Category Archives: All Grain

Label Peelers… 35% Off Beer Kits – All Grain & Extract


Label Peelers has discounted their entire selection of Brewer’s Best and Munton’s Recipe Kits by 35%.  This is the largest discount Label Peelers has ever offered on these kits.  The discount also applies to the recently announced Brewer’s Best Brew in a Bag All Grain Kits.

Check it out – Here

Ends Soon: StirStarter Stir Plate – $42 Shipped

Pinned: StirStarter *CO2 Manifold *Ball Lock Kegs *Hands On: Captain Crush Grain Mill

New.. Imperial Sparge Adjustable, Stainless Sparge Arm

Imperial Sparge Adjustable Stainless Sparge Arm

Northern Brewer just released the “Imperial Sparge” Adjustable Sparge Arm.  Made of stainless steel and adjustable to vessels up to 24″ in length.

Check it out – Here

Bundles With: $7.99 Flat Rate Shipping

Pinned: StirStarter *BoilerMakers *Ball Lock Kegs *Hands On: Captain Crush Grain Mill


img_2615Hands On: Captain Crush, Adjustable Three Roller Grain Mill – Including Mash Tests

Hands On: Captain Crush, Adjustable Three Roller Grain Mill – Including Mash Tests


Here is a Hands on Review of Northern Brewer’s Captain Crush, 3 Roller Grain Mill.  It includes thoughts about the mill, photos of the mill in action and a crush/mash trial.

The Captain Crush Grain Mill

The box.  It’s large.

Not only is it large, it’s heavy.  My Ultraship 55 (usually my grain scale - Review) shows a whopping 21 lbs 7 ounces.

Over half of that weight is the roller mill assembly itself.

Top of the mill

Bottom of the mill

Base.  The circular pieces in the middle are designed to fit nicely on a bucket.

Assembled.  This mill is huge and it looks cool.

Profile view

One of the nice things about the Captain Crush are the easy adjustment knobs.  You can change settings quickly and without tools.  The current setting is NB’s recommended “optimal setting”.  Also notice the drill connection shaft toward the top left of the mill body.

Installed on a bucket.

The base fits perfectly inside this 5 gallon bucket.

Front view

For size comparison side by side vs my Barley Crusher Grain Mill

Profile view compared with the Barley Crusher.  As you can see the Captain Crush Mill is considerably larger.

Top down view vs Barley Crusher

The official size of Captain Crush’s Hopper is 11 lbs.  I’ve found that it can hold at least that much.  This picture shows the vast majority of the malt bill for 1 Hour IPA – continuously hopped IPA.  The malt bill for that is 13 lbs.  The hopper is holding just under 12 lbs… 11 lbs 14 oz.

Front View

A picture of the crush

Mash Trials:
These are side by side mash tests using the Captain Crush Mill on “optimal” setting vs store crushed grain.  The Rahr 2 Row both milled and unmilled were sourced at a reputable local homebrew shop.  Note that it did not come from Northern Brewer.  To produce as consistent results as possible, I measured everything (water and grain) in grams to the nearest single gram.


  1. Weigh 906 grams (1.997 lbs) of grain
  2. Weigh 2,715 grams of strike water (.717 gallons)
  3. Heat up strike water to 162 deg F.  Overheat by a degree or so and then stir back down to temperature.  It’s easier to hit a stable temp going down vs hitting it going up.
  4. While strike water is heating pre-heat mash tun with 1/2 gallon of 212 deg F water.
  5. Place grain (inside of bag) in cooler.
  6. Add strike water.
  7. Stir and record temperature.
  8. Mash for 60 minutes.
  9. Drain first runnings.
  10. Grain back in mash tun.
  11. Add 1,884 grams (.497 gallons) of 212 deg F water to the grain and stir.  I normally would not sparge with boiling water.  I used boiling water to take one more variable out of the equation.
  12. Drain second runnings.  Let grain bag sit on strainer for 5 minutes.
  13. Record volume and gravity.

Each test used 906 grams (1.997 lbs) of grain

Each Test used 2,715 grams of strike water (.717 gallons).  For some reason I didn’t use the tare feature when I weighed the water.  The pitcher ways 547 grams.  That makes the water 2,715 grams.

