Membership questions? Log in issues? Email info@brewersassociation.org

Author Topic: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.  (Read 3975 times)

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4214
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #30 on: May 18, 2019, 05:45:57 pm »
I agree with Dave.
Crush till you're scared.
The OP says he's using a Kitchen Aid grain mill, which, unless I'm mistaken, is a steel, flat-burr type flour mill, not a roller mill as we assume in brewing.  So he's not really crushing, but shearing.  Therefore in going very fine, there will inevitably be considerable husk damage.   This is not a problem as far as filtration is concerned, as long as it's for a BIAB and the bag is an adequate filter.  But there is still increased risk of extracting tannins and silicates, although this should be partially mitigated by the fact that a no-sparge BIAB should keep pH in a reasonable range -- assuming it starts there.  Anyway, while the usual advice e would be to crush until you're scared, in this case a compromise between efficiency (fine crush) and wort quality (minimal husk damage) might be in order.  As long as he stays consistent and dials in his system, he can always add more malt.

I used a blender to mill all my grains for 3 or 4 years.  I think the concerns regarding tannins etc. are largely myth.  I never experienced problems and won several awards during that timeframe.

Crush till you're scared indeed.
A blender?!  Well then I defer to your experience.  Grind away.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Visor

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 746
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2019, 09:51:55 am »
   I have one of the KA mills which I bought to make Treber flour, it has an auger that forces the grain between 2 serrated plates, the fineness of the crush is adjusted changing the gap between the plates. It doesn't shear the grain, but it certainly can pulverize it. Probably not the ideal mill for this use, but what the hay, this is homebrewing, we make do with what we have.
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline Megary

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #32 on: May 19, 2019, 11:08:01 am »
The KA mill I have is an oldie, we’ve had it for years. Model GMA. No longer available to purchase.
It undoubtedly was not designed with homebrewing in mind. I’ll give another batch a shot, grind considerably finer and see if there’s any improvement in OG. If not, I’ll get a brewers mill.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4214
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2019, 11:22:08 am »
The KA mill I have is an oldie, we’ve had it for years. Model GMA. No longer available to purchase.
It undoubtedly was not designed with homebrewing in mind. I’ll give another batch a shot, grind considerably finer and see if there’s any improvement in OG. If not, I’ll get a brewers mill.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I think I have that model of KA mill, got it a couple of decades ago.  I've never really been totally happy with it for flour because it can't give an even, fine grind, but if you used it for the malt pictured, I'm impressed.  Keep playing around with it and keep us updated.  You may eventually want a roller mill if you keep at it, but for now, doing small BIAB batches, this might serve just fine.

[FWIW, for those interested in flour, I'm looking at the Mockmill.  Runs on a KA mixer's PTO, but has the guts of the very expensive Komo mill.]


EDIT. Ok Megary, you got my curiosity up.  Can't find any indication of a model designation on my old KA grain mill.  Is it this one you have?
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 06:57:01 pm by Robert »
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Visor

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 746
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #34 on: May 20, 2019, 09:13:58 am »
   That looks exactly like the one I bought a year or so ago, KA tends to not change stuff just to keep the product "fresh", they don't mess with what works. That being said, the flour I've milled with mine is coarser than I prefer, even after running it through twice at the tightest setting. The box mine came in says KGM, probably for Kitchenaide Grain Mill??
I spent most of my money on beer, tools and guns, the rest I foolishly squandered on stupid stuff!

Offline Megary

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #35 on: May 20, 2019, 11:24:29 am »
I'm not home to take a decent pic, but this is the one I have.

https://www.ebay.com/i/283448757983?chn=ps

I believe the GMA model I have is the older version of the KGM (the one Visor has).  I can't say if there is any real difference between the two.

The model I have requires you to manually find the finest grind setting by turning the dial clockwise until you hear a grinding sound (metal on metal).  From this position (call it 0), I turned the dial back (counter-clockwise) 10 "clicks".  One click is essentially imperceptible.  My first grind at 10 clicks back was what I thought to be way, way too fine...mostly floury powder (but maybe it wasn't as bad as I remember...I didn't take that picture).  For my second grind, I turned the dial back 15 more clicks (25 back total from finest setting).  I figured if this wasn't fine enough, I could always move forward if need be.  But this is what I ended up using and is the picture I posted, 25 clicks back from finest.

So I have a lot of wiggle room to find a better setting.  I'll try moving forward 5 clicks at a time.

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4214
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #36 on: May 20, 2019, 11:42:01 am »
I'm not home to take a decent pic, but this is the one I have.

https://www.ebay.com/i/283448757983?chn=ps

I believe the GMA model I have is the older version of the KGM (the one Visor has).  I can't say if there is any real difference between the two.

The model I have requires you to manually find the finest grind setting by turning the dial clockwise until you hear a grinding sound (metal on metal).  From this position (call it 0), I turned the dial back (counter-clockwise) 10 "clicks".  One click is essentially imperceptible.  My first grind at 10 clicks back was what I thought to be way, way too fine...mostly floury powder (but maybe it wasn't as bad as I remember...I didn't take that picture).  For my second grind, I turned the dial back 15 more clicks (25 back total from finest setting).  I figured if this wasn't fine enough, I could always move forward if need be.  But this is what I ended up using and is the picture I posted, 25 clicks back from finest.

