Author Topic: Problems with my mill  (Read 16259 times)

Offline Wildrover

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2013, 10:01:38 AM »
Sure did, I emailed them a couple of days ago when I started this thread.  Haven't heard anything yet.  I emailed them a couple of months ago when the problems started to reveal themselves.  It took them some time but they did get back in touch with me.  I'm still waiting though. 

Offline RiverBrewer

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2013, 05:23:49 PM »
And here I thought my Corona mill was a pain in the arse.

Damn I have that antique too! 1974! I use it for grinding hops for dry hopping and grinding wheat and oats. I built my own hopper for my Monster Mill. The more I hear about the Barley Crusher the more it sounds like JUNK. Just my opinion!
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Offline jomebrew

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2013, 09:06:58 AM »
I have been using my barley crusher for years.  It has never drifted from calibration.  never sticks and never fails to roll.  I break the rules and use a power drill but keep the rotation to about 450 RPM.  I also hold onto the drill and keep a hand on the platform the entire time.   I have milled hundreds of pounds of grain with nary an issue. It is not fair to call it junk.   

I clean it after each use (with compressed air) and lube it every couple months (with olive oil) just before use. 

Keep in mind, the manufacturer provides a crank and advises not to use a power drill/motor.  I accept the risk for less time and manual effort milling the grain.


Offline Wildrover

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2013, 10:11:49 AM »
Actually, the manufacturer does say that using a drill at 300-500 RPMs is okay (recommended actually).  They don't advise putting a V belt pulley to it though.  Having said that, I've been wondering if a slower turn would do the trick.  Referring to Occum's razor I really do believe that years of use have worn the knurling on the roller and now, the once okay speeds of the drill, are too fast for the worn knurling on the roller so now I have to slow it down to get it to work.  I think I'm going to use the handle and do it with some elbow grease next time around and see if that changes anything. 

I'll let you know...

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2013, 01:13:37 PM »
WR
You can turn the whole set-up around 180 degrees and turn it backwards with your other arm. to rest your primary arm. 

I've always cranked by hand b/c it takes longer to heat the water than crush the grains.

Offline Oginme

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2013, 01:56:08 PM »
One of the reasons that the commercially sold grain mills need a knurled roller is that the roll diameter is way too small to achieve a good crush and material flow.  I have experience with size reduction methods (grinding phosphorescent pigments from blocks down to fine particles and making specialty pigments).  We typically use rollers that are in the range of 12" to 14" diameter at a minimum for fine particles.  This means positive feed into the gap.  The narrowness of the gap due to the large rollers ensures even distribution and action upon each kernel, focusing on crushing rather than pinching and ripping.  Very little of the material being ground is rejected from the nip.

It's for this reason I purchased a corona type mill instead of one of the standard barley crushing units commercially available.  After modification, my grind comes out with mostly intact husks and large sand sized grain particles.
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Offline Wingeezer

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2013, 06:30:49 PM »
This discussion is of interest to me because by coincidence I just experienced the same thing for the first time with my last batch.  Couldn't figure out what had happened - suddenly the drill was turning but nothing getting milled.

I dumped the remaining grain from the hopper back in to the grain bill pail and checked the rollers.  Everything looked fine, so I just added the grain again and it worked.    For a minute or so, then the problem repeated.

I did get the grain milled but not sure what gives.  I thought perhaps the roller adjustment had come loose but everything seems ok and the adjustment still looks good.  I will re-check with feelers but I don't think it has moved - I have ot set at .039"

The mill is not that old so surely cannot be worn out - I only have maybe 15 loads  of grain for  5 gallon batches through it so far.

I bought this mill because it seemed to come well recommended - hope I don't now need to got buy a Monster Mill instead!
   
Think I will go take a look at the knurling on the rollers to see if it is plugged - I plan on brewing this Wednesday.


Brian.

Further to the above,  I checked the gap yesterday and all seemed fine, nothing had changed.   

Also there were no signs of any problem with the knurling.  So today I tried it with a 13.5 grain bill for a 5 gallon batch using my cordless drill as before and all worked perfectly.

No idea why I had problems with my last batch!

I read where someone had referred to the Barley Crusher as junk - I don't feel that way at all (at least not yet!) 

While I don't understand why I had problems with my last batch, all I did was to dump the grain back out of the hopper and put it back, and it was business as usual.

