Author Topic: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency  (Read 1369 times)

Offline sambates

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Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« on: January 19, 2015, 06:35:58 PM »
I had a few stuck sparges in a row and decided to adjust my mill gap to get bigger husks to assist in my sparge/lauter. Currently my mill gap is set at .045" and it's awesome in regards to lautering, but I've noticed my last 3 batches have all been about .10-.12 points short on my calculated OG. I know the standard gap on my barley crusher is .39", but I'm wondering how some of you set your gaps and whether you condition your malt (if you crush tight) and whether that's impacted your efficiency besides just your lautering process? Thanks!
Tap: Brandy Barrel Sour, Brett IPA, Tart Cherry Berliner, Sour Coffee Porter, Witbier, Helles Bock, Helles Bock Braggot, Strawberry "Nebraskambic," Raspberry Flanders
Secondary: OatRye Blonde, Plout Sour, Blueberry Ginger Sour
Primary:Belgian Dark Strong, Scottish Wee Heavy, American Session Wild Ale, Brandy Barrel "Lincolnambic"

Offline denny

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 06:39:22 PM »
I had a few stuck sparges in a row and decided to adjust my mill gap to get bigger husks to assist in my sparge/lauter. Currently my mill gap is set at .045" and it's awesome in regards to lautering, but I've noticed my last 3 batches have all been about .10-.12 points short on my calculated OG. I know the standard gap on my barley crusher is .39", but I'm wondering how some of you set your gaps and whether you condition your malt (if you crush tight) and whether that's impacted your efficiency besides just your lautering process? Thanks!

I use a JSP adjustable mill and I have the gap set as tight as it will go.  I've never measured it becasue I just don't care what it measures.  It did indeed have a positive impact on efficiency.  I have never had a stuck runoff, do not use hulls or condition the grain before milling.  I think it has as much to do with your lautering system as the crush.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 06:42:27 PM »
I have never measured my gap, but I do make a lot of flour, and often times get stuck runoffs in which case I lightly rake the surface of the mash to get things flowing again.  I have never conditioned the malt (by spraying with water) but consistently get efficiencies around the 90% mark.  I just hit 89% efficiency on my last batch a couple of days ago.  I have opened the gap on my mill to reduce efficiency and get fewer stuck mashes, and I am going to open it even more, as I theorize that the degree malt flavor is suffering with efficiency this high.  I would rather be hitting around 83-84% consistently than 90-ish.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 06:54:55 PM »
two changes i made in order that raised my efficiency:  switched to batch sparge from fly sparge, and tightened gap on mill to .027. went from 60's-70's to mid to high 80's.

just play around with the crush, and find what your system will tolerate. 

EDIT: forgot about my mash-i also mash in on average about 1.75-2.00 qts/lb
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Offline sambates

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 07:00:33 PM »
I had a few stuck sparges in a row and decided to adjust my mill gap to get bigger husks to assist in my sparge/lauter. Currently my mill gap is set at .045" and it's awesome in regards to lautering, but I've noticed my last 3 batches have all been about .10-.12 points short on my calculated OG. I know the standard gap on my barley crusher is .39", but I'm wondering how some of you set your gaps and whether you condition your malt (if you crush tight) and whether that's impacted your efficiency besides just your lautering process? Thanks!

I use a JSP adjustable mill and I have the gap set as tight as it will go.  I've never measured it becasue I just don't care what it measures.  It did indeed have a positive impact on efficiency.  I have never had a stuck runoff, do not use hulls or condition the grain before milling.  I think it has as much to do with your lautering system as the crush.

I constructed a copper manifold and also noticed that my slits on the pipe were closing up, so I also adjusted that aspect of my setup. Now that I'm back to lautering well, I know it's my mill gap.

two changes i made in order that raised my efficiency:  switched to batch sparge from fly sparge, and tightened gap on mill to .027. went from 60's-70's to mid to high 80's.

just play around with the crush, and find what your system will tolerate. 

