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Northern Brewer bad crush!!!

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hoppheadIPA

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I've gotten 2 Dead Ringer IPA kits in a row with bad crushes causing me to come in about 18 points below expected OG. Anyone else having issues with them? I guess I'll have another session IPA....
 

brycelarson

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You were consistently the same gravity each time? I would like to suggest that the crush may not be your problem.
 
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hoppheadIPA

hoppheadIPA

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Nope that's not it, I was at 1.040 the 1st time after adding 1lb of corn sugar and this time I'm at 1.046 with no additions. Looked at the crush prior and it looked a little sketchy but I figured Northern Brewer can't mess it up twice right? There's a LOT of whole grains in the spent grain pile.....
 

Jayhem

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It's possible! Before I crushed my own I was getting 57-62% efficiency from my homebrew store milled grains! Now I get 80%!
 

Echoloc8

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FWIW the Northern Brewer Irish Red Ale AB kit I got a few weeks ago resulted in terrible efficiency, too. While it didn't look bad to me, the consensus after some debate here is that the NB crush was most likely to have been my problem.

If only I could clear the $175ish it appears to take to get a (decent) mill and hopper. I was saving for a lagerator...

-Rich
 

rockfish42

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Exercise their 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy and get them to ship you two new kits.
 

Seedly

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Exercise their 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy and get them to ship you two new kits.
Not a bad idea really. If more people did this when they got a bad crush, they would start crushing finer in a hurry
 

Tizzomes

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Not a bad idea really. If more people did this when they got a bad crush, they would start crushing finer in a hurry
I completely agree! I noticed the same issue with NB pre crushed grains.

Save up a few bucks and buy a mill, it helped me out a ton. At least you'll have more control of the process.
 

LansingX

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I had the same issue about two years ago. I ordered two kits from them and both were delivered with an inferior crush. That is when I decided to let go of a few bucks and get a mill. Consistently getting good efficiencies now.
 

ktraver97ss

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x2 I just got a bunch of rahr 2-row from them that looked like a bad crush. We usually get 78-80% eff and this one was 66%. I was pissed as were were making an Imperial IPA which is going to be way too hoppy now that its not even close to Imperial. Good thing i dont mind a palate wrecking hop-bomb IPA. We are getting a mill before brewing anymore, this is bullsh*t.
 

Dirty25

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Exercise their 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy and get them to ship you two new kits.
Haha, 100% no way. Ordered their ss minnow mild grain kit and ordered it uncrushed. They crushed it anyway. I emailed them saying I wanted it non crushed since I wasn't making the kit right away and that I like using my own mill for efficiency and stuck sparge issues.

They pretty much said your crushed grain will store for a long time don't worry. That's not entirely the issue to me I wanted it uncrushed so I can crush it on my own so it works on my system...I am done with NB as my .com hbss. (I usually use my LHBS for all my yeast and grain purchases but they didn't have some of the English grains I needed for the mild)
 

Grannyknot

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Not a bad idea really. If more people did this when they got a bad crush, they would start crushing finer in a hurry
and then we would have 3 new threads a week complaining of stuck sparges with NB grain.

Get a mill or find someone who will do a double crush for you.
 

jdauria

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This thread got me thinking. I was getting 85-90% mash efficiency and 75% brewhouse efficiency constantly because I crushed my grain that I ordered from NB myself. Since a local home brew shop opened and I crushed there, mash went down to low 80's and brewhouse to around 68%.

Was wondering why I am not hitting my previous numbers and this thread just made the light bulb go off!
 

Dirty25

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This thread got me thinking. I was getting 85-90% mash efficiency and 75% brewhouse efficiency constantly because I crushed my grain that I ordered from NB myself. Since a local home brew shop opened and I crushed there, mash went down to low 80's and brewhouse to around 68%.

Was wondering why I am not hitting my previous numbers and this thread just made the light bulb go off!
I always get fantastic efficiency from my LHBS store but I get stuck sparges with their grains. When I crush my own grains I get 75% which is good enough for me.
My LHBS has a old coffee grinder they use for crushing grains. They charge 10 cents to crush a pound so if I buy 1200lbs of grain my malt mill will be paid off:drunk:
 

Painty

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This thread got me thinking. I was getting 85-90% mash efficiency and 75% brewhouse efficiency constantly because I crushed my grain that I ordered from NB myself. Since a local home brew shop opened and I crushed there, mash went down to low 80's and brewhouse to around 68%.

Was wondering why I am not hitting my previous numbers and this thread just made the light bulb go off!
Whats your set up like to hit 85~90 % Thats not to bad at all.. I cant see why anyone would not crush there own grain, That way cant blame anyone but yourself..
 

jdauria

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Whats your set up like to hit 85~90 % Thats not to bad at all.. I cant see why anyone would not crush there own grain, That way cant blame anyone but yourself..
I use a 10 gallon Rubbermaid round cooler for mash tun with the NB screw-in boil screen and 5 gallon Rubbermaid cooler for my sparge water and just have tubing with diffuser on end for sparging. Never got around to getting a false bottom when I moved up to 10 gallon cooler because the screen has worked great with only 1 stuck sparge.

Trust me, I was shocked when I saw my mash eff. numbers...I had to double and triple checked!
 

danielbt

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If only I could clear the $175ish it appears to take to get a (decent) mill and hopper.
There's no way a decent mill should cost you that much. Even if you insist on new (and you shouldn't), a Barley Crusher from the manufacturer is only $115, and you can find them cheaper.
 

Echoloc8

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Even if you insist on new (and you shouldn't), a Barley Crusher from the manufacturer is only $115, and you can find them cheaper.
Noted! Looked around on their site, and read a few threads here. I worry about the BC lasting over the years, but a decent mill is probably better than no mill.

Suggestions for used mills? eBay? Craigslist? Here? I guess I can look myself, comes to that. :D

-Rich
 

danielbt

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Noted! Looked around on their site, and read a few threads here. I worry about the BC lasting over the years, but a decent mill is probably better than no mill.

Suggestions for used mills? eBay? Craigslist? Here? I guess I can look myself, comes to that. :D

-Rich
I got mine on Craigslist for $75 in essentially new shape. If you're in or near a large urban area, something is bound to pop up. Good luck!
 

Pezman1

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Noted! Looked around on their site, and read a few threads here. I worry about the BC lasting over the years, but a decent mill is probably better than no mill.

Suggestions for used mills? eBay? Craigslist? Here? I guess I can look myself, comes to that. :D

-Rich
I have a BarleyCrusher and love it. Cannot testify as to longevity as I have not had it long, but the crush is great with the factory settings and it is relatively cheap. Way cheaper than trying to mash unmilled grain!!

Cheers. Pez.
 

Islandboy85

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Echoloc8 said:
FWIW the Northern Brewer Irish Red Ale AB kit I got a few weeks ago resulted in terrible efficiency, too. While it didn't look bad to me, the consensus after some debate here is that the NB crush was most likely to have been my problem.

If only I could clear the $175ish it appears to take to get a (decent) mill and hopper. I was saving for a lagerator...

-Rich
Austin homebrew has a DIY mill for 99 clams. Not a bad deal.
 
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