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Old 06-27-2013, 10:53 AM   #1
JoeSpartaNJ
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Default LHBS Etiquette

Let me preface this by stating that I love my LHBS. The prices are right, always have what I need in stock, and great guys.

My only "issue" with them is I have notice the crush on my grains is not always the best. I can see a decent amount of non cracked grains in the mash.

My efficiency is not terrible, I average 65% to 67% on lighter beers and around 70% on darker beers (also depends on what calculater I use - beersmith vs brewersfriend.) I really do not know my water profile, but I feel I may be able to get a little better extraction if I have them mill the grains a second time. Would it be insulting to them to ask them to mill them twice? Not that I blame my efficiency issues on them. I am still relatively new to all grain (7 batches) and for all I know, it could be just technique and learning water chemistry.

FWIW, I use a 10 gallon rectangular cooler and batch sparge with single sparge.

Any input will be helpful.

Thanks,

Joe


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Old 06-27-2013, 11:18 AM   #2
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I think it is fine to ask, my grain source does the same thing. The grain is barely cracked to the point I thought they forget to crush it. I just ended up buying a mill so I could crush my own grain fresh when needed. But I see no issue with asking for a second crush. My LHBS says their crush has been adjusted based on customer requests to suit the masses, it may be the same for you. This is fine, but you are a paying customer and it may not work for you then you should ask for what you want.


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Old 06-27-2013, 11:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisL_ View Post
I think it is fine to ask, my grain source does the same thing. The grain is barely cracked to the point I thought they forget to crush it. I just ended up buying a mill so I could crush my own grain fresh when needed. But I see no issue with asking for a second crush. My LHBS says their crush has been adjusted based on customer requests to suit the masses, it may be the same for you. This is fine, but you are a paying customer and it may not work for you then you should ask for what you want.
^^^^^

My local has a mill up front that any one can use no charge the problem with it is its lowest setting is still twice as wide as my home mill. MY eff with the mill was always 64% now that i have my own my first 5 or so batches went to 74% with my last two batches hitting 84%
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:02 PM   #4
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Sure you can ask them to run it through a second time.

Also, you can probably increase your extraction by increasing sparge temperature. You should be targeting a sparge temperature around 168F - 170F, which means the sparge water strike temps need to be in the 185F range. The exact temp depends on your mash tun, water volumes and mash temperature prior to adding sparge water.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:14 PM   #5
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I don't think it's rude to ask for a double-crush. I mill my own, and I've noticed a big improvement from changing my routine to consistenly mill my grains twice instead of just once. Initially I was worried about stuck sparges, but so far (knock on wood), it hasn't been a problem, and I haven't even been adding rice hulls yet. If I start getting stuck sparges, I've got a half-sack (25 lbs) of rice hulls to address it when the time comes.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:24 PM   #6
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Getting 70% with batch sparging isn't really that bad, but I don't think it's rude to ask them to run it through again.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:34 PM   #7
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I was actually going to start a topic about LHBS crush but this will do nice as etiquette was brought up. I see no problem at all with approaching your LHBS staff and asking them to look at your crush and make any adjustments necessary. I literally did this exact thing yesterday. My LHBS switched out grain mills and seems to have a new mgr, nice guy, but not real knowledgeable actually. I showed him a very, very poor crush I received, even to my relative noob eye, and we both went back to the mill. He didn't know how to adjust it! I am somewhat mechanically inclined, but do not own my own mill. It took about 3 seconds for me to figure out how to adjust the rollers and boom, ended up with a great crush. I do a lot of BIAB, but I'm actually slightly concerned that it might be too fine for the typical AG guys. I mentioned something on the way out. Needless to say he was appreciative, and I was happy to have helped.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:10 PM   #8
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I have the same problem with the crush from midwest. Then I bought the barley crusher grain mill. I left it set at the factory lash of .039",which is marked on the roller setting knobs. Way more even crush. My OG's went up a few points as a result.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:58 PM   #9
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I live a mile away from 2 lhbs. One has an adjustable mill, the other does not.

The non-adjustable mill often binds up while milling wheat or rye, and the employees have to manually reset the mill. Huge pita! And the crush is so coarse that my eff was in the low 60s. An employee told me this is a ploy to sell more grain...


Guess which lhbs gets my business?
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:02 PM   #10
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I'm with the others here, I don't think it is fine to talk with the LHBS workers about either adjusting the mill or running the grain through a second time.


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