Author Topic: Grain mill setting  (Read 10458 times)

Offline jptheelder

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Grain mill setting
« on: August 07, 2010, 05:40:34 PM »
My new grain mill came in the other day. the paper states that it is set to a default setting of .039? is this where it should be or do I need to mess with it?

Offline makemehoppy

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2010, 06:58:10 PM »
Start there and see how it goes. If you efficiency is real bad narrow it down a bit or run the grains through twice to see if that helps.

Offline wingnut

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2010, 10:20:49 PM »
Essentially, just run some grain through it and if it looks right.  I am assuming you are used to whatever crushed grain you homebrew store provides, and if that is what you have your system dialed in to use.  If it looks close to the same, then just use the factory default for a few batches and see if your results/extract efficiencies stay the same.  If they are different, either change the setting or change your process to allow for the efficiency change.

Note: if you are not crushing most of the grains, or if you are creating flour, then you will need to make changes to the mill.  Other than that, as long as the crush is consistent, you can adjust your recipes and process to make the beer turn out how you want to.

Good luck!
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Offline IHBHS

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2010, 12:18:36 PM »
We set our mill at .045 and it gives a nice crush to the grain while still allowing the false bottom to do it's job without getting a mash stuck
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Offline denny

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 08:49:29 AM »
Dan Listermann has a great saying..."You're making grist, not gaps".  Through experience, you'll learn what a good crush looks like.  Set the mill to whatever gives you that.  I have no idea what gap my mill is adjusted to, but I get great grist and results.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2010, 09:12:04 AM »
Kai has some good inforamtion and pictures on his site. 

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/CrushEval
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2010, 09:18:19 AM »
by a .o39 factory set gap I assume you have a Barley Crusher,  That is what I have and I have neither adjusted nor checked the gap.  It still works for me.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2010, 09:55:24 AM »
I have a JSP Maltmill set at .040 factory setting and haven't changed it. Works like a charm every time.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2010, 12:13:32 PM »
I'm a little more anal than some of my compadres above, so I like to 'know' where the gap is at. So i bought a feeler gauge and I check it every few brews to make sure its where I like it (.037").  I also shift the gap for a few specialty grains that are smaller and thus like to know when I've returned to my 'home' setting.

That said, you do need to fiddle around and find what works for you - the visual aspect of the crush and the resultant efficiency will guide you toward what works in your brewhouse. 
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Offline alemental

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2010, 01:53:52 PM »
Like everybody is saying, adjust it to what works well for you. This will vary with different makes of mills and how you power it. I had to change the gap when I changed the drive speed. My mill now gives me the results I like with a gap of 0.054". This gap would suck for most people, but my mill is quite aggressive.

Offline jptheelder

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2010, 03:01:36 PM »
That said, you do need to fiddle around and find what works for you - the visual aspect of the crush and the resultant efficiency will guide you toward what works in your brewhouse. 
[/quote]

 I got an 82% effinciey. there was a small amount of flower on the bottom of the mill when done. is this normal? Should I try to improve it? or just be happy with ( what I feel are) great results and have a homebrew. Wow! I love this thing.

btw. thanks fore all of your great comments.

Offline alemental

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2010, 03:31:50 PM »
It sounds like you are on the right track. Every grain should be crushed, and there should still be large pieces of husks, many of them mostly whole. If you have that and you have no problems with stuck sparging, you should be fine. Or fine tune it a little to see what you get.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2010, 03:39:09 PM »
I got an 82% effinciey. there was a small amount of flower on the bottom of the mill when done. is this normal? Should I try to improve it? or just be happy with ( what I feel are) great results and have a homebrew. Wow! I love this thing.

82% is fine and if you're happy with that, stick to it.  More important than the actual efficiency number is the consistency of that number (that is, it's always about the same from batch to batch)...  makes recipe formulation work much better.

That said, if you get curious, go ahead and fiddle.  I find that I consistently get between 85 and 90% with a Monster Mill set at .035.  No stuck sparges (even with rye and wheat) although, to be fair, I do batch sparge with the "dennybraid" system  so that part's about foolproof.
Joe

Offline wfaris

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2010, 07:38:29 AM »
Dan Listermann has a great saying..."You're making grist, not gaps".  Through experience, you'll learn what a good crush looks like.  Set the mill to whatever gives you that.  I have no idea what gap my mill is adjusted to, but I get great grist and results.

I got the same advice from Dan years ago.  I don't know what my gap setting is either.  I run a cup or so through the mill and pick up a handful to check.  Different grains will be a little different size so you may have to make adjustments based on that.  The numbers don't mean a thing other than getting you into the ballpark for a place to start.

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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Grain mill setting
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2010, 07:49:45 AM »
I strongly agree with the sentiment to use what makes the crushed grain look right.  There is variability in barley, and you can set your mill differently if you're crushing pils malt, wheat or black patent, for instance.  Also, if you spray your malt with water to do the malt conditioning trick I wrote about in the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp article for Zymurgy, you'll be able to set your mill tighter.

I use an old Listerman Phil Mill I with a drill and a converted 5 gallon plastic water jug as a grain hopper. There is no way I could figure out the gap setting without dismantling it. On other mills, do you have a direct measurement or are you relying on the settings on some knob? Any time you are using an indirect measurement, you have to worry about it being properly calibrated.

Learn what a proper crush looks like, and set your mill accordingly. Check it every time. With heavy use, and all the vibration from the drill, the settings can change over time. Run some through, catch it in your hand, and visually inspect it.

That said, if you know your system and know what setting gives you that result, obviously start there since it will save you time. But still verify the actual crush.
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