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Thread: Mill Sizing and auger setup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Athens, NY
    Posts
    429

    Mill Sizing and auger setup

    I'm looking at purchasing and installing a mill for our 7bbl brewhouse (we've previously been using pre-milled grain from our supplier). My question is, how big a mill do I need?

    I was thinking of using a flex auger to transport the malt from the grain room to a grist case, but I'm also wondering if I should

    1) leave the grist case on the ground and use another auger to transport the grain up into the mash tun which would give me 2 augers total.

    2) Or should I try and suspend the grist case in the air and only have one auger in the system.

    Any thoughts on the benefits of one system versus the other? Would I need a grain hydrator for either/both of these setups? Any help would be appreciated...
    Hutch Kugeman
    Head Beer Guy
    Crossroads Brewing
    Athens, NY

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Helena, Montana
    Posts
    292
    Kugeman,

    If you are going to use the grist hopper above the mashtun (that's what I would do), you can be a little more flexible with your mill/auger size. You would also save the expense of a 2nd auger, not to mention one less piece of equipment to malfunction/maintain. If you were going to mill into the hopper and then auger straight into the mashtun, you would want to size the mill/auger to provide you with a flow of about 25-30 lbs per minute to acquire a mash-in time of 15-20 minutes. However, you would probably have to build a platform to mount the mill above the hopper. On a 7bbl system you can also get away with skipping the hopper altogether and milling/augering directly to the tun; you have to run back and forth some to reload each bag, but it can be done.


    Components that have worked for us:

    Apollo in Canada makes a good affordable 2-roller mill that would work well for a 7bbl system. We have a larger model that we are very happy with. However, you will have to custom fabricate an adapter for a flex auger boot with an Apollo mill.

    http://www.apollomachineandproducts....ller-mill.html

    We have used several Brock Chore-Time flex augers. A Model 75 (2 1/2") will deliver approx. 25 lbs of malt per minute over a short, relatively straight run.

    I would think you would want a grist hydrator regardless of which method you used.

    A brewing equipment broker can help you select the components that are right for your system if you are buying from them. I have purchased from Sound Brewing Systems in the past with good success, I am sure there are others out there who can help you as well. You will definitely save money milling your own grain, have a larger variety of ingredients to choose from, and have greater control over the brewing process: all positives in my opinion. Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    269
    For transport I wouldn´t use an auger system, rather a chain type conveyor. Something along the lines of:
    http://www.awila.de/datei/prospekt/tkf.htm

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    15
    I have an Econo-mill from Apollo Machine in Canada. Heavy duty to say the least. Pounds per hour depends on horse power of motor, I have a 1 1/2 horse and can mill and mash at the same time takes about 20 min. for my seven barrel system. You can hook the flex auger directly to the mill. I did that for a while then I got a grist case and mounted the mill on top of the case, auger on the bottom. I use a small set of steps to dump the grain in the mill. This way you only need one auger ( I did not have room above the mash to hang the grist case). I got my flex auger from Alpha Inc. in Turlock CA. (209) 632-8831 I have the modle 75 and it works great. About $1000 for 40 ft of auger includes everthing you need.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    McCall, Idaho
    Posts
    337
    Quote Originally Posted by beerkeep
    I have an Econo-mill from Apollo Machine in Canada.
    Hey beerkeep do you have the 110V or 220V? Do you happen to know what Amperage you pull on the high end?

    Howabout your auger for Voltage and Amperage?

    thx!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Palau
    Posts
    1,609
    Or another idea: Why not just buy a floor mounted mill and strap a grain bag on the outlet? Mill one bag at a time and when you're ready to mash, THEN carry the bags up to your tun & dump it into the mash water. Works for us. It's the KISS principle. Advantages: No capital outlay for auger or installation, no operating expense, no maintenance, smaller footprint, no possibility of auger breaking during mash-in (this DOES happen and is quite a bother). Disadvantages? Exercise? If I HAD to do it mechanically, then a case above the tun is the only way. If you have problems milling or augering, then you haven't yet committed to mashing.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--
    Worldwide Brewery Installations
    www.GitcheGumeeBreweryServices.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    McCall, Idaho
    Posts
    337
    Quote Originally Posted by gitchegumee
    .....Or another idea: Why not just buy a floor mounted mill and strap a grain bag on the outlet ........ It's the KISS principle.....

    Makes perfectly good sensed to me gitchumgee....thx.
    As newbie to the industry that actually found a way to finance building my own brewery right now, Im amazed at the small details that can slip through. We separated our grain room/mill room with a wall from the main brewhouse. We will be fermenting with three 7bbl dairy style jacketed fermenters. In an effort to insulate ourselves as much as possible from contamination streams we separated the grainery, and the main brewhouse from fermentation. Up to me reading this thread I had agreed to keep the door to the grainery outside from the main brewhouse roll up door. Requiring us to walk outside quickly to get to the tun if we have an auger malfunction. Not ideal. We were trying to be ultra anal. But a well stripped interior door is enough separation Im sure.
    We just poured our slab (wow that was crazy...concrete can be a pain) and begin electrical rough in now so we have time to change this easily.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    McCall, Idaho
    Posts
    337
    Quote Originally Posted by gitchegumee
    ........Disadvantages? Exercise?
    You talked us into to it gitchegumee! We have a 7bbl Specific Mechanical mash tun (serial number 123) with a 5 ft diameter top. Its not very tall and really seems very suitable for manual mash in. Saves us some cash and install time.
    Hey gitch simple question, "bungee cord around boot to hold grain bag in place?"

    We are going with Apollo's 220v economill w/ auger boot installed. Sounds like we will need to weld an angle iron stand to get it up of the ground high enough to get a grain sack under there to fill. Fortunately we can weld this in house. Wouldn't be that pricey to pay someone for this I dont think however.

    thx folks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Syracuse NY USA
    Posts
    182
    Hey Hutch. Come on down to Empire and take a look at our set up. We have a mill, one auger into the mash tun with a hydrator. Mill holds one about one bag an crushes it in about 2 min, 580, takes about 2o min. to mash in.
    Tim Butler

    Empire Brewing Co.
    Syracuse, NY

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Greeneville, TN
    Posts
    233
    Quote Originally Posted by SRB
    Hey gitch simple question, "bungee cord around boot to hold grain bag in place?"
    Problem is that the milled grain takes up more space than the unmilled grain.

    Mike
    Mike Pensinger
    Chief Brewer
    Holston River Brewing Company
    Bristol, TN

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    McCall, Idaho
    Posts
    337
    Quote Originally Posted by beermkr
    Problem is that the milled grain takes up more space than the unmilled grain.

    Mike
    Problem because of the added time it takes to stop the mill before the bag over fills?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Palau
    Posts
    1,609
    We use an inverted 5 gallon bucket as a boot. Cut out a square from the bottom, bolted it to the mill outlet, and use a bungee to secure the bag around the periphery of the bucket. Select an appropriate height to make sure the bag doesn't slip off when filled, but is still manageable to remove. And I've never had a maltster's bag too small to refill with the same amount of crushed grain. It isn't that much fluffier than the uncrushed. Bags won't overfill. Simple and effective. Good luck!
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--
    Worldwide Brewery Installations
    www.GitcheGumeeBreweryServices.com

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