Need New Grain Mill

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

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

day_trippr

Structural Duct Tape Sales Engineer
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
38,645
Reaction score
21,838
Location
Stow, MA
Man I would love to see a bunch of close-up pics of that 3GT mill...or a soft copy of the user manual :)

Cheers!
 
OP
OP
Brooothru

Brooothru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
2,307
Reaction score
2,212
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
I set it once years ago to a crush I liked and have not had to do it again since.
That's my plan. I really had no idea what my gap was until I went through some notes from years ago. I found a thread on the Braumeisters forum I'd archived 12 years ago and found what other brewers were using. That jibed with what I measured yesterday on my old crusher.

FedEx came through early this afternoon and delivered my MM3, and I just got finished assembling it. Thanks to everyone for their tips on putting it together. It was pretty straightforward (with fore knowledge!) and everything went smoothly.

I had to test it out immediately, so I dug out some old grains (one from 2017) to clean up the machining oil in a sacrificial maiden voyage. It ripped through some 4 year old white wheat malt without breaking stride. Added benefit: the drive shaft is 3/8", and my battery drill had no problems cranking the rollers.

The crush on all three test grains (wheat, 2-row and Munich) was flawless. I was afraid when I looked at the 2-row that a bunch of kernels had passed though uncrushed. Upon closer examination I saw that the husk was open, but not shredded, and the malt pearl was exposed perfectly for mashing. I've never, EVER seen a better looking crush. I had been set at 1.2 mm on my old crusher. Braumeister recommends 1.4-1.5 mm gap. So I split the difference and set 1.3 mm. Visually the 1.3 mm looks much more fine that what I was getting on my old Barley Crusher set at 1.2 mm, but I think it's just significantly a more complete crush.

The real test will come Monday when I brew the first full crush with the MM3. Luckily it's a simple Blonde pale ale with a smaller, simple grist bill. If real world matches the test run, this should be fun!
 

GoeHaarden

The best advice is unsolicited
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
716
The only true 3 geared rollers from what I can find is the Crankenstein 3GT mill.

Does the bottom roller need to be driven? Is there a benefit over the MM3-geared?

EDIT: Actually curious for myself as I'm looking at the MM3G. In search of knowledge, not an argument. Thought I should clarify. Lol
 
Last edited:

matt_m

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
643
I have an MM3 with an Aleworks motor Had some problems with it sticking but now I know to toss a small handful in before I dump the bucket and it hasn't happened since. If I was to replace it I'd get the new MM3 with the gears or the MM2, not sure which. But I'd definitely go back to them. Don't expect I will ever need to though.
 

A1sportsdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
111
Reaction score
56
I went with the Northern Brewer Hullwrecker. It’s a 2 roller mill. Gap adjustment is easy. Works great with my cordless drill. I have a drill I can set so the speed is not too fast. I did file a flat on the shaft. It did not have any. That was easy though. I would recommend it.
 

Tobor_8thMan

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,712
Reaction score
2,245
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
Does the bottom roller need to be driven? Is there a benefit over the MM3-geared?

EDIT: Actually curious for myself as I'm looking at the MM3G. In search of knowledge, not an argument. Thought I should clarify. Lol
As far as I know with the MM3 geared only the top 2 rollers are geared. The bottom roller moves from the force of the grain going thru the rollers.

I'd prefer a grain mill will all 3 rollers geared. Do wish Crankenstein had more info/specs on the mill other than marketing hype "Oh, man, not another homebrew mill on the market. Yeah, but this one sets the pace: three fully geared rollers, index shifters, 1/2" driveshaft, and a precision crossrod for solid performance. Why pay good money for less when you can have the best? Nobody outruns the Gear Triangle."

For example: Roller material? Bushings? Gap range? Or, are the specs same as the 328G?
328G Geared Up Brewing Mill - $410.00 : Crankandstein , Advancing the Craft

We don't know.
 

GoeHaarden

The best advice is unsolicited
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
716
As far as I know with the MM3 geared only the top 2 rollers are geared. The bottom roller moves from the force of the grain going thru the rollers.

Right, but does a geared bottom roller pose a major advantage? The grain is still being forced through the smaller gap via the two geared upper rollers. My understanding is that the advantage of being geared is to prevent roller slipping while feeding the grain. If the grain is past the upper rollers then more grain is going to force it through the bottom one.

I also feel like having the bottom roller geared would could cause issues with setting up a gap, but maybe that isn't an issue. I have zero experience with any 3 rollers.

Was all set on a geared MM3 until this thread...haha
 

Tobor_8thMan

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,712
Reaction score
2,245
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
Right, but does a geared bottom roller pose a major advantage? The grain is still being forced through the smaller gap via the two geared upper rollers. My understanding is that the advantage of being geared is to prevent roller slipping while feeding the grain. If the grain is past the upper rollers then more grain is going to force it through the bottom one.

