Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > About the grinding of my grains... which way would be better?
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default About the grinding of my grains... which way would be better?

Hello there!

Since I'm about to go all-grain, I decided to grind my grains myself, however I don't have a mill or anything like that so my choices are:

a) To use a ... uhm, I don't know the name of it (kitchen hammer? meat hammer? little hammer with spikes?) but here's the result:

b) To use a small food processor with this result:

Which seems better?

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:29 PM   #2
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Neither one is really a choice. The hammer is not exposing/cracking enough of the endosperm to allow for conversion. The food processor is shredding the husks too much, and will lead to astringency. Your best bet would be to pick-up a Corona Mill knock-off from discount tommy on Ebay. The 20 or 30 bucks will be well worth it in the quality of your finished product.

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Old 08-23-2010, 11:30 PM   #3
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i havent ground any grains for myself at all, but if youre just starting out all grain i would say have your LHBS grind them for you, especially if youre just using a food processor, it would take hours and hours.. trust me even if you have to pay a little fee, it will be worth it. and at least for your first time, let them do it so you know its at least a fairly good crush

good luck!
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:48 PM   #4
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Print a coupon for Michaels or AC Moore or some other craft store and buy a Pasta/clay roller for 15 bones. Tear up the the rollers with a drill bit and get to it. Used mine this weekend. First time - approx 70% effc. I'm sure it will improve with tweaking.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:51 PM   #5
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You could probably use a rolling pin, but it would take hours probably. You want to "open" the husks but not shred them.

In your location, you may find that a "corona mill" is available and cheap. They are used to grind corn into flour, but you can loosen the plates a bit and get a pretty decent crush.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:55 PM   #6
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there are 2 low cost alternatives like others have mentined, pasta machine or corona mill. There's corresponding threads with plenty of info and tips.;


Or the 20 dollar pasta machine used for rolly polymer clay and cheap at any arts and craft store.


Where someone posted that they get a consitant 83% efficiency with theres.

These are both great options for folks on a budget or looking to get their feet wet in PM's or all grain...Both can be motorized and can handle as much grain as their hopper can hold.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:07 AM   #8
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My LHBS has an excellent selection of malts, but I occassionally order small amounts of 'special' specialty malt (Victory, Special Roast, Pale Chocolate, De-bittered Black, etc.) from Northern Brewer or William's to our PO box in Point Roberts, WA. They are all rare in Canadia.

I have found a mortar and pestle to work very well for small amounts (1/2 lb. or less) of grain. It breaks the endosperm and leaves behind the husk intact. It's labour intensive and not absoluteky ideal, but it works. Coffee grinder sucks.

Might check out discount tommy's cheapo Corona's, though. My wife loves it when I get a new brewing gadget.

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Old 08-25-2010, 02:36 PM   #9
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i just have my local hbs mill my stuff for me, but if you're stuck in a pinch- i'll echo what yooper said and use a rolling pin. put a towel over the grain and go to town.
...you'll probably be at it for a while.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:48 PM   #10
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You really do need a corona mill at the very least.

However, to your original question. I will attack it even though i would not recommend either method. The meat tenderizer gave you the best result of the two. You will get low efficiency, but that is better than the shredded husks in pic 2

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