Bc Or Vally Mill

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dicko

Boston Bay Brewery
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It's all in the belt tension JM!!!!!

Cheers
 

NRB

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I'm considering getting myself a BC. It's USD165 delivered to Melbourne... is this still a good price, or are there local suppliers who can do it for same/cheaper? They claim 4-10 days for delivery from the USA.
 

chiller

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Jovial_Monk said:
The trouble with the motor and pully method, and likely the reason BC recommends using a drill, is that if your malt contains a stone the motor will keep going, and the stone will damage your rollers.

If you do go ahead with the motor & pulley method make sure you use quality malts only.

Jovial Monk
A more likely reason JM is litigation from people getting caught in exposed pulleys and belt.

Regardless of the malt there will always be some foreign matter in the mix and drill or motor our reactions are not fast enough to stop the mill if it has jammed. we will eventually stop it but the damage is done.

Having just said that it is very rare to see any mills other than commercials damaged because of "rocks"

Regardless of the grain quality I have seen non grain matter in the grist. I have heard some solid crunches but no damage to my BC.

Bearing wear is more likely using a drill with uneven weight thana motor pulley system. The secret is just enough tension to avoid slipping and no more.

Steve.
 

Jazman

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Nrb tht sounds better than what u can buy here i got mine when someon was in the states so i saved a lot on postage
 

jgriffin

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Or fit an idler pulley to remove some of the load on the shaft and bearings.
 

NRB

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I apologise in advance for the size of this post, but it contains information some may find useful when faced with mill purchase.

I've had e-mails from both suppliers and am finding the decision hard to make.

Here's a transcript of correspondence with Fred Francis from CrankandStein:

Me said:
----- Original Message -----
From: Nick
To: info@crankandstein.com
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2005 6:03 PM
Subject: mills

I'm looking at making a mill purchase soon and am exploring all options prior to purchase. At the moment, The Barley Crusher is looking like what I'm going to buy. I've read about your mills on homebrew forums and am interested in finding out a bit of information as I've not settled on a single mill. The fact that the Valley Mill can only be purchased from the manufacturer means the cost is prohibitive to get into Australia. I like the look of your mills.

I'm looking at spending the same or less than what the BC can be bought for shipped to Melbourne Australia, USD165. I'm planning on hand cranking the grains, but may in the future motorise it with either a drill or pulley system, but to be honest, hand cranking for a few minutes shouldn't be too much of a strain.

I'm having a little difficulty deciphering the differences in all the models you have as well as the pros/cons of each. I know I don't want to have to pull the unit apart to set the gap, I'd prefer to have a knob/dial/lever to allow "on the fly" gap setting.

The other question I have is with warranty. what sort of warranty do your mills come with?

Sorry for all the questions, but I only want to buy one mill in my brewing career.
Fred said:
Nick,

I think your best deal would be to get our knob adjustable 2A mill, and build yourself a hopper, and base. If you don't have a drill, or plan to buy one then you should add our crank handle. The base we sell is a simple square cutout of 3/4" plywood that you can source locally. The hopper is just a large plain metal galvanized tractor funnel that you can pick up at a hardware store. Past that, all you need is access to some tools to cut the wood out, and fashion the hopper of your choice. I always recommend my international customers build their own base and hopper because it seems silly to send a piece of plywood half way around the world. If you really don't want to, or can't build the base/hopper system, just pick up the CGM-BCC, or BCCh with the handle. (this setup is on the front page of our web site)

Our mills are really simple. The 2S (S=Settable) is the one you have to take apart to change the gap on. (you already ruled it out). The 2A (A=Adjustable) is the knob adjustable mill. We have made a change in our new knobs for the A series of mills and are making them out of stainless steel instead of aluminum. The design is very similar to the appearence of the knobs on the D line of mills but without the roll pin. To adjust the A series mill, all you do is loosen the set screws on each knob, turn the knob the correct amount to get the gap you want, and then tighten the setscrews. The trick here is to measure the gap settings you want to use, and mark the frames, and knobs so you can go back to the settings you want to use. The D series of mills (D=Detent) have setscrews like the A mills to hold the gap setting, but also have detents in the knobs that click into discreet spots. If you look at the picture on our web site, you can see the small davits machined in the knob. There is a spring loaded ball bearing that falls into each divot to give the click, and the detent settings. This setup allows you to easily go back to any of the discreet gap settings by just turning the knobs back to that click. It gives you less possible gap settings with the ease of going back to any one very easily, and quickly.

