Concrete Malt Mill (not another data point)

Posted to HBD #2039, May 17,1996

I was inspired by a fellow poster, a while back, to construct my own concrete malt mill. Being a tinker at heart, (and cheap by nature) I gave it a try.

Using a 4" I.D. cardboard packing tube as a mold, I cast the mill wheel using Quickcrete patching conrete. I had scrounged a 1" shaft already equipped with sealed bearings from an old, scrapped, large computer disk drive. This shaft was about 6" in length. It would prove perfect for the mill, giving me a 4"dia by 4" wide mill stone.

I drilled four holes into the shaft. I tapped these holes and inserted some screws to give the concrete something to hold on to. At the ends of the cardboard mold tube, I used some acrylic circles to contain the concrete. I had cored a hole in the exact center of the acrylic to hold the shaft, centered and leak free.

The results of the casting were fair to good. The newly made mill stone was centered and fine and hard. The one thing I would do differently if I did this again would be to use a PVC pipe as the mold, instead of cardboard. The interior my mold had a small spiral inpression due to the construction of the "paper" tube. This left a hard spiral ridge that needed to be ground down after casting. Not a major fault, but a flaw to be corrected. The beta model will be better.

I constructed a long wooden rectangular housing to hold the mill stone. Sort of a square wooden tube. I used a steel plate screwed to a piece of oak as the inclined grinding surface.

Some masonite epoxied into the rectangle provided the surface to guide the grain to grinding wheel.

I've been lucky on finding many parts of my mill. My wife inherited her mother's hand operated meat grinder. So, I've "borrowed" the handle for my mill. It is held on by a thumbscrew inserted into the shaft of my mill. I had to drill and tap this 1/4"-20 hole for the screw into the shaft and now all is OK. I'll be able to return it whenever my wife needs to hand macerate the beast we have for dinner, (like never)! Ground Chuck?

I did need to tinker a bit with the grain bin side of my mill. I was getting too large of a percentage of grain sneaking around the ends of the mill stone.

The mill mounts to my workbench above my cooler/tun. It holds about 2# grain.

Now I'm very satisfied. I built it myself. I get whole husks, few uncracked kernels (still some sneaky guys, tho') and a great crush. I don't care if its a log distribution of particles sizes or as good as a six roller three tiered gravity fed flotsam and jetson slightly skewed to the left grinding contraption. I'm proud and happy.

You can do it if you want to. Give it a try. You don't have to confess to the digest if it doesn't meet these high standards. No one need ever know! But if you do, let me know! :-)

Perhaps there's a market in this ever expanding hobby for a homebrewer to take an idea like a mill and sell it. What do you think?

Chuck Volle,