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Old 08-09-2013, 05:19 AM   #1
el_caro
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Default Estrella Grain Mill - Did I get sucked in?

I went to buy a cheap corona style Chinese grain mill ($18.95 + Tax) and was talked into buying a Mexican built grain mill ($29.95 + Tax) which I was told was much better quality.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heavy-Duty-C...item4ab9d453bf

I am visiting US from Australia for a few weeks and picked it up from this eBay sellers warehouse/store. They seem like really great guys but know nothing about brewing beer or milling barley.

I feel sure they would be happy to change it over if I wanted when I get back to LA so thought I would seek some advise from the experts here who may have come across this bit of kit.

I am a small volume BIAB brewer who would like to try grinding his own grain instead of getting from the LHBS already crushed.

Do you think I should take her home and give it a go or change it over for one of these type?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Heavy-Duty-C...item337ff3f418

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Old 08-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #2
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Looks like they are very similar. Are they adjustable? They NEED to be adjustable so you can get the right crush and a proper mash. I'd give it a go and see what happens. Lots of guys use the corona style mills. Some put drills on them to make the grinding a lot easier.

Looking at the pictures, I'd say that milling barley and other brewing grains should be a lot easier than milling corn...

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Old 08-09-2013, 03:05 PM   #3
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I would say that one is red and one is not painted. Other than that they are very similar. The red one looks a little bit "beefier". Either one will do the job. I have one similar to the one not painted.

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Old 08-09-2013, 03:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
Looks like they are very similar. Are they adjustable? They NEED to be adjustable so you can get the right crush and a proper mash. I'd give it a go and see what happens. Lots of guys use the corona style mills. Some put drills on them to make the grinding a lot easier.

Looking at the pictures, I'd say that milling barley and other brewing grains should be a lot easier than milling corn...
It looks like the design is identical to corona mills, it is adjustable by way of the wingnut on the very front of the mill. And yes, while crushing malt is a chore, corn, wheat and rye is a full-on workout. I need to come up with a drill rig for mine.
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Old 12-04-2013, 09:31 PM   #5
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I have this mill and it is a beast. I love it! I do have a drill driving the mill and it works great. So, no you didn't sucked in to buying an inferior mill. Even though it doesn't matter, I love the red paint. It just added that little "sumpthin sumpthin."

Boy do I need to get a life!

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Old 12-05-2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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I have one of the Chinese ones. The castings are very bad, so the plates do not align well. This is not so much of a problem, as while the grains go through, they fill the space and come out good enough. (85% efficiency).

But the handle screw hole is also crooked, which means my drill winds up moving around, and bends the threaded rod pieces I use in place of the handle. That alone would make a better one worth it.

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Old 12-05-2013, 01:00 PM   #7
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I would like to see a video of one of these actually crushing grain to get an idea of the speed and feed rate and so forth. Anyone know where to find one?

Also - I LOVE The red color. Everyone knows the red ones go faster. N_G

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Old 12-05-2013, 01:21 PM   #8
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I have one of the chinese ones as well. It took a little bit of tinkering to get the spacing just right for the crush I wanted, but it does the job over and over again. I also use a piece of all thread in the handle hole which is kind of off center so it wobbles, but I just let the drill motor wobble with it and grind away.

I BIAB mostly, so my mill is set to grind very aggressively. I get great results and apparently my beer is not too bad!!

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Old 12-05-2013, 02:37 PM   #9
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U tube has a few videos of corona mills w/ motors or drills powering them. I use a large 1/2" drill, the feed rate is reasonable, I would guess 2-3 lbs per minute.

Regarding handle wobble, I carelessly broke the drive bolt in my mill and had to drill it out, and retap the handle. I kind of botched the job and was left with a bad wobble. I carefully and slightly bet the bolt and eliminated most or all of the wobble.

Run the mill with the bolt installed very slowly and find the "high point" of the wobble, then slightly bend the bolt toward the handle shaft. Test and repeat till satisfied. The bolt needs to have some length to do this fix... Guessing 3-4", try it, I'm very satisfied and no more excessive wobble. Running smooth as ever!

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Old 12-06-2013, 01:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
U tube has a few videos of corona mills w/ motors or drills powering them. I use a large 1/2" drill, the feed rate is reasonable, I would guess 2-3 lbs per minute.

Regarding handle wobble, I carelessly broke the drive bolt in my mill and had to drill it out, and retap the handle. I kind of botched the job and was left with a bad wobble. I carefully and slightly bet the bolt and eliminated most or all of the wobble.

Run the mill with the bolt installed very slowly and find the "high point" of the wobble, then slightly bend the bolt toward the handle shaft. Test and repeat till satisfied. The bolt needs to have some length to do this fix... Guessing 3-4", try it, I'm very satisfied and no more excessive wobble. Running smooth as ever!
Thanks for the tip! I had graduated to a big 1/2" low speed drill, which is where I really noticed this problem. Since the drill was so heavy, I had tried propping it up, which caused my first bend. Replaced that stock with a straighter one, which is probably why it's worse.

Works with me holding it, but my hands get tired and I have to refill the hopper. (Time for a bigger hopper, too)

For the poster wondering about speed, it'll go VERY fast, although you want to slow it down a little from it's max speed. And of course, no high speed drills. (I never used the handle - it would be too slow)

I'm really interested in how much better the Estrella ones are than the Chinese ones. I could see buying one if I knew it solved these annoyances. Way cheaper than a monster mill.
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