Grainfather Brewing System – Review (All Models Compared)

Home brewers are always bombarded with the next, best brewing unit. 

Just when you think you’ve found your go-to brewing system, you’re presented with one that promises you all the features and functions to ease your load during brew day, without compromising quality. 

One of those systems is the Grainfather. 

Grainfather is an all-in-one brewing system designed to simplify your entire brewing process. It mashes, boils, and chills your wort. It also makes transferring the wort to the fermenter a breeze. 

In a nutshell, it helps you create a great-tasting beer with ease. 

But with so many Grainfather models on the market, it can feel overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. 

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive review. We’re going to help you understand the key difference between all the Grainfather models and choose the ideal one that suits your needs and budget. 

Whether you’re a seasoned brewer or a beginner, read on to learn about Grainfather brewing systems. 

What Is A Grainfather?

Grainfather is an all-in-one brewing system designed for home brewers. It’s a popular system because of its ease of use and compact size. 

It allows you to perform all stages of the brewing process–mashing, boiling, chilling, and transferring, all in a single vessel. 

Where is grandfather made? 

Grainfather is made in New Zealand, but the unit is available in Australia, the US, and the UK.

What’s In The Box 

Different models come with different parts. But all the systems’ packages contain a boiling body, grain basket, lifting bar, counterflow chiller, Bluetooth/ Wi-fi controller, and a comprehensive instruction manual. 

In addition to these parts, here’s what you can expect from each box.

Grainfather G30 

  • Overflow pipework
  • Bottom & top grain plates
  • Grain stopper
  • Glass lid
  • Recirculation pipe
  • Filter
  • Hose fittings
  • Built-in pump

Grainfather S40

  • Lid
  • Immersion chiller, hoses & connection fittings
  • Recirculation arm & wort sprayer
  • Built-in pump

Grainfather G40 

  • Recirculation hose
  • Grain plate
  • Hop filter
  • Fittings
  • Built-in pump
  • Glass lid

Grainfather G70 

  • Hop filter
  • Bottom & top grain plates
  • Overflow pipework
  • Grain stopper
  • Glass lid
  • Recirculation hose
  • Built-in pump

What Does A Grainfather Do?

Grainfather takes care of the entire brewing process. From mashing through to chilling. 

Here’s a detailed explanation of how Grainfather achieves this. 

Mash 

Mashing is an essential step in brewing because it helps convert complex starches into fermentable sugars. 

Grainfather takes the load off your plate by providing a precise temperature control system and tight-fitting perforated plates. The plates hold the grains during mashing, ensuring none make it through the filter. 

The addition of a recirculation arm ensures mash consistency. Atop the grain bed, the pump pulls the wort from the bottom and circulates it through the arm. 

Boiling 

With up to 1800W electric heating element, Grainfather offers precise temperature control. The unit provides enough power to make the beer gradually boil. This minimizes scorching and the possibility of off-flavors.

Chilling 

Grainfather uses a counterflow chiller to rapidly bring the wort down to a cooling temperature. Doing so helps prevent contamination and develops a clean, crisp-flavored beer. After recirculation, you can pump the wort into the fermenter. 

Control 

All Grainfather models come with a built-in control box. You can track the entire brewing process and upload or download any recipes through Bluetooth or wireless connectivity. 

Alternatively, you can manage the process on the control box for a more hands-on approach.

Grainfather community 

What fun would the craft be if you didn’t have a community of like-minded home brewers to get inspiration from for your next brew day? 

The Grainfather online community is not only packed with thousands of recipes you can download, but you can also connect with other home brewers. 

You can share ideas, and give and receive feedback. 

The app syncs with the control box, allowing you to edit and personalize a recipe. 

Grainfather app 

The free Grainfather brewing app comprises a suite of tools, calculators, and beer recipes to help you prepare a fantastic beverage at home. 

All you have to do is create an account and you’ll be presented with an intuitive dashboard that allows you to personalize the recipes.

Grainfather’s dashboard

You also have the option to choose beer styles, so you can achieve specific results according to your preferences.

Grainfather’s list of beer styles

If you’re a beginner, Grainfather provides you with a quick course so you have the basics underway.

