Any opinions on the looks of the grain crush?

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Nate R

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Hello all. I could not find a current thread on this so forgive me if this an errant new post.

I have a monster mill 3 (not pro) using a low rpm 2" drill- i can vary the rpm. I try to keep it around 160-200 rpm (by sound/look- nothing scientific).

I do brew in a bag (using an arbor fab 600 mesh basket) in a 2 vessell system. It's a brewie b20 (please let's not debate that here. Lol).

I have feeler gauges and set this to a credit card thickness (easier than feeler gauges as it is wider and easier to set.)

Below are some pics from today's crush. Just kind of curious what your thoughts are on the crush. Too fine? Too rough? Looks ok?

I am looking to ensure all steps of my process are as good as they can get (within reason) and am curious what the crush looks like.

Thanks all!! Appreciate it!!
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wilserbrewer

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Wow...you have a 2” drill, I’m a bit envious lol.

Crush looks good, but I would tighten a little.

That being said, I have no experience w your lauter basket ....but w 600 I doubt you’ll stick...
 
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Nate R

Nate R

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Wow...you have a 2” drill, I’m a bit envious lol.

Crush looks good, but I would tighten a little.

That being said, I have no experience w your lauter basket ....but w 600 I doubt you’ll stick...
Lol
My bad. 1/2" drill!!! As my school teacher wife would say... details matter!!

When you say "tighten up" you mean make the gap smaller? So a finer crush?
I was worried i was too fine.

I do not get any "stuck" sparges.

Thanks for the feedback! When this brewie dies i will be hitting you up for my next biab as i read nothing but rave reviews about your bags!
 

hopjuice_71

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Every considered conditioning your grain? It only adds a few minutes to the process. You can tighten the gap on your mill considerably and get a nice "fluffy" crush. I use a Grainfather and it was a game changer for me in terms of ease of milling, better recirculation flow, and mash efficiency. Not completely necessary but it made my life easier.
 
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Nate R

Nate R

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Every considered conditioning your grain? It only adds a few minutes to the process. You can tighten the gap on your mill considerably and get a nice "fluffy" crush. I use a Grainfather and it was a game changer for me in terms of ease of milling, better recirculation flow, and mash efficiency. Not completely necessary but it made my life easier.
Thought about it... Is that the process of wetting the grain? Like a light spray with water?
Any area you could point me to with clear directions? I have read some things here and there on this forum.
Or maybe I should stop being lazy and crack out my books- I read them before I started and it probably never hurts to re-read.
 

Vale71

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Those hulls look like they have been through WWII. Not a single one of them intact.
This is often the case when running the mill at such a high RPM. I can only second the advice to condition shortly before milling. Just weigh out 2% of the grist weight in water and spritz it on the malt. You don't really need a spray bottle, just spread the water as much as you can and quickly mix everything thoroughly with your hands so that the water gets distributed as evenly as possible. It helps to cut up the malt bill in smaller lots and treat them in a smaller container. Just don't wait too long after wetting the malt or it will start drying up again.
 

brewbama

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The grain grits/flour look good to me. The husks do look shredded. I am unfamiliar with your system; do you recirculate during the mash or single infusion? Do you use a pump to lauter or gravity?

To condition, on brewday the first thing I do is spray the grain while lifting from the bottom of the grain bucket in an attempt to mix and evenly distribute the moisture. I use 3.5 oz for a 10 lb or so of grain. I hold back a half pound or so dry to run through the mill last to clean the rollers.

After I condition the grain I put the water in the kettle and begin heating to strike temp. I want to give the grain husks a chance to absorb the moisture a bit if they will.

When I am at my strike temp I mill the grain. I add the crushed grain to the MLT and pump the strike water thru the drain valve to underlet the grain bed.
 
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tellyho

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I condition when I'm weighing out grain. I spray the grain as I pour it from bowl to bucket. I used to measure the water, now I just spray until I've moved all the grain.
 

