barley crusher direction

crushin' it - homebrew grain mill gap settings | morebeer

crushin' it - homebrew grain mill gap settings | morebeer

by Vito Delucchi Milling Grain at Home - In Summary Grain is an agricultural product, and its size and friabilitycanvary each year depending on the yearly harvest, and the maltster. To better familiarize yourself with all of the attributes of the malt youre using, you can conduct, what is called a sieve test. Milling your own grains at home will allow you to dial in the perfect crush for both your brewing system, and the grain youre using. When your grain is milled properly, youll move closer to achieving consistency and maximum brewing efficiency. Gap settings are not universal, and while there is not just one ideal gap setting, if youre using a 2-roller homebrew mill, you can start with a gap setting of right around 1.0 mm, and adjust from there. Buying Milled Grain vs Unmilled Grain One of the most common questions we get here at MoreBeer! is what is the ideal gap setting for my grain mill? While that seems like a pretty straight-forward question, the answer couldn't be more nuanced. The ideal gap setting for producing a fine crush on my grain mill, might not be the right crush at all for your brewing system. Your brewing system might require a coarser crush to prevent a stuck mash and your mill might have different diameter rollers. Couple that with the fact that grain varies in kernel size and crushability from different harvests and maltsters, this opens up a real discussion. If youve ever boughtpre-milled maltfrom a homebrew shop or online retailer, youve probably noticed that the crush is very coarse. This is done because this is the safest crush that should work on the most brewing systems, however, it is not great for brewing efficiency. A lot of publishedhomebrewing recipestake this into consideration, and will have incorporated an extra pound or two of malt into the recipes grain bill. An extra pound or two per batch isnt going to cost much on a homebrewing scale, but in a commercial setting, it will add up greatly over time. While professional brewers need high brewing efficiency to keep the cost per batch down, for homebrewers, securing consistent brewing efficiency is more of a right of passage, or proof of an understanding of the craft, more than a way to save money on ingredients. This makes it easier to understand how there cant be just one magic, universal gap setting for homebrewing. When it comes to gap settings, youll always want to mind the gap, which is just another way of saying that your crushed grain batch after batch requires some attention and modification to be consistent. Understanding the difference between coarse and fine crushes helps with efficiency, and will help to prevent a stuck mash. Consistency is key, both in replicating recipes, and for understanding results in your finished beer. Click here to browse our selection of grain mills for homebrewing! Understanding a COA and a Sieve Test When I started working full time in the industry with MoreBeer!, one of the first projects I began working on helped me to learn a great deal about malt in general. We were working withViking Maltto develop a new base malt geared for the North American market, which led me to begin familiarizing myself with all of the aspects of a malt analysis sheet, otherwise known as a Certificate of Analysis, or COA. On a COA, youll see a lot of detailed information, and two of the most important specs with regards to gap settings and crush are friability and lot assortment, which well focus on in this article. Friability is the tendency for a kernel to break into smaller pieces when pressure is applied. Lot assortment is the indicator of the kernel sizes of that batch of malt. It is calculated by counting the weight of kernels in a sample assortment caught on different sized screens. Ideally you want a majority of your kernels to be plump and caught in the top screen. To help demonstrate how friability and lot assortment affect your crush at differentgap settings I performed a sieve test on several popular base malts.The base malts I used were -- Viking Xtra Pale, Rahr 2-Row, and Admiral Maltings Gallaghers Best. Using a standard 2-roller homebrew mill, I crushed each malt using four different gap settings. The gap settings were 1.25 mm, 1.0 mm, 0.75 mm and 0.50 mm, and I used a feeler gauge to confirm these gap setting between each milling. After milling, I performed a grain sieve test on the different malts and crushes, and recorded all of the results. While performing a sieve test is pretty straightforward, doing sixteen of them takes quite some time. To mimic this test, youll want to place three rubber balls on each of the 3 standard US test sieve sizes, with the bottom pan under the finest screen -- #14, #30, and #60. The sieves must be stacked in a specific order, with the widest screen at the top (#14) and the finest (#60) on the bottom. The grain