (StarSan) & ferm temp control.
Nope.

Have you ever been at an industrial plant/factory of anykind?
 

singybrue

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Man you guys are santize freaks! :D
It's not about sanitizing.
The 1st step with new stainless steel equipment is cleaning, to remove any manufacturing oils.
The 2nd step is passivating, to build up the oxide layer that helps prevent rust.
I just found it curious that GF doesn't say anything about passivating, like most other stainless equipment manufacturer's say to do.
I ended up just doing a quick scrub with barkeepers friend which cleans and passivates.
 

singybrue

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So just finishing up my 1st brew with the GF. Overall went well, a few glitches, but that's just inexperience with this system.
I reset my Barley Crusher back to the factory default setting, set my efficiency in Beersmith to 77% and nailed my Pre-boil and Post-boil OG.
One tip, clamp the cold water in hose to the faucet fitting on the chiller, so you aren't doing your hopstand and transfer to fermenter in your underwear, like me! After the hose popped off twice, I finally wised up and stuck an Oetiker clamp on there!
The counterflow chiller works really well! The pump is slow, but I'm used to a Chugger.
5.5g into the fermenter, exactly as planned!
 

Kampenken

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So I got my GF on Sat afternoon. I was in the middle of replacing all my plumbing in the basement in my 100yr old house (50/50 copper & galvanized with many runs to nowhere!) with PEX (man that stuff is great!). Left a note on the door for FedEx to knock loudly and he did, I heard him from the basement, so was quite happy to get to the door to sign, even though I also left a backup note w/signature- just in case. So, back down to basement and finished up by 5:30 or so, then showered and got ready for a party at 7 that night. Next day I was tired, long night at party :tank: and tired from plumbing all day! Had some errands to run and noticed I forgot to hook back up dishwasher run- so hooked that up (as well as ice maker, pleased to find the right valve to work it out on Sunday too). Got later in the day, so I decided to work 1/2 day from home on Monday and brew in the afternoon. Great plan, right??!....not so fast....

Opened up the package finally, pulled out the GF piece by piece, noticed while in the box the bracket for the controller seemed a bit oddly contorted. hmmmm... Finally got to pull out the main body, and bam! Damaged. Damn it!

I received this via Williams Brewing, so spoke to them, whom were very accommodating and a pleasure to work with, great customer service. Unfortunately, with the holiday it appears that I will be awaiting now until next week. Damn, really bummed, was going to brew today and then again on the day after Christmas with my brother over. Guess will have to wait for that now.

Looking forward now to next week, at least I'm off all week!

Cheers
 

Yambor44

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I ordered the GF a week or so ago and received it today. Started trying it out after work. Put it together, heated water to 150º (took forever from 75º tap) used the supplied PBW and recirculated thru chiller and pump, dumped, rinsed etc.

Then added another 7 gallons of 75º water and started pump to recirculate (saw video it heats faster this way), switch up top on boil, switch on bottom to normal. 81º here today when I stared, 73º now. Now lid on GF.

At 1hour and 24 minute mark the readout was at 168º. At the 2 hour and one minute mark, 191º. It has now been 2 hours and 25 minutes and the temp is 199º.

WTF?

I am running on a 20amp outlet with one of those very short (4') gray appliance extension cords.

The area on the bottom where the element is, is bubbling some now but only in a 'half moon" pattern.

Any ideas?

EDIT: It has been one hour and 15 minutes from 158º. I set a separate timer assuming that would be my lowest starting point after mashing.
 

Kampenken

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I agree, however it was bracket and large dent in main body. Ugly. Even the insert had a small ding. Williams offered a discount or return. To me it wasn't worth the chance something else is fubar, even if it ends up only cosmetic. I'll likely have it covered with reflectix too.

Let me tell all of you, Williams Brewing has the best customer service! Great people to work with, Bill (owner?) was awesome, kept in contact, and has already sent me the replacement with the Fedex tracking in place. Good guys there, I will shop again and highly recommend.
 

Kampenken

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Whoa, that's the slowest I've read yet. Have you tried insulation yet? It's under 40 here in PA! Geez I was hoping not to use a heat stick, but you may want to do that. Is the grey cord 12 gauge? Less than that is rated 15a. Not sure if that would be part of the problem. Oh, how long is cord on GF?

Anyone else with that slow of a response time out there?
 
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