Monster Mill MM3-2.0 vs Schmidling MaltMill - help!

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sniperd

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I brew with 2 friends and we often brew up 30 to 50 gallons at a time and use around 100 lbs of grain. I'd say we brew about once a month. The LHBS has been giving me the evil eye recently due to how much work we put his grain mill through and honestly I'd like to own a mill.

I've done a lot of reading here on the forums and it looks like most people are happy with Monster Mill, Crankenstein, and Maltmill. I want one that is going to last and last for years. I don't know if being able to adjust it is that important, it looks like most people just dial it in and leave it, never to really change it. I'd like something that shows up and isn't going to be giving me a problem in 2 years that I don't need to continually maintain. Most people only have experience with 1 mill so I realize it will be tough to give me advice but I'm hoping somebody can help.

With 3 of us paying for this, I'm not too concerned about price. My LHBS has a Schmidling MaltMill and it works great, it's also the one that is gear driven (which he feels is very important). It's adjustable on one end only (not sure why I would adjust only one end) so it would probably just stay at the factory setting.

Another mill I've considered is MM3-2.0. It also looks great. I'm not thrilled about having to put it together and I'm a little nervous if it goes out of adjustment there are 3 rollers to deal with. It's also not gear driven.

Lastly there is an Australian one that is adjustable and gear driven. http://www.mashmaster.com/p/4571858/mashmaster-minimill-stainless-steel-grain-mill.html And it's $100 just for shipping and I see nobody on here that has used it so I'm not too interested in taking that risk.

Can any of my fellow brewers push me one way or the other?
 

brewpal

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I have a Schmidling maltmill non-adjustable I have used for 8 years. We run 100+ lbs through it for each brew session. Worked like a champ. I recently "upgraded" to the gear driven model to avoid the occasional hiccup we encountered when the free roller did not engage the grain. I do not see changing the gap setting from the default much if ever.

Schmidling makes a solid unit that is a real workhorse. My first one saw several tons of malt go through it and it is still in perfect condition.
 

CJBrewVT

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Email Monster and they'll probably try to talk you out of the MM3 2.0. They tried with us and we didn't listen. This is a big, heavy mill. The crush is many times better than using LHBS 2 roller mill. And it goes fast.

It was a pain to set up initially, but it's easy going now. I would buy it again wiyhout a second thought.
 

jeepinjeepin

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I don't have the 2.0. Mine is the basic MM3. I've had no trouble with it. Only one roller is adjustable, so it's not that tough to adjust. The first gap is fixed at around .065" I think. If money is no object, go ahead with the MM3-2.0 with the hardened rollers. It will give great service for a really long time. I would advise you to get there base and at least the bottom hopper. It would be simple enough to fabricate an extension up from it. I usually have to add my grain in two parts making higher gravity 5 gallon batches.

I want to know why the LHBS guy is giving you the stink eye over using their mill. You bought the grain from them right?
 

beaksnbeer

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Love my malt mill I have the fully adjusted model driven by a 90volt dc gear motor. I like to be able to adjust the crush (wheat, rye, black pat. need a smaller gap) With 10 inch rollers and the facts that their US made and backed by years of Commercial Brewing crushers with excellent service when I had questions. If you like the crush your getting right now, do you think you'll run as much grain through the mill as the one at your LBHS has already?:D
 
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sniperd

sniperd

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Thanks for the input guys!

"I want to know why the LHBS guy is giving you the stink eye over using their mill. You bought the grain from them right?"
I know right?!? He says it's because of the dust. What I think is I'm buying in bulk from him ($47 / 50lbs of Rahr pale 2 row) and then asking him to mill it.

beaksnbeer: Glad to hear you like the MaltMill. I see that the gear one is only adjustable on one end. Does that even make sense to do? I'd think you'd want to both ends to be set the same. Just curious on your thoughts there.

brewpal: Do you feel the upgrade to gear driven helps at all? It's the main reason I was looking at the Malt Mill.

