Ugggggghhhh Grainfather!

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cfhorn

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That’s what looked like the problem to me too but if their sending a new controller too then hey that’s cool. But I think I am goin to try that if I’m still holding onto the old boiler.
As an electrical engineer, I can tell you that a current surge is due to a DECREASE in resistance (Current=Volts / Ohms)or a partial short to ground (a couple of strands will do that). I had issues with Grainfather and proved that my heating element resistance was too high so it would not boil water. after a month or so with electrical tests back and forth, an entirely new unit showed up on my doorstep. I had already purchased a Hot Stick and solved the slow heating issue but they do have good customer service once you get their attention. Any wiring you replace to a heating unit needs to be rated HTML (high temperature motor lead) for this application. Cheers
 

bleme

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they do have good customer service once you get their attention.
I have a friend who is currently on his 4th Grainfather. They keep breaking, but they keep sending him a new one...
 

augiedoggy

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I have a friend who is currently on his 4th Grainfather. They keep breaking, but they keep sending him a new one...
Likely because they were designed to run on 220v New Zealand, /Australian power and all the components like wiring and solder joints/traces would only see half the current load that way. When you run them on 120v it doubles the amount of amps being pulled through everything to put out the same power and its unlikely they changed much besides the actual elements to account for this. I believe thats why all of these hot water urn based setups that were designed in Australia or NZ have this same high failure rate.
 

Jag75

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I have a friend who is currently on his 4th Grainfather. They keep breaking, but they keep sending him a new one...

Maybe it's the brewing gods sending him a message lol. Knock on wood , I haven't had any issues with mine .
 

Jag75

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Likely because they were designed to run on 220v New Zealand, /Australian power and all the components like wiring and solder joints/traces would only see half the current load that way. When you run them on 120v it doubles the amount of amps being pulled through everything to put out the same power and its unlikely they changed much besides the actual elements to account for this. I believe thats why all of these hot water urn based setups that were designed in Australia or NZ have this same high failure rate.
Do they not design the ones for the US for 120? That seems odd to me . I dont know crap about electric work
 

kh54s10

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All the above is why I bypassed any of the coffee urn type systems and got a Unibrau. There are no sealed in parts. The most complicated part is the controller and it is not integrated into the bottom of the pot. If it fails, it is the most expensive part, (other than the SS pot and basket -those shouldn't break) but still easily replaced for less than $150 USD. Cost is a little more but, IMO, well worth it.
 

augiedoggy

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Do they not design the ones for the US for 120? That seems odd to me . I dont know crap about electric work
no since much of the components are repurposed or will run on multiple voltages they usually just design the controllers and such to run on either or change a few components such as the heating elements and call it a day... this is also the exact same reason for the high failure rates on the ebay SCR controllers that people sometimes use here. 3500w one 240 volts requires a 15 amp circuit and 14awg wiring (12awg would be best).... 3500w powered by 120v requires 30 amps and 10awg wiring ... the issue is all the things on the electrical board like the solder traces that carry the voltage and amp load are being pushed literally twice as hard on 120v and stressed with resistance which causes them to heat up and fail over time. it really is a fire hazard and im surprised they havent fixed it by now if this is in fact whats happening but it makes total sense and explains all the different versions since they started selling in the states.
 
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speavler

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*shrugs* 80 brews and counting, and other than the lousy app update, no real complaints.
 

augiedoggy

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*shrugs* 80 brews and counting, and other than the lousy app update, no real complaints.
That encouraging news.. It would help to know if you are in canada or the United states running it on 120v or somewhere else running 220 though for discussions sake.. maybe it states that info somewhere I. Not seeing from my mobile browser IDK.
 

eimar

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I asked GF why the 220 Volt model is not available in the US and Canada, here is the reply:
Hi Jacques,

Thanks for your enquiry.

We when bought out the Grainfather in the US/Canada, we were aware that all households had 110v and some had both the 110v and 220v. Our developers decided it was better to bring out the 110v only in that market so that it was accessible for everyone.

Our product development team is continuously evaluating feedback and suggestions on product improvements. And while we don't currently have the 220V unit available in the US/Canada, we are evaluating this capability within our wider product development portfolio and it could be something that is released in the future.

Please sign up to our newsletter to be sure you get all our announcements on this.

Thanks,
 

augiedoggy

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I asked GF why the 220 Volt model is not available in the US and Canada, here is the reply:
Hi Jacques,

Thanks for your enquiry.

We when bought out the Grainfather in the US/Canada, we were aware that all households had 110v and some had both the 110v and 220v. Our developers decided it was better to bring out the 110v only in that market so that it was accessible for everyone.

Our product development team is continuously evaluating feedback and suggestions on product improvements. And while we don't currently have the 220V unit available in the US/Canada, we are evaluating this capability within our wider product development portfolio and it could be something that is released in the future.

Please sign up to our newsletter to be sure you get all our announcements on this.

Thanks,
the truth is more likely because we use 220 made of 2 120v legs... they didnt have to redesign anything to make thier single 220v/neutral powered setup work on a 120v/neutral powered line but they would if they wanted it to run on our 240v made up of 2 hot 120v legs.
 

Willie66

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I got a Grainfather back in 2016. A little over a year after I received the unit, I noticed the unit struggling to boil the wort. I found the heating element plug slightly damaged by heat.

After a quick email to the manufacture requesting a new controllers, I received a full system. Not just the controller I requested. Even though the system was technically out of warrantee.

Before placing the new system in service, I opened up the controller to examine what was wrong with the old unit. Ones splade on the electrical receptacle was loose which caused the heat, drove up the resistances, and caused the voltage drop to the heating element.

After cleaning up the connection point damaged by heat and oxidation, I solder the connection point to a replacement electrical receptacle.

My GF has been humming along ever since. Heck, I still have the replacement system in my garage having never been plugged in.

The GF systems seem to have some quality issues that could easily be addressed with a bit more attention to the manufacturing processes. But overall, I'm really enjoy brewing with this system.
 

Jag75

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I'm the CEO of Grainfather. I will pm you the address to send the new Grainfather you aren't in need of after all .....lol ;)
 
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