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Old 12-31-2005, 06:53 PM   #1
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Default cracking your own grain

So what, besides cost, is the driving force for grinding your own grain? I am trying to decide if I want to get that far into this. I am sure that eventually I will go there, but right now I don't really see a reason for it.


Thanks guys,

John

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Old 12-31-2005, 07:21 PM   #2
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Milling grain right before brewing helps keep it as fresh as possible.

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Old 12-31-2005, 07:23 PM   #3
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I dunno, sorta like most of the other parts of this hobby. It doesn't make much sense, but we gotta do it OURSELVES!

I'm like you. I just got a grain mill for Xmas (I asked my wife for one), and don't have a clue why. I brew using partial mash - so my mill will only be used for max 2 lbs at a time. But, if I go for all grain brewing, I like the idea of buying 55 lb bags of grain and being able to store them without losing quality. If they are milled, then you lose the quality pretty quickly, I'm told.

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Old 12-31-2005, 08:34 PM   #4
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Milling capability allows you to also roast your own malt. Thats where the big savings is- buy cheap bulk malt, convert to expensive roasted stuff. Why? Why homebrew at all? Why ski? Why build a hot rod?

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Old 12-31-2005, 10:47 PM   #5
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Uncracked malt can be stored for 6-8 months without any problems. This lets you buy the base 2-row in bulk. Cracked malt gets stale in 3-4 weeks unless you freeze it.

It also lets you buy specialty grains and keep them around. This can be really handy if your wort didn't come out the way you wanted and another 2 oz. of black patent would be just right.

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Old 01-01-2006, 12:38 AM   #6
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1. Freshness
2. Cost. If the malt was stored cracked, it will not be a fresh as whole grain. If the malt is cracked for you, there could be a charge
3. Exercise. Cracking 10 lbs of malt with a hand grinder gives my arms a bit of a work-out
4. It gives me something to do while waiting for the mash water to get up to temperature.

-a.

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Old 01-01-2006, 04:27 PM   #7
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If your a going to make your own beer, why not make your own "Home Brew Mill"?

I made one mill out of a weight lifter's bar, all chrome and knurled. And, I just tried a tortilla press, it's 3"diameter un-knurled aluminum rollers seem to work better than the 1 1/4 knurled steel from the weight lifter bar (WLB)- the pros recommend 1 1/2" minimum. The WLB doesn't like to feed un-roasted barley, but eats the toasted stuff. So I use a block of wood as a pusher. The tortilla press will be lots higher volume. I use a drill motor on the hex nuts on the shafts, easier for me than hand cranking the freeby at the HBS. Tortilla press is from the swap meet, hecho en Mexico, $89 new, $20 with a broken handle that I don't need anyhow. Rollers adjust too. I'll need to build a hopper and a new base to feed into a bucket.

Have fun!

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