Author Topic: Grain Mill Break-In  (Read 2487 times)

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Grain Mill Break-In
« on: January 30, 2015, 12:20:51 AM »
Considering pulling the trigger on the Barley Crusher tonight and have read that it's good practice to run some throw away grains through to get rid of any machine oil.

True? If so, should I just use some 2 Row? How much?

Cheers!

Offline dannyjed

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1037
  • Toledo, OH
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2015, 01:36:35 AM »
1-2 lbs of two row will be fine.
Dan Chisholm

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2015, 02:23:14 AM »
If I were you, I would re-think that decision.  The Barley Crusher is a second-tier mill from a build quality point of view.   If money is tight, your funds would be better spent on a Schmidling (JSP) Model P Malt Mill.  I know do not know a single brewer is who was ever sorry that he/she purchased a JSP mill.

http://schmidling.com/orderpp.htm

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2015, 02:27:28 AM »
Don't really have budget concerns. What do you like outside of the JSP?

Offline BrewingRover

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 751
  • Brewing in Flossmoor, IL
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2015, 03:05:44 AM »
I just replaced my Barley Crusher with a Monster Mill. It's got bigger rollers, a bigger hopper and its easier to clean and adjust. My Barley Crusher has the very common problem of the free roller not spinning anymore. I've taken it apart and cleaned it a couple of times and the problem recurs after a batch or two. If you search some forums, you'll see this happens a lot
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2015, 03:41:53 AM »
I love my mm2. PIA to build, but awesome otherwise. Get a 1/2" variable speed drill to power whatever. Electric, not battery. 3/8" works ok, but the torque is insufficient at low speeds.

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 430
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2015, 12:03:16 PM »
I have a Barley Crusher. Like others, after while (~1,000 pounds of malt in my case) the idler roller stops turning because the knurling on the rollers is worn and won't consistently grab the malt. To the manuf's credit, it does have a life time warranty and they did take it back, replace the rollers and return it to me. It takes about 4 weeks from the time you ship it until you get it back.
I'm guessing that the same problem will reoccur after I put another 1,000 pounds through the mill. For me that will be about 3 years from now.
At that point I don't know if I'll get it rebuilt again or just replace it with something else. Cross that bridge when I get there.
BJCP Certified

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2015, 12:07:46 PM »
Considering I'm not brewing very often, don't mind a hand crank, and want something I can just stick on a bucket I may stick w this for now.

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2015, 12:20:52 PM »
This thread has obviously changed! As I'm thinking more about this, I may just continue to order crushed grain. The price is the same unless I buy in bulk. If I plan to use right away I don't see any harm.

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2429
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2015, 12:49:54 PM »
I have a Barley Crusher. Like others, after while (~1,000 pounds of malt in my case) the idler roller stops turning because the knurling on the rollers is worn and won't consistently grab the malt. To the manuf's credit, it does have a life time warranty and they did take it back, replace the rollers and return it to me. It takes about 4 weeks from the time you ship it until you get it back.
I'm guessing that the same problem will reoccur after I put another 1,000 pounds through the mill. For me that will be about 3 years from now.
At that point I don't know if I'll get it rebuilt again or just replace it with something else. Cross that bridge when I get there.

My experience exactly.

The BC does a great job for years at the rate I brew.  $15 in shipping every 3-6 years seems like a minimal cost of doing business.

You maybe correct on buying crushed grains if you don't brew enough to "pay for" your mill in a year or two by buying in bulk.  If you are happy with the beer you produce and your efficiency or your brewing pace picks up you can always get a mill at that time.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4439
  • Play Nice
    • View Profile
    • Harvey's Brewhaus
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2015, 12:50:09 PM »
This thread has obviously changed! As I'm thinking more about this, I may just continue to order crushed grain. The price is the same unless I buy in bulk. If I plan to use right away I don't see any harm.

just keep in mind. they crush = you get whatever crush they provide.  i did that as welll when i started, but moved very soon into crushing my own.

if you do pull the trigger, i think the advice here is solid on mills.  hand cranking is fun...once or twice. putting 12+ lbs and cranking by hand get olds pretty quick. mine works well with cordless dewalt with variable speed- but its kind of high end.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline Multifaceted

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 43
  • Jerk of All Trades
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2015, 05:20:52 PM »
I didn't even think about break-in remove any machine oils...

Oh well, what's done is done. It's certainly broken in now!

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2015, 05:55:29 PM »
To answer the original question, I ran two pounds of the cheapest grain available at the shop.


One pro-tip - Load a little bit at a time so you can examine the crush and adjust if you notice large whole grains getting trough.

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2015, 08:05:48 PM »
if you do pull the trigger, i think the advice here is solid on mills.  hand cranking is fun...once or twice. putting 12+ lbs and cranking by hand get olds pretty quick. mine works well with cordless dewalt with variable speed- but its kind of high end.

Neither of my Schmidling Malt Mllls have been motorized.  I hand cranked almost two tons of malt through my original Malt Mill before selling it when I left the hobby for a few years. 

As I have mentioned before, I currently own a Schmidling (JSP) Model P Malt Mill and a 3-roller Monster Mill.  Of the two, the JSP mill is better built.  What the JSP design lacks in bling, it more than makes up in manufacturing tolerances.   There's less side-to-side play in the rollers. One does not have to do the alignment dance while setting up a JSP Malt Mill.  The axle to bushing interface is also tighter tolerance.   The first thing to go out on a cheaper mill is the knurl on the rollers, as Barley Crusher owners eventually learn.  The second thing to go is usually the bushings (or bearings).  It is not unusual to see twenty-year-old JSP Malt Mills still in use at home brew stores. 
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 01:29:25 AM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: Grain Mill Break-In
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2015, 08:30:26 PM »
I got a Barley Crusher, be gentle.... :o