Two Borrowed Grain Mills

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deebee

The Bludgeon Brewery
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I got to talking to a friend at work about homebrewing because her son has been into it for years but now lives on the other side of the continent. She mentioned that he had left his gear at her house. I recently had need for a grain mill and asked if I could borrow his. She has given me two mills on long-term loan.

One is a philmill with one roller and it works well. I just fitted my cordless to it and cracked a kilo of specialty grain in a matter of seconds. I may well stick to this when it comes to cracking some base malt. Adjusting the crush may be a trick of trial and error but should sort it out. Any tips from philmill owners?

The other one has no name on it but looks like a mincer. The hopper feeds the grain down into a channel where an archimedes screw pushes it along and out between two knurled plates, one of which grinds against the other. I've never seen anything like it, but it is apparently the ducks guts and the owner's pride and joy. It was bought in San Francisco and lovingly lugged back on hand luggage setting off a few metal detectors in its wake.

Anyone know what this second one is? Any reason why I should use it in preference to the philmill which seems to work well?

Quite excited and looking forward to buying a bag of base malt and doing a few more part mashes. Might even do me a few 10 litre full mash brews.
 

bonk

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the mincer looking thing is probably a corna mill or flour mill. this one is meant to tear or grind the husk, the phillmill is meant to crack the husk, leaving it intact to.

as to which one to use, well thats really up to you, which one gives you the best crush and efficency (sp) for your system.
 

timmy

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You'll find the mincer like one is called a grister. Like you said they grind rather than crush.
 

GMK

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deebee

Can you post some pics of them?
 

deebee

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Ken, I don't have no digicam and they are too three-dimensional to fit on the scanner... goddamn lid won't close ;-)

Will probably stick to the philmill as it seems to work well and a little googling has shown that it is a not uncommon choice with brewers and there are no major complaints. Plus it lets me use a drill whereas the big bugger wants ME to turn it.

Who has a philmill on this forum? Anyone? Any tips on adjusting the crush? It doesn't have settings as such, just a screw that pushes the plate closer to the roller. I guess I will just fiddle with it and work it out.
 

Jazman

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deebee ask the drunk arab hes got one or it was chillers until he got the bc mill
 

Linz

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Found this.....



chiller

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I have been the proud owner of a PhilMill 1 the single roller version which I substanstianlly modified and now use a Barley Crusher.

The PM gets a work out from the Drunk Arab now so I know it is in good hands.

9/10 the BC

8.5/10 the VM

8.5/10 PM1 [Just a bit slower in operation but a beautiful crush.]

Steve








May 21 2004, 03:10 PM | Back to top
 

sosman

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Anyone know what this second one is? Any reason why I should use it in preference to the philmill which seems to work well?
Corona or Pokert (speling?).

As to which one to use - whichever is more convenient. You could always attempt a side by side test wrt beer quality.
 

chiller

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DeeBee you are a lucky man. Stick with the PM1 it will give a very good crush TDA uses the one I had and his efficiency is similar to mine with the BC.

Adjusting the crush is very easy. And you can adjust on the run for wheat of specialties.


Well done.

Steve.
 

deebee

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thanks Steve, yes I'm pretty pleased with myself scoring not one but two mills. Opens up a few more brewing possibilities, not having to get my grain crushed at the shop.
 

Trough Lolly

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sosman said:
Corona or Pokert (speling?).
Close, Sosman, its called a Porkert...

They are from Europe and they do a crush reasonably - I nearly bought one until I stumbled across a US cooking website that canned them because they found the damn thing rusted like hell whenever they used damp grains and stuff in the crush - eg wheat...Its lack of adjustability and price were also negative factors to boot. Mind you, if you have no mill, I guess you can make do with anything - I was seriously considering using my Gaggia coffee grinder on max opening until I bought my mill!!!
Cheers,
TL
 

JasonY

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The porkert is I am sure not the ducks nuts of mills as far as they go but it is great value for money and is a whole lot more accessable than the phil mill, valley mill etc.

