Author Topic: Preferred Gap Setting?  (Read 2321 times)

Offline bigchicken

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Preferred Gap Setting?
« on: May 24, 2015, 12:17:43 AM »
I had to slow my brewing frequency to a near stop over the last year and a half. I have always ordered my grains crushed and when my brewing slowed, I found I was storing the grain much longer than I liked. Now that I'm brewing again, I want to buy in bulk and get uncrushed grain.

I recently bought a Monster MM2 mill. Since there were no instructions included in the box, I fiddled with everything to see how it worked. Well, I also adjusted the gap from the factory settings. I have gap tools to measure the gap and adjust, but now wonder what the best setting is?

Understanding all brewing setups are different, what are your preferred gap settings? Please chime in and tell me your opinions along with if you're fly or batch sparging. Thanks to all.
TJ Cook

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2015, 12:47:07 AM »
I used a permanent sharpie and marked both ends at .035, .040, and .045 inch.

What do I run? Using about .039 or so for most 2 row right now with a hose braid. Would go a little over .040 for my pics false bottom. Lower for 6 row, rye and wheat since the kernels are smaller.

It depends.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2015, 02:44:33 PM »
My gap is ~35 mil. I use a 0.88mm (Dunlop Tortex green) guitar pick to set my gap. I BIAB, so too fine a crush isn't an issue for me. YMMV for spargers.
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Offline denny

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 03:07:42 PM »
I adjust based on crush quality, not gap measurement.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 05:41:52 PM »
I have mine set at .035".
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2015, 07:17:43 PM »
I adjust based on crush quality, not gap measurement.

Well, I'd say crush quality and still having the ability to drain the tun in a reasonable amount of time. Another thing that Denny reminds me of, is the speed at which the rollers are spun. If you spin fast, you might have to increase the gap a bit and vice versa. Another variable is if you condition the malt prior to milling.  All of these factors suggest that there isn't a preferred gap. However, there is the gap that works for you.
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Offline bigchicken

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2015, 07:44:37 PM »
Great answers everyone! Lots of things I hadn't accounted for. Mill speed wasn't something I'd ever considered.

I've used a CPVC manifold, grain bag net, and a stainless braid as different options in my mash cooler. I'll likely stick with the braid, which should allow a fairly fine crush. Time to experiment.

And I love the idea of using a sharpie to mark out some settings. I wish they'd have been marked out by Monster in the first place.
TJ Cook

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Offline denny

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2015, 08:09:29 PM »
I adjust based on crush quality, not gap measurement.

Well, I'd say crush quality and still having the ability to drain the tun in a reasonable amount of time. Another thing that Denny reminds me of, is the speed at which the rollers are spun. If you spin fast, you might have to increase the gap a bit and vice versa. Another variable is if you condition the malt prior to milling.  All of these factors suggest that there isn't a preferred gap. However, there is the gap that works for you.

Just to be more complete, I crush very fine and have never had a runoff problem.  I also run the drill I drive the mill with as fast as it will go and I don't condition the malt.  Yeah, counter to pretty much everything oter people do.  But I get great efficiency and IMO great beer.
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Online BrewBama

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2015, 03:53:04 AM »
I adjust based on crush quality, not gap measurement.

Well, I'd say crush quality and still having the ability to drain the tun in a reasonable amount of time. Another thing that Denny reminds me of, is the speed at which the rollers are spun. If you spin fast, you might have to increase the gap a bit and vice versa. Another variable is if you condition the malt prior to milling.  All of these factors suggest that there isn't a preferred gap. However, there is the gap that works for you.

Just to be more complete, I crush very fine and have never had a runoff problem.  I also run the drill I drive the mill with as fast as it will go and I don't condition the malt.  Yeah, counter to pretty much everything oter people do.  But I get great efficiency and IMO great beer.
I have been conditioning but found a side effect on Sat's brew that i'd not experienced before. The grains were sticking to the rollers and were slung out of the slight gap between the mill body and grain tray. I think I over did the conditioning. I'm not sure I am going to continue the practice because I got stuck mid way in the lauter. I simply shut the ball valve, stirred the grain bed, re-vorlaufed, and continued the lauter. No biggie but an indicator of crush issues.
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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2015, 01:04:52 PM »
I adjust based on crush quality, not gap measurement.

