Corded drill for grain mill

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

csantoni

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
284
Reaction score
643
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
My first brew day with a grain mill revealed that my cordless drill is not up to the task of running the mill. Will any corded drill be fine? I'm having a hard time finding good torque specs for drills and am inclined to just get the cheapest one I can find at Lowe's.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
35,382
Reaction score
15,084
Location
☀️ Clearwater, FL ☀️
I bought a corded cheap one for this exact purpose, and it had more than enough torque. HOWEVER, I've recently been converting to the DeWalt XR 20V cordless things and I have a drill for that and it powers through no problem.

So, if you are thinking about a new cordless ecosystem (which I did when the old Craftsman C3 stuff started dying), maybe skip the cheap one.

(anybody need a cheap corded drill near Clearwater area?)
 

pvpeacock

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2013
Messages
1,856
Reaction score
1,270
Location
Palos Verdes Estates
My Ryobi cordless works fine with my grain mill as long as it is in the low gear/high torque setting. If your cordless drill has different gear or torque settings try using the lowest gear/highest torque setting before buying another drill.
 

tracer bullet

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2020
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
1,060
Location
Minnesota
I bought a corded cheap one for this exact purpose, and it had more than enough torque.

I've been using a 5+ year old Ridgid cordless that was part of a kit that's been doing well for me.

I guess I'm agreeing that a decent / recent cordless can do it. And for me at least it's a very useful thing around the house as I'm a DIY-er. Could yet be a consideration.
 

hout17

Crush it REAL Good
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
920
Reaction score
2,550
Location
N of Denver
Ridgid, DeWalt, Milwaukee should work well. HF brand works well too just don't expect the quality you get with the other brands.

I've had some good Ryobi drills too.
 
OP
OP
csantoni

csantoni

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
284
Reaction score
643
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
My cordless is a few years old and doesn't have the torque even at lowest gear/max torque. I'm going to grab the cheap one at Lowe's and see what happens.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,755
Reaction score
1,889
Location
Living free in the 603
When I was using a cordless drill it was the 18v DeWalt hammer drill. Had zero issues powering the grain mill. Now I simply have a motor (geared head) directly connected to the mill (coupler to connect the shafts).

I know there are people mounting corded drills to power their mills. I just prefer to have something I won't need to replace in my lifetime. Plus I didn't need to do anything except mount the motor (got it all wired up from Monster).

With a drill I found having the extra handle, from the hammer drill, was really needed. Since the thing would try to torque out of my hands otherwise. I would load the hopper, then start it running. With my current setup, it's zero issue.
 

Deadalus

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
1,380
Reaction score
1,503
The side handle helps. A hammer drill is more powerful than a regular drill. Variable speed is what is usually recommended something to do with the rpms.

I'll mention having a good chuck is important. If you can't get the drill to sit straight, it's probably not good for your mill and mill is a lot more expensive than most bits.
 

Oleson M.D.

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Messages
345
Reaction score
383
My Black & Decker cordless variable speed drill has no problem going through 24 pounds of grain at a time. It is almost 10 years old. I usually run it at low rpm's to get a nice crush on the grain.

A Sears Craftsman electric drill is in my shop. Tons of torque. But it is heavy!
 

rallenhall

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
55
Reaction score
53
Location
NW Ohio
I'm happy with the 5/8" low-gear, corded, house brand "mud" drill I picked up at Menards on close-out. It's mounted on a platform with my MM3 to ensure alignment and eliminate torque.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
4,534
Reaction score
4,899
Location
Chicago
I use a Bosch 18v cordless drill, lightweight and has plenty of power. I also have their 12v impactor, that little sucker could take the lug nuts off a bus. I have wondered how that would work for crushing grain, when the going gets tough and the hammer kicks in, the kernels would explode!
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
35,382
Reaction score
15,084
Location
☀️ Clearwater, FL ☀️
I use a Bosch 18v cordless drill, lightweight and has plenty of power. I also have their 12v impactor, that little sucker could take the lug nuts off a bus. I have wondered how that would work for crushing grain, when the going gets tough and the hammer kicks in, the kernels would explode!

