Generic Grainfather Instructions

An introduction to brewing a standard 23L all-grain recipe on a Grainfather

  1. Add strike water* to the GF - about 2.5L per KG of grain plus an additional 8L. So a 7KG grain bill will require (7 x 2.5) + 8 = 22.5L. Bring up to your mash temp - normally 67'C. (Common rookie error is to forget to insert the hop filter).
  2. Mash in slowly, stirring in the grain continuously. Try not to get any grains into the main vessel.
  3. Insert the top perforated screen and start recirculating. Throttle the ball valve so that wort is not going down the overflow pipe.
  4. After an hour, turn up the mash temp to 75'C (mashing out) and continue recirculating the wort through the grain bed for another 15 minutes.
  5. Lift up the grain basket and set on the ring near the top of the vessel. As soon as the wort drains, press the top screen down to compress the grain bed.
  6. Sparge with as much water to bring the level up to your final volume + boil off (about 5L) + 1L for every 40g of hops you'll be using**. A hoppy beer will require a pre-boil volume of 30L
  7. Add a few drops of anti-foam or a couple of pellets of hops to help prevent boil-overs.
  8. As soon as boil is achieved, start a 60 minute timer (or 90 minute as per recipe). Add hops and adjuncts as per the recipe. A hop bag marked 60 will need to be added to the boil 60 minuted before the end of the boil. Whirlpool or Flame Out hops (marked WP, 0 or F/O) are added after the boil is finished.
  9. Your post-boil volume should be 24 to 26 Litres. Add boiled water to top up if necessary.
  10. A vigourous stir will whirlpool the hop trub into the centre of the vessel. Use the pump (with the valve about half open) to slowly empty the vessel, either through the wort chiller or directly into a no-chill cube.


*Water additions are optional but will increase your mash efficiency and accentuate the desirable flavours of most styles. Typical water additions for the Wellington Region (reasonably soft water) are: 2g each of Calcium Chloride and Gypsum and 1.5g of Epsom Salts for pale beers; 2g each of Calcium Carbonate and Baking Soda for Stouts and Porters.

** If you're using a hop spider, you will lose less beer to hop trub so therefore you will need less sparge water. However you will need to increase your late and flame-out hops by 30-50%