thats being measured is then put into the top sieve, and the lid is put on before beginning the testing process. For my example, I used 100 grams to make it easier, but up to 130 grams can be used at a time with the US standard test sieves. For the most accurate representation of the crush, your test should include husks, kernels, and powder. Youll need a smooth and flat surface to test in order to slide the test sieves back and forth a few times. The sieves have to move 18 inches in one direction and then the other in about 0.5 seconds each way, for a total of 1 second in each cycle. Every 15 seconds, youll need to pat the sieves downward on the work surface. This cycle must be maintained for three minutes total, and once completed, empty each sieve, brush them out completely, and weigh and record the results. You can calculate the percentage of each sieve by dividing each fraction by the sum of all fractions weights, then multiplied by 100. Example: #14 + #30 + #60 + Pan = Sum Then: #14 / Sum x 100 = percentage Next, repeat for screens 30, 60, and the pan. Because we started with 100 grams of sample material, the percentages will be really close to the original fractions. Figure A Malt Tested Friability Lot Assortment Viking - Xtra Pale 92 97 Rahr - 2-Row 92 98 Briess - 2-Row 89 92 Admiral - Gallaghers Best 75 99 Figure B 1.25 MM Gap Setting #14 #30 #60 Pan Viking - Xtra Pale 59% 24% 8% 9% Rahr - 2-Row 60% 23% 9% 8% Briess - 2-Row 61% 23% 8% 8% Admiral - Gallaghers Best 56% 26% 9% 9% Figure C 1.00 MM Gap Setting #14 #30 #60 Pan Viking - Xtra Pale 40% 34% 11% 15% Rahr - 2-Row 35% 32% 16% 17% Briess - 2-Row 40% 35% 13% 12% Admiral - Gallaghers Best 41% 36% 11% 12% Figure D 0.75 MM Gap Setting #14 #30 #60 Pan Viking - Xtra Pale 23% 39% 19% 19% Rahr - 2-Row 27% 41% 16% 16% Briess - 2-Row 25% 43% 17% 15% Admiral - Gallaghers Best 25% 42% 17% 16% Figure E 0.50 MM Gap Setting #14 #30 #60 Pan Viking - Xtra Pale 15% 35% 24% 26% Rahr - 2-Row 13% 37% 24% 26% Briess - 2-Row 12% 40% 24% 24% Admiral - Gallaghers Best 19% 36% 22% 23% Figure F (Admiral Malts milling specs) Sieve # #14 #30 #60 Pan Coarse 70 - 85% 10 - 20% 10% 5% Standard 45 - 55% 25 - 50% 10% 7% Fine 30 - 35% 40 - 60% 5 -15% 10% Extra Fine 10 - 20% 20 - 40% 40 - 50% 10 - 20% Making Sense of the Data! Knowing the friability and lot assortment of these malts prior to conducting this test (Figure A), I was anticipating a greater variance. To my surprise, the biggest gap (pun intended) in percentages was 7%. This percentage is still almost enough of a difference to go from a standard crush to a fine crush (Figure F) with the exact same gap setting, by doing nothing other than switching the base malts. This is where that old phrase mind the gap, becomes valuable. In this context, mind the gap isnt just an old adage, its meant to act as a reminder of the importance of checking your gap setting with each batch of beer that you brew. If we use Admiral Malts milling spec (Figure F) as our reference point, we can see that with these specific lots of grain the following gap settings landed us roughly in these spec ranges. Coarse 1.25 MM Gap Setting Standard 1.00 MM Gap Setting Fine 0.75 MM Gap Setting Extra Fine 0.50 MM Gap Setting To browse our extensive selection of brewing malts and grain, click here! So...What is the Ideal Gap Setting for my Grain Mill? Now, knowing what we know, lets see if we can attempt to answer the original question: what is the ideal gap setting for my grain mill? We should assume were talking about most 2-roller homebrew mills, which have a 1.25 diameter roller, and youre brewing with a mash tun that has a good false bottom. With these things in mind, you could start with a gap of a little over 1.0 mm, and adjust from there. If you dont have a feeler gauge to measure the gap, you can use a credit card to help measure, which is about 0.76 mm. When we talk about an ideal gap setting, you want to adjust the gap to find a highly efficient setting to work for your brewing system, but which is not fine enough to cause a stuck mash. Milling your grains at home allows you to work with the freshest possible ingredients, but it will also allow you to dial in the best crush on your grains for maximum efficiency. Because barley is an agricultural product, its friability and kernel size assortment is always going to vary year to year with the harvest, and from maltster to maltster. The most important takeaway from this article should be that gap settings are not universal, and the crush should be monitored during every milling to ensure that the malt youre working with is being properly crushed. While sieve tests are a great way to get the most ideal crush for your brewing system dialed in, paying close attention to the crush quality during each milling you do with help you to get the most consistent crush. When you master achieving consistent crushes, consistent batches are what are sure to follow, and brewing consistency is what makes a good brewer.

