Hi there Tom,
I thought I'd replied in this thread earlier but see that I missed it. In a rush but here's a few quick notes...
- No mill is over-kill for BIAB. Whether you're crushing 5 kg or 10 tons of grain, you are crushing grain and you want to do it correctly. And, it makes no difference whether you are single-vessel all-graining (normal BIAB) or multi-vessel all-graining. The grain should be crushed the same.
- A three-roller mill with rollers with small diameters will not do as good a job as a two roll mill with large diameters so don't be lead astray on two versus three-roll mills.
- Careful on relying on a pump for re-circulation. @thughes
has posted his trials and tribulations on that.
- Many of us brewers love tinkering. I am no exception and have an entire room/museum of gadgetry here that I thought would be useful or cool but, it wasn't. Gadgetry often, actually usually, causes more time and hassle and takes our eye off the real game. Making "sweet liquor" is not hard. Cleaning and sanitisation is hard....
Many home-brewers have the same gadgetry as is used in a full-blown brewery. In a full-blown brewery the gadgetry is practical and efficient but for the home brewer, it is not. In fact, the home brewer emulating the full-blown brewery actually jeopardises and compromises their brewing.
There's many reasons why. I've written a lot on this but the info is buried in many posts across many threads (one of the many things I need to condense into a single article) but here's a quick one to think on...
A commercial brewery is like a running river, the water is constantly moving and you can safely drink from the water that cascades over rocks from one level to another level. That river runs night and day. Now, imagine a drought. The river no longer runs but instead, still pools form which animals bathe in and mosquitoes breed from. Now gradually fill that pool up and then drink the first bit of water that runs over the rocks.
With every moving part you add to your home brewery, you add a place of potential stagnancy because you are not brewing night and day. A commercial brewery will still pull apart their equipment into individual components to clean and sanitise them but they don't need to do it often as there is little stagnancy.
A home brewer, even if they brew once a week, has the stagnancy component increased incredibly. They really need to be pulling things apart completely after almost every brew.
And, to top it off, every bit of equipment you add to you home brewery will take the same (if not more) time to clean and maintain. For example, a commercial brewery will lean inside their fermenter and actually scrub protusions. We can't walk inside our fermenters etc., they are too small so, even though we need to maintain them far more often and to a higher standard than a "free-flowing" brewery, we can't.
It took me years to learn the above. I learned that most gadgetry did not work and, if it did work, it took way too much work to maintain or use.
What I work on now is developing simple things that work. You can probably Google every brewing site there is, besides this one, and never find the words, 'stagnant' or 'stagnancy,' but, once I thought up that analogy of the running river, those two words are primary to me when I am devising new equipment.
Oops! That was a little bit longer than I thought it would be! Hope you enjoyed it anyway Tom
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