Grain mill recommendation

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May not be the best of the best of the best, but Adventures in Homebrewing is having a sale on the Cereal Killer. Hundred bucks.
I also have a cereal killer, paid $99 for mine in 2017, hard to beat for the money. I would totally upgrade to a geared two-roller tho, not having to worry about that second roller sticking would be awesome.
 
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A1sportsdad

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Northern Brewer Hullwrecker. Love mine. It’s a 2-roller mill. Easy to adjust and holds adjustment. I did file a flat on the shaft so I could drive it with my drill, but that was easy.
 

MaxStout

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The only reason I had trouble with the bottom roller on my MM3 not turning, came from the bushing IMO. I think loosening the mount gave it room to move. I do wish Fred used sealed bearings. Just my opinion of course. I have zero complaints with my mill. I bought it before the web sites and this home growth. Really a quality product! No idea on the customer service because I haven’t needed any in the past decade. I generally condition my grain and mill. Might be the moist dust that was getting into the bushing. I mill at .030 and can’t imagine a mill being any better. Like all things, you figure out what makes it tick. My drill is an old Skill from the 70’s that will break your wrist if ya know what I mean. Sure there are cheaper Chinsleaze models. Wouldn’t buy anything else, doesn’t mean I’m right, just a passionate Monster.

MM2 owner. I like it for the most part but wish they used sealed ball bearings instead of bronze sleeves. I use a motor and pulley and am concerned about the side-loading on those sleeves.

Even the $100 Cereal Killer uses ball bearings.
 

RyPA

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I recently bought a Cereal Killer and used it for the first time on my last brew. It's a solid build for $100, and you can hand crank or connect a drill.
 
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Anybody know of a replacement mounting board for the cereal killer? Mine is made of some cheap plywood that is super rough and hard to keep clean. Been thinking about finishing mine with water based polyurethane but what a hassle it will be getting that smooth.
 

Golddiggie

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MM2 owner. I like it for the most part but wish they used sealed ball bearings instead of bronze sleeves. I use a motor and pulley and am concerned about the side-loading on those sleeves.

Even the $100 Cereal Killer uses ball bearings.
Side loading is why I made the riser for my MM2 to align with the shaft on the motor. Otherwise I was going to use a pair of pulley wheels (same size) to go between them. I went this route after talking with Monster.
 

grampamark

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Anybody know of a replacement mounting board for the cereal killer? Mine is made of some cheap plywood that is super rough and hard to keep clean. Been thinking about finishing mine with water based polyurethane but what a hassle it will be getting that smooth.
My CK came with a steel mounting plate, but it’s a year or so newer than yours. I bought it from AIH. They don’t show the base sold separately on their site but it might be worth contacting them to find out if you could buy the base.

The only minor issue I’ve found with the Cereal Killer, or at least with my particular example, is that the quality of the machine work on the eccentrics which adjust the gap isn’t the greatest. The offset on the end which engages the idler roller on one side is a few thousandths more than the other eccentric. When set to the minimum the gap on one side measures .024”, the other .028”. That isn’t much, but it’s enough to cause the idler to jam. When adjusted accurately with feeler gauges, so that the rollers are parallel, the mill works very well. The minimum gap is just a little wider than I would prefer when milling wheat or rye.
 

RyPA

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I agree with @grampamark, adjusting it is a little frustrating, but once you have both sides evened out and tightened up, it's fine.

Another slight negative is the gaps on the hopper leading down to the rollers, which may also exist in other mills. For this I used some aluminum tape, allowing just a little flex so when grains are loaded in, the tape isn't entirely supporting the weight. It may not be needed as once grains are loaded in, the gap may be too small for a grain to slide through, but I have OCD.

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dwightr8

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You just need two rollers to get the job done. Adding a third, less reliable roller is pointless. Don't fall for the marketing BS. Crushing malt between two rotating objects is the basic truth of what you're doing, goes back thousands of years. Splurge elsewhere.
Quote from Crankandstein.net in description of their 3D mill, "The third roller is smoother to reduce husk damage. The triangular configuration of the rollers forms two gaps. The first fixed at .070" softens the grain interior and speeds up throughput. The adjustable second gap can then more readily open the husk with less damage and separate it from the starch." I can heartily recommend this mill as I've had one for about 20 years and put thousands of pounds of grain through it with zero problems. I've got mine powered with a very old (70+ years) 1/2" drill with a router speed control.
 

