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Old 04-21-2013, 04:22 AM   #1
bredstein
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Default Corona mill and liquid yeast

Sorry for the dumb thread title - I put these two things together because I tried them both for the first time yesterday :-)

It was an all grain AHS Double Chocolate Stout. About 10 lbs of grain total. After playing with spacers, I got the mill perform as needed. I am not quite sure whether it was the best crush or there is still some room for improvement. Seemed OK to me though. It took me less time to mill than I expected - half an hour maybe (with the help of my two younger kids, 7 and 2 year old). Picture included.

I messed up with the boil volume. Instructons called to sparge with 5 gallons, and to collect no more than 6.25 gallons. I sparged, and suddenly realized that there was nearly 7 gallons in the kettle. To fix it I added a cup of DME during the boil. My main surprise was when I took the OG reading and it was exactly what the instructions called for: 1.056! It was my 18th batch, and I have never matched the desired gravity - always ended 2-5 points below. It is tempting to explain my gravity success with the new mill :-)

And the second novelty was liquid yeast. I have been always using dry yeasts, but this time decided to give it a try. Since the vial came to me from Austin, TX via ground UPS, it was quite warm, and I decided to boost the cells with a starter (DME+water). In 24 hours I didn't notice any activity, and pitched it with some pessimism in the evening. No, I coudn't RDWHAHB because I ran out of it a few days ago :-( However, in the morning I saw a nice krauzen and a lot of happy bubbles in the airlock. Now the hard part begins - five weeks...

p4198372ed.jpg   p4198377ed.jpg  
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:25 PM   #2
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Are you mashing in a conventional mash tun or BIAB. Tuning the Corona mill is different for each. Does your mill spit grains every which way when you are milling? Mine did at first but I tamed that by using gallon ziplock bags to catch the milled grain, holding them in place over the entire milling plates with a pair of clothes pins.

When I use my mill with BIAB I always have trouble with getting the proper OG. I set the software to 80% efficiency and nearly always overshoot it.

BTW, congratulations on your step into the next world, the partial mash. The next step is to believe in yourself and just do without that DME. You can do it.

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Old 04-21-2013, 02:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Are you mashing in a conventional mash tun or BIAB.
Conventional, in a 5 gal cooler. Never tried BIAB so far.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Tuning the Corona mill is different for each. Does your mill spit grains every which way when you are milling?
It did spit, but not too much. I did not use a drill - come on, it was only 10 lbs - and slowly cranking by hand you can minimize the mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
When I use my mill with BIAB I always have trouble with getting the proper OG. I set the software to 80% efficiency and nearly always overshoot it.
My calculations show 75% based on a post-poil OG. I hope it is not too bad. Next time I may want to mill finer.

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Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
BTW, congratulations on your step into the next world, the partial mash. The next step is to believe in yourself and just do without that DME. You can do it.
I would not call this brew a partial mash - all the grains went into the tun, and the reason why I added DME (about 1 cup) was twofold: I wanted to compensate for the extra pre-boil volume, and I had this DME sitting around for a year or so (I use it for baking rye bread), which turned into a rock, so the idea was just to use it :-)
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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Conventional, in a 5 gal cooler. Never tried BIAB so far.



It did spit, but not too much. I did not use a drill - come on, it was only 10 lbs - and slowly cranking by hand you can minimize the mess.


My calculations show 75% based on a post-poil OG. I hope it is not too bad. Next time I may want to mill finer.


I would not call this brew a partial mash - all the grains went into the tun, and the reason why I added DME (about 1 cup) was twofold: I wanted to compensate for the extra pre-boil volume, and I had this DME sitting around for a year or so (I use it for baking rye bread), which turned into a rock, so the idea was just to use it :-)
To me it's primarily a technicality but when you use any malt extract you are still partial mashing because not all your sugars came from the whole grains.

Getting 75% efficiency is darn good on your first try. You might be able to do better with milling finer but you also might have trouble draining the tun. That is the definitive way to see if you are milling fine enough. You mill, mash a batch and see it drains good. If it does you tighten the mill and do it over. When it won't drain, it's too tight.
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