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Old 01-02-2012, 06:13 PM   #1
Righlander
 
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hey guys, so i've been getting 65% efficiency and i'm looking to improve it. a friend told me that he has the same mash tun (the big orange rubbermaid cylinder). and he says he crushes until it's very fine. i only have access to the grain mill at my LHBS until i get a mill of my own. i was thinking of doing a double crush but i'm paranoid about a stuck sparge. should i be concerned with this or is it no problem? should i be using rice hulls? or should i just mash as usual?

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:09 PM   #2
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Depends on your false bottom, but you could add some rice hulls and see. If that doesn't work take a look at your mash temps and time to make sure you are converting completely and then your sparge.

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:03 PM   #3
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I have a Barley Crusher and now double mill. My efficiency went from 70% to 82% batch sparging (last 3 batches all hit 82% exactly). I did add rice hulls and haven't had a stuck sparge yet (stainless braid circular manifold in a Rubbermaid 10 gallon cooler). Although my efficiency is great it has the unintended effect of raising my OG which I think negatively impacted the taste on my last batch (oatmeal porter). I'm saving about $1.00 per 5 gallon batch so don't know if it's worth all of the extra effort and risk for a stuck sparge.

Whatever it's worth the times I've had a stuck sparge were when I was using a heavy wheat bill and forgot to add a bunch of rice hulls.

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcavitt View Post
I have a Barley Crusher and now double mill. My efficiency went from 70% to 82% batch sparging .

Why not just adjust the gap on the mill to crush a little finer.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo

Why not just adjust the gap on the mill to crush a little finer.
It was a suggestion I read here. The first time I tried it and hit 82% I rechecked my numbers about 10 times to confirm The second and third batch were to see if this would be consistent with different malts (#1- Wheat, #2- Cream Ale, #3- Oatmeal Porter) My next step starting this weekend is to close the gap but it seems like gap recommendations aren't consistent so it is going to be a trial and error. The gap I have used what the original setting is.

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:01 PM   #6
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I crush my malt at my LHBS, and routinely double crush it. I have had no issues with stuck mashes, and it did increase my efficiency a few points. I think the rolls on the mill I use are set at 0.040" so fairly tight to begin with, but not overly so.

 
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcavitt View Post
The gap I have used what the original setting is.

I use the factory settings. I looked at my crush after I did mine today. looked great. I get on average 75% with a 10 to 11 pound grist for 6 gallons of finished brew. @ 1050 OG
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #8
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Condition your malt with a little water before milling and it will give you nice big pieces of husk and greatly reduce the chances of a stuck sparge.

I add ~100 ml of water to a typical amount of grain for 5 gal. Some folks use a spray bottle. I slowly drizzle it in while stirring with my hand. Stir well! The little bit of water helps to soften the husk and make them less brittle so they say in larger pieces.

I routinely double crush. I own a mill and I tighten the gap after the first crush. If my motorized mill had more torque, I'd just set it at the small gap to start with.
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