I also feel like having the bottom roller geared would could cause issues with setting up a gap, but maybe that isn't an issue. I have zero experience with any 3 rollers.

Was all set on a geared MM3 until this thread...haha
I do believe the 3rd gear will prevent stuck milling. I've run into problems with the MM3 where the roller on the shaft moves, the roller next to it doesn't move and the bottom roller also doesn't move. Perhaps due to binding dust?

However, @Fidelity101 may have a solution. It's the motor and not the mill.

 

matt_m

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
643
I believe the stuck mllling on the MM3 is caused by very slight sticking of the shafts in the bushings. Giving it a quick turn each use fixes it but if you've dumped in 15lb of grain that's hard to do. But also it seems like if I turn it on and toss in a handful it never sticks. Then I can dump in the rest and its fine. Might help too that I loosened the bolts that attach the mill body to the table. There wasn't detectable binding but maybe combined?
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,579
Reaction score
9,871
Location
Pasadena, MD
Do wish Crankenstein had more info/specs on the mill other than marketing hype [...]
Someone here once said (paraphrased):
"Would you rather buy a mill from by a machinist (Crankenstein), or a sales company (Monster Mill)?"

Although the MM2 works fine for me, I sometimes wish I had bought a Crankenstein, back in 2013.
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
19,579
Reaction score
9,871
Location
Pasadena, MD
I believe the stuck mllling on the MM3 is caused by very slight sticking of the shafts in the bushings. Giving it a quick turn each use fixes it but if you've dumped in 15lb of grain that's hard to do. But also it seems like if I turn it on and toss in a handful it never sticks. Then I can dump in the rest and its fine. Might help too that I loosened the bolts that attach the mill body to the table. There wasn't detectable binding but maybe combined?
That's a good idea!

Similarly, before plugging it in and filling the hopper, I always spin the slave roller by hand, from underneath (!), on my MM2. Sometimes it's stuck a bit, and when so, it won't mill.
 

GoeHaarden

The best advice is unsolicited
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
716
Someone here once said (paraphrased):
"Would you rather buy a mill from by a machinist (Crankenstein), or a sales company (Monster Mill)?"

Although the MM2 works fine for me, I sometimes wish I had bought a Crankenstein, back in 2013.

Damn it man...is that really the case regarding the companies?

Leaning towards the Crank now...blah!
 

superiorsat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2017
Messages
441
Reaction score
383
I always just dump a 5 gallon bucket 95% full of grain on my old non-geared MM3 ( I don't start it first ), 50/50 shot if it will be stuck ( by stuck I mean only the drive roller is spinning ) or mill grain right off the bat. If stuck I'll ( turn off ) pull the bucket give it a tiny turn put the bucket back and works every time.
 
OP
OP
Brooothru

Brooothru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
2,307
Reaction score
2,212
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
I always just dump a 5 gallon bucket 95% full of grain on my old non-geared MM3 ( I don't start it first ), 50/50 shot if it will be stuck ( by stuck I mean only the drive roller is spinning ) or mill grain right off the bat. If stuck I'll ( turn off ) pull the bucket give it a tiny turn put the bucket back and works every time.

Sshhh.... my wife might hear you.

I wonder if a similar thing happened to me with my old Barley Crusher. The idler roller moved when I tried spinning it, but clearly the drive roller was the only thing rotating when I tried actually crushing grain. Maybe a bearing was finally giving out after 12 years.

In any event the crush went beautifully this morning with the new MM3. Currently I'm about half way through a 1:45 hour recirculation step mash and everything is working GREAT (cue: Young Rascals singing "It's a Beautiful Morning"). Continuous gentle flow, no wort fountains, pH was right on target. Now if I can only get 3 or 4 more points of efficiency in this mash it'll show that the Beer Gods approve of my purchase.
 

Golddiggie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2010
Messages
13,755
Reaction score
1,895
Location
Living free in the 603
I've never had either roller 'stuck' on my MM2. Then again, I always blow out the dust after using it (I have a large air compressor). Saturday's brew had 21# run through the mill (I put flaked barley in the catch bucket, not sending it through the mill) and had zero issues. Well, other than having to keep an eye on the container fill level and knocking/leveling it so that it didn't overflow. Still had room in the hopper for more grain even with it all in there. :D I'll probably get another square catch container before the next brew that uses more than 20# in the grist. Just so that I can change the container and not need to worry.

I have the gap set to .035" as per Spike's information for their false bottoms (seen gap setting of both .035" and .036"). I do get some dust, but not a lot.
 

GoeHaarden

The best advice is unsolicited
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
716
I think I'm going to pull the trigger on a Crankandstein 3GT.

