Author Topic: Grain Mill  (Read 4453 times)

Offline 69franx

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Grain Mill
« on: November 15, 2014, 04:40:06 AM »
I know this topic has been covered over and over here and elsewhere, but I still want to know... I brew 1-2 batches per month at 10-18# per batch, and occasionally 25# batches. Where is my money best spent: JSP malt mill, Barley Crusher, Cereal Killer, Monster Mill 2/3. By moving to all grain and buying in bulk, my per pound grain savings almost pay for any of these options. I just really dont want to pay for more than I need. I wont necessarily be moving up to much larger batches until I get something to help me(pump, or other automation), so where is my money best spent? I have read up on all of these options, just not sure what the best fit for me is. As stated, I am currently brewing 1-2 batches per month using 12-15# per batch and may brew the occasional  9G batches to split (but then I am sure my brewing frequency would fall.) As I said above, my bulk savings will pay for any of these options, I just dont want to buy bigger than I need(not looking to leap into profitable production volumes on this scale). In recent purchases, I have easily saved about $145 in bulk grain buying, with no end in sight for bulk purchases. I can add a drill easily to any mill purchase I make, but am not necessarily making that leap right away. What are your mill thoughts and why? Barley Crusher is on sale at 20% off, but is that a better choice for me than the cereal killer at less than half the cost? I just dont know. It is time for me to buy a mill, as I have been buying base malt in bulk, help me decide which mill i the mill for me. I am a relative newbie, with temp control, just looking for the next step in consistency without a lot of automation. I think I am looking for your thoughts on hand cranking these weights, versus drill powered milling of the same type poundages. All thoughts welcome, anything I dont spend on a mill will likely go into other equipment or ingredients, so help me figure out where to put my $$$$$!
Frank L.
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Offline Stevie

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Grain Mill
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 04:49:31 AM »
I just bought a 2 roll monster mill and love it. Only thing that was irritating was mounting the mill on the base. If it isn't lined up perfectly, it will bind up. Other than that I am very happy. Spent about $150.

And drill power for sure. Get a drill with a good amount of torque and variable speed. I'll motorize some day, but that is way down the line when I have nothing else to spend money on.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 04:51:13 AM by Steve in TX »

Offline 69franx

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 05:38:43 AM »
Thanx Steve, gonna try to figure this out in the next week to 3 weeks. Looks like proper mounting is a nuisance no matter which way you go, what are everyone's thoughts on the cheap one in the bunch, the cereal killer? At least as far as 10-30 pounds per month going through the mill?

Frank L.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 05:43:33 AM »
The only one I have experience with is the Barley Crusher. It works great for me - no complaints whatsoever.
Eric B.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 07:06:37 AM »
Another barley crusher here. I powered mine with a cheap 3/4" drill from home depot. The kind with a screw in speed control. For under $100 that mill is plenty good.

Offline case thrower

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 12:49:01 PM »
Jim, Eric & Steve, how long have you had your mills?  How easy are they to adjust and do you adjust them for different grains, such as wheat and rye?  And finally, where were they made?
Dave C.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 01:19:51 PM »
Had mine about a year I think. Its as easy to adjust as most. I adjusted it when I bought it then found it was to fine so I opened it up quite a bit. I did that by eyeballing the output rather than by gage. As Denny says "we're not brewing gaps." I want hulls intact and kernels cracked in about 4-6 pieces with as little powder as possible. Whatever gap that is is what I've got. Its made in America by Advertures in Homebrewing- or at least that's what I hear. Mine was $90 with free shipping IIRC. I then built a bench and hard mounted it with the drill and a toggle switch. If you scroll back through the equipment threads the whole thing with pictures should be there.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 01:25:29 PM »
Only had mine for a few weeks. I settled on a version 1 mm2 because it doesn't require  tools to adjust. The lock bolts are wingnuts.

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2014, 01:40:02 PM »
In my humble opinion, the fixed-gap Schmidling MaltMill is the best bang for the buck on the market. No other mill company has the long track record that Schmidling enjoys.  I have owned a couple of fixed-gap MaltMills.  The first fixed-gap Schmidlng Malt Mill that I owned has crushed almost 5 tons of malt at this point.  I crushed just shy of 2 tons of malt with the mill before selling it, and the guy who purchased it from me has crushed close to 3 tons of malt with it. 

I currently own a fixed-gap MaltMill that I hand crank and a motorized 3-roller Monster Mill (only Hercules could hand crank a 3-roller Monster Mill).  What Steve in TX mentioned about the Monster Mills is true.  They will bind if not aligned carefully.  There's more play in the Monster design than there is in the Schmidling design.  Once setup, Monster Mills work well, but they are not nearly as plug-and-play as the Schmidling mills.  A Schmidling mill can be unpackaged and put to use in under half of an hour.

« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 04:18:07 PM by S. cerevisiae »

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 01:47:05 PM »
The gap on my current fixed-gap MaltMill measures 0.040".  It produces a beautiful crush.  My 3-roller Monster Mill also works well when set to 0.040".

Offline jeffy

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2014, 01:57:56 PM »
I have an adjustable Schmidling mill, which has worked flawlessly for a long time, maybe 20 years.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline 69franx

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2014, 02:04:13 PM »
Thanks everyone so far.


Sent from Franx Brew Works using Tapatalk
Frank L.
Fermenting:
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2014, 02:05:16 PM »
I am looking at Millar Mill. http://www.millarsmills.com/
Huntsville AL

Offline erockrph

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2014, 02:41:33 PM »
I've had my Barley Crusher for 2 years. I hand cranked it for the first few batches until I replaced my drill that got "borrowed". After my first barleywine I said eff this and bought a new drill...

I set the gap once and haven't needed to adjust anything yet. It's set to 0.88mm, which I think is about 35 mil. I use a guitar pick to set the gap and check it periodically.
Eric B.

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Grain Mill
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2014, 03:04:04 PM »
I've heard too many stories about difficulties with 3-roller mills. I think I wisely chose a 2-roller 2" Monster mill. I'm guessing that as long as you stay with a 2-roller design, it will be relatively trouble-free and produce acceptable crushes.

Here is to 'pre-conditioning' your grain with a bit of water misted on before crushing. It definitely makes a BIG difference in keeping husks more intact while allowing you to set the mill gap a little bit tighter. I've been experiencing efficiencies of up to 90% while keeping the grain permeable enough for RIMS operation. It only takes a little bit of water and a few minutes to make a real difference.
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