Hefeweizen – “HefeMadness”

The brew day started out ok, put in the grains and started mashing the Hefe. Now the grain itself seemed fine and nothing out or the ordinary with the crush….

After hitting 70 degrees C, the system cut out, nothing on the screen just blank….this did cause me to panic a little as I had only had the system for about 8 months at this point. A call to customer service had me scrabbling around to find the reset switch on the bottom – made a little harder that it was full of grains and 15 litres of water.

Finally, I managed to get it to reset and we were back in business, but sadly not for long. It hit 70 again and cut out, troubleshooting I moved all the contents into a couple of buckets I had on hand (luckily). Inspecting the bottom of the element all I could see was a mass of charred grains, black and thick burnt onto the bottom – this was caked on!

I grabbed some PBW cleaner and let it soak in 60 degree water for a bit, so the element was working up to a certain temp – that much was clear. An hour of cleaning and scrubbing later the element base was clean and time to see if this would get to a boil…..IT DID!

So, the lesson learnt was a too fine crush will get through and cook on the element – not good. However, my confidence in this system was dented a little and I was worried about losing more ingredients to a failed brew day. Taking a bit of time and reading up on the forums, it would seem a bag would be the best course of action for future brew days.

The beer gods however had another option – I had some overtime coming and after looking around online I got a great deal on a Grainfather!

It took another couple of weeks before I had a chance to brew again and during that time I unboxed, cleaned and set about getting the outside tap to fit to the grainfather counterflow chiller. This was a nightmare, looking online I couldn’t find out much information on the actual inner and outer diameter of the piping so I bit the bullet and setup a submersible pump in a bucket feeding the inlet and this worked a charm – this is now how I will be setting it up in the future.

So on to Part 2 of the Hefe!

The grainfather is a solid unit, the way it works takes a little getting used to after going from 3 vessels to an all in one then to it, but I muddled through. Already I know there are a couple of steps that I didn’t do correctly or setup the way it should be….but I made beer.

The Hefe sat in the fermenter for 10 days, it then hit its FG and is now carbing up in the kezeer.

So until the next brew….


I have a Grainfather

I made a Hefe on the second attempt!


System died!

Ruined brew day!



Findings to be added