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chemist308

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If I were to pick up a grain mill for an AG batch, what works well. I can't spend over $200, but really would like to come in under $100. What works well? Would either of these work:

mill 1
mill 2

For those who do grind their own, what do you use?
 

Dr_Deathweed

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+1 on mill 3, I borrowed one for a brew I had on Sat... I am seriously thinking of holding it ransom (j/k Lil' Sparky.... kind of....:D )
 

Kevin Dean

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This is a touchy question. Are you looking for what CAN work or what works well? A rolling pin and ziplock bag CAN work, and that's a cheap method until you spend a hundred bucks in ziplock bags.

If you're looking for what works well, you'll look towards a Barley Crusher (aka Mill 3) or a Crank and Stein or Monster Mill. I personally prefer Barley Crusher (I own one) and think it was TOTALLY worth the cost.
 

sweet_corn

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I use a barley crusher. I would highly recommend one.

I really don't know too much about mills. Are the first 2 designed for homebrewing, or more for cooking? Is there a difference?
 

SuperiorBrew

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I have a Crankenstein 3D and love it but when the OP was looking to be under $200 I think the BC is the only way to go @ $132 (7 lb hopper) or $155 (15 lb hopper) delivered to his door
 

bradsul

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If you want to go cheap and still good (despite opinions to the contrary you're no doubt about to hear), check ebay for a corona mill (similar to that victoria but that victoria is way overpriced). You should be able to find one for 20-$25. However if you're willing to spend $100, do yourself a favour and spend a little bit more for a monster mill, crankandstein or barley crusher.
 

plumber

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I would not get #1 or #2! If you plan on brewing for years to come spend a little extra and get a mill designed for homebrewers. I have a Barley Crusher and love it. It comes ready to fit on a 5 gal pail, you can put a 3/8 chuck electric drill on it so you don't have to crank by hand and both ends of the mill are adjustable so you can get the perfect crush. IMO for the price compared to other fully adjustable mills it is the best deal out there.
 

Zacharomyces

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My mill is like #2. Got it on ebay for about $20. It was easy to build a mount to put in on a bucket and cost $.09 to motorize...
 
OP
C

chemist308

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That Barley Crusher looks nice, even though it is well over $100. In time maybe.

But I have a question. Why do so many swear by the corona mill? How are the extraction efficiencies with the corona?
 

bradsul

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chemist308 said:
That Barley Crusher looks nice, even though it is well over $100. In time maybe.

But I have a question. Why do so many swear by the corona mill? How are the extraction efficiencies with the corona?
I get mid 80's with my corona-style mill even on 70/30 hefeweizen grain bills. If you take the time to set it up properly the first time you use it, it will serve you very well. There is a picture of my crush in my gallery to show you what a good corona-style crush looks like.
 

Kayos

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I'm gonna post jack a little and ask why would I need a 3 roller as opposed to a 2?
 

Seabee John

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chemist308 said:
That Barley Crusher looks nice, even though it is well over $100. In time maybe.

But I have a question. Why do so many swear by the corona mill? How are the extraction efficiencies with the corona?
I own a Corona... My brother in law just got a Barley crusher... I'll never use the corona again. I had terrible eff. with it.... but many say they can have a great brew with it. lost on me.
 

FlyGuy

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Seabee John said:
I own a Corona... My brother in law just got a Barley crusher... I'll never use the corona again. I had terrible eff. with it.... but many say they can have a great brew with it. lost on me.
I consistently get high 70's or low 80's with my Porkert mill (Corona knock-off) using the batch sparging method with a SS braid. I think these mills work great for that setup. I keep saying my next purchase is a Barley Mill, and I will undoubtedly get one some day, but for now it is really hard to put down something that works so well.

Lots of people have had a poor experience with these mills -- yet there appears to be at least as many of us who swear by them. I would love to find out what is going wrong for those who have not had good success.
 

Catfish

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I can recommend not buying the B3 Grain Gobbler. I now have a monster and am happy with it. If you can't afford the mill of your choice get one of the cheap ones off the net, or just use the HBS's mill until you can get the right mill for you.
 

Dr_Deathweed

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chemist308 said:
That Barley Crusher looks nice, even though it is well over $100. In time maybe.
Heres the way I have started looking at the hobby/obsession.... You COULD spend $40-$80 on a mill (or any other equipment) that "works for now," OR you could pony up the extra $50 for something that will last a lifetime and you will probably end up buying eventually anyways.

Obviously I do not know your budgeting constraints, and I understand if your really do only have a few bucks to spend. If you think about it though, in the end you would be saving money by buying the good mill up front instead of buying 2 mills over your brewing career.
 

brewt00l

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deathweed said:
If you think about it though, in the end you would be saving money by buying the good mill up front instead of buying 2 mills over your brewing career.

Considering that mills aren't exactly a frequent purchase item, waiting a couple months to save a few extra bucks seems like a smart thing to do versus purchasing multiples.
 

CBBaron

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A corona mill like mill #2 will work but a roller like the Barley Crusher, JSP Maltmill, Monster Mill or CrankenStein will produce better results. The roller mills are easier to adjust for a crush without much flour which means you get good efficiency with less chance of stuck sparges.
The roller mill (mill #2) would probably work as well but for the price difference I would get a Barley Crusher. If fact I did.
Craig
 

jdoiv

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Kayos said:
I'm gonna post jack a little and ask why would I need a 3 roller as opposed to a 2?
Well, the theory is that the grain will go through the first gap (which is around .60 inches) and get popped, then through the second gap (which is smaller) and the endosperm will be separated from the husk much easier. You get less shredding of the husks this way and the husks are more intact making for a nicer filter bed.
Shredded husks are more likely to give you tannins if your not careful.