Our warrantee is really simple. If you aren't happy with the mill, you just need to return it, and we will refund the full purchase price of the mill. We can't refund shipping because we have no way to recover those costs. I have always hated to deal with a company that doesn't seem to care weather or not I'm happy with my purchase, and Its a total buzz kill to spend your hard earned $$ to be disappointed. We provide as much support as possible to resolve any problems, and strive to achieve 100% customer satisfaction. We will reknurl rollers for free as long as you have your mill. All you need to do is send them to us, and pay for return postage. I have had only a few returns, and they were from folks that just never got around to using the mill, or obviously abused it, and then traded it in for another.

Some differences between our mill and the barley crusher. Our rollers are larger 1.5" instead of 1.25". Our mills have axels on the ends of both of the rollers, and the crusher has holes in the ends of the idler roller for their adjustment knob to stick into. Our handle is 10 times as beefy as the crusher's. Our base, and hopper systems are totally different. The barley crusher is a decent mill, but we feel ours is better. Ours cost a little more but we feel they're built better. I haven't dealt with Barley crusher, nor have I ever even spoken to them. Our mills are made one at a time by hand right here in Atlanta GA by my machinist partner.

So....to get a 2A, with handle to Australia is going to cost $49 via USPS Global priority mail with delivery in 3-5 days after shipment.

That's CGM-2A= $99, CGM-HNDL=$20, plus shipping= $49 = total of $168

if you want the whole setup with handle that's the CGM-BCCh = $144, plus shipping of $64 = $208 This is with shipping via Airmail Parcel post with delivery in 4-10 days. Global Priority is $67 for 3-5 day. All shipping prices include insurance just in case something happens.

If you are anywhere close to Melbourne, I am going to be sending several mills to a hombre club there. You could sample our workmanship. Its going to be a while before they get there though, as they opted for surface post (4-6 weeks delivery time).

We can take credit cards through PayPal, or international $$ orders.

If you need any further information, or have any more questions, let me know.

Thanks,

~~fred francis
CrankandStein.com
Now the question is, is it worth spending a little extra money and a lot of extra time getting the CrankandStein and making the hopper and base, or should I pay a little less for a complete unit ready to use out of the box. I think I'm still sold on the BC, but input from the masses who've made this decision before would be most appreciated. I'm still awaiting a reply from Valley Mill, but they retail at US$139, then there's probably another $60+ for postage. I would only consider buyng this if it's a MUCH better unit than the BC.

Nick
 

Pumpy

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I have not read all the above but if you are far away from your HBS there are advantages from crushing your own grain otherwise its not .

But I reckon my crush is better than my HBS.

I personally would crush my grain if tyhe shop was around the corner its just a bit special ,cant explain but its like culturing your own yeast, its about independance day !!!


Pumpy
 

pint of lager

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I think you will be happy with whatever option you go with.

Have a BC here and very happy with it. Drive it with a cheap adjustable speed drill. If I had the extra money, would go for the 3 roller crankandstein. Maybe in a few years, will lash out.

If anyone in your area has one, go and check them out.

The 4-6 weeks quoted on sea shipping may take longer, mine took nearly three months.

If you are tool challenged, buy the BC.

Freshly crushing your grain is one step towards the ultimate homebrew.
 

