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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: hopshead on September 28, 2011, 12:53:43 AM

Title: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: hopshead on September 28, 2011, 12:53:43 AM
I have a barley crusher  and have hand cranked grain for about 5 years.  At some point in time, I will have to replace my grain mill.  But, I also want to buy a drill and hook it up to the grain mill - I am tired of the hand crank.  I wanted to know about homebrewers  experiences using drills to power their mills, and what kind of drill should I buy?  I really know nothing about the various power tools out there and I feel lost looking at all the models speeds etc. for power drills.  All I can say for sure, is that I am leaning towards a corded drill and I prefer to have it cost less $100.  Let me know what you all think and thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: tygo on September 28, 2011, 12:58:11 AM
I have this:  http://www.amazon.com/Black-Decker-CDC180ASB-18-volt-Accessories/dp/B00173CFT8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1317171326&sr=8-2

It gets the job done at the highest torque setting.  I got it because I have a few other pieces of B&D equipment that use the same battery pack but if you're not looking for cordless I'd go with something else.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: hopshead on September 28, 2011, 01:23:31 AM
I browsed the internet and found this:  http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-inch-heavy-duty-spade-handle-drill-93632.html

What do you think about that drill.  Like I say, I am not sure what I need to get the job done.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: Kellermeister on September 28, 2011, 01:40:24 AM
I think any 120V drill is going to be enough to grind with a barleycrusher.  I use an old Black and Decker that has been going for many years, just a 3/8" type, nothing special.

This one will do the job just fine.  The keyless chuck makes things a little easier.
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-variable-speed-reversible-drill-3670.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-variable-speed-reversible-drill-3670.html)

If you have the extra cash, you might go with a 1/2" chuck.  It would have enough power to twist the mill, no problem.
http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-inch-heavy-duty-variable-speed-reversible-drill-3273.html (http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-inch-heavy-duty-variable-speed-reversible-drill-3273.html)

Just be sure to hold the mill down when you start grinding.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: EHall on September 28, 2011, 02:33:16 AM
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-variable-speed-reversible-drill-3670.html

I actually have this one... that dial on the trigger is for variable speed... works like a champ.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: James Lorden on September 28, 2011, 03:36:13 AM
A 12V cordless won't cut it.  I had to buy a Plug in but I'm so glad that I did!
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: euge on September 28, 2011, 06:49:01 AM
I browsed the internet and found this:  http://www.harborfreight.com/1-2-half-inch-heavy-duty-spade-handle-drill-93632.html

What do you think about that drill.  Like I say, I am not sure what I need to get the job done.

This is too much drill.

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eighth-inch-variable-speed-reversible-drill-3670.html

I actually have this one... that dial on the trigger is for variable speed... works like a champ.

I have one similar to this one but gray instead of black. Handy for stuff around the house too. An 18v cordless won't perform well at all IMO as I have tried it a few batches and it didn't cut the mustard. You need something with staying power and the only practical way is a corded drill.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: hopfenundmalz on September 28, 2011, 12:46:38 PM
I have a 7 Amp. corded 1/2" B&D that I bought at the big box store.  It is used with a JSP malt mill.

If you do high gravity 10 gallon batches, a drill can start to get hot while milling all of that grain, so I went with the 1/2 inch.   It does warm my hands on a cold morning.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: richardt on September 28, 2011, 04:57:51 PM
http://professional-power-tool-guide.com/power-tool-guides/other-guides/power-tool-amps-horsepower-and-volts/ (http://professional-power-tool-guide.com/power-tool-guides/other-guides/power-tool-amps-horsepower-and-volts/)

A corded drill is better/more powerful than a cordless one.

A bigger, more powerful drill with higher amp and hp ratings will last longer and not over-heat.  Heat kills drills.

Ideally, it is best to get the mill running before pouring the grains into the hopper and through the mill.

Ideally, it is best to have another person help by pouring in the grains while you hold down the base and run the drill.

Always hold down the base of the mill while milling/operating the drill (assuming no limitation of torque, if the mill rollers don't turn, then the entire mill/hopper and grains will!)

If doing high-gravity brews, a 5 gallon bucket may not be big enough to hold the entire amount of grist.  You may need to pour some of the crushed grains into the MLT before completing the entire milling process.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: etbrew on September 29, 2011, 12:06:12 AM
I use a 19V cordless craftsman drill and have no problems as long as I use a fresh battery.  It probably wouldn't make it through the grain bill for ten gallons of barley wine but it makes it through 5 gallon size fine.

I think any good cordless drill will work fine.  I use an 18V Milwaukee drill at work everyday and that thing could easily grind any size batch you need to grind.  The lithium ION batteries work great.  This is of course well over the $100 budget listed by the OP but I felt the need to defend the cordless drill... ;D   Plus you can use it for all sorts of other projects around the house you've been meaning to get to  :-\

The downside is you will loose muscle tone developed over all those years of hand cranking...

Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: hopshead on September 29, 2011, 12:53:23 AM
After reading these posts and doing some homework, I opted for the 1/2 heavy duty low speed drill from harbor freight in my earlier post.  Drill specs are:
variable speed control from 0 to 550 rpm
double gear reduction motor for increased torque
120 volts, 7.5 amps

Someone mentioned that this may be too much drill... nah... let her rip, lol.  Thanks for your help.  I can't wait to brew a double IPA and mill the grain with this bad boy.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: maxieboy on September 29, 2011, 01:47:37 AM
After reading these posts and doing some homework, I opted for the 1/2 heavy duty low speed drill from harbor freight in my earlier post.  Drill specs are:
variable speed control from 0 to 550 rpm
double gear reduction motor for increased torque
120 volts, 7.5 amps

Someone mentioned that this may be too much drill... nah... let her rip, lol.  Thanks for your help.  I can't wait to brew a double IPA and mill the grain with this bad boy.

