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I already own a Country Living Grain Mill for making flour and want to start crushing my own grain for my homebrew. Will this style of mill work for homebrew or should I buy a mill specially for homebrew?

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I am planning on buying a Country Living Mill, and I am both baking and brewing. I was researching if the mill could be used for crushing malt as well. A lot of people have been asking this question, but I've only found one person actually having tried it. According to him it crushes the malt nicely and leaves the husks. Here is the link: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/barley-crusher-what-mill-should-i-buy-65298/#post671124 I also found a video where a guy demonstrates the grain mill and he shows a sample of cracked wheat he made on the coarse setting. You can skip to about 5:15 if you want to see the cracked wheat. The movie is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIwPlj0ooEs

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A grain mill that is appropriate for crushing barley for a mash is typically referred to as a grist mill. The mill needs to be set 'open' enough that the husk of the barley seed will crack open, but will not be torn apart. This is due to the need to use the husks as the filtration media during the sparge. A typical grist mill can be opened to a gap of at least 0.070". See this mill at Northern Brewer for a typical example.

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Thanks! I am aware of what the typical mill for cracking barley looks like--I'm more wondering if anybody has any experience with my particular mill and if it works/how well it works for this task. Ideally, I don't want to purchase a second mill (extra expense, takes up more space, etc). –  Joe Lencioni Nov 23 '10 at 0:30
    
Then I would just run some malt through it to see how it comes out. Can you adjust the roller distance on your mill? –  thebeav Nov 23 '10 at 18:31
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Are you able to adjust the mill, so that it can mill more coarsely than you would want for flour? If so, I think you should be all set.

When brewing all grain, you want a pretty coarse grind; you essentially just want to crack the kernels open, rather than pulverize them. This leaves the husks in tact, and they serve as a filter bed during the sparge process. If you grind too finely, you can end up with a stuck sparge, where the wort doesn't flow through the grain.

Imagine if you filled a colander with flour, and then tried to pour water through it. Likely, very little water, if any, would make it through. That is the situation you are trying to avoid.

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I am able to adjust the mill, I'm just not sure if I am able to adjust it enough, or even if this style of a mill is appropriate for brewing. Do you have any experience with plate grain mills vs. roller mills? –  Joe Lencioni Nov 22 '10 at 19:00
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I would suggest trying it with a small amount of grain, and then inspecting what comes out. If it looks like the kernels are being cracked into two or three pieces, then you should be all set. –  pkaeding Nov 22 '10 at 19:52
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