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Malt Conditioning For Biab - Is It Beneficial?

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ArcLight

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For traditional mashing, using a mash tun, some brewers will condition their malt. This consists of misting the grains with a fine mist, mixing them around, letting them sit for a while, then crushing them. This prevents less husk damage, and dust.

Is this beneficial for BIAB? Brew in a Bag never has a stuck sparge, so what do I care if the husks are a bit shredded, provided my bag is fine enough to retain them?
 

RdeVjun

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Unlikely to be beneficial. BIAB is really not that fussy about intact husk- unless you encounter the usually quite rare problem of lautering/ draining the mash with the bag, I'd not bother.
 

Bribie G

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I would go one stage further and mill a bit finer - without the spray mist. Biab goes very well with a finer crush. My old mill was from a 3v guy and I just kept his settings. When I got my new mill I used a finer setting and getting better eff.
 

Crusty

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How fine do you mill bribieg?
I can't speak for BribieG but my MiniMill is set at the thickness of a credit card which is about 0.9mm. I know I can go a bit finer than that but this gives me about 2.5lt of trub loss & 82% efficiency for my last brew.
 

pk.sax

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One benefit I found with conditioning my malt in the last brew that there was no flying powdered flour. It was a very neat and manageable thing. Didn't take much to do it either, took a glass of water and splashed it into the bucket with the grain weighed out into it. Mixed by hand. Voila. Can't imagine why it'd be a 'why to do?' considering it improves milling, avoids grain slippage... Bla bla bla.
I've had had my malt milled from the brew shop in the past and they just do it for normal 3v, never a problem with using I as a biab grist. After all, biab is typically higher l:g and until the bag is hoisted, no real difference to a normal MLT.
Especially if you are doing some flavour of recirculating biab, it might help to keep the husks in shape to prevent them all clogging up the bag where it matters.

^ point is a hypothesis.
 

spog

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my take is,misting the grain before milling would /could cause a hell of a mess in that the flour of the cru sh would stick to the rollers and cause clagging,i have heard talk in podcasts about this,but for a home brewer it would be a royal pain to pull a mill apart and clean it.
honestly i see (personally) no benefit doing it as a hb'r.


..............cheers......spog........
 

Midnight Brew

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Wouldnt misting several kilos of grain be very difficult to get an even consistantsy? How is misting done anyway? Do you have to lay out all the grain cause thatd take up heaps of space and more so time.
 

dicko

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my take is,misting the grain before milling would /could cause a hell of a mess in that the flour of the cru sh would stick to the rollers and cause clagging,i have heard talk in podcasts about this,but for a home brewer it would be a royal pain to pull a mill apart and clean it.
honestly i see (personally) no benefit doing it as a hb'r.


..............cheers......spog........
Totally agree with you spog, I tried it once and all I achieved was a full strip down of the mill for cleaning.
Biab, as I believe can be milled a bit finer than using a standard mash tun but I believe just mill the grain to suit your equipment and method.

Cheers
 

pk.sax

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I used a glass of water to splash water into a bucket of grain and tossed it by hand. I wonder how it can be fucked up with a spray bottle and an experienced brewer. Just a bit perplexed with this.

Everything I could read on this points to this being beneficial. The one time I did this everything went textbook perfect. Brewers reporting stuffing their mills because of malt conditioning have to be doing something really special. I'd hazard a guess tht you're not supposed to make the grain soggy, just wet the husks to soften them. Has anyone re-tried wet milling with less water if the first time was bad?

