Austin Homebrew crushed grains

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steelerguy

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I know a lot of you order grains from AHB and I was thinking about ordering up some tomorrow for a Porter I want to make for the fall. I don't have a Barely Crusher yet and I am thinking about being cheap and just letting AHB crush the grains. Do they generally crush them pretty good? I batch sparge so the crush can be pretty fine and would help my efficiency. I doubt they will crush fine simply because I ask, so I thought I would ask some of the people on here how their crush is. (I would not normally ask but my first crushed grain order from NB was barely crushed at all and my efficiency suffered big time).
 

Chad

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Austin Homebrew is a great place to purchase supplies, but you've got to realize that, like other online stores who deal with customers at a distance, they're going to be very conservative in their crush. That means that their mill is going to be set to minimize stuck sparges rather than maximize efficiency. If you count on 60% efficiency and adjust your recipe accordingly, you'll be fine. At least that has been my experience.

On the other hand, AHS is also pretty responsive. They might be willing to run your grains through the mill twice if you ask nicely.

Chad
 
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If you count on 60% efficiency and adjust your recipe accordingly, you'll be fine. At least that has been my experience.

On the other hand, AHS is also pretty responsive. They might be willing to run your grains through the mill twice if you ask nicely.

Chad
What he said is exactly what I've found.
 

Rick500

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Here's some crushed grain I recently got from them:



It's worked well for me.
 

portlandbeergeek

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now i'm convinced that my LHBS is not crushing my grain properly. They always ask if I want a few extra pounds to compensate for an expected low effeciency (they know i'm new to all grain). I guess it's good for their pocketbook.
 

KingBrianI

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i got just over 60% efficiency from AHS crushed grains today doing the 999 barleywine. my efficiency is usually mid-70s when using grains from my LHBS. the AHS grains appeared very conservatively crushed.
 

DeathBrewer

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my LHBS (Oak Barrel) gives an absolutely perfect crush, everything opened up with a minimal amount of dust. i also shop at B3, which overly crushes their grains...a LOT of dust. i get good efficiency, but a lot more grain dust in the brew when i do my partial mashing with a bag.
 

Saccharomyces

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I know a lot of you order grains from AHB and I was thinking about ordering up some tomorrow for a Porter I want to make for the fall. I don't have a Barely Crusher yet and I am thinking about being cheap and just letting AHB crush the grains. Do they generally crush them pretty good? I batch sparge so the crush can be pretty fine and would help my efficiency. I doubt they will crush fine simply because I ask, so I thought I would ask some of the people on here how their crush is. (I would not normally ask but my first crushed grain order from NB was barely crushed at all and my efficiency suffered big time).
Before I got my BC I got 72-74% with AHS crushed grain, I jumped to 82% with the BC. +1 for asking for them to mill it twice they should be willing to do that for ya no problem.
 

DaleJ

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I get better than 60% eff from AHS grains, but not as good as I get from the grains from Midwest Supplies or my LHBS.
I've also had good results from grains from MoreBeer.


Now to start the list to Santa....
Grain Mill
 

WBC

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I have my own crusher but I think that any LBHS should crush grains so that you can at least get at least 75% efficiency when mashed and sparged properly and not try to under-crush to be safe from brewers that get stuck sparges because of inferrior equipment, grains, adjuncts or process.
 

Chriso

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*sigh*

I crush my own with a JSP Maltmill... Today was 9lbs grain, target 1.046 @ 70%. Got 1.042, 63% efficiency. I mashed for 90 minutes, and still came up short. Post-boil volume was correct, just crap efficiency. My past 3 self-crushed batches have all been in the low 60's or upper 50's, all with my own mill.

My Oktoberfest (grains crushed by Austin Homebrew) came in pretty close, within 2 points +/- of my target OG of 1.050. (Neglected to write down the OG after reading it!) And that was even a 10 gal batch. I was targeting 69% on that batch.
 

StunnedMonkey

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...like other online stores who deal with customers at a distance, they're going to be very conservative in their crush. That means that their mill is going to be set to minimize stuck sparges rather than maximize efficiency.
That's an interesting point, and it seems sort of accurate in my limited experience. I've done four AG batches. Two with grain from my LHBS, one from Northern Brewer, and one from More Beer. I got 60% from each of the mail order outfits, and 70% from the two from my LBHS. Sounds like a recipe adjustment is required when using mail order grain.
 
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steelerguy

steelerguy

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Thanks for advice. When I ordered my first AG batch I got about 60% efficiency. I noticed a lot of the grains were not really crushed and still in the husk. It wasn't until afterward that I found a thread on their own forums with people complaining and the adjusted their crush a bit because of the comments. I also saw some pictures of a good crush for batch sparging and what I got was really quite course.

