Taking the plunge

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jambop

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I have just finished my first brew in 30 plus years and I have a sup of the finished but raw beer... full of yeast but still tastes good and hope that will improve with conditioning and resting. So going forward I have decided to just go straight for an all in one brew system.
Brewing with the BIAB was fine but I did not like the lack of temperature control at mashing and would like to sparge the grain better. I did my first batch in the kitchen but I also did not like the possible scald dangers shifting large volumes of hot water about out doors on uneven ground would bring. A move to an all in one will allow me to do all the brew in my workshop. I will have a fridge fermentation cabinet in there too so all the brew from mash to bottling and kegging will be done in one space. I am going with a Grainfather S40 it seems a good entry level system.
 

RM-MN

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Brewing with the BIAB was fine but I did not like the lack of temperature control at mashing and would like to sparge the grain better.

How long did you attempt to control the mash temp? For a full hour or just until conversion was complete?

How badly did the sparge do? Did you hit your intended OG or miss it by a mile?

I mill my grains very fine and by testing for conversion I have found that with that fine milling my conversion is complete before the temperature drops even one degree. I put the bag of grains into a colander that sits in a plastic bowl. I add water and stir the grains until the water and grains are sloppy, then pour off the wort collected, squeeze the bag of grains to get more wort out and pour that off.
 
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jambop

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How long did you attempt to control the mash temp? For a full hour or just until conversion was complete?

How badly did the sparge do? Did you hit your intended OG or miss it by a mile?

I mill my grains very fine and by testing for conversion I have found that with that fine milling my conversion is complete before the temperature drops even one degree. I put the bag of grains into a colander that sits in a plastic bowl. I add water and stir the grains until the water and grains are sloppy, then pour off the wort collected, squeeze the bag of grains to get more wort out and pour that off.

I do not think I was that far out in my mashing but it was done as a simple infusion , no protein rest and I did not do a mash out phase because that would have required heating the mash which was not possible. I maintained the temp with a repurposed duvet... it held the temperature very well.
The sparge I did was a batch job and I am sure I did recover useful material... but it required another pre-prepared vessel containing the sparge water to put the bag into and then transfer the sparge liquor back to the boiling kettle. The sparge also released a lot of additional material into the wort though.
As for the OG I was actually slightly high because I miss judged my preboil volume. After calculation I was very slightly up on my predicted 75% efficiency.
The reason I am going all in one is more out of centralisation of my brewing activity and a certain amount of safety concerns lifting bags of hot grains over a kettle of hot liquid. In my workshop for example I can rig a lift to raise the malt basket. I would have to prepare an area out doors level with water supply and gas or electricity... just too much work really. The cost of prepping an out door area would be similar if not more than buying the all in one system and even at that subject to the weather.
 

GLish830

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I just did my first ever brew on a G40 my wife got me for Christmas. I can’t imagine an easier process. Start to clean in 4.5 hours
 

Jag75

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I use the Grainfather as well . It works flawless. I have been very pleased with it . It didn't take me long to get over the price . It's well worth it. I've done a ton of brews on it. Make sure you download the GF app. Easy to make recipes and the water amounts are spot on .

There are some modifications that work really good as well . The robo brew false bottom is a must if you like brewing hoppy beers . Also take out the ball and spring in the recirculating valve.
 
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jambop

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I just did my first ever brew on a G40 my wife got me for Christmas. I can’t imagine an easier process. Start to clean in 4.5 hours

I have pondered the G40 but being a Scot I just cannae part with the price :no:😂 The price difference is huge so S40 will do and leave me with plenty of dosh for ingredients . It may seem strange too but I rather like things just a bit more interactive so having to ensure temp changes and so on will not really impact me... and I have several reliable timers:thumbsup:
 

SeeMont

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Welcome back to brewing. I myself came back about 10 years ago, from extract in the old days to all grain with the conventional propane burner, Coleman cooler and of course kegging.
I transitioned into a Brew Boss system about 7 years ago as it was one of the first electric system out there, this allowed me to brew indoors. I have looked at the other automated systems but I like my Brew Boss as it allows me to brew 10 gallon batches, as well as having total control over the brewing process. I use an over head hoist to remove the grain container. I also built a fermentation cabinet, repurposing a retired dorm fridge. We built the keezer from an free freezer and have now found an ancient kegerator that holds three corny kegs. Most of this from knowledge I gained from this forum.
I became the senior member of my local home brewing club and this gave me much advise and assistance. Enjoy the ride and above all have fun,
Cheers
 
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