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Messages - theDarkSide

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All Grain Brewing / Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« on: March 24, 2017, 10:22:26 AM »
I got coupons for NB and Midwest in my email and I remembered someone posting that the GF was excluded so I tried using them.  It looks like they will work for now.  I’m not really interested in buying one, but if someone may be, now might be the time.

They were always excluded except this one time when I bought mine...don't know if someone messed up or lost their job over it but I got my GF delivered for $731.  Pretty good deal.  Maybe now that NB & MW are owned by the "brewery-that-shall-not-be-named", the discount may apply.

Homebrewer Bios / Re: New Here!
« on: March 24, 2017, 08:41:11 AM »
I like Brewing Classic Styles, explains the different beers and has recipes to try.

Agree on all the suggestions above.  I've won medals with some of the recipes from Brewing Classic Styles. 

All Grain Brewing / Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« on: March 24, 2017, 05:07:32 AM »
I am not sure that I would buy one.  Seems like it would take a lot of the fun (albeit, also the toil) out of brewing.  A Grainfather is a little pricey for my tastes, and if I would need to bottle 335 cases to get the cost down to <0.10 per bottle. 

Its like driving a car.  Manual transmission is more work, but a lot more fun and I feel like I have a lot more control over the ride.  Grainfather seems like it would be analogous to automatic transmission with cruise control.

What fun would a Grainfather remove?  It's still a pretty hands on process.

The fun of cleaning multiple vessels by hand...Best part of my brewday. :)

All Grain Brewing / Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« on: March 13, 2017, 12:49:13 PM »
I think the Grainfather looks nice. I agree I would prefer more power but that would require either brewing in the laundry room (dryer circuit) or having an electrician run a new 20 Ampere circuit.

The second reason I don't think Grainfather is for me is batch size. I really like 3 gallon batches. I brew more often and get more variety.

No reason you can't do a 3 gal. batch on the GF.

Right...just need to make some adjustments for a smaller grail bill, but all of that is in the instruction manual.

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: NE IPA Yeast options?
« on: March 10, 2017, 09:04:20 AM »
This is what someone on HBT posted, who got the recipe directly from Noah Bissell.  I'm pretty sure I haven't change much when I've brewed it, except to adjust to my system.


15lbs Golden Promise malt(75%)
2lbs American 2-row(10%)
2lbs Flaked wheat(10%)
1lbs dextrose(5%)

-10min - .25oz Apollo
-10min - 1oz Mosaic
-10min - 1oz Simcoe
Flameout - 3oz Citra(30min hotstand/whirlpool)
Flameout - 3oz Mosaic(30min hotstand/whirlpool)
Flameout - 1oz Simcoe(30min hotstand/whirlpool)
Dryhop 1 - 1oz Apollo
Dryhop 1 - 1oz Citra
Dryhop 1 - 1oz Mosaic
Dryhop 1 - 1oz Simcoe
Dryhop 2 - 2oz Mosaic
Dryhop 2 - 2oz Citra
Dryhop 2 - 1oz Simcoe

Wyeast 1056 American Ale or Conan

Mash at 151°, be sure to have a mash PH of 5.2

Boil for 75min

After dry hop, cold crash to about 35° and let settle for a few days to week.

EDIT - this is mine adjusted for my system

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Bissell Brothers Swish
Brewer: Stephen A. Mayo
Asst Brewer:
Style: Double IPA
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 7.40 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.57 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal   
Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.078 SG
Estimated Color: 4.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 121.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Time: 75 Minutes

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
12 lbs                Golden Promise (Simpsons) (2.0 SRM)      Grain         1        75.0 %       
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.5 SRM)   Grain         2        9.4 %         
1 lbs 8.0 oz          Wheat, Flaked (1.6 SRM)                  Grain         3        9.4 %         
1 lbs                 Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 SRM)          Sugar         4        6.3 %         
0.14 oz               Apollo [18.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min         Hop           5        9.6 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.40 %] - Boil 10.0 m Hop           6        9.6 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Simcoe (2009) [11.60 %] - Boil 10.0 min  Hop           7        8.9 IBUs     
3.00 oz               Citra [12.70 %] - Steep/Whirlpool  30.0  Hop           8        41.1 IBUs     
3.00 oz               Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.40 %] - Steep/Whirl Hop           9        40.1 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Simcoe (2009) [11.60 %] - Steep/Whirlpoo Hop           10       12.5 IBUs     
1.0 pkg               Vermont IPA (Giga Yeast #GY054)          Yeast         11       -             
1.00 oz               Apollo [18.50 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days      Hop           12       0.0 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Citra [12.70 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days       Hop           13       0.0 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.40 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Hop           14       0.0 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Simcoe (2009) [11.60 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Da Hop           15       0.0 IBUs     
2.00 oz               Citra [12.70 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days       Hop           16       0.0 IBUs     
2.00 oz               Mosaic (HBC 369) [12.40 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Hop           17       0.0 IBUs     
1.00 oz               Simcoe (2009) [11.60 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Da Hop           18       0.0 IBUs     

Mash Schedule: Grainfather Mash
Total Grain Weight: 16 lbs
Name              Description                             Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash Step         Add 25.05 qt of water at 159.9 F        151.0 F       60 min       
Mash Step         Heat to 168.0 F over 45 min             168.0 F       10 min       

Sparge: Fly sparge with 2.93 gal water at 168.0 F
7/18/16 - Kegged

Created with BeerSmith 2 -

Yeast and Fermentation / Re: NE IPA Yeast options?
« on: March 10, 2017, 08:05:46 AM »
I've used US-05 in mine so far with great results.  I'm actually going to do my next one (Bissell Brother Swish clone) using Conan (GigaY054) so I can decide which I like best.

