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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Milling where you're brewing. A no-no, yes?
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:54 PM   #1
nigel31
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Default Milling where you're brewing. A no-no, yes?

Hi,

I believe I've heard/read that one should avoid milling grains near the area where a mash/brew/boil will take place when milling the same day as brewing. Does it have to do with grain dust?

Anyone know why this is, exactly, and what the negatives would be if one did this?

Big thanks,
Nige

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Old 04-07-2011, 04:56 PM   #2
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Only if you get grain dust in your fermenter, it's full of wild yeast.
I brewed and milled grains in the same room for 3 years with no infections. I also store grain and kegged beer in the same freezer. Common sense and good sanitation will help.


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Old 04-07-2011, 05:01 PM   #3
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I really don't think this is an issue for your average homebrewer making 5 or 10 gallon batches, one batch at a time.

Large breweries have to be careful because of the massive amounts of grain leading to massive amounts of dust floating around. That dust can (a) combust of fire gets to it or (b) carry lacto and other buggers into fermenters (grain is laden with crud like that). They are always brewing and milling and transferring something all the time, so they have to worry about this stuff.

If you're grinding up 8 to 30 lbs of grain at the start of your day, and then brewing a single batch, you don't have to be concerned. That dust is small and will basically be gone from the air before you even sanitize your fermenter.

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:03 PM   #4
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Never heard that one before... It might depend on the type of mill you're using. If you're using a corona style, which can toss grain (and parts) all over the place, it might be not such a good idea. But, if you're catching the grain into a bucket, using a hopper to feed it, I don't see any reason to not do it where you want. I'm talking about pretty much any mill that uses rollers to crush the grain.

I'm brewing tonight, and will be milling my grain less than 10 feet from where the kettle will be setup (more like 5-6')... It probably won't be cooking at the time, but it will be getting ready.

I probably wouldn't mill my grain near an open flame, but if you're at least semi-smart about it, you shouldn't have any issue. If you see a layer of dust after you milled, make sure your mill fits the bucket top properly, and clean it up before starting the fire to heat your water... Use some common sense here Hoss...

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:06 PM   #5
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I agree while there is possibly some concern over wild yeasts and whatnot, it is more about fire hazard. It's just common sense that you don't want a bunch of fine particulates around an open flame.


Also Wildwest I like your updated pic!

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:09 PM   #6
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Thanks, gents. I do use a Corona mill and catch the grains with a large Tupperware container, emptying the crushed grains into a bucket (that I re-cover with a lid placed on top) as the container fills. That said, my fermenter's still in a closet down the hall when I'm crushing, and my kettle's not too far away but is lidded during crush time.

My MLT (cooler) is preheating while I'm crushing, and it's (obviously) sealed shut. Sounds like I'm pretty safe?

Cheers.

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:11 PM   #7
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Not to do with the brewing.

It is to do with the fermenting.

You can mill where you brew and be fine but if you ferment in the same space, consider the front porch.

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:14 PM   #8
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nigel31, with all that you're doing, I would just make sure there's no open flame close to where you're milling. You should be fine with that caveat...

I will say that having a mill that goes directly into the bucket is really nice... Less dust gets into the air, plus more of what you mill gets into the batch. You're probably not losing all that much with how you're doing it. For me, that would get pretty old, really fast.

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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The biggest worry about this has been Lactobasillus on the surface of the grain getting kicked up during. But like a lot of folks have said they haven't had issues on the homebrewing scale. Other's try to avoid it as much as possible.

The thing to think about is that- It's going to be several hours between milling and having cold wort waiting to have yeast added to it and therefore vulnerable. And you're usually brewing outside.

Chances are, even indoors the "dust" would have settled in those 4-6 hours of brewing.

If you're a stove top brewer you probably don't want to mill your grain in your small enclosed kitchen or wherever you pitch yeast but if you do it even in another room (if I'm doing it inside I'm usually milling on my dining room table which is another room) it's probably not going to be that worrisome, especially if you have a window open, run a fan or even have traffic shifting the air current about. But it's just as risky to brew ANYWHERE if you want to worry about airborn issues. You can't really escape from them, unless you brew in a cleanroom. The kitchen in my lost is a tiny galley, so I wouldn't do it...plus it would already cramp things further.

That's why we pitch yeast a fast as we can, or cover the wort if we can, or at least get it sealed like no-chilled brewers do asap,

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Old 04-07-2011, 05:21 PM   #10
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Ahh, so it has to do with the fermenter. In that case, I'm totally okay.

I'd love to have a Barley Crusher or a similar mill that fits over a bucket. When I got the Corona (a desired/asked-for gift at the time), I was only doing steeping grains and hadn't planned on going all-grain at the time (WHY don't any of the bibles of brewing ever suggest 2.5- or 3-gallon batches?!?), so for what I was cracking, it was fine. Didn't see the need to spend $125 when I could only spend $25. I'm happy with my Corona, but would be happier with a BC, but hey, it works and I do keep dust down when I mill, so for now, I'll be just fine, methinks. Since I'm not doing 5- or 10-gallon batches, my grain bills are under 12 pounds, so the Corona, while being slower and more fiddly, does the job nicely. Since I'm no-sparging it, the crush needn't be picture perfect, either, though I do pay constant attention to the crush as I do it.

And no, there's no flame on nearby when I'm crushing. Thanks, though.

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