It does not crush but rather tears the grain as ppl have described. It is however I find quite a adjustable in the degree in which it grinds the grain. Havent seen any rust in 12 months so for a < $100 mill I am not complaining. I will no doubt upgrade to a roller mill when I have nothing else to upgrade but for now the porkert serves me well. :ph34r:

Anyway if you can get one cheap they are not bad and you will get a good run from them. :) Owning a mill certainly makes life a hell of a lot easier. B)
 

devilsaltarboy

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I have owned a philmill for a year now and put 15 brews through it, no problems at all. I havent yet motorised mine but intend to soon. The little knob on the side to adjust the plate is good, once you have the right settings just always set it to your barley setting and write down how to adjust to wheat crush, check with yours cause they are all different. I turn mine 3/4 turn off barley for when i switch to wheat if that helps.
 

Darren

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If anyone is looking to get started in mashing, one way to go is to use a "kitchenwhiz"
Simply put the grain in it. Tip it on its side, to allow the grain to spin, turn it on and whiz for about 15 seconds. Open it up. If most of the grain is broken tip it out and repeat process until enough has been "milled" for the beer.
I made my first 20 or so batches like this before I bought my Valleymill. Never had tannins, stuck sparges.
Two things to remember though:
1. Don't turn all the malt to flour (even if it means leaving some intact)
2. Don't use the wifes "kitchen whiz" as the grain will scratch the plastic and ruin it
(Get one from a second hand store)
 

Doc

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Darren said:
If anyone is looking to get started in mashing, one way to go is to use a "kitchenwhiz"
Simply put the grain in it. Tip it on its side, to allow the grain to spin, turn it on and whiz for about 15 seconds. Open it up. If most of the grain is broken tip it out and repeat process until enough has been "milled" for the beer.
I made my first 20 or so batches like this before I bought my Valleymill. Never had tannins, stuck sparges.
Two things to remember though:
1. Don't turn all the malt to flour (even if it means leaving some intact)
2. Don't use the wifes "kitchen whiz" as the grain will scratch the plastic and ruin it
(Get one from a second hand store)
Darren,

Just curious if you tried Wheat grain in the kitchen whiz ?

Beers,
Doc
 

deebee

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JasonY said:
The porkert is I am sure not the ducks nuts of mills as far as they go but it is great value for money and is a whole lot more accessable than the phil mill, valley mill etc.
Jason, I wonder if we are talking about the same beast? This one is large, probably weighs about 4 or 5 kilos and looks like a mincer. It's old too and no sign of rust. Just from the look of it <$100 doesn't sound the right price.

Anyway the philmill will get plenty of use. Thanks for tip devilsAB
 

JasonY

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Deebee, have a look in my gallery I have a picture of my mill (Porkert) see if it is the one. It is probably a few kgs in weight.
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

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As chiller says, I now have his philmill (a wonderful birthday present thanks Steve :) ) I am extremely happy with the crush it gives and am now achieving close to 80% efficiency. I use a hand drill to drive the roller.

C&B
TDA
 

MAH

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Before deciding on a mill I did loads of reading and in particular about the type of crush you need. Eventually I spent my hard earnd pennies on a Valley Mill. When I got my mill I thought it was brilliant and the most important piece of all-grain gear that I could own. Well it's still good and it's still important, but with first hand experience I wouldn't be so fussy if I had to buy a mill again.

When I first started using the VM I was so worried about not tearing the husk to avoid the dreaded stuck mash. But after discussing efficiency wth a fellow brewer he suggested I try a finer crush to ge better efficiency. So I set the gap to the finest I could and crushed the beejesus out the grain. I got better efficiency and had no problem with run-off. Next time I did a double crush, once on the second widest setting, just to crack, and then again on the finest setting. This crushed it to beejesus, plus some. The husks were pretty shreded, and there was loads of flour. Again my efficiency went up and I had no problem with run-off.

Now I can see there might be problems if you use a load of adjuncts like wheat, but for an all barley malt brew, and on a HBers scale, I reckon that much of what is said about this or that sort of mill is a mix of hype and myth. Most people probably convinve themselves the type of mill you use is important becuase they have already spent plenty on a mill, and don't want to think that they might have gone OTT. If you are doing an all barley brew, IMHO, the biggest difficulty you face is not how whreded your husk is, but how much flour you produce, and dough balls it produces which are a PTA.

So don't get caught up in the hype about mills. Just get which ever you can afford, because for us HBers it a case of 6 or 2x3's.

Cheers
MAH
 
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