Looking for a grain mill - advice please

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by strange-steve, Oct 11, 2018.

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  1. Oct 11, 2018 #1

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    So after yesterday's brewday with an horrendous efficiency I've decided the next step is a malt mill. So I'm looking for advice on what to buy and where to look, preferably something that won't break the bank, but reliable.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Oct 11, 2018 #2

    Bigcol49

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  3. Oct 11, 2018 #3

    jceg316

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    I use a brewferm 2 roller mill, I also bought some spacers at the same time which I'd recommend if you don't have a set. Once set up it did a really good job. I got higher efficiency and my beers had a much more pronounced malt character. I'm sure you could get that from any well set up mill though. I use a drill to operate my one which saves a lot of time and energy.
     
  4. Oct 11, 2018 #4

    strange-steve

    strange-steve

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    The Brewferm looks good but a tad pricey. The Bulldog from home brew hop shop looks like a decent deal, £85 delivered.
    I wonder has anyone used the cheap Chinese ones?
     
  5. Oct 11, 2018 #5

    BarnBrian

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    I've got the 3 roller mill which I believe I got from Malt Miller. I'm not sure if it's worth paying the extra for it. I think the 2 roller version would be a lot easier to set up, the three roller requires the removal of the hopper to do adjustments which is a pain. I'm sticking with doing it by hand just for the exercise, doing 5kg is relatively strenuous, but on the plus side it gives you a thirst.
     
  6. Oct 11, 2018 #6

    IainM

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    I'm pleased with the bulldog one. I've had it since the end of 2017 and have done 31 brews on it without problem and it's still going strong. I'd recommend some feeler gauges to set the gap size depending on if its wheat/barley/rye, or finer if you are doing BIAB.
     
  7. Oct 11, 2018 #7

    Henders

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    I'll jump in having attempted the cheapy approach for once. I got this £12 iron looking thing off eBay. I think the Americans/some people call it a Corona Mill.

    I then printed (finally a use for my 3d printer) off a little plastic guard to keep the grains falling down and not flying everywhere. I also put a hex head bolt or whatnot in the end so I can use the drill. Then just tightened it all up a bit to try and get a good squashy cracky actiony thing.

    I've only used it once so far, and got the same pants efficiency as when I got pre-crushed stuff. But when I was almost done I noticed the wing nuts had crept loose a bit. So I need to resolve that, maybe nyloc nuts next.

    Either way, I'm hoping it's a win for me in not throwing all my money on buying stuff! As I usually do.
     
  8. Oct 11, 2018 #8

    peebee

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    Read your post relating to bad efficiency, bummer that.

    But don't hang all your hopes on a malt mill to stop it happening again. I got a mill (Bulldog) last year, but instead of efficiency going up like everyone else declares, it went down! Only by 3 or 4 percentage point, but …

    I've got a 30thou gap between the rollers, and haven't dared reduce it. All the advice I could find suggested a bigger, 0.032" - 0.035", gap. I think I tried a smaller gap last time but dampened the grain so as not to shred the husk. But efficiency remained not so good.
     
  9. Oct 11, 2018 #9

    xozzx

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    What gap do you use? I have the same mill and some feeler gauges, I started with 0.9mm but found that there was way too much flour, last couple of brews have been 1.1mm but for the next I think Ill drop back to 1.05 or 1.0mm as efficiency hasnt been great (today I missed target OG by 5 points, 1060 instead of 1065).
     
  10. Oct 11, 2018 #10

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    I always condition the grain before milling - I can use a tighter crush without destroying the husks. I've had no problems with stuck sparges.
     
  11. Oct 11, 2018 #11

    IainM

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    I'm in 1.1mm for barley and 0.9 for wheat at the moment, but sparging is quite quick so I reckon I could lower it a bit.
     
  12. Oct 11, 2018 #12

    peebee

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    Ah, I'm too old it seems. But 30thou is about 0.76mm so you can see from the gaps given above why I'm reluctant to try less.

    And I believe "Bigcol49" is referring to what I mentioned - "conditioned" means "get it damp".
     
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  13. Oct 11, 2018 #13

    JFB

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    I have the bull dog one. Saw my efficiency go up 5%athumb..
    Only problem ive had with it is I think what you call a bushing?? which comes out as you mill. Easily fixable buy keeping your thumb up against it when milling. I should of maybe emailed them about the problem but cant be arsed!!
     
  14. Oct 11, 2018 #14

    stevey

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    keg kingdom have a good looking one for £70.
     
  15. Oct 11, 2018 #15

    Bigcol49

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    Hi!
    Contact the manufacturer! I have no such problem with my Bulldog mill.
     
  16. Oct 11, 2018 #16

    Leon103

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    Didn't @Dutto and others have a really good deal on eBay
     
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  17. Oct 12, 2018 at 11:52 AM #17

    strange-steve

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    Thanks for all the comments.
    @peebee you're right, I'm not expecting miracles from it but the other advantages of milling myself as well as this efficiency thing have convinced me I think. I wonder why your efficiency went down??
    @Henders I've heard that those corona type mills can shred up the husks a bit, did you notice that?
    @stevey I had a look at that, works out about the same price after delivery as the Bulldog that bigcol linked to (I'm in NI) and haven't there been some issues with keg kingdom recently?
     
  18. Oct 12, 2018 at 11:54 AM #18

    britton

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    I'm still waiting for my £10 one...
     
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  19. Oct 12, 2018 at 1:00 PM #19

    Bigcol49

    Bigcol49

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    Hi @strange-steve
    Just a heads up - shipping to NI is only free on orders over £100 from Homebrew Hop Shop.
     
  20. Oct 12, 2018 at 3:27 PM #20

    Dutto

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    Got one of these ...

    https://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.u...WD=mill&PN=Basic_Malt_Grain_Mill.html#SID=271

    Made a few mods to nuts and end bearing to make this ...

    Malt Mill 1.jpg

    Malt Mill 5.jpg

    Mill Set for Milling.jpg


    Mill End Bearing.jpg

    ... which can mill grain for Mashing ...

    Milled Malt.jpg

    ... or down to a flour if required. Like this ...

    Milled Grains.jpg

    Total cost (I already had the old FV, bits of wood to raise the Mill, drill, connector, nuts & bolts) was less than £25 (at today's price for the Mill).

    Enjoy!

    PS
    There were some comments that the "silvering" on the Mill flaked off. After nearly two years I haven't noticed this happening on my Mill and if it did it wouldn't worry me too much because the grain goes into a Mash Tun rather than a loaf!
     

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