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Looking at buying a malt mill soon...input?

Hey all,

I am currently looking at purchasing a malt mill so that I can mill my own grain. I have been getting it in sacks that are already milled, and just want to start doing it myself. I have been looking into lots of different mills on the market and would just like some input from those of you who have one. The ones that really catch my attention are the crankandstein 3-roller and the monster mill 3-roller.

Can anyone offer some input as to the benefits to a 2-roller vs. 3-roller? And what brand is tried and true? I know a 3-roller is great for milling a high volume of grain at higher speeds, but other than that is it all personal preference? Let me know!!!

I had a Barley Crusher, 2-roller, and it worked well for a long time but eventually the knurls wore down to the point where it wouldn’t grab the grain and feed correctly - I typically mill 40-50# of grain on a brew day and a couple of 1+ hour milling sessions were all I could take. Stepped up to a MM-3 with the 39# hopper and it mills at 10# per minute and with the third roller produces a perfect grist on a single pass. Pricey though. So if you’re on a budget or don’t need to handle more than 10-20# of grain at a time, the Barley Crusher is a good buy, and if you’re going bigger, go ahead and get the MM-3 and save some time. On a side note, the customer service with the Barley Crusher is outstanding - I sold the mill to a friend after they re-knurled it for free, including return shipping.

+1 on the MM-3. If you can afford the hopper it’s a nice addition. The mill is built like a tank and really performs.

I really enjoy my Barley Crusher. It works great with my cordless drill. It will run about 6lbs a minute with the drill in low gear ~450 RPM.

I too have a BC. It’s served me well over the years. One thing to consider is the warranty. BC has a lifetime warranty.
http://www.barleycrusher.com/barleycrusher.php
. For the most part they all work in a similar fashion and you will find that brewers are usually happy with their mills. If you are milling various grains (2-row, rye, wheat) the adjustability of the roller gap is a nice feature. Otherwise you might want to double mill the smaller grains. Be sure to clean out the dust after each milling. It can collect between the roller & mill body and cause problems. I use an air compressor. Good Luck!!! Cheers!!!

I have both an MM and BC - the BC let me down over time, much prefer the MM.

[quote=“bavarianbrewmaster1”]

Can anyone offer some input as to the benefits to a 2-roller vs. 3-roller? And what brand is tried and true? I know a 3-roller is great for milling a high volume of grain at higher speeds, but other than that is it all personal preference? Let me know!!![/quote]

I had good luck speaking directly with the owner of the Monster Mill on the 2-roller vs 3-roller question for his mills. He gave me some very good advice, and didn’t recommend the 3-roller mill for my situation. The homebrewing community is pretty friendly; email them and ask their advice.

MM-2 run by a small drill has been working out great for me.

[quote=“Silentknyght”][quote=“bavarianbrewmaster1”]

Can anyone offer some input as to the benefits to a 2-roller vs. 3-roller? And what brand is tried and true? I know a 3-roller is great for milling a high volume of grain at higher speeds, but other than that is it all personal preference? Let me know!!![/quote]

I had good luck speaking directly with the owner of the Monster Mill on the 2-roller vs 3-roller question for his mills. He gave me some very good advice, and didn’t recommend the 3-roller mill for my situation. The homebrewing community is pretty friendly; email them and ask their advice.[/quote]

agreed - he was very helpful - in fact, the first time I talked with him, he gave me tips on how to try and get my BC running again. When it quit again, I wanted the 3 roller, but he rec’d the 2 for me. solid guy.

+1 It is very rare that you hear anyone complain about whatever mill they got, and unless you are planning to mill a LOT of grain like Shadetree, I don’t think you can make a bad decision here.

Full disclosure: MM2 owner for the past 8 years and very happy with it.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]+1 It is very rare that you hear anyone complain about whatever mill they got, and unless you are planning to mill a LOT of grain like Shadetree, I don’t think you can make a bad decision here.

[/quote]

yes - I should have put the caveat - the BC started giving me problems after putting about 1.5-2 tons of malt through it.

Ditto. My friend who bought the re-furbed BC says it works great and when I helped her re-assemble it the rollers were like new - ought to last her a long time doing 5-gal batches.

[quote="blatz]
yes - I should have put the caveat - the BC started giving me problems after putting about 1.5-2 tons of malt through it.[/quote]

Hmm, 2 tons x 2000lb/short ton 36 ppg x 0.75 eff / 50ppg (1.050 OG) = 2160gal of beer.

Must’ve been one he77 of a party.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]
Hmm, 2 tons x 2000lb/short ton 36 ppg x 0.75 eff / 50ppg (1.050 OG) = 2160gal of beer.

Must’ve been one he77 of a party.[/quote]

Hmmm, since you can only brew 100 gallons per year, that is a lot of years! Ha Ha

hehe - pretty close. I’d say on average my OG is 1.060, I used my BC for about 5.5 years and personally made about 130 batches with it, mostly 12gallons, and what wasn’t 12gal were usually big beers. Not to mention my buddy who lives a few miles away would always mill at my house, plus some club brews, etc.

If its between the BC and the JSP Malt Mill, go with the JSP, quality of construction is MUCH better. I’ve built a lot of motorized mills and between the BC and the JSP I much prefer working with the JSP.

I have no expierence with the bigger mills, but if they cost more, they ought to perform better.

I have a JSP fixed gap mill. It is motor driven. His mill is a good product, however their customer service is horrible.
Even though I like my mill, I would have a VERY hard time buying another one from them.
No matter which you choose, I doubt you would be unhappy with any of them once you hook it up to a drill or motor.

What was wrong with your mill that required customer service? I’ve had mine for 4 years and brew nearly every other weekend and have never had an issue with it.

ive also got a jsp model a and i love it. it maybe be a bit more than a barley crusher and may not be superior in anyway, but i guess i went on aesthetics. i hoped that a mill would be something that i had for a long time and this thing just looked cool and well made. pardon the consumer in me.

I’ve been very happy with my BC.

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