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WTB - Grain Mill

Discussion in 'Buy and Sell' started by Bob65, 11/2/20.

 

  1. Bob65

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    Posted 11/2/20
    OK. I know this is the buy and sell section.

    I would prefer to buy new, but open to the idea if some one wants to sell one.


    Looking for a grain mill to start AG brewing.

    Would like suggestions for quality brands and styles(?) so that I am not disappointed.

    Buy once, cry once.

    A rough idea of price would be helpful too.
     
  2. Grmblz

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    Posted 11/2/20
    I have a 3 roller malt muncher https://www.kegland.com.au/maltmuncher-grain-mill-3-roller.html it works with the supplied handle if you don't mind spending an hour crushing grain, so you'll be up for a drill to drive it, if I was in the market for one now I would buy this https://www.kegland.com.au/maltzilla-with-12v-motor-the-diamond-mill.html just connect it to a battery or buy their power supply. Look at this https://aussiehomebrewer.com/threads/kegland-questions-and-answers.98306/page-179 #3566 half way down page.
     
  3. MHB

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    Posted 11/2/20
    A good mill can make a lot of difference, up to 20% of extract, can have a big impact on lautering speed and how clean a wort you send to the kettle...
    A good mill is going to be expensive and will have some basic features: -
    Both (or all) rollers should be powered rather than just one and the other(s) idling.
    The bigger the wheels the better the crush, there is a bunch of theory starting with nipp angle theory which looks at how malt feeds into the rollers through to rates of compression and see next
    Surface texture is important, rough texture like knurling will shred the husk, good fluted rollers will hold the malt and squeeze it rather than tare at it.
    Speed is very important, too fast and you will generate heat that can damage enzymes and will give lots of flour.
    Easily adjustable, preferably on the fly. Not all malt benefits from the same setting, with a bit of experience you will learn what your grist should look like (its called hand evaluation) you can even do some basic reference testing to get a better grist.

    If you are new(ish) at AG brewing, I would park the decision to buy a mill, most retailers will crack for free, ideally they will have a way better mill than you can easily afford and one would hope a lot more experience using it than you will get any time soon. Some retailers appear not to care, avoid them, some really do go the extra mile to give you exactly what you want.
    Good idea to build a relationship with a good supplier. You will have a lot to learn if you a are a starting AG brewer, make the milling easy for a start.
    Mark
     
    Coalminer, Reg Holt, razz and 2 others like this.
  4. Coxy

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    Posted 11/2/20
    I've owned both a MashMaster "Mill Master Mini Mill" (https://www.craftbrewer.com.au/millmaster-minimill-stainless-steel-grain-mill) as well as a 2 roller malt muncher (https://www.keg-king.com.au/catalog/product/view/id/115/s/maltmuncher-grain-mill/category/12/) that I got second hand for $50. To be honest, I can't really tell the difference in the quality of the milling. Both are adjustable, both crush my grain, and I saw little to no difference between them in my efficiency, mash or the quality of my beers. I get 75% brewhouse efficiency with one of the cheapest mills on the market, so I doubt that I would get 20% (quoted above) more extract from spending a heap more on a good one. Just my 2c on that. I do agree, however, that it's one of the least important considerations if you're just starting to get into AG brewing. In fact, it's probably a bad thing to invest in for your first AG brew, because it adds an extra variable, so when things don't go quite right, you might not know whether it's because of your grind gap or something else.
     
  5. Bob65

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    Posted 11/2/20
    Thanks fellas.

    Sound advice.
     
  6. MHB

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    Posted 11/2/20
    My default is over 85%, I've seen lots of brewers getting 65%, so a 20% better yield is far from out of the question.
    Even at 10% that means every 10th grain bill is free, at 20% its every 5th. A part of the cost of brewing that many home brewers ignore.
    Agree on the variables, part of what I meant by a lot to learn.
    Mark
     
    razz likes this.
  7. Reg Holt

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    Posted 12/2/20
    I have the geared three roller mill, it's all in the setting what kind of crush you will get, take MHB's advice and get your grain crushed for you and get a mill down the track may get more reviews and the Malzilla too.

    From KegLand
    The 3 Roller Grain Mill is specifically designed to give that extra crush when passing through. If you're after bigger grain hopper capacity and the ability to double crush to yourexact specifications then this is perfect for you.

    Many have argued over the years that two rollers may be good but three is better! Here at KegLand we ask ourselves, does it mill? then it fits the bill!

    With approximate 5.5kg of hopper space this large and in charge Malt Muncher will get through your bill lickity split.

    Just like the 2 Roller the 3 Roller has an adjustable roller, but only the third bottom one that does that refined crushing.
     
    Last edited: 12/2/20
  8. philrob

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    Posted 12/2/20
    I agree with MHB.
    I have used an original MillMaster mill since it was first released about 10 years ago. I hand crank it, so it's slow, but it leaves the husk intact but crushed the kernels.
    I never achieve less than 90% extraction efficiency.
    You won't go wrong having your grains milled initially by your dependable HB shop, such as Brewman or CraftBrewer.
     
    razz and wide eyed and legless like this.
  9. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 12/2/20
    The grain is going between two rollers, whether it be a two or three roller mill, does a diamond coated roller make any difference to a knurled roller? I would say not one iota of difference, its the gap which governs the crush, not the finish on the roller.
     
  10. MHB

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    Posted 12/2/20
    Incorrect.
     
  11. malt and barley blues

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    Posted 12/2/20
    My thoughts exactly.
     
  12. Hangover68

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    Posted 12/2/20
    Surely the coarser knurled finish of the rollers will produce a better crush ?
     