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the perfect crush - brew your own

the perfect crush - brew your own

My summer crush began in the warmest months of 2017, shortly after quitting my corporate job to work full-time for MoreBeer! I know, most love stories dont start with a change of occupation. Then again, this isnt a love story, unless of course you count the love to learn more about brewing. Before signing on full-time, I had been working weekends at my local homebrew shop and a frequently asked question was, What is the ideal gap setting for my grain mill? On the surface it seems to be an easy, straightforward question with a simple answer.

There is a good starting range for most homebrew mills, but its not one-size-fits-all. The ideal gap setting to produce a fine crush on my mill might not work at all for your system and process. Your system might require more of a coarse crush to work efficiently. Not to mention that grain is an agricultural product and varies in kernel sizes and friability levels from different maltsters and harvests. Also, mills have different corrugation on their rollers, different roller speeds, and different roller differential (each roller operating at slightly different speeds to obtain more sheer).

When you purchase pre-ground malt from most homebrew shops its a coarse crush. This is the safest crush that will work on most any homebrewing system, but its not the best for efficiency. A lot of published homebrewing recipes take this into account on their grain bills. On a homebrewing scale, throwing a pound or two (0.450.9 kg) of extra malt into your batch really doesnt cost much, but on a commercial scale it adds up over time. Pro brewers need high efficiency to keep the cost per batch at a reasonable level. For homebrewers, great efficiency is more of a bragging right and a demonstration of understanding more than a cost saver.

Knowing the difference between a coarse and a fine crush not only helps with efficiency and preventing a stuck mash, it also helps with consistency. And in brewing, consistency is king! There are a lot of steps down the line that need to be understood to become consistent as well, but it all starts with your first crush (pun intended).

But lets get back to our story, shall we? I was now working full- time in the industry, doing what I loved, and one of the projects I was involved in had me learning more about malts in general. We were working with Viking Malts to develop a new base malt specifically geared towards the North American market. This is when I first learned how to use grain sieves to examine particle sizes on a crush and what all the attributes on a malt analysis sheet (also called a COA or Certificate Of Analysis) meant. If you have never taken a look at one of these sheets, I would recommend doing so. It might not be as sexy as a hop spec sheet but youll find a lot of important information on them.

Friability is a measure of how well the kernels modified from barley (which is not friable, or easy to break up) to malt (which is very friable). Low friability indicates that either parts of the kernels didnt grow well or some complete seeds didnt grow at all in the malt. Less friable malt will not give up its extract as easily as it is trapped in the unmodified parts by proteins and beta-glucans.

Assortment refers to kernel size. It is sometimes described in other terms depending on the maltster, such as plump or sieving. The higher the percentage, the larger the kernel size. Assortment is determined by performing sieve tests where four trays are stacked on top of each other with diminishing screen sizes the top with a 764-inch screen bottom, the next with a 664-inch screen, the third with a 564-inch screen, and a solid tray at the bottom. After shaking the trays, the percent of kernels in each tray is measured, and the percent that are caught by the top two screens are added to make up the lot assortment percent. The smallest grains that fell through all of the screens and made it to the pan are often referred to as thrus. The thrus are very small kernels that can be almost unmillable. Maltsters also classify the kernels caught in the 564-inch screen differently. For instance, Briess refers to these malts as thins, while the larger malts that were caught in one of the two larger screen sizes are referred to as plump. It is difficult to properly mill the thins without crushing the plump portion when using just the single crush of a two-roller mill.

