Who Is This For?
After getting tired of not getting the most sugars out of our grains, it became apparent that we needed some help opening them up. There are many was to crush grains that are inexpensive such as a rolling pin and big plastic bag. When crushing 20+ pounds of grains that can become somewhat tedious and making sure you get all the grains cracked is difficult. We felt it was the perfect time to purchase a grain mill. A quick google search and some perusing of Amazon and we found this grain mill by CTS.
The Last Grain Mill You’ll Ever Need
At first glance, the mill seems to be well made of a stainless steel base that has a crank handle, two adjustable rollers (more on that feature later), and a sheet metal hopper that is held together with some bolts that come with the mill. The wooden base that it came with perfectly rested on a 5-gallon bucket. After briefly reviewing the instructions my Y chromosome overpowered my ability to read and we jumped right into setup. First things first, if we are going to attempt to make a process more efficient then it should certainly be easier for the operator. In light of this we removed the crank handle to allow us to attach a variable speed cordless drill that would effortlessly turn the rollers. The rollers were set at the recommended distance apart, close enough to not let a credit card slip through but not so close it will pinch the card, and the hopper was tightened up with a couple screws.
The mill performed flawlessly! The rollers spun and grain was milled, but there was a slight problem. At the recommended setting the grains were milled too finely. This caused some issues with sparging and having the pickup tube in the false bottom getting clogged leading to a ridiculously long sparge time. We made a slight adjustment, moved the rollers apart a little, and the grains was milled perfectly and our brewing efficiency was back up. The hopper is rated at 7 pounds but is shaped nicely to funnel the grains to the roller and allow for easy filling on the fly. With using 20+ pounds of grain that might be something that I will upgrade down the road to make milling even easier.
Would I Recommend This Product?
The take home message about this Grain Mill is that it is well built and should last for years of home brewing with flawless performance. The folks at CTS clearly took the time to develop a top notch product. But no product is without it’s imperfections, and the recommended roller setting and stock hopper size are the only two that I have found. Both are easily fixed with only slight modifications. Again the recommended roller setting is a little too close for crushing grains and mills them a little too finely. The hopper funnels perfectly and does it’s job on smaller batches. On my 10-15 gallon system, it requires constant pouring, which means extra hands needed. A little sheet metal fabrication, or cutting a hole in the bottom of a bucket, will add the extra volume needed for crushing 20+ pounds of grain with ease. I would highly recommend this product to any brewer based on the ease of use and quality construction. Cheers CTS! Keep up the quality work.