Grainfather configuration

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Calypse, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. Calypse

    Calypse New Member

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    Hi there,

    first of all, I need to say Brewer's Friend is very interesting: well done, well explained and a pleasure to work with.
    My group of tinkerers and me are proud owners of a Grainfather and I would like to ask if some of you, or the author, has a correct configuration for its use.
    Data we already have are:
    30 liters maximum space
    3 liters/hour boiling evaporation
    1,5 liters are lost in the bottom (almost zero if you squeeze hop bags and sieve the last part into the fermenter.

    Does someone have more information regarding Grainfather? Thank you in advance

    Cristian

    P.S. I am Italian, not English language native, so please forgive writing errors and ask me if something is not clearly exposed.
     
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  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    you will just have to fill out your equipment settings on a trial and error basis, shouldn't be that hard its basically the same as a brew in a bag just more compact, good luck with your brews :D
     
  3. surfmase

    surfmase Member

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    From what I've seen the grainfather is similar to the braumeister. I've been using the 50L braumeister for a few months, and the trickiest part was getting the water volumes right. I've had the best results by using as little water as possible for mashing and as much as possible for sparking. 53L mash with 12Kg malt and 23L sparge yields me 55L cold wort. Maybe this will help, but as OMB said, you'll have to fine tune it yourself.

    Cheers,
     
  4. Mr Norman

    Mr Norman New Member

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    @surfmase how long are you boiling on the 50L braumeister and is it open top or with the hood?
     
  5. surfmase

    surfmase Member

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    so far, I've done two 60 min boils and two 90 min boils. It's open top without the hood.
     
  6. Calypse

    Calypse New Member

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    Hi, please do not hijack this thread, let's keep it on topic :)

    Said that, I found a configuration which is spot on the datas spitted out by grainfather website, I will post them here for future owners with my same problem:

    Brewersfriend configuration
    (I work in liters and kg)

    Equipment Settings:
    Boil Evaporation Rate: 3 liters/hour
    Grain Absorption:0.8 L /kg
    Hops Absorption: 0.000 (I squeeze hop bags)
    Kettle Dead Space: 2 Liters
    Cooling Shrinkage: 4%

    All Grain Brewing:
    Average Efficiency: 70%
    density: 2.7 this varies and is the most important setting <---- read below
    Mash Tun Volume: 35
    Lauter Dead Space:0

    Grainfather has, differently from other systems, 3.5 liters stuck in a dead zone below the grain kettle
    you have to consider this when you plan your recipes. Setting density as 2.7 is not enough because you will lose 3.5liters below kettle.
    So I managed to write this simple expression which gives you the correct density to set in the recipe (not in the equipment setup): Density to input in the recipe = 2.7 + (3.5/grains weight in kg)
    example: 5kg grain bill means that density has to be 2.7+(3.5/5) = 3.4
    this will give the same amount of liters as grainfather website but NOT as grainfather phone app which is bugged (as of january 2016 they are fixing it).

    there is another thing to take into account: grainfather website does not calculate boiling time, its numbers are ok if you boil for 60 minutes, if you go up to 120 minutes, like in some imperial stouts, number will be different BUT brewersfriend software will be right ( provided you input 3 Liters/hrs evaporation rate). I wrote to them asking info regarding that and I wait for a response.

    Hope I was clear enough, please do not hesitate to ask me.
     
  7. KLucky_13

    KLucky_13 New Member

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    So you input this manually I assume? That's what I also do when I use Beersmith. (grainbill x 2,7) + 3,5

    it would be nice to get a function in there so it automatically corrects the mash volume you need. I can't imagine the grainfather is the only piece of equipment with a deadspace under the mash tun..

    If you just have a second input field: One for mash thickness (being 2,7) and another one "deadspace" that just adds 3,5 liter to that total..
     
  8. LlewellynBrewHaus

    LlewellynBrewHaus Active Member

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    FWIW ,my 2 cents on your system ,I am a BIAB brewer and the video i watched on the grainfather looks to be the same. I would suggest setting it up as BIAB in your equipment profile. It will take 2-4 brewdays to really get enough input to adjust your base numbers.
    One process with BIAB that I have changed that has made calculations easier is that I always mash with around 22 quarts of water regardless of my grain bill, then adjust my sparge water volume to reflect my starting boil volume...hit my numbers every time that way

    Prost
     
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  9. Redleg Ed

    Redleg Ed New Member

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    That's really interesting, but I'm a little confused. Do you actually sparge, or just use the difference between the 22 qts and full boil quantity as "sparge?" In other words, if I used 30 qts on an 11# grist, I'd go ahead and start with 30 qts + absorption actually into the kettle, call it 22 qts with 8 qts sparge? Is that just to "fake out" the calculations?
     
