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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: zacbwb on October 04, 2010, 09:16:43 am

Title: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: zacbwb on October 04, 2010, 09:16:43 am
So...interesting weekend and a lesson learned for me, my dad and brother.  We decided to push our limits and brew 3 beers in one day.  We ended up buying about 50 lbs of grain between the 3 recipes from one of our local brew supply shops, ran it through the on site grain mill and were on our merry way.

The first beer was going about as good as it could be going, temp in the mash was just right, no issues with our pump recirculating the mash - transfered to the boil kettle just fine, then it was time to take the pre boil gravity

Wait for it...

We missed our pre boil gravity by about 30 GUs.  We poured over our process trying to figure out what could have happened and had no answer.  It took until the gravity reading on our second recipe - once again missing by 30 points - to see that our grain had hardly been crushed, it was almost completely in tact.

So, someone had messed with the grain mill at the homebrew shop.  Why anyone would want to set it so wide it hardly touches the grain is beyond me, but there it is.  Moral of the story - make sure the grain mill is set properly before use :(

I think our next big purchase will be a grain mill - any suggestions?

Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: denny on October 04, 2010, 09:34:36 am
I think our next big purchase will be a grain mill - any suggestions?



In general, it seems like no matter which mill people get they're happy with.  I've used a JSP MaltMill for 10+ years and think it's a great mill.
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: maxieboy on October 04, 2010, 10:40:44 am
I think our next big purchase will be a grain mill - any suggestions?



In general, it seems like no matter which mill people get they're happy with.  I've used a JSP MaltMill for 10+ years and think it's a great mill.

+1 Love mine.
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: bluesman on October 04, 2010, 10:45:56 am
That would be a big +2 to what the man with the pony tail said.  ;)  ;D

I've had my JSP Maltmill for years set at .040" and I typically achieve 75-80% efficiency.
There are other considerations to factor in for calculating efficiency but the crush sure is important as you have experienced first hand.
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: euge on October 04, 2010, 11:12:09 am
I'll suggest the Barley Crusher. Since that's what I gots...
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: zacbwb on October 04, 2010, 11:41:10 am
Thanks for the input guys!
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: Kit B on October 04, 2010, 01:19:23 pm
I have a Barley Crusher mill & love it.
BUT...
One thing I noticed is that a really, really fine crush seems to get my brews a lot more dry than I want.
I'd recommend trying the factory setting for a while & then adjusting from there.
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on October 04, 2010, 01:47:53 pm
I love my JSP mill too. Great product.

I feel your pain regarding people messing with the mill at your LHBS. That's the reason I bought my mill. I learned that I just couldn't rely on the mill at the shop. Now, I get a consistent crush every time.
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: euge on October 04, 2010, 02:49:55 pm
I have a Barley Crusher mill & love it.
BUT...
One thing I noticed is that a really, really fine crush seems to get my brews a lot more dry than I want.
I'd recommend trying the factory setting for a while & then adjusting from there.

This might have to do more with water/grain ratio and temp than grist size. Though if it does affect it I'd like to know!
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: Kit B on October 04, 2010, 03:30:42 pm
This might have to do more with water/grain ratio and temp than grist size. Though if it does affect it I'd like to know!

Well, I follow ratios & temps from Beersmith.
I sure hope that's not leading me astray.
I condition my malt & do a very fine crush...
It seems to leave my IPAs with a dryness I can't otherwise explain.
I'm in the experimental phases of figuring this one out, though.
...Still working on it.
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: Slowbrew on October 04, 2010, 03:39:32 pm
My Barley Crusher works great!  I would recommend it to anyone who asks.

Like Denny said, any of the multiple roller mills seem to get good reviews from there owners.

Paul
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: rabid_dingo on October 04, 2010, 03:48:13 pm
My vote goes to the monster mill. No complaints other than having my motorization crap out. Using the LHBS's
mill definitely impacts quality. Especially if you have one setting and they have another.
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: dannyjed on October 04, 2010, 04:37:57 pm
This is exactly why I bought my own mill, my LHBS did not crush fine enough for me.  I got the Barley Crusher and like the fact that you can adjust the gap and my efficiency went from 60% to 75%. :)
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: Hokerer on October 04, 2010, 04:53:55 pm
My vote goes to the monster mill. No complaints other than having my motorization crap out. Using the LHBS's
mill definitely impacts quality. Especially if you have one setting and they have another.

Love my Monster Mill.  But, like was mentioned earlier, you really can't go wrong with most of the roller mills out there.
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: realbeerguy on October 04, 2010, 06:38:03 pm
I think our next big purchase will be a grain mill - any suggestions?



In general, it seems like no matter which mill people get they're happy with.  I've used a JSP MaltMill for 10+ years and think it's a great mill.

+1 Love mine.
10+ years for mine too. 80% this weekend (and I motorized it)
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: skyler on October 06, 2010, 01:26:52 am
I just bought a crankandstein 2D, and I like it so far.
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: wingnut on October 06, 2010, 06:12:17 am
+1 on just about any grain mill on the market will work fine.

However, hand cranking gets pretty tiresome quickly...even when your kids volunteer to do it!!!

I picked up a threaded shaft from More Beer a couple years ago so that I could connect my drill motor to the mill.  Now milling 12 to 15 Lbs of grain is no effort at all. 

I did modify the shaft, however.  It was perfectly round, and the drill would slip on it sometimes... so I ground some flat spots on the shaft so the drill chuck would get a good grip.

Enjoy your mill!
Title: Re: Who messed with the grain mill?!?
Post by: Kit B on October 06, 2010, 02:02:35 pm
The first time I conditioned my malt, I went a bit too far...
I gummed up my mill so bad, I can't even talk about it without wincing...
Busted my hand crank & burned out one of my drills.
I had to hose out my mill & scrub the rollers free of malt, with a wire brush.
At this point, I had only gotten through about one pound of a 13 pound grain bill.
So, I let the grain sit in the sun for a while & tried again.
That time, it ran a little easier.

I now know when to stop spraying my malt.