RM-MN

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Your grain particles look really big compared to what I do and your husks are more intact than mine too. The quality of the crush determines the mash efficiency as bigger particles take longer to gelatinize and the sugars are more difficult to extract so you may leave unconverted starches or sugars in the grain. It also takes longer to get full conversion so if you plan to leave the grain as you show, don't shorten the mash period. Since you have a basket with a fine mesh, the husks do not need to be intact or even exist. The fine mesh provides the filter. Shredded husks do not add more tannin extraction than whole husks.

It may take a bit of experimentation with the crush. Try a batch as you have the mill set. If the wort drains out quickly, try another with the mill set tighter. Keep tightening until you have the beginning of a stuck mash. That will be the limit to how fine your setup can handle. Keep good notes on mash efficiency and heat loss during the mash. If you are interested in experimenting more, check for conversion during the mash to determine when conversion is complete. You may be surprised with the results.
 

kh54s10

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IMO, that looks good to me. I would not crush finer until you try that crush in your Brewie. If you come up short on efficiency, tighten it a bit for the next batch. You do not want to get a stuck sparge.

Torn up husks don't worry me either unless it makes the grist too fine leading to stuck sparges. Some will say you will get tannins or astringency. I used a Corona style mill for 8 years. It always shredded the husks and I had no issues regarding the grind that led to tannins or astringency.
 

hopjuice_71

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Thought about it... Is that the process of wetting the grain? Like a light spray with water?
Any area you could point me to with clear directions? I have read some things here and there on this forum.
Or maybe I should stop being lazy and crack out my books- I read them before I started and it probably never hurts to re-read.

@Vale71 explained it well. For more details, also see: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Malt_Conditioning. Before I started conditioning my grain I would have to run a little grain through the mill, evaluate the crush, adjust the mill gap.. ..repeat until I was happy with the crush. Now I just have the gap set quite tight and I never have to adjust it. Oh, and conditioning nearly eliminates grain dust during milling (big plus for me because I am allergic to grain dust). Again, it is not necessary - it won't improve the quality of your beer - but it may simplify the use of your mill and your Brewie.
 

brewbama

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The question of whether the potential hassles of finer milling are worth the gain in yield is a matter of personal judgment.
 

dwhite60

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What you need to do is brew a batch with the crush you have and see what the results are. If you're doing a traditional mash and sparge coarser can be better.

Personally I think it looks great for a traditional mash and sparge.

All the Best,
D. White
 

mongoose33

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When I look at a crush, first thing I check is whether there are uncrushed, intact kernels. I don't see any, so good on that.

The second thing is the hulls. If you look at the middle left, about 1/3 of the way in from the left side of the spoon, I see a couple of what looks like sheared-off kernels. I'm guessing that the endosperm remains inside the husk, and that'll make it harder for the starch to gelatinize.

I think it's a pretty decent crush, but I might crush just a bit finer than that.

And as far as guesstimating the RPM: I never had any confidence that I could tell what my drill-powered RPMs were. What you want is 2-3 revolutions per second, so if you paint (fingernail polish, whatever) a 1/4" spot on the drill chuck, set the drill to going and try to count how many times that spot appears in, say, 10 seconds, you'd have a better estimate of your real speed. Or use a stopwatch and just do the math. Like others, I suspect you're too fast.
 
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Nate R

Nate R

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When I look at a crush, first thing I check is whether there are uncrushed, intact kernels. I don't see any, so good on that.

The second thing is the hulls. If you look at the middle left, about 1/3 of the way in from the left side of the spoon, I see a couple of what looks like sheared-off kernels. I'm guessing that the endosperm remains inside the husk, and that'll make it harder for the starch to gelatinize.

I think it's a pretty decent crush, but I might crush just a bit finer than that.

And as far as guesstimating the RPM: I never had any confidence that I could tell what my drill-powered RPMs were. What you want is 2-3 revolutions per second, so if you paint (fingernail polish, whatever) a 1/4" spot on the drill chuck, set the drill to going and try to count how many times that spot appears in, say, 10 seconds, you'd have a better estimate of your real speed. Or use a stopwatch and just do the math. Like others, I suspect you're too fast.
That should be easy enough for me to adjust. I can dial the rpm back on my next crush.
Thanks!
 
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