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Some thoughts and questions while crushing my first batch of malt

I recently bought a Cereal Killer and crushed my first batch of malt this morning. In reading on what a good crush is, I’m learning that the pre-crushed malts are not crushed for optimal efficiency. Anyway, it sounds like I’m looking for most, if not all, of the grains cracked without shredding the husk that will be needed for preventing a stuck mash during lautering. We also want all grain particles to be separate from the husk. I’ve also read that when you’re done lautering, the mash should look like rice hulls. My all grain batches from pre-crushed grains have never looked like that, so I’m very interested in seeing what this mash will look like post-lauter. While crushing, I had a couple of thoughts as to why a better crush yields to better efficiencies. The obvious one is that there is more open surface area for the hot water to gelatinize the starch and allow the enzymes to convert the starch to sugar. But then I thought, wouldn’t a better crush help to improve conversion by freeing up more enzyme in those kernels? In other words, is there the possibility that a poor crush has trapped enzymes that never get to do any work?

I crush super fine for BIAB because no stuck sparge. You can crush finer doing a regular mash I believe if you use rice hulls. Since doing biab with the finer crush i have modified my recipes to reflect my efficiency with no noticeable difference except using a lb or two less grain. What has made a difference is higher mash temperatures

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How so?

I end up with a higher FG when I mash around 156 I used to mash around 150 and my FG was to low for most styles

I’ve just started NBs’ oatmeal stout. Crush looks very fine. The only whole pieces in the mix is the flaked oats. Decided to hold the grains in a bag since the crush is fine. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a partial mash. So far temp is holding nicely at 153°F.

Same here hold the temp a bit higher. My fg comes out perfect.

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I had another thought while brewing yesterday. If a good crush means the spent grains looks like a bunch of rice hulls, then wouldn’t that mean the water absorbed by the grains would start to release due to the resulting “disappearance” of the kernels? Husks shouldn’t be able to absorb much water. So I’m questioning the wisdom of the statement that spent grains should look like rice hulls. Besides spent brewers grains from local breweries are feed to cattle around here. It’s a fairly good protein source. It’s definitely not just fiber which is what a bunch of husks would be.

Spent grain still has a little nutrients left that livestock can digest. Just because people feed it livestock doesn’t mean it’s that nutritious just cheap.

Or, is it just sumpthin’ you just pitch? I put mine out in the back yard and the deer show up fer some hot lunch! I have a JSP malt mill, non adjust able, and I can consistanly turn out 80% efficiency. I have had a strange one that will git more, and I then have a stronger brew! Sneezles61

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