EDIT: forgot about my mash-i also mash in on average about 1.75-2.00 qts/lb

I currently batch sparge as well and likely average about 1.25qt/lb. I found a lot of good info on Braukaiser's page about mill gap size and conditioning. I'll start by adjusting one area and finding what happens.
Tap: Brandy Barrel Sour, Brett IPA, Tart Cherry Berliner, Sour Coffee Porter, Witbier, Helles Bock, Helles Bock Braggot, Strawberry "Nebraskambic," Raspberry Flanders
Secondary: OatRye Blonde, Plout Sour, Blueberry Ginger Sour
Primary:Belgian Dark Strong, Scottish Wee Heavy, American Session Wild Ale, Brandy Barrel "Lincolnambic"

Offline denny

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 08:07:36 PM »
I constructed a copper manifold and also noticed that my slits on the pipe were closing up, so I also adjusted that aspect of my setup. Now that I'm back to lautering well, I know it's my mill gap.

Maybe....my experience is that both manifolds and false bottoms are more prone to stuck runoff than using a braid.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2015, 08:16:05 PM »
I constructed a copper manifold and also noticed that my slits on the pipe were closing up, so I also adjusted that aspect of my setup. Now that I'm back to lautering well, I know it's my mill gap.

Maybe....my experience is that both manifolds and false bottoms are more prone to stuck runoff than using a braid.

FWIW , my experience shared-i had stuck sparge only with the braid and never with my copper manifold. that's not to say one is better or worse than other, and perhaps more to do with the construction and design of each and how they're put to use in the system.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

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Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
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Offline denny

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2015, 08:36:01 PM »
FWIW , my experience shared-i had stuck sparge only with the braid and never with my copper manifold. that's not to say one is better or worse than other, and perhaps more to do with the construction and design of each and how they're put to use in the system.

Yep.  It could very well have to do with the braid you use or how your manifold is built.  But FWIW, I have heard from many people over the years whose stuck run offs went away when they started using a braid.  And many more who solved stuck run off issues by shortening the braid.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 08:46:02 PM by denny »
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Offline brewday

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2015, 08:44:37 PM »
Yep.  It could very well have to do with the braid you use or how your manifold is built.  But FWIW, I have heard from many people over the years whose stuck run offs went away when they started using a braid.  And many more who solved stuck run off issues by shortening the braid.

+1

I've always used a braid, and the only time I got stuck was when I switched to a longer one.  I switched back and run off like a champ again.
Jon Weaver

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2015, 09:09:29 PM »
FWIW , my experience shared-i had stuck sparge only with the braid and never with my copper manifold. that's not to say one is better or worse than other, and perhaps more to do with the construction and design of each and how they're put to use in the system.

Yep.  It could very well have to do with the braid you use or how your manifold is built.  But FWIW, I have heard from many people over the years whose stuck run offs went away when they started using a braid.  And many more who solved stuck run off issues by shortening the braid.

I very well could have built/deployed the worst braid in brewing...but on a positive I may have built the best copper manifold since its been trouble free.   ::)
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
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Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2015, 10:20:26 PM »
I had occasional stuck runoffs with my braid until I shortened it a bit - no problems afterward.
Jon H.

Offline sambates

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2015, 10:38:13 PM »
What's a good length then without being too long? I may have to test it out when I have time to put it together. Or make a second mash tun.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2015, 11:02:42 PM »
What's a good length then without being too long? I may have to test it out when I have time to put it together. Or make a second mash tun.

I assume it might vary with cooler size /shape, but I think my braid was maybe 6-7". I shortened it to ~ 4". I only occasionally would get stuck initially, but I haven't had a stuck runoff since. Might take a little trial and error to get it dialed in for your system.
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2015, 11:06:46 PM »
I very well could have built/deployed the worst braid in brewing...but on a positive I may have built the best copper manifold since its been trouble free.   ::)

It all comes together eventually, huh?
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Offline denny

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Re: Correlation between Grain Crush and Efficiency
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2015, 11:09:40 PM »
I'd guess mine is somewhere between 12-18".  I tried different lengths and that was the last one I tried, so I left it.  But shorter ones worked just as well.  The braid I use is Lasco brand (part number 10-0121 or 10-0321).  I think that may also have something to do with it.  I've used the same braid in my cooler for 17 years and 473 batches and never had a stuck runoff or collapsed braid, which I hear from people who use other braids.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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