Grainfather Connect Review (2019). Go through this before your purchase!
As someone who enjoys brewing his own beer, I am always on the lookout for quality products. My own brewing journey has taught me the fine nuances of making beer, from ensuring the quality of the malt to experimenting with the hops to equipment capabilities, have a deep impact on the beer. Sometimes, even the water I use can affect the final taste of the beer. I like to be on the look-out for new brewing kits and the different equipment they come with. No two types of equipment provide the same features, and the journey to finding the perfect equipment can be a long one
Features of Grainfather Connect
The Minibrew kit is a great device because it’s pretty much reduced the process of brewing beer to a couple of buttons. It’s a neat little machine that simplifies the whole process and creates brews on-the-go.
- It has a 30-litre capacity and produces up to 21 litres of beer in one brewing session. It is essentially a boiler that comes equipped with a pump, temperature control, and a removable steel basket.
- It is an electrical system meant to be stored indoors with an inbuilt controlled heating element which provides the right heat at the right stage of the brewing process.
- With this system, you will have more control over the sparging process as you will have to do it manually.
- It comes with a counter-flow wort chiller which reduces the chance of contamination and cools 23L of wort in just 20 minutes.
- The system also has a control box where you can pre-add recipes which you can then control through your smartphone via their app.
- You can program step mashing with the control box with precise results.
- The app comes with pre-installed recipes though you can easily import new ones.
- The stainless steel grain basket allows you to brew between 4.5 to 9kg of grain.
The day when the Grainfather Connect arrived, I installed it according to their instructions. I also downloaded their app as they say that it provides the most benefits of the system. In order to test the system, I decided to go with one of the pre-installed recipes with one of the grain kits from The Grainfather.
However, I still wanted to challenge the system, and so I picked their Black IPA recipe and kit instead. The kit came with two packets of mixed grains which included Gladfield American Ale Malt, Gladfield Dark Crystal Malt, Gladfield Munich Malt, and Gladfield Dark Chocolate Malt. It also came with two packets of Mangrove Jack's M44 US West Coast yeast, and the hops were a combination of Pacific Jade, Citra, Simcoe, and Mosaic.
The recipe on the app called for 23.2L of water which it then continued to automatically heat to the required mash temperature of 50 degrees Celsius. I then slowly added the mash into the water, taking care to mix fully to avoid lumps. The recipe called for a steady increase in temperature at different times, all of which was automated by the control box and the app.
Next came the sparging process after which the system automatically begins the boiling process by increasing the temperature. According to the recipe, the liquid had to boil for ninety minutes. During this phase, I added the timed hop to the liquid. Then came the cooling process using their convenient counterflow wort chiller.
As the cool wort was collected, I added both packets of the yeast for the fermentation process which can last between 7 to 10 days. The temperature for this process was also maintained automatically by the control box and app. I tapped the beer into a keg for a further 3 weeks after which the beer was ready to taste.
The beer has a strong aroma of citrus, pine resin, mango, and passion fruit which is a result of the dry hopping during the fermentation. The flavour has a smooth caramel malt body which is offset beautifully by the bitterness. The hop adds great depth of flavours that complement each other.
The system has much scope to play around with, especially in the manual setting. The next step for me will be to experiment with my own recipes that I have perfected over the years.
- Compact design
- Includes convenient wort-chiller
- Electric temperature control
- Good mash efficiency
- Easy instructions along with video support
- Two-module heating to avoid scorching
- Adjustable part
- Good and effective sparge
- Easy to clean
- Can make low, medium, and high gravity beers
- Manual stirring during mash might not remove all the lumps
- Requires some lifting of up to 15kg
The Grainfather Connect system is a great all-in-one system for home brewing.
- It is one of the most competitively priced systems available in the market which makes it ideal for those just beginning to experiment.
- The instructions provided plus the video instruction available on their website make the whole process a no-brainer.
- A wide selection of grain kits and recipes allows for a fun experience.
- The control box allows for customised recipes that can be saved onto the system for later use.
- The counterflow wort chiller reduces the chances of contamination and allows for a better product.
- The system is ideal for those who have very little space but want to make quality home-brewed beer.
- Some of the other recipes on the app are for a red IPA, dry stout, pale ales, pilsners, lager, and single malt.
The company also has an effective customer support team. After the success of this initial experiment, I am definitely curious about the system’s abilities and how far I can test its accurate temperature control.