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Dedicated Grainfather Guide, Problems and Solutions Thread

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slcmorro

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carniebrew said:
Cheers. Also, the bottom plate for the inner basket doesn't have any kind of seal around it. And it's a bit concave...any issues with grain leaking underneath it and into the pump during the mash recirculation?
I get a little bit back in my wort from this, yes. Not enough to worry about though.
 

slcmorro

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carniebrew said:
Can fellow GF owners tell me how flat their bottom filter plate is? As I mentioned, mine's a bit curved and I'm not sure if that's meant to be, or if it should be flat?
Mines also a little curved.
 

meathead

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carniebrew said:
Can fellow GF owners tell me how flat their bottom filter plate is? As I mentioned, mine's a bit curved and I'm not sure if that's meant to be, or if it should be flat?
I would say that due to how thin it is and the amount of holes it will flex a bit
However it's fair to say that the mob that makes them are looking after early adopters very well (as in chiller issues) and if the bottom plate causes issues they would upgrade and replace foc
 

rick1111082

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My bottom plate is like that as well i havent had any dramas
 

hughbert

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yeah bottom plate a bit wonky however once it gets some grain on it it sits flat. just a very small amount of grain getting out but was not enough to worry about really.
 

HBHB

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chopdog said:
Just had a HOLY SHIT moment!!!!!! I just mashed in and forgot to flick the switch to mash. Checked temp 10 mins later and it was at75!!!!!!!! Should I just dump it now and cut my loses??? I added 2l of cold water from the fridge but only dropped 3degs
You've bypassed the controller by putting the top switch in the middle position. Even on high with the bottom switch it will only overshoot by 1-2 degrees and self correct with recirculation.

postmaster said:
I run the tap water through a pre chill set up 1st. Its like a large 16 litre bottle in which I put 8 meters of copper tubing and kept filled with water. Which I chill in in the fridge before I brew.
I use about 25 litres of water to chill 26 litre to approximately 30 deg. I keep the hot water for cleaning. (just need to get the flow ratio right for the wort and water).
3L per minute is about as fast as it needs to run, but in such a small vessel, it won't drop it much. Run tap water and recirculate the wort for 10 minutes first then go with cooler water or a bucket full of ice (freeze the chiller into a 20L bucket)....watch it drop then.

carniebrew said:
Couple of questions after putting mine together and running a cleaning cycle (and reading 11 pages of this thread!):

1. The pump filter that pushes into the pump inlet seems a bit loose...I've fiddled around with it but I reckon it'll get knocked out really easily during the boil. Anyone having the same issue?
2. Once I'm through the supplied cleaning liquid, I'll start using home-made PBW (70% perc/30% met). Just curious how much PBW people are using in the 7.5 litres of cleaning water? Tablespoon or so?
3. Is anyone putting the mash pipe back into the boiler during the cleaning cycle, or just cleaning it separately?
1. Pump filter should be firm, but not tight. while it's empty, try to knock it out and you'll see it takes a bit or force. You'll be going nuts to knock it out in a whirlpool under normal action. you don't have to create a black hole for a whirlpool to form.
2. a lumpy tablespoon in hot water is enough
3. initially, then I give it a clean outside, making the most of the cleaning solution.

carniebrew said:
Cheers. Also, the bottom plate for the inner basket doesn't have any kind of seal around it. And it's a bit concave...any issues with grain leaking underneath it and into the pump during the mash recirculation?
The weight of the grain will sort it out. It's normal for cut sections of perforated plate to buckle.....even a piece I have at home that was over $250 m is bent like a politician.
 

carniebrew

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HBHB said:
You've bypassed the controller by putting the top switch in the middle position. Even on high with the bottom switch it will only overshoot by 1-2 degrees and self correct with recirculation.
Thanks for the reply.

I think chopdog might have been saying he had the top switch set to "boil" instead of "mash"? Which ignores the temp setting and just heads for 100C.

I am curious on that switch...the "Work" light on the controller stays lit even when the switch is in the middle position (i.e. not mash or boil)...but I'm assuming the element is off, with the switch in that position, right? And that would be regardless of the bottom switch being on mash or normal.
 

meathead

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(freeze the chiller into a 20L bucket)....watch it drop then.

What does this mean?
 

carniebrew

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I spoke to the GF crew about the bottom plate just to confirm they're meant to be as flat as possible...as suspected they are, so I've done some creative bending and it's a much better fit now.
 

meathead

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HBHB said:
20L bucket, drop chiller into it, fill with water and a handful of salt, then drop into a freezer.
So you then have a massive chunk of ice with a chiller in it and hoses coming out sitting on top of the GF?
Assuming you can get it out of the bucket
 

HBHB

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meathead said:
So you then have a massive chunk of ice with a chiller in it and hoses coming out sitting on top of the GF?
Assuming you can get it out of the bucket
no it's used with a short copper pre-chiller coil, not the GF coil. It simply super chills the water going to the GF chiller.
 

Trevandjo

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HBHB said:
no it's used with a short copper pre-chiller coil, not the GF coil. It simply super chills the water going to the GF chiller.
What temp can you get down to this way Martin?
 

HBHB

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Pretty low during winter when the temp in my tank is down. I think it went as low as 6-8 degrees back in October. Getting it down to 16-18 is no issue during summer when our town potable supply comes out of the tap at 32.
 

kaiserben

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Inspired by reading this thread we decided to try a pre-chiller today.

(I'll preface this by pointing out that we've previously just been using the GF chiller, recircing back into GF until the temp said ~40C, then running out through chiller into fermenter, and then pitching yeast without knowing the temperature of the wort in the fermenter. We just sorta hoped it was about right).

Today we set up a spare home-made copper chiller in an esky with a bag of service station ice and some water to create a slurry (let it sit for 15 mins). We recirced our wort through chiller back into GF until the temp was 42C. Then connected up the pre-chiller and ran it back into the GF to see if the temp would keep dropping. But it seemed to drop only about as fast as it has in the past at these temps using tap water. We were hoping for something a bit more dramatic with the temp drop and were a bit perplexed as to why it wasn't working better than it was. Maybe we need to actually freeze the pre-chiller next time (as suggested by HBHB).

Anyway, when GF unit temp was reading as 36C we started to pump out to fermenter. Once finished the temp reading on a stick on thermometer on our fermenter was ~22C.

We were happy enough with 22C as our outcome, but will need to test temp into fermenter without the pre-chiller to be sure it's making a big enough difference.
 

dicko

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Why not just pump the chilled water through the chiller.
IMO the loss is in the fact that you are trying to chill the water with another chiller...or have I misunderstood your procedures?

With my set up I have 40 litres of Iced water in an old 60 litre fermenter and I can chill a beer from around 30 deg to around 10 deg during summer with that 40 litres of ice slurry.
 

kaiserben

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The only pump I've got is the wort pump attached the the Grainfather. So I for the counter flow chiller itself, I haven't got enough pressure to get some chilled water through it.
 

dicko

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OK, I understand now, I have a submersible pump that I put in the chilled water, but you want to use the water pressure from the tap supply to circulate colder water.
 

HBHB

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Sounds like your tap water is as warm as it is up here. Hard to get it down below about 36 here in summer without the pre-chiller and ice. Adding salt to the water will also drop the temp a bit more.

Could be that you were running the water a little fast. No point in running it through the gf chiller much more than about 3 LPM. At that rate of flow it should chill a bit more - also bring the pre-chilled water into the gf Chiller through a shorter hose so it's not warming up in high ambient temps again.
 

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