Someone talk me out of it...
 

DavidWood2115

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2017
Messages
71
Reaction score
52
I think I'm going to pull the trigger on a Crankandstein 3GT.

Someone talk me out of it...
Au contraire! I think you should definitely buy the Crankandstein 3GT and give us all a first hand report! I was about ready to buy an MM3G. Now I'm not so sure.
 

GoeHaarden

The best advice is unsolicited
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
716
Au contraire! I think you should definitely buy the Crankandstein 3GT and give us all a first hand report! I was about ready to buy an MM3G. Now I'm not so sure.

Yeah, same here. I was set on the MM3G as well, but after seeing the 3GT at the same price point I've definitely been swayed.

Other people have mentioned the lack of description on the CS site, but I would assume it's built to the same specs as their other 3 roller mill only with a 1/2" driveshaft and gears. More of a leap of faith than assumption I suppose...

Anyway. I've made it all the way to payment page a couple times. Maybe just a little more liquid courage to help.

I don't think I'm going to get the hopper and base. For some reason, I think its over priced for what it is. That's where I draw the line. Logic, eh!? Lol
 

Tom R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
599
Reaction score
731
Location
S. Puget Sound
The hopper and base didn't suit me either, so I made my own with 3/8" plywood and 1/8" acrylic. I also made acrylic sides.

The base was made to fit on either a retired plastic fermenter, or directly onto my MLT. For some dumb reason I get a kick out of watching the grain go through the mill. Easily amused, I guess...
IMG_0314.JPG
 

GoeHaarden

The best advice is unsolicited
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
716
The hopper and base didn't suit me either, so I made my own with 3/8" plywood and 1/8" acrylic. I also made acrylic sides.

The base was made to fit on either a retired plastic fermenter, or directly onto my MLT. For some dumb reason I get a kick out of watching the grain go through the mill. Easily amused, I guess...

Nice work. That hopper looks sweet. I'm digging the see through aspect of it, would be cool to watch.

How do you like that CS mill? Any regrets?
 

Gusso

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
317
Reaction score
423
So here I sit with about 25 minutes left in the mash on what should be a relaxed brew day. But the Beer Gods frowned on me early in the process when without warning my grain crusher went Tango Uniform on me about half way through my 12 pound crush.

You know how you take some things totally for granted? Well that's how I thought about my mill. It's a Barley Crusher that I got back in 2008 according to the shipping invoice. It's just a tool, like a hammer, that I never gave much thought to. Until I needed to pound something.

I finally limped through a "crush", though it remains to be seen what my efficiency ends up being. Bottom line, SWMBO'd gave prior approval on my loan application to get a new one.

I remember a thread maybe 6 months ago talking about peoples' favorite crushers. Any feedback or regrets from what y'all have purchased? I've been mostly happy with the Barley Crusher even though their was a fair amount of displeasure with them from other owners who commented on the previous thread. I don't want to spend an arm OR a leg on a new one but I do brew at least 15-20 times a year, so I'm not averse to spending $$$ for quality.

Suggestions?
Timely thread. The other day I spent over an hour grinding 14# of grain on my 15 year old BC in a 90+ degrees garage. The mill has performed well over the years until fairly recently. Time to move on. RIP BC.
 

Gusso

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
317
Reaction score
423
Anyone have experience with this 3-roller geared mill at More Beer?

That's what I'm eyeing as a replacement for my BC. Mid August, tho...
 

Tom R

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
599
Reaction score
731
Location
S. Puget Sound
Nice work. That hopper looks sweet. I'm digging the see through aspect of it, would be cool to watch.

How do you like that CS mill? Any regrets?
It's a great mill. If I had it to do over, I'd get the same 3D.

Never had an issue with rollers getting stuck. Maybe that's due to their "grain-engaged gearing", I don't know. I just know that I can start it when fully loaded, and it grinds away.

I really like the detented adjusters, makes it so easy to adjust to a new setting and back again. 9 settings to choose from, changing .005" per click. I suppose with a little fussing you could lock it in-between detents, but I've never felt the need.

Crankandstein doesn't have the flashiest website (newly revised), but they sure make a nice product.
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
23,740
Reaction score
13,921
Location
S.AZ
Anyone think a geared mill is worth the extra $$$?


yeah, my mill is 12,13,14 whatever years old....and yeah i have to use a pairing knife to keep getting it to catch the free roller. not quite bad enough to drop $150-175 on a new one yet, but getting there.....(that's been milling 20lbs of malt a week that whole time)
 

matt_m

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
643
Two reasons I didn't like theirs:
1) Hopper design and capacity
2) Unclear on how much adaptation a motor would require.
 

GoeHaarden

The best advice is unsolicited
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
1,255
Reaction score
716
It's a great mill. If I had it to do over, I'd get the same 3D... they sure make a nice product.

