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Old 01-06-2009, 02:05 PM   #1
Hops
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I'm on my 3rd all grain brew. The first two I just let the LHBS do their normal grind, but after reading about how much the grind effects efficiency I asked them to double grind the 3rd batch. He immediately went on about increased tannin extraction and stuck sparges. He also said that their mill is set at the narrowest setting, but he doesn't know what that is.
I have read both extremes on the grind...just break open the grain vs it should look like flour with a few grain husks.
So the big question...What is a good grind??
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:37 PM   #2
ol' rummie
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The grind can be touchy subject, I would advise you to buy a mill and try out different grinds until you find one that you can live with. Some people like a courser grind and don't care too much about efficiency as long as they are consistant, others like a fine grind and a better efficiency and don't mind a little (if noticable) tannin extraction.

 
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
Piotr
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Theoretically perfect crusch is when each grain is broken in half.
IMO it is way too coarse. My crushed grain looks like barley grits; with little flour and lots of whole husks, no whole grains left.

 
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr View Post
Theoretically perfect crusch is when each grain is broken in half.
IMO it is way too coarse. My crushed grain looks like barley grits; with little flour and lots of whole husks, no whole grains left.
I don't know whose theory that is, but I'm pretty sure that is incorrect. Perhaps, that's the best theoretical crush to avoid a stuck sparge, but it is nowhere near the efficiency you'd get if you used pulverized grains.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:02 AM   #5
messler
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Sep 2008
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I was just about to ask a question like this. I tend to mill my grain the old fashioned way, with a rolling pin, and i am never sure how much is enough.

 
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:15 AM   #6
notwoohoo
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I set my mill at a very narrow gap, 0.036" which gives me around 80% efficiency batch sparging. I haven't had any apparent issues with tannins

 
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr View Post
My crushed grain looks like barley grits; with little flour and lots of whole husks, no whole grains left.
My crushed grain looks the same way as described above.

I get 81% efficiency out of my Barley Crusher. Another percent here or there won't make a difference to my wallet. The 17% increase in efficiency saved me two bucks per batch of my usual recipes. I seriously doubt that I would gain another 8.5% which would save me roughly another pound of grain. I'm cool using the barley grits.

Edit: My barley crusher is set on factory settings. I fly sparge.
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notwoohoo View Post
I set my mill at a very narrow gap, 0.036" which gives me around 80% efficiency batch sparging. I haven't had any apparent issues with tannins
That's the setting I've been using awhile with my Barley Crusher, and my efficiency is usually in the low-eighties. I use a lot of Maris Otter, which is a little smaller than typical 2-row, and noticed a nice efficiency bump when I tightened the rollers up a touch.

I've never had even a hint of a stuck or slow sparge.

 
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:25 AM   #9
Piotr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob869007 View Post
The 17% increase in efficiency saved me two bucks per batch of my usual recipes.
Thats the point! Efficiency is not an issue in homebrewing.

I limit myself to 70%, but I rather try to restrain amount of sparging, oversparging seems to be more dangerous to beer than fine crush.

 
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Old 01-07-2009, 03:42 PM   #10
IowaHarry
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I hate to disagree but here goes anyhow. Efficiency is an issue in any process. Just because we are doing this at home for personal use and not on an industrial scale does not mean we should be intentionally inefficient. If you prefer 70% because you are concerned with oversparging that is your choice. Those of us who are tightwads by nature may choose to pursue effciency whether it is a hobby or not.

Hi, my name is Harry and I'm a tightwad.

Half the fun of this hobby is all the puttering around with the nit picking details. Why would all the brewing software come with efficiency functions if it made no difference at all? I agree, oversparging is bad. But it is apparent one can acheive better than 70% without oversparging.

:end rant.

 
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