Wet Conditioning Grains

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Craigerrr, May 14, 2021.

  1. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I have been wet conditioning for a while now. The reasons I started doing this were trying to improve efficiency, and to improve flow through the mash (I have a 35L Brewzilla). You hear about people struggling with stuck mashes, or excruciatingly slow mashes with these machines, for me this made all of the difference in the world. The result from wet conditioning is that the husks being more pliable will tear, instead of being literally crushed. When it was first suggested to me, it seemed complicated, so I did some research before trying it myself. It turned it to be a super simple process. If you are interested, here is my process.

    First I split the grains into two buckets, the reason for this is that it gets tough to stir if the grains are all in one bucket.

    The say to use 2% of the weight of the grist to be milled in water. In reality I actually use a bit more than that personally.

    The easiest way to measure the amount of water is to weigh the spray bottle before starting, and placing it back on the scale as you go.

    I spray some water, then stir it up good, and repeat until the grains have a bit of a leathery feel to them. I then repeat this with the second bucket. Once done I combine them back into one bucket.

    Don't mill right away, you will gum up your rollers if you do. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, give it another bit of a stir and mill.

    Grains in two buckets
    20210503_201147.jpg

    As I don't crush flaked, lactose, or rice hulls, I calculate the water based on what is going to be milled. I do still use rice hulls in a recipe like this with a lot of flaked. No need for rice hulls otherwise.
    20210513_191347.jpg

    Next two pictures are self explanatory, I used a bit more than 2%
    20210513_205954.jpg 20210513_210344.jpg


    Non conditioned grains on the left, wet conditioned on the right. 20210312_125820.jpg


    Close ups 20210312_125728.jpg 20210312_125723.jpg

    Hope this helps anyone who has slow or stuck mash, or sparge issues!
     
  2. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I know wet milling is better than dry, but I’ve never tried it out of fear of getting the mill all plugged up and dirty, that fear may not be well founded.

    I have struggled with stuck mashes on my RIMS system from time to time. Other times it’s not flowing like I want it to, especially if I use rice. What I have since discovered is I was having a beta- glucan problem caused by the malt. Once I figured that out, I added enzymes to the mash. It’s completely solved the problem and my efficiency went up with no change in the finished beers.

    https://www.morebeer.com/products/cellarscience-glucabuster-placeholder.html

    That doesn’t take anything away from wet milling, I know it’s superior to dry milling, but I never dared to try it. If the Germans are doing it, it must be good.
     
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  3. Minbari

    Minbari Well-Known Member

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    very interesting. I solved my stuck sparge issue with a mesh basket. The BIAB bag goes in the basket. The basket is about 2" less diameter than the pot so the bag drains all around instead of just out the bottom
     
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  4. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    OK, another good reason to get a mill.
     
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  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    The key is to wait 20-30 minutes before milling. Gives the water a chance to be absorbed by the grist, and keeps mill rollers clean.
     
  6. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    Does it also cut down on the grain dust while milling?
     
  7. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmmm, I don't really know! I mill into a bucket, and the base of the mill covers the opening, I don't get any dust either way.
    20210514_135716.jpg
     
  8. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    Interesting! I have had problems with stuck/slow mashes much more so when doing 15 gal batches. The mash tun is usually as full as it can go. The last batch (kegging today) I added 1# of rice hulls to 32 #s of grain and had unrestricted flow using rims. Next batch, perhaps I'll try wetting the grains along with rice hulls and reduce the space on the crush rollers. Next batch is high gravity so It will be interesting!!
     
  9. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Look into a product called glucabuster.
     
  10. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    #10 Craigerrr, May 18, 2021
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
    I wouldn't change you mill setting if your efficiency is where you want it. I would also suggest that if you wet condition, you may not need rice hulls. However, if you have a high percentage of wheat, or flaked in the grist, you may need some rice hulls.
     
  11. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    WOW!! what a difference, pump is full throttle with a rimms sys!! 38# of grain in a 15.5 gal mash tun! The husks are much more complete when milled! When i saw how well this worked, reduced the space between rollers. Added 1,5# of rice hulls just in case. No problems at all milling! Wetting the grains from now on! 45 mins from now, into the boil kettle with a batch of "hair of the Tobe" stout. The sabco sys rocks!!
     
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  12. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Closing up the mill may have the opposite effect you are hoping for by creating too much flour. I wouldn't change your milling gap.
     
  13. Dogwood

    Dogwood Member

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    Thanks, I think I will take it back a bit next brew. The flow did slow down a bit but a quick stir fixed it! 15 gallons happily bubbling away this morn. Used windsor yeast, very aggressive fermentation going on!!
     
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  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Definitely gunna give this a crack (Pun included) now that I've actually got a mill:)!
     
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