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Old 01-19-2009, 04:37 AM   #1
BangorBrewer
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Default Efficiency with Corona Mill

Anybody know what the average efficiency is using a Corona mill on grains? It's definitely a cheaper alternative to the barley crusher, and a gateway to bulk grain purchases. Thanks.

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:43 AM   #2
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Depends on several facotrs (including your equipment). I know Yooper has been experimenting with this a bit recently.

You from Bangor, Maine, home of Julie the Cat Gaffney?

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:46 AM   #3
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I just switched from a corona mill to a barley crusher. My efficiency has pretty much stayed the same. The corona mill crushes a lot slower - that is about the only downside.

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:50 AM   #4
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Julie the Cat is my girl, dawg.

Seriously, I think I'll just get a Corona if the swings in efficiency aren't too severe. I've got a cooler with a SS braid.

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Old 01-19-2009, 04:53 AM   #5
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I have gotten between 70 and 80 percent efficiency using my Corona mill. I generally batch sparge. However, I tend to get higher efficiency on lower gravity brews than higher gravity brews because I generally only sparge until I have about 6.75 gallons of wort for a 5.5 gallon batch. It is certainly possible to get higher efficiency by reducing the gap between the Corona's plates for a finer crush. Since my Corona does shred the husks some, I haven't bothered reducing the gap for fear of a stuck sparge.

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Old 01-19-2009, 05:38 AM   #6
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For what it's worth, I found myself asking this question and others like it a LOT several months ago. What I determined was that for $40 I could get a Victoria Mill which is corona style, crank by hand, and try to get the results I wanted. In the end I said screw it, paid $80 more and bought the Barley crusher, as many here recommended.

Every AG batch I've done using their factory setting, which I confirmed with a gap tool. The crushes are easy and done with drill. Only once I missed my original gravity, and that was mash related. All other batches have averaged 75% to 80% efficiency. I highly recommend it.

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Old 01-19-2009, 01:53 PM   #7
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I consistently got mid to high 80's with my corona-style mill. I think the average is probably somewhere around 75%. The corona mill is a great mill if you take a few minutes and a pound or two of malt to get it dialed in. With a drill modification it takes only a couple/few minutes to process a grist bill.

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Old 01-19-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul View Post
With a drill modification it takes only a couple/few minutes to process a grist bill.
Yeah, I would NOT recommend crushing by hand. I had to do this once when my power went out and it was the longest 20 minutes of my life...

The Barley Crusher seems to crush roughly twice as fast with the same drill speed....I've been enjoying that aspect of it, along with the fact that it's configured to fit snugly over the top of a 5 gallon bucket. I had the Corona Mill attached to my workbench and collected the crushed grain into a large bowl that I had to keep rotating and emptying during the crush. I would lose bits of grain that would fly out. I COULD have rigged something up to make this part of it easier, but I like the fact that the barley crusher is ready to go out of the box.

If you need a hopper for the Corona Mill, I used this with good results:

9" Anti-Splash Funnel with Strainer :: Midwest Supplies Homebrewing and Winemaking Supplies
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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Lots of modifications presented in this thread too.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-u...station-90849/

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Old 01-19-2009, 02:07 PM   #10
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Charlie Papazian get's a steady 87 percent with the Corona that he's been since the 70's...He's happy with it.

He feels he doesn't NEED anything else...like a Barley CHrusher or Malt Mill that people always seem to feel the need to peddle when someone asks about a Corona...Lots of people on here use them...

This is from the Aussie Craftbrewer Site;

Quote:
Corona mills have gotten a lot of bad press over the years, with claims that they are unsuitable for brewing as the give a very poor crush (i.e. tear the grains rather than squeezing them) leading to flavour and extraction problems. The claims have usually originated from either the manufacturers or owners of the more modern roller mills.

But before roller mills (such as the PhilMill, Valley mill and MaltMill) were available for small-scale brewer, Corona mills were the only ones available. Many brewing books had sections on using and adjusting a Corona type mill. Dave Miller's book from the late 80's had a whole chapter devoted to using and adjusting a Corona mill, and he is often quoted as obtaining extremely high extraction rates from the grain.
There's some info and links here in my thread for tweaking them in my thread. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-u...station-90849/

I figure at on average 25-40 bucks for a corona as opposed to the others, means 100 more bucks for other toys or two 50 pound bags of 2-row...


And if it's good enough for Charlie.

And although I'm pretty happy with my Corona, I've been following this thread for it's sheer DIY ingenuity.....http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f11/usin...l-grain-75784/

Especially if a 20 dollar pasta machine can make a mill that looks, and acts just like one of the more expensive roller mills....

There's many flavors of mills, no one is better than the other, they all have plusses and minuses with them...as you can see with tweaking you can get high efficiencies with a Corona mill, just as high as with the barley crusher or any other mill...They all have the potential to make great beer, or make pond water, depending on the brewer.....

At my friends using his corded drill (rather than my cheap cordless) I burned through 14 pounds of grain with a great crush in about 5 minutes on my little corona...So with a good drill speeds not an issue...I have also ground an entire grain bill buy hand and it really was no big deal either...

You have to ultimately decide...on how much tweaking or how much money you want to spend on it, but if anyone says that one mill is BETTER than the other, they are FOS....
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