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Old 10-26-2009, 06:45 PM   #1
bdnoona
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Default Drill for grain milling

I just got a barley crusher and used it on Saturday. Initially I attached my corded drill to it and was having difficulty holding the trigger down enough to get the mill to operate without having the RPM's too high. The torque must have been too much for my drill because it started smoking. I disconnected and crushed most of the grain with the crank.

Is there a lot of downside to just holding the trigger down and plowing through that grain? I saw that the BC is recommended to operate between 300-500 RPM, but my drill's no load RPM is 2,500 according to the manual. Crushing 10# by hand was kind of annoying and I would never want to have to do it this way for a 10 gallon batch or for a really big beer.

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Old 10-26-2009, 06:48 PM   #2
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It's more ideal to have a drill that has various speeds built in because the the low speed settings have more torque. Running at a high RPM more so shatters the grain rather than split it. It may not be a problem. I'd just run some through quickly and compare how the crush looks.

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Old 10-26-2009, 06:49 PM   #3
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I bought a 7.3A (plenty of power) low speed drill to power mine. It is corded and I can run it at about 100RPM. The trigger has a knob so that you can adust how far you can pull the trigger, thus adjusting the speed.

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Old 10-26-2009, 07:27 PM   #4
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I have an 800 rpm 1/2" Milwuakee drill. Since we're shooting for the ~500 rpm range for the BC, I do not depress the trigger all of the way, approximately 2/3's. Has worked well so far, having said that, this weekend I only got a 79% Brewhouse efficiency according to Beersmith, last brewday I think I milled a little quicker with the same drill and attained 81%.

I don't know if the speed of the drill affected the crush and had an impact on efficiency, but it was something I noticed this weekend.

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Old 10-26-2009, 07:32 PM   #5
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I guess that the next time I mill, I'll run a pound through fast and see what the crush looks like. I wish I had realized this was going to be an issue when buying this drill a couple months ago. I would've spent more to get a better drill the first time.

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Old 10-26-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitzengiggle View Post
I have an 800 rpm 1/2" Milwuakee drill. Since we're shooting for the ~500 rpm range for the BC, I do not depress the trigger all of the way, approximately 2/3's. Has worked well so far, having said that, this weekend I only got a 79% Brewhouse efficiency according to Beersmith, last brewday I think I milled a little quicker with the same drill and attained 81%.

I don't know if the speed of the drill affected the crush and had an impact on efficiency, but it was something I noticed this weekend.
You should be perfectly happy with your efficiency at either 81 or 79%. That's actually quite good. FWIW, you can get a similar crush with various rpm's by adjusting the mill gap. Loosen it up for faster speeds and vice versa. Might require a little trial and error to dial it in, but shouldn't be too difficult.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:55 PM   #7
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I managed over 86% eff on my first batch Saturday when milling almost all of the grain by hand. Maybe I should just STFU and get a little sweaty before I brew. The problem is that I hate inconvenience (in this case the manual labor). But I think I probably hate poor efficiency more.

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Old 10-26-2009, 08:16 PM   #8
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I use my crappy corded drill on my Corona mill. It starts slowing down and starts smoking slightly. I then have to let it cool down. It's a huge PITA but the only choice I have right now. I'll be getting a better drill from harbor freight soon. I would suggest the same for you.

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Old 10-27-2009, 12:41 AM   #9
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I recently picked up this drill for 32 bucks on sale...Plenty of power at low speeds. It's a beast.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=47991

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Old 10-27-2009, 01:26 AM   #10
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I've had good luck with my BarleyCrusher and a Bosch corded 1/2" hammer drill - it has dual speed and a mode selector. low speed is 1,100 RPM at no load, so somewhere around 30% is right in range for these mills. Model 1199VSR. It was on sale at Home Depot a while back for < 100 - it makes very quick work of large spade bits and of course mowing through concrete.

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