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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through March 25, 2005 * How to measure roller mill gap distance? < Previous Next >

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DJ Short
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Username: Djshort

Post Number: 4
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've seen a few threads referring to roller mill gap distance. How does one go about measuring this gap distance accurately?

Thanks,
DJ
 

davidw
Advanced Member
Username: Davidw

Post Number: 968
Registered: 03-2001
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 03:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Automobile spark plug gap gauge.

That and I believe a dime is 0.045", which is the gap on a JSP non-adjustable mill.



(Message edited by davidw on March 14, 2005)
 

RJ Testerman
Junior Member
Username: Rjt

Post Number: 76
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 03:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use a feeler gauge, often you will need to use more than one stacked up to get the right feel as they pass through the rollers, you want it to just slide through not too tight.
I have a Barleycrusher set at .039 for 75-82 (mostly 80) percent efficiency.
 

Belly Buster Bob
Senior Member
Username: Canman

Post Number: 2212
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 04:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

don't worry about the measurement, worry about the crush
Bellybuster Bob
www.bellybuster.netfirms.com
 

robert rulmyr
Advanced Member
Username: Wacobob

Post Number: 515
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 05:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Feeler guage. My Barley Crusher is close to .043 inches. Less than that...my 3/8" drill motor doesn't have the torque to starting turning the mill with grain in the hopper. It looks like a good crush to me!
 

tranquil_liza
Member
Username: Tranquil_liza

Post Number: 220
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, March 14, 2005 - 11:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

BBB...don't worry about the measurement....what kind of crush would it be if the roller gap was narrow on one side and wide on the other???

of course you have to worry about the measurement. whatever gap you choose....i think it should be even across the rollers.
 

JT
Intermediate Member
Username: Jt100

Post Number: 322
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 12:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm with BBB. I've never had any reason to measure the gap. I get a consistant 80% eff. with no sparge problems. This is good enough for me.
 

DJ Short
New Member
Username: Djshort

Post Number: 5
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 02:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, I realize the crush quality is the most important thing. But if I can correlate a good crush with specific grains and a known gap size, it is better. Instead of crushing some grain to check if it is ok, I can set the mill first and know that all the grain going through is going to have a good crush...

Plus, I'm just curious on the gap distance I've been using. Thanks for the info folks...My brother is bringing me a spare feeler gauge tomorrow.
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 945
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 02:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One really needs to concentration what the grist looks like. All grains are different and you really can't depend on a specific grain being the same from time to time. I can understand the need to make the gap even across the rollers if the two sides are independently adjustable, but I don't believe in any "magic all purpose gap that is great for everything" that you see many brewers asking for. Life is not quite that easy. Learn to judge a good grist. You should not easily find corns that appear to be intact and those that you do find should appear undersized. Generally you can crush it finer than that.

Dan Listermann
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

Sure, . . I'v brewed with bugs, . . . what's it to you?
 

Catt22
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Username: Catt22

Post Number: 20
Registered: 12-2000
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 03:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The ability to adjust the gap on the fly is a very desirable feature on a grain mill. No need to measure the gap if you can dial it in visually while the mill is running.
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 947
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 04:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Catt22 has it right!

Dan Listermann
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

Sure, . . I'v brewed with bugs, . . . what's it to you?
 

DJ Short
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Username: Djshort

Post Number: 6
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 02:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dan,

I don't think there is a right or wrong.

I can argue that by knowing ahead of time what the gap distance is on my roller and how this gap distance is going to crush the specific grains I am crushing, I can get an ideal crush on 100% of my grains in a faster time. No messing with adjustments on the fly. No stopping to check how the crush is. No risk of only having 95% of my grains crushed ideally because the first 5% wasn't ideal and I had to readjust.
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 948
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 02:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

DJ

That assumes that the grain is always in the same condition. That may or may not be the case. Perhaps that is good enough for most home brewing, especially if your mill is a pain to adjust, but if adjusting it is just a flick of the wrist, there is no excuse not to always take a quick look. With my mill I can flick the switch on and off in about a half second and get about an ounce of grist in my hand. That is all I need to judge the quality of the grist. A quick twist of the knob, if necessary, another flick of the switch and I can see what I have.

