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Friday Video 31st July 2020 Panoma Island Brew Co. Malt and Crushing

Posted on 31st July 2020



Welcome to our Friday video, this week we have had a delivery from Pomona Island Brew Co. I have not tried many of their beers yet but this beer,  Killian is lying to you, is their table beer and it is perfect for right now, it is roasting hot, I am still obviously at work so cant go made on the alcohol level. It’s uses both the Citra and Amarillo brilliantly, such a lovely combo.


So today I though I would talk a little about our malt range and about crushing malt.

We stock over 150 different varieties of malt from the UK maltsters Crisp, Thomas Fawcetts, Simpsons and Warminster and European malts From Dingemans, Bestmalz and Weyermann.

Each maltster is chosen because they bring something different to the table, their malts may go by the same or very similar names but can be totally different, making contrasting changes to the final product. A good example is amber malt, now we sell this from Crisp and we also sell this from Fawcetts. Both versions are roasted, the Crisp less so, it has a basicity note, the Fawcetts is darker and adds a mild coffee flavour that is not present in the Crisp product.


One question that we get asked about almost on a daily basis is can we crush the malt to 1.2mm. This has come about by many of the one vessel brewing systems suggesting that this is the best crush for their machines. Now I am going to show you that to request this spec isn’t going to work.

Checkout the two selected malts we have here, the top one is Vienna Malt from Warminster, the bottom is Crisp Maris Otter

You can see that there is a fair difference in the size of the different grains. So if we put the through the mill at the same roller gap, namely 1.2mm you can understand that the crush rate is going to be totally different. So, bring on this bad boy, this is a grist separator.

It is a tool that tells us our crush rate is good. We place a 100g sample in the top screen, we then do a bit of shakey shakey and the malts separate into coarse, fine and flour. By measuring the percentage in each section we can keep a constant check that our crush is correct. We are looking for 40 -50% coarse, 35 -45% fine and a maximum of 12% flour. So you can see that we are changing the settings on the mill to get this correct, keeping them at 1.2mm is not going to work.


Also, check out this bag of crushed malt, this is actually Bestmalz Pilsner.

I have given this bag a gentle shake, replicating what happens in the courier network. You can see that the flour has dropped to the bottom, and the coarse is at the top. This is exactly what happens when you order a 25kg sack of crushed malt and they are very difficult to mix. So, our advise if you are buying bulk mat is to utilise the 5 x 5kg option, it is much easier to use and will enable consistent results.

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