Grain Mill recommendations

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Curmudgeon, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Disciple (302) May 29, 2014 Massachusetts
    Premium

    I'm looking for some recommendations on grain mills. I recently signed up for a malt share from a local farm and it will be the first time purchasing whole grain. Up to this point I've been crushing my grain at my LHBS. I know a lot of you guys have been doing this on your own for a while so any insight would be great. Any tips on roller settings, maintenance, etc. would be awesome too. Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,637) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    If this thread plays out like others in the past folks will recommend the grain mills that they own.

    Permit me to be the first to do so: The Barley Crusher Grain and Malt Mill.

    https://www.morebeer.com/products/b...MIjc_N5Zni2QIVQUsNCh3ebAI4EAQYASABEgLrs_D_BwE

    This mill comes with a factory gap setting of 0.039 inches which is what I choose to use. It is very easy to reset this gap if you decide to do so. I periodically check it with a feeler gauge and I have made some very minor adjustments of my mill.

    I really haven't performed any maintenance others than the aforementioned minor adjustments to the gap settings. I do 'clean' it after each use by brushing it out with a cheap paint brush.

    This mill has worked well for me (so far) with no need to fix anything.

    Best of luck in your mill selection!

    Cheers!
     
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  3. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (434) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    For the OP, if you search this Forum for "Grain Mill" you'll find what most people use/recommend. That said, for me it's a 2-roller MM, gap of 0.034 and make it spick-n-span after each use.

    Two major advantages you might not be realizing: 1) Cost, if buying in bulk the Mill pays for itself quickly. 2) Having base malts in bulk and a smattering of specialty malts lets you brew when the mood strikes (as opposed to waiting for a delivery). Oh yeah, buy a feeler gauge . . .
     
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  4. wasatchback

    wasatchback Aspirant (262) Jan 12, 2014 Utah

    Monster MM3

    Big fan of the three roller mills
     
  5. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (242) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    I think the two biggest differences between mills is longevity and sturdiness of the mill and how many rollers you prefer. I use a cereal killer mill cause it was a nice price of entry for starting to mill at home and buy bulk. It has worked for me great so far but can not responsibly say that it is a great mill as it has not been time tested. When I have milled at least a hundred sacks through it than I think it would be okay for me to say how reliable it is.
    If you are willing to take the risk of using a cereal killer as an entry level mill than I think you will be happy with it, choice is yours.
     
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  6. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (424) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    This. MM3 is awesome!
     
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  7. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Disciple (302) May 29, 2014 Massachusetts
    Premium

    Ok, here's the question I can see me getting some flames for asking because generally "you get what you pay for" but.......is there a difference between a $100 mill $175 mill, $250 mill? Sorry, I had to ask. Thanks for the replies so far!
     
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  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,637) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    I personally would expect a difference between a $100 mill vs. a $250 mill.

    Are there features that are a must for you?

    Cheers!
     
  9. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    I use the LHBS mill. So I don't have preference. "Free" I guess.

    I can tell you though that I have used a few different mills, because the store mill wears out a lot faster than it would at home.

    An issue with some of these mills is that if you plan to attach a drill, try to get one that has a notched shaft. The drill chuck can slip on a round shaft, and it will make it almost impossible to get it tight again after the shaft has been worn away. At least I have seen that problem a few times.

    Cheers.
     
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  10. StupidlyBrave

    StupidlyBrave Initiate (77) Jan 2, 2009 Pennsylvania

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  11. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (365) May 2, 2006 Utah

    I have a Monster Mill with 2 rollers. MM's are built like tanks. Gapped at 0.035. I recommend buying the hopper; it was easy enough to make a base. I periodically clean it. Overall, I'd recommend one like it. Cheers!
     
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  12. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Disciple (302) May 29, 2014 Massachusetts
    Premium

    You know @JackHorzempa I'm not even sure what features I'm looking for. This thread is opening my eyes a bit thought and I'm starting to understand a bit more. I know, I need to read up on the subject a bit too. I've been lazy in the grain mill research department.
     
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  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,637) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Best of luck with your research here.

    Cheers!
     
