Dedicated Grainfather Guide, Problems and Solutions Thread

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skb

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Excited to have my grain father now just time to put it together and do a brew
 

kaiserben

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I just replaced the STC200 controller with a STC1000 flashed with STC1000p/OVBSC.

Are there any easy-to-follow instructions on how to program steps? I assume each time I brew I'll need to re-program every step or timing that differs from the previous brew?
 

butisitart

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gf brewing 101 :-
clip the mash canister supporting ring thing into the gf BEFORE you mash. :blink: .
not sure how i'm going to get out of this one just yet cos i'm halfway into a free flowing mash and don't want to disturb it
lucky it's only 5.2kg grainbill
 

kaiserben

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kaiserben said:
I just replaced the STC200 controller with a STC1000 flashed with STC1000p/OVBSC.

Are there any easy-to-follow instructions on how to program steps? I assume each time I brew I'll need to re-program every step or timing that differs from the previous brew?
Setting most of these parameters was easy. A few I'm not totally sure about. Could someone tell me what they're using for some of these parameters?

Sd (Strike delay) might as well be set as 0 unless you want the mash water to heat up at a particular time (eg in the morning before you wake up).
St (Strike water set point) = Whatever you want the mash water temp to be when you add grains.
SO (Strike Output) = 100? (ie using 100% element power to ramping up temps)
Pt1 (Mash Step 1 setpoint) = 66 (for example)
Pd1 (Mash Step 1 duration) = 60 (for example)
Pt2 (Mash Step 2 setpoint) = 75 (for example)
Pd2 (Mash Step 2 duration) = 10 (for example)
What do I put in for Pt and Pd 3-6 if I don't need them? Do I set all Pd as 0 and Pt doesn't matter?
PO (Mashing Output) = 25%
Ht (Hot Break Temp) = Probably not needed (as regular GF controller doesn't have this feature). Right?
HO (Hot Break Output) = Probably not needed (as regular GF controller doesn't have this feature). Right?
Hd (Hot Break Duration) = Probably not needed (as regular GF controller doesn't have this feature). Right?
bO (Boil Output) = 100
bd (Boil Duration) = 60 (for a 60 min boil)
hd1 (Hop Alarm 1) = Looks like I enter, for example, "5" for an addition 5 mins before flame out.
hd2 (Hop Alarm 2) =
hd3 (Hop Alarm 3) =
hd4 (Hop Alarm 4) =
tc (Temp correction) = check with another thermometer to see if needed
APF (Alarm/Pause Control Flags) = 511 to use all alarms
PF (Pump Control Flags) = For GF the pump control is manual, so I guess it doesn't matter what we put here ???
Pd (Set heating period interval) = ???
cO (Manual Mode Output) = ???
cP (Manual Mode Pump) = For GF the pump control is manual, so I guess it doesn't matter what we put here ???
cSP (Manual Mode thermostat setpoint) = ???
ASd (Safety Shutdown Timer) = ???
rUn (Run Mode) = I assume it's usually "OFF" and then to run it you want to change that to "Pr", is this correct?
 

butisitart

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there is no way out if you forget to clip in the mash cannister support ring thing before you mash.
basic steps are :
1. get wife in heavy duty rubber gloves to clip it in after you raise cannister full height from gf.
2. get wife to lift cannister cos she wasn't sure how to clip it in and nearly lost ring into bottom of molten wort.
3. discover wife is too short to lift cannister full height from gf.
4. hold cannister up and drain wort while wife finds bucket wide enough to accommodate mash cannister.
5. dunk cannister into bucket, leaving sticky wort on side of gf and floor.
6. assemble f***king ring and praise wife. replace cannister and try to soak as much wort back into grain as you can
7. invite neighbour's toddler to lick sticky wort off floor.
8. sparge and move on.
 

