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-   -   Who's grinding? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/whos-grinding-259228/)

CaptKaos 07-27-2011 02:35 AM

Who's grinding?
 
Considering all the stuff I have read regarding poor efficiency and LHBS's not properly milling grains to the right consistency, I'm wondering what cheap grain mill members are using to mill their own grains.

You can buy many hand grind mills for under 50 bucks on eBay. These can be retrofitted easily to electric motors or hand drills.

I was wondering if anyone here uses the kitchenaid mixer attachment. No matter what you choose they all seem to be adjustable.

I have never milled grains but have done partial mashes and have found a huge difference in the consistency of the grains in the kits I have purchased. The latest kit has a small bag of carapills that looks more like dust than milled grain.

Pappers_ 07-27-2011 02:46 AM

On the less expensive side, many here use a Corona mill. You can find many threads on it.

I use a roller mill called a Malt Mill, and there are many other, similar mills.

For me, the big advantage of milling my own malt is that it allows me to buy in bulk.

shafferpilot 07-27-2011 02:49 AM

I use a cheap corona style mill adapted for a drill and it is set VERY tight. Never had a stuck sparge or anything even close to stuck. Efficiency on really high gravity brews are around 83%. Efficiency on Medium gravity brews are around 87%. I believe the kitchenaide attachment would work but take hours to grind 20lbs of grain. I don't see an advantage to "stepping up" to a $250 roller mill, but i'm sure those who have spent the money on one will say you can't live without one. Use your own judgement.

Ultimately the important thing is: mill your own grain and mill the hell out of it. Premilled grain is awful for your efficiency.

CaptKaos 07-27-2011 03:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pappers_ (Post 3120475)
On the less expensive side, many here use a Corona mill. You can find many threads on it.

I use a roller mill called a Malt Mill, and there are many other, similar mills.

For me, the big advantage of milling my own malt is that it allows me to buy in bulk.

Bingo!!! That is exactly why I'm asking for opinions. I figure an investment in a mill will lower overall costs by buying bulk.

I have a kitchen aid mixer but nearly choked when I saw the cost for the grain mill attachment.

I have two general electric 3/4 horse motors with mounts that could be easily attached to the hand mills with some standard pulleys.

I saw the Corona mill on eBay.

CaptKaos 07-27-2011 03:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shafferpilot (Post 3120484)
I believe the kitchenaide attachment would work but take hours to grind 20lbs of grain. Use your own judgement.
Ultimately the important thing is: mill your own grain and mill the hell out of it. Premilled grain is awful for your efficiency.

I have the kitchen aid meat grinder attachment and have ground 30 lbs of deer meat in no time at all. The only complaint is the tray is too small to hold significant quantities for stuffing it in. It only cost 50 bucks. I just don't want to spend 150 bucks for the mill attachment. I don't want to buy it without some feedback. I'll spend 20 bucks on eBay on a hand cranker before jumping for the attachment.

shafferpilot 07-27-2011 03:53 AM

i use the meat grinder attachment as well. Nothing quite like home ground hamburger meat! But i do find it to be far too small and somewhat cumbersome to use.

CaptKaos 07-27-2011 04:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by shafferpilot (Post 3120635)
i use the meat grinder attachment as well. Nothing quite like home ground hamburger meat! But i do find it to be far too small and somewhat cumbersome to use.

Yes. The mixer alone is cumbersome. But so is my friends 3/4 horsepower meat grinder.

bwarbiany 07-27-2011 04:19 AM

I've got the pretty common Barley Crusher with the stock 7# hopper. I've got three cordless drills in the house, so I just mounted one on the crusher and keep it there. So far I've been quite happy with it, and I think they're < $150 last I checked, so it sounds like it's cheaper than the KitchenAid attachment.

Plus, if I covered my wife's KitchenAid in grain dust, I'd have to put a bed in my brewery (i.e. the garage) because she wouldn't let me back in the house!

RichBenn 07-27-2011 04:43 PM

Check out the "My Ugly Corona Mill" thread (or something like that). These are sand cast Chinese corn grinders, lousy quality, but work well. Mount one inside of a bucket and you don't have any mess and can get great efficiency. Since I set mine up, I buy grain by the 50 lb. sack and save alot of money and no problems hitting my targets. That story is told over and over here.

My other opinions:
1. If you have the money, a better malt specific mill is a great investment.
2. Don't go the Kitchenaid route. I once destroyed the gears in one with an attachment. Also, it will cost more and not work as well as a mill or corn grinder. (other negatives previously posted)
3. Use a 1/2" or heavy duty drill to run your grinder or mill. Most 3/8" drills and most battery powered drills are a little on the weak side for this function. While you can hand crank, drills make milling faster than weighing the grain!

BlackJaqueJanaviac 07-28-2011 12:54 AM

I hand crank 10 lbs of grain with a Corona Mill. It takes some time but it works. Buying grain by the 50# bag I figure the mill will pay for itself in about two years. I brew about every 6 weeks.

Now I'm sure if I figured my time into the equation it doesn't work out, but if I have to put a dollar value on my time I'd just go to the grocery store and buy beer.


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