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  14. csurowiec

    csurowiec Disciple (334) Mar 7, 2010 Maryland

    I have a Barley Crusher mill and I like it just fine. I bought it because I was getting an inconsistent coarse crush from my LHBS. I brew BIAB so a finer crush was important to me and consistency was even more important to reliably reproduce the same beer. My gap is at .024 but once again I BIAB so the concept of a stuck sparge is foreign to me.
    This mill is certainly entry level but I found it to be easy to set the gap with feeler gauges and a drill drives it just fine. I have probably put a little less than 500lbs of grain through it so I can’t speak to the long term durability.
     
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  15. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Disciple (379) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    I have a corona or Victoria mill. the old kind that most folks do not like, but it works great for me and at one point, the cheapest by far of all the mills. Even cheaper cause my son bought it for me.
     
  16. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    I think I have a photo of Papazian cranking a corn mill maybe circa 1977. Black and white.
    If it works and it is reliable I say keep it simple. Got me thinking it is an acceptable option. Why not?
    Cheers.
     
  17. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (365) May 2, 2006 Utah

    Yeah, I have a friend that uses a Corona Mill. I personally think he's nuts, but he enjoys using it. Cheers!
     
  18. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Disciple (379) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    I have found that one needs to adjust the gap as far as marris otter, best ale, rahr, Simpsons roasted barly and other grains are concerned. I learmed they all grind different and adjust as I go along. Most would hate it, but as I've said, lots of folks enjoying my beers so it can't be all bad.
     
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  19. Jaguar10301

    Jaguar10301 Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2010 Maine


    I have the same one and have been happy with it. But the rubber band that runs the second crusher came off/broke pretty quick (others have reported the same), now the crank still turns the first one and grinds the grain against the second so it works but just food for thought.
     
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  20. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,637) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium

    Your mill is working just fine. The rubber band is designed to 'dissolve'. The weight of the grain will permit both of the rollers to rotate as you crush the grain.

    My rubber band 'went away' some time ago. The mill crushes just as well as it did before.

    Cheers!
     
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  21. bryantc3

    bryantc3 Initiate (136) Apr 12, 2017 New Jersey

    i have a cereal killer. It was relatively cheap compared to the other options with a decent enough sized hopper for my grain bills, I have also attached a cheap 1/2" corded drill to it. Much better crush than I would get from my LHBS.
     
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  22. Jaguar10301

    Jaguar10301 Initiate (0) Mar 1, 2010 Maine

    Yes

    If I wasn't clear it didn't impact anything in the milling. Just was pointing it out so if it happens it isn't a surprise
     
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  23. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (108) Dec 25, 2015 New York

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  24. GormBrewhouse

    GormBrewhouse Disciple (379) Jun 24, 2015 Vermont

    Never tryed it, good luck.
     
  25. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (108) Dec 25, 2015 New York

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  26. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (365) May 2, 2006 Utah

  27. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (242) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    That's a nice price for a 3 roller mill! Still haven't had any issues with my cereal killer so I won't be upgrading anytime soon.
     
  28. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

  29. Prep8611

    Prep8611 Aspirant (242) Aug 22, 2014 New Jersey

    Grats it is a major game chamber. Third best piece of equipment I've bought besides my 15 gallon blicchman and ferm chamber.
     
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  30. billandsuz

    billandsuz Disciple (364) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    Thanks.
    I finally got fed up with the LHBS POS. Cheapest Wal Mart 12v drill never charged, if available at all. Gap perpetually out of adjustment. I just couldn't take it anymore. Hoping for the best here.

    As an aside, most of my recipes seem to include 10 pounds of base grain with half pound or 1 pound additions of special malts. Because it's near impossible to measure say 7.5# pilsen malt and 0.75# of something else. Recipes were getting really boring and predictable!
    Cheers.
     
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  31. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (434) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. Brewday

    Brewday Initiate (108) Dec 25, 2015 New York

    Same here. The BC shaft bent and the rollers stopped grabbing the grain.I'm going to gap and keep it for small grains like rye. I read a trick to set the gap was to run a piece of solder through then measure with a caliper because some rollers move.Also seen some folks remove the third roller and just use 2.Should have on friday. gl
     
    #32 Brewday, Apr 9, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  33. Brumfield

    Brumfield Initiate (26) Jul 17, 2018 Missouri

    How is the Victoria unit holding up, and how long have you owned it?