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Old 02-13-2012, 12:52 PM   #1
LowNotes
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Default Volume of Crushed grains vs. Uncrushed

So I ordered a 50lb bag of grain from Midwest and had it crushed prior to delivery. I was all set to brew my first SMaSH beer, and realized I forgot about an inmportant piece of equipment...I had no scale.

I had read on HBT that a 50lb bag of grain will fit in exactly 2 5-gallon buckets. I wanted to use 1/4 of my bag (12.5lbs), so instead of using weight, I decided to be less precise and use a volume measurement, since it was my only option at the moment. I measured out 2.5 galllons of crushed grain in my fermentation bucket, and proceeded to brew.

My OG ended up being much lower than I expected (1.045), and I have a couple ideas on why that might be. First, I didn't have the grain double curshed, and I was using BIAB, so that probably hurt efficiency some. Also, the grain shipped in the original bag, so I am guessing most of the finer particles settled to the bottom. I scooped my 2.5gallons from the top, so I probably had less rich grains, with more husks.

Has anyone ever compared the volume of crushed vs uncrushed grain before? I am wondering if I also had significantly less than 12.5lbs of grain, in addition to having less rich grain.


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Old 02-13-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
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Volume of crushed is slightly greater. Probably about 10%. I know this because a normal batch of beer for me is little less than a bucket of grain, and after it is crushed and returned to the bucket it's overflowing.

FYI, 1 pound of crushed barley is about exactly one quart. If you have a quart measuring cup, you can measure pounds that way, without a scale. I never weigh grain that is a pound or over.


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Old 02-13-2012, 01:38 PM   #3
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Passedpawn, I would've thought it would be the opposite. A crude method would be to use a bath scale.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petey_c View Post
Passedpawn, I would've thought it would be the opposite. A crude method would be to use a bath scale.
No, I got it right. I've crushed a lot of grain.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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+1 on 1 qt per pound. I'm a scant qt pre-crush and a proud qt crushed. I would have said 2.5 gal was a hair under 10 lbs of grain, which my be why you thought you had a low OG.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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+1 on 1 qt per pound. I'm a scant qt pre-crush and a proud qt crushed. I would have said 2.5 gal was a hair under 10 lbs of grain, which my be why you thought you had a low OG.

Gotcha, so I guess my assumption for the density of crushed grain was actually off by a good bit. If 2.5g is closer to 10lbs of grain, that probably would put me right in the 1.045 OG range based on my previous efficiencies. I guess when people said they stored 25lbs of grain in a 5g bucket, that was up to the brim and actually a bit over 5g.

Thanks everyone for the 1qt=1lb rough estimate for crushed grain weight! I plan on buying a scale, but this knowledge will be useful some day, I am sure.

This makes me feel a lot better, I just made a Pale Ale instead of the IPA I was aiming for.


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