Why should I buy a grain mill? - Page 3 - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Why should I buy a grain mill?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-02-2011, 12:10 AM   #21
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2010
Posts: 11,995
Liked 496 Times on 431 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
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.
I was thinking of adding a ~3L Poland Springs water bottle to the top (cut the opening larger, then slice the bottom off) to add more volume to the hopper. I do have some sheet metal on hand that I could fashion into a larger hopper if the bottle doesn't do it for me.

I figured I'd play it by ear on the crank for the first few times. Once I see how it goes, I might adapt it for my 1/2" cordless drill (a nice Dewalt model).

I've seen what some people have done to adapt their milling station to allow more grains to go through (on these pages/threads) which I might modify to fit my needs/situation. I would love to be able to mill the grain on brew-day, so that I could be assured of it's freshness. Not to mention dialing it in to get best results.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2011, 12:40 AM   #22
passedpawn
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
HBT_ADMIN.png
 
passedpawn's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2009
☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
Posts: 26,602
Liked 7031 Times on 4163 Posts


Check gap with a feeler gauge. If you have a car, you should have one of these.
__________________
- Andrew

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2011, 12:49 AM   #23
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2010
Posts: 11,995
Liked 496 Times on 431 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
Check gap with a feeler gauge. If you have a car, you should have one of these.
The one I have probably won't work properly (disc style for spark plugs)... BUT, I know there's a great one in my father's tool box (or at least there was last time I looked)... Next time I'm up at my sister/mother's place I'll have to see if it's still there, If it is, I'm swiping it (along with some more of his old Snap-On tools)... I know my sister and brother in law won't use any of those, and my mother doesn't use them either. They'll be all mine once I get a house anyway, so might as well take what I can use now.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 03:54 PM   #24
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2010
Posts: 11,995
Liked 496 Times on 431 Posts


I've placed my dial caliper onto some cd's and get a reading of between .045 and .049, does that sound right for the gap you guys use? If so, would you re-crush (or crush if you get whole grains) to/below .039? Farmhouse Brewing Supply crushes their grain to .039, which is what I used yesterday to brew. Looking back at yesterday's brew day, and the poor efficiency numbers I got (really pitiful). I think it all comes down to the cooler being too wide to put enough water onto the grains.

I'm thinking (now) of just getting another 32-40 quart pot to use for the sparge (or mash) and forget about the cooler method for now. Or get a second grain bag and split the grist up into both so that they are submerged properly. With the ball valve I got leaking (a very slow leak, but still a leak) where it comes through the cooler, I'm leaning towards the second pot method.

I could pull the valve out of the cooler and install it into either the pot I have already, or the second pot I pick up. Since I got better results when I did the pot partial mash, I think I'll go back to that. Just need to decide if I want to install the valve into one of the pots, and use that for the boil off (would be easier to dump into the primary that way.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2011, 04:26 PM   #25
rico567
 
rico567's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Apr 2008
Central IL
Posts: 3,018
Liked 87 Times on 81 Posts


I cranked the plates down until I got scared; then I tightened it a bit more.....
__________________
“Malt does more than Milton can / To justify God’s ways to man”

-A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad , 1896.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2011, 11:55 PM   #26
badmajon
Recipes 
 
Feb 2010
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Posts: 949
Liked 33 Times on 23 Posts


Well, I guess you guys gave some good reasons but I don't see where you can get bulk grain for 50% off of the usual LHBS milled price. The cheapest 2 row bag I've seen is $50 for 50#, which is a buck a pound, and I can get it milled from AHS for 1.25. Sure, there's shipping, but AHS gives a flat rate ($8) and I'd have to buy hops and yeast anyway.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 12:17 AM   #27
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2010
Posts: 11,995
Liked 496 Times on 431 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by badmajon View Post
Well, I guess you guys gave some good reasons but I don't see where you can get bulk grain for 50% off of the usual LHBS milled price. The cheapest 2 row bag I've seen is $50 for 50#, which is a buck a pound, and I can get it milled from AHS for 1.25. Sure, there's shipping, but AHS gives a flat rate ($8) and I'd have to buy hops and yeast anyway.
It's not ONLY about cost savings. For one thing, you can get a 50-55 pound sack of grain, keeping it whole until brew day, then mill/crush your own grain right before brewing, ensuring it's as fresh as possible. Otherwise, unless you're going to use all your crushed grain in ~2 months, you shouldn't purchase large amounts.

Another factor is you can crush grain to the size that works best for your setup/system. You might want it a little finer, or coarser than the LHBS (or other source) crushes grain at. Having your own mill/crusher gives you that option...

Since I'm about to start a new job, when I'm ready for more grain (should be in about 3-4 weeks) I'll be getting all whole grain, and a double roller crusher... I'll plan on crushing the grain on brew day, so that I know it's as fresh as possible. I plan on having the adapter (on hand) to use my cordless drill with the mill, so I can either hand crank it (to set the crush size) or go powered (once size is set for the grain)...

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 12:18 AM   #28
Mustangj
 
Mustangj's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2006
Royal Oak, MI Michigan
Posts: 1,318
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by badmajon View Post
Well, I guess you guys gave some good reasons but I don't see where you can get bulk grain for 50% off of the usual LHBS milled price. The cheapest 2 row bag I've seen is $50 for 50#, which is a buck a pound, and I can get it milled from AHS for 1.25. Sure, there's shipping, but AHS gives a flat rate ($8) and I'd have to buy hops and yeast anyway.
Find a brew group in your area.

I'm putting together a bulk grain buy in the next couple weeks. 2-Row is $0.46lbs, MO is $0.69 lbs.
__________________
"If my mother was tied up and held ransom, I might think about making a light beer."Greg Koch
Stone Brewing

Michigan Mashers
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/groups/michigan-mashers/

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 12:40 AM   #29
Toecutter
 
Toecutter's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2010
Riverside, ca
Posts: 588
Liked 16 Times on 10 Posts


Got a monster mill for Christmas. Was shocked at how much my efficiency went up. I thought at first mabee i measured my grain wrong and used to much.....nope, it was the mill. Nice to get 2 row for $33 a bag.
__________________
When a naked man is chasing a naked woman through an alley with a butcher knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross." - Dirty Harry

On Tap: Belgian Orange Crystalweizen, Toecutters Honey HPA

Fermenting: Belgian Orange Crystalweizen

 
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2011, 12:42 AM   #30
Golddiggie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
Golddiggie's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Dec 2010
Posts: 11,995
Liked 496 Times on 431 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by hefeluver View Post
Got a monster mill for Christmas. Was shocked at how much my efficiency went up. I thought at first mabee i measured my grain wrong and used to much.....nope, it was the mill. Nice to get 2 row for $33 a bag.
What was your efficiency before, and now?

From what I've been told, by brewers with their own mills, the flavor of the brew will also be improved when crushing on brew day... I'm itching to test this out... Just need the paycheck's to start coming in (start work either on the 17th, or the week after)...

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Grain Mill bushmanj All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 02-27-2010 06:16 PM
Grain mill? jldc All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 18 03-06-2009 01:20 AM
Got my new grain mill Bob869007 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 13 12-13-2008 03:34 AM
where to buy grain mill? shoebag22 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 08-05-2008 03:53 PM
Grain Mill ? Gilbey All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 17 07-24-2008 08:19 PM


Forum Jump