Well, I'd say crush quality and still having the ability to drain the tun in a reasonable amount of time. Another thing that Denny reminds me of, is the speed at which the rollers are spun. If you spin fast, you might have to increase the gap a bit and vice versa. Another variable is if you condition the malt prior to milling.  All of these factors suggest that there isn't a preferred gap. However, there is the gap that works for you.

Just to be more complete, I crush very fine and have never had a runoff problem.  I also run the drill I drive the mill with as fast as it will go and I don't condition the malt.  Yeah, counter to pretty much everything oter people do.  But I get great efficiency and IMO great beer.
I have been conditioning but found a side effect on Sat's brew that i'd not experienced before. The grains were sticking to the rollers and were slung out of the slight gap between the mill body and grain tray. I think I over did the conditioning. I'm not sure I am going to continue the practice because I got stuck mid way in the lauter. I simply shut the ball valve, stirred the grain bed, re-vorlaufed, and continued the lauter. No biggie but an indicator of crush issues.

Yes you overdid it. You only want be using an ounce or two at most..also more often overlooked is the time you should give it to absorb, I find ~30 minutes to be good.

Here is non-conditioned at .024


And conditioned at the same gap



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« Last Edit: May 25, 2015, 01:09:31 PM by rabeb25 »

Offline spaterson

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2015, 08:53:51 PM »
I adjust based on crush quality, not gap measurement.

Well, I'd say crush quality and still having the ability to drain the tun in a reasonable amount of time. Another thing that Denny reminds me of, is the speed at which the rollers are spun. If you spin fast, you might have to increase the gap a bit and vice versa. Another variable is if you condition the malt prior to milling.  All of these factors suggest that there isn't a preferred gap. However, there is the gap that works for you.
Totally agree with Martin about there not being an exact "preferred" gap.  When I got my mill I did some test crushes and observed the results.  I then brewed around 4 batches taking note of my flow rate and measured mash efficiency before I got to what I considered "dialed-in".  In the end, I ended up at 34mil and I think the out-of-the-box setting was .035.  Drill speed is about a third to half trigger pull, but I use a big 6A 1/2 inch Craftsman, so that is going to vary with what you are using to turn those rollers.  I get around 82%-85% mash efficiency, good flow, and as Denny said, great beer!  As usual, it's those end results that count rather than some precise number.
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Offline bigchicken

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2015, 10:11:21 PM »
Thanks for all the responses. I won't be conditioning because I didn't get the MM2 rollers that specify they're ok with the moisture. Might be fine with mine, but don't want to chance it.
I'm getting some grain on order and looking forward to some experimenting.
TJ Cook

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Offline mchrispen

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2015, 10:14:24 PM »
I still have my old MM-2 mill as a backup, and got good results with conditioning. Just reserve a lb or 2 of your grist and run it dry through the mill after. That picks up most of the residual moisture - and you can let it air dry in a ventilated place. I have not seen any rust or corrosion at all.

I still need to give this a try with the MM-3. Having issues with the bushings catching and not pulling malt through properly.
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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2015, 04:42:09 PM »
In my humble opinion, the Monster Mill design has too much play in the shaft to bushing interface.  The Schmidling Malt Mill is heads and shoulders above the 2 and 3-roller Monster Mills in this regard.  A Malt Mill with 10" rollers provides bind-free operation using only two fasteners whereas a Monster Mill with 6" rollers requires four fasteners that have to be aligned and tightened carefully to prevent binding, especially the 3-roller mill. 

A Monster Mill works fine after one manages to get the bushing blocks aligned correctly, but the Schmidling product is stupid proof out of the box.  What the Schmidling mill lacks in bling, it more than makes up for from a mechanical point of view.  That's why there are so many old Malt Mills still in use.  It's not like Jack has not had competition over the years.

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Preferred Gap Setting?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2015, 04:53:17 PM »
but the Schmidling product is stupid proof out of the box.

I'm living proof of this.^ And it is exactly why I went with the JSP. Open the box, crush the grain, and get 80% efficiency every time.
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