Congrats Keith.

Good-GAWD....Candia Road in NH!!  I'd choose Smuttynose and even Redhook over them.  For NH, I would probably go with Stoneface Brewing or Great Rhythm...and of course my hometown brewery Kelsen's...great beer and even better labels

Equipment and Software / Re: Brew guru
« on: March 09, 2017, 02:01:01 PM »
Does anyone know if Brew Guru has location-based notification settings?  I was in Florida last week and forgot to check it but find there are several deals around.  It would be nice if a deal was close by, a notification would pop up on the phone (like the hundred twitter, Facebook, etc. notices) saying something was close.

If not, maybe this is something that could be added, with an option to turn off of course for those who don't want it.


All Grain Brewing / Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« on: March 08, 2017, 02:30:38 PM »
Off the shelf parts I can replace myself should they break,

This is one of the only things I worry about with the GF is if the coil goes.  Since it's sealed up in the unit, there's no easy part replacement.  Basically have to buy a new one.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« on: March 08, 2017, 02:28:30 PM »
I have been getting around 78% efficiency on mine.  After the initial drain, you push the plate down to the top of the grain and sparge.  I turn the boil on after the drain to start it ramping up too.  I also like the easy of doing a mash out...just set the temp to 168 and recirculate for the time you want.

I've also been getting this efficiency with cold water sparging after seeing the Brulosphy Xbeeriment on it.  Not having to heat up sparge water and have the lift up and turn basket makes for a nice, small footprint on brewday.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« on: March 08, 2017, 02:23:46 PM »
The 2 X 1500W elements seem like a nice feature (the GF has 1 x 1600W I think for the heating coil).  You just need to make sure you have two separate circuits I guess.

I wish the GF had a 240V in the US when I bought mine, but I may look at a High Gravity eBIAB system for my 240V setup.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« on: March 08, 2017, 12:26:52 PM »
You could do just about any style, but for something like a Barleywine or RIS, you may just need to do less than 5 gallons.  I have a RIS 5 gallon recipe that's 26 lbs of grain...that wouldn't fit, but a 3-3.5 gallon batch probably would.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« on: March 08, 2017, 11:56:03 AM »
There's also a similar system that is about 40% the cost of the grainfather but lacks the pump and chiller (I think the controls lack some features as well).

I've seen a grainfather used a few times. It seems durable and convenient. Like any other BIAB-type system you definitely have to not fear oxygen exposure to the wort.

If I were new a homebrewer without an existing all grain setup who brewed within standard beer styles I'd certainly consider it if money was not an issue.

I've never had an issue with oxygen exposure using the GF.  I've even started boiling with the lid on (enough steam comes out the hole on top) and it helps the boil a lot.  And I've had no DMS issues with the beers I've done that way, including an Octoberfest and a Munich Helles.

The Pub / Re: Rebel Brewer Closing Retail and Warehouse
« on: March 08, 2017, 11:49:02 AM »
Is it too early to blame AB InBev for their purchase of Northern Brewer through their disruptive practice investment group?
I'm sure I'm not the only homebrewer who has stopped using NB and Midwest since the AB acquisition. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised if their business was down as much as everyone else (or even more so).

For me, having Morebeer open a warehouse on the East Coast made it tough to order from anyone else. That was a savvy business move on their part, and I'm sure that set them apart from the other major online retailers for many homebrewers.

That Morebeer warehouse is great!.. If I order something right now (Wed afternoon), I'd most likely have in on Friday!

I'm not against ordering from Northern Brewer if they have something that very few have or a good deal.  I got my Grainfather from them (but before the AB InBev sale) and was even allowed to use a 20% off coupon (a one time mistake they made).

I find myself ordering a lot of bulk stuff these days (have 2 sacks of grain coming from a bulk buy this week) but try to hit the LHBS for smaller items or yeast during the summer months.

All Grain Brewing / Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« on: March 08, 2017, 08:40:45 AM »
I like mine.  Very convenient for the New England winters and only requires a 15A outlet.  The boil isn't the best I've seen, but I've improved that by using a reflectix wrap (they also sell Graincoats for them that would probably be better).  The recirculating mash is nice and the chiller it comes with is great.  One pass drops the wort from 212 to about 75-80, depending on the groundwater temp.

It's a little limiting for bigger grain bills, but you just need to adjust your batch size to accomodate.   I think I've gotten 18lbs in mine and that just about the limit.

Clean up is easy as you cycle cleaner through the pump, chiller, recirc arm and then cycle clean water (just make sure to blow out any water in the chiller when done).

I also find I need a hop spider with mine so it doesn't clog up the filter in the bottom of the kettle.

I have a timer I set so I can get my strike water heating before I walk up or on the way home from work.  I have the original controller, but I think the new one has this feature already, as well as bluetooth connectivity.

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