Author Topic: malt mill  (Read 1303 times)

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
malt mill
« on: October 01, 2017, 03:30:36 AM »
My Barley Crusher has stopped feeding grain again and I've decided not to have it refurbished again since I only get about 2 years out of it before it needs to be redone (I put 350-400 pounds of grain through it per year).

I've narrowed the search down to either a JSP Maltmill or a 2 roller Monster mill.

Most mills seem to do a pretty good job of milling the grain so I'm looking at longevity. What are the experiences of those of you with either of these mills and the time (or the amount of grain) before the rollers need to be re-knurled or other repairs are needed?
BJCP Certified

Offline BrewBama

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1014
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 04:55:18 AM »
Though I've only had my JSP for a couple years, it's still going strong. Others have had the JSP much longer.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Huntsville AL

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6631
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 07:15:13 AM »
My monster mill is 4 years old, not sure how much grain I’ve milled. Still love it.

My old LHBS in Dallas used two gear drive JSPs. They must have milled at least 2k lbs of grain per week. Every so often one was down for parts.

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2017, 03:12:09 AM »
Thanks for the replies.
BJCP Certified

Offline jeffy

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3307
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2017, 04:14:43 AM »
I have had a JSP mill for at least 15 years, maybe more, and never had any problems.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline stpug

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 676
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2017, 01:40:48 PM »
Between those two brands, pick your pony and enjoy!  Both are great and rock solid.

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4330
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: malt mill
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2017, 03:03:57 PM »
Are you by chance using a drill? My thoroughly unscientific opinion is that most problems with homebrew mills are caused by bushing wear through misalignment.
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
Refractometer Calculator | Batch Sparging Calculator | Two Mile Brewing Co.

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2017, 03:06:25 AM »
Are you by chance using a drill? My thoroughly unscientific opinion is that most problems with homebrew mills are caused by bushing wear through misalignment.

I don't use a drill. I run the mill with a direct drive motor connected with a spider.
BJCP Certified

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2017, 03:46:44 AM »
Between those two brands, pick your pony and enjoy!  Both are great and rock solid.

I guess this is what it comes down to in the end. Thanks all for the comments.
BJCP Certified

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4330
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: malt mill
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2017, 11:54:28 AM »
I don't use a drill. I run the mill with a direct drive motor connected with a spider.

I've got nothing then. I'm always trying to figure out how I've managed to put 4000+ lb of grain through my BC without any issues.
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
Refractometer Calculator | Batch Sparging Calculator | Two Mile Brewing Co.

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6631
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2017, 01:17:18 PM »
Misalignment of the frame can also cause damage to the bushings. A good carpenters square is essential when mounting a mill.

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2017, 04:20:34 PM »
I don't use a drill. I run the mill with a direct drive motor connected with a spider.

I've got nothing then. I'm always trying to figure out how I've managed to put 4000+ lb of grain through my BC without any issues.

I wish you could figure out how you have done that because it would save me some aggravation and money. :)
The knurling on the rollers is substantially worn down when compared to how it felt after the last refurbish two years ago.
BJCP Certified

Offline 4swan

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 54
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2017, 05:40:47 AM »
I've been having problems with my barley crusher not feeding the grain as well.  I think I've found a solution to my problem- I don't know if it is yours as well.  I noticed that my non-powered roller was not rolling.  When I cleaned the axles of the roller by blowing air around it,  it works again for a while. 

I think it is a two part problem.  First I think malt dust is clogging up the axle by the housing over time, especially when it is humid.  Second I noticed that the hopper has a gap on the side where the metal was cut and bent.  Sometimes grains will fall through this gap and get between the hopper bottom and the roller.  And then sometimes the resistance of having a grain between the hopper and the non-powered roller is enough to stop the roller from moving.

Today I tried my solution.  I took out the hopper and placed tape over the gap- on both sides, so there would not be a sticky side open.   That way no errant grains would fall the wrong way. I did not have any issues milling today, whereas last time my mill stopped feeding about twenty times.  I will have to try it out a few more times to test my hypothesis, but I'm hopeful.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 08:09:57 AM by 4swan »

Offline mainebrewer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 372
  • Palermo, Maine
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2017, 09:40:42 AM »
I've been having problems with my barley crusher not feeding the grain as well.  I think I've found a solution to my problem- I don't know if it is yours as well.  I noticed that my non-powered roller was not rolling.  When I cleaned the axles of the roller by blowing air around it,  it works again for a while. 

I think it is a two part problem.  First I think malt dust is clogging up the axle by the housing over time, especially when it is humid.  Second I noticed that the hopper has a gap on the side where the metal was cut and bent.  Sometimes grains will fall through this gap and get between the hopper bottom and the roller.  And then sometimes the resistance of having a grain between the hopper and the non-powered roller is enough to stop the roller from moving.

Today I tried my solution.  I took out the hopper and placed tape over the gap- on both sides, so there would not be a sticky side open.   That way no errant grains would fall the wrong way. I did not have any issues milling today, whereas last time my mill stopped feeding about twenty times.  I will have to try it out a few more times to test my hypothesis, but I'm hopeful.

I will try this. Nothing ventured, etc.
The last time the mill stopped feeding grain I did take it apart to see if I could find the problem. There was nothing I could see that was wrong (other than that the knurling on the rollers was worn) and there was no crud on the roller bearing surfaces. I put a little mineral oil on the bearings to see if that might help. It didn't. Let me know how your experiment turns out.
BJCP Certified

Offline narcout

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1610
  • Los Angeles, CA
    • View Profile
Re: malt mill
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2017, 12:41:23 PM »
The knurling on the rollers is substantially worn down when compared to how it felt after the last refurbish two years ago.

That was the issue with my BC as well.  I ended up replacing the rollers which fixed it.
Be excellent to each other