I have the Monster Mill-3 and it really does work as they say. [/ot]

As far as the OP, if you have the $200 to spend, buy a mill designed for homebrewing. In fact $200 will buy you a really nice mill. You will thank yourself for avoiding a lot of headaches. If money is an issue, then the corona type mill will get the job done if you set it up properly.
 

freyguy

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Corona is ok for a bit. I used one for 3 AG batches because I had it for my extract batches with grains. I always take mine apart to clean it afterwords, and it takes some time to get it set right again. My first AG was 65% efficency. Not bad at all. My second went to 75%! I was excited and figuring on keeping the corona. Well, my third was 55% and I was ticked!!!! I noticed a good bit of uncrushed grains towards the end of the crush. I think it loosened up some during the 13 or so lb grain bill.

My barley crusher should be here any day. ;)
 

Desert_Sky

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i have had nothing but great performance out of my CrankNStein. My only complaint is that the hopper only holds 9lbs at a time.
 

Warrior

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chemist308 said:
If I were to pick up a grain mill for an AG batch, what works well. I can't spend over $200, but really would like to come in under $100. What works well? Would either of these work:

mill 1
mill 2

For those who do grind their own, what do you use?
I would not recomend mill1 I sold them in my homebrew shop years ago and did not like the crush as much and it didn't process enough grain as fast as I would like.

I've used a Schmidling mill for over ten years and crushed well over 1,000 lbs of grain with it. I built a wooden cabinet on rollers and can crush about 25 lbs at a time. I motorized the unit with a gear reduction motor and it works great. The way it comes designed to fit on top of a bucket works great. You can use a drill to attach and motorize it.

Spend a little more money and you'll be very happy with years of dependable service from a better quality mill.
 

millstone

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keiths said:
I just bought a Monster mill last week and love it!




I put Plexiglas on the sides of my MonsterMill as well, love to watch the grain run thruough it. Looks like you changed out the thumb screws, what did you replace them with and how are they working?

tom
 

Desert_Sky

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lol I guarantee after one session of hand cranking you will wan t a drill


personally Im ready for an electric motor
 

jdoiv

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Yeah if you are doing 10 gallon batches, a drill is a must. Unless you like a 30 minute one armed workouts.
 

scottthorn

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I don't want to thread-jack, but I recently did the drill-mod on my Victoria (Corona) mill. I found a bolt with the same threading, hacked off the end, and used a grinder on one side so the drill would have something to hold on to. Unfortunately, my drills were not up to the task. I used both a corded and an 18v cordless (with a fresh battery!) and while both could give a nice burst they quickly slowed to nothing and started to overheat and make horrible sounds. I tried it with a full hopper, and with a minimal amount of grain. Seems like it needs more power to maintain a continuous crush, but I've read plenty of accounts of folks running a drill. Can anyone enlighten me if I'm doing something wrong?

Yeah if you are doing 10 gallon batches, a drill is a must. Unless you like a 30 minute one armed workouts.
No doubt! I was making 5 gallons of Imperial IPA with 20+lbs of grain, and after giving up on the drill I did the rest by hand. All that cranking did allow me to work up a powerful thirst :mug:
 

bradsul

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scottthorn said:
I don't want to thread-jack, but I recently did the drill-mod on my Victoria (Corona) mill. I found a bolt with the same threading, hacked off the end, and used a grinder on one side so the drill would have something to hold on to. Unfortunately, my drills were not up to the task. I used both a corded and an 18v cordless (with a fresh battery!) and while both could give a nice burst they quickly slowed to nothing and started to overheat and make horrible sounds. I tried it with a full hopper, and with a minimal amount of grain. Seems like it needs more power to maintain a continuous crush, but I've read plenty of accounts of folks running a drill. Can anyone enlighten me if I'm doing something wrong?
You could try using some vegetable oil on any of the contact points for the feed screw (don't put it on any parts that will be touched by grain). If it's a tight fit as the screw turns it could be heating up enough to rub and slow down the drill. I've not had any problems running mine with an old 14.4V drill - though if you have a corded, use that. You will destroy a cordless pretty quickly.
 

BierMuncher

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$155 delivered.

Crusher_2.jpg

Crusher_3.jpg

Crusher_5.jpg

Couple pointers:
~ Avoid anything you cannot hook up a motor or drill...hand cranking sucks.
~ Go bigger...this one holds 12-13 pounds easily
~ The rubber feet on this one fit snuggly inside the rim of a 5-gallon bucket...making it very stable.
~ Get something with an adjustable crush. Malted wheat requires a much finer crush than a barley.
 

Turkeyfoot Jr.

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+1 on the 15lb. Barley Crusher. I bought mine a month back and I've only had a chance to use it once but man was it nice. Milled 11lb. in maybe a minute or two with a 19.2 volt Craftsman cordless.
 

earlyd

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I just got a Barley Crusher and my efficiency went from 64% to 78%. The cost was $130.00 from my LHBS well worth the cost. I used my 12 volt Dewalt drill and crushed 11# of grain in just over 1 minute. I would strongly recommend one.


~d
 

Kayos

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Any pointers on who sells these besides the individual manufacturer sites?
 

jdoiv

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Northern Brewer sells the Barley Crusher, Schmidling Maltmill and CrankandStein.
 

brewman !

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How wide are the rollers on these mills ? What diameter are they ?

Thanks
 

jdoiv

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They vary in diameter. 1.5 inches is more or less the standard. Length is also different. The longer the roller, the more surface area, the faster you'll be able to crush. I have the Monster Mill MM-3. It has 6 inch x 1.5 inch rollers.
 
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