So...interesting weekend and a lesson learned for me, my dad and brother. We decided to push our limits and brew 3 beers in one day. We ended up buying about 50 lbs of grain between the 3 recipes from one of our local brew supply shops, ran it through the on site grain mill and were on our merry way.
The first beer was going about as good as it could be going, temp in the mash was just right, no issues with our pump recirculating the mash - transfered to the boil kettle just fine, then it was time to take the pre boil gravity
Wait for it...
We missed our pre boil gravity by about 30 GUs. We poured over our process trying to figure out what could have happened and had no answer. It took until the gravity reading on our second recipe - once again missing by 30 points - to see that our grain had hardly been crushed, it was almost completely in tact.
So, someone had messed with the grain mill at the homebrew shop. Why anyone would want to set it so wide it hardly touches the grain is beyond me, but there it is. Moral of the story - make sure the grain mill is set properly before use
I think our next big purchase will be a grain mill - any suggestions?