What's the best way to crush malt if you don't have a mill at home?
How much malt would you venture to crush that way?

  • What about putting malt between two steel/wood surfaces and hammer the above one? Or maybe putting malt in a cloth and beat it with something hard? Never tried this, but I am looking for some alternative to mill too. – Paolo Nov 27 '12 at 13:29

I'll answer with a method that you shouldn't use - don't use a coffee grinder. It's pretty obvious that you don't want to use a blade grinder, but I thought about using a burr grinder set to the coarsest setting to mildly crush my grains. Before doing so, though, I searched the web and all accounts I read basically said it's called a grinder and not a crusher for a reason. Don't use a coffee grinder to crush your grains. Even on the coarsest setting you'll still over-pulverize your grains and end up with tannin problems.

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    what NOT to do is just as interesting as what works..... – Arlo427 Feb 5 '10 at 19:10

I have put malt in a 1 gallon ziplock bag and crushed it with a rolling pin.

I have done up to 5 pounds that way in the past. It was tough but it worked. I am sure efficiency suffered. Although, I never experienced any tannin issues from over crushing the hulls.

I have also used the bottom of a flat drinking glass. But that was just for a few ounces and pressing down on the malt with a glass seems scary as the glass can break in your hand. Probably not the best way.

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  • It's interesting reading this response. The beer currently in my secondary had a large amount of specialty grain that I crushed this way. When I last tasted it, I specifically noted that it had noticeable tannins. I thought maybe that came from the cocoa, but it could very well be from over-crushing with a rolling pin. – JackSmith Feb 5 '10 at 18:59
  • Brewchez, have you tried this on an all grain brew or just partial mash? Would it give sufficient results for all-grain? – Tetragrammaton Apr 3 '10 at 11:22
  • Probably to painful to do for a full all grain batch. And I would bet the crush would be inferior for that purpose. – brewchez Oct 21 '11 at 3:31

One of my earlier attempts was to use a manual pasta maker in place of a crusher. First, I took out rollers and roughed and knurled them as much as possible using a couple files. Then I screwed it onto a board, removed the handle and attached an electric drill. Overall, it worked, and I went through a couple bags of grain with it (50kg total), but then it fell apart.

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