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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: yeastmaster on December 07, 2009, 03:36:25 pm

Title: Malt Conditioning
Post by: yeastmaster on December 07, 2009, 03:36:25 pm
I just tried malt conditioning for the first time yesterday.  Wow, that was awesome.  Thanks going out to the Brau Kaiser for all the great info he's getting out there  :D

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2738/4166874403_0735155934.jpg)
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: Kaiser on December 07, 2009, 06:27:24 pm
That crush does look nice. You're welcome.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: greg_rosace on December 17, 2009, 06:01:41 am
What was the final result, how did this affect your efficiency?
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: yeastmaster on December 17, 2009, 06:19:14 am
I didn't calculate the efficiency on this one but the crush is just so aesthetically pleasing and easy to do that I plan to do it on all my brews from now on  ;D
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: Kaiser on December 17, 2009, 07:29:53 am
If you are looking to have this done automatically, give these folks a call: http://www.schmidt-seeger.com/en/products_processing2.html :D

Kai
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 17, 2009, 08:20:55 am
What was the final result, how did this affect your efficiency?
I did malt conditioned on my last two brews.
I brewed the same beer and I did not do anything with my grain mill.
I got about 2 points better brewhouse efficiency.
Runoff is great.
I think it is well worth the extra prep time.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: slimsparty on December 17, 2009, 10:19:11 am
I guess I have to look at that portion of Kai's site.  Because I am clueless as to what you guys are speaking of.

If Kai has any fault, it is that he has so much awesome info, if is more of a reference than a quick one time read.

Man it is awesome!

Danke Schone
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: uthristy on December 21, 2009, 04:52:57 am

Yep I really like how my crush has been coming out after treating the grain with some water.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: uthristy on December 22, 2009, 07:28:14 am
This is 5.5kg of MO treated with 250ml of water, stir well &  let soak for 15min  before grinding. As you can see the husk is in great shape while I have plenty of well cracked grain(flour).

(http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/th_Cgrain1.jpg) (http://s162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/?action=view&current=Cgrain1.jpg)
(http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/th_Cgrain2.jpg) (http://s162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/?action=view&current=Cgrain2.jpg)
(http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/th_Cgrain3.jpg) (http://s162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/?action=view&current=Cgrain3.jpg)
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: yeastmaster on December 22, 2009, 07:55:07 am
This is 5.5kg of MO treated with 250ml of water, stir well &  let soak for 15min  before grinding. As you can see the husk is in great shape while I have plenty of well cracked grain(flour).

(http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/th_Cgrain1.jpg) (http://s162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/?action=view&current=Cgrain1.jpg)
(http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/th_Cgrain2.jpg) (http://s162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/?action=view&current=Cgrain2.jpg)
(http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/th_Cgrain3.jpg) (http://s162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/?action=view&current=Cgrain3.jpg)

Beautiful!
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: uthristy on December 22, 2009, 12:24:52 pm
Just finished brewing and this is the grain after the mash. The grain looks to uncrushed but trust me its a empty husk your looking @
clickable pics:
(http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/th_Cgrain4after.jpg) (http://s162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/?action=view&current=Cgrain4after.jpg)
(http://i162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/th_Cgrain5after.jpg) (http://s162.photobucket.com/albums/t248/Beer_Tour2/?action=view&current=Cgrain5after.jpg)
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: denny on December 22, 2009, 03:25:19 pm
For you guys who are conditioning your malt, what problems did it solve for you?  What improvements in your beer or brewing have you found since you started doing it?
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: beersk on December 22, 2009, 03:44:18 pm
For you guys who are conditioning your malt, what problems did it solve for you?  What improvements in your beer or brewing have you found since you started doing it?

This also makes me wonder...do commercial breweries condition their malt too?  And why take the extra step when good beer can be made without doing it?
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 22, 2009, 06:08:39 pm
For you guys who are conditioning your malt, what problems did it solve for you?  What improvements in your beer or brewing have you found since you started doing it?
you get less dust.
Great grain cruch (no need for rice hauls)
great run off.
I think it is worth it.
You get about the same efficiency.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: Kaiser on December 22, 2009, 09:10:53 pm
This also makes me wonder...do commercial breweries condition their malt too?  And why take the extra step when good beer can be made without doing it?

Some do, some don't. Mills with conditioning are more expensive and as a result it is not very attractive for small breweries. Some large breweries don't want to deal with water in the malt house.

In a German brewing trade magazine I found this statement: "In principle all mills which deliver a grist used in a lauter tun are equipped with a malt conditioning unit" (Brauindustrie (http://fzarchiv.de/Zeitschriftenarchiv/Getraenke-Fachzeitschriften/Brauindustrie/1998/01_98/Bi_01-98_Aspekte_in_der_modernen_Schrotung.pdf)). Based on that statement I think the majority of medium and large German breweries are using malt conditioning. Their motivation is improved flow during lautering. In a modern brewhouse running a modern mashing schedule lautering is with about 1.5 hrs the longest step and therefore determines how many batches can be brewed in one day. As a result shortening lauter times is very important.

