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Old 12-04-2010, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default Question about grain crush...

I'm going from extract w/grains to all grain. I'm trying to decide if I want to spend the money on a grain mill. My HB store is Midwest supplies. They usually have the best price, and great customer service (in my experience). But I've never ordered an all grain recipe from them. Can anyone tell me the quality of their crush for all grain recipes? I've always ordered my grains crush for my extract recipes, however, I know the crush is much more important for all grain!

Or is it just worth it to have the grain mill? Not against buying one, just trying to not spend the money if I dont have too, ya know?


thanks guys!

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Old 12-04-2010, 03:58 PM   #2
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In my experience with midwest, I've ordered grain from them 15-20 times crushed, they don't crush it as well as they should. I think they do that to prevent stuck sparges but it does lower my efficiency below 70%. If you buy a grain mill then you can buy in bulk, decide your own crush, etc. I vote you buy a grain mill at some point and if you order grain from Midwest set your efficiency at 70% in your recipe calculator.

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Old 12-04-2010, 04:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjwhite41 View Post
In my experience with midwest, I've ordered grain from them 15-20 times crushed, they don't crush it as well as they should. I think they do that to prevent stuck sparges but it does lower my efficiency below 70%. If you buy a grain mill then you can buy in bulk, decide your own crush, etc. I vote you buy a grain mill at some point and if you order grain from Midwest set your efficiency at 70% in your recipe calculator.
Me too. It's not bad, and it's definitely cheaper than buying your own mill, so you can use their crush until you're ready for your own mill. Just plan on 68% efficiency or so.
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Old 12-04-2010, 04:04 PM   #4
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just had an experience this week that might relate...

I have a barley crusher mill and was just at 75% eff on my all grain batches. I went into the local homebrew store this week to get ingredients for batch. I asked them to just mix up the grains and don't crush them.

Well, the guy was on auto pilot I guess and ended up crushing them.

I hit every temp and had the proper amount in my kettle but ended up around 55% eff...

I didn't weigh the amount of grains so they may have shorted me but this experience makes me think my mill was well worth it.

OT... I was wondering if I should have run them through my mill again but didn't.

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Old 12-04-2010, 06:50 PM   #5
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If you're going to go all grain you should purchase your own grain mill. The Barley Crusher is a good choice. If a roller mill is not affordable, a Corona Mill is a good second choice.

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Old 12-05-2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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I have a Corona-type mill (the one labeled "Victoria" and "500" that's sold by Discount Tommy on eBay*. After a bit of fiddling, my crush enables me to hit all my numbers on any recipe I try. I'm not one of those brewers who's in search of every efficiency point I can possibly get.....I batch sparge, etc....but this mill was an improvement over what I was getting by having Midwest crush my grains.

*Tommy's prices on this mill can be all over the map, but I got mine for $24 delivered, and if you watch the item a while, you can probably do as well or maybe better. The Mill is a very crudely made piece, but it WILL do the job. People report crushes every bit as good as a roller mill, and I'm certainly happy with mine. This thread is a great help in getting the mill mounted and tweaked:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-u...station-90849/

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Old 12-05-2010, 11:45 AM   #7
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I did a Blonde Friday night and got 87% eff. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/cherry-blonde-209757/

I use a Monster mill with the gap set @ .040.
It's really just important to dial in your efficiency so you can hit your numbers.
I normally get 82% so I overshot my OG.
The beer will still be good, just bigger than I was targeting.

Bull

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Old 12-05-2010, 12:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnybob View Post
If you're going to go all grain you should purchase your own grain mill. The Barley Crusher is a good choice. If a roller mill is not affordable, a Corona Mill is a good second choice.
I disagree. I've been doing AG for years and don't have a mill (actually I have a
Corona, but haven't bothered to put it to use).

Bad efficiency isn't a deal breaker as long as its consistent, If you know what to expect, you can add more grain to compensate.

As for brew shops, their crush does vary widely....once again I'll plug Brewmaster's Warehouse...I routinely get high 70-low 80s with their crush. I'm still mystified why people would consider buying anywhere else!
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Old 12-05-2010, 01:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
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If you're going to go all grain you should purchase your own grain mill. The Barley Crusher is a good choice. If a roller mill is not affordable, a Corona Mill is a good second choice.
IMO, for me the primary justification in owning a mill is being able to buy grain by the sack, control and consistency of the crush has merit as well, but if you are buying a recipe at a time, a mill is a luxury, not a necesity.
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Old 12-05-2010, 02:14 PM   #10
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Get a mill if you have the space and desire to buy grains in bulk. Personally I love having hundreds of pounds of different grains on hand for whatever recipe I decide on brewing that week. Of course, if I had a LHBS, I might keep less in stock. The closest HBS near me is in Orlando, about a 2.5hr drive, so when I go I try and buy as much as I can.

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