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

Author Topic: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water  (Read 1005 times)

Offline John M

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« on: March 27, 2024, 04:20:43 pm »
Hey guys, as posted in another thread, I scored a great deal on an AIO system. Been a BIAB for years, so just need a little help adapting to the AIO system.

What is the recommended mill gap is for brewing in them?

Should I use rice hulls?

How do you figure your sparge water? I haven't played with Brewfather yet (for AIO recipes), but I'm guessing it figures it for you?

Any other tips also welcome! Cheers
Don't judge a beer by it's cover.

BJCP "Recognized" - Aspiring to Certified
Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association

Offline erockrph

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7836
  • Chepachet, RI
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2024, 12:07:57 am »
When I switched from BIAB to an Anvil Foundry, I kept my mill settings the same. I ended up with more grain material getting through the perforations in the grain pipe than I liked, so I started using my BIAB bag in the malt pipe as a liner. Problem solved.

I know you can sparge in an AIO if you really want to, but I never have. There's no need, at least for my batch sizes in my system.
Eric B.

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

Offline Kevin

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 755
  • Great beer. Less work. More fun.
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2024, 08:39:03 am »
First off most, if not all all-in-one systems are BIAB. They may be brew in a Basket instead of brew in a Bag but it's the same thing... mash and boil in one vessel.

Determining your best mill gap would be the same process as for any other system. Set the roller mills as small as you dare and if it's too much then open them up a bit.

You should only need rice hulls if you mill to finely or use an ingredient known to be thick or gummy.

For sparge you can go full volume with no sparge which is what I  do with both my Anvil Foundry and SS Brewtech SVBS... or fill the vessel with all the water, heat to strike temp, and then reserve as much as you want to sparge with.

I have found that these tips work well with the Anvil Foundry:
1. The water between the malt pipe and the kettle does not get pulled into the recirculation flow if using the recirculation kit. This results in quite a bit of water not coming into contact with the grain so when you lift the mash basket it's like pouring plain water into your mash... the efficiency takes a hit. To combat this just lift the basket 2 to 3 times during the mash.
2. Ditch the malt pipe and use a bag. This will do two things for you... help eliminate that efficiency hit mentioned above and allow you to use a larger grain bill.
“He was a wise man who invented beer.”
- Plato

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27317
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2024, 09:01:14 am »
Hey guys, as posted in another thread, I scored a great deal on an AIO system. Been a BIAB for years, so just need a little help adapting to the AIO system.

What is the recommended mill gap is for brewing in them?

Should I use rice hulls?

How do you figure your sparge water? I haven't played with Brewfather yet (for AIO recipes), but I'm guessing it figures it for you?

Any other tips also welcome! Cheers

Same mill gap as with my cooler or other systems. As fine as my mill will go.

I use the water amounts given in the Grainfather app.

I have never needed hulls on any system
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 ynotbrusum

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4903
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2024, 10:12:25 am »
I use a mill gap of .040, batch sparge volume like I would for a 3 vessel system and use a bag with my Anvil Foundry instead of the malt pipe.  Great results with efficiency in the high 70’s to low 80’s.  I mash 90’ but boil only 30’.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline John M

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2024, 12:37:22 pm »
Thanks guys. Yeah, I realize it is a similar concept as BIAB, and can be identical. If not using the bag, you're relying on a false bottom, which is not as fine as a bag. That's why I wasn't sure about mill gap. My mill is currently set up at .030, and always thought you needed to be around .040 for lautering and sparging.

I like the idea of heating all the water, and reserving your sparge water. 

I got the 65L unit, so I'll be doing larger batches, as well as high gravity batches, so I'm looking forward to sparging. I never messed with sparging while brewing BIAB, as it was just a mess. And I kinda like the idea of not having to squeeze the dickens out of a bag either.

I believe the Gen 4 Brewzilla malt pipe has perforations on the side now also, so the recirculation issue outside of the malt pipe shouldn't be an issue (hopefully).
Don't judge a beer by it's cover.

BJCP "Recognized" - Aspiring to Certified
Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association

Offline John M

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2024, 11:27:24 am »
Well, my first brew on the new system didn't go so well.. I brewed a 40% wheat mash, and I got a stuck sparge.. I used my whisk to break it up, and the suction from the compacted mash caused the malt screen to lift up, letting some grain escape from the malt pipe. I also forgot to lauter. Would lautering have put the grain back on the mash?

I also didn't take the time to set up my RAPT bluetooth thermometer, and the built-in was all over the place. I used an instant read, and finagled the controller as needed to keep my mash temp steady. Everything felt very cumbersome compared to my usual BIAB process. Hoping I get comfortable with it next brew.
Don't judge a beer by it's cover.

