Author Topic: Sudden Barley Crusher issue  (Read 769 times)

Offline gimmeales

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Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« on: January 06, 2018, 08:19:33 PM »
I'm suddenly having issues with my Barley Crusher Mill of many years with dozens of batches of flawless service. Without any gap adjustments, it started to simply refuse to crush more than a couple handfuls of grain at a time. If it add grist over ~1lb or so, and esp if there are any roasted grains, the rollers just spin until I empty all but a couple cups of grain.

I've played with the gap a bit since the problems surfaced 3 batches ago, but still seeing the issue today with a Saison with a super simple grain bill (no roasted malts). Annoying to crush ~15lbs of grain a handful at a time.

Anyway seen this or have ideas?

Offline 69franx

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 09:12:33 PM »
I'm suddenly having issues with my Barley Crusher Mill of many years with dozens of batches of flawless service. Without any gap adjustments, it started to simply refuse to crush more than a couple handfuls of grain at a time. If it add grist over ~1lb or so, and esp if there are any roasted grains, the rollers just spin until I empty all but a couple cups of grain.

I've played with the gap a bit since the problems surfaced 3 batches ago, but still seeing the issue today with a Saison with a super simple grain bill (no roasted malts). Annoying to crush ~15lbs of grain a handful at a time.

Anyway seen this or have ideas?
The only time I've had trouble with my mill(cereal killer, similar mill) was when I accidentally reversed my drill. Grain would fall through, but not get crushed. Not sure if that's the problem you're having or not, just an idea

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Offline narcout

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 09:21:41 PM »
Anyway seen this or have ideas?

A common issue with the BC is that, over time, the knurling on the rollers wears down and the passive roller stops spinning.

It happened to me after maybe 8 or 9 years of use.  You might be able to send it back to the manufacturer for refurbishing.  Personally, I just bought new rollers (and it totally fixed the problem).
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Online Bob357

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 09:22:54 PM »
I had the same trouble with my Barley Crusher, but found that once I start milling if I don't stop until the hopper is empty it goes great. If I stop before that I need to empty the hopper and start over again. When the problem first started it was with the harder grains, especially darker crystal malts.

I think the cause is that the knurling on the rollers is worn and just doesn't grab the grains as well as it used to. I haven't had any issues in a year or more since discovering the work around.
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Offline gimmeales

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 11:05:45 PM »
Thanks fellas, yeah the rollers must just be tired as I've run a lot of grain through them. I'll look into getting some new rollers! Wonder if they can be re-purposed in some way as they're otherwise nice machined bit of aluminum...

Offline case thrower

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 12:08:47 AM »
These things have a lifetime warranty.  My LHBS had another brand that looked exactly the same but only came with a one year warranty so I ended up getting mine through the Brewsmith website when they were on sale. Send it back and they'll totally refurbish it.  Since I've only had mine for about 7-8 months, I haven't had to do that but from what I've read here takes 3-4 weeks.  There were also some complaints and the owner answered them here.
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=23654.0
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Offline bucketbiochemist

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2018, 01:51:53 AM »
I've run into the same problem after ~7 years and a couple hundred batches.  Just ordered some replacement rollers.   While you are waiting for replacements, try cleaning the rollers with a stiff bristle brush.  Also, disassembling the mill, flipping the rollers, and then running the mill in the other direction can help.  Good luck!

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2018, 12:32:39 PM »
I too had the same issues after about 8 years of use.  I sent my mill in and the manufacturer rebuilt it under warranty.  In my case the rebuild failed after a year or so of use.  I can clearly see the knurling has been worn down this time. 

I'm not trying bash the mill but I opted to replace it the second time around.  When new it was a great mill and lasted a long time but the rebuild didn't hold up as well I would have hoped. 

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Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2018, 05:59:13 PM »
I've had similar experience with my Barley Crusher.
Had it refurbished after about 1200 pounds of grain, then it started having problems again after around 700 pounds of grain.
Perhaps getting new rollers is the better way to go since I'm guessing that refurbishment involves re-cutting the knurling on the old rollers. The second cutting probably gets below the case hardened metal and doesn't last as long.
The second time, I decided to get another different brand of mill rather than refurbish the old BC.
It was a great mill while it lasted and dealing with the manuf was pretty easy. 
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Offline joelv

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2018, 12:37:31 PM »
I need to disassemble, clean, and lubricate mine periodically. That clears up my issue of the non-gear driven roller not engaging.

I’ve used it for about 12 years now and my rollers are holding up ok surface-wise. I brew 1-2 batches per month.


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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 12:22:56 AM »
8-10 years of what sounds like is some pretty serious usage is a pretty good return on investment.


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Offline Robert

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 12:54:24 AM »
8-10 years of what sounds like is some pretty serious usage is a pretty good return on investment.


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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 02:30:52 AM »
My JSP mill has worked longer than my BC at this point, but the BC is a nice backup for my roast malts for hand grinding using the manual handle.  That way I don't have to worry about running some pale malt through it to clean it for the next full batch grind.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 02:44:23 AM »
My JSP mill has worked longer than my BC at this point, but the BC is a nice backup for my roast malts for hand grinding using the manual handle.  That way I don't have to worry about running some pale malt through it to clean it for the next full batch grind.
Don't want to think of ever moving on from JSP  (had fun building it out myself from the rather crude basic model too) but Jack is retiring/has retired? and parts and support will disappear.  Over a year since LHBS was cut off from ordering, and website is pretty much nonfunctional.  It surprised me that there was no succession plan for the company, but as I understand it this was a hobby gone wild, just run out of his house, Jack in the back manufacturing and his wife handling the business. So we have to have a plan B, and BC looks like it. Is there a better option? (Maybe there will be, but I don't  know how much life is left on my rollers. If only I'd bought the case hardened option up fromt...)
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Offline braufessor

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Re: Sudden Barley Crusher issue
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 03:55:56 AM »
My JSP mill has worked longer than my BC at this point, but the BC is a nice backup for my roast malts for hand grinding using the manual handle.  That way I don't have to worry about running some pale malt through it to clean it for the next full batch grind.
Don't want to think of ever moving on from JSP  (had fun building it out myself from the rather crude basic model too) but Jack is retiring/has retired? and parts and support will disappear.  Over a year since LHBS was cut off from ordering, and website is pretty much nonfunctional.  It surprised me that there was no succession plan for the company, but as I understand it this was a hobby gone wild, just run out of his house, Jack in the back manufacturing and his wife handling the business. So we have to have a plan B, and BC looks like it. Is there a better option? (Maybe there will be, but I don't  know how much life is left on my rollers. If only I'd bought the case hardened option up fromt...)

I have the same Barley Crusher story as most - worked great, until it didn't work any more.  I feel like I got my money's worth out of it.  However, when it started to have problems I bought a Monster Mill  - really happy with it, and it is a better mill than BC in my experience.  I don't know that I will ever have to buy another mill again, but if I did, I would not hesitate to get another monster mill.