Author Topic: Grain Mills  (Read 3506 times)

Offline capozzoli

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Grain Mills
« on: June 06, 2010, 10:52:57 AM »
Whats a good brand of budget grain mills?

Just out of curiosity how would you crush grains if you didnt have a grain mill? Guess it would be kind of hard to do with mortar and pestle. I was thinking of the grain mill attachment for my kitchen aid but that would grind it to flour I think.

Well, got some receivables coming in this coming week. Think Im gonna splurge on some brew gear. 

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Offline beerocd

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2010, 11:33:29 AM »
used.
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2010, 11:36:14 AM »
you got one?
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2010, 12:05:51 PM »
I have an "AUTOMATIC", you can see it in some of the older BYO magazines being sold from St.Pat's.

The Automatic mill - can't find a picture, and am too lazy at the moment to snap a shot. Nothing earth shattering. Two steel rollers, click adjustable on eccentric bearing, and a 7lb hopper. It's mounted to a thick plastic board (like a cutting board) that sits right on the bucket while you grind. Hand crank - it's easy, it's fast, no need to motorize it yet. Looking back thru the old boards it was $110 when it was on clearance. I got it as part of that whole package for $400

I got a

and
a home made kegerator with CO2 bottle, regulators, cornies, bottles, books, oxygenator, air pumps, 2 camp burners, and 2 full propane tanks and almost a decade worth of back issues of BYO and Zymurgy. (there's other stuff, can't think of it right now)


I did have to take apart the whole thing to de-bug (litterally) and most of the other stuff too. Guy I bought from was a slob.

Whatever roller mill you get, I can't imagine you'd be unhappy with it. especially since you'd have nothing to compare to.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 12:08:38 PM by beerocd »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2010, 12:12:46 PM »
I recommend going with the Barley Crusher with reservations. It is a great mill for the price but it does seem to start to have issues after a couple of years depending on how much you use it. I have a Monster Mill as well and it is definitely nicer but way mroe pricey (although they have a smaller size one that is comparable to the BC)
Keith Y.
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2010, 12:18:25 PM »
It depends on how hooked/wealthy you are.  I was going cheap.  Two years ago, I finally got a corona on eBay for $20 (had to wait a long time to get one that cheap) after loosing a few auctions.  A roller mill is better but will cost more.  You need to decide if you want to pay more for more quality.

If I had to do it again...I'd probably spend a little more to win the auction sooner.  I haven't made the jump to a good roller mill yet.  But the savings from buying whole bags of (uncrushed) grain pays for the mill pretty fast.

Someday I'll drop $100 into a roller mill that I can attach a motor to but for now I'm upgrading other parts of my system. :)
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2010, 02:02:36 PM »
Love me my Barley Crusher!!
A man works hard all week, so he doesn't have to wear pants all weekend.

Offline narcout

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2010, 02:19:27 PM »
Love me my Barley Crusher!!

Me too. I've had mine for about 2.5 years without any performance issues (I brew 5 gallon batches 2 to 3 times a month).

There was a thread on the NB forum about using the mill attachment for one of those Kitchen Aid appliances - the general consensus was that it was a bad idea (you could probably find the thread pretty easily, I think it was in the "all grain" section).

Offline beerocd

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2010, 02:28:15 PM »
The kitchenaid reminds me, I also went down the road of trying to get a twofer. I called the guy who makes the mills in Atlanta (name escapes me) - and asked if I got the 3 roller could I do flour for bread AND grain for beer. He said too much of a swing from one size to the other. Nice guy tho.

Cap you got a pasta machine - just knurl the rollers and get brewing. Lots of guys on HBT went that way.


*EDIT: Crankandstein was the mill out of Atlanta.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 02:47:46 PM by beerocd »
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Offline capozzoli

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2010, 02:32:44 PM »
Im not rich but I am pretty sure I am going to stick with the hobby for good.

How much is a "better" grain mill? I havent really started looking. Figured I would get some advice from the pros first.

Pasta maker sounds interesting.

Beer, its whats for dinner.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2010, 02:35:30 PM »
I really think that if you went with teh BC you would probably be happy and you can have one for about 125 bucks. Like I said, I recommend it with "reservations". But I think they also are happy to work with you when you have issues.
Keith Y.
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Offline tom

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2010, 03:20:26 PM »
I am happy with my JSP MaltMill. You can order whatever options you like at http://schmidling.com/bbordpp.htm

I would highly recommend making your own base and hopper and power with a drill or geardrive motor.

I was happy with my nonadjustable mill for 15 years, but just got an adjustable one for a present. More info as I get more experience with it.

Brew on
« Last Edit: June 06, 2010, 05:55:32 PM by tom »
Brew on

Offline tygo

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2010, 03:42:38 PM »
I'll throw down a vote for the BC as well.  Works great for me.
Clint
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2010, 03:54:49 PM »
I got the 2-roller Monster Mill when they first came out for $99.  Even now, it looks like that particular model is still only $109 which is a great price for what a good mill it is.
Joe

Offline richardt

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Re: Grain Mills
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2010, 05:13:08 PM »
I use a Barley Crusher Mill with 15 lb hopper.  It works OK for me.  Doing 10 gallon batches means grinding around 20 lbs of grain--quite a workout with a hand crank, especially on a hot day.  I'm still using a hand crank.  I tried using a household power drill (3V, corded)--but it doesn't have the power to turn the mills with enough force to crush the grains. 

What is the minimum power I should be looking for in a drill if I want to motorize the rollers?  I know some have built motors (belt or gear drive), but I'm more interested in keeping it compact and simple--I don't have the time or talents to build/assemble motors.  The drill route is more practical for my needs.  Any suggestions?

I have only had one problem with the BC when I over-watered the grains during malt conditioning prior to crushing (I used 3x the amount of water that I should have).  Result:  I made "corn dogs" out of my rollers and massively increased the amount of work required to turn the crank.  The flour was harder than cement; so I had to dissassemble the BC and soak the rollers in water to soften up the dough and scrub it off (Not to worry, all the dough and water went into the mash tun :)).  That problem can occur with any roller if one excessively wets the grains.  The BC is simple to take apart and reassemble after cleaning.  There is a little rubber O-ring that mounts on the drive roller to help turn the passive roller.  According to the BC folks who make it, it isn't necessary to have it (they use it to make sure it is assembled correctly during QC checks)--the passive roller should still turn when grain is being pulled through.  When mine broke, I went out and got another 0-ring because I like the idea of the rollers moving together.  I think you'll like using it.