Grainfather’s beginner course

Additional accessories and attachments 

Whether you want to upgrade or get a few extra parts to ease your brewing experience even further, Grainfather has a plethora of accessories and attachments to choose from. 

Below’s a comprehensive list of each of these. 

  • Grainfather grain mill bamboo mounting board: You can use the board with the electric grain mill. You mount the mill onto the board and place it over a bucket to catch any crushed grain.
  • Grainfather fermentation thermometer: An analog thermometer that helps you measure the temperature of the wort during fermentation. 
  • Tilt hydrometer: Allows you to check specific gravity and temperature of your beer without having to open your fermenter. You place it in the fermenter and monitor readings from your mobile device.
  • Grainfather G40/G70 whirlpool arm: Helps you to separate hops and sediments from your wort after boiling it. Only compatible with G40 and G70. 
  • G70/G40 15 AMP power cable: If you’re looking to upgrade the electric current of your G40 and G70 from 10 to 15amp, this cable is worth buying. 
  • Grainfather thermowell: A fitting you can install to your fermenter to attach the thermometer or temperature probe. Allows for precise temperature control. 
  • Grainfather GF30 fermenter pressure transfer: A device you can attach to the Grainfather conical fermenter so you can transfer your beer; mess-free. 
  • Grainfather G40, G70, and SS fermenter ½” tap: Allows you to drain beer from the bottom of the unit.
  • Grainfather overflow filter: To prevent particles from moving down the overflow pipe. It fits between the overflow inlet and the top of the mashing plate. 
  • Grainfather G30 rolled plates: For use in place of plates that come with silicone seals to make assembling and cleaning a breeze. 
  • GCAST Bluetooth Wi-Fi bridge: When you want a reliable connection or want to switch from Bluetooth and use home Wi-Fi.
  • Kit-Still Spirits Alembic dome with condenser: Attach the dome to the boiler to make it easy to switch from brewing beer to distilling spirits.
  • Electric grain mill: Versatile electric grinder with 10 adjustable gap settings. Allows you to crush a variety of grains in under 2 minutes. 
  • Grainfather G30 storage bag: To keep your G30 dust and contaminant free after every use.
     
  • Grainfather whirlpool and aeration brewing paddle: To help infuse oxygen into your wort to kick-start fermentation.
  • Manual grain mill: To crush your grains without the arm work. 
  • Mangrove Jack’s hop spider: Works similarly to a hop spider. You add your hops and place them in your boiler. 
  • Grainfather micro pipework: Helps you brew small batches of up to 10 liters (2.6 gallons).
  • Grainfather stainless steel swing top growler 2-liter capacity: A handy travel mug to keep your beer at the best drinking temperature. 
  • Grainfather stainless steel paddle: To stir your grains when you add them to the boiler and pat down foam during the boil.
  • Refractometer: To measure specific gravity or brix of unfermented wort. Regardless of the temperature of your wort. 
  • G3 Graincoat: To maintain the temperature in your boiler for those chilly brew days. 
  • Mangrove Jack’s 25l stainless steel fermenter: If you want to switch from plastic to steel fermenters. 
  • Sparge water heater 18l: Heats up to 18 liters (7.7 gallons) of water, and maintains the temperature until you’re ready to sparge. 

What Are The Different Models Of Grainfather? 

G30/ G30 ConnectS40G40G70
Dimensions733 x 386mm680 x 480mm725 x 555mm830 x 530mm
Grain capacityMax: 9 kg (20 lb)
Min: 5 kg (11 Ib)
Max: 10kg (22 lb)
Min: 5 kg (11 lb)
Max: 14 kg (31 lb)
Min: 3 kg (6.6 lb)
Max: 17kg (37.5 lb)
Min: 8 kg (17 lb)
Batch capacity23-25 liters (6/ 6.6 gallons)38 liters (10 gallons)38 liters (10 gallons)58 liters (15 gallons)
ControllerBluetooth controlManual control boxWireless connectivityWireless control
Pump6 W25 W22/25 W32 W
Sight glassN/A (Tempered glass lid)N/AIntegratedIntegrated
Boil-Off Rate2 liters (0.5 gallons) per hour3 liters (0.8 gallons) per hour2 liters (0.5 gallons) per hour4 liters (1.1 gallons) per hour

What’s The Difference Between The Grainfather ‘S’ and ‘G’ Series

Yeah, this tripped us up at first too.

