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ausdb

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Hi All

I am in the process of modifying a marga mill and ran a bit of munich malt through it tonight.

Does this look sort of like the crush I should be aiming for? I have been comparing it against a small bag of precrushed grain I bought a while back and it sort of looks the same to me

Darryn

Marga_Crush_2_sml.jpg
 

Doc

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Darryn,

Looks like a good crush to me from the photo.
The key point is there no or very very few intact grains ?
As long as all the grain is cracked then going by your picture you have a good crush.

Beers,
Doc
 

wessmith

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AUSDB, your crush is an extremely course one, but not unusual in home brewing. There should be NO whole uncrushed grains and NO large chunks of starch present in the grist as it becomes almost impossible for the enzymes to access those large chunks in a timely manner. There is a thread running on another forum at the moment about incomplete conversion and "false positive" iodine tests. Almost certainly this is being caused by a courser than normal crush. What happens is that conversion continues well past the point where you would expect all available starch to have been converted - especially when a mash out stage is employed at low to mid 70's. There might only be a few % of unconverted starch left, but it will be enough to turn the iodine test black.

Is it a problem then? - well not really except that this free starch will carry over to the kettle to some degree and cause chill haze. I would suggest you run the malt through the mill again at the same setting and dont be afraid to generate some flour - 10% is OK.

Wes.
 

dreamboat

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It does look to me like there are some uncrushed grains in there, but I know from experience with my mill, that what looks like a whole grain wil fall apart in your fingers if you give it a little squeeze. I would try this, and if they hold together, go a little finer and run another couple of hundred grams through and try again.
Cheap exercise for peace of mind.

dreamboat
 

wessmith

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Dreamboat, whether the grain will "fall apart" when you give it a squeeze will depend on the "friability" of the malt. Friability is like a mechanical "crushability" index for any given malt and is typically very high for our locally produced malts even to the point of being a problem. One local maltsers product we used to handle was so friable that a bulk deliver (25 tonnes) arrived with a good portion of the malt almost reduced to a dust. Caused some real problems in the mash too. English and European barleys produce malts with a lower firiability and therefore require a slightly finer milling. There are no hard and fast rules to mill settings - you just have to "suck it and see".

Wes
 

Gough

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Sorry to change the topic slightly, but I've been thinking about the 'crush' a fair bit lately and am in the market for my own mill. My HBS has been crushing my grain for me and I've been getting good conversion and reasonable efficiency, but it does seem a fair bit more 'crushed' than the picture above, and some others I've seen. He has a velley mill (not sure of the setting) and runs all the grain through twice. Sound OK? I only ask because I've been having a little difficulty getting the runnings to clear when recirculating (thanks to everyone's answers to my previous posts) and wondered whether too fine a crush may also be a problem?

Any comments?

Thanks,

Shawn.
 

Doc

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Gough said:
He has a velley mill (not sure of the setting) and runs all the grain through twice. Sound OK? I only ask because I've been having a little difficulty getting the runnings to clear when recirculating (thanks to everyone's answers to my previous posts) and wondered whether too fine a crush may also be a problem?
Shawn,

I have a Valley Mill and I run the grain through twice also. First time through on the 2nd to finest setting, and the second time through on the finest setting.
I also put a grain bag over my manifold that helps prevent stuck sparges with a very fine crush and also aid is a clear runoff very quickly.

Beers,
Doc
 

ausdb

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Is anyone else using a marga mill? I can post a photo of where I have drilled extra holes in the adjuster mechanism to compare setting I was using and get a reference point from some one else.
 

pint of lager

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The ultimate crush would be the husks intact (these are what filter the sparge, not the false bottom or manifold) and the starch to be broken into 1/2 a dozen pieces with minimal flour.

If the husks are really ground up, like wholemeal flour, it would be impossible to sparge, the whole lot would set. Also, there would be excessive tannins leached from the extra surface area of the husks.

If the crush is too coarse, as Wes said, mash never complete due to large particle size, there would also be uncrushed grains going along for a holiday in the mash tun, wasting your money. Poor efficiencies, cloudy beers.

What some brewers do, they run the grain through the mill twice. For the first run, set the mill gap fairly coarse to just crush the grain. Second run through, set the gap fine, the husks stay fairly intact, and the kernel is crushed finer. This is why there are very fancy three roller mills available. Check out http://www.crankenstein.com.

What most brewers do, they find an optimal setting on their mill, and leave it at that for most crushes. Do reassess your crush from time to time. Seasonal variations,different varieties, different malting procedures mean different kernel sizes and the gap will need adjusting.
 

Gough

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Thanks fellas. My HBS owner is generally pretty spot on, and I've had, as I said, no conversion or efficiency worries so far. Just thought I'd ask the question while the subject was being discussed.

Doc - Thanks for the tip on the grain bag. Might try and find something similar myself.

Saving my pennies for a Valley mill...

Shawn.
 

pint of lager

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Hmmm, valley mill.

If you do a search on mills, this has come up many times. Me, I have a barley crusher and am very happy. Cost me $250 to import from overseas. I think just about everyone is happy with the mill they buy. Not sure how much a valley mill is landed.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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I just tried breaking a grain of malt and did not succeed, so I assume the "whole grains" in the crushed malt have been broken by the mill and these do fall apart when you rub them lightly.

I would rather have a bit more of coarsely crushed malt in my mash tun then have all the malt crushed into bits.

Starch haze is not chill haze, it is there when the beer is warm as well as colld

Jovial Monk
 

///

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Unfortunately there are those that feel fine crushes are the only way to - and they are wrong.

Course 'floating' mashes ensure good filtering of the grain bed - not fine crushes with flour for straight infusion mashing.

A floating mash will help to give and almost instant clear run-off. Hence why professionals ensure they do not set thier mashes.

///
 

chiller

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/// said:
Unfortunately there are those that feel fine crushes are the only way to - and they are wrong.
Well there is nothing like another expert on the list.

I love blanket statements ... they keep me warm all winter.

Give us a clue as to your credentials anyone can parrot old ideas or quote from a book.

Which one are you?

Every brewer will crush his grain differently and there is really no optimum because my system is different to POL, Doc's Dicko's Jayse or JM's

You will find the best setup for you, not just based on efficiency [that is really only a concern to commercial brewers]

What ever figures you get, a consistent result is what you should aim for.

Your crush looks fine. Brew with it and if the beer is great ................ so is the crush.

Steve.
 

Batz

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Or even................batz
 

siiren

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Dicko/BBB, I remember that you modified a Marga mill.
Do you have any pics of the modifications you made, more specifically the drilling part?
Also anyone who has bought a modified one from the Grumps, what mods did they do? apart from the hopper size/hole.
I have recenly got my hands on one from a garage sale and it's in excellent condition.
 

jayse

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Three forward slashes AKA /// seems to me a strange choice of handle. :ph34r:

Anyway welcome aboard ///. One thing you didn't make mention of was the fact that it is the air in a infusion mash that helps it to float also.
Iam sure everyone here has a reasonbly good crush.

Jayse
 

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