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Who knows their mill gap measurement?


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#1 ER Pemberton

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:20 AM

I believe the factory setting on mine was .39 (or .039?) and when I had some trouble with it I widened it to about .41 or .42.  I have some feeler gauges for measurement.  I'm pretty sure that resulted in some lost efficiency, as expected.  I'm considering cleaning my mill today and adjusting the gap back to where it was.  Anyone know their measurement?



#2 djinkc

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:36 AM

I think a lot are set at .039.  Mine is .031


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#3 ER Pemberton

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 07:39 AM

I think a lot are set at .039.  Mine is .031

Whoo boy.  .031 seems mighty tight but if that what works.  I just watched a Barley Crusher video for adjusting the gap and they suggested .038.  



#4 Bklmt2000

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 08:11 AM

I use a BC, too, and I don't know what the setting is (I recently adjusted the gap, since I had a similar efficiency issue).

 

I use a few grain kernels, run them thru the mill and onto a piece of paper, and judge the crush visually, but it turns out the gap is roughly the thickness of a credit card (enough to grab onto the card and pull it thru the mill if it were running).


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#5 macbrak

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 09:20 AM

This reminds me that I also need to figure out my measurements. Efficiency hasn't been to big of an issue recently.

 

Keep the BC clean. I've had trouble with mine and thinking about replacing it. Rollers have really lost their edge which seems to be a regular issue with the BC. I've broken it down and cleaned and "sharpened" the burls with a triangle file several times as it was loosing grip.


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#6 denny

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 10:27 AM

Whoo boy.  .031 seems mighty tight but if that what works.  I just watched a Barley Crusher video for adjusting the gap and they suggested .038.  

 

It works for him.  It will not necessarily work for you.


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#7 ER Pemberton

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 11:21 AM

Well, I took it apart and pressure washed it and got it REALLY clean.  I cleaned the hopper that way too.  I put it back together and adjusted the gap back to .39 with feeler gauges and then I oiled it too.  I tightened everything back up and it's ready to go.  I have not been paying close attention to efficiency but I started looking into it lately and also looking closer at OG with my hydrometer and refractometer.  I made a beer yesterday with 12 pounds of grain.  The OG clocked in at 1.052 on the hydrometer but only 1.045 on the meter.  1.050 looks like it's about 60% efficiency which I know I can improve on.  The question is whether this .39 setting is going to 1) crush the grain better, 2) crush the grain at all because it doesn't make it through and 3) improve my efficiency.  We'll see.  Cheers gang.



#8 Zsasz

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 12:50 PM

default BC setting plus drift?  I might have some feeler gauges around.  If I come across them I'll check it out.


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#9 Bklmt2000

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 01:01 PM

Well, I took it apart and pressure washed it and got it REALLY clean.  I cleaned the hopper that way too.  I put it back together and adjusted the gap back to .39 with feeler gauges and then I oiled it too.  I tightened everything back up and it's ready to go.  I have not been paying close attention to efficiency but I started looking into it lately and also looking closer at OG with my hydrometer and refractometer.  I made a beer yesterday with 12 pounds of grain.  The OG clocked in at 1.052 on the hydrometer but only 1.045 on the meter.  1.050 looks like it's about 60% efficiency which I know I can improve on.  The question is whether this .39 setting is going to 1) crush the grain better, 2) crush the grain at all because it doesn't make it through and 3) improve my efficiency.  We'll see.  Cheers gang.

 

One habit I've gotten into is milling my grain twice (I crush the grains on brewday, while the strike water heats); once on a lower speed, then back thru again on a higher speed (but same mill gap).

 

Even with the tighter gap I've been using for some time now, after the first pass, I'll still see some barley kernels that are still intact, but after the second pass, I don't see any.

 

And making a second pass thru the mill takes literally a minute or two at most.  This has worked well.

 

Just another idea.


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#10 djinkc

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 03:39 PM

It works different at everyone's place.  I cranked mine down as far as possible to run some unmalted rye through.  Didn't do a thing to it - passed right through.  Then I reset the gap to .027 which I had been using for years.  No go - new grain with plumper kernels and the mill wouldn't grab it.  It took me a couple batches to open the gap up to what I use now.  The mill, speed and your MT setup all make a difference on what will work at your place.  I think the old crush until your scared is a good maxim.


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#11 pkrone

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 05:28 PM

Thickness of a credit card.