My original idea for this article was to crush several base malts at different specs. Then sieve test and perform a Congress Mash as well, reporting the results of both tests. After talking with a friend who has been doing this a lot longer than I have, he talked me into just focusing on the physical attributes of malts for this article. So we will save diastatic power and extract for another article.

Around the same time I started working on this article, Admiral Maltings, a local northern California maltster located in Alameda, sent out a marketing email saying they are now offering different milling specs on their pre-milled sacks of grain. My eyes lit up with beer geek love when I saw that. I had worked with the team at Admiral in the past with my homebrew club and thought who better to talk with about the physical attributes of malt than a maltster. Head Maltster Curtis Davenport was kind enough to answer my questions and walk me through their entire floor malting and testing processes step-by-step. In the sidebar at the bottom you can read a part of the Q&As from that day.

Having talked with a malting expert, I confirmed friability and kernel size assortment should have some impact on my crush research. But how much, and could I detect it by running sieve tests? So, I identified my question, it was now time to experiment.

I selected four different base malts Viking Xtra Pale, Rahr 2-Row, Briess 2-Row, and Admiral Gallaghers Best. I then used a 2-roller homebrew mill and crushed the malts using four different gap settings. The gap settings were 1.25 mm, 1.0 mm, 0.75 mm and 0.50 mm. I used a feeler gauge to verify these settings in between each milling. I then performed a grain sieve test on the different malts and crushes, recording the results.

The method for performing a sieve test is pretty quick and straightforward. But let me tell you, doing 16 of them does take some time. You place three small rubber balls on each of the US standard test sieves #14, #30, and #60 and then place the bottom pan under the #60 test sieve. They must be stacked in the proper order with the widest screen being on top (#14) and the finest (#60) on the bottom before the pan. The grain sample being measured is then placed into the top sieve and the lid is put on prior to performing the test process.

I used 100 grams of each crushed malt to keep the math easy, but you can use up to 130 grams for this test with the US standard test sieves. The sample should be a good representation of the crush and include husks, kernels, and powder.

When performing the test, you need a smooth, flat surface, as you will be sliding the test sieves back and forth for several minutes. The sieves need to travel 18 inches (46 cm) in one direction and then the other, taking 0.5 seconds each way for a total cycle time of one second. Every 15 seconds you tap the sieves and pat downward on the working surface. This cycle is maintained for three minutes total. You then empty each individual sieve, being sure to brush them out completely, then weigh and record the results. Calculate the percentage for each sieve by dividing each fraction by the sum of all fractions weights and then multiply by 100.

This example equation will give you the percentage malt that was left on top of the #14 sieve. Repeat the equation for screens 30, 60, and the pan. Since we are using 100 grams of sample material, the percentages will be very close to their original fractions.

Having known the friability and lot assortment (Figure A, below) of these malts prior to this test, I originally suspected there would have been a greater variance. To my surprise, the greatest gap (pun intended) in percentages was 7%. Still, thats almost enough of a difference to take you from a standard to a fine crush (Figure F, below) with the same gap setting by simply switching base malts. You can see why brewers are told to mind the gap.

But its not just an aphorism for a gap setting, its about understanding and checking with each batch you brew. I was also surprised at the percentages of fine particles that made it into the pan based on the milling spec sheet (Figure F). But looking at the different crushes (below), I would use some of the ones bordering on the low fine territory. Its really dependent on your system though. A friend of mine who is opening a brewery in Hawaii is putting in a mash filter system. With that type of system you would use an extra fine crush and achieve really high efficiency.

