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Build/buy a wooden grain mill base "For Dummies"?

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slash22000

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Okay so, as somebody who has never so much as nailed two bits of wood together, where would I start learning how to make my own grain mill base? Or, even easier, buy one?

I have a "Malt Muncher" mill with a power drill I use to turn it, that I've just sort of been balancing over a bucket with a second set of hands helping to hold it steady, but I will be starting all-grain brewing this month (finally!) and I can see it becoming a huge pain in the arse. It's annoying enough to put through 300 - 400 grams of specialty malts, let alone 6kg of base malt as well.

I've seen pages like this guy's but it looks like he's building a rocket ship or something, with computer software designs etc ... Goes to show my ignorance when I can't even figure out WTF he is saying in the "basic tips" section.

When cutting the plywood use a marking knife to score the outer ply of the plywood along your cutline. Keep your blade on the waste side of your scored line and you’ll end up with nice clean cuts without splintered faces.
:huh:

Is there a "For Dummies" guide anywhere!? It seems like everybody on the planet has one of these wooden mill bases, are you all carpenters or what!? :p
 
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sp0rk

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buy some MDF
measure a circle about 2 inches bigger than the diameter of your handypail (or whatever you're millinginto)
cut the circle out with a jigsaw/bandsaw/etc...
take 3 or 4 small plastic feet (get them at bunnings, they're fastened with screws) measure where you'll need to place them so that they sit just inside the bucket and the circle of MDF sits evenly over the top of the bucket
screw the plastic feet down where you've measured they should be
sit your mill on top of the piece of wood and figure out where is a good spot for the mill to be sitting (move it round a bit)
trace round mill where ever you've decided to put it
measure the thickness of the mill's side bits and add another 5-10mm, measure that far in from the outline you've drawn and draw your new smaller rectangle
take a large drill bit and drill just inside each corner of your smaller rectangle
grab your jigsaw and cut out the smaller rectangle
sand all edges back smooth with some sandpaper
measure up where the mounting screws need to be for the mill, drill the approriate size hole and mount the mill (i used m10 hex head bolts)
sit back and admire your handiwork

Tried to make this as simple as possible, let me know if you're still confused
 

sp0rk

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and



There you go champ


*ninja edit*
Just a tip for getting the feet in the right spot, put a ball of blutack under each one and reposition them till they're in just the right spot, then trace round them with a pencil
remove the blutack, put them back in the traced circle and screw them down :)
 

QldKev

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Hope billygoat doesn't mind me posting a pic of his setup.

billygoat.jpg

Rather than having a motor there, you would put your drill there.



Otherwise check out my basic hopper design on my website qldkev.net

It's easy to build and has lasted me a few years now


QldKev
 

bradsbrew

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QldKev said:
Hope billygoat doesn't mind me posting a pic of his setup.

billygoat.jpg

Rather than having a motor there, you would put your drill there.
Which motor is that one Kev?
 

QldKev

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bradsbrew said:
Which motor is that one Kev?
It's an Oatley motor, 12vdc / 250w. Checkout the full details/specs from my website under mill motor. They are getting harder to get and I think the motion dynamics version is priced not that much more if you don't get the optional controller, which I don't think you really need, and it has more torque.


QldKev
 

Edak

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I think some of you other guys are getting confused because the OP wants to use his drill, but can't really do so any better than he can with his current set up. I built a simple, drill friendly mill and only required a few screws, a piece of 18mm plywood for the frame and some 4mm plywood to level the drill. First have a look at the gallery.

http://aussiehomebrewer.com/gallery/album/981-malt-muncher-motorised-grain-mill/

Basically, I measured the height of my bucket and cut the sides and top to accommodate (sides measure 600x325, top measures 600x365). I have one cross-beam underneath to make the whole structure more rigid and to give a back plate so I can easily push the bucket in and when it hits the back-plate it's in place. Screw together as shown.

