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Wetting grain before milling Vs not wetting it

Discussion in 'All Grain Brewing' started by QldKev, 1/8/13.

 

  1. QldKev

    Brew Dude

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    Posted 1/8/13
    How many people mist their grain with water before crushing it to prevent husk damage, and do you find an improvement in lautering and mash efficiency from it.
     
  2. breakbeer

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    Posted 1/8/13
    At the Vic Swap Day last weekend we had some spec malts sitting in a pot that had just been rinsed out with water, so the grain was a bit wet. About 200g went through before the whole mill clogged (really badly) & nearly killed my drill.

    We had 45 more kilo's to mill

    Just ONE of the swap day mishaps
     
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  3. jlm

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    Posted 1/8/13
    Used to when I had a drill running the mill......Now I mill by hand don't need to. On my mill at least the slower speed seems to not tear the husk up as much.

    Am one day going to get it motorised at around 150rpm rather than the 500 or so the drill would run it at.

    Oh yeah, only ever did it with base malts....never specs.
     
  4. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 1/8/13
    @Breakbeer: There were more?
    I must have been too busy trying to fix the eleven stuck sparges that I didn't notice.

    Main problem with that would have been the water:grain ratio when it went in. Technique Kev is talking about involves very small amounts of misted water.

    I tried it once but got the amounts wrong and got clag in my mill. Never had a major issue with lautering and efficiency is where I want it so I never bothered trying again.
     
  5. Florian

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    Posted 1/8/13
    I have been doing it for quite a while now. Coincidentally I also don't have problems with wort fountains in the BM anymore. Not sure though if those two exactly correlate as I might have also changed a few other things like crush size.

    I either wet the grain slightly, or, my preferred method (easier), weigh out the grains a day beforehand and just leave them in an open bucket or pot on the back deck for a day.
    I believe this has the same effect given the humidity in Brisbane.

    Where's the poll?
     
  6. WarmBeer

    Unhappy camper

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    Posted 1/8/13
    Sounds like a good way to get the rollers on your mill rusty.

    [​IMG]

    Edit: Picture for clarity
     
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  7. QldKev

    Brew Dude

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    Posted 1/8/13
    The idea of rusty rollers is the main reason I have not tried it myself. I'm getting decent efficiency, but was just thinking about this as it's a topic you don't hear much on, and as with any hobby I was wanting to tinker more.
     
  8. Florian

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    Posted 1/8/13
    What's wrong with stainless steel rollers?

    But even with easy rust rollers I don't think it is much of an issue, as you wet the grain because you want the husks to absorb that moisture to prevent too much breakage. So really the grain won't be wet if you wait a little bit before milling.
    If still worried use the grain in a bucket on the back deck method I mentioned above. If your rollers rust from normal air humidity then yes, I probably would be worried wetting the grain.
     
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  9. jimmy01

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    Posted 1/8/13
    I tried it a while ago for 1/2 dozen brews. Just lightly sprayed grain before milling.
    I stopped doing this as I had no gains in efficiency and it makes a mess of your rollers.
     
  10. Ducatiboy stu

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    Posted 1/8/13
    The amount of water is important. Misting is not the method to use. Tony was the person who first put me onto it. You need about 1/2 cup of water to 5kg. You need to put the grain in a bucket and stick you hand in and stir through the water.It msy take a couple of minutes but there is no real fast easy way...except for a mini cement mixer.You then need to let the grain sit for 5-10 mins to allow the husk to soften. If you get it right you will notice A LOT of intact husk when crushed. This helps sparging. This is one thing I do know about as I allways get better crush and lautering from it.

    Remember the trick is the amount of water and how you mix it. If you are getting clogged rollers etc I would say you have used to much water or not mixed it well enough.
     
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  11. I like beer

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    Posted 1/8/13
    I do it with hot water and leave it for around 10 to 15 minutes, it seems to cut down on dust,& the drill runs a lot smoother when milling. Does'nt seem to tear the husks as against unmoistend grain
     
  12. Black n Tan

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    Posted 1/8/13
    I did for several batches. I would mist water onto the grain then mix by hand then spray more on so on. I aimed for 2%v/w e.g. 100mL for 5kg grain. Then leave it for 1-2 hours in a closed container before milling. Certainly the husks remained intact. I had no gumming on my BC MaltMill and found I could go up as high as 5%v/w without issue, although I think 2% is enough. The grain was just starting to stick to my hands at 4-5% which I think is a good sign to stop adding water. The key is leaving for a good period of time before milling so the husks absorb the water, rather than sitting on the surface a gumming your mill. If you are having lautering problems or chasing a couple of points in efficiency then you should try it and see if it helps.
     
  13. Black n Tan

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  14. Grainer

    The pursuit of Utopia

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    Posted 1/8/13
    Was not good and huge delays
     
  15. pk.sax

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    Posted 1/8/13
    I've been set milling for a few years, doing almost exactly what stu pointed to.

    Recent brew, I opened up the gap on the mill a notch and did not wet mill as I was doing this the night before the brew.

    One difference that I noticed immediately was that even with the wider gap I had considerable trouble getting the grain filter to set properly. I must have stirred the mash at least half a dozen times and slowed the recirc a lot to keep the bed from setting. Obviously, this reduced as the mash converted fully. From my previous use of a fb setup in a keggle tun, this was worse performance on much better equipment (fb insert pot in bigger pot, no centre pickups or suction involved). I plan to do the next one wet again.

    The husks this time were about split in half, usually with a wet mill I'm used to hawks nearly 75% intact ish. Malt was pilsner.
     
  16. technobabble66

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    Posted 1/8/13
    @manticle & breakbeer - sooo... it sounds like maybe we didn't add enough water to the grain pre-milling :lol: :ph34r:
     
  17. Ducatiboy stu

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    Posted 2/8/13
    Dont worry...I played around and found that 1/2 cup of water mixed by hand worked the best. More water made more problems
     
  18. razz

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    Posted 2/8/13
    I used it a few years ago at the rate of 20ml of water per kg of grain. I let it sit for an hour for the grain to absorb the water. It worked wonders for the recirc in the mash tun.
     
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  19. mabrungard

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    Posted 3/8/13
    When I have the time, the pre-conditioning does significantly improve the integrity of the grain husks. It enables me to crush the grain a little finer, produce a bit more flour and still obtain an adequate permeability through the mash bed. I suppose that probably increases the extraction a bit, but the real advantage for me and my RIMS is the intactness of the husks.

    As pointed out in several posts above, the malt will not really be 'wet' when you condition properly. Let it set for at least 15 minutes to allow any surface moisture to hydrate the husks. I still find that the milling process produces some dust and I don't clog or gum up the rollers.

    Do it if you have the time...but do it right.
     
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  20. Yob

    Hop to it

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    Posted 8/2/15
    interesting stuff, the for and against are pretty evenly split..



    To keep the other thread from getting hijacked discussign wet milling, I thought Id port some of the discussion evolving there to here.


    seems to me that if you aren't having lauter troubles, why bother, it reads as though it can (and I've witnessed it, see breakbeers post #2) lead to other issues and cost a shitload of time, personally, I don't have that time to spend cleaning rollers and blowing up drills.

    Im not saying that it doesn't have it's place, system dependent, or that people don't get good results by adding another process, I've never had a stuck sparge on my system (No fekkin oats) so why would I bother?

    Ive only got steel rollers also, it's been mentioned that rust could be an issue, anyone suffered from this?
     

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