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Old 09-25-2009, 03:42 PM   #1
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If I want to toast a portion of my grain in the oven, can I do it post-crush? I don't have a mill at home so if I do it with uncrushed grain I will need figure out another way to get er done.

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:17 PM   #2
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No, you shouldn't toast crushed grain. On the other hand, you don't need a mill to crush toasted grain. I do it all the time without a mill.

Usually when you are toasting you're only doing 1/2 to 1 lb. The toasting also makes the kernels more brittle. (Think about how easy it is to crush black malt with your fingers.) So what I do is just use an ordinary rolling pin to crush my toasted malt. I've also used a wooden kitchen mallet. Both of these leave the husk relatively intact while crushing the inside of the kernel.

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:19 PM   #3
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Toasting of grain is usually done wth whole and not crushed grain. Many ways to crush grain without a mill, however results vary.

You could try a rolling pin, a blender, coffee mill...zip lock bag and a hammer. If I were in a bind, I would probably give the blender a go...just pulse it enough to partially chop up the grain without turning it to dust / flour.

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:32 PM   #4
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I already have the crushed grain for the batch so I will adding an additional pound or two by doing this. In other words I don't think I will be too concerned about the efficiency of these couple of toasted pounds but more after the flavor and color they will add. Any additional fermentables will be a bonus. With that in mind, which method of crush is best?

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Toasting of grain is usually done wth whole and not crushed grain. Many ways to crush grain without a mill, however results vary.

You could try a rolling pin, a blender, coffee mill...zip lock bag and a hammer. If I were in a bind, I would probably give the blender a go...just pulse it enough to partially chop up the grain without turning it to dust / flour.
The blender would be last on my list of options because it would shread the husk and lead to higher possibility of extracting tannins. If you're close to your LHBS you could toast and take the grains back and use their mill, or just use the rolling pin.
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:33 PM   #6
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I've tried the blender & would recommend against it. It tears the husk up too much, I think. As long as the quantity is small, a rolling pin will work. For large quantities, it'll drive you nuts, though. When I use the rolling pin, I spread out a small quantity on a large baking sheet with edges (so the grains don't escape), crush, then repeat.

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:58 PM   #7
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I have a giant wooden rolling pin like one you would imagine Ma Kettle swinging in the air while running after Pa.

I will probably be on my second pint by the time its done toasting so I would prefer not to head back to the LHBS.

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Old 09-25-2009, 08:34 PM   #8
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I went to the LHBS and asked one of the guys about crushing with a rolling pin after toasting and he said "use a blender." I asked about shredding the hulls and tannins in the mash he said "well you're not using it in the mash are you?" and I said "yes I am" (duh). Then he tells me to go ahead and crush it in the mill before toasting it, and that it will pop like popcorn in my oven if I don't (Huh???) I said I had heard not to crush it first and he asked where I heard that and I told him on a brewing discussion forum. Then he proceeded to tell me I shouldn't believe anything I hear on the internet (God forbid).

So then I talked to the manager who is someone I know and trust and a big time brewer and he said, "no don't do that!" He said "toast it whole and crush it with the rolling pin - preferrably a stone rolling pin." He said I would essentially be creating my own Victory malt.

Phew - glad I got a second opinion.

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Old 09-25-2009, 08:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by oswegan View Post
I went to the LHBS and asked one of the guys about crushing with a rolling pin after toasting and he said use a blender. I asked about shredding the hulls and he said well you're not using in the mash are you and I said yes (duh). Then he tells me to go ahead and crush it in the mill before toasting it, that it will pop like popcorn in my oven if I don't (Huh???) Then he proceeded to tell me I shouldn't believe anything I hear on the internet (God forbid).

So then I talked to the manager who is a big time brewer and he said no don't do that! Toast it whole and crush it with the rolling pin - preferrably a stone rolling pin. He said I would essentially be creating my own Victory malt. Phew - glad I got a second opinion.
Thank goodness you went the extra step! And yes, both Victory & Biscuit malt are essentially toasted malt. They use different base malts (Belgian for the Biscuit, American 2 row for Victory), but are otherwise very close to the same.

Btw, the one thing the employee was right about is that you will get a bit of "popping" when you toast but it won't explode like popcorn -- just releasing gas from evaporated moisture inside the kernel.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:44 PM   #10
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What LHBS do you go to oswegan?

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