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Old 08-08-2011, 05:59 PM   #1
Mpavlik22
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Default Grain Mill HELP!

So I built a grain mill per JakeCPUnut's YouTube video (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/shor...n-mill-233615/). It works great, such a time saver.

My problem arose when I tried malt conditioning. First time worked great. I got a nice fluffy grind. Mostly all the hulls were intact.

Second time I malt conditioned I kept getting a stuck grind. The grain being ground up got so thick and stuck to the rollers it actually froze up. The motor couldn't even break it free. Let's say the rest of the grind was a PITA.

I had to completely disassemble the grinder and scrub each roller with a brush to clean. What's going on? Anyone else encounter this? Did I use too much h2o while malt conditioning?

Before u ask, it's a barleycrusher & I use the factory settings (i think .039).

Thanks

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Old 08-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #2
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I had my malt mill crash and burn too. When I handled the grain I could tell that I had instructed my assistant to put too much water in the malt. It was also very humid at the time.

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Old 08-08-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
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Same thing happened to me, and I actually bent one of the rollers! Slightly, but still works.

Too much water. What I started doing is putting about 5-7 lbs into an empty bucket and using a spray bottle, spray the grain and mix it by hand after a couple sprays; then repeat. When the grain starts sticking to your hand, its good to go!

Fantastic crushes ever since. I actually tightened the gap a little too, now Im hittin over 80% eff.

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Old 08-08-2011, 10:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmob29
Same thing happened to me, and I actually bent one of the rollers! Slightly, but still works.

Too much water. What I started doing is putting about 5-7 lbs into an empty bucket and using a spray bottle, spray the grain and mix it by hand after a couple sprays; then repeat. When the grain starts sticking to your hand, its good to go!

Fantastic crushes ever since. I actually tightened the gap a little too, now Im hittin over 80% eff.
I think I used too much water. Does it cake up your rollers? Or do your rollers look like when ur crushing dry grain?
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:21 PM   #5
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When I had my issue it caked up BAD. PITA cleaning it after that too.

Used a lot less water, and mixed it by hand pretty well, and is awesome. Very little dust, and maybe a couple kernals stuck to the rollers and most of the husks entact.

And just use a hand spray bottle, nothing fancy.

Next time to the HBS pick up a couple extra lbs of 2-row and play around with it and try and find a good balance.


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I think I used too much water. Does it cake up your rollers? Or do your rollers look like when ur crushing dry grain?
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:58 PM   #6
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Unfortunately I just got home & starting re-assembling the mill & noticed my rollers are all rusted up.

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Old 08-08-2011, 11:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Unfortunately I just got home & starting re-assembling the mill & noticed my rollers are all rusted up.
The rollers should clean up easily with a brass or stainless wire brush. It's probably only a light surface rust in that short exposure time. Dry the rollers well immediately after cleaning to prevent a repeat. Blow the mill out with compressed air if you have it available. Even some canned air or a blast of CO2 would work if your have it available.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:10 PM   #8
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Yeah leaving steel wet or in humid conditions usually never ends well. Take some steel wool to it and hit the tough spots with a SS wire wheel on a grinder and you'll be fine. Its really humid all summer here so I keep my mill cart in the basement instead of the garage to avoid the rust. If your grain is that wet when milling you might consider running a pound or two through dry at the very end to absorb any excess moisture on the rollers. Good luck.

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Old 08-08-2011, 11:50 PM   #9
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Concur - too much water. My last batch stuck to the rollers a bit more than I wanted - although did not require a disassembly -

It's like 3 ounces of water (less than half a cup) to 10 pounds of grain - and if the humidity is high, lower the amount of water. I also agree with the spray bottle - I spritz the grain, churn it by hand, spritz, churn, etc until the bottle is empty or the grain feels more like the dampness of leather than the dustiness of sand.

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Old 08-09-2011, 02:45 AM   #10
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[...]I spritz the grain, churn it by hand, spritz, churn, etc until the bottle is empty or the grain feels more like the dampness of leather than the dustiness of sand.[...]

I can almost feel a "How to build a grain churner" thread coming...

Cheers!
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