With the grains I crushed myself at the LHBS (30 mins away and limited selection which is why I am asking about Internet places) I got 73% efficiency. Not great, but I was happy with it.

I don't really mind buying a couple extra pounds so I may just do that, worst that can happen is it is stronger than expected...oh that would be just so terrible! :)
 

jpgilman

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*sigh*

I crush my own with a JSP Maltmill... Today was 9lbs grain, target 1.046 @ 70%. Got 1.042, 63% efficiency. I mashed for 90 minutes, and still came up short. Post-boil volume was correct, just crap efficiency. My past 3 self-crushed batches have all been in the low 60's or upper 50's, all with my own mill..
Do you have the non-adjustable Maltmill? If so, I think the rollers are set to .045", which is a wider gap than many prefer, e.g. my LHBS claims to crush at .040". If you do have the non-adjustable mill, have you tried crushing your grain twice?

John
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Primary - EdWort's Haus Pale Ale
On Tap - Dead Guy Ale Clone
 

Chriso

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Yep. Non-adjustable Maltmill. I only crush once *for now* because I have wussy wimpy arms, and get tired easily.

Motorizing my mill is a top priority, and as soon as I have it as such, I'll be crushing twice fo' sho'.

Wish I would've researched more heavily before buying the non-adjustable model. Don't get me wrong, I *like* the JSP line. Just... it was an impulse buy because it was in-town and didn't have to be shipped. If I did it over again, I'd have a 3-Roller Monster Mill or Crankandstein or something.
 

jpgilman

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i got just over 60% efficiency from AHS crushed grains today doing the 999 barleywine. my efficiency is usually mid-70s when using grains from my LHBS. the AHS grains appeared very conservatively crushed.
I did a Dead Guy Ale Clone from Austin Homebrew a month ago and ended up with an efficiency in the low 60's. I had to add a couple of pounds of DME to hit my target O.G. Part of that low efficiency was the fact that it was my first All Grain in 8 years and my technique was rusty, but I was still frustrated. Last week I brewed EdWort's Haus Pale Ale using grains crushed by my LHBS (Defalcos in Houston) who told me they crushed at .040. I hit 78%. There are a lot of variables in this - lower grain bill relative to sparge water used, hotter sparge water, more stirring, etc. But I would now hypothesize that a key element may have been the different crush.


John

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Big10Seaner

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I've only done 2 all grain batches, using crushed grains from Midwest and both times got 75% efficiency. Their crush looked pretty good to me.
 

Saccharomyces

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If you want a .040 crush, ask for a .040 crush in the special instructions when you place your order. Their mill is adjustable. ;)

If you don't specify, Austin Homebrew crush should give you consistent efficiency of around 70% eff. for a normal gravity beer. Lower 60s with a Dead Guy clone sounds about right, since it's high gravity and hence will be undersparged unless you fly sparge. I fly sparge anything over 1.060 and hit my usual batch sparge efficiency.

Their AHS kits are setup for 70% efficiency, and when I brewed them I got 72% on the same rig with the same procedures that I use to get 82% now that I have my own mill set at .041. 70% vs 82% is one pound of grain. It will take me a long time to pay for my mill with a savings of one pound per batch. :)
 

jpgilman

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If you don't specify, Austin Homebrew crush should give you consistent efficiency of around 70% eff. for a normal gravity beer. Lower 60s with a Dead Guy clone sounds about right, since it's high gravity and hence will be undersparged unless you fly sparge. I fly sparge anything over 1.060 and hit my usual batch sparge efficiency.
You are absolutely correct. I just went back and looked at their instructions and they call for a fly sparge at 12 min per gallon. I'm sure that would have made a significant difference. Do you know if all their All Grain recipes call for fly sparging or just higher gravity beers?

John
 

Saccharomyces

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You are absolutely correct. I just went back and looked at their instructions and they call for a fly sparge at 12 min per gallon. I'm sure that would have made a significant difference. Do you know if all their All Grain recipes call for fly sparging or just higher gravity beers?
Most of their recipes don't specify and a double batch sparge is sufficient. I haven't brewed any of their bigger kits yet but I will do their imperial stout sometime because I have heard it is a good one.
 

jpgilman

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Most of their recipes don't specify and a double batch sparge is sufficient. I haven't brewed any of their bigger kits yet but I will do their imperial stout sometime because I have heard it is a good one.
Interesting. When I read the instructions I did not think they were actively choosing fly sparging over batch sparging for higher gravity beers. I assumed that they had done so for the sake of simpler, unambiguous directions and that this was boilerplate for all their all grain recipes. If they really believe that fly sparging is more likely to yield satisfactory results I think their instructions could be improved by simply highlighting the sentences discussing fly sparging by using a bold font and by including a parenthetical footnote that batch sparging this much grain may prove unsatisfactory.

John
 
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