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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Anyone Wet Milling?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:23 PM   #1
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Default Anyone Wet Milling?

The benefits of wet milling when using the typical home brew/ micro brew 2 roll mills are talked about a LOT in all the professional literature, but I haven't heard much about any home brewers really using the technique - anyone using this at home? -If so using what equipment and process?


Anyone using steam injection immediately prior to malting? Pre-soaking the malt? Mixing with water / water spray on the way to the mill?


This obviously requires a stainless mill, hopper, and assembly to avoid rusting -what are the options on this front and how much is it going to cost?



Proper milling is SO important to extract recovery and lautering speed which are both INSANELY important to brewery efficiency and capacity it just seems like a no-brainer to spend some extra time and $$ to proper milling. -Especially as microbreweries have to deal with lots of different speciality malts and grain and therefore need different gap settings, it seems like more time should be spent focusing on milling in the micro brewery environment than even the big lager boys who always deal with the same malt spec and malt cleaners, screens, and expensive 6 roller mills.



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Old 11-13-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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On here, wet milling, is called "malt conditioning" and there are a ton of threads on it.

Here's a title search of "Malt Conditioning" which will probably immediately expire, so click on it fast. Or just do a search for it.

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:52 PM   #3
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Thanks Revvy! It's this kind of insight on the difference in terms from the professional literature to the home brew terms that I need to make use of the search feature. (Now I understand why I wasn't getting many hits.) ; )


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Old 11-13-2012, 10:24 PM   #4
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In this work, fermentable sugar, total protein, phenolics and ferulic acid content were estimated in sweet worts at different points of lautering. Transfer of these selected malt compounds into worts was analyzed in relation to the method of malt milling (wet milling of malt — the “test worts” or dry milling of malt — the “reference worts”). Glucose, maltose and maltotriose were more rapidly transferred into sweet worts at the early stages of lautering (40 hL and/or 80 hL of wort) after wet milling in comparison to dry milling. Total protein content in the test worts was significantly higher than in the corresponding reference worts at each stage of lautering. Transfer of phenolic compounds and ferulic acid (in the free as well as in the ester form) from the mash into sweet worts was significantly improved by dry milling, but not by wet milling. No difference in the total antioxidant activity was observed between the two types of worts. In conclusion, it can be stated that wet conditioning of malt before milling enhances the fast transfer of fermentable sugars and proteins from the mash into the sweet wort during lautering. Lautering is a time-consuming process, and time reduction without the loss of wort quality should be a priority. Therefore, wet milling can be of interest to professionals in the field as an interesting alternative method to improve the mashing process.

an abstract from a study i found online about wet milling vs dry milling.
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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Eastoak - can you post the link to this study?

Was it talking about wet milling where the whole malt is soaked with water and then the water and fully wet malt are run through a "wet mill" or the practice of "malt conditioning" with a small amount of water spray / steam just to slightly wet the outer husk?


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Old 11-14-2012, 01:40 AM   #6
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http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...505.x/abstract

there is a link to the PDF copy of the study.
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biertourist View Post

This obviously requires a stainless mill, hopper, and assembly to avoid rusting -what are the options on this front and how much is it going to cost?

Adam
I use a regular Schmidling Maltmill w/ cordless drill that after some trial and error works quite well. The regular mill rollers are perfectly fine with up to a 2% water addition. My only other malt conditioning equipment is a 8 gallon pet food container with a flip open spout makes a great mix bin / hand held hopper.

Typically I weigh the grain and layer it in the pet food container with an ounce of water every few pounds. After the whole bill is in the pet container it gets rotated and mixed for a few minutes and then sits for 15 or so. Then just hold the container at a low angle where the mill pretty much keeps up with the grain coming out of the spout.

At first I was dumping 2 lbs of conditioned malt at once into the JSP hopper and it would usually clog.

Not fancy but I routinely batch sparge 40% rye brews and the intact husks from the rest of the bill have allowed me to skip rice hulls.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starman View Post
I use a regular Schmidling Maltmill w/ cordless drill that after some trial and error works quite well. The regular mill rollers are perfectly fine with up to a 2% water addition. My only other malt conditioning equipment is a 8 gallon pet food container with a flip open spout makes a great mix bin / hand held hopper.

Typically I weigh the grain and layer it in the pet food container with an ounce of water every few pounds. After the whole bill is in the pet container it gets rotated and mixed for a few minutes and then sits for 15 or so. Then just hold the container at a low angle where the mill pretty much keeps up with the grain coming out of the spout.

At first I was dumping 2 lbs of conditioned malt at once into the JSP hopper and it would usually clog.

Not fancy but I routinely batch sparge 40% rye brews and the intact husks from the rest of the bill have allowed me to skip rice hulls.
My rust comment was based upon the "wet milling" technique that the mega breweries use where the malt is actually soaked in hot water and then the water and grain runs straight into a mill; totally agree that 2% water by weight is no big deal and not much of a rust risk. (I didn't understand that malt conditioning was just spraying 2% by weight water over the grain; I was expecting a dramatically larger water content.)


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Old 11-14-2012, 06:53 PM   #9
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The brew pub I've volunteered at has a hydrator attachment after the screw conveyor (grain is dry milled in the basement and transferred via conveyor to the mash tun). It eliminates grain dust as the grain falls into the mash tun and prevents dough balls. Preventing dough balls alone would help drive conversion and efficiency I would think.

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Old 11-15-2012, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstar26t View Post
The brew pub I've volunteered at has a hydrator attachment after the screw conveyor (grain is dry milled in the basement and transferred via conveyor to the mash tun). It eliminates grain dust as the grain falls into the mash tun and prevents dough balls. Preventing dough balls alone would help drive conversion and efficiency I would think.
-Is this hydrator attachment basically just a hose attached to a section of PVC pipe that adds water to the falling grain in the pipe? (With some plates inside just to help ensure it gets mixed as it falls, too?)

If so it sounds like the typical English system -they're so simple yet effective.


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