Grist Case - friend or foe?
Do I really need a grist hopper on a 10 bbl system or can I just have the auger run right into the grist hydrator? I'm asking because ceiling height is an issue. Maybe a more basic question is - what are the benefits of using a grist hopper in the first place?
You must be referring to a "grist case", and no, it's not necessary unless you want to mill the grain the night before the batch, so it's ready in the morning. You can just mill directlly into the grist hydrator, controlling the grain flow rate with the mill chute opening, which in most cases, should be adjustable.
I've never used a grist case, but could imagine it to be another chore to clean, as the hot water evaporation during mash-in, moves upward into the opening chamber?
Don't know if this helps,
I've done it both ways, no problem. If you're gonna mill it right into the auger and then into the hydrator, it's better to have two people: one pouring grain into the mill, and the other to stir the mash.
The major benefits of a grist case are that you have no mill to break down DURING a mash in. No auger to break down DURING a mash in. These things always happen. Just a matter of time. And you can get your milling done the day before.
Put a hopper over your mill so that you can load up five or six bags at a time, and then you really only need one person to mash in and feed the mill.
I would highly recommend a grist hopper- I have done it both ways. When we got grain in bags and stored it inside, it was just extra running back and forth. But when we hooked up a silo, bulk grain temps. here fluctuate 20+ degrees F. between summer and winter, making it nearly impossible to control the mash temp. over a 20-30 min. mash-in. Our current bin sits on the floor below the mill. The grain is augered into the brewhouse in the next room, making ceiling height a non-issue. It is a 10 Bbl. system as well. There is a thermometer in the hopper, so I can see the temp. of grain BEFORE I mash in, making the strike temp. calculation consistent, which makes the mash temp consistent.
See - I thought it was just for doing double brewing days. It pays to Probrewer!