As for the original question of What is the ideal gap setting for my grain mill? lets assume we are talking most 2-roller homebrew mills with a 1.25-inch (3.2-cm) diameter roller and you are also using a mash tun with a decent false bottom. I would start with a little over 1.0 mm and go from there. If you dont have feeler gauges you can use a credit card (normally 0.76 mm) to help measure it (or run down to the local auto parts store and buy a set for a few bucks). Ideally, you want to find a highly efficient but not troublesome (meaning it wont cause a stuck mash) crush that works for your brewing system. Its not necessarily going to be solely based on a gap setting either, as the same malt can change from year-to-year, like Admirals Head Maltster Curtis Davenport mentioned. Similar to how we must adjust hop additions based on alpha acid%, we also need to adjust gap setting based on how the crush comes out of the mill if we want consistency. As long as you are monitoring this step in your process, over time you will develop an eye for it.

Milling your own grain not only allows you to use the freshest possible ingredients, it allows you to dial in your crush for maximum efficiency. Plus, the smell of freshly crushed malted barley is pretty awesome.

Just remember that gap settings are not universal, so the crush should be monitored every milling to ensure the barley youre working with is being properly crushed. Barley is an agricultural product and friability and kernel size assortment vary from maltster-to-maltster and even harvest-to-harvest.

Sieve tests can be performed at home and will help you understand and dial in an ideal crush for your system. These sieves can be found online for a moderate investment. But by simply paying attention to your crush and monitoring it, each batch will help you develop an eye for it over time. A consistent crush equals consistent batches, and brewing consistency is a sign of a good brewer.

Admiral Maltings was founded in 2017 by two long-time San Francisco brewing industry veterans, Ron Silberstein of ThirstyBear Brewing Company and Dave McLean of Magnolia Brewing Company, along with Head Maltster Curtis Davenport, who has an extensive background in organic farming and small-batch malting. To learn more about the importance of the crush, I sat down with Curtis to get a maltsters point of view.

I would look at friability and kernel size assortment. Its good to look at the COAs and be familiar with the malt, but there is no formula you can gather. Ultimately, its your observation that matters, but you can look at the COA and understand your observations.

Its calculated by counting the weight of kernels in a sample assortment caught on different malt screens. These malt screens are 764, 664, and 564 of an inch. This number will change because barley size changes from year to year and the maltster does not have control over that.

Our standard gap setting is not the same as another brewers due to our roller sizes. Its really about seeing what is coming out of your mill and adjusting based on that. The best thing to do is run your mill and run a sieve test prior to setting your gap. Or just run a little then look at it and adjust based on what youre seeing.

Ive often praised homebrewing as one of the few great hobbies that combines the technical specificity of science and the spontaneous creativity of art. As a structural engineer having personally experienced the

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what drill should i use with my homebrew grain mill? | homebrew finds

what drill should i use with my homebrew grain mill? | homebrew finds

This is a collection of feedback weve received from homebrewers. Their experience is not a guarantee that you will have the same experience. Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application. Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application. Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

For some drills, well link a specific product page when we know the exact model. For others weve linked to search results to help you shop around. Note that multiple variations of some products may be available, that means a different model may show up. Also tools specs and capabilities can change over the years.

Comments: I use a Porter Cable cordless drill, PCC601 Drill Driver. I use it on the low speed 0-350 rpm setting. I milled about 27 lbs of pilsner this morning. On my mill it doesnt need to go full speed to start milling, but its fairly quick if I do. I generally go slower to reduce dust but was in a rush today.

Comments: Drill is plenty of torque for mill, will sometimes jolt mill off bucket with how much torque it has. The mill works ok, but having put 400-500 lbs of grain through it, its starting to show signs of wear and not holding the crush gap to where I want. I have to check the gap everytime I brew now. I think Im going to move to a monster mill two roller in the near future.

Comments: It works well for me. One fully charged battery will last me one session for a 5-10 gallon. The drill has a secondary speed which i didnt really find too helpful and dont use. The versatility is fantastic as I use it for all my home projects. The batteries are backward and forward compatible so I could easily upgrade the battery if I ever want. The one downside is that the cereal killer has a round shaft with one flat edge. The drill sometimes doesnt get a good grip and spins. I suspect that it may be damaging the jaws but I have yet to run into any real issue.