But Denny brings up a good point. Once you have tried malt conditioning a few times be critical and check if it makes your beer better and/or if it makes brewing more enjoyable for you. In the end, these are the two things we care about. I do it because it allows me to crush finer and keep the lauter flowing at a reasonable rate. But I also have a manifold that easily can easily be overwhelmed by too much grist. And the quality of the grist makes me feel better about my milling.

Kai
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: blatz on December 22, 2009, 09:14:13 pm
I think what Denny is alluding to is what I'm thinking... is this a solution looking for a problem?

I'll try it a few batches from now when I get to one of my house recipes that I know what the output is consistently like and post my results...

Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on December 22, 2009, 09:29:05 pm
Bottom line.
It looks pretty  ;D
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: uthristy on December 23, 2009, 04:32:25 am
Only my third test batch and too early to get any solid proof its better but so its a faster run off, no rice hulls, crystal clear wort. My efficiency  has only changed from 77-78%  up to 81% but that could be a number of other factors and I'll just have to keep track and see if it stays stable on other batchs.

Brewing again thursday.

Yes it is really pretty  ;D
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: denny on December 23, 2009, 09:24:39 am
you get less dust.

I don't get enough dust to worry about

Great grain cruch (no need for rice hauls)

I already get a great crush and don't need rice hulls

great run off.

I already get great runoff and never a stuck runoff
 
I think it is worth it.
You get about the same efficiency.

And I'm certain that for you and others it is worth it.  But my point is that, as Kai says, for many of us there's no need for it.  I'm all for doing whatever it takes to improve your beer or brewing process, but I also firmly believe in not doing things that don't make a difference.  If you have problems you need to solve, conditioning is one way of possibly solving them.  But carefully evaluate whatever you do and decide it if really makes a difference for you.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: nyakavt on December 23, 2009, 10:27:34 am
I certainly do need to condition the malt or use rice hulls when crushing at a gap of 0.025".  I've tried it many times without, and the result was a very slow runoff and several visible quarts of wort being held back in the MT.  Alternative solutions would be to crush less fine, or use rice hulls, but conditioning seems a 'free' solution with the small sacrifice of 2-3 min of stirring.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: denny on December 23, 2009, 10:44:17 am
Yeah, it sounds like you have a situation where you've determined malt conditioning is helpful.  In my case, I've never had a stuck runoff and I crush fine enough to get an average 85% efficiency, so there's no reason for me to do it.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: bluesman on December 23, 2009, 10:47:32 am
Yeah, it sounds like you have a situation where you've determined malt conditioning is helpful.  In my case, I've never had a stuck runoff and I crush fine enough to get an average 85% efficiency, so there's no reason for me to do it.

Denny - What kind of mill do you use and do you know the gap?

On topic...I usually get about 75-80% efficiency and don't really see the need for conditioning.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: nyakavt on December 23, 2009, 10:51:54 am
Yeah, it sounds like you have a situation where you've determined malt conditioning is helpful.  In my case, I've never had a stuck runoff and I crush fine enough to get an average 85% efficiency, so there's no reason for me to do it.

And, of course, I haven't opened up the gap to see if I can still achieve 80-85% with a coarser crush.  Sounds like you do have a good mill though!
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: denny on December 23, 2009, 10:53:29 am
Sounds like you do have a good mill though!

10 year old JSP adjustable.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: bluesman on December 23, 2009, 10:56:47 am
I also have an adjustable JSP maltmill that I haven't adjusted since I got it. Factory setting of .040" I subscribe to the old motto "If it's not broke don't fix it". As I said, I am pleased with 75-80% efficiency.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: denny on December 23, 2009, 10:59:42 am
I also have an adjustable JSP maltmill that I haven't adjusted since I got it. Factory setting of .040" I subscribe to the old motto "If it's not broke don't fix it". As I said, I am pleased with 75-80% efficiency.

About 6-7 years ago, I got the experimentation bug with the mill.  I closed the rollers as tight as they'd go, then opened them til I could just barely see them move.  It's been that way ever since.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: bluesman on December 23, 2009, 11:03:07 am
I would wager to say you have a tighter setting than I do. Maybe that's why you get a little better efficiency than I do.  :-\
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: denny on December 23, 2009, 11:04:48 am
Yeah, my efficiency went up quite a bit when I tightened it, so being the pragmatic type, I left it there!
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: babalu87 on December 26, 2009, 10:42:35 pm
There are so many parameters (especially milling)  in homebrewing that its worth a shot
IF
You want to give it a try.

