Milling Grain Question

Mon Dec 19, 2005 7:42 pm

Where do you mill your grain. I have always milled it in my garage, basically in the same place that I brew. I am rereading CP’s Joy of Homebrewing 3rd edition and he states that you should never mill your grain in the same place you brew. His reason is that the dust from grinding the grain is rich in lactobacillus bacteria. From my (limited) understanding this will sour your beer by creating lactic acid if it gets in your beer.

My problem with this theory is that I have been doing it for quite a while with no sour beer. Also wouldn’t the boil kill anything that got into the wort? So you would have to get some of the dust into the wort post-chiller? Am I just being totally paranoid?

A very silly place...

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Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:14 pm

I've always heard the same, but always ignored it just like you. :P The most I will do is take the bucket and MLT out to the end of the garage near the door before pouring it in. I do hand crank, so I might get less dust than some.
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Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:45 pm

I mill mine in the brewery. However, I mounted my mill (a PhilMill I) to the bottom side of a plastic bucket lid so the shaft comes out a little slot in the side of the bucket. When I run the thing, the lid is snapped tight onto the bucket so no dust gets into the room. All that sticks out is my big funnel hopper and the shaft (with the drill attached). Used to get grain dust everywhere before I did that. Now there is none.

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Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:20 pm

I mill mine at the LHBS. No bacteria problems to date (just kidding). I'm looking to purchase a grain mill. Right now I'm leaning toward the Barley Crusher. What do you guys use?


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Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:34 pm

I mill mine in the garage, but I put a plastic bag over the hopper and bucket to keep the dust down.

I use a barley crusher.

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Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:43 pm

I mill mine in the kitchen, since that is where the scale is located. I brew in the soon to be reclassified greenhouse and use a JSP maltmill with a drill for now.

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Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:01 am

I usually mill in a garage, and boil on the driveway or like in the picture... and after 3 (mash/beers and boil) hours I think most of the dust has cleared..?

I am making a lambic, and in a smaller vessel I added a handful of cracked
grains... so I am hoping for some infection there, none visiable yet.
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Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:29 am

Yep, I mill mine right where I sanitize all my stuff. Charlie is reported to be a fine writer (I have never read one of his books) but his technical expertise is seriously lacking (as has been reported by many on the various HB forums). I think that was in evidence during his interview. He is right that grain is full of lacto but the air in your garage is full of that and lots of other stuff. Follow good sanitization practices and you will not have a problem.
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