Haha, I didn't consider turning my drill torque clutch to hammer mode. You're right, in that mode it's not gonna get stuck on a belligerent barley kernel.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,755
Reaction score
1,889
Location
Living free in the 603
Don't think you want any hammer action going to/through the shaft of your malt mill. They're designed to handle rotation on the shaft/rollers, not hammer impacts. While they should survive for a time, I'd be concerned about introducing excess wear on parts that would otherwise have no wear/issues for far longer (without the hammer pulses).
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,166
Reaction score
9,410
Location
Pasadena, MD

Dancy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
310
Reaction score
230
My Ryobi cordless works fine with my grain mill as long as it is in the low gear/high torque setting. If your cordless drill has different gear or torque settings try using the lowest gear/highest torque setting before buying another drill.
I suspect he bought an inexpensive, low powered cordless that is fine for light duty but not adequate for a grain mill. I tried that but fortunately also have an old Ryobi corded drill with a variable speed trigger that works great.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,166
Reaction score
9,410
Location
Pasadena, MD
i'd look for a 1/2" drill that has a speed adjustable lock trigger....that way you can just mount it to something, and have a motorized mill...
Those adjustable wheels inside the trigger (limiting how far you can squeeze it in) have gone out of fashion apparently. :(

In a pinch one could use a ziptie to keep the trigger part-way engaged. Or combine it with a (wooden) wedge or so to control the tension. There are other methods.
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
21,821
Reaction score
12,633
Location
S.AZ

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
21,821
Reaction score
12,633
Location
S.AZ

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,166
Reaction score
9,410
Location
Pasadena, MD
i saw this one on ebay...but it didn't look like it had to gear motor, and runs at 2700rpm...but it's got the trigger? or looks like it...
The trigger uses a rheostat or something, limiting the voltage to the drill motor, so it runs slower. You quickly lose power that way.
It's difficult to get a 2700 rpm drill to run at only 150-200 rpm under load, when milling.

Start with 550 rpm, with the built-in reducing gear transfer box on a low speed drill, you're much closer, and will lose far less power.
It's all in the gears.
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
21,821
Reaction score
12,633
Location
S.AZ
The trigger uses a rheostat or something, limiting the voltage to the drill motor, so it runs slower. You quickly lose power that way.
It's difficult to get a 2700 rpm drill to run at only 150-200 rpm under load, when milling.

Start with 550 rpm, with the built-in reducing gear transfer box on a low speed drill, you're much closer, and will lose far less power.
It's all in the gears.


how about this one? :mug:


maybe "mud mixer" would be a clue to what to search for?

edit, yep "mud mixer" is getting some hits...here's another one


i should say varible speed, mud mixer.....
 
Last edited:

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,788
Reaction score
2,362
Location
Long Island
That drill from Amazon looks good @bracconiere
"VARIABLE SPEED: Features variable speed rotary dial...."
And my Amazon says it's selling for $49.99 on Amazon Prime with one day shipping...

1633637377280.png
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
21,821
Reaction score
12,633
Location
S.AZ
That drill from Amazon looks good @bracconiere
"VARIABLE SPEED: Features variable speed rotary dial...."
And my Amazon says it's selling for $49.99 on Amazon Prime with one day shipping...

View attachment 744850


all you'd need to do is to mount it something to have a motorized mill....


but i stand by "mud mixer" as a good search term, sometimes the right search makes all the difference.....:mug:
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,788
Reaction score
2,362
Location
Long Island
all you'd need to do is to mount it something to have a motorized mill....

