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chiller

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We all want the highest efficiency from our systems -- right?

And the grain mill is the answer right?

Well ----- possibly.


I have just trecked back from America with a new grain mill and this is now my third mill in 4 years [all different].

I have had a Philmill, a Barley Crusher and now a JSP adjustable [and geared] Maltmill.

So which is "better"? There is no better in my opinion as they all do the same thing. Crush grain to make beer. All mills with my system [batch sparge] will provide a consistent 75% efficiency. The important thing is repeatable results.

Speed:
The Philmill is quite slow -- but on a drill it performs very well.
The Barley crusher is quick and if used on a drill is very quick.
The Maltmill is super quick but struggles if the hopper is full without the drill running. When used with the drill running and the grain added to the moving rollers it is frieghtening :) 5 kgs in about 1 minute.

Crush:
All very similar - none better than the other really.

Build:
All very professionally made - The Barley Crusher is the prettiest by far.

Reliability:
The Philmill has been in the capable hands of the DrunkArab for awhile now and still performs very well.

The Barley Crusher has a new home and will last a lifetime as well.

The JSP Maltmill is new and --- well it is new so ask me in 12 months :) It looks as if it will last many lifetimes as well.

Recomendation?:

All mills on the market will give you an excellent crush, some faster than others, but that is not an issue as we are not commercial brewers where time is real money. All of the mills mentioned make great beer.

I choose to routinely double crush my grain with all of the mentioned mills. It made only a slight efficiency improvement but made me feel better about the crush. It is quite theraputic crushing grain :)

I chose to get a JSP Maltmill because it is less known here in Australia so that I could give some first hand feedback -- After three mills I seriously don't care what the mill is as many other factors impact on the final beer.

If three unidentified grain crushes were provided to you from commercially available mills, I doubt anyone would know the difference [or care].

If you are thinking of a mill purchase don't be too concerned -- they all work well.

Steve
 

Borret

Crazy Eye's Brewery
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Chiller,

Just out of curiosity.... if the first.. or even the second mills worked well and weren't worn out.....then what drove you to buy a third. :unsure:

Cheers

Borret :wacko:
 

tangent

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Thanks Chiller. You've made my craptacular mill seem not too bad now.

Good question Borret.
 

Jye

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Good stuff Chiller, I am thinking about a buying/making a mill and this is helpful info.

I choose to routinely double crush my grain with all of the mentioned mills
Do you change the roller separation between crushes? What separation do you use?

Cheers
Jye
 

chiller

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Borret said:
Chiller,

Just out of curiosity.... if the first.. or even the second mills worked well and weren't worn out.....then what drove you to buy a third. :unsure:

Cheers

Borret :wacko:
[post="80952"][/post]​

:)

Why not.



We have an amazing HB community here in Adelaide and although I was very happy with the Philmill the opportunity arose to get a BC and at the time it was a rarity in Australia. The PM found its way into the hands of the DrunkArab. I recently decided to go on a trip to america and because I could, I did get a new mill. I was more than satisfied with the BC. The BC is now making beer for one of the Adelaide brewers. The BC was sold to a fellow brewer and that partly financed the JSP. I was able to get a mill that again is a rarity in Australia and as such hopefully pass on any info I have gathered.

I don't think I will get another mill -- but you never know. :)


Steve
 

chiller

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Jye said:
Good stuff Chiller, I am thinking about a buying/making a mill and this is helpful info.

I choose to routinely double crush my grain with all of the mentioned mills
Do you change the roller separation between crushes? What separation do you use?

Cheers
Jye
[post="80957"][/post]​

If the mill is easily adjustable change the setting, if not just run it through on the standard setting twice.

The JSP is very easy to adjust, the BC is adjustable but a bit more work and the PM is also very easy.

if you run it through on the same standard setting you will still free up more of the starch for conversion.

Steve
 

jimmysuperlative

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I'm thinking about biting the bullet and buying a grain mill ...haven't got alot of darts to spend so I'm thinking about the Corona style mill.

About how much do you reckon I should spend on this type of mill? Best I've found so far is $132AUD (new) ...not counting ebay.

What do you think? Experience? :blink: Me = NFI :D
 

Jez

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you can order the lowest model crankenstein 2-S direct from the website for @$150 AUD including shipping. At least thats what Fred Francis of Crankandstein quoted me in late-August 2005 (US$69 for mill & US$44 shipping). Might be a little less if the Aussie Dollar has gone up a bit against the greenback since then.

I wound up ordering the next model up, the 2-A?, which is in transit as we speak for AUD$200 delivered.

Depends on how short you are on dough but the 2-S might be worth thinking about.