The difference between the G series and S series is that S stands for ‘Simple’. S brewers are no-nonsense systems with basic controls to get the job done. The ‘G’ brewers on the other hand are wifi enabled and connect back to the Grainfather app – giving you access to real-time updates as well as a library of thousands of recipes.

Which one is right for you? We’ll that’s for you to decide.

Grainfather G30/ G30 Connect

The G30 is the entry level of Grainfathers. It has a 9 kg (20 pounds) grain capacity and brews up to 23 liters (6 gallons) of beer. The unit integrates with the app, and the controller has built-in Bluetooth connectivity. 

In addition to the extendable grain basket designed to hold different amounts of grain, it has a powerful magnetic pump for optimum brewing efficiency. 

The wort chiller also allows for seamless cooling. 

Grainfather G30 Connect

  • Best complete all grain brewing system for beginners (in our opinion)
  • 8 gallon capacity (Ideal for 5.5gal batches)
  • Attach an alembic head to convert into a pot still. 
  • Everything you need to get started.
Check on amazon Check on grainfather.com
Key Features: G30 Brewing System | Grainfather G SERIES

Grainfather S40

The S-line is all about simplicity and efficiency. If you’re looking for a unit that’ll do a decent job without breaking the bank, it’s worth having. 

Grainfather’s S40 boasts a flexible range of brewing options. It takes up to 10kg (22 pounds) of grains and brews small and large batches of between 10 and 40 liters. 

You control the brewing process using a digital controller. There’s also a built-in pump and recirculation arm that efficiently boils mash. 

Key Features: S40 Brewing System | Grainfather S SERIES

Grainfather G40

The G40 has an integrated sight glass allowing you to check the pre-boiled volume levels while sparging. The unit has a rolled-edge grain plate and perforated basket for easy mashing. 

It also has a wide and shallow basket with a grain holding capacity of 14 kg (31 pounds), allowing you to brew up to 38 liters (10 gallons) of beer from a single brew. 

G40 is integrated with a wireless controller and a second temperature probe to ensure accuracy during all processes. The unit is available in both 10 and 15-amp bases for all US models.

Grainfather G40

  • Brew bigger, stronger brews than the S30.
  • Wireless connectivity to the Grainfather App
  • 10 gallon capacity 
  • Attach an alembic head to convert into a pot still. 
  • Everything you need to get started.
  • Only availible with 220V connection
Buy on amazon Check on grainfather.com

 

Key Features: G40 Brewing System | Grainfather G SERIES

Grainfather G70

The G70 is like the G40, only with a larger batch capacity. It has a grain bill of 17kg (37.5 pounds) and brews up to 58 liters (15 gallons) of beer at 7.5% max ABV.

(i.e. if you want to make a stronger beer than 7.5% you’ll need more grain which won’t fit in the Grainfather)

It’s more suited for the experienced brewer who’s mastered the typical 5gal batch and want’s to start brewing double batches of their favorite recipe (for their friends of course!)

Grainfather G70 Connect

  • Best for people looking to make a lot of beer!
  • 16 gallon capacity (Ideal fora double batch)
  • Attach an alembic head to convert into a pot still. 
  • Everything you need to get started.
  • Only availible with 220V connection
Buy on amazon Check on grainfather.com

What’s the difference between each Grainfather 

Grainfather units are very similar because they offer a near-perfect hands-off approach. Depending on the model you use, you can control the entire process using Bluetooth or wireless controllers. 

The latest versions (G40 and G70) have a sight glass to help you keep track of the mash volume while you sparge. They also have perforated baskets and rolled edge plates for effortless assembling and cleaning. 

Also, you have the liberty to brew your desired batches. Between the G30 and S40, you can brew up to 38 liters (10 gallons) of beer, while G40 and G70 brew up to 58 liters (15 gallons).

