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Best grain mill in your opinion?

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Jeff...

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I also have a Corona mill, well actually two Corona Mills, one for each hand. I haven't used them for grains but I have for whole corn they make dandy corn flour. Just need to run the corn through twice. For grits once is enough. Besides they are a good workout for your biceps :) I don't want to think about running 10+ lbs of grains trough one, without a drill, my arm might fall off.
 

dochawk

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You also need to increase the spacing, ,or . . .

if memory serves, removing a ball bearing gave me just what I needed.
 
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beerisyummy

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Jeff...

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I finally settled on the Malt Muncher 3-roller. A bit more than I had thought to spend originally, but now that I am sheltering in place and my LHBS is closed, I feel better mail-ordering unmilled grain and crushing it myself. Found it at a slight discount at the company I usually do business with here:
https://www.morebeer.com/products/m...Nv4tzITHgnG1hWhiXS_m-rHUHZq76DNhoC4SMQAvD_BwE

So far, so good!
I thought about a roller mill but most all have cold rolled steel rollers. That has me conserned about rust. If the rollers were stainless I would bite.
 

walker111

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I have a Barley Crusher and have done about 10 brews with it. It was great for the first 8-9 mill sessions but the last one I ran into some problems . It could be my own fault.

I was milling for a double batch of stout ( first time with this beer) and I milled my oats and conditioned and I think I gummed up the rollers. Had to adjust 3-4 times to complete the milling.

Going right now to mill 25 pounds for a double batch of pale ale and will see how it goes . I want the gap to be tighter than the factory .39 or so as I never had a stuck sparge and drain really slow.
Hope it goes better than last time !
 

RPh_Guy

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I have a Barley Crusher and have done about 10 brews with it. It was great for the first 8-9 mill sessions but the last one I ran into some problems . It could be my own fault.

I was milling for a double batch of stout ( first time with this beer) and I milled my oats and conditioned and I think I gummed up the rollers. Had to adjust 3-4 times to complete the milling.

Going right now to mill 25 pounds for a double batch of pale ale and will see how it goes . I want the gap to be tighter than the factory .39 or so as I never had a stuck sparge and drain really slow.
Hope it goes better than last time !
What kind of oats are you using that needed milled?
 

PrrCabin

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I have a Barley Crusher and have done about 10 brews with it. It was great for the first 8-9 mill sessions but the last one I ran into some problems . It could be my own fault.

I was milling for a double batch of stout ( first time with this beer) and I milled my oats and conditioned and I think I gummed up the rollers. Had to adjust 3-4 times to complete the milling.

Going right now to mill 25 pounds for a double batch of pale ale and will see how it goes . I want the gap to be tighter than the factory .39 or so as I never had a stuck sparge and drain really slow.
Hope it goes better than last time !
I have a BC and the unpowered roller stopped rolling. Kind of a pain when the hopper is full

Anyway. I took it apart and cleaned and lubricated the rollers and Viola!
I now have a fully functioning mill again
I have mine set to .023" and I BIAB
 

Beholder

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I thought about a roller mill but most all have cold rolled steel rollers. That has me conserned about rust. If the rollers were stainless I would bite.
I’ve got an MM3 and no rust over the years I’ve used it, and it lives in a humid garage. That said, I don’t condition the malt and use compressed air to keep it clean, YMMV.
 

Jeff...

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I’ve got an MM3 and no rust over the years I’ve used it, and it lives in a humid garage. That said, I don’t condition the malt and use compressed air to keep it clean, YMMV.
Good to know...cold rolled steel rusts, it's just a fact of life. My first post in this thread, has stainless steel rollers, that's why I was considering it. I thought it set it's self apart from many of the other roller mills I've looked at.
 

RPh_Guy

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4 pounds of flaked oats I believe.
Worked great yesterday and I tightened the gap. OG called for 1.068 and I got 1.071.
Flaked oats do not need to be milled. They're already crushed, just look at them. :)

Good to know...cold rolled steel rusts, it's just a fact of life. My first post in this thread, has stainless steel rollers, that's why I was considering it. I thought it set it's self apart from many of the other roller mills I've looked at.
FWIW, rusting seems like a pretty rare occurrence; even those of us that condition our grain don't have rusty mills.
Just don't store it somewhere damp.
 

Dave Sarber

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The downside of stainless rolls are that they are softer and wear out quicker. My Kegco 3 roller has stainless rollers, and that is the only thing bad about it. If it had hardened steel rollers, it would be head and shoulders over everything else on the market.
 

Jeff...

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Flaked oats do not need to be milled. They're already crushed, just look at them. :)


FWIW, rusting seems like a pretty rare occurrence; even those of us that condition our grain don't have rusty mills.
Just don't store it somewhere damp.
Where I live in Southern IL, storing somewhere thats not subject to humidity or dampness is pretty much mission impossible. I appreciate the conversation though, thanks.
 

Jeff...

