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Controlling Milling Speed

I got a 2 roller Monster Mill last week and am having a bit of trouble with the crush. It’s pulverizing much of the grain and leaving some seemingly whole. Click the thumbnail below for full size.


http://s564.photobucket.com/albums/ss81/kcbeersnob/?action=view&current=IMG_1437sm.jpg

I couldn’t leave it at the factory setting, because it shifted during shipping. I’ve got it set at .046 now (used a feeler gauge), which seems about right from what I’ve read. I know some people set theirs even lower.

I think milling speed is the problem. The MM site suggests 150-250 RPMs. I use a normal corded variable speed drill that’s rated at 0-4000 RPMs under no load. It’s very, very hard to obtain and hold a low speed.

I’m wondering–those of you who use a drill to power your mill, what kind of drill do you use and do you have any tricks to hold the speed low enough to get a good crush? I’m thinking maybe I need to get a cordless with a lower speed setting, but hate to spend the money if I don’t need to.

I use a 1/2" 550 RPM drill similar to this one

. It has an screw in the trigger that allows me to adjust speed. Looking at the pic of your crush makes me think the gap is too wide. Try something around the ~.036- range. Cheers!!!

I’ve only used mine 3 times now, it’s set at the factory gap too.
Really surprised me how much it crushed the grain when you’ve read about people having to set their gap to ~.030 to get a good crush, with my MM there would be nothing left if it was that snug.
I run it in 1st gear on a 3 speed 1/2 cordless dewalt, can run it really slow if I wanted to, no grain comes through intact. It all sorta gets dominated by the mill.
Factory gap has gotten me 80% 3 times now. Good enough for me, and consistent.

it doesn’t look milled fine enough to me. You should expect some flour and almost all kernels cracked. You can spray the malt with some water (up to 2% by weight) and let it hydrate the husks for about 15 minutes before milling. This will decrease shredding of the husk while allowing a finer crush of the endosperm.

I use a 1/2" corded drill and keep the speed as slow as possible without overheating the drill motor.

I agree, it doesn’t looked cracked enough, but not a speed issue. I run the same mill and I run my gap at .035 and don’t have any problems. I tried milling it at the factory settings and it was too wide. When milled correctly there’ll be more flour (not too much) and you’d probably crack the grains into 3-4 pieces.

I don’t know about anyone else, but my flimsy cordless won’t even turn the mill at that gap setting. I use a corded drill on the slowest speed and control my trigger pull.

I am pretty sure that most mills come with a standard gap of around .039. The faster you run the mill the more husk shredding you usually get therefore the lower recommended mill speed. I have my BC set to .036 and I use a cordless drill as slow as I can manage to run it and I get a pretty good crush. I may have to change the mill gap once I get my new gear motor hooked up to the mill as it will turn at 110 rpm. Just remember both factors will play a part on the crush, speed and gap.

[quote=“Birdstop”]The faster you run the mill the more husk shredding you usually get therefore the lower recommended mill speed.[/quote]Batch sparge with a braid and control your pH and husk shredding isn’t an issue.

Hi All. Thanks for your feedback. I actually tried several different gap settings with results ranging from near total destruction of everything that passed through (may be a bit of an exaggeration) to a bit less milled grain than you see in the photo. The one consistent outcome: a lot of shredded husks.

Not wanting to risk extraction of undesirables, I’ve opted to try the low speed drill from Harbor Freight. Very reasonably priced and can be used for other tasks too. Thanks hamiltont!

By the way, I actually brewed a batch that was milled on the widest setting last weekend and got 70% mash efficiency according to Beersmith. I look forward to narrowing the gap without fear of nasty tannins and watching my efficiency climb!

+3 to smaller gap. My BC is set @ 0.36, and I get a great crush. I use a Porter-Cable 2-speed 3/8" cordless on “low.” To pass on a neat trick I found - I use an Irwin 6-inch bar clamp (http://www.irwin.com/tools/clamps/one-h … bar-clamps) to gradually increase the speed. I found my uncalibrated country-boy fingers and the drill’s variable-speed trigger were too sensitive. The bar clamp - although rudimentary - helps me very slowly and very carefully increase the drill’s speed. The BC website recommends 300-400 rpm, but I’ve been getting just the right crush with ~200.

I received the low speed drill and did a test grind using a small amount of grain. For comparison, I used the same gap as before (.046) but at a much, much slower speed. Interesting results. Click the pic for a larger image.


http://s564.photobucket.com/albums/ss81/kcbeersnob/?action=view&current=IMG_1440_sm.jpg

In the original image at the start of this thread, there were a lot of whole kernels. Very few of them were cracked.

The slower grind resulted in far fewer whole kernels. Some of the larger pieces in the image are cracked kernels, but most are just large husk pieces that look like whole kernels. Every actual whole kernel I’ve examined in this grind has been cracked.

I consider this a success.

[quote=“Foxy74”]

I don’t know about anyone else, but my flimsy cordless won’t even turn the mill at that gap setting. I use a corded drill on the slowest speed and control my trigger pull.[/quote]

Same here. I condition and double-crush at .032.

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