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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Why should I buy a grain mill?
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:01 PM   #11
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I want to try brew-in-a-bag and that can take a finer crush or grind since stuck sparge isn't a problem. I live 30 minutes from the LHBS and they don't have a crusher either (very small section of a small store) so I'd have to order from someone online and shipping is exorbitant to this area. I bought a grain mill for about the shipping for 2 orders.

I don't drink a lot of beer so I wouldn't benefit from bulk purchase of milled grain. It would go bad before I could use it up.

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Old 01-01-2011, 05:09 PM   #12
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I do partial mash (5 lbs per batch), and have about 100 lbs of grain; a few different base malts and lots of specialty malts. Having a mill and lots of grain, I don't have to worry about if my LHBS has what I want, and I can make changes on the fly.

I buy some grain from my LHBS, but I buy most on-line because it works out cheaper. Buying larger quantities on-line reduces the effective $/lb of shipping.

I bought a Corona mill ($30 on-line from Buy.com with free shipping). I couldn't justify the cost of a Barley Crusher. When I started using the Corona mill (works great) my efficiency went from 70% to 80%.

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Old 01-01-2011, 05:17 PM   #13
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I do partial mash (5 lbs per batch), and have about 100 lbs of grain; a few different base malts and lots of specialty malts. Having a mill and lots of grain, I don't have to worry about if my LHBS has what I want, and I can make changes on the fly.

I buy some grain from my LHBS, but I buy most on-line because it works out cheaper. Buying larger quantities on-line reduces the effective $/lb of shipping.

I bought a Corona mill ($30 on-line from Buy.com with free shipping). I couldn't justify the cost of a Barley Crusher. When I started using the Corona mill (works great) my efficiency went from 70% to 80%.
What crush size do you use?
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:13 PM   #14
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I used to buy my grain from milled from AHS, but then I bought a grain mill and started doing my own. My efficiencies have gone up around 5% and I can now buy bulk grain and save $7-$10 per batch... The cost of the mill will be made up in ten batches.
Its worth the money!

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Old 01-01-2011, 09:21 PM   #15
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What crush size do you use?
I just adjusted it the first time to give a relatively fine crush of the kernel, but leaving the husk relatively whole, and have not touched it since. I got an immediate increase in efficiency that has remained.
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:27 PM   #16
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'cause if feels really, really good to grind the snot out of grains. Sure, order from you're on-line shop and have them smash it...but nothing feels better than doing anything yourself.

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Old 01-01-2011, 09:31 PM   #17
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Calder, I found this one on Buy.com: http://www.buy.com/prod/cereal-multi...211099781.html Looks like the standard "old school style" mill... Great price too. Pays for itself pretty fast when you get bulk grains (compared with getting them from the LHBS)... Plus, you can give purchased milled grains a second run to ensure they're at a good crush size for you.

Woodstone, whatever gives you pleasure... Grinding grains with a cranking mill could give someone pleasure... Me, I'll probably adapt mine pretty early to take my cordless drill to make it a bit easier on the old arms... Considering how my 'light' recipe's average about 12 pounds of grain in them, I don't think I'll do many all by hand...

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Old 01-01-2011, 11:29 PM   #18
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What crush size do you use?
I use the "Victoria" version of the Corona mill. Some people say use the width of a CD. I've read somebody say use a credit card (including the raised letters) to determine the spacing between the plates. What you need to do is crush until you're getting NO whole grains. This can mean a significant amount of flour, which is kind of scary, but I just dialed it down until I was hitting my Brix numbers in the wort with no trouble, and had no whole grains that I could detect. So far (maybe 20 batches) I've had no troubles with a stuck sparge or anything.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:38 PM   #19
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I use the "Victoria" version of the Corona mill. Some people say use the width of a CD. I've read somebody say use a credit card (including the raised letters) to determine the spacing between the plates. What you need to do is crush until you're getting NO whole grains. This can mean a significant amount of flour, which is kind of scary, but I just dialed it down until I was hitting my Brix numbers in the wort with no trouble, and had no whole grains that I could detect. So far (maybe 20 batches) I've had no troubles with a stuck sparge or anything.
Problem with the credit card gauge is mine don't have raised letters anymore. I do have a dial caliper that I could use though.

Loving how I'm able to use my reloading equipment in brewing...
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:03 AM   #20
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Calder, I found this one on Buy.com: http://www.buy.com/prod/cereal-multi...211099781.html Looks like the standard "old school style" mill... Great price too. Pays for itself pretty fast when you get bulk grains (compared with getting them from the LHBS)... Plus, you can give purchased milled grains a second run to ensure they're at a good crush size for you.
That's the one I got a year ago. Just a couple of comments on it.

It's good to have the bigger hopper (as this one has). It holds about 2 lbs. If you want bigger, I think you can fashion a milk container to add on the top.

You can replace the bolt in the handle with one with a square drive and run it with an electric drill. The thread is metric so you will need to go to the specialty area of the hardware store. I found a bolt in Lowes. Although I can drive it with a drill, I just hand crank. It only takes a couple of minutes of cranking for 5 lbs of grain.

It sits low to a table. Just a couple of inches clearance. You can fashion it to clamp on some wood and run straight into a bucket. Me I just place a low ceramic oven pan under it to catch the grain and tip it into a large bowl when full.
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