This 2 Gallon Rubbermaid Cooler Served as a Mash Tun.  I used a paint straining bag to contain the grain.  This process worked pretty well.  This would be good equipment and technique to use for small batch all grain brews.  For consistency, I pre-heated the cooler prior to placing grain and strike water into it.

A 5 gallon paint straining bag contained the grain.

My Thermapen reading mash temperature.  The temperatures of each trial mash were close but not identical.  One read 151.5 deg F, the other read 152 deg F.  I consider that to be within the limits of what I can test and produce in my kitchen.

Results Store Milled:

Store Milled Grain

Collected Wort.  With the help of an on-screen ruler, I’m going to estimate this at .859 gallons collected.  That means that .355 gallons were absorbed.  Making the absorption rate for this grain and crush .177 gallons/lb.

My Atago Pal-1 Digital Refractometer reads 10 Brix.  That’s on OG of 1.040.  Rahr 2 Row should provide 37 points per lb.  That means there are a total of 74 points in the two lbs of grain I used.  .859 gallons of 1.040 wort comes out to a total of 34.375 points or an efficiency of 46.4%.  That’s low.  Although, the point of this particular experiment is to compare two grinds, not to measure the efficiency of one technique vs another.

Results Captain Crush Milled:

Milled Grain

Collected Wort.  I’m going to estimate this at .875 gallons collected.  That means that .339 gallons were absorbed.  Making the absorption rate for this grain and crush .170 gallons/lb.

My Atago Pal-1 Digital Refractometer reads 13.2 Brix.  That’s on OG of 1.053.  Rahr 2 Row should provide 37 points per lb.  That means there are a total of 74 points in the two lbs of grain I used.  .875 gallons of 1.053 wort comes out to a total of 46.375 points or an efficiency of 62.6%.  Again, the point of this particular experiment is to compare two grinds, not to measure the effectiveness of a particular set of equipment or technique.

Store Milled Grain (left) vs Captain Crush Mill using “optimal” setting (right). Click to zoom.

Mash Test Conclusion:

  1. The store Milled Grain I used produced an efficiency of 46.4% vs an efficiency of 62.6% when using the “optimal” setting on the Captain Crush.  That’s a comparative improvement of 34.9%.
  2. The Captain Crush’s “optimal setting” produces a great crush.
  3. Grain crush is a big part of efficiency.  Store crushed grain can be on the under crushed side.  Some stores do this to help prevent stuck sparges.  That’s a valid strategy and it may be way you want.
  4. If you are looking for more control over your mash milling your own grain provides you with quite a bit more control.  It also allows you to buy grain in bulk and crush right before brewing.  That preserves freshness and leads to better tasting beer.

The Captain Crush is a solid grain mill.  It has a good capacity, produces a great crush on the optimal setting and can easily be adjusted.

Check it out - Captain Crush Grain Mill

Also note that the full product manual is available on the “Additional Info” tab of the product page.

Also Consider:

801121-2Great Prices on Bags of Malt


1 Hour IPA Kit – All Grain and Extract

Looking through Great Fermentations Recipe Kit Offerings last week, I was happy to see their continuously hopped “1 Hour IPA” as I am a huge fan of Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA.  The recipe features Simpsons Crystal Malt, Carapils, Crisp Amber Malt and Warrior, Amarillo and Simcoe Hops.  It’s available in both all grain and extract versions.  I placed an order via GF’s Flat Rate Shipping last Friday and it was at my door on Saturday.  It’s on the schedule to be brewed this coming weekend.

Check it out – All Grain and Extract

PinnedBoilerMaker Kettles *Patagonia IPA *Dual Scale Refractometer *Maris Otter Extract

March High Flow Pump – $139.95 Shipped

This is March’s high flow model.  If you’re wondering… this has the same footprint as the regular flow versions.  Along those lines, it fit’s on the TopTier March Pump Mounting Bracket.

This is the pump I use.  I use it for vorlaufing/recirculating, transferring from my mash tun to brew kettle, chilling with a recirculating wort chiller and transferring to my fermenter.  It works great!

Hand Made – Maple Mash Paddle for… $16.49

28″ Hand Made Mash Paddle made from Michigan Hard Maple for… $16.49.