NRB

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A BC can be here via airmail (US$60) in 4-10 days...
 

mje1980

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That'a why i bought one!!, i looked around for a margo mill, coz i would've preferred to save some $$ and buy local, but could not find any. Got impatient and ordered a barley crusher, mainly coz its adjustable, and already comes with a base and hopper, and it SHOULD be here in 4-10 days. From the site, its purpose built for brewing, so, should be fine.
 

dicko

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Hi NRB,

If finances permit and you are right into brewing then go for the 3 roller Crankandstein adjustable job.
When many people on this forum bought their Valleys, BC's and Marga's this model Crankandstein was not available, but presently it appears to be the premier in grain mills available to the home brewer.
I recently bought a mill from Fred Francis and I found him true to his word in every way and was very pleased with the attention and service I got from this man.
As far as I know, Crankandstein is the only manufacturer that offers a 1/2" drive shaft and I feel that this is important as it is easier to fit pulleys and it is more robust if you are driving it with a drill.
Anyway, the choice is yours and I am sure that if you stick to the well known brands you wont go too far wrong.
On another note, it is a shame that some switched on person with a background in machining in Aus has not realised the potential in making these mills for retail sale to the HB community.

Cheers
 

mje1980

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Dicko, i myself am a qualified machinist, however, to buy and install a cheap 2nd hand metal lathe would cost a bit of dough, and also, you need to have the right tools, which, are not cheap. If i knew i could sell 20-30 straight up, it might be worth it, but, if not, i have a lathe sitting in my shed (which i dont have at the moment) doing sweet fa. If i had one already, however, you're right, i'd've made mine ages ago, and could probably sell them to whoever wanted one. But, unless i come across one plus tools for next to nothing, no go. oh, and a shed too!!!! ;)
 

NRB

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My Barley Crusher arrived today - I can't wait to fire it up! I think I'll order the NASA burner tomorrow and get the AG system rocking.
 

Ross

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MJE1980,

I'll take the first one off the production line.... :D
 

Doc

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Doc said:
GMK said:
I want to do this also - can post how you are doing it..

ie motor size - rpm wattage
pulley sizes and especially what RPM u think the mill should run at....
OK, this is my research so far.

The Valley Mill should not be run over 300rpm as recommended by the manufacturer. I'm sure the BC will be similar.
You want to look for a 1/3 to 1/2 HP AC motor with the RPM around 1400. Any more than this and you will have to use multiple pulleys to gear it down.

Checkout thislink on HBD and this one in Oz for some good info.

I'll post pics etc when I get mine done.
My motor should be here end of the week (eBay), and I'm trying to find a good Oz online supplier of pulleys and v-belts now. Not having much success with that so far though.

Doc
[post="42601"][/post]​

My motor has been sitting in the shed idle. It has been one of those when I get to it projects.
Well my hand has been forced. Cracking the grain for this weekends brew tonight and the drill adaptor for my valley mill and had the internal hex part stripped due to overuse.
I busted my gut trying to get it out so I could put the handle on without success. I have scars and a broken glass to thank for my troubles too.

So I have to motorise the bastard.

Can anyone give me a great lead on a friendly place in Sydney that I can rock up to and get the pulleys and belts I need to motorise my valley mill ? Please please please.

Doc
 

Gulf Brewery

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Doc said:
Can anyone give me a great lead on a friendly place in Sydney that I can rock up to and get the pulleys and belts I need to motorise my valley mill ? Please please please.

Doc
[post="91287"][/post]​
Doc

Consolidated Bearing Company would have what you want. I'm not sidenee based but you can find their locations here.

Cheers
Pedro
 

Batz

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Doc,
I too have a Valley Mill (you know that)

Ok what you need is the motor gearbox assembly from an old Hoover Twin Tub washer , it will have the pulley already.
Just get a pulley to suit your Valley Mill , Coventrys or someplace will have one , take in the mill and show them !


Try a washer repairer for the Twin Tub

Good luck

Batz
 

chiller

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Batz said:
Doc,
I too have a Valley Mill (you know that)

Ok what you need is the motor gearbox assembly from an old Hoover Twin Tub washer , it will have the pulley already.
Just get a pulley to suit your Valley Mill , Coventrys or someplace will have one , take in the mill and show them !


Try a washer repairer for the Twin Tub

Good luck

Batz
[post="91296"][/post]​

Batz,
Just a technical question but well -- do you set the mill to delicate whites or soiled workwear?
 

Batz

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Not too worried about the wash cycle Steve

It's that spinning has me bitting my nails

Batz
 

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