Author Topic: Challenging brew days  (Read 1215 times)

S. cerevisiae

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Challenging brew days
« on: May 17, 2015, 01:03:22 AM »
Have you ever had one of those brew days that you wished you had skipped?  Well, today was one of those days. I learned the value of having a belt-driven mill the hard way.  Luckily, my MM3 build is on indefinite hold until I can find the time to build a base; otherwise, it would have experienced what my Schmidling Model P experienced today. 

I have owned two Model P mills. I have always manually crushed malt.   I find hand cranking a mill to be kind of therapeutic.  However, today I just did not want to set aside an a hour to weigh out and crush 11lbs of malt by hand, so I decided to enlist the help my DeWalt DW511 1/2" hammer drill.   That was a bad decision.  I hit a foreign object (most likely a rock), and the DW511 is so powerful that it pulled the object right through the rollers, leaving a handsome gash in the driven roller.   This disaster has me rethinking the Bodine gear motor direct-drive setup that I have on my work-in-progress Monster Mill MM3.  The beauty of a belt is that it will slip in this situation.


Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2015, 01:41:55 AM »
Sometime back I had a bag of English malt that had at least 3 small rocks in it. I was getting gun shy, the rollers would jam, and the drill and mill would jump up from the bucket. No damage though.
Jeff Rankert
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S. cerevisiae

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2015, 02:52:37 AM »
I was crushing Avangard Pils, which is why it took me by surprise.  I have only encountered foreign objects in floor-malted barley up until to this point.  The worst thing that happens when one hits a rock when hand cranking malt is a minor scratch.  I was blown away that the drill pulled the foreign object through the rollers.  That's no easy feat.  The damage is pretty amazing as well.  Only the driven roller was seriously marred.  The knurl is completely gone on the driven roller for about an inch. The non-driven roller has a minor blemish. 

Hopefully, Jack will sell just a driven roller.  My Model P is going back to hand-cranked service.  I am going to rethink my MM3 build.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2015, 12:28:28 PM »
Last Sunday on Mother's day I hurt my back. My mom being the sweet woman that she is offered me up a muscle relaxer. Her exact words were "I take them every day, they don't faze me a bit." Well, mom doesn't drink as much beer and whiskey as I do I guess because I was down all day Monday with what felt like sludge in my veins.

On Tuesday I was still feeling a good bit sluggish, especially my brain.  I brewed a 372 gallon batch of tripel. As I added the last sack of grain I realized it said "Best Wheat" not "Best Pils". I thought, oops. Grabbed a sack of wheat by accident. No big deal. Then, as I was trying to smooth out the grain bed I noticed how heavy and thick it was, unlike any grain bed I had even seen before. Then when I started to vorlauf I noticed how slow and cloudy the grant was. I went back and counted empty sacks - I had doughed in almost 75% wheat. Took me 4 hours to lauter. The weird thing is my brain remembers seeing wheat when I opened the sacks but my brain didn't tell me that I was screwing up.

 The day never got better, and even forgot to add my yeast nutrient and WF.

Offline jimmykx250

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2015, 12:51:22 PM »
I've never heard of this happening before. I think I willl adjust the clutch on my dewalt cordless now!!!
Jimmykx250

Offline jeffy

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2015, 01:38:26 PM »
Over the years I have milled perhaps 7,000 pounds of malt through my Schmidling mill and never hit a rock.  Mine is belt driven with an electric motor and would probably jam or stop if it encountered something other than grain.  I have it geared to turn very slowly.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline brewsumore

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2015, 05:17:19 PM »
Last Sunday on Mother's day I hurt my back. My mom being the sweet woman that she is offered me up a muscle relaxer. Her exact words were "I take them every day, they don't faze me a bit." Well, mom doesn't drink as much beer and whiskey as I do I guess because I was down all day Monday with what felt like sludge in my veins.

On Tuesday I was still feeling a good bit sluggish, especially my brain.  I brewed a 372 gallon batch of tripel. As I added the last sack of grain I realized it said "Best Wheat" not "Best Pils". I thought, oops. Grabbed a sack of wheat by accident. No big deal. Then, as I was trying to smooth out the grain bed I noticed how heavy and thick it was, unlike any grain bed I had even seen before. Then when I started to vorlauf I noticed how slow and cloudy the grant was. I went back and counted empty sacks - I had doughed in almost 75% wheat. Took me 4 hours to lauter. The weird thing is my brain remembers seeing wheat when I opened the sacks but my brain didn't tell me that I was screwing up.