BJCP "Recognized" - Aspiring to Certified
Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27317
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2024, 11:56:57 am »
Well, my first brew on the new system didn't go so well.. I brewed a 40% wheat mash, and I got a stuck sparge.. I used my whisk to break it up, and the suction from the compacted mash caused the malt screen to lift up, letting some grain escape from the malt pipe. I also forgot to lauter. Would lautering have put the grain back on the mash?

I also didn't take the time to set up my RAPT bluetooth thermometer, and the built-in was all over the place. I used an instant read, and finagled the controller as needed to keep my mash temp steady. Everything felt very cumbersome compared to my usual BIAB process. Hoping I get comfortable with it next brew.

Were you recirculating?  If so, did you reduce recirc speed?
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 John M

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2024, 12:54:39 pm »
Well, my first brew on the new system didn't go so well.. I brewed a 40% wheat mash, and I got a stuck sparge.. I used my whisk to break it up, and the suction from the compacted mash caused the malt screen to lift up, letting some grain escape from the malt pipe. I also forgot to lauter. Would lautering have put the grain back on the mash?

I also didn't take the time to set up my RAPT bluetooth thermometer, and the built-in was all over the place. I used an instant read, and finagled the controller as needed to keep my mash temp steady. Everything felt very cumbersome compared to my usual BIAB process. Hoping I get comfortable with it next brew.

Were you recirculating?  If so, did you reduce recirc speed?
I was. Not soon enough, haha.. I finally figured out how to adjust the pump. I have already figured several things out. I'm sure next batch will be much better. I am still very excited about it!

I was bound and determined to brew on it last night, and between setup and cleaning, I was running out of time.
Don't judge a beer by it's cover.

BJCP "Recognized" - Aspiring to Certified
Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 6170
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2024, 02:11:16 pm »
Though I don’t use an AIO I do recirculate. It took me a cpl brews to dial it in. I use a rotameter for consistency.

Offline Megary

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1183
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2024, 05:19:42 pm »
I BIAB and have a recirculating arm.  It's my right with a spoon, while the left holds the lid.   :)

Offline John M

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2024, 07:55:36 pm »
I BIAB and have a recirculating arm.  It's my right with a spoon, while the left holds the lid.   :)
Do you stir to keep the mash broke up?
Don't judge a beer by it's cover.

BJCP "Recognized" - Aspiring to Certified
Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association

Offline Megary

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1183
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2024, 06:31:29 am »
I BIAB and have a recirculating arm.  It's my right with a spoon, while the left holds the lid.   :)
Do you stir to keep the mash broke up?

No.  The mash is broken up with my whisk on "mash in".  I stir the mash occasionally because I think it helps keep the temperature in the kettle even, top to bottom.  Not sure that even matters much on my scale of brewing.  If I'm being honest, I suppose I mainly stir just to give myself something to do during the hour.   :)
« Last Edit: April 01, 2024, 12:24:39 pm by Megary »

Offline John M

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2024, 09:43:18 am »
I brewed my 3rd batch on my Brewzilla yesterday, and I am pleased to say that everything went very well on this brew!

I backed my mill off to .040", used approx. 4% rice hulls, and reduced my recirc flow. Everything flowed smoothly this time, and I didn't need to stir any after I mashed in. There was just a negligible amount of grain particles in the boil.

Looking forward to the next batch!

Don't judge a beer by it's cover.

BJCP "Recognized" - Aspiring to Certified
Ohio Valley Homebrewers Association

Offline mabrungard

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2911
  • Water matters!
    • Bru'n Water
Re: AIO Brewing: Mill Gap, Rice Hulls, and Sparge Water
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2024, 10:45:24 am »
If I recall correctly, the gap in my mill is at 0.036". Additionally, I condition my malt prior to crushing to soften the husks and reduce their tearing and breakage. I find that conditioning makes a significant improvement in the permeability of the grist and I usually don't need to add hulls.

Now if I'm adding wheat or wheat malt or any other 'sticky' grains, then I do add hulls. Somewhere in the range of 1/4 to 1/2 lb of rice hulls per 6 gal batch seems to be enough to enable my RIMS to flow reasonably well. Do be aware that the permeability of a grain bed changes during the course of a mash. It starts out fairly low permeability and it increases with time. I do have to reduce the flow rate in the early period to avoid sucking too hard and compacting the bed. 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

BJCP National
Foam Blowers of Indiana (FBI)

Brewing Water Information at:
https://www.brunwater.com/

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