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Old 03-15-2007, 01:59 AM   #1
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Default Grains not crushed

I just received my next batch from Northen Brewer and orded an all grain crushed.
When I received it, I opened the grain bag and it looked like some of the grain is not crushed.
This is only my second all grain so I'm not sure if I'm right but my last batch had a real low efficency and someone told me that could be one of the reasons. I'm not ready to buy a mill yet so any ideas what to do. I was thinking of taking a rolling pin and trying to crack the grain a little more.


Thanks

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Old 03-15-2007, 02:25 AM   #2
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It's gonna take a long time with a rolling pin to crush up 8 or 10 lbs. of grain (not to mention the mess it may make), but if it's not crushed you need to do that. Keep in mind, though, that by "crushed" in brewing terms does not mean all pulverized like you ran it through your Cuisinart for 20 seconds or something. It just needs to be kind of cracked open a bit. Some of the kernels will be cracked in half and some will just be cracked open. You may want to look at it again, though and make sure it's really not crushed. Usually, though, it's pretty obvious. Good luck!

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Old 03-15-2007, 04:03 AM   #3
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What he said.

There should not be any whole kernals, but you are not looking for flour.

I have used a rolling pin on about 2 lbs of grain and it was an effort. I would not look forward to having to do a whole grain bill.

- magno

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Old 03-15-2007, 04:07 AM   #4
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If you batch sparge it will pretty much have an effect on your efficiency. You should see a lot of white endosperm from the inside of the kernal. The husks should be mostly intact.I wouldn't want to crush up 10 lbs. or so with a rolling pin. I am read that the supply stores do not crush it enough sometimes to be on the safe side.

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Old 03-15-2007, 11:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmditter
It's gonna take a long time with a rolling pin to crush up 8 or 10 lbs. of grain (not to mention the mess it may make), but if it's not crushed you need to do that. Keep in mind, though, that by "crushed" in brewing terms does not mean all pulverized like you ran it through your Cuisinart for 20 seconds or something. It just needs to be kind of cracked open a bit. Some of the kernels will be cracked in half and some will just be cracked open. You may want to look at it again, though and make sure it's really not crushed. Usually, though, it's pretty obvious. Good luck!
Although this is true and I completely agree with you in principle....I did just that for my first AG batch (long story). To boot it was an Oatmeal Stout. I had no lautering problems and efficiency, although a little low, wasn't low enough to really change anything in the recipe. Of course, the MaltMill was ordered like the following day lol. But my point is, in a pinch it will indeed work.

Fwiw, I would call Northern Brewer and explain to them that you have been getting poor efficiency lately and that you noticed many of the grain was not actually crushed. I would take a picture....fwiw, if you want to, you could always post a pic here too .
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:28 PM   #6
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Default Endosperm?

Endosperm? Brewing is kind of sexy, eh?

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Old 03-15-2007, 03:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blender
If you batch sparge it will pretty much have an effect on your efficiency.
Why only when batch sparging?

Kai
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Old 03-15-2007, 03:46 PM   #8
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I have successfully prepared small amounts of whole grains by crushing them as much as possible with a heavy pan or rolling pin, and then very carefully pulsing them a couple times in a food processor. You have to be very careful about pulverizing them into flour, but this works pretty well if you are adding, say, a pound or less to a batch of predominately pre-milled grains.

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Old 03-15-2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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I had to crush 1 lbs of chocolate once, man what a PITA!
I put it in 2 heavy zip-lock bags and went at it with a hammer. The results were very inconsistant: a good mix of pulverized and untouched kernels. The beer came out good regardless.

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Old 03-15-2007, 04:00 PM   #10
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FWIW, I have routinely had problems with pre-crushed grains from NB. I love them for equipment but I have stopped getting grains from them because I keep getting poor crushes and I don't have a mill....

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