We are here today to discuss the UniBrau system and grain that makes its way to the kettle. Is it a big deal, does it matter and will it affect the beer.
Most of the feedback that we get regarding this concern is from brewers that have heard about this issue and not from brewers that feel like this is actually an issue.
Let me introduce myself ahead of time, my name is Iain and I am the professionally educated and trained brewer here at Brau Supply. Here in British Columbia I have brewed for breweries like Bomber and Big Rock and I have also been the Head Brewer at a few other smaller craft breweries/brewpubs.
Firstly, the Unibrau system is designed to be system that combines the mash tun and kettle into one vessel. It is not designed to be a fine micron filter basket, its designed to allow for sufficient flow rates to re-circulate the mash. We get asked if we have fixed or figured out this issue, however if you use the equipment as it was designed to be used properly and you accept that a few pieces of grain in your kettle are not as big of a deal as you suspect. A handful of grain in the kettle is a separate issue and not the fault of the brewing system.
The UniBrau system with the mash wort recirculation is designed to be a continual vorlauf option to help maintain mashing temperatures. This is also advantageous for step mashes and decoction processes.
If you do get a couple pieces of grain in the kettle, the electric element system is much less likely to scorch that grain compared to a direct fire kettle.
Large scale breweries such as Sierra Nevada Brewing use a hammer mill (which can have a similar result to milling your grain multiple times on a roller mill), however those large scale breweries also use a mash filter and typically have three to four vessel brewhouses. Over milling your grain is like continually stirring your mash, its excessive, not necessary and with this system is likely doing less good for you than you think it is.
Let us know if you have any questions regarding this "problem", I am happy to answer any questions. Cheers and happy brewing!
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