Super cheap grain mill
OK, in case you haven’t figured this out…I’m cheap. (Or frugal for you PC types). I look for the lowest cost way to do everything… and I think I managed to get milling grain to the lowest cost ever! How cheap? How about under $20?
It all started because of a thread on Homebrewtalk.com (if you don’t know this board you should check it out…it’s a very informative place to spend time) when someone wondered “aloud” about using a pasta maker as a mill. Someone else posted a picture of one that Micheals sells …and that was all it took to get me to get me to take a drive to the craft store and check them out. The price was $24.95…. until the wife told me she had a coupon for 40% off. Moments after that I was the proud owner of a pasta maker.
This is the one I bought and modified.
The first thing I did was give it a try of course. It wouldn’t pull a single grain through because the rollers are smooth and small. So I took that baby apart! I found a big coarse file and just beat the hell out of the rollers with the edge of the file. This would have been easier with a file that had teeth on the sides, but because the teeth were large there was a sharp edge that many tiring minutes later resulted in a nice “knurl”.
These are the rollers, in the first picture you can see one roller before the roughing up, and one after. The second shot is of both rollers done and reinstalled in the machine.
I first tried milling grains by using the supplied clamp and fastening it to the kitchen counter. Didn’t work at all! So I removed the base plate and made a board to mount the pasta maker-grain mill to.
Mounted to a bucket the pasta maker on a board now resembles a real grain mill! Especially with the high teck PET grain funnel.
The small board that the 2 liter bottle is attached to is held to the mill with double sided tape. This works very well, but I should have taken some pains to close up the gap between the bottom of this board and the top of the sides of the machine. There’s a space about 1/8″ tall that malt was able to get out and bypass the rollers. I made a plug for this with some aluminum foil and tape, which worked fine.
Milling 7.25 pounds of grain with this is NOT fast! It’s downright slow…. and makes your arm pretty tired. I timed one of the bottles full and it tokk a full 9 minutes to empty it. I’m sure that powering the mill with a drill would speed things up, but I don’t really think the gears would take it long. Here’s the grain after it’s milled…
I found it best to hold the whole thing down with my left hand…and for a while had an audience while I milled my grain….
That’s about it for this entry… but I’ll close with a picture that I think is pretty cool…my doughed in grain!