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The downside of stainless rolls are that they are softer and wear out quicker. My Kegco 3 roller has stainless rollers, and that is the only thing bad about it. If it had hardened steel rollers, it would be head and shoulders over everything else on the market.
QQ - is the basic idea behind a 3 roller mill that you get a double crush with one crank of the handle?
 

Dave Sarber

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The usual setup with 3 rollers is that the top two rollers have a non-adjustable gap, .060 in the Kegco. This promotes easier feeding, since the grain is only slightly crushed. The bottom roller is adjustable. As the slightly crushed grain from the top 2 rollers is fed in, the bottom roller crushes it more, depending on the gap setting.
 

beernutz

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I have a JSP MaltMill that's been working great for me since I started doing all grain brews. And I still hand crank it!
I am going to upgrade my JSP Maltmill to an adjustable model as soon as it dies. Unfortunately I have used it over 20 years and it is still going strong so its probably going to outlive me.
 

mabrungard

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In commercial breweries, they use mills with big rollers (like 6"). So I went with the biggest rollers that I could find and that was the Monster 2-2. It produces a fantastic crush with plenty of flour and nearly intact husks (but I condition my grain prior to milling).

If I wasn't a tight-wad and hadn't already bought a mill, I'd consider that new mill from SS Brewtech. Wow, quite a machine, but its $800. At least it already has the motor drive. I've got to believe that it would do a good job.
 

Bobby_M

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In commercial breweries, they use mills with big rollers (like 6"). So I went with the biggest rollers that I could find and that was the Monster 2-2. It produces a fantastic crush with plenty of flour and nearly intact husks (but I condition my grain prior to milling).

If I wasn't a tight-wad and hadn't already bought a mill, I'd consider that new mill from SS Brewtech. Wow, quite a machine, but its $800. At least it already has the motor drive. I've got to believe that it would do a good job.
Having had the Monster 2-2.0 in my shop for the last 5 years and recently demoed on the SSbrewtech, I can guarantee you wouldn't be happy. I just upgraded to the Monster 3pro gear drive. That gives me a crush that looks like a malt-conditioned run through the 2 roller.
 

IslandLizard

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Flaked oats do not need to be milled. They're already crushed, just look at them. :)
Only "quick" or "instant" oats are broken down into smaller bits.

But "flaked" oats as bought in the brew store and typically used by craft breweries, are rolled. They are whole, flattened oat kernels, their oval-ish shape and surface texture make that apparent. Same true for what is sold as "flaked" wheat, barley and rye, they're rolled too.

Milling them will break them into smaller pieces for faster hydration. You need a fairly narrow gap for that, a regular barley crushing gap (0.034" or wider) won't do much.

I mill flaked goods on the "small kernel" gap, the one used for wheat, rye and other small kernel grains of that size, around 0.025".
 
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Dave Sarber

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I use flaked or rolled oats, and when I do, I just add them with the rest of the grains. But I also sometimes use whole kernel malted oats, and they do need to be crushed. Being smaller than barley kernels, they do need a smaller gap setting, as @IslandLizard points out. I've never used steel cut oats, so don't have any opinion there.
 

RPh_Guy

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The point of milling is to break open the husk of the grain. Flaked/rolled grains have no husk that needs to break open, and they disintegrate quickly in hot water.

Look at any online supplier for flaked oats. There's no milling option like there is for every other grain.

Attached is a PDF from Briess that says there's no need to mill them.
 

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IslandLizard

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I've never used steel cut oats,
Steel cut oats are not pregelatinized as they're cut from the whole kernels. They're also called groats (compare to grits if they were corn).
Groats need to be cereal mashed first (or boiled for 30-60' depending on their size) to gelatinize the starches.
 

IslandLizard

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I thought about a roller mill but most all have cold rolled steel rollers. That has me conserned about rust. If the rollers were stainless I would bite.
Not a very good excuse...
Cold rolled steel is harder than stainless, should wear less, lasting longer.
Store your mill indoors, in a dry area, steel rollers should not rust there. If you're conditioning your grain, run a couple pounds of dry grain through at the end to dry the rollers. Or use a hairdryer or a paint stripping gun.
 

day_trippr

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I had often read a half pound would do it, but I've found reserving a scant pound of base malt is enough to reliably dry out rollers and knock out anything stuck to them.

That said, conditioning is all about the husk, and husks take a minute or two to become pliable. There should be no desire to moisten the kernel within as that will only increase the potential of loading up the rollers with no gain in either efficiency or "even better" husk preservation. The process time between applying moisture and milling should be short...

Cheers!
 

Jeff...

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Not a very good excuse...
Cold rolled steel is harder than stainless, should wear less, lasting longer.
Store your mill indoors, in a dry area, steel rollers should not rust there. If you're conditioning your grain, run a couple pounds of dry grain through at the end to dry the rollers. Or use a hairdryer or a paint stripping gun.
Yeah... a little TLC I guess.

I already have two Corona mills. Although I don't believe they are true Corona. They are pretty old say SS Made in the USA. My wife nabbed them at a garage sale, both are identical. I'm assuming SS means Stainless Steel? They are very old but not a speck of rust on them.

