Author Topic: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?  (Read 9606 times)

Offline euge

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2011, 11:43:59 AM »
I pulled it apart, cleaned, oiled and reassembled the BC. Had to tweak it so everything spun freely. The mill works better but still won't grab grain if the gap is narrowed anything past a hair wide open. The crush isn't optimal, leaving a goodly proportion barely crushed.

To me the culprit is the knurling on the rollers. The knurls aren't as sharp as they once were and are pretty rounded. Comparing them to the adjustment knobs I see a huge difference.

I'll try the o-ring approach for the time being. Maybe investigate the lifetime warranty, but I refuse to buy more rollers for this mill. Haven't run half a ton through this unit yet, so if it gets worn out this easily then switching manufacturers is a must.
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Offline blatz

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2011, 12:40:34 PM »
yep - sounds exactly like what I experienced.
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Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2011, 08:06:15 PM »
I just ordered 3 roller MM.
BC is starting to act up. It does not like harder malts.
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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2011, 04:23:23 AM »
If you're feeding grain into your 2 roller mill via a funnel, make sure that the spout of the funnel is not too close to the rollers. It has to be high enough so the grain can distribute itself over the entire length of the roller gap. I had this problem and almost never figured out what was causing it.

Also, especially when you're first getting started, you might need to give the non-driven roller a little nudge.With the motor running and being very careful, just take your fingers, lay them on the outside of that roller and pull up on it, IE start it spinning it in the correct direction. It doesn't take much force and that will usually get it going. It may stop again, but if so, just repeat this step, just get those fingers out of the way once it gets going.

I can mill 25# of grain and never have it stop and other times it stops 3-4 times during that same size batch. IMO it has to do with the moisture in the grain, but that's just a guess on my part.

Offline hopshead

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2011, 05:29:14 AM »
I am glad to see that others have had this issue as well.  I thought my BC problems were just me doing something dumb.  I have had my BC for about 4 years and have brewed almost 25 batches per year with it (average grain per batch is about 14 lbs).  So what is that?  1,400 lbs.. Not bad, but the BC is showing its age.  I have to take it apart every other brew and clean it and then brush the rollers with a metal wire brush and this "seems" to help.  Eventually, I will buy a monster mill.

Offline amish electrician

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2011, 08:26:50 AM »
Same problems here....  I think because of its age it has started not to like certain brands of grain when the roller gap it tighter than original.  I noticed that it always seemed to have a hard time with Gambrinus Pils but the ESB went through fine.  Rather than fight the dead roller I've just reset the gap to stock and then double crush my grains.... Definitely less frustration that way and it feels like it is faster.... I may try another o-ring on the dead roller too.

Offline euge

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2011, 10:12:14 AM »
Yesterday I got some #13 O-rings from Lowes. A pack of 10 for $2. These were the smallest that I could stretch and fit over the roller.

Installed on the passive roller. Hand cranked one pound through. The used a drill to zip through another. The o-ring survived and the crush is just about perfect. No problems.

So for the time being a big +1 for the o-ring trick. I still have reservations. How will it stand up to running through 20+ pounds of grain?

Looked into the Monster Mills and Crankandstein. One feature of the Crankandstein is the gearing on the rollers that mesh- insuring there is no passive roller.
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Offline narcout

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2011, 12:34:20 PM »
I'm surprised to hear of all these problems with the Barley Crusher. I've run about 500 to 600 lbs. of grain through mine and have never had an issue. After reading this thread, I went and checked the rollers and the knurls don't seem to be the least bit worn down.

I wonder if that is because I hand crank - maybe that puts a little less wear and tear on the rollers than powering them with a drill.
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Offline euge

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2011, 12:56:59 PM »
I'm surprised to hear of all these problems with the Barley Crusher. I've run about 500 to 600 lbs. of grain through mine and have never had an issue. After reading this thread, I went and checked the rollers and the knurls don't seem to be the least bit worn down.

I wonder if that is because I hand crank - maybe that puts a little less wear and tear on the rollers than powering them with a drill.

This bag of 2-row seems particularly hard and the kernels are smaller and rounder than usual. I just ran through another 6 pounds of malt. Ah, it's like rekindled love... With suspicion lurking there in the background...

IIRC the mill comes with an O-ring on the passive roller.



The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Laws are spider-webs, which catch the little flies, but cannot hold the big ones. -Anacharsis

Offline oscarvan

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2011, 01:31:40 AM »
So for the time being a big +1 for the o-ring trick. I still have reservations. How will it stand up to running through 20+ pounds of grain?

I have the JSP which came with a rubber o ring on it..... So far the ring has survived well over 200 pounds, and is still going.
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Offline richardt

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2011, 10:05:06 AM »
On the BC it does not seem to matter which roller gets the O ring.  As long as the O-ring bridges the gap and touches the other roller, it will help drive the passive roller.  In theory, the grains should help drive the passive roller w/o the need for an O ring.  The O-ring exists so that the BC people can do a quick quality check to make sure the passive roller turns before the BC is shipped out.  In the opinion of the BC folks, the O-ring does not need to be replaced, but it can be if you desire.  That's what I was told by the BC folks who responded to an e-mail I shot them when my original O-ring broke and ended up in the grist and was never found again.  It had to be somewhere in the spent grains, but I wasn't going to go looking for it since it was a 10 gallon batch.

The longevity of your O-ring depends on the mill gap and the level of compression the rollers place on the o-ring itself.  If I set my mill gap too narrow (in attempts to increase my efficiency), the knurled rollers basically shred the O-ring and it pops off quickly within a batch or two and looks like a worm that has died a death of a thousand cuts.  Leave the mill gap at the factory preset and you should get several uses before it pops.

Edit:  One more thing.  If you're using a motorized drill or motor to drive the rollers, get the rollers running at speed before adding the grains--it makes crushing a lot easier on the equipment.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2011, 10:08:05 AM by richardt »

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: So your Barley Crusher won't Crush?
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2011, 01:19:37 PM »
I started looking into a mill and one of the options that many of them have is a hardened steel roller set. It says on several websites that the knurls will last much longer with the hardened metal and, at least the ones I looked at, specifically state the worn out knurls are not covered by the warrantee. It's like the brakes on your car. They WILL wear out so they are not covered by any warrantee. The hardened ones are a lot more expensive but I suppose it it's cheaper to spend up front than have to replace or re-knurl the rollers every couple of years it might be worth it.
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