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Max lauter efficiency - rice huller, then grind idea

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Tall_Yotie

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Howdy all!

I am starting to see suffering in lauter efficiency from the grind at the LHBS. I was thinking of making my own grain mill (Mechanical Engineer, so I feel I need to take a swing at it). As i was looking at what makes an idea crush, I determined this;

-Husk intact to avoid tannins from shredded husk and keep away a stuck sparge
-Kernels ground to flour fully

From what I have seen you have to give up on one to get the other; too fine a crush you get shredded hulls, too coarse and the kernels aren't crushed into flour well enough.

What I was thinking was to do a double-stage crush; use a rice huller to remove the hull of the grain while keeping the kernel intact. Now that you don't have to worry about the hulls, you can grind the hell out of the kernels. After this add some neutral rice hulls to avoid a stuck sparge, and there you go.

Has anyone done anything like this to up the efficiency? I have a way of over-thinking and over-designing, and the pay off may not be worth the time vs just buying more grain, but I thought it may be worth a try.
 

Hermit

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I do BIAB so take this all with a grain of salt. Just from what I've read. You DON'T want to grind to flour. Think stuck sparge. Tannins are extracted from to high a PH. See brew science sticky for water primer.. Also look up malt conditioning. Someone using it said they were going to backup from about .020 to .026 because they saw no increase in efficiency when dropping to .020 and didn't want to risk 'bad things' with no gain. You could by malt flour if you just wanted flour.
 

dzlater

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You might want to give this a listen. http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/605 Brewing Network podcast, They were explaining about how the "pro" grain mills use multiple sets of rollers set at different gaps and sieves to achieve what you're talking about.
 

Northcalais40

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I'd be interested to see if flour and hulls would work, but I have to assume the big breweries have done it. I Anhieser Busch can find way to save a penny, they already have. I think a mash stirring device would be a better investment. Don't comercial mashtuns have these?
 

batty

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I'd be interested to see if flour and hulls would work, but I have to assume the big breweries have done it. I Anhieser Busch can find way to save a penny, they already have. I think a mash stirring device would be a better investment. Don't comercial mashtuns have these?
yes.
 
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Tall_Yotie

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I am not seeing how having the kernels ground to flour would up the pH, and the tannins I was told would be from the hulls. Adding rice hulls afterward would be the way I would avoid a stuck sparge.

As for a mash stirrer, that could be a fun and simple build. I would assume that you would let the grain rest for a few minutes before running off, just like you do with a batch sparge after adding the sparge water.

As for the podcast regarding the multiple millings and sieves, I had thought about that as well and looked it up, but was thinking this may work better as a 2-step process.

If I get any good experimental results then I will give a report here on the forums.
 

Northcalais40

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I wouldn't be worried about pH. My concern with flour would be that it makes a paste, even with hulls, that will gum up the lauter tun. I would shoot for as fine a grit as possible with out flour. That said I am a very good and knowledgeable carpenter, pretty new to brewing. I'd love to see a cool new gizmo that improves the brew process.

As for mash stirring, the volauf sets the grain bed, I'd want it to stir every 5 min or so until conversion is reached. I bet this step would do as much to pull sugar from the grain as a super fine grind, much like a decoction does.
 
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Tall_Yotie

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I was concerned as well about the paste issue, but if I am adding the flour to water and make sure I have a decent water/gist ratio (1.25qt/lb) then it should dissolve or suspend just figure.

On that note, would I even need to add back in the hulls if I am batch sparging? I don't think a stuck sparge is a real issue. Though if I drain completely I can see it getting stuck, with the flour turning into paste as it gets drained. I would have to really stir it up, but I think mixing would be a breeze.

I flow the runnings through a fine mesh to varlauf, would I need to do that if I don't have hulls to recirculate? Or would I need to do this for even longer, as the particles of the grains would flow through easily?

I may not want to go full flour, now that I think about it, but get a really really fine grind. maybe a few passes through. I will experiment to see where the issue occurs.

The huller should be built mid week next week, when I have it working I will give an update!
 
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