Author Topic: The Grainfather  (Read 1920 times)

Offline ffdfireman

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The Grainfather
« on: November 12, 2015, 04:45:22 PM »
Just looking for opinions on The Grainfather brewing system.   It seems like a great system, but also a big investment for the average homebrewer.  It is a hobby we all love, so I guess it's like a golfer who buys a new set of clubs.  I haven't seen a whole lot of reviews so your thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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Offline 69franx

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 04:50:56 PM »
No experience with it but I know there have been previous threads on this forum discussing pros and cons
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 04:53:09 PM »
Most of the reviews that I've seen complain that the 120V system takes too long to get a 5 gallon batch boiling, and even then it's barely rolling.  I think they would need to consider a 240 in the US before it could take off.

If you think this is a big investment, look into the Picobrew Zymantic or the Blichmann Breweasy.
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Online denny

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 04:55:03 PM »
A friend has one.  I observed him using it and talked to him a lot about it.  His only real complaint was that it takes a long time to heat up due to the 1600W element limit.  I don't think it's for me, but that's more personal preference.  He is very happy with his other than the time factor.
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Offline ffdfireman

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 05:00:42 PM »
I saw that Northern Brewer sells it with 2000w element.  Actually it's a dual element that you can switch off half of it once you've reached mash temp.  Sounded kind of cool.

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 05:09:27 PM »
I saw that Northern Brewer sells it with 2000w element.  Actually it's a dual element that you can switch off half of it once you've reached mash temp.  Sounded kind of cool.

I think that's standard.  At least thaty's the way my friend's unit works.
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Offline narcout

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 05:39:05 PM »
I believe the version NB sells is the one with the 1600 watt element (at least according to the description on their website).

They do manufacture an insulating jacket which would probably help get the wort to a boil more quickly.

http://www.grainfather.com/#!online-store/c8k/!/Grainfather/p/47641226/category=12375700
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2016, 04:41:50 PM »
curious also on time to boil. both manufacturer and NB detail a 1600w and 600w dual element...where you can switch on/off to control temp.

I'm curious as to how quickly with both on you can get to boil, and if the boil is decent rolling boil.  Why wouldnt they offer the 220v in usa?
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Offline Stevie

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2016, 05:53:08 PM »

curious also on time to boil. both manufacturer and NB detail a 1600w and 600w dual element...where you can switch on/off to control temp.

I'm curious as to how quickly with both on you can get to boil, and if the boil is decent rolling boil.  Why wouldnt they offer the 220v in usa?
From what I have heard it has to do with the us using split phase 240 with two hots.

Offline gspot

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2016, 05:57:05 PM »
I've got one. It's doesn't work the way you're thinking. It's either the 1600w or 600w separately, not both at the same time, controlled by a toggle switch. I suspect it's just one element and the switch limits the power to it. You use high power when ramping up to dough-in temp and when ramping up to boil. When you reach dough-in temp, you toggle it to low power for the duration of the mash because it doesn't need all that power just to maintain a temp.

Granted it's a personal thing, but I've never felt like the power rating was a limitation, and I'm coming from a 3v propane-powered rims. It takes about 30-45 mins to reach dough-in, and that time again to reach boil after mash. I've got it wrapped in two layers of Reflectix, and I get a nice, vigorous boil. Makes great beer. If you're used to trying to evaporate your wort instantaneously, you might not like it. I've got more time than money or sense, so I like it.

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« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 06:07:59 PM by gspot »

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2016, 06:32:51 PM »
thanks guys.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline tommymorris

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2016, 08:52:33 PM »
I don't like that these systems have fairly large minimum batch sizes.  I have gone a different direction that many folks. I did 6G batches for 5 years. Last year I switched to 3G.

Even when I was doing 6G I sometimes did smaller batches as a test or as a starter for a bigger beer.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2016, 03:03:35 AM »
For me at this point more detractors so can't go there either.


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Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline Stevie

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Re: The Grainfather
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2016, 03:22:13 AM »

I don't like that these systems have fairly large minimum batch sizes.  I have gone a different direction that many folks. I did 6G batches for 5 years. Last year I switched to 3G.

Even when I was doing 6G I sometimes did smaller batches as a test or as a starter for a bigger beer.
Five gallon has been the "standard" batch size for ages. The zymatic does smaller and I'm sure other would offer smaller if they felt they could make money. Send the vendors you are interested in a note telling them what you want.

Offline tommymorris

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The Grainfather
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2016, 03:23:05 AM »

I don't like that these systems have fairly large minimum batch sizes.  I have gone a different direction that many folks. I did 6G batches for 5 years. Last year I switched to 3G.

Even when I was doing 6G I sometimes did smaller batches as a test or as a starter for a bigger beer.
Five gallon has been the "standard" batch size for ages. The zymatic does smaller and I'm sure other would offer smaller if they felt they could make money. Send the vendors you are interested in a note telling them what you want.
Just expressing my opinion.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 03:37:56 AM by alestateyall »