Let her rip indeed.. I use a Milwaukee Hole Hawg...  ;D

(http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQDj41GEg21PsbQ_lbSPNH7vFr-MIUoRTqabbs3Deph-Z57OUj1)
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: oscarvan on October 03, 2011, 12:32:08 AM
Careful using a large high torque heavy drill.....it can bend your shaft.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: bluesman on October 03, 2011, 12:56:32 AM
I use a corded Dewalt DW511, 6.7Amp, 1/2" drill that works very well. You really need at least 4 amps to power through some wheat or Rye malt.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: richardt on October 03, 2011, 01:20:21 PM
Oscar is correct--Just because the BC is made of steel/aluminum doesn't mean it can't be damaged with excessive forces.
I've bent my drive shaft by just hand cranking malt that was excessively malt conditioned which essentially coated my rollers with flour-based "concrete" (corn-dog rollers!).  I never worked so hard to grind a batch of grain.

Always support the weight of the drill--don't let it hang unsupported.  You want the drive shaft to remain perfectly straight or else you'll get a nasty wobble/vibration when you use the drill.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: Kit B on October 03, 2011, 07:25:55 PM
I've bent my drive shaft by just hand cranking malt that was excessively malt conditioned which essentially coated my rollers with flour-based "concrete" (corn-dog rollers!).  I never worked so hard to grind a batch of grain.

And, here I thought I was the only guy that made that mistake!
 ;)

I had to let the conditioned malt sit in the hot sun for a while, to evaporate the mist.
Oops.
Only made that mistake 1 time, though.

Under normal circumstances, my 18V Black & Decker works great.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: etbrew on October 03, 2011, 11:30:06 PM
After reading these posts and doing some homework, I opted for the 1/2 heavy duty low speed drill from harbor freight in my earlier post.  Drill specs are:
variable speed control from 0 to 550 rpm
double gear reduction motor for increased torque
120 volts, 7.5 amps

Someone mentioned that this may be too much drill... nah... let her rip, lol.  Thanks for your help.  I can't wait to brew a double IPA and mill the grain with this bad boy.

Let her rip indeed.. I use a Milwaukee Hole Hawg...  ;D

(http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQDj41GEg21PsbQ_lbSPNH7vFr-MIUoRTqabbs3Deph-Z57OUj1)

 :o Holy drill...got a little Tim Allen syndrome?   ;D  You milling gravel?
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: tschmidlin on October 05, 2011, 04:29:11 AM
After reading these posts and doing some homework, I opted for the 1/2 heavy duty low speed drill from harbor freight in my earlier post.  Drill specs are:
variable speed control from 0 to 550 rpm
double gear reduction motor for increased torque
120 volts, 7.5 amps

Someone mentioned that this may be too much drill... nah... let her rip, lol.  Thanks for your help.  I can't wait to brew a double IPA and mill the grain with this bad boy.
That's the exact drill I have for my MM3-2.  It smells like a cheap drill when you're running it, but it's been working well so far.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: blatz on October 05, 2011, 02:48:40 PM
i use this with my Monster Mill - been very happy with it:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002233E

Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: Gribble on October 08, 2011, 12:30:50 AM
I use a 2 roller barley crusher with a 7 amp 3/8 chuck dewalt and i couldnt ask for a better system.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: skyler on October 11, 2011, 05:28:49 AM
I went to Target and got the cheapest electric (corded, not battery-powered) drill. It works fine with my crankandstein. The only time it ever gets a little shady is if I drill a ton of hard unmalted winter wheat berries. On sale it was $24.99.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: zorch on October 20, 2011, 09:53:21 PM
After reading these posts and doing some homework, I opted for the 1/2 heavy duty low speed drill from harbor freight in my earlier post.  Drill specs are:
variable speed control from 0 to 550 rpm
double gear reduction motor for increased torque
120 volts, 7.5 amps

Someone mentioned that this may be too much drill... nah... let her rip, lol.  Thanks for your help.  I can't wait to brew a double IPA and mill the grain with this bad boy.

That's the drill I have.  It's been working great.   

 My favorite feature, besides the locking trigger, is that it has handle mount points on three sides.    I created a couple of extra handles using a dowel and some hanger bolts to give it 'wings'.    This lets me:

- prop the drill up on top of a second empty bucket when milling, so I don't have to hold it.

- place it on top of my converted keg boil kettle to drive a short paint mixer during cooling.    Much easier than stirring with a spoon, and combined with my immersion chiller I'll go from 212 to 80 degrees in about 8 minutes.
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: Tristan on October 20, 2011, 10:09:43 PM
I bought this drill for my basement remodeling project and I've been really happy with it.  Nice thing about this brand is that Menards will swap the drill for a new one, no questions asked, if it dies in the first 3 years!  That being said I've had it for 2 and it's been bullet proof!

http://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardware/power-tools/drills/masterforce-1-2-hammer-drill/p-1474371.htm
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: jmcamerlengo on November 29, 2011, 04:14:26 PM
on a related note...can you mill the grain too fast? whats proper speed or does it not matter?
Title: Re: Proper Drill for Milling Grain
Post by: blatz on November 29, 2011, 04:58:30 PM
on a related note...can you mill the grain too fast? whats proper speed or does it not matter?

Apparently, you can - IIRC too fast also tears the husk.  That's why I (like hopshead) forked over more $$ for a higher torque drill - once I get it going, I then releaser the trigger to as slow as I can but still keep it moving.