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#12 ER Pemberton

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Posted 14 July 2019 - 08:44 PM

One habit I've gotten into is milling my grain twice (I crush the grains on brewday, while the strike water heats); once on a lower speed, then back thru again on a higher speed (but same mill gap).

 

Even with the tighter gap I've been using for some time now, after the first pass, I'll still see some barley kernels that are still intact, but after the second pass, I don't see any.

 

And making a second pass thru the mill takes literally a minute or two at most.  This has worked well.

 

Just another idea.

I have been milling twice but I think my gap was still too wide and some kernels were not crushed.  I'll be watching next time to see how the crush looks.



#13 LeftyMPfrmDE

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:14 AM

the mill I use works best at 0.40 (barebones malt mill from Jack Schmidling- unsure he makes them anymore, got mine in 2017). It took some tooling around, but found what works best is I hooked up a 120 RPM electric motor to the mill, and I hit anywhere from 70%-75% brew house efficiency, depending on OG. took a lot of trial and error, but got it dialed in. 

 

My first mill was a BC-  (0.34 worked for me) It worked great! even got the rollers replaced for free after two years. but after 7 years of use, which included with every crush, checking the mill gap before hand, and after,  brushing the dust with a paint brush, blowing the mill out with a shop vac. every 6 months, rotated the rollers and lubing the roller Barings. over time, I can assume I just beat the hell out of it. Can't remember where I read it, but the BC has a "1 ton" life expectancy- found this to be true in my case. the rollers lost their grip, and I would have to 'hand prime' the rollers to get it started. my last crush with the BC, 45 minutes in, priming by hand every minute or so, just said the hell with it, and got the malt mill. I've learned to love it- hasn't let me down yet. 


Edited by LeftyMPfrmDE, 15 July 2019 - 09:19 AM.

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#14 ER Pemberton

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 09:26 AM

There has been a bit of talk about the crush over the past few years.  Originally people would say that you don't want to overcrush /pulverize your grain.  Then some people said "crush it hard and then crush it again!".  The low-oxygen guys suggest 'conditioning' the grain (spritzing it with water) which I thinks makes the kernels expand just enough to cause a problem with the mill and that's the original reason that I widened the gap.  I plan to brew again this coming weekend and I will be very tuned in to how the mill behaves now that I've narrowed the gap, cleaned it and oiled it.  Fingers crossed.  



#15 jayb151

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 04:55 PM

Just to add, I believe spritzing the grain helps leave the husk intact. So it can create a better filter.


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#16 BlKtRe

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 09:48 AM

.039. Seems to be a good gap for my mill for all types and sizes of grain. My mill is adjustable but its a PIA to do it. So, .039 it is. 


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#17 denny

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 10:14 AM

Just to add, I believe spritzing the grain helps leave the husk intact. So it can create a better filter.


Or that's the theory. Imm practice, it made no difference at all for me. If the husks were more intact it had no impact on my beer. It may differ on your system, But you can't assume it will.
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#18 ER Pemberton

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 11:23 AM

What I don't want to see is kernels that appear to be completely unaffected by TWO passes through the crush.  Last week I looked closely at my crush and I was mostly satisfied but I *did* see some kernels that looked to be completely intact.  That could be my gap setting and it could also be that my gap was not uniform across the rollers.  On the BC, one roller is passive so things can get farked up in a hurry.  



#19 jayb151

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Posted 16 July 2019 - 06:44 PM

Good point Denny. I personally would always just do two passes, dry both times. 

 

I found that the first pass was ok, but it looked MUCH better after a second pass and it didn't vaporize everything. This was when I was using the mill at the LHBS.

 

Now that I have my own mill, I'm pretty satisfied by what the default is set at. I only do one pass and it seems to be good enough. 

 

I'm all about side notes in this thread, I do notice a rather substantial gain in efficiency if I mash for a few hours when compared to just one hour or so. 


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#20 Merlinwerks

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Posted 17 July 2019 - 07:21 AM

Just to add, I believe spritzing the grain helps leave the husk intact. So it can create a better filter.

 

 

Or that's the theory. Imm practice, it made no difference at all for me. If the husks were more intact it had no impact on my beer. It may differ on your system, But you can't assume it will.

 

Perhaps not an impact on taste, but as you mentioned depending on your system it may help with lautering.

 

The other benefit I've found is that it greatly reduces the amount of dust generated.


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