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Old 04-11-2007, 07:34 PM   #1
Jul 2005
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Can someone explain this to me?

Last time I ordered from Northern Brewer, I ordered the specific amounts I needed: 1/4 of this, 1/2 of that, etc. So it's all crushed to order. How is their crusher less efficient than one I'd buy on my own?
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:37 PM   #2
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You can set yours finer, if you want to squeeze efficiency.

For me, the bigger issue is being able to buy a big bag of Maris Otter and grind right before I brew, so that it stays as fresh as possible (and save money on base malt, potentially). Specialty grains, too, will stay fresh longer if they're uncrushed. If you want to keep a grain inventory, a mill is pretty much a requirement, IMO.
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:37 PM   #3
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:44 PM   #4
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Oct 2005
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It usually costs a few cents extra per pound for the pre-milled stuff, as opposed to the unmilled grain, which would require milling it yourself.

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Old 04-11-2007, 07:50 PM   #5
Jun 2006
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:51 PM   #6

What they said.

I buy 2-row in 50 lb. bags and specialty grains that I use a lot in 5 lb. bags b/c it's much cheaper that way. I crush just what I need at brew time.

And, it is kinda fun to do!

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Old 04-11-2007, 08:02 PM   #7
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Jul 2006
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Plus if you buy it pre-crushed and it comes in one bag, you have no idea if they really gave you what you ordered, or if the amounts you asked for are correct.

If you buy grains un-milled, at least you can verify the amount for your recipe before you mill it. It makes replicating a winning recipe much easier not to mention you KNOW exactly what and how much went into making your brew.

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Old 04-11-2007, 08:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by EdWort
Plus if you buy it pre-crushed and it comes in one bag, you have no idea if they really gave you what you ordered, or if the amounts you asked for are correct.
I guess it depends on the vendor. Midwest always mills to order and separates my grain orders regardless of how many small bags it requires.

They don't charge extra for milling.

I agree it is probably considered by frequent AG brewers to be a requirement, but it is a matter of prioritizing which equipment comes first.

For me right now? A chest freezer is much more of a priority than a mill. Once I get my chest set up...more cornies will be a priority...and then...maybe...that mill will be the priority.

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Old 04-11-2007, 08:14 PM   #9
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Jun 2006
Oregon coast
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Besides cost I don't really see the up side unless you get a bad crush from your HBS. AHB does fine by me, I get good efficiency and I can order them and have the grains packed separately to ensure i got what I asked for. It is more expensive and I intend on getting a grain mill, but I'm in no hurry. An upside for me for crushing is that I can go to the Rogue brewery and pick up my grain from them if I wanted to.

As far as freshness is concerned, you really have to take into account how much you brew. I would go through a 50 pound sack in probably 6-8 months..I can't imagine AHB having grains sit around that long.

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Old 04-11-2007, 08:19 PM   #10
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I usually measure and mill my own at the LHBS a day before I brew and have had great efficiency with their crush. The primary benefit I'm missing out on is the cost savings. My base grains would run about half of the cost if I ordered in bulk.

One thing to consider when deciding to mill your own is that malted grain and the flour it produces when you grind it are rich in all sorts of bacteria. You want to be careful to avoid milling in the same area that you're handling your post boil brew.
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