Author Topic: Grain Milling  (Read 950 times)

Offline denny

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Re: Grain Milling
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2022, 09:37:12 am »
I recommend a bit of calculating to ensure you’re milling fine enough.

From How to Brew Chap 18: Calculate how efficient your extraction was. Measure the gravity in the boiling pot and multiply the points by the number of gallons you collected. Then divide by the number of pounds of grain you used. The result should be somewhere around 30 ppg. 27 is okay, 29 is good, and over 30 is great. If it is 25 or below, you are lautering too fast or you are not getting good conversion in the mash, which could be caused by having too coarse a grist, the wrong temperature, not enough time, it got cold, or a pH factor, et cetera.

BIAB can use finely milled grain because they aren’t traditionally lautering once mash is complete or continually using vorfaul during the mash. If the liquid needs to flow thru a grain bed (as in lauter or vorlauf), it probably will have to be more course than what is typically used in BIAB.

Retailers have to take into consideration that their clients come from a spectrum of brewing techniques.

Thank you for the info, just a question or two if that is ok.  So, do I measure the gravity after I remove the bag of grain but before I start to increase the temp to get the wort to boil? And if I come up too low and I am at only 25 or so points, can I just put the bag back in and let the mash go a bit longer while maintaining the heat of, let's say 152 for argument sake?  Or do I reach for the DME that I have on hand to try and get the gravity reading to show a better gravity reading preboil? 

Sorry if these are silly questions, but I am going to do my first batch on my new kettle and propane burner, so I am really overthinking it.  LOL. 

Thanks to you and all who had input so far.  RR

Do you plan on sparging?
Sparging can make a big difference. I didn't on my first BIAB attempt and did on my second and got a 10% higher O G with the same amount of malt.

I have sparged for over 3 decades. Did not know there was any other way. Just shows you how much I don’t know.

Yeah, no sparge brewing is very common, especially for BIAB. It can supposedly give you increased malt flavor. I don't know whether it might be due to lack of wort dilution, lack of pH rise during sparging, or reduction of oxidation . Possible some combo of those.
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Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Grain Milling
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2022, 12:01:34 pm »
I recommend a bit of calculating to ensure you’re milling fine enough.

From How to Brew Chap 18: Calculate how efficient your extraction was. Measure the gravity in the boiling pot and multiply the points by the number of gallons you collected. Then divide by the number of pounds of grain you used. The result should be somewhere around 30 ppg. 27 is okay, 29 is good, and over 30 is great. If it is 25 or below, you are lautering too fast or you are not getting good conversion in the mash, which could be caused by having too coarse a grist, the wrong temperature, not enough time, it got cold, or a pH factor, et cetera.

BIAB can use finely milled grain because they aren’t traditionally lautering once mash is complete or continually using vorfaul during the mash. If the liquid needs to flow thru a grain bed (as in lauter or vorlauf), it probably will have to be more course than what is typically used in BIAB.

Retailers have to take into consideration that their clients come from a spectrum of brewing techniques.

Thank you for the info, just a question or two if that is ok.  So, do I measure the gravity after I remove the bag of grain but before I start to increase the temp to get the wort to boil? And if I come up too low and I am at only 25 or so points, can I just put the bag back in and let the mash go a bit longer while maintaining the heat of, let's say 152 for argument sake?  Or do I reach for the DME that I have on hand to try and get the gravity reading to show a better gravity reading preboil? 

Sorry if these are silly questions, but I am going to do my first batch on my new kettle and propane burner, so I am really overthinking it.  LOL. 

Thanks to you and all who had input so far.  RR

Do you plan on sparging?

Yes, I was planining on doing that.  I was going to set the grains on a rack, then pour 170 degree water thru the bag and either into the kettle, or into another vessle and transfer that to the kettle.  Either way, to answer your question, yes, that was the plan. 

Offline denny

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Re: Grain Milling
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2022, 12:31:02 pm »
I recommend a bit of calculating to ensure you’re milling fine enough.

From How to Brew Chap 18: Calculate how efficient your extraction was. Measure the gravity in the boiling pot and multiply the points by the number of gallons you collected. Then divide by the number of pounds of grain you used. The result should be somewhere around 30 ppg. 27 is okay, 29 is good, and over 30 is great. If it is 25 or below, you are lautering too fast or you are not getting good conversion in the mash, which could be caused by having too coarse a grist, the wrong temperature, not enough time, it got cold, or a pH factor, et cetera.

