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Barley Crusher Question

I’ve had my 15-lb Barley Crusher for well over a year now and until now, its given me zero problems. On Monday, I did a pretty big bear with a 17+ lb grain bill. I decided to do a two stage crush. My first 8 lbs crushed without a problem. The second half of the grain bill was not so smooth. At least 3 times while doing the crush, i felt the rollers kind of ‘give out’, and they started to roll smoothly, but not crush anything. I had to empty the hopper each time, and manually spin the rollers and then each time i refilled it, it would crush as it normally did, but two more times, this same sequence happened. I can’t come up with an explanation, so I’m asking you all to help me here.

Ideas? Similar experiences?

Maybe the knurled “teeth” are getting clogged with dust or just dull. They aren’t gripping the grain to pull it in between the rolls. Were the grains in the second half of the crush different? if they are plumper the rolls might not catch them as easily.

I had this happen to me twice.

Quick fix, reverse the drill for a couple seconds to clear the gap and then start milling again.

Proper fix. Disassemble and clean the grain dust out of the mill. Grain dust will collect on the ends of the rollers keeping them from turning as easily as they should, especially in humid areas. I personnaly vacuum off my mill after every use to help prevent this issue.

Thanks for the info, guys!

I will keep a better eye on my mill and the collected dust. Good to know!

alan

This happens with the BC and if you search this forum you will see a few threads where myself and others attempt to limit the problem. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get it to go away entirely. Really annoying.

When you take the mill apart for thorough cleaning, hold the drive roller in your hand as it was oriented in the mill and twist it in the direction that it runs in the mill (I rebuilt my mill a couple times so I don’t remember if when stock it turns clockwise or counter- to drive the grain). Note how much it grabs your skin. Now turn it the other way and compare the grab. If it’s noticeably weaker in the first direction, flip the drive roller in the mill. Then do the same thing with the free roller.

Once you’re worn down the knurls in both directions, you can send it back to the factory for re-knurling at no cost except one-way postage.

I have occasionally emptied my mill after it acts funny and have found a couple of small rocks in my malt. I removed the rocks and everything is fine again.

+1 to Reversing the motor and let it spin a revolution or two then go back to the original direction. A good cleaning should follow that session of crushing.

I wonder if the Monster Mill guys have this problem ever?

Interesting… I’ve wondered why I don’t have any problems with my BC. That’s the first explanation I’ve heard that might make sense.

[quote=“ynotbrusum”]+1 to Reversing the motor and let it spin a revolution or two then go back to the original direction. A good cleaning should follow that session of crushing.

I wonder if the Monster Mill guys have this problem ever?[/quote]
I think most other mill brands have slightly larger rollers, which reduces the angle at the gap and makes it easier for the rolls to grab the grain. Any mill’s knurling can become dull over time, but I think it may be more critical with the small rollers.

[quote=“tom sawyer”][quote=“ynotbrusum”]
I wonder if the Monster Mill guys have this problem ever?[/quote]
I think most other mill brands have slightly larger rollers, which reduces the angle at the gap and makes it easier for the rolls to grab the grain. Any mill’s knurling can become dull over time, but I think it may be more critical with the small rollers.[/quote]

And that makes perfect sense, as well. Thanks.

This is exactly why I decided to pay a little extra to get the Monster Mill. Glad I did.

I have had my BC for about a year, and have put about 200+ lbs of grain through it, and had this issue with the last batch I made last weekend. I live in a dry climate, but condition my grain, and the grooves between the knurling were getting clogged. The screws which hold the adjustable roller axles in place seemed soft, and the head of one sheared off when I disassembled the mill. It took 45min or so to remove the remains of the screw from the frame of the mill, and run to the hardware store for new screws. Seems to run much better after cleaning the rollers and axles, but if those screws seem soft, it’s worth the few cents to replace them with better ones before they break.

I’ve had my mill for a while now, but up until now I always used a corded drill. When brewing without any help, I would dump in the grain and then run the drill. I would very commonly have the same problems experienced here. When I had someone with me to dump the grain into a running mill I experienced the problem less frequently.

I just recently motorized my barley crusher and it gave a very nice consistent crush on my batch this weekend and overshot my gravity by quite a bit. I did have the mill stop, but luckily I wired it for forward and reverse so I could quickly fix the problem. I’m very happy that I’ve motorized my mill.

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