Comments: I use the Hullwrecker from NB also, replacing a Barley Crusher after 5 years that was worn out. On both the drill i used is a 2 speed Craftsman CMCD700. Speed 1 is low speed, high torque and is perfect for crushing grains and for using a step-bit to port stainless steel and aluminum kettles and mash tuns.

Comments: Ive been using this combo for over 2 years now and it works great. The drill has more than enough power to handle whatever grain you need to mill. You can remove the side handle and replace it with a bolt to attach it to youre milling setup.

Comments: Im using a Malt Muncher 3-roller paired to a Ryobi 18v drill. Ive used three different models of Ryobi 18v drills, from the old blue ones, the standard green one, to the more expensive hammer drill. They all have enough power.

As you can see, its easy enough for my 4-year-old daughter to use. I switch it down to the low-speed high-torque setting, and it chews through barley malt. Wheat malt is another story. It feels like Im cracking nuts to get wheat through the mill, but the drill doesnt bind. I just have to squeeze the trigger a bit harder.

Comments: You can set the speed, change the direction, and its 10Amps of power. It works very well for my 3-roller mill, but Ive only used it twice. I would be concerned about it holding up long-term, since the majority of the internal components look like flimsy plastic. But only time will tell.

Comments: Im using a cheapo Craftsman CMED741, corded hammer drill, I bought from a big box store on sale, for about $40 on a Kegco 3 roller mill. I had two older Milwaukee drills that served me well in construction for over 30 years but I broke both gear boxes using the mill. I use the hammer drill on the regular rotary setting (NOT the hammer setting!) and the gear box is sturdier than a standard rotary drill. Hope this helps!

Comments: I use the Hullwrecker from NB also, replacing a Barley Crusher after 5 years that was worn out. On both the drill i used is a 2 speed Craftsman CMCD700. Speed 1 is low speed, high torque and is perfect for crushing grains and for using a step-bit to port stainless steel and aluminum kettles and mash tuns.

Comments: I use the Hullwrecker from Northern Brewer that I received as a Christmas gift a few years back. Drill is a Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless drill. It crushes grain. No complaints. Fuel cordless tools are hard to beat unless you want to spend too dollar on Hilti tools.

Comments: Drill bolted to cart through handle. C Clamp keeps drill switch engaged. Drill Wired to light switch. Drill been used about 13 yrs still going strong no longer works in reverse knock on wood .

Comments: I use a Corona/Victoria mill and my drill of choice is a skil 7Amp 3/8 corded drill. This may be overkill but it works well. This drill would easily work with a roller mill, I havent needed to upgrade from this setup.

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application. Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application. Always read and follow manufacturer directions. toppost:drills tag:tpr

From a recommendation, I picked up the SKIL 6335-02 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Corded Drill. It is variable speed, controllable through trigger squeeze. I can run it nice and slow, and at a fairly steady speed. I do half barrel batches, and it only takes a few minutes. Solidly built. I only use it for grain, so hoping itll last. Runs 50 bucks on Amazon, but I got a deal through this website and paid $24.

Im using a cheapo Craftsman CMED741, corded hammer drill, I bought from a big box store on sale, for about $40 on a Kegco 3 roller mill. I had two older Milwaukee drills that served me well in construction for over 30 years but I broke both gear boxes using the mill. I use the hammer drill on the regular rotary setting (NOT the hammer setting!) and the gear box is sturdier than a standard rotary drill. Hope this helps!

I use the Hullwrecker from NB also, replacing a Barley Crusher after 5 years that was worn out. On both the drill i used is a 2 speed Craftsman CMCD700. Speed 1 is low speed, high torque and is perfect for crushing grains and for using a step-bit to port stainless steel and aluminum kettles and mash tuns.

I use the Hullwrecker from Northern Brewer that I received as a Christmas gift a few years back. Drill is a Milwaukee M18 Fuel cordless drill. It crushes grain. No complaints. Milwaukees M18 Fuel cordless tools are hard to beat unless you want to spend too dollar on Hilti tools.

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