  13. goatchop41

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    Posted 12/2/20
    The type of roller (and speed used) will determine if the grain is more likely to be crushed vs shredded, which is important because we are looking for a nicely crushed kernel with a mostly intact husk, as opposed to a demolished and floury kernel with a shredded husk that is in multiple pieces (which is much less helpful for grain bed structure, filtering through, etc.). So yes, the finish on the roller can matter.

    There is also the possibility that the diamond coated roller could wear less rapidly, therefore giving consistent results for a longer period of time.
     
  14. MHB

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    Posted 12/2/20
    There is a pile of theory that goes into mill design. if this weren't the case all mill rollers would be the same, they aren't.
    For example mills for making flour (remembering these are mostly multi stage mills 4-5-6-roll) have finishing rolls that are smooth. Agricultural mills for cow food tend to be a lot coarser...
    If surface texture wasn't important all rolls would be smooth so it isn't just the gap between them. Compared to Fluting (especially ground in spiral fluting on a hardened steel roller) Knurling is a low tech, low cost way to provide enough texture to draw the grain into the (undersized) rolls, point is its about the lowest cost way to treat a roller, not the best.
    As goatchop41 said, we have certain ideal outcomes when we mill malt, comes to large husk fragments to aid lautering (and reduce tannin extraction), finely divided endosperm (kibble) with low amounts of flour that would block up the grain bed.

    Worth noting that all most of the better home malt mills are starting to offer fluted roller mills, at a higher price, think abought why.
    Mark
     
  15. The Brew Master

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    Posted 13/2/20
    I have a MillMaster gear driven 2 fluted roller mill and I love it!
     
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  16. peterlonz

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    Posted 13/2/20
    First I no expert on this subject, but I see in many replies what I believe to be myths or unfounded suppositions.
    A few practical observations:
    1) Neither of my local LHBS have anything other that a relatively crude 2 roller, power drill driven grain crusher. The result looks OK but I can't advise the extraction rate from such grain.
    2) I inevitably get caught out, want to put down a brew NOW, but no crushed grain. Call the wife & bingo grain is "crushed" in her rather powerful "Nutribullet" mixer/ blender thingy.
    Problem here is that there is little control on the resulting " degree of crushing" some portion is quite fine, some portion not really well crushed. by a bit of skill & adjusting the "blend time" you can get more or less of each. Crucially, in practice this seems to work OK, extraction seems indistinguishable to that when the powered rollers are used at the LHBS.
    Just saying!.
     
  17. Grmblz

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    Posted 13/2/20
    The elephant in the room, I walked into my LHBS a few months ago and asked for a kg of light chocolate and a kg of dark chocolate before wandering around perusing what he had, a few minutes later he proudly presented me with a 2kg bucket of MIXED! grain, and enquired if I needed it cracked, ask yourself would you trust this guy to crack your grain? Sure I could go to someone else, only a 6hr! round trip, get it online from a "dependable" source and postage kills you. The solution is to crack it yourself and learn as you go. IF! you have a dependable LHBS then I wholeheartedly agree with MHB but it's not always the case.
    As for WEALs' nonsense it's just another case of his hatred for KL clouding his judgement, the diamond mill may or may not be a better solution than a knurled mill, but to claim " its the gap which governs the crush, not the finish on the roller" just to put shit on KLs' product is complete and utter rubbish, a rudimentary Goggle search about mill design will yield a heap of information to the contrary. Even if the crush is no better with the diamond mill the fact that it has an integrated motor, is more compact, and cheaper than a standard mill (with drill) makes it a compelling choice and at least worthy of consideration, imho. I would love a fluted roller mill but as has been stated by others they are horribly expensive.
     
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  18. MHB

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    Posted 13/2/20
    Seriously, didn't know KL was offering a "diamond" mill, will go and have a look some time (maybe). I thought he was talking in hyperbole, diamond coated, like gold plated carried too far. So your comments about WEAL and KK/KL makes more sense, cheers.
    I know I'm spoilt with my local, the mill there would cost over $10K to replace and yes it makes a very easily measurable difference. Agree on and with you about many LHBS's, most haven't got a clue and don't want to learn, probably only (maybe) half a dozen good AG suppliers on the east coast, its a big help if you have one close.

    peterlonz two points
    1/ a blender is about the worst way crack grain, the only way you would get away with it is if you were a BIAB brewer where the husk fragments aren't being used as a filter. If you were brewing on any sort of recirculating system, or a classic 3V or similar you would really notice the difference. On factor where it would work against you is in increased tannin extraction. If you are going to use a blender/thermomix… at least make dam sure you are in the right pH range.

    2/ sadly very few home brew shops know much or invest much in grain brewing, reasonable when you look at the size of the market compared to the number of K&K, spirit or cheese makers which is where they make their living. The only way this will change is if we as customers insist they get it right, do invest something in better equipment and learn a bit.

    Mark
     
  19. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 14/2/20
    Diamond coating a roller is not a straight forward procedure, the receiving component has to be rigorously prepared for the thermally sprayed finish to adhere. Only time will tell if the coating stays on.

    What the rollers are doing is crushing the grain, obviously a smooth roller will not feed the grain through so in needs a textured surface. If I ran my mill at the same speed as the MaltZilla and the same gap I would say mine will either match or out perform the diamond coated rollers, admittedly my rollers are fluted but I am also confident that my mill will see me out.
    It is also the mill which KegLand copied, apart from the diamond rollers.
    I don't hate KegLand, just Kee and his bullshit spin every time they bring something new to the market. The Intertap which was tested with a robotic arm for one million pulls. The keg being welded from the inside. Now we have the diamond rollers which are the best thing ever.
    My mill cost not much more than the MaltZilla Premium purchased in Germany saving me a lot of money if I had purchased it here. These days you can shop globally. The world is your lobster.:)
     
  20. Meddo

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    Posted 14/2/20
    Aren't the MattMill rollers knurled?
     
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