Wouldn't mind if someone that wet mills consistently tells us a little more.
 

dicko

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There are a few guys on here that wet there grains before milling and I say - good luck to them.
This same subject came up quite a few years ago and the pros and cons were discussed back then.
I personally have listened to what has been said with regard to this method and I have tried it, yes, more than once, twice actually.
The problem I found was to get the grain wet EVENLY and LIGHTLY enough to achieve the desired result.
I would imagine that if you could mist the grain on a system like a conveyor belt that would achieve even wetting of the grain then it would work.
In my situation slowly adding water as I ran my fingers through the grain in a bucket did not do it and then the second time spraying water from a hand squirty bottle set on mist and at the same time, moving the grain with my free hand still resulted in a fuken mess during milling.
In my opinion and only my opinion if there is a benificial result then I wonder if it is really worth the effort.
If it is to achieve better efficiency then I am not interested in adding more time to my brewday as I consistantly achieve 88% from my mash anyway.
I should add that I use a Crankenstein 3 roller adjustable mill and achieve a good crush with little to no damage to grain husks.
My comments in my above post are only to agree with spog and not to say that there are no benifits in wetting grain prior to milling.

Cheers
 

mje1980

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Sounds like possibly inviting a lot more headaches to the brewday for little if any reward.
 

squirt in the turns

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I tried this yesterday after this thread popped up, using the mist setting on a garden hose sprayer, which produces a very fine mist. Sprayed a bit onto the grain in a bucket, lid on, shook, repeated a couple of times. No idea what volume of water went in. Grain started going through the mill fine, but when tried to restart after reloading the hopper, the flour (I still got flour - indeed, quite a bit of it) had formed a kind of barley concrete on the rollers that I had to claw off before continuing, otherwise something was going to break (the drill, the mill, my arm...)

No change to my efficiency.

Probably wouldn't bother again and will probably have to take a stiff wire brush to the rollers to get the rest of the crap off.
 

felten

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When I did this, I used 20ml of water/kg of grain, as per braukaiser's recommendation IIRC. Probably not a good idea to go overboard on the water.
 

Thirsty Boy

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yep, if things get sticky, or even if you've used enough water to reduce the amount of flour.... you've added too much water. conditioning your malt is not "wet milling" not even close. Essentially, if you added enough water to be able to tell you did... you added too much. Everything should still be dry.

Absolutely pointless in BIAB as its about being able to crush more finely whilst maintaining husk integrity, which is not needed in BIAB
 

grimpanda

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yep, if things get sticky, or even if you've used enough water to reduce the amount of flour.... you've added too much water. conditioning your malt is not "wet milling" not even close. Essentially, if you added enough water to be able to tell you did... you added too much. Everything should still be dry.

Absolutely pointless in BIAB as its about being able to crush more finely whilst maintaining husk integrity, which is not needed in BIAB
Right on Thirsty. 2% of your grain bill in water is the recommended amount from memory. For a 5kg bill that's only 100ml water.

I've done it in the past using a spray bottle and stirring the grain by hand in a large stockpot to get even wetting.

The main reason for doing this in my mind is to assist lautering and reduce the chance of a stuck sparge (especially useful for beers with large portions of hull-less, gummy grains like wheat or rye). Increased efficiency can potentially be gained by setting your mill gap smaller than you would normally dare to with dry grain, but is not the main motivator for doing so.

In my mind, the extra 5-10 minutes it takes to condition the malt is worth it over the headache of a stuck mash any day.
 

RobW

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Right on Thirsty. 2% of your grain bill in water is the recommended amount from memory. For a 5kg bill that's only 100ml water.

I've done it in the past using a spray bottle and stirring the grain by hand in a large stockpot to get even wetting.

The main reason for doing this in my mind is to assist lautering and reduce the chance of a stuck sparge (especially useful for beers with large portions of hull-less, gummy grains like wheat or rye). Increased efficiency can potentially be gained by setting your mill gap smaller than you would normally dare to with dry grain, but is not the main motivator for doing so.

In my mind, the extra 5-10 minutes it takes to condition the malt is worth it over the headache of a stuck mash any day.

Agreed. No problem with 100mL for a 5kg bill.

I just mix it through by hand.
 

WhiteLomu

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Tried it myself on the weekend. Sprinkled water out using my fingers then mixed in. Repeated maybe ten times. I used nowhere near 100ml of water for a 4.75kg grain bill.
I've never seen so many properly cracked grains with almost fully intact husks.
It is definitely a useful technique.
 

WhiteLomu

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I missed the point of the OP, asking if it's beneficial for BIAB. I don't BIAB but it is good for Grainfather.
 

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