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Old 04-01-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
Feb 2009
Eastpointe, Michigan
Posts: 509
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I was talking with a brew buddy the other day and the subject of milling grain with a Barley Crusher came up. We were discussing the speed of the crush and how it relates to the type of crush that you get.

The question that we have is this.... Does a faster speed with your drill motor- or whatever you use to power the mill, cause the crush to be finer or coarser?

Sometimes I think that the slower the speed the longer the grain is between the rollers and then a finer crush. On the other hand I can see how a faster speed would mean that the grain is being "pulverized" and then would mean a finer crush also.

Your thoughts.

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Old 04-01-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
Nov 2007
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I would think faster=more shredded husks because the force on the grains is greater. But physics was always one of my weaker subjects.

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Old 04-01-2011, 03:56 PM   #3
Feb 2009
Scarborough, Maine
Posts: 884
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I have no personal experience with the topic but it sounds like an interesting topic for an experiment...

Just from thinking about it, I would think that the speed (on a BC mill) of the crush probably doesn't influence the crush nearly as much as the gap setting since it uses a two-roller setup. I'd be interested in hearing the results if you do experiment though!

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Old 04-02-2011, 06:53 PM   #4
Feb 2009
Eastpointe, Michigan
Posts: 509
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Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

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Old 04-02-2011, 07:18 PM   #5
Dec 2010
Shingletown, CA
Posts: 1,949
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I've always heard that you want to crush as fine as you can without getting a stuck sparge.. as a finer crush increases you efficiency..

And that you want to crush at around 200-300 RPM so that you reduce shredding of the husks.. I think shredding the husks results in off flavors or tannin extraction or something else undesirable...

I just used my new C&S 3d for the first time this morning... I powered it with my milwakee right angle drill which is pretty slow...

It's mashing right now, so I don't know what my efficiency is, but the crush looked 'really' nice....

As long as I didn't crush so fine that I get a stuck sparge (I set it to 0.040), then I should see a nice bump in efficiency compared to the crushes from the LHBS... or so it says in small print right here at the bottom of the page...
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:42 AM   #6
May 2009
Auckland, NZ
Posts: 727
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I would say that a faster crush would produce more shredding and ripping of the grain where a slower crush is more uniform. Generally to get a finer crush you would reduce the distance between the rollers rather than increase (or decrease) the speed of the mill

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Old 04-03-2011, 11:38 AM   #7
Apr 2008
Central IL
Posts: 3,019
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I drive my mill with a 1/2" Craftsman AC drill. It's not hard to hold the trigger at a setting that's pretty low, I'm guessing around 120-150 rpm. I get an excellent crush with a minimal amount of flour. My husks have some tearing, but I have zero problems lautering /sparging (I use a 10 gal. Rubbermaid MLT cooler conversion, with the Bargain Fittings braid kit), so I'm not really worried about it. It would be interesting to mill a few pounds at a higher speed, then the rest at the lower, just to compare. I suspect that'll be the only way to tell, since mills and gap settings differ. I use a "Victoria" branded Corona-type mill, with the plates set to about the thickness of a credit card.
“Malt does more than Milton can / To justify God’s ways to man”

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Old 04-03-2011, 12:09 PM   #8
Oct 2010
Posts: 189

I use a Dewalt, non-variable speed, 1/2" drill motor to power my Crankandstein 2s. When I first hooked it up and ran it full speed(about450rpm) the crush was ok, lots of shredded husks though. I then hooked up my dimmer that I use to control the temp on my brew belt, and tried that. I guessed at getting the drill to run about half speed. The crush was much better looking, maybe a bit finer, but hardly any shredded husks.

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Old 04-03-2011, 11:07 PM   #9
Feb 2011
Shelton, WA
Posts: 17

I just bought a Barley Crusher, used it last week, cranked it by hand, got a nice looking crush, but ended up with 60% efficiency. Fast forward to this week, 2nd batch, used a corded drill, my battery powered one was too weak, crushed it very fast, drill only has one speed, superfast. The crush was definitely finer, the husks were much more torn, and more flour. I used rice hulls on both batches, no stuck sparges, calculated 89% eff. on 2nd batch. I'm thinking my measurements are off a bit, probably not as low on the first and not as high on the 2nd, but using the drill definitely made for a different crush, and both were on the factory .039 setting.
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Old 04-04-2011, 03:39 PM   #10
Sep 2010
Posts: 1,689
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I use a Harbor Freight Low Speed Drill:

Works great. Adjustable speed too. When I bought it, it was $39.99 and I used a 20% off coupon. It's sitting at $59.99 right now, so I'd wait until they dropped the price.

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