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Old 05-09-2007, 04:11 PM   #11
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JayFlap,
How do you drain your electric keggle into your plate chiller? Gravity? Do you use whole hops or pellets? Whirlpool? I am so thankful I finally can ask questions to someone with an electric keggle.

Thanks

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Old 05-09-2007, 04:18 PM   #12
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The problem is your crush. Buy a crusher and get it over with.

Sure, maybe you are using bad temps, unable to hold a steady mash temp, losing heat, blah blah blah... but let's be realistic, anybody with the intelligence to build an MLT, or the intelligence to hold a job that gives them the money to buy an MLT, has the intelligence to maintain a mash temp. Maybe your MLT is a bit better/worse than mine, but if yuo say that it works, I am sure it is just fine for batch sparging, whatever it is. Your problem is your crush.

Buy a crusher/mill.


I just bit the bullet and bought a crankandstein. The barleycrusher is fine too, I am sure. Best $100 you'll ever spend... besides the $100 you spent on hookers this weekend.

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Old 05-09-2007, 04:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
The problem is your crush. Buy a crusher and get it over with.

Sure, maybe you are using bad temps, unable to hold a steady mash temp, losing heat, blah blah blah... but let's be realistic, anybody with the intelligence to build an MLT, or the intelligence to hold a job that gives them the money to buy an MLT, has the intelligence to maintain a mash temp. Maybe your MLT is a bit better/worse than mine, but if yuo say that it works, I am sure it is just fine for batch sparging, whatever it is. Your problem is your crush.

Buy a crusher/mill.


I just bit the bullet and bought a crankandstein. The barleycrusher is fine too, I am sure. Best $100 you'll ever spend... besides the $100 you spent on hookers this weekend.
Gonna have to agree here. The crushes I've been getting from online have varied wildly and so has my efficiency.

On a side note, I managed to get the wife to buy me a barley crusher for Mother's Day

My argument went like this --

The 9th definition of mother at dictionary.com

9. something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else; origin or source.

I told her that I loved her, and would always protect her and care for her. Therefore, I should get a grain crusher for Mother's Day.


...and she bought it.
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Old 05-09-2007, 04:55 PM   #14
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Your wife lets you spend money on hookers???!!!!!!!!

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Old 05-09-2007, 05:10 PM   #15
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Toot and D2T are probably right that you have a poor crush that is leading to low efficiency -- no arguments there.

But, before you drop a bunch of cash on a new grain mill, just check your thermometer reading first. It might cost you nothing to do so.

On my last AG batch I had my worst efficiency yet (60%, after being in the mid 70's). I use a 10 gal cooler MLT and a Corona-style grain mill. It wasn't my crush that was my problem, it was my new thermometer -- it read fine at lower temps, but was out by 5 or 6 degrees on the high end. I wanted to do a dextrinous mash, so I did a rest at 158. It was actually 163 or higher. I *was* intelligent enough (al a Toot ) to hold at 158 properly, but I wasn't smart enough to be certain that 158 on my thermometer was actually 158 before I began.

Incidentally, I compared all the thermometers I had in the house to a lab thermometer from work, and none were perfect at mash temps. And the closest was the cheapest thermometer (run of the mill, floating glass brewing thermometer). So don't trust your thermometers unless you can verify its quality (either that or just fork out the cash for a really good one -- wish I had done that now).

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Old 05-09-2007, 05:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
Your wife lets you spend money on hookers???!!!!!!!!
I think I might need more than a dictionary.com reference to get hookers okay'd, but I'll get back to you.
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
...before you drop a bunch of cash on a new grain mill, just check your thermometer reading first. It might cost you nothing to do so.
I could not disagree more. If you find out your thermometer is broken, you will spend $10 on a new one and improve your efficiency a little and be content. However, if you buy the mill first, and THEN check your thermometer, you will have a better thermometer AND the ability to crush your own grains!

So buy a new mill and THEN check your thermometer.
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
I could not disagree more. If you find out your thermometer is broken, you will spend $10 on a new one and improve your efficiency a little and be content. However, if you buy the mill first, and THEN check your thermometer, you will have a better thermometer AND the ability to crush your own grains!

So buy a new mill and THEN check your thermometer.
Ah, yes -- for those of us looking for a good excuse to buy a new mill, you can't refute this logic!!

Darn -- wish I had thought of this before!
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Old 05-09-2007, 06:11 PM   #19
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All good tips

Personally having gone through all this with my new location/water/equipement etc my recommendation would be as follows:

1) 65% efficiency - RDWHAHB!
- This isn't terrible and easily made up for with relatively cheap grains. You can buy alot of grain for the price of one grain mill.

2) Focus your attention on your technique aiming for consistency. The easiest way to do this is pick one recipe and brew it repeatedly. Measure your SG and volume at every step to see what you are getting and where your losses (if any) are and tweak your system if possible to minimize it or compensate for it.

3) Check for conversion with the iodine test. If it is complete then it is not a pH or temp issue - your starch has completely converted. How well it will attenuate will be determined by the above parameters but not your efficiency.

4) Change one thing at a time! This way you will know what made the difference if anything.

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Old 05-09-2007, 07:12 PM   #20
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You guys are good: the hookers, the mother's day gift, all of it-really good stuff. Has anyone ever made a mill? I am a wood/metal shop teacher with a lathe..... As for the thermometer issue, i will borrow a glass lab 15 inch thermometer (I would think that is accurate as anything) and run some tests. The iodine test is certainly something I will do, which I have not done before. From what I have read it seems like I put some wort on a white dish and add a drop of iodine and check for a color change, right?

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