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Author Topic: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?  (Read 2826 times)

Offline ECH

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Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« on: August 11, 2015, 04:59:41 PM »
Question,

I do extract brews with specialty grains. Looking at repeating an Oktoberfest kit I bought last year that turned out well (Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest clone).

Looking at the grains needed on OBK, and one in the recipe is Biscuit malt. However they only offer Biscuit in the whole format (and I don't have a grain crusher).

However, this got me to thinking....can I use a coffee grinder? I have since switched (years ago) my coffee to a K-cup coffee brewer and haven't used the grinder in a few years, so it is just sitting away collecting dust in the cupboard, and thought...why can't I use it to grind grain, for what little specialty malt I would use in a batch.

As well I could then buy my grain whole and crush as much as I need for a batch (for example, the Oktoberfest brew requires 2oz of Biscuit, but I have to buy a min. of a pound).

Any issues using a coffee/spice grinder to grind grain? Not sure if or how I can clean any residual coffee grinds that might be in the grinder, but then I doubt the small amount would have any discernible effect anyway.

Thoughts?

Offline Roger

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Re: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2015, 05:44:58 PM »
If it's only 2oz. you'd probably be fine. I wouldn't use it on a large amount though you might end up leaching tannins from the grain due to it pulverizing the husks.

Offline robcoombs

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Re: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2015, 05:58:39 PM »
When I was brewing extract and got stuck in a similar situation I would put the grain in a think plastic bag. Like a freezer bag and roll over it with a rolling pin.

It seemed to work fairly well. It certainly didn't over crush the grain.

Offline ECH

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Re: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 02:23:11 AM »
I was thinking the coffee grinder set on the coarsest setting.

Most of the extract batches I do have no more then 1 to 1.5lbs of grain it it, the rest is made up from LME (or the odd time DME)

The Oktoberfest I am making has 12oz of Cara-Munich, 12oz of German Munich, 2oz of Biscuit and 2oz of Aromatic.

Not sure if the husks would pose a problem for the grinder or not, since it is geared more towards a hard coffee bean.

Offline JamesC

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Re: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2015, 03:56:30 AM »
I can't find biscuit on their site. I see amber listed as a sub for victory or bait,  and if that's the case, they'll crush the grains for you. I'm pretty sure they'll crush whatever you want, as I've ordered the prepackaged 2lb bags and they've asked if I wanted it milled.

Offline jamie_savoie

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Re: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 08:10:17 AM »
For extract I wouldnít worry for the crush of the grains.  Use a coffee grinder, blender or whatever and I would crush as fine as your muslin bag can hold it.  Over crushing only really matters in AG if you donít want a stuck sparge from hell.  And if you donít steep them at 200F donít worry for tannins

Offline Roger

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Re: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2015, 12:08:53 PM »
For extract I wouldnít worry for the crush of the grains.  Use a coffee grinder, blender or whatever and I would crush as fine as your muslin bag can hold it.  Over crushing only really matters in AG if you donít want a stuck sparge from hell.  And if you donít steep them at 200F donít worry for tannins
I agree with everything except last part. If you grind too fine little pieces of husk will make it through the bag and be boiled (212*) I use a mill and I grind mine pretty fine like rollers almost touching and if I don't recirculate until crystal clear I can definitely taste the difference.

Offline ECH

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Re: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2015, 01:37:39 AM »
Specialty grains only get steeped at about 170F for 30mins, might cool to 160F in the winter over that time (temp barely drops in the summer). The bags I use are the ones that OBK puts in their kits, basically a cotton bag, and haven't had anything come through them yet.

OBK does have Biscuit malt on there (unless they sold out in the last day or so), but it was only whole grain, and not offered as crushed, and they won't do a custom order anymore as it is apparently a PITA to clean out their machine for just one bag.

My thinking was if I can use a coffee grinder, then I can buy the grain whole, and grind what I need, and since the min. I can buy from them is 1lb, I don't really want to buy 1lb of crushed grain, if I only need 2-6oz or so, as obviously whole will last alot longer.

Offline JamesC

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Re: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2015, 07:37:15 AM »
I must have been asleep at the wheel on that one... I looked at the noble grape.... go me!

Offline Two Wheeler

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Re: Coffee Grinder for a grain crusher?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2015, 08:27:05 AM »
Go for it @ECH ... tons of stories on the internet about people using blenders, rolling pins, coffee grinders etc with no ill effects. I'm sure at some point you might see a problem, but not for steeping grains.
Jordan Harris
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