hist-brewing: Malt

NeophyteSG at aol.com NeophyteSG at aol.com
Sun Dec 29 08:31:39 PST 2002


In a message dated 12/29/02 5:22:09 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
allotta at earthlink.net writes:

> Your local homebrew store will have a malt mill for customer use.  You only
> want to break the grain and expose the endosperm.  Coffee grinders will 
> give
> you flour.
> If there are no local homebrew stores, malt mills are available mail order
> from any internet or catalog homebrew supply.  The can run from $50 to $150
> depending on types and accessories.
> 

I agree.  Just about any "cyclic" process like coffee grinders or food 
processors is ill-suited to brewing.  You're basically passing a blade 
through the material until you reach the median particle size you want.  
Unfortunately, *consistency* -- the key to extraction efficiency -- is shot 
to hell.  While the *median* or average size may be right, you'll still end 
up with some of the malt still intact and some of it over-processed.  A 
second or two too short and your brew will be weaker; a second or two too 
long and you're making oatmeal ... or wheatmeal as the case may be.  For lack 
of a better solution, it'll still work.  Hell, our ancestors were brewing 
using malt crushed between two stones and they did all right! :)  

However, it's hard to beat a device designed specifically for the task.  Malt 
mills generally work on the principle of passing the malt between two rollers 
with an adjustable gap smaller than most malt grains.  The goal is to "crack" 
the grains rather than truly "grind" them.  If you use malt in your brewing 
with any real frequency, investing in a malt mill will pay for itself 
relative to the long-term fees from having it done at a local brew shop.  
Otherwise, a local brew shop is a great way to go, not to mention being a 
generally wonderful experience.  So little time, so much to brew! :)

Warm Regards,
Shawn
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