Chridech

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butisitart said:
there is no way out if you forget to clip in the mash cannister support ring thing before you mash.
basic steps are :
1. get wife in heavy duty rubber gloves to clip it in after you raise cannister full height from gf.
2. get wife to lift cannister cos she wasn't sure how to clip it in and nearly lost ring into bottom of molten wort.
3. discover wife is too short to lift cannister full height from gf.
4. hold cannister up and drain wort while wife finds bucket wide enough to accommodate mash cannister.
5. dunk cannister into bucket, leaving sticky wort on side of gf and floor.
6. assemble f***king ring and praise wife. replace cannister and try to soak as much wort back into grain as you can
7. invite neighbour's toddler to lick sticky wort off floor.
8. sparge and move on.
I'm sure you didn't drop a single f-bomb and your wife must really love you. Good recovery!
 

carniebrew

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Ok I have to ask, what is the "mash cannister support ring thing"? Are you talking about the rubber ring that goes around the top mesh plate?
 

butisitart

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the octagonal?? steel spring ring that clips into top of gf, that the mash cannister sits on when sparging.
no ring thing, no way to sparge.
 

carniebrew

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butisitart said:
the octagonal?? steel spring ring that clips into top of gf, that the mash cannister sits on when sparging.
no ring thing, no way to sparge.
My grainfather has tabs on the mash pipe, and little steel bars at the top of the boiler, so when you lift the malt pipe you simply turn it to align the tabs so they sit on the bars. Sounds like you have something quite different.

See the four thin steel bars in this pic? https://www.williamsbrewing.com/Assets/images/Product_Images/Q47A.JPG

Here's a URL that has all the GF parts...can't see an octagonal ring in there either?
https://shop.brewcraftusa.com/Grainfather_Replacement_Parts.aspx
 

LAGERFRENZY

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Probably not an octagon - I think he is alluding to the steel bars at the top that the malt pipe sits on to sparge?

Imagine lifting the malt pipe to find they were not there to rest it on I think is the vibe...
 

wambesi

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He's talking about the support ring (that the tabs/legs on the mash tun rest on when raised) that is removable at the top of the Grainfather body.

Looks like he removed it for cleaning and forgot to put it back in. Bugga.
 

meathead

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wambesi said:
He's talking about the support ring (that the tabs/legs on the mash tun rest on when raised) that is removable at the top of the Grainfather body.
Looks like he removed it for cleaning and forgot to put it back in. Bugga.
Now it all makes sense.
Note to self never clean support ring
 

Coodgee

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carniebrew said:
My grainfather has tabs on the mash pipe, and little steel bars at the top of the boiler, so when you lift the malt pipe you simply turn it to align the tabs so they sit on the bars. Sounds like you have something quite different.

See the four thin steel bars in this pic? https://www.williamsbrewing.com/Assets/images/Product_Images/Q47A.JPG

Here's a URL that has all the GF parts...can't see an octagonal ring in there either?
https://shop.brewcraftusa.com/Grainfather_Replacement_Parts.aspx
I didn't realise at first either but those support bars are joined together and can be removed as one large springy hexagonal piece. Have a close look. I take mine off every time for cleaning now.
 

paulyman

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I didn't realise they came out either.
 

carniebrew

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Well bugger me, I never knew that came out. Interesting that GF don't list that as a part in its own right, not do they seem to refer to it at all in the user manual/cleaning section. Thanks very much, now I know about it I'm sure I'm gonna forget to put it back after cleaning one day!!

IMG_20160409_120132.jpg
 

Chridech

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Coodgee said:
I didn't realise at first either but those support bars are joined together and can be removed as one large springy hexagonal piece. Have a close look. I take mine off every time for cleaning now.
carniebrew said:
Well bugger me, I never knew that came out. Interesting that GF don't list that as a part in its own right, not do they seem to refer to it at all in the user manual/cleaning section. Thanks very much, now I know about it I'm sure I'm gonna forget to put it back after cleaning one day!!

IMG_20160409_120132.jpg
Yep, bugger me too.
 

N3MIS15

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kaiserben said:
Setting most of these parameters was easy. A few I'm not totally sure about. Could someone tell me what they're using for some of these parameters?

