Grain Mill

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Jimsal, Jul 10, 2019 at 12:40 AM.

  1. Jimsal

    Jimsal Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Nyc
    I just purchased my first grain mill. I never used one before any advice you guys can pass along would be much appreciated.
     
    Ozarks Mountain Brew likes this.
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    2,792
    Likes Received:
    1,717
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    What sort of mill?
     
  3. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    210
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Montreal
    The best advice I can give you is to keep your mill clean. Gunk can build up in the knurling on the rollers and decrease its ability to pull the grain through.
     
    Trialben likes this.
  4. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Big Lake MN
    #4 HighVoltageMan!, Jul 10, 2019 at 3:19 PM
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019 at 5:37 PM
    If it's a two roller, they work well. Three roller is nicer, but you get the same results from a two roll with two passes rather than one pass.

    The European malts tend to be plumper and larger, so the mill gap needs to be opened up more than when milling North American malt. The malt from North America can be milled on the standard setting on my Grain Crusher mill. When I mill Wyermann or Crisp Maris Otter, the mill will stop passing grain after a while because the grains are too big, so I open the gap slightly more the first pass and pass the grain a second time with the standard gap or maybe even slightly smaller than standard gap. The is effectively what a three roller does with one pass. The first gap a lager than the the second gap.

    P.S. Watch out for those nasty stones, especially in European malts, they can do damage to the mill. I go slow with those malts so if a hit a stone it doesn't do any damage. I have never seen them in any of Rahr's malts.
     
  5. Jimsal

    Jimsal Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Nyc
  6. Jimsal

    Jimsal Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Nyc

    So my mill has three settings .025, .05, .01. I'm guessing .05 would be the standard setting? That would give me a good crush to mash with? If I have the larger grains ie. maris otter start out at .01 then run through a second time at .05?
     
  7. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2017
    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    1,093
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest US
    Having a grain mill is great for consistency and dialing in mash efficiency. I’m not a metric guy (they tried to hammer that into our heads in grade school, but it didn’t stick for me) so I set my mill at 32 thousandths of an inch with a feeler gauge. You might want to try .035” at first. I run mine with a 1/2” variable speed drill. At first I had it screwed into the top shelf of a 4’ gorilla shelf but didn’t take long to figure out it’s better to bolt it to the top shelf with a 5 gallon bucket below. One of the best brewing purchases I made! Hope this helps. Cheers:)
     
    J A likes this.
  8. Jimsal

    Jimsal Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Nyc
    [​IMG] I ran this through the mill at .05. I tried to setup at about .036 but seemed a bit to fine. I thought this crush looked good. what do you all think?
     

    Attached Files:

  9. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    210
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Montreal
    Honestly, I would assume that the marked settings are not very accurate and I would set the gap without paying any attention to them. When I set up my mill, I set the gap to the thickness of credit card, and over the next few brews I played with opening and closing that gap by a few thou until I arrived at a setting that gave me a level of efficiency I was happy with along with a sparge that never gets stuck.
     
    Jimsal and thunderwagn like this.
  10. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2017
    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    1,093
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest US
    The best way to determine the effectiveness of the crush is to brew with it. The finer the better if your system can handle it without stuck sparges. Just go for it and adjust on the next batch. It’s not rocket science, that’s too easy. :)
     
    Jimsal likes this.
  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,177
    Likes Received:
    2,692
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    for people with no recirculation finer is better, for people with a pump courser is better to a point
     
  12. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Big Lake MN
    Start there, finer will give better efficiency, more coarse flows better. Just watch your grain type and how the mill handles it. There is more than one way to skin a cat and it may take a while to dial it in. But don’t worry, you soon will be an expert on your mill.
     
    Group W likes this.
  13. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    210
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Montreal
    And don't get hung up on getting the best efficiency numbers. Early on I was able to get 93% efficiency, but my sparges were often slow and a stuck sparge wasn't uncommon. I now don't crush quite as fine and get a consistent 75% and no worries about my run off. Sure, I use a bit more grain, but I buy in bulk so I am only paying 70 cents a pound for base malt, I consider this a small price to pay for a brew day that is more fun and stress free. As a bonus, I find my beer also tastes better at 75% than it did at 93%.
     
  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    2,792
    Likes Received:
    1,717
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    You're going to definitely want finer than .050". I do recirc and have no problem with .035" setting. Different malts do better with finer or courser crush, but for general use, the .035" or so should give good results.
    Get some feeler gauges. Those markings won't mean anything.
     
  15. Iliff Avenue Brewhouse

    Iliff Avenue Brewhouse Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2018
    Messages:
    279
    Likes Received:
    133
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Lakewood, CO
    I recently got a new grain mill and set the gap to about .03". My brewhouse efficiency has jumped up about 8%. My best purchase in a while....
     
  16. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    51
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Controls & Instrumentation Engineer
    Location:
    Monroe, Louisiana
    Home Page:
    Good purchase on the grain mill. I use an electric drill at slow speed to drive mine.

    I run a fairly fine crush, but I use a modified BIAB method and don't worry about stuck sparges. I have heard if you grind more finely, you might want to add rice hulls to help the sparge. I'm not sure how well this works, so maybe someone else can chime in.
     
  17. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    359
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Big Lake MN
    I have done that, it usually not necessary unless you use adjuncts like rice, rye or oatmeal. But if your worried, 4 ounces per 8-10 pounds can work wonders.
     
    Head First and Vesparados like this.

Share This Page

arrow_white