BIAB can use finely milled grain because they aren’t traditionally lautering once mash is complete or continually using vorfaul during the mash. If the liquid needs to flow thru a grain bed (as in lauter or vorlauf), it probably will have to be more course than what is typically used in BIAB.

Retailers have to take into consideration that their clients come from a spectrum of brewing techniques.

Thank you for the info, just a question or two if that is ok.  So, do I measure the gravity after I remove the bag of grain but before I start to increase the temp to get the wort to boil? And if I come up too low and I am at only 25 or so points, can I just put the bag back in and let the mash go a bit longer while maintaining the heat of, let's say 152 for argument sake?  Or do I reach for the DME that I have on hand to try and get the gravity reading to show a better gravity reading preboil? 

Sorry if these are silly questions, but I am going to do my first batch on my new kettle and propane burner, so I am really overthinking it.  LOL. 

Thanks to you and all who had input so far.  RR

Do you plan on sparging?

Yes, I was planining on doing that.  I was going to set the grains on a rack, then pour 170 degree water thru the bag and either into the kettle, or into another vessle and transfer that to the kettle.  Either way, to answer your question, yes, that was the plan.

Cool. That will help your efficiency.
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 erockrph

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Re: Grain Milling
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2022, 08:52:38 am »
I did no-sparge BIAB for years. The main issue with having other shops mill your grains is consistency. I would go from 68% efficiency on one batch from one shop to 82% the next time when I got the grains from a different shop. Once I started milling my own grain I routinely hit 78-80% efficiency and that let me dial in my system and recipes.

If you're just starting out, none of this really matters. A 10% change in efficiency isn't going to make a significant difference in the finished beer. Focus on your process for a few batches until you really get it down, then you can start dialing in the finer details like crush and efficiency.
Eric B.

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

Offline rtstrider

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Re: Grain Milling
« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2022, 01:17:47 pm »
I used the morebeer milled grains and took a pretty hefty hit in efficiency. I used to biab on the stove top and my efficiency went from 75% on the double crushed grains from the lhbs to 56%-60% efficiency. I ended up getting a grain mill and now crush my own grains at around a .030 gap. I'm back to 70% and up efficiency using a 3 tier system now. Tried their grind on the 3 tier and took a pretty hefty efficiency hit as well. I'd have to recommend investing in a grain mill personally. That was one of the best investments I made!

Offline redrocker652002

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Re: Grain Milling
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2022, 10:18:40 pm »
I used the morebeer milled grains and took a pretty hefty hit in efficiency. I used to biab on the stove top and my efficiency went from 75% on the double crushed grains from the lhbs to 56%-60% efficiency. I ended up getting a grain mill and now crush my own grains at around a .030 gap. I'm back to 70% and up efficiency using a 3 tier system now. Tried their grind on the 3 tier and took a pretty hefty efficiency hit as well. I'd have to recommend investing in a grain mill personally. That was one of the best investments I made!

Cool, thank you for the info.  I have a 60 dollar gift card to Austin Home Brew that I might use for that.  I wasn't planning on going that route this early, but what the heck.  if it makes a better beer I can sell it to my Accountant, aka wife.  LOL.

Is there one you would recommend

Offline Megary

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Re: Grain Milling
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2022, 06:44:23 am »
I used the morebeer milled grains and took a pretty hefty hit in efficiency. I used to biab on the stove top and my efficiency went from 75% on the double crushed grains from the lhbs to 56%-60% efficiency. I ended up getting a grain mill and now crush my own grains at around a .030 gap. I'm back to 70% and up efficiency using a 3 tier system now. Tried their grind on the 3 tier and took a pretty hefty efficiency hit as well. I'd have to recommend investing in a grain mill personally. That was one of the best investments I made!

Cool, thank you for the info.  I have a 60 dollar gift card to Austin Home Brew that I might use for that.  I wasn't planning on going that route this early, but what the heck.  if it makes a better beer I can sell it to my Accountant, aka wife.  LOL.

Is there one you would recommend

I don't think a grain mill will "make a better beer" directly, but what it should do is allow you to settle in to a repeatable efficiency and therefore consistently hit your gravity and volume numbers.  That sure makes recipe design a whole lot easier.  Imo, you can make good beer at 90% or 60% efficiency.  The key is being confident that your efficiency, whatever it is, is stable and dependable (+ or - a few points).