Thanks man. I think I'm sold on the CS.

yeah, my mill is 12,13,14 whatever years old....and yeah i have to use a pairing knife to keep getting it to catch the free roller. not quite bad enough to drop $150-175 on a new one yet, but getting there.....(that's been milling 20lbs of malt a week that whole time)

Yeah, I get it's expensive but I have a tendency to talk myself into buying equipment that is cheaper/less quality because I think I could get by. Only to replace it later with something better. Spending that much more money. I don't plan on buying another mill after this...ever
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
23,740
Reaction score
13,921
Location
S.AZ
Yeah, I get it's expensive but I have a tendency to talk myself into buying equipment that is cheaper/less quality because I think I could get by. Only to replace it later with something better. Spending that much more money. I don't plan on buying another mill after this...ever


that was my point, if you can get a mill with 2 driven rollers.... go for it! :mug:
 
OP
OP
Brooothru

Brooothru

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
2,307
Reaction score
2,212
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
Timely thread. The other day I spent over an hour grinding 14# of grain on my 15 year old BC in a 90+ degrees garage. The mill has performed well over the years until fairly recently. Time to move on. RIP BC.
My grainbill for today's inaugural brew session was only 9.5# (blonde ale). Ripped through the job no sweat though the battery on my drill ran out just as the last grains were falling into the catch bin. Glad the grist wasn't 9.75#. I didn't check the battery charge before hand (dumb on me), though I thought is was over half charge. It's 18 VDC, 2AH capacity lithium. A full charge would get me through 14+ pounds on the Barley Crusher, but this crusher apparently chews through batteries due to the extra load. At least I don't have to drag out my corded impact drill for a 5 minute job.

I'm overall very pleased with the Monster Mill, and really am impressed with its performance. The three roller design is definitely superior to two.
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
4,857
Reaction score
1,007
Location
Atlanta
I believe the stuck mllling on the MM3 is caused by very slight sticking of the shafts in the bushings. Giving it a quick turn each use fixes it but if you've dumped in 15lb of grain that's hard to do. But also it seems like if I turn it on and toss in a handful it never sticks. Then I can dump in the rest and its fine. Might help too that I loosened the bolts that attach the mill body to the table. There wasn't detectable binding but maybe combined?
I used a 3 roller MM3 for 9+ years with the occasional need to reset the rollers but overall it was a great mill. I motorized it with an All American Aleworks system that runs at 180 rpm and was very efficient and the crush was near perfect.
Several of my brew buddies used it routinely as well.
I’ve since inherited a custom made mill that utilizes both a belt and gear drive. The rollers are slotted and it runs at 150 rpm which I’m told is the ideal and avoids shredding of husks which reduces tannin extraction even more than 180 rpm.
Ultimately, I think the MM3 is terrific. In fact, I gave my old motorized mill to a brew buddy.
 

mbg

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
295
Reaction score
128
I have the Mighty Mill 3 and I'm very happy with it. Didn't get the larger hopper as I'm restricting my batch sizes to 5g or less. My LHBS uses one to crush grains for home brewers and a couple of local brew pubs. I like the shaft in particular because the end of the shaft is a 1/4 hex made to fit perfectly in a screw gun / impact. They are typically stronger than your basic 3/8 drill. I use a Ridgid or Makita impact to drive it crushing grain with no problem and it never drains the battery for a single batch of beer. The rollers are also easily adjustable for your desired crush. I think I paid $179 for it from More Beer. I'm happy with it.View attachment 735859 View attachment 735860

Thanks for the quick review. My 17 year old Barley Crusher needs a replacement and MoreBeer has $30 off $180 right now - may have to bite. Just hoping I can adapt my gear motor drive on my BC over to this mill (or time to use my drill?).
 
Last edited:

odie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2016
Messages
2,019
Reaction score
1,131
Location
CC, TX
Anyone think a geared mill is worth the extra $$$?
absolutely. I had a mill with the second roller just free wheeling...so many times it would just "hang up" and not spin. very annoying having to reach under and "flick" the static roller back into action.

Got an el cheapo "DY-386" with both rollers geared together off ebay or amazon (don't recall) and have been super happy ever since. Slow but unstoppable.
 

Gusso

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
317
Reaction score
423
Thanks for the quick review. My 17 year old Barley Crusher needs a replacement and MoreBeer has $30 off $180 right now - may have to bite. Just hoping I can adapt my gear motor drive on my BC over to this mill (or time to use my drill?).
I finally pulled the trigger and ordered the Mighty Mill 3. Like you, my old Barley Crushed has seen better days. Being a penny shy for the $30 discount, I ordered a cheap item to put me over the top (needed it anyway). I hope the mid August date is accurate.
 
Top