Leery about LHBS milling

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carrotmalt

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A new LHBS has opened up that I'd like to start buying my grain from (saves on shipping costs, no delays etc.). I don't have a mill, so I have to get them to "mill" it for me when I buy it. Thing is, I don't think he's got a mill either. I think he has some sort of coffee grinder. I've just completed my first all grain batch with some grain I bought precrushed (with a mill) online and it worked great . I've read several posts where people have mentioned a big difference in efficiency with slight adjustments to their mill, so I'm a bit leery about risking a batch crushed with a coffee grinder. Should I be concerned or is this pretty common?
 

TelemarkBrew

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did you ask him specifically what he's using? that would be my first step. if its not a grain mill and you don't have one, i'd order online still
 

mklawz

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Well I work a few hours at a lhbs and I can assure you there is no way they are using a coffee grinder. If this place is worth its weight in salt, there is just way too much grain to be crushed. We use a NON-motorized Schmidling and I can tell you its tedious crushing 5lbs of grains using that, let alone a coffee grinder.

Im still chuckling a bit.... what makes you think they use a coffee grinder?
 

Brewmasters Warehouse

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That sounds a little wierd. I can not imagine using a hand crack to mill the grains, much less anything but a grain mill. I would be leery if the grains your LHBS buys are premilled by the supplier. That would cause some freshness issues.
 
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carrotmalt

carrotmalt

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I with I could chuckle with you, but when I asked if he could mill grain, he said "Yes, we just use a coffee grinder." I didn't ask for make and model. But what do I know? There are some pretty high end coffee grinders out there... but then, if you're going to pay top dollar anyway, why not break down and buy a grain mill? I can ask for specifics. I just thought I'd see what you folks thought in advance.
 

camiller

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I remember seeing pictures of a home brew clubs grinder that was a modified coffee grinder. The kind of grinder that you see in the grocery store for self serve coffee grinding in the coffee aisle that grinds about a pound of coffee in 30 seconds. IIRC they had modified the grinder to grind much coarser than you would ever want for coffee.

That said, it is unlikely he is using such a device and more likely that he is using a proper mill.

Edit: just read the posts made while I was composing the previous. Maybe he is.
 

mklawz

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Wow Im shocked then. And yeah, maybe there is some high-end large volume coffee grinder he uses.

Does he keep much stock on the shelves or is he grinding it as needed (when you are standing there waiting)? We keep a nice supply of grains on the shelves and Im stumped trying to figure out how we would do it with a coffee grinder...
 
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carrotmalt

carrotmalt

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Maybe your best solution is investing in a mill yourself. Maybe you could bring it into the LHBS and let them use it too.
I haven't ruled out buying my own in the future, but I've only got one all-grain batch under my belt and it may be a while before the fundage (read as SWMBO) supports the purchase.
 
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carrotmalt

carrotmalt

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Does he keep much stock on the shelves or is he grinding it as needed (when you are standing there waiting)?
It's a new place that's slowly getting more and more on the shelves, but I haven't bought grain from him yet, so I don't know if it's ground right on the spot or not.
 
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carrotmalt

carrotmalt

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Good news! I emailed the place and he says the coffee grinder's crushing too fine so he's planning on getting a mill before the end of the month. I'll keep reading some of the posts mentioned for modifying/building your own. Thanks for your input.
 
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