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Re-Miling Grains

I apologize if there is a similar post on this topic. I have some ingredients for my next brew that I had crushed by NB. I just recently took the plunge and picked up a barley crusher I noticed that there are alot of grains that are still intact. My efficiency has steadily been around 73-75% the past 5 brews. I was wondering if I could just run the grains through my mill to get a better crush. Or do I risk the issue of a stuck sparge? I have 2lbs of rice hulls on hand so I think I’ll be good either way. Just wanted to see what the more experienced folks thought on this one. Thank in advance for any responses.

I don’t think you will have any issues re milling the grains. Re milling will not shread any of the already milled husks, which would really be the only concern at this point.

Go ahead and remill. A lot of people run their grains through their mills twice anyway, just to make sure.

Re-roll the grains. I predict your efficiency will shoot up 5 to 10 points.

Have you measured your mill gap?

Well brew day was sunday and it went great. Just like everyone said my numbers went up… way up. As I stated in the first post my efficiency was 73-75%. This round it came out at 90%! I’m so glad I bought the barley crusher. Im sure it will more than pay for itself over time. Thanks for all of the responses and info guys!

Tighten your gap and try conditioning your grain. I conditioned my grain yesterday for the first time and the crush was absolutely amazing. Hardly any, if any, dust either. Didn’t have to clean off as much dust and what not from the mill. I think I need to tighten my gap more. I thought I had it at .035 and I usually only get around 70-73% efficiency, which I don’t understand why. I use RO water, build up to the profile I need, so the pH should be in line.

Conditioning I think will help with a tighter gap setting.

[quote=“Beersk”]Tighten your gap and try conditioning your grain. I conditioned my grain yesterday for the first time and the crush was absolutely amazing. Hardly any, if any, dust either. Didn’t have to clean off as much dust and what not from the mill. I think I need to tighten my gap more. I thought I had it at .035 and I usually only get around 70-73% efficiency, which I don’t understand why. I use RO water, build up to the profile I need, so the pH should be in line.

Conditioning I think will help with a tighter gap setting.[/quote]

Kind of depends on how you’re calculating your efficiency too. I see different values for base malts and specialty grains.

[quote=“tom sawyer”][quote=“Beersk”]Tighten your gap and try conditioning your grain. I conditioned my grain yesterday for the first time and the crush was absolutely amazing. Hardly any, if any, dust either. Didn’t have to clean off as much dust and what not from the mill. I think I need to tighten my gap more. I thought I had it at .035 and I usually only get around 70-73% efficiency, which I don’t understand why. I use RO water, build up to the profile I need, so the pH should be in line.

Conditioning I think will help with a tighter gap setting.[/quote]

Kind of depends on how you’re calculating your efficiency too. I see different values for base malts and specialty grains.[/quote]
I’m using BeerSmith. I read about people getting 80% with batch sparging all the time, it makes me think, wtf am I don’t wrong? I’m adjusting the water, I’m milling at a good gap setting. Seems like I should be getting higher than 70%.
Anyway, not trying to hijack the thread here…

Beersk, I have noticed when I mash thinner (1.5-1.75Qt per pound of grain) my eff. goes up. I also give my mash a quick stir half way through the mash. Just a few ideas to try, maybe you have already done this. :cheers:

Yeah, I’ve tried mashing thinner. Maybe my gap is much wider than I think it is. Those little gap thingies you use to measure your mill setting tend to stick together since they’re so thin. Maybe that happened, who knows. But yeah, it’s baffling. I usually don’t stir half way through though, could try it, although I’m skeptical that’d make the 5-10% difference that I should be seeing.

Are you collecting all your wort down to the last drop? A drop not collected is less sugar in your kettle. I always hold up my mash cooler near the end of runoff to get out an extra quart or two. And I don’t just do this after the sparge (batch sparger), but between the first and second runnings as well. In fact, it matters more to do this for the first runnings than for the sparges (if you’re a batch sparger). If you’re not doing this, you’re losing a good 5% or more efficiency. It’s simple and effective and only takes a few extra minutes.

Note: If you do try this for the first time, you’ll need to adjust your water additions or boil time to compensate for the extra volume. I mean, you’re basically squeezing a little more volume of wort out of the same mash as you would normally do.

Speaking of which… I think volume measurements are one of the most significant sources of frustration when calculating efficiency. To get an accurate reading on efficiency, all of your volume measurements need to be VERY accurate.

Good suggestions. I could try sparging slightly more and boil for 30 minutes before making my first hop addition. That or I could just accept the 70-73% or so that I get. It’s not that bad, but sure, it could be better.

I agree with everything said above, but I still have

2 comments:

  1. Unless your efficiency is REALLY low, you’re probably OK. I’ve been getting around 70% while milling my grains, and now that I have that calculated into my recipes, I’m getting really good results in terms of the finished beer. I’m not sure how much I would save in terms of grain by sucking an extra 10% out of them, an on the other hand I’m not sure how much flavour difference there would be between an 80% efficiency and a 70% efficiency beer. Either way, I don’t really let it bother me. I suspect there’s something to be said for having a LOWER efficiency though. Example: if you have an espresso machine, run yourself an espresso. Change your cups. Run yourself a second espresso. You’re still getting plenty out of the second runnings, but it ain’t all good. (probably not drinkable, in fact).

  2. On the stuck sparge front - I recently changed manifolds from the old one that was is my profile pic to a new one. The difference between the two is the geometry (new one is just a circle), the diameter of the tubing, and that i cut the slots in the second one with a dremel, rather than by hand. I think that’s the most important difference. Anyway, I’ve been getting many more “nearly stuck” sparges - and my first ever stuck sparge - with the new, dremel-cut manifold, despite the fact that I did a lot of wheats - sometimes including oats - with the old manifold. I think the slot size is a big factor and having a nice tiny little pore in your manifold may allow you to handle any kind of crush and any mash makeup. Probably why denny’s system works so well.

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