My drill required the mill to sit higher and so I raised it a little using some other 30mm pine that I had laying around, in which I cut a matching hole to that of the mill. Because 30mm made the mill a little too high I used some ply to raise the drill by a few mm (not the ideal method but easiest for me). Align everything so that the drill and mill will sit nicely, then measure and cut the hole in the top of your "box", again to match the size of the hole in the mill.

once everything is cut, just finish screwing it all together. I am lucky that my drill has a hole for a bolt so I could bolt it directly to the wooden platform.
 

citizensnips

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I bought this long bit of board which I only needed about 1/4 of, it costs $6 from bunnings, took the mill with me and worked out what screws were needed while I was there. Jig sawed a rough circle the diameter of the fermenter out of the timber....making it a little bigger for stability and to screw the L brackets into. Measured the gap of the mill and cut it out, measured the two holes, drilled them out and screwed them in to the mill on top. Then just stuck L brackets on about .5cm out of the diameter to hold it in place when it sits on the fermenter.
these photos will give you an idea.......not the best job but works a treat.

photo (4) (1).JPG

photo (4).JPG
 

lukasfab

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can you buy just the hopper anywhere?
 

slash22000

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Thanks for all the ideas guys. Seems like it's not too hard once you put it into plain language.

Edak it looks like we're using the exact same mill and exact same drill as each other. Unfortunately space is at a premium, I brew in a small unit, I dunno where I would keep an assembly like that. I'm resigned to having to hold the drill the entire time unless anybody has any other great ideas. Probably not a huge deal it shouldn't take THAT long to mill grain for a single batch.
 

lukiferj

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I have the same mill too. MDF over a bucket like sp0rk. I was even lazier and didn't shape the MDF into a circle. Takes around 5 mins to mill a single batch of grain by hand. Would assume the drill would be a touch quicker than that.
 

MaltyHops

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Here's mine - looks like a little motor boat

[zoom]

sp0rk said:
buy some MDF.
...
Even better would be to get some thick (2cm or more) polyethylene board - like a big cutting board or go to a plastics specialist store. I plan to do this for mine - a bit more sanitary than MDF.
 

Edak

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slash22000 said:
Thanks for all the ideas guys. Seems like it's not too hard once you put it into plain language.

Edak it looks like we're using the exact same mill and exact same drill as each other. Unfortunately space is at a premium, I brew in a small unit, I dunno where I would keep an assembly like that. I'm resigned to having to hold the drill the entire time unless anybody has any other great ideas. Probably not a huge deal it shouldn't take THAT long to mill grain for a single batch.
Ah, a space issue... I am lucky to be in a unit that has a big garage.

It's not really all that hard to hold a drill is it? Go with one of the simple builds above. You will have to hold that drill carefully though :)
 

MaltyGoodness

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Just put together this simple mill setup.

Bunnings kids table - $12.50
Mill from Gryphon Brewing - $155

20 lt bucket fits perfectly under table

IMG_0750.jpg
 

Online Brewing Supplies

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sp0rk said:

and


There you go champ

*ninja edit*
Just a tip for getting the feet in the right spot, put a ball of blutack under each one and reposition them till they're in just the right spot, then trace round them with a pencil
remove the blutack, put them back in the traced circle and screw them down :)
And three feet are enough, no need for four.
Nev
 

sp0rk

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Gryphon Brewing said:
And three feet are enough, no need for four.
Nev
Yeah, the pack came with 4 and I figured I wouldn't use the 4th anywhere else so just used it
 

angus_grant

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I note that a couple of guys have just straight attached their drills to the mill shaft. What does the end of the shaft look like? I was going to hook up my mill to a bicycle-powered setup, but think I'll just get a hammer-drill from Aldi this weekend and set that up. I was picturing lovejoy couplings, etc, etc.

Do I just get someone to cut off the end of the round part of the shaft so the flat is exposed and the drill will clamp on? I got a mill with a tiny handle so it is VERY hard work to mill a batch of grain.
 

slash22000

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MaltyGoodness said:
Just put together this simple mill setup.

Bunnings kids table - $12.50
Mill from Gryphon Brewing - $155

20 lt bucket fits perfectly under table

IMG_0750.jpg
This appeals greatly to the lazy bastard in me. Might have to look into this. :lol:
 

Florian

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I've used a piece of chipboard for years, just cut a whole for the mill and drill a few holes for the bolts. Sit it on a few milk crates or boxes or whatever and you're good to go.

All you need is a piece of wood, a drill and a jig saw that costs around $30 and comes in handy on all sorts of projects. Or just use a hack saw, $6.

Pictures

Only now I'm in the process of upgrading the stand and adding a motor etc.
 

billygoat

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QldKev said:
Hope billygoat doesn't mind me posting a pic of his setup.

billygoat.jpg

Rather than having a motor there, you would put your drill there.



Otherwise check out my basic hopper design on my website qldkev.net

It's easy to build and has lasted me a few years now


QldKev
No worries Kev, it now has a 30A supply on it rather than the battery.
 

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