I used one earlier this week to mill grains I received from More beer. That I ordered milled, but they weren't milled or so poor I couldn't tell.

The only issue I have with my old style Corona mills is they are very touchy. There is a very fine line between a good crush and creating flour.

Here is the batch milled with one of my Corona mills. I got 87% efficiency, though I thought I might get a stuck sparge. I didn't so it was all good, I guess. Maybe I should just stick with my old Corona style mill. There's a historical kind of feeling milling grains with it.
IMG_20200428_102313861.jpg
 
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Beerisgud

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I purchased a cereal killer from AIH at $99 after reading this thread and asking the boss lady what’s in the budget. Looking forward to doing my first all grain with BIAB! The better my beers taste to my wife the more stuff I can get away with cramming into my basement brewery :mischievous:
 

IslandLizard

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Yeah... a little TLC I guess.

I already have two Corona mills. Although I don't believe they are true Corona. They are pretty old say SS Made in the USA. My wife nabbed them at a garage sale, both are identical. I'm assuming SS means Stainless Steel? They are very old but not a speck of rust on them.

I used one earlier this week to mill grains I received from More beer. That I ordered milled, but they weren't milled or so poor I couldn't tell.

The only issue I have with my old style Corona mills is they are very touchy. There is a very fine line between a good crush and creating flour.

Here is the batch milled with one of my Corona mills. I got 87% efficiency, though I thought I might get a stuck sparge. I didn't so it was all good, I guess. Maybe I should just stick with my old Corona style mill. There's a historical kind of feeling milling grains with it.
View attachment 678209
All those corn mills are pretty much based on the same design. Mill away. You can tell stainless steel from cast iron can't you?

It's hard to tell without a closeup if that's milled fine enough. 87% mash efficiency is very good!

Unless you fly sparge, a stuck mash/sparge is rare. That is until you start using large percentages of rye or wheat, but that's not due to the fine milling, that's from the high beta glucan and protein content.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I have had a Barley Crusher for many years (15+) and have been happy with it. It might be getting near its life span.

Anybody know if there are other American or European made mills? Seems like it is harder to find info on where products are manufactured than it should be and I am willing to spend a few extra $ for an American/European product.
 

Wayne1

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I did not see it stated on the website, so I reached out to Don Obenauer.

This is his reply:

"Thanks for the interest.
I haven't done any kind of certification given the few parts I buy like
screws. Since I make the mills myself, I know the vast majority of the
parts are made here.
Don"
 

QTikiBrew

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For those with corona-type mills (I don't worry about the name, I already had the dang thing), can you point me to a good all-in-one place for recommended modifications?

I've read about adding washers on the sides where part of the gap adjustment is, as well as various means of connecting a drill (what are the better ways of doing that?)

I'm not too worried about burning out drills, last owner of my my house left two corded drills . . . as well as a belt driven wet grindstone, belt driven scroll saw, two wheel grinder, belt driven router table (no attachment for the bit area, sadly) DeWalt radial arm saw, an arbor bench saw (unfortunately originally hardwired into a junction box that was removed, so no plug . . .) two foot treadle sheet metal shears . . .

Anyway, I'm growing winter barley, so I'm have to eventually buy a mill, and the wife bakes, so corona is the way I'm going to go, as I'm going to ALSO make the dehulling adapter for the mill, so's we can make barley flour, and maybe even buckwheat (I still have over three pounds of buckwheat seed . . . I bought it as a fast growing cover).

To reiterate my lost point, looking for a good place to find all the better recommendations for how to modify a corona type mill. I do BIAB, 4-5 gallon batches.
 

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QTikiBrew

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Just came across this one on ebay for $60...anyone have one of these? The grammar indicates an overseas mfg.

Sounds like one of the "generic, Chinese-made, Cereal Killer type mills with a slightly larger hopper".

If the rollers are stainless steel - great, no rusting . . . but from what I have read here, don't expect them to last a lifetime like the ad copy says, they're too soft.

I originally thought stainless would be better, and then read comments here, and I'm now avoiding it, by going with cast iron . . .
 

fourfarthing

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Having had the Monster 2-2.0 in my shop for the last 5 years and recently demoed on the SSbrewtech, I can guarantee you wouldn't be happy. I just upgraded to the Monster 3pro gear drive. That gives me a crush that looks like a malt-conditioned run through the 2 roller.
I am actually considering the SS for simplicity sake (power, mill, hopper all come as one, etc) and what appears to be quality. Can you elaborate on the MM 3 vs SS product comparison you note?
 

ChiknNutz

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I've not looked into these in any detail, just saw it and wondered what folks thought. Going by my engineering background, though, stainless is great for what it is...corrosion protection. For something that needs to have a long useful life under abuse, hardened steel would be much better than cast iron or stainless. Cast iron is brittle and not all that strong. Case in point...ever used stainless deck screws? They are quite a bit weaker than typical coated screws and break far more often. They have their place but not for a strong application.
 
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