Sd (Strike delay) might as well be set as 0 unless you want the mash water to heat up at a particular time (eg in the morning before you wake up).
St (Strike water set point) = Whatever you want the mash water temp to be when you add grains.
SO (Strike Output) = 100? (ie using 100% element power to ramping up temps)
Pt1 (Mash Step 1 setpoint) = 66 (for example)
Pd1 (Mash Step 1 duration) = 60 (for example)
Pt2 (Mash Step 2 setpoint) = 75 (for example)
Pd2 (Mash Step 2 duration) = 10 (for example)
What do I put in for Pt and Pd 3-6 if I don't need them? Do I set all Pd as 0 and Pt doesn't matter?
PO (Mashing Output) = 25%
Ht (Hot Break Temp) = Probably not needed (as regular GF controller doesn't have this feature). Right?
HO (Hot Break Output) = Probably not needed (as regular GF controller doesn't have this feature). Right?
Hd (Hot Break Duration) = Probably not needed (as regular GF controller doesn't have this feature). Right?
bO (Boil Output) = 100
bd (Boil Duration) = 60 (for a 60 min boil)
hd1 (Hop Alarm 1) = Looks like I enter, for example, "5" for an addition 5 mins before flame out.
hd2 (Hop Alarm 2) =
hd3 (Hop Alarm 3) =
hd4 (Hop Alarm 4) =
tc (Temp correction) = check with another thermometer to see if needed
APF (Alarm/Pause Control Flags) = 511 to use all alarms
PF (Pump Control Flags) = For GF the pump control is manual, so I guess it doesn't matter what we put here ???
Pd (Set heating period interval) = ???
cO (Manual Mode Output) = ???
cP (Manual Mode Pump) = For GF the pump control is manual, so I guess it doesn't matter what we put here ???
cSP (Manual Mode thermostat setpoint) = ???
ASd (Safety Shutdown Timer) = ???
rUn (Run Mode) = I assume it's usually "OFF" and then to run it you want to change that to "Pr", is this correct?
Sd: correct
St: correct
SO: yep 100 to reach strike temp as fast as possible.
Pt1 through 6: I tend to set them a couple degrees over with a duration of 1-2 mins. set point 1 you wont need to over compensate since you should do this with strike temp.
Pd1 through 6: yep step duration. If you dont require any more steps set the duration for the remaining steps as zero.
PO: I use 33 (33% of full power of the element)
Ht: I have it set @ 99 (this setting is for the temp at which hotbreak occurs)
HO: should be 100 (full output of the element)
Hd: I have this set to 6 mins. This setting is for the time it takes the hotbreak to subside.
bO: correct
bd: correct, this timer will start after the Hd timer finishes.
hd1 through 4: correct, an "alarm" will occur at the minutes left in boil you enter
tc: correct
APF: correct
PF: correct
Pd: not sure about this 1. mine is set to 5 FWIW
cO: you can set the stc to run at a constant output (rather than the program). this should be a percentage.
cP: correct
cSP: the temp you want if running in constant output mode
ASd: -1 to disable
rUn: can be off, constant temp, constant output or your program (mash steps, hop alarms etc..)

A simple brew for me would consist of setting the following variables..

St: 70
Pt1: 66
Pd1: 60
Pt2: 79
Pd2: 1
Pt3: 76
Pd3: 10

I like to overshoot when stepping up the mash mash to let the temp normalize though out.

Hd1: 60
Hd2: 15
Hd3: 10
Hd4: 5

Once your ready to go change rUn to pr and thats it. All other settings I never need to change for my brews.

I STRONGLY suggest running a test with a bit of water in the grainfather for the first run, just to be sure. Believe me I know how daunting it is with all the settings, but once you have 1-2 brews with it its very easy to program.
 

kaiserben

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Yep. I ran a test with 10L water last night. And brewed with it today. It went really well.

Only 2 things kept today's brew day from being perfect:

When it reached the target mash temps it didn't turn off immediately. In fact it kept rising another ~0.2C before the element would switch off (and as a result it overshot the main mash step by 2.0C). I'm guessing that it not turning off immediately was because my Pd (Set heating period interval) was set as 5 (seconds)? Would that be correct? I'm thinking I should change this to the minimum of 1.

A bigger problem was at hot break time. I had set my Hot Break settings as what Matstaff at Github has suggested:
Ht (Hot Break Temp) = 98
HO (Hot Break Output) = 75
Hd (Hot Break Duration) = 15

I need to re-think those because I happened to walk past when it had just reached this stage and it was actually boiling, displaying 101C and foaming like crazy, but not quite over the rim (phew!).
 

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