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Old 06-03-2008, 05:20 PM   #1
xithix
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Default Transition to All Grain

Hi! I'm new to the forums and have done a few extract batches (a few more under way), and I'd like to transition to all grain. I was starting to plan my equipment when a couple questions came to mind... I took a look around and answered most (thanks!) though I have a few more I could not seem to find an answer to:

1) How long will crushed grains last? Any longer or shorter than non-crushed?

2) Could I crush my own grains with a low-tech method (i.e. a rolling pin or something of the sort) with relative ease?

3) Where are the holes punched into a lauter manifold (top, sides, etc.) for good flow? How big are the holes typically?

Thanks in advance! I'm enjoying the great information on these forums.

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Old 06-03-2008, 05:26 PM   #2
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1) How long will crushed grains last? Any longer or shorter than non-crushed?
I've never used crushed grains any more than 30 days after they were crushed. if you go much longer than that I would think that you would begin to see a decrease in efficiency.

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2) Could I crush my own grains with a low-tech method (i.e. a rolling pin or something of the sort) with relative ease?
There are some posts floating around here about how to crush your own grain with a rolling pin but that seems like a lot of work to me. Your LHBS or online store will be able to crush the grains for you.

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3) Where are the holes punched into a lauter manifold (top, sides, etc.) for good flow? How big are the holes typically?
Are you referring to the mash/lauter tun that Papazian write about in The Complete Joy of Homebrewing? If so I can't help you there. You may want to click here to see another option.
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:35 PM   #3
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Ah, I suppose I wouldn't need holes if we're using a braid. Thanks for the quick answers!

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Old 06-03-2008, 05:39 PM   #4
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1) How long will crushed grains last? Any longer or shorter than non-crushed?
Guys on here will tell you that non-crushed grains in an air-tight container will last you a long time (months/year(s)). After my first AG batch, I figured out how much I could save by buying bulk grains and purchased a mill on the premise that un-crushed grains will last in the yearish time frame.
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Old 06-04-2008, 03:06 AM   #5
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Seriously man, it's not hard to convince both yourself and SWMBO that a mill is a money-saving investment. Hell, mine's watching me type this and she still buys it!

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Old 06-04-2008, 04:34 AM   #6
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1. Cracked grains will go stale much quicker than uncracked grains. I've found them to start tasting stale in a week when cracked. I've had a bag of uncracked grain for a year before it started tasting stale.
2. No. There is no way to get a good crack with relative ease without a mill.
3. Typically the slits in a manifold for a combined mash/lauter tun will be on the bottom of the piping but can go wherever you deem fit. If you're building a false bottom and drilling holes that's another story and you might as well just buy one. For flow diagrams for different setups check out the appendix in how to brew at www.howtobrew.com.

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Old 06-04-2008, 11:05 PM   #7
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2. its a burden just cracking a half pound of specialty grain with a rolling pin...let alone 8-10 lbs of base malt. you need a way to mill the grain, either at the LHBS or your own home mill.

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Old 06-05-2008, 12:40 AM   #8
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Keep your cracked grain in an airtight container and cool. In my experience they'll last months without any problems. I've used them a year later and swear I could tell no difference. I certainly never noticed a difference in efficiency.

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Old 06-05-2008, 01:11 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone! I was hoping to pick up 50lbs since I have no LHBS that I can get to carless. The mill is a little cost prohibitive for now since i need to make the MLT and get some big pots first... though soon enough (hopefully) my whole apartment will be a brewery.

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Old 06-05-2008, 03:40 PM   #10
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In the meanwhile why don't you try some partial mashes? That will get you started into an AG-like process without requiring much in the way of extra equipment.

have a look at this:

http://www.byo.com/feature/1536.html

Going from PM to AG is not a huge step.

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