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Old 02-21-2013, 08:19 PM   #1
Drunk_Mick
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Default First crush with my new mill.

Hi,

I used my new Corona style mill to crush grains for my Scottish 80/- Ale. I had some issues with keeping the crush consistant because of the grinder plates separating while grinding. Anyone else have this issue?

Also, I BIAB, so I think the crush size that I had for 80% of the batch is good... But a second opinion from someone with more experience would be appreciated.

For scale purposes, my thumbnail in the photo is 3/4" long. Thanks!



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Old 02-21-2013, 08:24 PM   #2
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I'd crush it a lot more, especially for BIAB. I crush finer and use a mash-tun with braid. Don't be afraid of overcrushing unless you are creating nothing but flour.

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Old 02-21-2013, 08:24 PM   #3
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You can go much finer I think. I saw several kernels that were not crushed at all yet. Also BIAB means you do not have to worry so much about stuck sparges and can grind it finer

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Old 02-21-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I was worried about crushing the hulls too fine and ending up with astringency issues. Double crush it all than!

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Old 04-13-2013, 03:04 AM   #5
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Follow up!

I set my gap tighter and got a much better grind and efficiency to boot. Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

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Old 04-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Varmintman View Post
You can go much finer I think. I saw several kernels that were not crushed at all yet. Also BIAB means you do not have to worry so much about stuck sparges and can grind it finer
Aye, you might not have to worry about stuck sparges with BIAB, but you do have to worry about dough balls!

When I tried tightened up the gap on my Corona mill to the point that it was more or less making flour, it ended up taking me 10 minutes to add 10# of grain to the kettle, I had to stop to break up the resulting dough balls so often. I decided I could live with a few points of efficiency loss in exchange for being able to add the grain to the kettle as fast as I could pour with one hand and stir with the other.
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Old 04-13-2013, 01:03 PM   #7
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Follow up!

I set my gap tighter and got a much better grind and efficiency to boot. Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.
How about a comparison picture? I'm still tinkering with my crush size, but so far it seems like aiming for about the same size as coarse sand is a good compromise between efficiency and dough balls.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:48 PM   #8
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Aye, you might not have to worry about stuck sparges with BIAB, but you do have to worry about dough balls!

When I tried tightened up the gap on my Corona mill to the point that it was more or less making flour, it ended up taking me 10 minutes to add 10# of grain to the kettle, I had to stop to break up the resulting dough balls so often. I decided I could live with a few points of efficiency loss in exchange for being able to add the grain to the kettle as fast as I could pour with one hand and stir with the other.
I split my grain bill into 3 parts, add a third, dough in and repeat two more times. I used to stir like crazy and usually end up OK. Then I got smart and bought an $8 paint mixing attachment for my drill (never used for paint obviously) and used that and my 18v cordless drill and haven't had an issue since.


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How about a comparison picture? I'm still tinkering with my crush size, but so far it seems like aiming for about the same size as coarse sand is a good compromise between efficiency and dough balls.
I have a German Steam Beer planned for next week, I will crush up some grain and post a pic over my weekend (Tuesday and Wednesday). Work gets in the way of brewing *far* to much!
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:48 PM   #9
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Good idea about the paint stirrer! I've already modified my Corona mill to use my cordless drill to drive it. The original crank handle is attached with an M8-1.25 bolt so I bought a longer one and cut the head off with a dremel.

I don't know about your mill, but mine is pretty sloppy all around. I get the same variable crush size which is probably because the adjustable plate wobbles as it spins. I thought that was intentional, though... My crushed grain looks very similar to your picture above, whether I hand-cranked the mill or use the cordless drill on the low speed setting (0-300 RPM max).

One other thing I just noticed yesterday was a dusting of black iron particles in and around the spinning plate. Of course I only noticed this AFTER crushing 11# of base malt with the mill . I'm going to pour the grain past a high strength magnet when I add it to the mashing pot later today... hopefully that catches any iron particles that might have fallen into the bucket.

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Old 04-14-2013, 08:56 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, I was worried about crushing the hulls too fine and ending up with astringency issues. Double crush it all than!
Astringency is a pH problem, not a crush problem. We all end up with the same amount of hulls per pound of grain, some virtually intact (conditioned malt in a roller mill) others a fragmented chaff (dry-milling with a maladjusted Corona) yet plenty of non-astringent brews "happen"

The difference - if any - is found during lautering, but if you're doing the biab thing you probably don't have to worry about that, either...

Cheers!
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