Here is how I mounted mine. That is an old bathroom sink cabinet with doors and other obstructing boards removed. Plywood top. Mill is held to the top with a C-clamp. Trial and error found some pieces of plywood to shim the drill level when connected to the mill. The top handle and grip handle are enough to keep the drill from flopping around when running. Bonus is it is easy to remove the drill from the stand when I need to use for for drilling a hole in something hard to drill (like a stainless steel pot).
1633638290114.png



but i stand by "mud mixer" as a good search term, sometimes the right search makes all the difference.....:mug:

Agreed. That gets you away from high speed woodworking drills and electric screwdrivers.
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
21,821
Reaction score
12,633
Location
S.AZ
Here is how I mounted mine. That is an old bathroom sink cabinet with doors and other obstructing boards removed. Plywood top. Mill is held to the top with a C-clamp. Trial and error found some pieces of plywood to shim the drill level when connected to the mill. The top handle and grip handle are enough to keep the drill from flopping around when running. Bonus is it is easy to remove the drill from the stand when I need to use for for drilling a hole in something hard to drill (like a stainless steel pot).
View attachment 744851




Agreed. That gets you away from high speed woodworking drills and electric screwdrivers.


LOL, looks like a nice setup! but i want to lash out, because people have been picking on me....you really need to vacuum that off, and laquer it! ;) :mug:
 

eric19312

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Messages
3,788
Reaction score
2,362
Location
Long Island
LOL, looks like a nice setup! but i want to lash out, because people have been picking on me....you really need to vacuum that off, and laquer it! ;) :mug:

This is why I did not post the picture in the motorized mills thread. There is some beautiful work over there and my $35 drill and recycled trash lumber doesn't belong. But I'm happy with my crush...
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
21,821
Reaction score
12,633
Location
S.AZ
This is why I did not post the picture in the motorized mills thread. There is some beautiful work over there and my $35 drill and recycled trash lumber doesn't belong. But I'm happy with my crush...


i wouldn't worry TOO much....i just duct taped my drill to a piece of 2x2...called it a day....at least yours is still mobile. and i'm happy with my "crush" too! nothing quite like a work of art like that.....

for the OP...here you go...it's got the little thing above the trigger, i think is speed control...and a locking trigger...

 

szap

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
161
Reaction score
46

BarryBrews

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 16, 2019
Messages
175
Reaction score
107
Location
MONCURE
Consider mounting your drill and barley crusher so you can directly crush the grist into the mash tun. Saves steps and lowers the dust. This of course only works when you are underletting the strike water, which again would be saving effort since you would be pumping the water into the bottom of the mash tun. Works great for me and stores away right on top of the mash tun as shown.

BarleyMillSetup2.jpg BarleyMillSetup1.jpg
 
Last edited:

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,166
Reaction score
9,410
Location
Pasadena, MD
Consider mounting your drill and barley crusher so you can directly crush the grist into the mash tun. Saves steps and lowers the dust.
+1 for mounting thus make a hands off, self contained milling rig.

I always mill outside, into a Homer or brew bucket, then pour the milled grist into the mash tun to keep all dust outside.

Mounted Monster Mill MM2.0_1200.jpg
 

Sky Pilot

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
11
Reaction score
19
Here is how I mounted mine. That is an old bathroom sink cabinet with doors and other obstructing boards removed. Plywood top. Mill is held to the top with a C-clamp. Trial and error found some pieces of plywood to shim the drill level when connected to the mill. The top handle and grip handle are enough to keep the drill from flopping around when running. Bonus is it is easy to remove the drill from the stand when I need to use for for drilling a hole in something hard to drill (like a stainless steel pot).
View attachment 744851

It looks like a furniture piece from the 1920s
 

Brooothru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
2,195
Reaction score
2,008
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
Haha, I didn't consider turning my drill torque clutch to hammer mode. You're right, in that mode it's not gonna get stuck on a belligerent barley kernel.
Trust me. It'll even crush random pebbles in your grain. Don't ask me how I know.

I got a battery powered impact drill so I wouldn't have to get out my pancake compressor every time I had a tough nut to crack. Thought it might work as a motive force for a grain crusher. As another thread on this forum says, "Don't do that."
 

Brewdog80

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 17, 2021
Messages
192
Reaction score
144
I've been using a HF corded drill for the past few years. No issues at all.

THIS.... Both cheap, decent quality for HF, and way plenty of torque. Try it out after you get it. as with all their stuff, they can get a dud... and you have 30 days to return to replace
 
OP
OP
csantoni

csantoni

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 11, 2021
Messages
284
Reaction score
643
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
Last edited:
Top