So I have a lot of wiggle room to find a better setting.  I'll try moving forward 5 clicks at a time.
Okay, now I see you and I have the older GMA, Visor's KGM is a newer version.   The old one is a heavy, single, rough casting for the body, and has no markings for settings and a seemingly enormous number of detented intervals or what you may call them, almost a continuous adjustment.  Like you say, Megary, you tighten it all the way down, and back off from there.  And hope you can consistently repeat this. The newer one seems to be bolted together from more pieces and have a nicer finish but lighter weight, all probably irrelevant,  and to have a different mechanism for setting the gap between the burrs, with 12 fixed positions.  [EDIT That adjustment knob on the newer KGM looks suspiciously like the one on my KitchenAid coffee mill, which, BTW,  I love.  Bet the mechanism is based on the same design.]  Apparently neither makes nice, fine flour.  But for milling your malt, it looks like you should be able to find a setting that works well.  I'm surprised at how intact the husks look in your photo.  Post a photo and report again next time.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 02:31:20 pm by Robert »
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Megary

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #37 on: May 21, 2019, 08:29:47 am »
Apparently neither makes nice, fine flour.  But for milling your malt, it looks like you should be able to find a setting that works well.  I'm surprised at how intact the husks look in your photo.  Post a photo and report again next time.

Will do.  With any luck, I'll be brewing again this weekend.


So the beer I brewed last weekend - the one with the OG issue - has passed through it's high growth fermentation phase.  Sitting at 65-66F, bubbles in the air lock started after 10-12 hours and really kicked in after about 24 hours.  I'm now at the 3 day mark and there is minimal activity in the air lock.  In my older brewing days back in the mid 90's, this fermentation activity told me to get ready to bottle after 7 days.  Very convenient, brew one weekend, bottle the next.  Like McDonald's.  But how did the yeast know to so conveniently fit my schedule?

I'm guessing, after reading Palmer's How to Brew that the general wisdom is to now allow the yeast to pass through a maturation phase.  For ales, he suggests 4-6 days at a 5-10 degree increased fermentation temperature...a diacetyl rest.  That seems easy enough, but if he thinks I'm going to bottle on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, he's crazy!

1. Is 2 weeks in the primary fermenter too long for this type of beer (simple English Pale Ale)?
2. For fear of contamination, I'm not comfortable just yet to go digging into the beer/wort to draw samples for taste tests (not that I would know what diacetyl tastes like anyway) and gravity readings.  Should I move the carboy into a 72 degree room for another week and a half, or just leave it be at 65-66?

I used 1 rehydrated 11g package of Lallemand Nottingham Ale yeast in this 2.75 gallon batch with an OG of only 1.030.  I didn't give the little buggers much to do.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 26080
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #38 on: May 21, 2019, 08:32:09 am »
1. No, it's not too long
2.  Either way is fine.  Choose one and see how it works for you
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 Megary

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #39 on: May 24, 2019, 07:57:17 pm »
Getting the grains milled for British Pale Ale, Take 2.
My last attempt at grinding my Maris Otter was a bust, not nearly fine enough. So any comments on this try. Grind till I’m scared.


This would be 15 clicks back from “finest” on my old KitchenAid grain mill.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Megary

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #40 on: May 24, 2019, 08:11:33 pm »
Another shot with the Biscuit Malt on top and the Maris Otter on bottom.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4214
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #41 on: May 24, 2019, 08:12:11 pm »
Getting the grains milled for British Pale Ale, Take 2.
My last attempt at grinding my Maris Otter was a bust, not nearly fine enough. So any comments on this try. Grind till I’m scared.


This would be 15 clicks back from “finest” on my old KitchenAid grain mill.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
That looks a lot better.  Looks like every kernel is broken into quite a few pieces, there's definitely some flour, and if it's BIAB it doesn't matter that your husks are pretty chewed up.  Let us know how it works.   Bet you'll get a lot higher OG this time.  Just make sure you break up any dough balls when you mash in, get everything thoroughly mixed in.  That probably wasn't an issue last time when you were practically dumping a load of gravel into the water! 
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4589
  • Lord Idiot the Lazy
    • YEAST MASTER Perma-Living
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2019, 06:02:43 am »
Now that almost looks a little TOO fine for traditional sparging... but should be perfect for brewing in a bag (BIAB)!

Cheers, good luck, and enjoy!
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Megary

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 911
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #43 on: May 25, 2019, 01:54:44 pm »
Last beer I brewed I measured an efficiency of 50%. Pretty awful, but only my first try at crushing grains for BIAB. Despite the better reviews of this second crush, I still adjusted the grain bill upward for this second batch based on the poor performance the first time around. Gave myself a little more than an extra 1/2# to work with.
4# Maris Otter
1/3# Biscuit Malt



I calculate about 76% efficiency this time. <Insert smiley face here>

Thanks to all!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4214
Re: Getting Back at it. Any tips appreciated.
« Reply #44 on: May 25, 2019, 01:57:31 pm »
There ya go!  Good to hear.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.