My run-offs improved and I got an efficiency bump (from 82 to 84/85)
I always needed rice hulls with Wheat beers prior to conditioning, havent bought rice hulls since last Christmas  ;)

Plus
Its one more thing to get my hands dirty with  ;D
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: uthristy on December 28, 2009, 05:32:36 am
After 5 batchs and I'm holding at 81%.

 [Scale grain->mix in water- >scale hops and return to grind the grain 15mins total time]

But I'll wait till batch #10 before saying its the conditioning.

Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: MDixon on December 28, 2009, 06:34:09 am
After you've decided for yourself it is the conditioning of the malt, make a few batches using the same malt which has not been conditioned. Then post what you were getting before conditioning, what you got after conditioning, and what you got when you went back to unconditioned malt.


- -

FWIW - I get 85%+ on a motorized JSP adjustable which has never been adjusted (I did remove the grain guides), of course I don't conditions since I don't see where I could benefit since stuck sparges are not a routine problem and my efficiency is very high at times.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: uthristy on December 28, 2009, 07:09:35 am
Thats my plan to re-brew the same recipes to confirm its not  my water which can & does change thur out the year.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: tygo on January 02, 2010, 07:49:53 pm
I may need to give this a try since I'm having stuck runoffs.  In total I left about 0.17 gallons per lb in the mash tun today in "absorption" between the first runoff and the batch sparge.  Maybe I'm trying to run it off too fast as well.  I'm going to stick with what I've been doing for the brew I'm planning to do on Monday and slow down the runoff a little and see what happens.  If I get similar results I guess I'll give this a shot. 
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: tygo on January 09, 2010, 09:16:24 pm
How do you calculate the amount of water to add to a certain number of lbs of grain?  Kai's site gives the example that a 2% moisture increase would be 100ml of water for 11 lbs of grain.  Coincidentally, my next batch will have exactly that much in the grain bill so I'm good to go with that one however can you just scale that for different grain bills?
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 09, 2010, 09:19:32 pm
No need to be very scientific in here.
100 ml for 5 gal batch.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: babalu87 on January 09, 2010, 09:21:17 pm
No need to be very scientific in here.
100 ml for 5 gal batch.

What if its a Barleywine  :P
Or a Mild  ;D
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: Kaiser on January 10, 2010, 07:05:50 am
I never go by the exact amount. I go by feel. 2 % moisture is 100 ml for 11lb and 150 ml for 16.5 lb.

Kai
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: tygo on January 10, 2010, 08:19:04 am
Thanks Kai.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 10, 2010, 08:47:23 am
No need to be very scientific in here.
100 ml for 5 gal batch.

What if its a Barleywine  :P
Or a Mild  ;D
Picky, picky picky...
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: a10t2 on January 11, 2010, 10:38:03 pm
I tried this for the first time today, starting with Kai's recommendation of 2%. That didn't "feel" like enough to uniformly wet the grains, so I went to 3%, which may have been too much. It took a huge amount of force, and almost half an hour to mill 10 lb of grain, versus about 10 minutes last week. The crush was simply beautiful though; when I run my hands through it the individual grains are clearly separate, and there's basically no flour. Runoff was a little faster than usual, about 10 minutes vs 15 (single batch sparge). I also got a little bit of a bump on efficiency, from 83% to 87%. This is only my second batch with my Barley Crusher though, so I can't say definitively if that's a result of the conditioning.

All in all, I'll be doing it again, although probably experimenting with a little less water to see if I can mill it without herniating anything. ;)
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: uthristy on January 12, 2010, 04:20:42 am
It took a huge amount of force, and almost half an hour to mill 10 lb of grain, versus about 10 minutes last week.
.
.
.
All in all, I'll be doing it again, although probably experimenting with a little less water to see if I can mill it without herniating anything. ;)

I use a hand drill with my BC.
Title: Re: Malt Conditioning
Post by: nyakavt on January 12, 2010, 10:59:58 am
I tried this for the first time today, starting with Kai's recommendation of 2%. That didn't "feel" like enough to uniformly wet the grains, so I went to 3%, which may have been too much. It took a huge amount of force, and almost half an hour to mill 10 lb of grain, versus about 10 minutes last week. The crush was simply beautiful though; when I run my hands through it the individual grains are clearly separate, and there's basically no flour. Runoff was a little faster than usual, about 10 minutes vs 15 (single batch sparge). I also got a little bit of a bump on efficiency, from 83% to 87%. This is only my second batch with my Barley Crusher though, so I can't say definitively if that's a result of the conditioning.

All in all, I'll be doing it again, although probably experimenting with a little less water to see if I can mill it without herniating anything. ;)

Yep this can be a problem, especially with hand-milling.  I usually go with between 1% and 2%, just enough so that the grain sticks a little bit when you run your hand through it.