Author Topic: Grain mill roller spacing?  (Read 4855 times)

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Grain mill roller spacing?
« on: November 21, 2015, 06:23:53 AM »
I'm about to make the jump to all-grain.  Bought a Cereal Killer grain mill from AIH.  Looks well built and has gap adjustment but came with no instructions.  Gap as delivered looks about 1/8" which does nothing to grain.  What should I set the gap to?  Starting out with Weyermann Pils base malt and doing BIAB (The Brew Bag).
Also, I want to drive it with a cordless drill.  Is there a preferred RPM range?
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8600
    • View Profile
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2015, 07:00:11 AM »
I have a CK. I set it at tightest gap and I run it with a plug in hammer drill, with hammer function turned off, and it has a dial stop on the trigger. I set it to the slowest speed that won't slow down when grain is added. Guessing about 200-300 rpm. I cut the power cord and wired it to a waterproof switch, from the switch it runs to a standard grounded plug in.

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2481
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2015, 01:14:09 PM »
Gap setting is dependent upon your mashing system. Ideally, you want the crush to be very fine. But that invites plugging the mash and preventing runoff. For starters, I'd suggest a gap of around 0.04" to 0.045" and see how that works in your system. If the runoff rate is pretty high for you, then reduce the gap over successive batches.

I run 0.036" in my Monster 2.2, but I condition my grain prior to crushing and that leaves my crush with a lot of flour and intact husks. Perfect for high extraction efficiency and wort flow. I use one of that Harbor Freight Low-Speed Drills at the lowest speed that it can stand and I can tell you it takes a lot of power. I'd be surprised if a cordless drill would last in that sort of service.

Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline jeffy

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3466
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2015, 02:27:37 PM »
Gap setting is dependent upon your mashing system. Ideally, you want the crush to be very fine. But that invites plugging the mash and preventing runoff. For starters, I'd suggest a gap of around 0.04" to 0.045" and see how that works in your system. If the runoff rate is pretty high for you, then reduce the gap over successive batches.

I run 0.036" in my Monster 2.2, but I condition my grain prior to crushing and that leaves my crush with a lot of flour and intact husks. Perfect for high extraction efficiency and wort flow. I use one of that Harbor Freight Low-Speed Drills at the lowest speed that it can stand and I can tell you it takes a lot of power. I'd be surprised if a cordless drill would last in that sort of service.
Martin, he mentioned he uses brew in a bag, so I think he can crush as fine as is possible.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2015, 05:04:46 PM »
Gap setting is dependent upon your mashing system. Ideally, you want the crush to be very fine. But that invites plugging the mash and preventing runoff. For starters, I'd suggest a gap of around 0.04" to 0.045" and see how that works in your system. If the runoff rate is pretty high for you, then reduce the gap over successive batches.

I run 0.036" in my Monster 2.2, but I condition my grain prior to crushing and that leaves my crush with a lot of flour and intact husks. Perfect for high extraction efficiency and wort flow. I use one of that Harbor Freight Low-Speed Drills at the lowest speed that it can stand and I can tell you it takes a lot of power. I'd be surprised if a cordless drill would last in that sort of service.
Thanks Martin,
I have an old Milwaukee 1/2" corded drill with bags of torque.  That sounds like the answer using Jim's switch idea.

Have not heard of "grain conditioning"...must do some research.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19856
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2015, 05:17:14 PM »
I crush very fine and have no problems without conditioning.  I'd skip that step until you  if you need it.  Knowing what the gap is on someone else's mill won't necessarily do you much good.  I have no idea what mine measures.  I judge by the crush, not the measurement.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline mabrungard

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2481
  • Water matters!
    • View Profile
    • Bru'n Water
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2015, 08:11:23 PM »
I brew with RIMS, so the permeability of the mash bed is critical for my brewing. Conditioning makes a HUGE difference in a system that needs flow!
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/

Like Bru'n Water on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brun-Water-464551136933908/?ref=bookmarks

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4503
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2015, 08:50:08 PM »
I have a Barley Crusher and crank it by hand, so like Denny said it may not be applicable, but I crush at 0.030". That's an easy setting/check because it's the thickness of credit card stock.
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
Refractometer Calculator | Batch Sparging Calculator | Two Mile Brewing Co.

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3250
    • View Profile
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2015, 11:51:58 PM »
+1 to barley crusher as well and crankin' by hand.  Sucks though when the batches get close to 20#.  I just look at it as a good workout.  Run mine at the factory setting which I think is .039.  I have another older crusher too that I recently took apart and cleaned and set this one back up a bit lower (smaller gap) to deal with rye and wheat malt. 

Offline gspot

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2015, 12:36:29 PM »
New CK owner here too. I use the credit card trick also, and it works great.

Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk


Offline Steve Ruch

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1035
    • View Profile
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2015, 05:02:04 PM »
I'm about to make the jump to all-grain.  Bought a Cereal Killer grain mill from AIH.  Looks well built and has gap adjustment but came with no instructions.  Gap as delivered looks about 1/8" which does nothing to grain.  What should I set the gap to?  Starting out with Weyermann Pils base malt and doing BIAB (The Brew Bag).
Also, I want to drive it with a cordless drill.  Is there a preferred RPM range?

E-mail them and tell them that you want the instructions; not including them had to be a mistake on their part.
Crescent City, CA

I love to go swimmin'
with hairy old women

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6229
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2015, 08:58:09 PM »
I BIAB and have settled on 0.88mm (roughly 0.035"). It works for my setup, and it's easy to set/check my gap with one of the dozens of these I have laying around:

Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • View Profile
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2015, 11:25:53 PM »
i have a feeler mil gauge to measure. for malts other than wheat-i use .029. for wheat i use .025.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2015, 01:02:23 AM by Wort-H.O.G. »
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
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2015, 01:23:50 AM »
So, from all of the above, it looks like I should set the gap in the 0.030-0.040 inch range and fine tune from there as I get experience with my brew set-up and styles.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8600
    • View Profile
Re: Grain mill roller spacing?
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2015, 01:51:18 AM »
So, from all of the above, it looks like I should set the gap in the 0.030-0.040 inch range and fine tune from there as I get experience with my brew set-up and styles.
Yup