Now if you have to loosen set screws and turn eccentric bushings while worrying about alignment, reseat the set screws, your point is well understood. I would not want to bother with that either but I would not kid myself that I am getting some sort of "ideal crush" every time.

Dan Listermann
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

Sure, . . I'v brewed with bugs, . . . what's it to you?
 

Joe DiBenedetti
Junior Member
Username: Docwino

Post Number: 75
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 11:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A friend of mine gave me a Victoria corn mill. It has grinding plates rather than wheels. Someone told me that if you set the plates to the thickness of a dime, that should put in the ball park.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2679
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 12:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The Corona-type corn mills (that includes your Victoria mill, Joe) will work, but they require frequent adjustment and have far less throughput than a dedicated malt mill.

(Message edited by BillPierce on March 16, 2005)
 

Joe DiBenedetti
Junior Member
Username: Docwino

Post Number: 76
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 - 06:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I realize that these type mills have their shortcomings. but the price was right, free. I'm in the process of turning an old ice chest into an LT, and with a cheap converted keg I'll be able to try my first all grain for under $70. If I decide that's the way I want to go then I can start investing in some good equiptment and building a decent brew house. Then again, if it's not my thing all I have lost is the price of a couple of extract kits.
 

tranquil_liza
Member
Username: Tranquil_liza

Post Number: 221
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 02:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

well....i learned today that i didn't even know what i good crush was supposed to look like. after some discussion concerning efficiency at my LHBS, we ended up at his mill. he milled up a half pound of grain. i was dumbfounded. my crush looks like flour compared to his.

my barleycrusher was set at .038. i changed it to .042 immediately. i haven't tried it yet because it's all cleaned up....but from what i saw....i need AT LEAST that much increase in the gap setting.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2706
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 02:11 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Liza, as long as your sparge doesn't stick, a finer crush should increase efficiency somewhat.
 

Peter Roman
Advanced Member
Username: Lilbordr

Post Number: 631
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 02:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Idiots guide to calibrating your mill through corporate America:

1. Go to your office job and find various paper clips.

2. Measure the clips' thickness with a slide caliper. Most companies who manufacture products should have one on site.

3. Label each clip based on its thickness in .001" using a piece of tape and pen.

4. Use which ever clip has your desired gap to calibrate your mill.

Seriously though, I found a few paper clips at work and measured them using a caliper. I found one that is 45 thousands and another that is 40 thousands. I use the two to adjust my mill based on what grains/adjuncts I am using. This method might be flawed but I am getting a good crush and about 85% efficiency.

Cheers,
Peter Roman
 

J. Steinhauer
Advanced Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 593
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 04:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've never ever known what the gap was. I adjust it nearly every time I use it, empirically, by looking at the first few handfuls of crushed grain.

Every basic homebrewing text describes, and some illustrate, an appropriate crush.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter17-1.html

I am a big big supporter of reading.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 4355
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2005 - 05:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"i learned today that i didn't even know what i good crush was supposed to look like"...I'd have to say it's your LHBS that doesn't know what a good crush looks like and you had it right.
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

tranquil_liza
Member
Username: Tranquil_liza

Post Number: 222
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, March 18, 2005 - 12:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

wow...this efficiency crap is driving me out of my mind.
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 959
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Friday, March 18, 2005 - 12:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Liza, efficiency is an obsession.

Dan
Listermann Mfg.,Co. www.listermann.com

 

J. Steinhauer
Advanced Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 596
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Friday, March 18, 2005 - 12:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The crush is about more than just efficiency, though.

Beside, efficiency comparisons is a masculine thing, and is similar to fishing, golf and ex-girlfriends, so you may not understand, TL.
 

Bill Moore
Intermediate Member
Username: Bill_beerman

Post Number: 288
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 18, 2005 - 01:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I found that you need to pay more attention to what the grist looks like than the gap setting.
When I get a new sack of grain, the first thing I do is check the crush on a 1/2 lb or so and adjust the setting so that all the grains are cracked and the hulls are intact enough to filter the wort.
 

Patrick C.
Intermediate Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 299
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Friday, March 18, 2005 - 02:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Or just get a non-adjustable mill and worry about other things...
Ran 6 row through my non-adjustable JSP last weekend and was suprised that I got more flour than usual. Efficiency and ease of lautering were the same as other batches.