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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 2 Roller Mill vs 3 Roller Mill for Conditioned Malt
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Old 09-11-2012, 06:44 AM   #1
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Default 2 Roller Mill vs 3 Roller Mill for Conditioned Malt

I'm looking for advice and opinions on the pro's/con's of using a 2 vs 3 roller mill on conditioned malt. As simple as that.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-11-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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If you are milling your own grain, the issue of number of rollers becomes moot since you can always re-mill the grain at a reduced gap to provide similar results. In my opinion, the diameter of the rollers is far more important than the number. I was just reading in Kunze's book and it says that anything less than 250 mm (10") should not be used since the 'angle of nip' is too large. I have not seen that roller size available to homebrewers, so that is out of the question. But, this concept still has weight. Because of that, I would say that using the largest rollers available is a good idea. Going with something like the Monster 2" rollers may be as good as it gets for a homebrewer.

Are there any other mills out there with larger diameter rollers that are suitable (priced) for homebrewing?

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Old 09-11-2012, 03:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silentnoiz View Post
I'm looking for advice and opinions on the pro's/con's of using a 2 vs 3 roller mill on conditioned malt. As simple as that.

Thanks in advance!
I use a motorized MM3 2.0 and condition almost all my grain. The only time I don't condition is when my buddies drop by to use my mill or when I'm brewing on my electric pilot brewery. Short side of the story... I mill a lot of grain both ways.

Key points to consider:

- 3 roller mills require large amounts of torque
- They demand even more torque when you tighten the gap (which you DEF want to do if you condition. Thats the point right?)
- Bump up that torque when you condition your grain

Bottom line.. you will need torque!


That said, after I condition my grain with 2.5% water and let it rest for an hour; the crush is simply beautiful. I have my mill set to .0032" and the grain almost looks like it wasn't even crushed b/c the husks are in such good shape. This nets me 87% brewhouse efficiency and allows me to recirc my mash (RIMs) with a high flow rate. When I do NOT condition the grain, you can see a very noticeable difference in the husk integrity. My buddy uses this crush with his Braumeister with 30# grists with no troubles. I use that crush on my continuous recirc ebiab with no issues either. My main 3 kettle RIMs system LOVES the conditioned malt though - in fact, Im mashing right now!

cheers,
~j

PS - SWMBO loves to dump grain into the Monster Mill and watch it get owned!
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Old 09-11-2012, 09:18 PM   #4
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I think a 2 roller is perfectly adequate. I also condition. Had my rollers at .025 this last batch and that was too fine, I'm going up to .032. You also should crush at as slow a speed as possible, hand cranking speed is ideal but that really works a portable drill, even the beefy 1/2" models.

So, I don't see any reason to spend the additional bones on a 3 roller.

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Old 09-12-2012, 12:30 AM   #5
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My 2 roller BC works well with conditioned grain. I keep mine set at .025 and always condition.

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Old 09-13-2012, 05:24 AM   #6
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Funny you should ask. I listened to this podcast last night:
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/605

John Palmer, Jamil Zainasheff, Tasty McDole, and Bob Hansen from Briess talk about milling grain and actually go into the 3 roller vs. 2 roller mill question. Check out the podcast. It's quite good.

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Old 09-14-2012, 04:02 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great replies! I'm still up in the air on which to get. I don't know if the 3-roller is going to give me a better output (grist) or if it is just non-value-added excess. I'm just not sure. I've read tons on this subject alone, and one data point that is interesting is that the owner of C&S (I think it was C&S) personally uses a 2-roller mill. At the end of the day...both will make beer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabrungard View Post
If you are milling your own grain, the issue of number of rollers becomes moot since you can always re-mill the grain at a reduced gap to provide similar results. In my opinion, the diameter of the rollers is far more important than the number.
I certainly could re-mill, but I only want to have to run it through once and be done with it. And the diameter of the rollers makes a lot of sense, I was planning on getting the 2" rollers already, so that just confirms my plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jammin
I use a motorized MM3 2.0 and condition almost all my grain.
I'm planning on motorizing (1/2hp probably) my mill, so torque applied shouldn't be a problem. Do you think you are gaining anything by having 3 rollers vs 2 on your conditioned malt? I guess to truly know, would need an A/B comparison. That would be an interesting test; put the same malt through a 2-roller and a 3-roller, both with the same (tightest) gap setting, and compare. I wonder if anyone has done that...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hafmpty
Funny you should ask. I listened to this podcast last night:
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/605
Thanks for that link, I listened to it and it was a good listen.
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