840741 – Hard Maple Mash Paddle – $16.49

Gamma Seal Lids for Grain and Kit Storage – $7.84

These Gamma Seal Lids are selling for $7.84. They ship free with Prime or with a qualifying $35 order.  Note: You may need to choose the $7.84 price under “More Sellers on Amazon” on the right side of your screen to get that price.

I use 5 and 6 gallon buckets along with Gamma Seal Lids for grain storage.  Two 5 gallon buckets will hold a 50 lb sack of grain.  I also store recipe kits in 5 gallon buckets with these lids.  Depending on the kit, I can store 1 to 2 in a bucket.  I use a write on/ wipe off pen to record the contents of each bucket.

The Gamma Seal Lid, Black - $7.84 + Free Shipping with $35 order

Home Depot has these for a bit less at $7.25.  Order online and pickup in store.

PinnedBoilerMaker Kettles *Patagonia IPA *Kegerator Condensation *Maris Otter Extract

More from Amazon:

MoreRecent FindsAmazonAmazon FillersStorageContainersGrain StorageGreat Deals

Ends Soon: All Grain Kit Sale – from $20.99

Valuebrew has been out of their entire lineup of all grain kits for quite some time now.  They are back with a bang…  Nearly the entire lineup is back in stock and on sale.  In stock all grain kits start from $20.99.  The sale includes 5 and 10 gallon versions.  Valueship Flat Rate Shipping is also in play.

Check it out - Here

Bundles With: Valueship Flat Rate Shipping

Tip: Consider maximizing Flat Rate Shipping by picking up multiple kits.  Qualifying orders over $60 and under $300 ship the same flat rate.

    MoreRecent FindsValuebrewKitsRecipesGreat Deals

    Hand Carved Maple Hardwood Mash Paddle – $41.99

    Product Description - Here.  Use coupon code BEERDEAL to get this discount.

    Hand Carved Maple Hardwood Mash Paddle (36″) AG438  $41.99 + Free Shipping with a $59 order - Filler Items

    Availability: This is a More Beer Deal of the Day.  Quantities are limited. Check the Deal of the Day section Here - to see if this is still available.

    Also Consider:

    More from More Beer:

    Thermapen by ThermoWorks - Review

    Patagonia Malts – with Patagonia IPA Recipe from NHC

    One of the homebrews that stood out to me while attending the recent National Homebrewer’s Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan was an IPA that was served by Brewer’s Supply Group (BSG) at their booth at the Conference.  It was… delicious.  Roasty, great hop character and easy to drink.  I swung by for two samples and shortly returned… for a third and it was gone.  After the conference, I got a hold of BSG to ask about the beer.  I learned that it was formulated and brewed by Juno Choi.  Juno kindly shared the recipe with me and I’d like to share it with you.  Thank you Juno!

    The recipe features 100% Patagonia Malts from Chile.  Those were new to me and I think relatively new to the homebrew market here in the US, because… I had a very difficult time sourcing the grain for this recipe.  After looking around a bit, I contacted Bryan at Great Fermentations.  They already carried Patagonia, just not not all three varieties that this recipe calls for.  Bryan kindly sourced the remaining grains and has stocked them at Great Fermentations.  Thank you so much Bryan!  My order is… on the way.  I’m also going to try GF’s “1 Hour IPA” Kit.  

    On to the recipe…

    All Grain:


    10.8 lbs Patagonia Extra Pale Malt
    .6 lb Patagonia Caramel 90L
    .6 lb Patagonia Caramel 190L


    60 Minutes – 2 OZ Motueka
    10 Minutes – 2 OZ Pacifica
    1 Minute – 2 OZ Nelson Sauvin

    Mash for 60 Minutes at 152 deg F

    Ferment with Safale US-05 at 68 deg F

    About The Beer, Estimates:

    OG: 1.061 at 70% Efficiency
    FG: 1.017
    ABV: 5.76%
    IBU 73.31
    SRM 17.78


    The all grain recipe features Patagonia Malts from beginning to end.  Extract Patagonia Extra Pale Malt doesn’t exist.  You could still get the same idea by substituting 8 lbs of Liquid Malt Extract for the Extra Pale and steep the caramel malts.  That gets you the same gravity and pretty well everything else, although the SRM does go up to 18.74.  Again, not the exact same beer, but you will get a lot of the great roasty flavors from the Patagonia Caramel Malts and all of the hop character.