We offer a 12 month warranty on the Grainfather which you can activate online here.
If you are worried that the pump filter might get clogged, you can put your mind at ease – with our numerous trials and vigorous testing we have put the Grainfather through, this has never happened and we have tested batches with extremely large hop bills.
- We recommend making a ‘whirlpool’ prior to chilling which simply means using your paddle to stir the wort in a circular motion. This creates a centrifuge effect and causes the hops to drop from suspension down towards the filter, creating a secondary, natural hop filter.
- We have designed the Grainfather and the filter so that you do not need to use hop socks or hop spiders. Please note, you should only be concerned if your recirculation actually stops – not if it slows.
There is no real issue with hop bags or spiders if you wish (though you may experience reduced utilisation) but when you use loose hops they form an extra filtration layer around the pump filter which can help produce clearer wort and you often retain much more hop character in your beer.
Yes, this is a simple process of changing the temperature at certain intervals during the mash. The steps generally start with a protein rest and end with a saccharification rest. This method is used to achieve different characteristics in a beer. Follow your recipe instructions for your mash schedule.
The Grainfather High Performance Cleaner is a CIP (Clean In Place) cleaner specifically formulated to work with hard and soft metals that the Grainfather and the counter flow wort chiller both include. If you cannot get hold of this PBW is a suitable alternative.
The high performance cleaner is specifically designed to remove burnt on proteins.
- Fill the boiler up with 7.5 L of water. Add 30 ml of Grainfather cleaner (if using another cleaner, use as directed on the cleaner instructions); remember to set the temperature to 55°C (131°F). See details under the cleaning section of the Grainfather manual.
It should take 20-30 minutes from sparging when using the 220-240v unit or 45 minutes with the 110v unit.
- One tip is to switch the Grainfather to boil while you are doing the sparge in order to speed up the time it takes to get to the boil. By the time you finish the sparge the Grainfather should be just about at boiling point. Be sure that it does not reach boiling point while your grain basket is still sitting on top.
20-30 minutes depending on the type of grain that you’re using. This should not be rushed – the longer the better generally.
This depends a lot on your grain bill, grain crush and recipe. In general we can say that our brewers have experienced efficiencies of up to 85% when using the Grainfather.
For effective cooling you should be running the wort directly into your fermenter – do not recirculate back into the Grainfather. Recirculation is only required for the first 5 minutes of the cooling process to sterilise the inside of the chiller, after this you can transfer the cool wort out hose to your fermenter as soon as it is cold to the touch.
You can use smaller grain bills but you need to make adjustments to your water calculations if you are using a grain bill below 4.5 kg (10 lbs).
- Please use our brewing calculators to work this out or the specific instructions in your manual for small grain bills.
- We wouldn’t advise going lower than 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) of grain. The overflow pipework only goes down to a certain point. The top plate is designed to fit into the overflow inlet which sits on the overflow pipework. So, this means the top plate only goes down as far as the overflow pipework does. This means, with a smaller amount of grain (less than 4.5 kg/5.5 lbs) the top plate will sit a bit higher than the grain bed. You will need to fill it with more water until you see the water reach the top plate. Be sure to record this extra water amount and change your calculation as appropriate as you will need to reduce your sparge volume by this amount.
- Or alternatively you can use the micro pipework available designed specifically for small grain bills. You should use the standard calculations when using this pipework.
It is worth noting that the control box is bypassed when you switch to boil so you shouldn’t worry as long as you can see the wort is boiling.
The maximum is 9 kg (20 lbs). With a grain bill this size the key is to add the grain very slowly while stirring to avoid dough balls forming. Because there is more grain it will also take a bit longer to gelatinise. You can try and add half of the grain, recirculate and then add the other half.
Do this by;
- Pouring in half your grain, slowly stir and then attach your recirculation pipe.
- Do not add the top perforated plate at this stage, start to recirculate making sure that nothing goes through the overflow pipe.
- Recirculate until the grain level goes down. The grains will start to gelatinise.
- Once the level has gone down, add the other half of your grain bill – fit the top perforated plate and recirculation pipe and recirculate as normal.
The Grainfather features a boil dry protection system (safety cut out) which will automatically switch off the element if the water level is too low.
- To reset the safety cut out, switch the Grainfather off and unplug the unit. Empty out any liquid and press the reset button located at the bottom, underneath the boiler.
- It is important to scrub the bottom of your Grainfather when cleaning if there is anything stuck to it. If you do not then any spots of proteins may create heat spots, also causing the Grainfather to cut out. It is best to gently scrape the element every now and then during the boiling process to minimise protein build up.
Yes you can. You will need to ensure you are entering the correct figures in the formula for your water calculations or use our brewing calculators. We also have micro pipework available if you’re wanting to make volumes of 10 L (2.6 US Gal) or less.
Milling increases the surface area of the grain, making the starch more accessible and separates the seed from the husk.
- Care must be taken when milling to ensure that the starch reserves are sufficiently milled, without damaging the husk, and providing coarse enough grits so that a good filter bed can be formed during sparging. We recommend a medium sized crush for the Grainfather. We have found that the roller mills on a setting of 1.27 – 1.4 mm (0.05 – 0.055 ") to provide the best crush. Roller mills also tend to keep the husk more intact while still crushing the grain effectively.
- The ideal grain bed will have intact grain husks as this will ensure water permeability. If you have too much “fines” it can cause the grain bed to be impermeable – causing the sugars to get trapped.
- It is important that the grain used for brewing is crushed to the correct consistency. If the grain is not crushed enough, not enough of the starches will be available for the enzymes to work. If the grain is over crushed water will not be able to correctly flow through the grain and this can cause a ‘stuck’ mash.
This is fine and will happen occasionally and is nothing to worry about. The reason it happens is because different grains and crushes have different consistencies. We have put this pipe here for this reason – to make sure wort is always recirculating and reaching the element to maintain a constant temperature throughout the wort. We have tested it and even if your wort overflows your brew will not be compromised.
You may find that it is recirculating through the pipe a lot and quickly at first and then slows and settles after a while. This is good. It means that at first the malt is hard for the water to push through, but eventually as parts break down the water will flow more freely through the grain bed than the recirculation pipe.