My Grainfather is Broken

Mid brew, grain all nicely bedding in, recirculation pump on but the temperature was dropping. What was wrong with my trusty grainfather that had done so many brews?

I’ve had my grainfather for many years, I was quite an early adopter getting one in what was probably the second batch to hit the UK. In fact it was probably not long after I stopped updating this blog due to a combintion of factors.

It has seen me through many brews from my favourite Pales to heavier stouts and porters. During a year long lapse in brewing due to houes renovations it was even lent out to a friend who subsequently went on to by his own.

But on my latest brew my trusty grainfather stopped heating. It’d had got up to mash temperature fine, I’d mashed in and left the pump running. All seemed well until i checked on it and the temperature seemed to have dropped a couple of degrees.

I tought nothing much of it until I checked again later and it had dropped more. So i checked all the connections and switches, all seemed fine. But alas the brew was done for, whatever I check it just wasn’t heating the wort.

I considered trying to boil off what I had but ended up dumping it, very annoying having to do the clean up without the prospect of beer at the end.

Diagnosing the problem

After lots of research I was pretty sure the thermal cut out switch could be faulty, it seemed to fit with what had happened with mine. I messaged Grainfather support and heard …. nothing. not a suasage! (though i think the form hadn’t worked in hindsight)

Eventually I removed the bottom of the grainfather and the issue was pretty obvious. One of the heater connections had corroded heavily, to the point that the wire had simply snapped off at the connection.

It looks fairly straightforward to fix, though I’ve contacted Grainfather support to see what they say. Hopefully I’ll get it fixed soon.