Monday, November 30, 2015

The best way to mill grains. .. for me

It is natural for home brewers to want to put into practice the technology and processes of craft or commercial breweries.  

All too often I hear about some brewer who has created some master piece of brewing technology in his basement or garage.   And usually one of the things I hear is that he was inspired by a brewery he visited.   

I have the same inspirations. I see some complicated system and think,  "jeez I'm a
Contractor I could easily build that. "  but we here at counterbrew and the turkey creek brewing association fight to protect a different approach.  

"The less technology, pumps,  tubes, etc.  You have involved,  the less you have to clean.  Since cleaning and sanitation are the most important ingredients, we fight to keep it simple"

Which isn't too day all of these things are bad.  The brau supply ebiab seems to nearly clean it self,  and I want one.  Santa, Honey, Mom, dad,  are you reading?

To this end I present my approach to milling grains.

I use a corona mill.   I prefer corona mills because the are multi takers.  They can actually make bread flour too.   And I love to bake bread.   My corona mill is mounted to a board that sits on top of a 5 gallon bucket.   That's it. No extra bucket,  no drill (unless the batch is huge).  After milling,  every thing goes back in the bucket.   Too pour the grains,  I lift off the mill. I set the mill to get a very fine crush.  I use the edge of a credit card to set the gap. 

"Don't you want to save time on brew day? "  No,  not really.  Brewing is one of the most fun things I do.  

"Aren't you afraid of a stuck sparge? " no, no I am not.  I use a bag,  or voile cloth even when I use my gravity system. 

Mill the grains how you want,  the point is keeping things simple allows you to focus on the real task... making great beer.  Our hobby has so many aspects which can bring you joy, and a sense of accomplishment.  For me it is all about fighting to simplify, to create a perfect recipe and to be able to repeat it.  For you it may be all about the engineering of brewing.  For others, it may be all about the biology.  But what ever you find your interest focused on I hope you'll do all you can to keep things as simple as possible.   

On another note, my beers we're very well received at Thanksgiving with the family.  I brewed up a centennial blonde for the occasion.  My ciders were enjoyed as well.  Finally, I had beer at a family event that everyone enjoyed.   Guess it's my own fault, in the past I have brought esoteric beers, and looked down my beer snob nose at people who couldn't enjoy a bourbon barrel smoked Russian Imperial Stout.   This year I made something we all could enjoy.

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