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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > Other > Nearly free Barley mill
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:17 AM   #1
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Default Nearly free Barley mill

A friend of mine that works in a machine shop has offered to build me a custom barely mill in exchange for a 5 gallon batch of beer... Sounds like a great deal to me...



What I need to know is some measurements. I want to do something like the monster mill, I'm just not sure how big the rollers need to be and how much adjustment there needs to be in the gap, and so forth.

He tells me the more info I can give him the better job he can do with it. Any help you guys/gals can provide would be much appreciated....

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Old 08-06-2009, 02:44 AM   #2
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I can't be of much help on the dimensions, but generally speaking, the larger the rollers the better. Most designed for home brewers are somewhere in the 1-1/2" - 2" diameter range. Your friend doesn't realize what he's getting himself into. Mill construction is not as simple as it sounds or appears. The most common gap setting seems to be 0.039 in. I would want to be able to at least adjust 0.010 up and down and prefereably +/- 0.015. I put a an arbitrary value of $100 on my average five gallon batches and that leaves me, the brewer, laboring for about $5.00/hr. You can buy an off the shelf mill for about that much money. Hook up your friend with some of the mill manufacturers web sites and he can get some ideas on how they are build and what they look like.

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Old 08-06-2009, 02:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
I put a an arbitrary value of $100 on my average five gallon batches and that leaves me, the brewer, laboring for about $5.00/hr.
Wow so you're paying $80 in ingredients for a 5 gallon batch?


So far as dimensions go, I would just pick something that you feel comfortable with in terms of size. You have to think about storage, capacity, and moving the thing around.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:54 AM   #4
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I split 10 gallon batches with my friend, for $40 for his 5. And I am getting my 5 for like $20-30 depending on my hops, and if I already have the yeast harvested from previous batch

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Old 08-06-2009, 03:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post
Wow so you're paying $80 in ingredients for a 5 gallon batch?


So far as dimensions go, I would just pick something that you feel comfortable with in terms of size. You have to think about storage, capacity, and moving the thing around.
Not at all. Ingredients for a five gallon batch are typically around $30 I would estimate. Then there's the incidentals like propane,CO2, refrigeration and such. There are additional equipment expenses and overhead that are difficult to pin down with any accuracy. That's why I qualified it with "arbitrary" and I said "value", not cost. Big difference. Obvously a lot depends on the quality of the brew. I've tasted some home brews that I would not drink at any price. Fortunately, my beers were not among those.

I almost never brew only a five gallon batch. Most of the time it's 11 or 12. I'm also slow, so it takes me longer to brew than most others.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:30 PM   #6
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The one that I built took more than a few hours. That said, I am an IT guy, and had to ask questions about using the CNC mill and it took me lots longer than a normal machinist would.

I offset the eccentric .050" from the center. That allows a total of .100 either way. Lots more than I needed, but whatever. He can figure it out easy enough if you say you want it adjustable anywhere from 0.0 - 0.050. That will give you the .039 ish that most people grind at, and some room to play with other crushes.

A larger roller will grab the grain easier, and make connecting the two rollers not necessary(Due to higher angle of approach), but it will also increase the amount of force required to turn the handle. I think mine were close to 2" diameter. It was what I found in the scrap bin.

I had to use a bigger lathe to knurl it after the first try was too light. Once I got a good knurl, the thing grabs the grain very well.

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