 With today's grain bill, it seems to be working fine.   To me,  it seems decent value for money.   Of course there may well  be better mills at higher price, this does the job for me.

Brian.
 
 


Offline Mtnmangh

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2013, 08:57:50 AM »
I'm watching this one intently, because I really want to get a mill, but not the WRONG mill.
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2013, 09:51:02 AM »
Maybe it comes down to usage and volume?  I hand-crank, but thought the recommended speed was 80 to 100 rpm regardless of arm or tool-powered.   I was brewing monthly but less so now. 

Seems like drills would be difficult to maintain at a lower speed like that.  And it seems like speed and worn knurling (after time and high usage) would be at odds with each other. 

And certainly, if I had had to pay a lot more for a better one, and also had to attach it to something or build a box contraption of some sort, I am not sure I would have taken the plunge for a grain mill.   The BC was priced right and sits on a short bucket I already owned.   And comes apart for pretty easy storage. 

Like many  brewing things, YMMV and it comes down to your specific case.

Offline jomebrew

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2013, 01:20:08 PM »
When I purchased mine, I am pretty sure the instruction sheet advised not to use a drill.  The website clearly states a drill motor at 500 RPM.  Mine is variable up to 500 and I keep the trigger near max so I am guessing I am at 450 RPM.  http://www.barleycrusher.com/barleycrusher.php

I will reiterate, you should clean the mill after each use and follow the maintenance procedure.  I get a lot of grain dust in mine each batch.  I fear this would cause me problems if I left it.

Offline BeerSmith

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2013, 06:47:27 PM »
You might want to try contacting BC products.  I believe Randy offers a lifetime warranty on his mills and can probably help get it back in working order.  I've had mine for many years with no problems, but I don't usually run it on a drill.

He has a contact-us form here as well as mention of the warranty.
   http://www.barleycrusher.com/barleycrusher.php


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Offline grathan

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2013, 04:28:32 AM »
From what I've read he is pretty slow. Plan about 6 months and 2 or 3 emails to get to the point where you can ship it back for replacement. That is, if he doesn't try to sell you a new set of rollers for $80 instead.




Offline Wildrover

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2013, 02:51:29 PM »
Update:  I did receive the following email below from BC regarding the problems with my mill.  I haven't mailed them in yet.  I did use the mill this weekend, off the drill, and although it did slip from time to time it wasn't as bad as it has been in the past.  The crush seemed good as well.  Having said that, there is no way that mill is working as well as I'd like.  Not sure what I'm going to do....

Thank you for your email,  It could a be a couple different things but most likely it could be the rollers are a little wore. Good news the warrantee does cover this.   We have mills out there I know have crushed 1000s of pounds but everything is machined here and  should be the same every time but The knurl on the roller means a lot on the mill and a knurl can be good and  or bad at times.  even if it comes to a sharp point doesn’t always mean it has a good bite. If not exactly correct it can have a point but smooth at the same time.  So after a few years I can see them getting worn down.
 
If you would like to take the base and the hopper off and send the mill body back to use I can take a look at the mill and fix and or replace anything that would need to be fixed and ship the mill back to you.
 
Our address is..
 
 B C Products Enterprises Inc.
P.O. Box 110
Allenton Mi
48002
 
If there is anything else I can do for you please email me
Thank you
Randy
B C Products Enterprises Inc.


Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2013, 04:37:57 PM »
FWIW, Our club's email forum went bonkers on the BC grain mill gap settings, and most people had left it on factory gap of 0.039 inches. 

I then checked mine, b/c I thought I saw more whole kernals y-day, and it was at 0.035 inches. 


Offline Wildrover

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Re: Problems with my mill
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2013, 09:14:44 PM »
I made another batch since this thread got started.  Like I mentioned earlier I cranked the mill by hand and that seemed to do the trick....sort of.  The mill still slips from time to time but no where near as much as it has.  The efficiency has also gone up a few points as well.  It sounds, from the email from B.C. posted above, that maybe I got a mill that is a little defective or something.  Having said that, I'll probably just drop the funds and buy a new mill sometime soon.  I don't know yet, I've had the mill for  a long time and I brew a lot and I just don't believe that anything with moving parts will last forever but a lifetime warranty is a lifetime warranty.  I'm not sure if sending the mill in is worth it or not?