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Old 01-18-2009, 01:44 AM   #1
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Default Barley Crusher gap setting

I used my new Barley Crusher today and it was supposedly set at the factory @ .039" gap. And that seems about what I measured it at. And I thought I had read here to tighten it up a bit to .036" gap. But when I started crushing the grain (@ the factory setting) it was very fine with a lot of flour...it was also kinda hard to crank. So I opened it up to about .050" or so and it was easier to crank and the crush seemed more correct but I'm just guessing. My efficiency was 80% and since I'm just starting brewing again I have no baseline. Is this too coarse?

My way of measuring the gap is by using guitar picks as feeler gages. I measured the thickness of several different picks using calipers many years ago and have always used them as feelers. Right now my Barley Crusher is set at a decent squeeze on one red Dunlop Jazz III pick.

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Old 01-18-2009, 01:45 AM   #2
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I'd say that if your efficiency is 80% and your mill is operating well for you that your gap setting is just fine.

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Old 01-18-2009, 01:46 AM   #3
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If your getting 80% efficiency, I would not worry about your crush, it's where it needs to be, no matter the number.

edit: McK is apparently a faster typer than me and beat me to it!

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Old 01-18-2009, 02:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
I used my new Barley Crusher today and it was supposedly set at the factory @ .039" gap. And that seems about what I measured it at. And I thought I had read here to tighten it up a bit to .036" gap. But when I started crushing the grain (@ the factory setting) it was very fine with a lot of flour...it was also kinda hard to crank. So I opened it up to about .050" or so and it was easier to crank and the crush seemed more correct but I'm just guessing. My efficiency was 80% and since I'm just starting brewing again I have no baseline. Is this too coarse?
How much grain did you crush before you opened it up to .050? That will make a difference. Pick up a cheap feeler guage at a hardware store or an auto parts place and adjusted it with a proper feeler guage if you efficency drops on your next brew. I used my Barley Crusher at the factory setting and I have gotten 81% every time I have used. I also use a hand drill because it was hard to crush. I slow the drill down so that it has just enough power to gently crush the grain. Try it again and if your efficiency stays at 80 leave it. If not adjust it with an accurate feeler guage.
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
How much grain did you crush before you opened it up to .050?
Less than a pound but more than half a pound...somewhere in there. Recipe had 9# total.

As far as efficiency; I'm using a different lauter tun than before and I'm fly sparging and I haven't done this in 9 years so everything is an unknown. I'd be willing to bet there's a lot more efficiency just in the sparge so I'm gonna keep the crush where it is and see.

I just woke up and happened to pick up my relatively new thermometer (used for exactly two brews)...the damn thing reads 80o F when I know the room is at most 70o F. Temperature accuracy fail on my brew? Oh well...the eff. was good, conversion was good and the thing is blowing off this morning so it can't be too bad.
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Old 01-18-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
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My mash/lauter efficiency using a double batch sparge:

Factory setting: 78%
Tightened to 1:00 position (about 0.036): 83%
Tightened to 2:00 position (about 0.032): 88%

I have left it at 2:00. My crush looks like flour and rice hulls, but I have no problems lautering in my mash tun. YMMV. At this setting I find it too hard to hand crank so I use a drill.

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Old 01-18-2009, 04:53 PM   #7
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Less than a pound but more than half a pound...somewhere in there. Recipe had 9# total.

As far as efficiency; I'm using a different lauter tun than before and I'm fly sparging and I haven't done this in 9 years so everything is an unknown. I'd be willing to bet there's a lot more efficiency just in the sparge so I'm gonna keep the crush where it is and see.
Less than a pound you should be just fine. I also fly sparge. I use the same equipment each time. I've got my process down pretty good. When I move up to ten gallon batches I will have to adjust as necessary. Good luck.
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