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Old 08-14-2012, 08:52 PM   #1
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Default A proper grain mill...why didn't I buy one sooner!

I made the switch to AG about 4 batches ago and never looked back. I like to go the homemade route like many others do, partially to save money but mostly I just like to build stuff myself.

I order most of my grains online because my LHBS is far from my house (and expensive) so I made a grain mill out of the cheap Michael's pasta mill idea. Sure, it crushed grain, but took nearly 30 minutes and a lot of hand cranking sweat to get through 10 pounds. I was plagued with low efficiency (55-58% or so) for a few batches and chalked it up to the mill. I made my next batch with grain milled from my LHBS and my efficiency went up to about 65%. Time to buy a real mill!

I just got my Crankandstein last week and brewed on Sunday and I can't believe I didn't get this thing sooner! I milled 11 pounds of grain with my electric drill in about 5 minutes and my efficiency shot up to 73%. I could probably milk another 5% out of it with a roller adjustment.

So for those of you on the fence, this was probably one of my better investment aside from kegs and a fermentation chamber.



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Old 08-14-2012, 08:58 PM   #2
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I agree. Made a huge differece for me as well.



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Old 08-14-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
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I did the same thing buying a cheap pasta machine first then a crankenstien. Now you just have to get an electric motor and mount it on something so you can just hit a switch and not hold a drill.

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Old 08-15-2012, 12:27 AM   #4
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I have a crankandstein 2a and love it. Fortunately did not have to go through the pain of a crappy mill

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Old 08-15-2012, 04:25 AM   #5
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.35 made my efficiency climb to 80%+

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Old 08-15-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
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I often hear the argument that few efficiency points is not worth the justification for purchasing a mill, however I'd have to totally disagree with this. Not only are batches and mash efficiencies incredibly consistent, but I now buy my grains in bulk at a cost of $.78 per pound compared to a $1.40 per pound. Right there I'm easily at about $8.00 per batch and I've run roughly 25 batches through the mill. The way I figure thing my malt mill has paid me $60 so far and will continue to make me $8.00 per batch.

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Old 08-15-2012, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrubDog View Post
.35 made my efficiency climb to 80%+
Hmmmm, I might have to adjust it down then. I seem to remember the stock gap being at .45.

And yes, time to buy some grain in bulk now! What are you guys keeping on hand with bulk grain? I assume some standard US 2-row, maybe some pilsner?
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSGT09 View Post
Hmmmm, I might have to adjust it down then. I seem to remember the stock gap being at .45.

And yes, time to buy some grain in bulk now! What are you guys keeping on hand with bulk grain? I assume some standard US 2-row, maybe some pilsner?
I keep a lot of grain, but the the stuff in the big bins:

2-row
Pilsner (only if you make lagers and belgians)
Light Wheat
Munich

Maris Otter is a great one to buy a bag of too, but I find that it's easy enough to mimic it with other malts.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt2778 View Post
I often hear the argument that few efficiency points is not worth the justification for purchasing a mill, however I'd have to totally disagree with this. Not only are batches and mash efficiencies incredibly consistent, but I now buy my grains in bulk at a cost of $.78 per pound compared to a $1.40 per pound. Right there I'm easily at about $8.00 per batch and I've run roughly 25 batches through the mill. The way I figure thing my malt mill has paid me $60 so far and will continue to make me $8.00 per batch.
$8 a batch for the grain alone, add in the hops yeast and propane and I imagine you're closer to $20.
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Old 08-15-2012, 04:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknifefight View Post
$8 a batch for the grain alone, add in the hops yeast and propane and I imagine you're closer to $20.
That's $8.00 in savings over buying premilled grains.


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