Author Topic: How many here would buy a Grainfather???  (Read 11298 times)

Offline riceral

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2017, 12:31:49 AM »
In a nutshell what type of beers would you NOT be able to do in a Grainfather?

5 gallon capacity with something like an 18 pound grain capacity. I'd say you could do most any style really.

Absolutely.  Can't think of one that wouldn't work.  And it would be kind of silly for them to design in limitations.  There will be grain weight limitations for about any system.  My cooler, for instance, tops out at about 18 lb.

You can also do reiterated mashing if your grain bill is more than 18 pounds:
          https://byo.com/bock/item/1317-reiterated-mashing-multiple-mashes-for-massive-brews
          http://beerandwinejournal.com/reiterated-mashing-1/
          https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=28285.0

As to the question of efficiency, I get 75-80%. Sometimes more for smaller grain bills (<7 pounds).

Ralph R.

Offline texaswine

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #31 on: March 09, 2017, 04:22:41 AM »
Let's take money aside, assume you got it to burn, how many would buy one?  A neighbor of mine asked if I'd be interested in splitting one.  I didn't even know he brewed until I ran into him at the HBS.  He brews 5-6x a year for beer, and 5-6x for cider and/or wine.  We live two doors apart and I might entertain it.  We had the discussion in the HBS and the owner said stay away from them but then again he's not a distributor.  He said much better results from a dedicated tun setup.  Any thoughts?
I debated the Grainfather early on in my selection process and ultimately decided against it. The system linked below is a much better value in my opinion.

https://brausupply.com/products/unibrau-120v-5-gallon-brew-boss-automated-brew-system?variant=19286933701

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wow, never have seen this before, just heard of the grainfather. This one seems a little nicer.
I've been using their stuff for about two years now. I was an early adopter and they've since upgraded the base offering, but I'm still very happy with my purchase.

Just recently I got the Brau Supply 120v EZBoil based controller. I've taken it through a dry run, scrolling through the menu, and I was extremely impressed with all the features. This weekend I'll actually put it to use on a batch of beer.

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Offline Ellismr

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #32 on: March 09, 2017, 10:44:37 AM »
I have the GF now and it pretty good.  If I had to do it all over again I would most likely go with a different system.  I would spring for a 240V hook up.  I also like the idea of parts I can buy on line.  Moving the GF around I've broke the base twice, one time the silicon gasket on the pump outlet melted and wort leaked out on my kitchen floor.  One failure was a show stopper for brewing.  And wanting the OEM parts I had to order them. 


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Offline Laminarman

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #33 on: March 09, 2017, 12:31:45 PM »
So looking at the Unibrau system again, specifically the 120V EZBoil BIAB system, I assume I'm able to mash, boil, control with the controller, then drain into a fermenter.  I'm having trouble finding any videos other than the manufacturers and any manuals online.  By the time you add in the cooling plate it's more than the Grainfather but to my eye it looks a bit sturdier and simple.  Any users with more information chiming in would help.  Since I'm splitting this with a neighbor I'll have to run him by him this weekend. 

Online BrewBama

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #34 on: March 09, 2017, 01:46:49 PM »
You can always add DME to the boil for an occasional big beer brew.


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Offline texaswine

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #35 on: March 09, 2017, 03:40:10 PM »
So looking at the Unibrau system again, specifically the 120V EZBoil BIAB system, I assume I'm able to mash, boil, control with the controller, then drain into a fermenter.  I'm having trouble finding any videos other than the manufacturers and any manuals online.  By the time you add in the cooling plate it's more than the Grainfather but to my eye it looks a bit sturdier and simple.  Any users with more information chiming in would help.  Since I'm splitting this with a neighbor I'll have to run him by him this weekend.

