Whoops, I bought an unmilled kit

So I’m a new brewer looking to start batch #2. When I bought the delux starter kit with Caribou Slobber (bottle conditioning now), I added the Ball and Chain Wheat Ale on as well, so I would save a bit on shipping. Apparently I accidentally selected the unmilled version. As far as I can tell with my untrained eyes is that the grains are simply not milled, but everything else is normal. Is this correct? And if so, what’s the easiest way to make use of this material without going and buying some more expensive equipment, or being a newbie, should I just take a loss and get a new kit? Thanks!

If you have a local brew shop you could go there and buy some stuff, and then ask them if they would mill your kit for you. Brew shop people know that a little good will goes a long way when securing future business.


Or you could chat with NB and ask if there’s anything they can do to help you out. They are usually very accommodating, and knowing that you are a new brewer and will likely be a returning customer, maybe they will send you a new sack of grains already milled. Because that sack of grains they sent you really is no impact on their bottom line if they send you a new one, but the returning business they will get from that good will is great for the bottom line.

Is this an extract with specialty grains kit? If so, I’m guessing it’s about a pound of grains. Dave around here used to mill his grain with a blender (just a bit at a time, mind you)… I’d maybe try that in a pinch for a pound of specialty grain.

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Thanks for the quick replies. @uberculture, nope, apparently it’s an all-grain kit. On the recipe kit page it wasn’t marked “all grain” or “AG” in the title as many of the others are. I didn’t see it until I got the instruction page out of the box. I’ll give them my feedback that the site seemed to be lacking in information to new brewers. Oh well; I guess I’d still be able to re-purpose some of the components to tweak flavors.

So if I’m understanding correctly, you got an all grain kit instead of an extract kit? If that’s the case, put those unmilled grains in an airtight container and get yourself a bag for BIAB. Put the yeast and hops in the fridge and study up on BIAB. This might be a great opportunity, especially if NB will comp you another extract kit. You could end up doing a partial boil BIAB (if partial boil is what you do now) of this kit-just crush the grains a little at a time in a blender-i’ve done it before with 10 lbs of grain. Not fun but it worked. Only equipment you need above what you have right now is the bag, and you can get that from NB. If your yeast is dry, then everything will keep easily for a month or more while you get things together. You never know… I wish I had started all grain way sooner.

You’ll have plenty of help here on the forum if you decide to give it a go. Good luck!




Why cant you just return it for an exchange? NB has a guarantee that they will replace any kit no questions asked. If it were me I would contact NB and find out.

Git a hammer and start the wacka molee process! Sneezles61

followed your link…the “all grain” description is on the 4th line, kinda hidden since its not in the product name. I did a quick search, i dont think there is an extract version of this recipe. Its part of the brew builder thing, taken off of beersmith it looks like.

I read somewhere you can spread the gains out in a large zip lock type bag and use a rolling pin to “mill” them. Im not sure if it actually works or not. Be way easier checking with your homebrew shop to see if they can do it for you.

Use a coffee grinder

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A blender will work. I did this for many years with dozens of batches. The trick is to find the balance between the grains flying all over the place vs. only the bottom inch getting chopped while the remainder above it just sits there unchopped. For my blender this occurred at about 7/8 cup, where it all got “crushed” without flying everywhere. Total time spent per batch was about 45 minutes. Pain in the butt? Yes. Really works though? Yes.