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Alternative To Grain Mill

Discussion in 'Gear and Equipment' started by hhouken, 10/4/11.

 

  1. hhouken

    Active Member

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    Posted 10/4/11
    What would be a recommended alternative to a "proper" grain mill. Have seen coffee grinder mentioned - too fine? What about food processor with steel blade? My intended style of brewing is BIAB.
     
  2. Malted

    Humdinger

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    Posted 10/4/11

    Probably depends on your budget. I don't think a coffee grinder is really that much cheaper than a mill anyway.
    Do you want bulk buy grain? It's good for base malts but do you want to buy 25kg of specialty malts that will take years to get through?
    Otherwise premilled grain from your LHBS isn't such a bad option for a number of reasons.
    In short, tell us more about why you want to mill.
     
  3. smileedude@hotmail.com

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    Posted 10/4/11
    You can get the victoria/carona style mill for $60- $90. Thats what i use. I saw a video of someone grinding with an electric coffee grinder, not sue how good this is. If I were you I would be buying a recipe at a time preground from your LHBS (if its a decent one) then buy a proper mill when you have the cash.
     
  4. Bada Bing Brewery

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    Posted 10/4/11
    +1
    Get it smashed by a shop and then when you know what you like (grain wise) you can workout the options from there. I BIAB and started with premilled grain - then I got a secondhand mill (marga) which is good but decided to outlay for a montermill from the US. It all depends on how much brewing you will do and how much you like monkey grinding ... <_<
    Cheers
    BBB
     
  5. Jazman

    Fishweide BrauHaus

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    Posted 10/4/11
    get a proper grain mill it does the job good or better than the other substitute plus you can get a good one from the states for a good price while the dollar is up and get one u can use with your drill easy as...Also do what most brews do keg 25kg of base and buy the odd 1kg of special malt and save some coin
     
  6. Wolfy

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    Posted 10/4/11
    You can often get a 2nd hand marga-mill for about $50, well worth watching out for.
     
  7. hhouken

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    Posted 10/4/11

    I put a brew down every 3 weeks or so as soon as my fermenter & temperature control fridge is freed up. Been doing extracts using 15l pot. Given ease of BIAB setup plan to brew by this method plus buy a bigger pot & 2 ring gas burner. Will use around 4 - 5kg base malt plus some speciality malts - the latter milled by friendly folk at CB per recipe. Will pick recipes around a 25kg bag of base malt and will mill as required.
     
  8. dave_h

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    Posted 10/4/11
    I have done a couple of brews with a food processor and ended up burning the motor out, looking into getting a proper mill. It got the grain reasonably fine but took ages.

    Recommend getting your brew shop to mill the first couple of batches and then get a mill and bulk buy
     
  9. ekul

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    Posted 10/4/11
    If you do a brew every 3 weeks and use 5 kilos a brew you use 86kg of grain a year. This will cost you $387 a year if you only use base malt and pick it up from the store (ie don't have to pay grain postage).

    A mill with base plate, hopper and crank handle (ie everything you need to crush grain) will set you back $215 delivered to your front door.

    Once you have this you will be able to bulk buy your grain. The last bulk buy it cost me $92 for two sacks of ale malt, or $1.84 a kilo. So for your 86kg a year it will cost you $158

    So you buy all your grain precrushed @ $4.5 a kg and spend $387 a year

    OR you can buy a monster mill from here with base plate and hand crank for $215 delivered PLUS 3 bags of grain (only 75kg but close enough) in a bulk buy and be $30 in front your first year. The next year and every year after that you'll be halving your grain cost.

    Once i sat down and did the maths i instantly went and bought one.
     
  10. Malted

    Humdinger

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    Posted 10/4/11

    Cool bananas. Even though I have not done it myself, BIAB certainly does sound like a good process to start, or stay, with.
    Big pots can be expensive to buy - and the choice of how big a one do I buy really is a kicker. If you're fine with aluminium, not so expensive but if you want stainless steel - $ can add up. There are pros and cons for ally vs SS. A lot of folks purchase a good quality 40L or so urn to use for BIAB. If you want to go to a three vessel or two vessel system later, the urn slots straight in. If you want to stick with BIAB, all the better. A lot of folks have run into trouble at some stage with buying cheaper urns; general conscenus is get a good one to begin with.
    CB do some good deals for larger amounts of grain, you only have to buy 5kg and they give a discount (I think he sells by the sack [25kg] too?). A few independent bulk buys go on now and then too.
    Oh if it were only so easy to stick with a recipe on a base malt...

    Ohh the mills, that's right.
    So you can get a Monster Mill 2 (2 roller) for $109 USD + $48 post - I believe that is based on a USPS box that can fit two MM2 mills in - you may be able to find someone in Bris to split the post with you. From all accounts this is a very good mill. Or + $40 USD for stainless steel rollers. I have got 80% efficiency from a MM2 milled grain.
    Crankandstein roller mills ($79-$119 USD for the base 2 roller models) are just as good too and about the same price. There are quite a few other brands of 'proper mills' and they aren't that expensive really. As to which is better, there is much discussion and debate - ultimately you have to make your own choice.

    So it comes down to budget and if you are in a hurry. If you have time, you may be able to wait for a 2nd hand marga mill to come up. I believe they are ok but not quite as the ducks nuts as crankandstein and monster mills. If you have money and no time, buy away whilst the aussie dollar is riding the yankee greenback. If you don't have heaps of cash that might be a good reason too.

    I suspect you are looking for a cheaper option than a 'proper mill' and trying to get into the sport at an entry level. Nothing wrong with that indeed. If you decide milling is the way to go, a good simple mill is not that expensive in the grand scheme of things.

    If you don't have any coin and you can't wait - grind a divet in a large rock with another rock and then put the grain in between them and grind it up. Maybe wear some leather gloves to reduce blisters. :D
     
  11. felten

    Homebrew Conjecturist

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    Posted 10/4/11
    If you're going to spend a bit of money on an alternative, you might as well save it up and get a mill from the states. Like Malted said the cheapest mill crankandstein makes is only $79 USD, if you purchase one yourself instead of splitting the postage, apparently you can fit the crank+hopper setup in the box as well. (though monstermill have better looking hoppers IMO)
     
  12. seemax

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    Posted 10/4/11
    If you were in Melbourne you could have my "insinkerator" , it crushed pretty fine but for BIAB it worked a treat.


    I like having a mill and bulk grain not just for saving money but also for convenience - brew any beer you feel like at the time.

    There is also the grain book option (G&G in Melb for example) where you prebuy say 50kg of grain at a reduced price, then they crush and bag each brew for you. Not sure if other shops offer this service but worth calling around.
     
  13. QldKev

    Brew Dude

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    Posted 10/4/11
    I did the maths when thinking about getting one too and as ekul said using bulk grain the pay back period is very short; and as a bonus you can choose what brew to make up on brew day.

    Not only are you $30 in front in the first year, if you decided to pull the pin and stop brewing you would be able to sell your mill for more than half of what you paid for it.

    QldKev
     
  14. ekul

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    Posted 11/4/11
    This is a very good point, people are always looking to buy secondhand mills and the monster mill is built very well. So even if you stopped brewing 5 years down the track you'd probably still get at least half your money back, plus you would've saved yourself over $600 in that time anyway.

    This is what they call a win/win situation :)
     

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