Author Topic: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?  (Read 5516 times)

Offline erockrph

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 08:08:17 AM »
typically 2 gallons.  i put the grain in a bag, and put this in my igloo cooler. i use the electric kettle to heat 4 gallons of water (right to the brim) and what i don't use in the mash i keep in another pot or cooler if needed. then i just drain the cooler back to the kettle to target about three gallons. boil down to 2.25.  ish.  still working some of the kinks out.

I do nearly the same thing. I don't have a mill, so I'm at the mercy of where I get my grains crushed. I generally hit 80% brewhouse efficiency when I get my grain crushed from NB or AHS. The guy at my LHBS insists that I don't want to crush my grain twice and that his mill gap is set perfectly. (He also insists that I need to move up to fly-sparging when I "get serious" about doing all-grain) I generally hit the low-70's efficiency when I have to get my grain from him.

FWIW, I've never noticed any astringency in my beers regardless of how the grain is crushed. Of course the majority of my beers use quite a bit of hops, so I don't know if I've even brewed anything where I could distinguish much astringency from the grain versus hop tannins.
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Offline micsager

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2012, 08:13:45 AM »
typically 2 gallons.  i put the grain in a bag, and put this in my igloo cooler. i use the electric kettle to heat 4 gallons of water (right to the brim) and what i don't use in the mash i keep in another pot or cooler if needed. then i just drain the cooler back to the kettle to target about three gallons. boil down to 2.25.  ish.  still working some of the kinks out.

I do nearly the same thing. I don't have a mill, so I'm at the mercy of where I get my grains crushed. I generally hit 80% brewhouse efficiency when I get my grain crushed from NB or AHS. The guy at my LHBS insists that I don't want to crush my grain twice and that his mill gap is set perfectly. (He also insists that I need to move up to fly-sparging when I "get serious" about doing all-grain) I generally hit the low-70's efficiency when I have to get my grain from him.

FWIW, I've never noticed any astringency in my beers regardless of how the grain is crushed. Of course the majority of my beers use quite a bit of hops, so I don't know if I've even brewed anything where I could distinguish much astringency from the grain versus hop tannins.

You should Denny to this guy's shop.  LOL.  I was a fly-sparge freak.  But no longer.  Batch sparging is the way to go.  And now I've got it down so well, I hit exact volumes almost every time. 

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2012, 08:42:27 AM »
Improving efficiency can be done by adjusting the crush or double-crushing, sure, but do be mindful the tighter you go or if you double-crush, the more chance of damaging the husks to the extent you'll start extracting tannin.

I invoke shenanigans. Tannin extraction is a function of pH and, to a lesser extent, temperature. A super-fine crush doesn't change either.
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Offline denny

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2012, 10:53:45 AM »
Improving efficiency can be done by adjusting the crush or double-crushing, sure, but do be mindful the tighter you go or if you double-crush, the more chance of damaging the husks to the extent you'll start extracting tannin.

I invoke shenanigans. Tannin extraction is a function of pH and, to a lesser extent, temperature. A super-fine crush doesn't change either.

Agreed.
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Offline ultravista

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2012, 11:10:59 AM »
But what about the itsy-bitsy nano husk particles that may escape through the bag and end up in the boil?

Does a risk exist for those "escapees" to contribute in any way to astringency resulting from the boil?

To me, a novice all grain brewer, it seems to be imaterial.

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2012, 11:49:21 AM »
But what about the itsy-bitsy nano husk particles that may escape through the bag and end up in the boil?

Does a risk exist for those "escapees" to contribute in any way to astringency resulting from the boil?

To me, a novice all grain brewer, it seems to be imaterial.

You;re correct...it just doesn't matter.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2012, 11:50:16 AM »
i really have never had any significant husk material end up in my kettle.  it is hard for anything not in solution to get through the fine bag. i am going to put my stainless braid back in the igloo  like before i used the bag, but this is mostly because the bag would prolapse in to the spigot and basically plug the whole operation.

FWIW, one of the reasons i like the bag in the mash is i can just lift it out and throw it in large tupperware bowl and i bake bread and dog treats over the next few days.  i brew small batches so it is not too heavy.  it also makes it easy to clean the tun, which i can then circulate ice water through for my chiller.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #22 on: November 01, 2012, 12:23:41 PM »
Does a risk exist for those "escapees" to contribute in any way to astringency resulting from the boil?

That could be a concern, though it doesn't seem to be an issue with a "normal" amount of material in the boil. For almost any beer the hops are going to add more vegetal material to the boil.

It's a good point though. Some lautering equipment limitations may dictate a coarse crush, whether that's otherwise desirable or not.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2012, 12:50:38 PM »
i really have never had any significant husk material end up in my kettle.  it is hard for anything not in solution to get through the fine bag. i am going to put my stainless braid back in the igloo  like before i used the bag, but this is mostly because the bag would prolapse in to the spigot and basically plug the whole operation.