Your idea of how the brew day would go is exactly right. Mash, boil, drain into the fermenter. While I don't have any videos of my system, I think the manuals at the link below might whet your appetite for information.

https://brausupply.com/pages/learn

Also remember that you don't have to have a plate chiller. An immersion chiller will work, and though it might not be as fast, it's cheaper.

https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-Wort-Chiller-Fittings/dp/B004XWBRBM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1489073841&sr=8-5&keywords=stainless+steel+immersion+chiller

Offline Laminarman

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2017, 05:16:46 PM »
So looking at the Unibrau system again, specifically the 120V EZBoil BIAB system, I assume I'm able to mash, boil, control with the controller, then drain into a fermenter.  I'm having trouble finding any videos other than the manufacturers and any manuals online.  By the time you add in the cooling plate it's more than the Grainfather but to my eye it looks a bit sturdier and simple.  Any users with more information chiming in would help.  Since I'm splitting this with a neighbor I'll have to run him by him this weekend.

Your idea of how the brew day would go is exactly right. Mash, boil, drain into the fermenter. While I don't have any videos of my system, I think the manuals at the link below might whet your appetite for information.

https://brausupply.com/pages/learn

Also remember that you don't have to have a plate chiller. An immersion chiller will work, and though it might not be as fast, it's cheaper.

https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-Wort-Chiller-Fittings/dp/B004XWBRBM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1489073841&sr=8-5&keywords=stainless+steel+immersion+chiller

Thank you, missed that page.  I guess I'm confused what controller comes standard with the 120v system (6 gallon).  It says EZBoil but don't see a manual for that, and they reference BrewBoss as their source for other products.  Their website could use a bit more work. 

Offline EnkAMania

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #37 on: March 09, 2017, 05:20:22 PM »
I enjoy brewing outdoors, so I wouldn't by this.  If I lived in an apartment, I'd be all over it.
Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny

Offline texaswine

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #38 on: March 09, 2017, 05:28:07 PM »
I enjoy brewing outdoors, so I wouldn't by this.  If I lived in an apartment, I'd be all over it.
I enjoy brewing outdoors but it's never stopped me from using this system!

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Offline texaswine

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2017, 05:31:39 PM »
Thank you, missed that page.  I guess I'm confused what controller comes standard with the 120v system (6 gallon).  It says EZBoil but don't see a manual for that, and they reference BrewBoss as their source for other products.  Their website could use a bit more work.

I think this is what you're looking for.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0389/0597/files/EZboil_controller_guide.pdf?7802371266496845883

BrewBoss controller used to be an option, but not sure it is any more.

Offline paulderlunas

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2017, 06:21:24 PM »
I have had GF for about a year now. I like it, wouldn't say I love it, but I like it. I got mine on the used market for about 500 bucks.

There are a few things about the GF that you can modify that can will help you out, EG one of the biggest things for me was sparging. I bought a cheap bucket heater for 8 bucks on amazon. I fill up my old Gatorade mash tun with water and put the heater in as I start the mash on the GF and by the time I am done the mash I usually hit the sparge temp.

I think if you are a all grain brewer and you are sick of being outside of want to scale down your system this is great!

I also built a small 3 gallon biab system and I have my old 15 gallon propane system. ff
On Tap: Semi Sweet Mead: 15.5%ABV
          : Cinnamon Honey Cider 12.5% ABV
Fermentation: Amber Pom Lacto Sour

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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2017, 07:13:05 PM »
I enjoy brewing outdoors, so I wouldn't by this.  If I lived in an apartment, I'd be all over it.
I enjoy brewing outdoors but it's never stopped me from using this system!

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We get a lot of rain in Seattle, wouldn't want to electrocute myself.  :)
Some day we'll look back on this and it will all seem funny

Offline EHall

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2017, 04:35:44 PM »
brew boss also comes in 120V. If you're brewing in the garage putting a hook in the truss to mount a manual pulley to for the basket is no big deal... if you're in you're kitchen, yea, I wouldn't want a hook there...
Phoenix, AZ

Offline coolman26

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #43 on: March 11, 2017, 01:51:45 PM »
Why not buy one of each, try, sell the one you like least?  Everyone can give you input, but only you two will know once used. I have neither system, after reading, I like the Brew Boss. I doubt you would go wrong with either system.


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Offline el_capitan

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Re: How many here would buy a Grainfather???
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2017, 12:31:12 AM »
They'd have to boost the power of the unit for me to pull the trigger.  I have relatives in New Zealand, and I thought about having them ship me one of the higher-powered overseas units.  I'm just not sure how I would deal with the wiring here on my end.  I'm on the fence on this one.