Are Grainfathers Good 

As your brewing needs evolve, you might find some models fall short. Here are the pros and cons of the Grainfather.

Pros 

  • Ease of use from start to finish.
  • Beginner-friendly.
  • Time delay function to schedule mash.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Straight-forward user manual.
  • Adjustable flow and vigor of the mash.
  • Consistent and repeatable results.

Cons 

  • Can get expensive quickly as you advance to professional models because of additional features. 
  • Not all models have a sight glass, making it difficult to monitor mash volume while sparging. 

Brewzilla vs Grainfather 

Brewzilla is another fantastic budget-friendly brewing unit. It has a glass lid that offers insulation during temperature ramp-up. Similar to Grainfather, it has a robust quality build. 

Though the wort prepared in Brewzilla takes time to boil, it gets the job done. Other models like the 35 and 65 provide flexibility to brew a wide range of batches (5-55 liters/1.3-14.5 gallons). 

The downside to Brewzilla is its inability to schedule mash. And not all Brewzilla models have a built-in chiller. It’s a part you’d have to purchase separately. Although sparging is simple in Brewzilla, you have to do it in a separate vessel. 

The Grainfather has eased the learning curve and brewing process, especially for beginners. 

Unibrau vs Grainfather 

Both Grainfather and Unibrau cater to the beginner and experienced brewer because they provide efficient brewing with every batch. 

Unibrau is one step up from Grainfather. It’s a modular design that allows you to add, remove, and replace parts via tri-clamps. 

The cooler chills faster than that of Grainfather, so you’ll be ready to ferment within a short period.

While Grainfather uses a lift bar to raise the grain basket, Unibrau’s grain basket has rubber handles for effortless lifting. Also, the latter’s controller comes preset with functions to make brew day easy. 

Grainfather and Unibrau boilers are both made from 304 stainless steel, but Unibrau uses double-walled stainless steel to increase its strength; enhancing its durability. 

What Is The Best Grainfather For Your Needs 

For beginners, we recommend the G30. It’s easy to use, produces consistent results (which is terrific if you’re still familiarizing yourself with the craft), and offers good value for money. 

As an advanced distiller, you can explore the G70. It’s large enough to brew substantial batches and has precise temperature control to fine-tune your brewing process to achieve specific flavor profiles.

Cleaning The Grainfather 

Grainfather has a clean-in-place (CIP) feature initiated by the control box and you don’t have to disassemble the unit.

You can purchase Grandfather’s high-performance cleaner and add it to your boiler. The solution gets recirculated through the chiller and recirculation arm. The process takes about 20 minutes. 

To rinse, add fresh water and repeat the cycle. The entire cleaning process takes approximately an hour.

Grainfather – Frequently Asked Questions 

Q1. Do you need to sparge with Grainfather? 

You don’t need to, but Grainfather recommends you sparge so you can extract as much of the sugar from the train as possible to achieve optimum efficiency and higher gravity.

Q2. How efficient is Grainfather brew? 

Grainfather is extremely efficient. It’s designed to mash, boil, and chill your wort. And it makes transferring the wort to the fermenter a breeze. 

Q3. What are the electrical requirements for the Grainfather? 

The Grainfather needs a power socket of 3300 watts, 220-240 V, 50Hz/60 in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK. If you’re in the US, the socket power should be 2900 watts, 220-240 V, 50Hz.

Q4. What are the shortfalls of the Grainfather? 

The shortfall of the Grainfather is that you can’t modify, switch and replace parts as desired. 

You’re also locked into a brewing system where the make it really easy to keep spending money.

How about a fermenter? Ok! Probably need a glycol chiller too? Why not!

Conclusion 

The Grainfather offers a comprehensive solution to simplify your brewing process.

With its intuitive design and user-friendly features, it’s the perfect tool if you’re looking to streamline your home brewing experience. 

This all-in-one brewing system mashes, boils, and chills your wort. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a simple and affordable system or an experienced brewer looking for advanced features and capabilities, there is a model to fit the bill. 

From the compact G30 to the feature-packed and innovative G70, each model offers its unique benefits and advantages. 

Why not explore the Grainfather line to make brew day a pleasurable experience?

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