FWIW, one of the reasons i like the bag in the mash is i can just lift it out and throw it in large tupperware bowl and i bake bread and dog treats over the next few days.  i brew small batches so it is not too heavy.  it also makes it easy to clean the tun, which i can then circulate ice water through for my chiller.

I generally twist the top of the bag around a long spoon and tuck the spoon in one of the cooler's handles to keep it off the bottom of my cooler so it drains freely. This also lets me squeeze the bag against the side of the cooler to wring out some extra wort. Then I can tip my cooler over to drain just about every drop into my kettle. I have pretty much zero dead space, and since I mash so thin, the grain doesn't end up holding much wort. It makes for a few nice efficiency boosts to make up for what I'm losing by doing no-sparge.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2012, 01:10:26 PM »
i like that. i usually hold the damn thing in my hand but 150ish degree kind of sucks.
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Offline ultravista

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2012, 01:46:27 PM »
After the sparge I put the bag in a bucket with an upside down colander. This allows the bag to drain and I often squeeze my bag :) to get as much wort out as possible.

I take the collected runnings and condense it down, through a vigorous boil in a separate pot, into a syrupy concoction. I then throw that into the kettle after a major reduction.

Offline ryanheath

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2012, 02:33:56 PM »
I played around with my mill gap and ended up leaving it at .030", with my setup (Recirculating Herms) I saw no improvements beyond this setting. I do mill at a low speed however just because the mill will tear the husks up if I speed it up to much. I have had no problems either way except if i open my valves to fast during recirculation I compact the grain bed, so I allow the hose to fill then close my valve and then open it wide slowly.

Just some background in my experience however the purpose of my post is to share information from New Brewing Lager Beer by Greg Noonan.

Coarsely ground malt does not yield the extract that it should. Heavy gummy insufficiently modified starch particles interfere with mash filtering. In general it it better to crush malt too finely (at the risk of a stuck mash) taking extra care doughing in, and sparking that to not mill finely enough. Balled flour is inaccessible to enzymes during the mash and can result in unconverted starch, some of which can wash into your sparge and leave irreversible haze in the beer.

These are guidelines we followed before reading the book, based on experiences and experiments (some of which were trial and error). I had always feared of astringency and the fact that other brewers suggesting a lower efficiency is better to prevent bad things from happening. Although i never experienced those things I thought i was lucky, reading this book relived my fears and validated what I was doing. My dad is my brewing partner and our method has been successful for us, one will slowly introduce to grain to the tun while the other stirs it in to ensure no dough balls. We usually get a full conversion based on beer smith calculations, we don't do iodine tests. Our last brew calculated to a 99.99% mash efficiency according to beer smith(usually above 95%) and our setup yields a 82-85% total efficiency. I also should add that our beers don't exhibit any astringency or off flavors related to the crush/mash.

Slightly off topic from the original question posted (will x2 crush help) but I thought this information would be helpful to the overall theme.

Offline malzig

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2012, 07:31:20 PM »
Improving efficiency can be done by adjusting the crush or double-crushing, sure, but do be mindful the tighter you go or if you double-crush, the more chance of damaging the husks to the extent you'll start extracting tannin.

I invoke shenanigans. Tannin extraction is a function of pH and, to a lesser extent, temperature. A super-fine crush doesn't change either.
Crush shouldn't affect tannin extraction in any way, so I recommend crushing as finely as you can get away with without sticking the sparge.

The only risk I can see is that you might increase the chance of shredding the husks, which has the potential of increasing polyphenol solubilization.

Offline beersk

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2012, 09:02:18 AM »
typically 2 gallons.  i put the grain in a bag, and put this in my igloo cooler. i use the electric kettle to heat 4 gallons of water (right to the brim) and what i don't use in the mash i keep in another pot or cooler if needed. then i just drain the cooler back to the kettle to target about three gallons. boil down to 2.25.  ish.  still working some of the kinks out.

I do nearly the same thing. I don't have a mill, so I'm at the mercy of where I get my grains crushed. I generally hit 80% brewhouse efficiency when I get my grain crushed from NB or AHS. The guy at my LHBS insists that I don't want to crush my grain twice and that his mill gap is set perfectly. (He also insists that I need to move up to fly-sparging when I "get serious" about doing all-grain) I generally hit the low-70's efficiency when I have to get my grain from him.

FWIW, I've never noticed any astringency in my beers regardless of how the grain is crushed. Of course the majority of my beers use quite a bit of hops, so I don't know if I've even brewed anything where I could distinguish much astringency from the grain versus hop tannins.
This is just silly...why any homebrewer, this day and age, fly sparges is beyond me.  Unless you really enjoy it and like to sit there and watch the little deal spin around, it's not necessary. 
I'm still working out little process details with brew in a bag also.  I like it, I think it's a method I'm going to stick with.  I'm not interested in anything larger than 3 gallon batches, so it's a good method for me.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Will Double Crush Improve Efficiency?
« Reply #29 on: November 04, 2012, 11:35:33 PM »
This is just silly...why any homebrewer, this day and age, fly sparges is beyond me.
Because my system is set up for it and it's really easy and works well.  Are those good enough reasons?
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