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Quote from Crankandstein.net in description of their 3D mill, "The third roller is smoother to reduce husk damage. The triangular configuration of the rollers forms two gaps. The first fixed at .070" softens the grain interior and speeds up throughput. The adjustable second gap can then more readily open the husk with less damage and separate it from the starch." I can heartily recommend this mill as I've had one for about 20 years and put thousands of pounds of grain through it with zero problems. I've got mine powered with a very old (70+ years) 1/2" drill with a router speed control.
Not saying that three roller mills don't work, just that a third roller is unnecessary. A two roller mill does virtually the exact same thing, at far lower cost.
 
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I agree with @grampamark, adjusting it is a little frustrating, but once you have both sides evened out and tightened up, it's fine.

Another slight negative is the gaps on the hopper leading down to the rollers, which may also exist in other mills. For this I used some aluminum tape, allowing just a little flex so when grains are loaded in, the tape isn't entirely supporting the weight. It may not be needed as once grains are loaded in, the gap may be too small for a grain to slide through, but I have OCD.

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Damn, I even have a roll of that aluminum tape on hand. Thanks for the great idea!
 

CascadesBrewer

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Not saying that three roller mills don't work, just that a third roller is unnecessary. A two roller mill does virtually the exact same thing, at far lower cost.

hmmm...as somebody that does BIAB and crushes quite fine, I wonder then if the 3 roller mill is a big plus for me. Is the basic strategy of a 3 roller mill that the rollers crush a little more coarse than the second rollers and the main benefit is to keep the hull more intact? Or are there other advantages of a 3 roller mill?
 

Dr_Jeff

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Quote from Crankandstein.net in description of their 3D mill, "The third roller is smoother to reduce husk damage. The triangular configuration of the rollers forms two gaps. The first fixed at .070" softens the grain interior and speeds up throughput. The adjustable second gap can then more readily open the husk with less damage and separate it from the starch." I can heartily recommend this mill as I've had one for about 20 years and put thousands of pounds of grain through it with zero problems. I've got mine powered with a very old (70+ years) 1/2" drill with a router speed control.


Antique drill, nice
 

PCABrewing

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Quote from Crankandstein.net in description of their 3D mill, "The third roller is smoother to reduce husk damage. The triangular configuration of the rollers forms two gaps. The first fixed at .070" softens the grain interior and speeds up throughput. The adjustable second gap can then more readily open the husk with less damage and separate it from the starch." I can heartily recommend this mill as I've had one for about 20 years and put thousands of pounds of grain through it with zero problems. I've got mine powered with a very old (70+ years) 1/2" drill with a router speed control.
Well you have a sweet setup. :)
I'm not convinced that it would not be just as sweet with a two-roller mill.
I am very impressed with the vintage drill motor. They don't make them like that anymore.
Kudos on the engineering of your milling station!
 

PCABrewing

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I have a barley crusher.
I've been considering trading-up to a three roller mill but this thread has cured me of that. Lots of good points made on both sides but I think the money could be better spent on other improvements to the two roller mill that I have.
I'd like to see a speed-adjustable drive or easier/better gap adjustment as standard, better hopper design.
Otherwise it does what I need it to do. When it needs to be replaced I'll reevaluate what's on the market.
Any deficiency in my brew is not the fault of the mill, I gotta own that.
 

MaxStout

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Quote from Crankandstein.net in description of their 3D mill, "The third roller is smoother to reduce husk damage. The triangular configuration of the rollers forms two gaps. The first fixed at .070" softens the grain interior and speeds up throughput. The adjustable second gap can then more readily open the husk with less damage and separate it from the starch." I can heartily recommend this mill as I've had one for about 20 years and put thousands of pounds of grain through it with zero problems. I've got mine powered with a very old (70+ years) 1/2" drill with a router speed control.

The old drill and the hopper add kind of a steampunk element. Nice setup.
 

day_trippr

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I allow any roller mill well-tuned can produce a quality crush. To me the differentiator is reliable ease of use.
Which precludes stalling rollers, the bane of any brewer.

In that regard, I don't think adding a third roller is significant.
Otoh, gearing a even two roller is a huge deal.
If I my current (CK) mill ever gives me crap, that's my next move :)

Cheers!
 

dwightr8

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Well you have a sweet setup. :)
I'm not convinced that it would not be just as sweet with a two-roller mill.
I am very impressed with the vintage drill motor. They don't make them like that anymore.
Kudos on the engineering of your milling station!
I love the old Dormeyer drill. Max speed is 500 rpm with loads of torque. I throttle it down with the router speed control to what I estimate is under 200 rpm (I can almost count the revs!) You're right, they don't make them like that any more! My Dad bought this drill new when I was quite young (many, many years ago) so it's almost a one owner drill and it looks like it will probably outlast me too.
 
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