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Grainfather Blog - National Homebrew Day

By Grainfather - All Grain Brewing 02/05/2017 04:56 Comments

Big Brew Day

Each year in the first week of May, thousands of homebrewers from around the world will be brewing the same beers simultaneously in celebration of the National Homebrew Day or ‘Big Brew’ event. The event is a whole lot of fun and perfect for new brewers or those that have recently moved to our Grainfather system. So we have broken down the Grainfather brewing process into manageable tasks to help you get the best out of your Big Brew Day. Plus don't forget you can load the recipes into our recipe creator and sync to the Grainfather Connect, making each step smooth and calculations a breeze.

 

If you are a Grainfather Connect user and have not yet signed up to our free Brewng Community with Recipe Creator, there's no better time to do so! Visit brew.grainfather.com and get access to our Recipe Creator which is a fantastic tool used to sync recipes through to your Grainfather Connect App and Control Box making brewing on the day so easy. See our videos on the features available;

And if you're not a Grainfather user, we would you love you to sign up anyway. You can use the Recipe Creator to load in the Big Brew Recipes and sync easily to your Grainfather Connect via the free app.

 

Big Brew Day - Grainfather Process

 

 Before you brew

  • Weigh your ingredients before you brew. Hops can be kept in the fridge overnight.
  • Split your boil additions for the day and write the timings of each addition on the container they are kept.
  • Have a spray bottle of sanitiser solution prepared – this will always come in handy on the day.

TIP: Don't forget your Grainfather Connect has a 'delayed heat' function, where you can set the unit to start heating the water at a pre-determined time so it can be at the right temperature just when your ready to brew! 

 

Setting up the mash

  • Insert your basket into the mash water and thoroughly wet the sides of the basket and silicon seal around the perforated bottom plate. Insert your plate at an angle and push down to the bottom before straightening it up.
  • Once your mash water reaches temperature, add your grain a little at a time and stir well in between each addition to ensure the grain is thoroughly soaked with no dry clumps present.
  • Add your water salts with your grain, this will help ensure that you don’t forget them.
  • Make sure your grain is thoroughly mixed and soaked before adding your top plate, overflow inlet, lid and recirculation arm. Press the pump on and set your timer. 

Sparging

  • Collect and heat your sparge water ahead of time (start heating an hour before you need it).
  • Once your mash has finished, unscrew your recirculation arm, insert the handle and lift the basket up to rest on the top bracket.
  • Allow all wort to drain from the basket and gently push the top plate down to the level of the grain before you start sparging. Sparge slowly!
  • Set controller to boil when there is wort is covering the element (brings unit to boil faster).
  • Clean the grain basket after the sparge – (have a bin bag on hand, flip the basket over, clean the basket inner and outer).

TIP: Be careful not to lose your overflow top pipe as you empty the basket.

 

Boiling

  • After sparging but before reaching the boil, stir your wort well and take a sample for a ‘pre-boil’ gravity reading.
  • When the wort reaches boiling point start making your additions. Remember in brewing the timings refer to the time left. in the boil. So a 60-minute addition means there is 60-minutes to go.
  • Stir and gently scrape regularly during the boil to prevent scorching.
  • Begin sanitising your chiller and fermenter.

TIP: Make sure you leave the lid off. 

 

Chilling and transfer

  • Prior to chilling you should use your mash paddle to create a whirlpool effect in the centre of the boiler. This pulls trub and hop debris into the centre of the system making it easier for the wort to flow through the counter flow chiller.
  • Connect to the chiller.
  • Begin cooling and transfer into fermenter.

Pitching your yeast

  • Take a gravity reading prior to adding your yeast. Do not add this sample back into the fermenter.
  • Rehydrate dried yeast.
  • Pitch the yeast.

 

And there you have it! a successful Big Brew complete with help from your Grainfather. 

All three Big Brew recipes for 2017 are formatted for 5 gallon batches, making the Grainfather the perfect system to handle your brewing on the day. 

Recipes for 2017:

 

For more information on the Big Brew be sure to visit the official website here.  

 

Looking forward to the Big Brew? Any other tips you would like to share with Grainfather users? Let us know in the comments below or by emailing us at [email protected]

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