Welcome back to the world of brewing – we had a brewday on Saturday and brewed our first ever milk stout. We brewed on the updated Grainfather with bluetooth control box that can communicate with your phone!
What is The Grainfather?
The Grainfather is a compact all in one 30Litre electric brewing system. It heats water to your desired strike water temperature and has an integrated mash basket. A built in pump recirculates the wort and the mash temperature is carefully controlled to help achieve high efficiency in the extraction of the sugars from the malt. The mash basket is then raised and the wort easily drained into the kettle below ready to start the boil. Once a boil is reached the temperature is maintained and controlled. The pump is used in connection with a counterflow chiller to rapidly cool the wort as it transfers into the fermenter. For more information, see our full review on the Grainfather.
Adding recipes to the Grainfather with the Bluetooth control box
I use the Beersmith iOS app for all of my self designed beer recipes and I was interested to see how the new Grainfather control box would work in conjunction with Beersmith. When designing the recipe I selected Grainfather as an “add-on” equipment profile.
The control box is linked to the Grainfather app via Bluetooth and accepts the standard Beer.xml format. Unfortunately the Beersmith iOS app does not allow exporting of this format so I had to fire up Beersmith on the PC. Once I exported my recipe to the Beer.xml format I emailed myself the file and downloaded it onto the iPhone. This then opened in the Grainfather Connect App ready for action.
Using the Grainfather calculator within the app we found we needed about 18 litres of water for the mash and told the Grainfather to start heating via the phone. Once we hit 65°c we mashed in the grain bill and started the process. The Grainfather recirculates the mash with it’s integral pump and applies heat to keep it at a steady 65°c. Once complete, the grain basket is lifted to drain the wort into the kettle and sparing can begin – we have a separate HLT to heat the sparge water.
The kettle can start heating the wort as soon as you lift the basket and start sparging, saving a fair chunk of time when getting the wort up to a rolling boil.
This is the first time we’ve used lactose so carefully sprinkled it into the boil to avoid any clumping or burning of the element.
Chilling the wort
The Grainfather comes with an effective counterflow chiller. After recirculating boiling wort through the chiller for a few minutes it should be sanitised (already cleaned prior to the boil).
It’s not long before the wort coming out of the counterfow is close to 25°c even if the remaining wort inside the Grainfather remains high. We are pitching the yeast and maintaining the fermentation at 20°c for this milk stout.
Our SS Brewtech Brewmaster bucket will sit in our temperature controlled fermentation fridge while the yeast does it’s work …
With 5 days remaining we added Cacao nibs into the FV.
After 5 weeks in the FV we transferred it straight to keg and it tastes great!
Some other articles about our beer:
- Brewing a Black IPA
- Christmas Breakfast Imperial Oat Stout
- WALLOP – Making a Modern Mild
- Design a Beer – Brewday