– UPDATED 2019
Many people who love their beer, prefer their beer to be brewed perfectly to their liking at home. Because it gives you little bit more creative control while also being less expensive when compared to extract brewing. But the whole process is really lengthy and requires you to mash, separate the sugars from the grains – sparge, boil, cool and finally clean up, the whole sequence is really tedious. Well Grainfather is what you have been looking for till now.
A Grainfather is an all in one brewing system that takes care of all the processes involved starting from mashing to cooling, that too in a single compact stainless-steel unit. Having an all in one brewing system is really advantageous as it saves space, time and gives you more control and convenience while brewing your favourite beer.
Table of Contents
Grainfather Features & Design
- Comes with a stainless-steel body, steel inner basket, plastic base and a tempered glass lid
- 1800RPM pump with a heating element
- A counter-flow wort chiller that can hook up to your sink faucet
- A companion mobile app which contains recipes with a very detailed ingredient list and mashing, sparging and fermentation instructions
- A very well-crafted step-by-step instruction booklet to help you install your brewer with ease
- Being an all-in-one system, it saves your time, gives you more control and is less cumbersome to clean
- Compact design, you can even take it to your friends place for a brew day
- Its Digital temp control is really good for step mashes and single infusions
The biggest advantage of the Grainfather is that while recirculating the mash driven by its pump system it maintains the heat inside perfectly. Which helps in getting the most out of the malt. Though it takes care of most of the things but still gives you the independence of creating your own recipe while monitoring the mashing, sparging or throwing in hops.
Cleaning it is one of the simplest jobs, just rinse it out after use, heat some water in it and put everything used back in, and start their high-performance cleaner, connect the chiller and switch on the pump. It will finish the whole process within 4-5 hours.
There are a few disadvantages of the Grainfather such as:
- No Wi-Fi or a Bluetooth radio, hence you cannot control it with any apps or program it with recipes
- No side glass, hence, you cannot see the level of liquid inside the boiler, and a timer for boil and hop addition timing
Popular Grainfather Recipes
Here are some popular Grainfather recipes that you could enjoy:
- Kraken Stout
- Brisket in a bottle
- The Bearded Lady
- Lion’s Share
- Mow the Damn Lawn
- Brett Strawberry Farmhouse
- Opening Day Pale Ale
- Cheap Leather Jacket Barley Wine
- A Festbier for the Rest of Us
Grainfather Problems – What you should know?
Coming to the weaknesses of Grainfather, you can find its solutions easily. For a better experience you can make use of the following tips:
- Graincoat, a custom-tailor made insulated jacket for Grainfather, which helps in retaining heat
- Use of a stainless hop spider or even a nylon strainer bag will keep the bulk of the hop material contained and the pump flowing smoothly.
- Use of supplemental heat stick on a separate circuit, this when used with Grainfather element, cuts the time it takes to heat 8 gallons of water, which can be less than half the time with the built in element.
Grainfather Vs Bulldog Brewer
When comparing a Bulldog or a Grainfather there a few things to keep in mind. As the Grainfather is equipped with high quality on-board pump, counter flow chiller with an excellent hop filter. But with Bulldog you have an analogue style control element. Considering your pocket again Grainfather gives you more quality with the price tag it has.
Grainfather Vs Braumeister
There are a few advanced features Similarities:
- Both require an additional source of water for sparging
- Both are capable of producing 23L of wort
Depending on what you need the major differences between the two is that in Braumeister like the programmable temperature control which automates step mashing. Whereas the Grainfather can fit a larger grain bill maybe 1.5kg to 2kgs and hence capable of stronger beers. Build wise the Braumeister is more solid, rugged, and hardy. Whereas the Grainfather is literally 1/3rd of its price. Hence when looking for quality along with budget the Grainfather is suitable for many.
The Grainfather is a fun instrument that does what it is meant for and also helps you in automating your brewing experience. It is highly recommended that you take help of any brewing software as it will help you with recipe formulation. The Grainfather is not a thousand-dollar German Made piece of brew, rather a functional stainless-steel brewing system, with pumped recirculation, digital control and cooling. Though not perfect but with the price you pay for a Grainfather the overall functionality and capability of its pretty damned good compared to anything else out there.