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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > grain crackers
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Old 11-23-2007, 05:57 PM   #1
wanabeer
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Default grain crackers

I want to make out my Christmas list and I was wondering about what products or methods people in the forum favor for cracking their grain? What performs best overall and what performs best for the money invested? Even if the answer includes a rolling pin.


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Old 11-23-2007, 06:13 PM   #2
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$155 delivered.

The Barley Crusher gets great reviews. Comes out of the box ready to use (sans the fancy drill).

It really depends on how much grain you're going to crush. Do you do all grain, partial mash...steeped grains?

Rolling out a few pounds for a steeped grain recipe is easy and doesn't justify the expense for a crusher. Doing 10 gallon all-grain batches however is a different story.


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Old 11-23-2007, 06:54 PM   #3
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Default That thing is awesome!

Actually, that one is probably overkill for now. I am just today moving up from extract brews with specialty grains to a partial mash. I have a booklet that says pale malts are not well crushed by rolling pins and that is what my grain bill primarily is made up of. I was thinking of putting them in a plastic bag and smacking them with a hammer. That should work, right?
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Old 11-23-2007, 06:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanabeer
I was thinking of putting them in a plastic bag and smacking them with a hammer. That should work, right?
Poorly, yes... And it'll probably take you absolutely forever...

If you're not looking to spend a lot of money, at the very least, consider a corona-type mill, you can get them for $30-ish shipped on ebay, or less if you can find one at a discount tool place locally. They really aren't the greatest but they definitely do well enough for partial mash brewing, and the time savings alone ought to make it worth the price - I can't even imagine crushing several pounds of grain with a freakin hammer... *shudder*
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Old 11-24-2007, 05:12 PM   #5
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Everyone has different opinions on the various mills that are available but if you go with a corona-type mill pay attention to the amount of flour you end up with and more importantly the hulls. If the corona-type mills shreds the hulls too much them too much you might increase you risk of stuck sparge once you go all-grain but there are tons of people who use those mills and love them.
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:11 PM   #6
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If you use a rolling pin, you need one that's dedicated. I ruined our wooden rolling pin (its full of dents from grains now). I'd suggest a heavy marble type rolling pin..the weight will help.

a hammer is useless for cracking grains.

a corona mill will work...ebay has plenty in the $20-ish range plus shipping.

Me...I love my barley crusher. $134 shipped and ready to use. I opt'd for the 7lb hopper, not the 14lb one like BM uses.
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Old 11-25-2007, 06:09 PM   #7
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The Barley Crusher is not gear driven as far as I can tell. Is it better to have the other roller turn with gears? I have also noticed the ones that are gear driven only adjust at one end. Is this a good trade off?
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Old 11-25-2007, 06:13 PM   #8
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If I'm not mistaken, the second roller isn't gear driven. Mine is the JSP malt mill and it is not gear driven either - but once the grain starts pulling through the mill, it has never given any problem...
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:59 PM   #9
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A Corona mill is not made for crushing grain. There seems to be a few people who are happy with their Corona mill but a lot of them seem to have pulled it apart and made some adjustments to gap as well as modified it for motorisation. It's got a tiny hopper too so you'll probably have to do something about that too. Other people I have spoken to used their Corona mill for a short time then bought a proper grain mill. Get your LHBS to crush the grain for you until you can afford/want/need a proper mill.
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohanski
The Barley Crusher is not gear driven as far as I can tell. Is it better to have the other roller turn with gears? I have also noticed the ones that are gear driven only adjust at one end. Is this a good trade off?
I can see where it might be beneficial in a commercial setting to have a geared mill but for the homebrewer it is completely unnecessary.


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