 The day never got better, and even forgot to add my yeast nutrient and WF.

Keith, that's a sad turn of events.  I hope you are feeling better now.  What are you going to do with your batch of 75% wheat beer?  Will it be a mostly wheat tripel?

Mark, also sad for your bad luck.  I drive my MM 3-roller with a 1/2" DeWalt drill and will be paying closer attention to any stalls that could be related to pebbles!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 05:22:38 PM by brewsumore »

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2015, 07:37:43 PM »
I attempted to capture the damage, but the photographs do not do it justice.  The knurl is completely gone.  The mill still crushes well because the batch yielded a mixed-grist extraction rate of 32 points per pound per gallon.  My guess is that the foreign object was small and much harder than the typical sandstone and bits of concrete that one finds in a malt.  I found something in the bottom of my mash tun that resembled the blue basalt chips that are often used as an aggregate in concrete.  I am surprised that the shaft did not snap off.



« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 05:52:33 PM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2015, 09:18:21 PM »
No worries Mark. That knurl damage is perfect for malt bills used in batch sparging, so long as you pitch yeast propped on a homemade stirplate.

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2015, 09:48:20 PM »
Man! You keep your mill clean! I have the same mill, but it never looks that clean.

After hearing about this, I am going to continue to hand crank. I like the idea of hand cranking and the idea of really hand crafting my beers, but every once in a while I think; wouldn't it be nice just to flip a switch and have it be done.

Sorry about your mill, but it looks like it's salvageable.
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2015, 09:49:12 PM »
Hey! I just made Brewer! Yay me!
Frank C.

And thereof comes the proverb: 'Blessing of your
heart, you brew good ale.'

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2015, 12:23:47 AM »
Man! You keep your mill clean! I have the same mill, but it never looks that clean.

I use a dust pan broom to sweep it out after use.  I also use compressed air. I store all of my gear in my basement.  I also culture and ferment in my basement, so I have to keep my gear as clean as possible between uses.

Quote
Sorry about your mill, but it looks like it's salvageable.

It's not the first time that I have encountered a foreign object while milling.  However, it is hard to miss a foreign object when milling by hand.  The mill is still usable; however, I think that I am going to purchase a Model AA with case-hardened rollers. I have been looking for an excuse to upgrade my Malt Mill.  I am going to sell my MM3 after I complete the build.  It's too much mill for my needs, and there is no way that I will be able to keep it as clean as I do my Malt Mill, which means that the MM3 would have to live in my garage.  My garage already has too much stuff in it.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 12:33:21 AM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline brulosopher

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2015, 01:29:13 PM »
Bummer! I'm very close to picking up an MM3 as well, my 3 year old BC has seen better days.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2015, 01:35:26 PM »
Bummer! I'm very close to picking up an MM3 as well, my 3 year old BC has seen better days.
You can buy Mark's, no?
Jeff Rankert
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BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Challenging brew days
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2015, 02:46:41 PM »
If I sell the mill, I plan to sell the mill, NOS Bodine motor, table, and motor sub-base together.  The motor has been mounted to the sub-base.  The motor/sub-base assembly has been aligned with the mill, and the holes for mounting the sub-base to the table have been located and drilled since the thread linked below was created.  The motor sub-base mounts to the mill base from the top via countersunk stainless steel screws.   While not as clean as mounting the motor sub-base from the bottom, it makes the mill a heck of lot easier assemble and disassemble, as the Bodine gear motor is amazingly heavy for its size.  All holes where laid-out using a t-square, and drilled and countersunk using a floor drill press; therefore, the work is clean.  After this event, I am more than likely going to wire the reversible motor with an industrial drum switch instead of a simple toggle switch, which will allow forward and reverse operation using a single switch. I still need to build a base.

Mill Build Thread (in progress)

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=20096.msg255621#msg255621

« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 05:55:02 PM by S. cerevisiae »