Jez
 

nonicman

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Hi Jimmysperlative, for that sort of money maybe a cheap Cranknstein or one of the mills that Chiller has used would be better. I haven't used a Corona, but I haven't read much positive regarding the Corona mill either.
 

roach

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Jimmy,
Lots of great reports from brewers about the modified Marga mill.

But might be better off getting a base model crankandstein 2S for US69 plus post via surface should be around AU130 landed. I have had the 2s for about 18 months and works a treat. You just need to fab your own base and hopper which is dead easy with an inverted water cooler bottle, and some scrap timber. The only drawback to the 2s is that it is not easily adjustable. Though I have never needed to adjust it.

cheers
roach
 

sluggerdog

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I decided on the barley crusher. Ended up costing me around $220 including postage. Good thing about the barley crusher over the crankandstein is it comes with a base, handle and hopper at this price so you can whip it out of the box and start using it straight away.

crankandstein seems to be the cheaper option though if you don't mind building your own base and hopper.
 

Bigfella

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I went thru the same thing about six months ago, even ordered a marga mill but they couldn't supply it for weeks. So in that time I did some research into the Crank. I have never looked bak since A top mill and I have never had to adjust it.
 

MAH

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I bought my mill, Valley Mill, a number of years ago, when there was less choice. I reckon if I was buying one now it would be a Crankandstein. The whole adjustable thing is pretty over rated. The Valley is dead easy to adjust, but I hardly ever bother. At first I played around with the adjustment, but now I just leave it on the middle setting. I get the same extraction every time +or- 1%. This means I can easily develop recipes and plan my brew days, because the results are reproducible.

Cheers
MAH
 

Guest Lurker

Big Dog Brewing
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Ditto. The valley works fine, I use it permanently at one of the finer settings. But if I was buying one now the Crank looks the best value for money by far.
 

Duff

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roach said:
I have had the 2s for about 18 months and works a treat. You just need to fab your own base and hopper which is dead easy with an inverted water cooler bottle, and some scrap timber. The only drawback to the 2s is that it is not easily adjustable. Though I have never needed to adjust it.

[post="81304"][/post]​
Roach (or other 2S owners),

Has anyone had any problems with the steel rollers and surface rusting? How do you keep clean? Airgun? Obviously no water.

I need a mill and don't mind a bit of woodwork so could fabricate up a base and hopper no problem. If there is no problem with surface rust then I think I'll just order and explain myself to SWMBO (who will be :angry: ) when it arrives...
 

jimmysuperlative

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Thanks for the feedback ...food for thought, for sure!

...seems to be a toss up between the crankenstein and the Valley?

I'll go from there ...Cheers for the input! ;)
 

Jez

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speak of the devil - my 2A crankandstein turned up here at work just now. Only took about a week and a half to get here.

Certainly looks the goods. Even came with a diagram and instructions on how to build a hopper and base & how to mount the mill. Can't wait to give it a spin.

The instructions that came with it just say to clean it by brushing it off. and definitely no water.

Jez
 

roach

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Duff said:
roach said:
I have had the 2s for about 18 months and works a treat. You just need to fab your own base and hopper which is dead easy with an inverted water cooler bottle, and some scrap timber. The only drawback to the 2s is that it is not easily adjustable. Though I have never needed to adjust it.

[post="81304"][/post]​
Roach (or other 2S owners),

Has anyone had any problems with the steel rollers and surface rusting? How do you keep clean? Airgun? Obviously no water.

I need a mill and don't mind a bit of woodwork so could fabricate up a base and hopper no problem. If there is no problem with surface rust then I think I'll just order and explain myself to SWMBO (who will be :angry: ) when it arrives...
[post="81344"][/post]​
Duff,
Not one bit of rust on the 2s in 18 months. Just keep it in a dry place in the shed and you'll be right. I just brush it clean, not worrying about getting every last bit of the grain dust/flour off the mill, as I figure this provides some sort of protection anyway.

cheers
roach
 

NRB

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jimmysuperlative said:
...seems to be a toss up between the crankenstein and the Valley?
I think you'll find the Valley to be out of your price range if you don't want to fork out much. I was faced with crusher choice early this year and ended up buying the Barley Crusher. As sluggerdog's said, open the box and she's ready to roll - no base/hopper fabrication needed. If I had my time over again I'd probably opt for the larger hopper but the smaller hopper is satisfactory - just can't load all grainbill in at once.
 

bradmcm

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I'm not a big fan of the Valley Mill design. You have to unbolt it all to clean the hopper, you have to use a stick to get the last few grains through the mill and it all inexplicably feeds into a 1 inch square of the roller. 90% of the roller NEVER gets used.
 

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