Time for beer.. :)
 

beaksnbeer

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The adjustment on the one end is so you can't bottom the gear teeth, so your only tightening the gap on a % of the rollers but with the gears both being driven the grain won't walk to the lesser gap. The gears make sure both rollers turn so the grain is always going through. Also with the adjustment only taking 20 seconds not a problem once your used to it. I set my gap at 39 and crush and tighten up if needed for smaller bodied or in the case of wheat/rye being harder kernel. Don't forget the fact that the ten inch rollers spread and speed up your crushing time.
 

brewpal

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Gear drive ensures the second roller will always be turning. After much use I think the knurls on my original were worn enough that sometimes the grain would not "catch" and engage. Enough of an annoyance that I decided to spring for a geared model. YMMV.
 

jma99

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I have been using my maltmill for well over 10 years. It's non adjustable, and does not have the gear option.
I drive it with a dewalt corded drill, wired to a dimmer control.
I lock the drills trigger in the on position and use the dimmer to set the speed.

20+ lbs of grain takes me about 10 min or less.

Simple and fool proof!
 
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sniperd

sniperd

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Ok, after much research I've ordered a maltmill Model A, gear driven, hard rollers, and large hopper adapter. Exciting! For our first brew we are just going to go for something simple and cheap, a blonde ale that we will flavor extract. 15 gallons that we will split 3 ways. And then flavor each case differently (strawberry, blueberry, etc.) and then split them up. We normally brew english ales and take a lot of time to go for something special. We did this simple blonde a while ago and made some fun pepper, vanilla, etc. just for fun. So even if we screw this up by not milling it correctly no big deal, just a fun beer.

Last weekend we did 4 batches, (three 15 gallon batches, and one 5 gallon) with our gear. So doing 'just' 15 will give us time if we screw up the mill. Fun times!
 

jpalarchio

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I have the gear drive malt mill which I connected to a $40 gear drive motor and it works great. The guy should really update his 1990's website, other than that, great product.
 
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sniperd

sniperd

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I got my Malt Mill today, wow I'm impressed. Excellent packaging and what a solid product. I just had to attached the Large Hopper Adapter (2 bolts) and the base (2 bolts), very easy. It's already adjusted and has a little notch so I can always get it back to factory spec, very nice. Clearly he's been doing this for a long time, I can't wait to fire up the kettle!

Here is are pics:
https://picasaweb.google.com/104328...&authkey=Gv1sRgCL7X7N3Atc2DPA&feat=directlink
 
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sniperd

sniperd

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Ah, and one more thing. The base has these 3 rubber bumps on the bottom. It makes it so it fits exactly into a 5 gallon home depot bucket, very impressive.
 

marcb

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HbgBill said:
Just noticed this posting.. Where do you get a $40 gear motor?
Craigslist! I bought a $700 Dayton gear motor to drive my mill for $30!
 

Chriso

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I have a Maltmill now - it's the model with preset gap and no gears - If I were to buy another, I'd probably go with one of the super-beast Monster 3-roller units or something else equally excessive.
 

mikescooling

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I also have the MM3 1.5.... It's not hard to put together. The rollers come assembled and hopper is just a few nuts and bolts. IMHO, I'd think gears inside the mill would get full of dust, may be not? Here is my mill, I think it will out live me.

deer 052.jpg
 
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sniperd

sniperd

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We had our first brew day with the mill. We went for a simple 15 gallon blonde, just in case we had a problem, and plan to flavor it. The milling went great. We each took a turn milling with the crank (wow.. that is a lot of work) and then hooked up the battery powered drill. After 1 and a half batteries we switched over to a corded drill. We noticed that the best crush was if we used a lower gear on the battery drill. My 2 other brewing friends each have a few corded drills so we will try them out next time to see if one has a good low RPM before we spend any more money.

Here are a few pictures and a short mill video:
https://picasaweb.google.com/104328...WithTheMaltMill?authkey=Gv1sRgCNWrk8uXovum-QE

We got a nice crush and hit our OG, so that was a very happy moment for us. Up next we'll back back to our 30+ gallon batches.

Thanks for all the input guys, I truly appreciate it.
 

Kyled93

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mikescooling said:
I also have the MM3 1.5.... It's not hard to put together. The rollers come assembled and hopper is just a few nuts and bolts. IMHO, I'd think gears inside the mill would get full of dust, may be not? Here is my mill, I think it will out live me.
Not to get off topic, but where did you buy your pulleys and what sizes? I just ordered a MM3 and it seems that these
Pulleys are the hardest thing to find.
 

mikescooling

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I got them from Grainger and the 12" pulley just fits under the hopper. The belt is a universal adjustable.
 
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