  10. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    the grain father has a basket, so you mash with as little or as much water as you want then raise the grain bed in the basket then add the extra water, kind of a batch sparge but it drains fast, so you add as much as needed and it takes 10 or 15 minutes and your boiling
     
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  11. Redleg Ed

    Redleg Ed New Member

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    Thanks. I think I get that, but right now, I'm also a BIAB brewer, and what I understood LlewellynBrewHaus to say is he always uses 22qts as the mash quantity, and then adjusts the sparge qty to match his kettle boil volume. So, for the sake of understanding, is this a simple manipulation of the formulae in Brewer's Friend by changing inputs, or is this the actual process by which you brew? For instance, when brewing, if I'm using 7.5 gallons of liquor (30 qts,) I put the whole shebang into the kettle, add salts/minerals as required, heat to strike, mash, then pull my basket/bag after MO. Whatever volume is left (after absorptions,) get's boiled to the desired amount, cooled, then put into a fermenter. My target is always 5.5 gals to the fermenter. I understand with Grainfather there will be the formula of (Grain weight in kg x 2.7) + 3.5=volume of mash water to add to boiler then whatever sparge volume is needed to hit target fermenter volume.) So does this 22 qts compensate for the Grainfather formula? I hope I'm not overthinking this, just trying to use the tools available. Thanks again for your patience.
     
  12. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    ha ha your an amounts person, I get it. Ive been brewing so long I some times don't even measure, its all about the starting boil amount and boil off rate, nothing els matters to me, I some times laugh when I take measurements because there right on every time but it takes many many years of trial and error to get there so I respect the early days of brewing. carry on :D
     
  13. Redleg Ed

    Redleg Ed New Member

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    :D True that! I kind of like to have a plan where I'm going, especially if it's something new (like using a Grainfather.) Every step along the way, I've figured out what my current system is by trial and error (and measurement,) so I know what to expect. I just thought it was neat that someone just plugged a number in to start with, then adjusted from there and was hoping for a little more explanation how they got there. This is not rocket science, so I know I'll figure it out...just looking for some advice from someone who's been there.
     
  14. KLucky_13

    KLucky_13 New Member

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    Yesterday I brewed with brewersfriend in combination with the grainfather for the first time. I have a question regarding the conversion calculation (or mash efficiency).

    I filled the grainfather with the volume that is calculated by the known formula (in the grainfather instructions and calculators).

    So i started with 21.37l of mash water. After mashing and sparging is complete, I add a log entry "mash complete". I filled in my gravity (1.078) and the Volume. Now, my question is: what volume is this? I filled in the initial mash volume (21.37l) but is this correct? This gives me a conversion of 93.3%. Which seems quite high?

    Reading the volume before sparging is not possible since you can't wait for all the wort to drip out of the grainbed before starting sparging...
     
  15. Brew Cat

    Brew Cat Active Member

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    I agree with above. Unless your using a traditional mash tun the only volume you need to worry about is what kinds up in your boil kettle. The grain father is an automated brew in a bag or basket. So set up accordingly.
     
  16. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Youse you whole liquor amount to calculate mash efficiency 93% seems about right sounds like you mash with your full volume too? Once you know you boil off rate for 60 min and losses all you need to hit will be your pre boil volume. If under sparge till pre boil hit if over boil till pre boil volume and start your 60min from there:). Good luck
     
  17. KingPaul

    KingPaul New Member

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    Hi. I having problems with my setup My boil volume is 27l, That is easy to get. But what do i put in as batch size? And do you use fermenter or kettle? Boil time will be 90min. Please help. Thx
     
  18. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    depends on your profile and if you tip everything into the fermenter or not and have losses between your boil kettle and fermenter really

    in other words if you have loses than choose kettle, if you dump it all pick fermenter
     
  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I use fermentor volume. 500 metric mills dead space or losses at end of kettle. 3lt/hr boil off and leave the hop absorption and grain absorption as is . Sometimes I still end up with extra LT of wort but more is better than less me thinks. Brew brew then brew again and you will find your losses. I also find a hoppy beer will suck up the wort a fair bit...
     

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