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bierling

Feeding the mill

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bierling    0

What sort of systems are people using to feed their mills?  I'm looking at switching to a hammermill, and apparently I can't just dump in all the grain at once.

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jeffw    6

I use a grain bin with a forklift over my mill, connect it with a hopper with blast gate and some ventilation tubing. I can take a picture if you like.  I do 2000# per mash this way.

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bierling    0

A slide valve/blast gate had been suggested by a friend, but the concern was that it wouldn't provide enough control of the flow from a gravity hopper to the mill. You find it works for you? 

The company suggests augering into the mill but that seems unnecessarily expensive and complicated and they can't provide a ready made solution. I want to avoid having this be a hodgepodge of ill fitting parts.  

Pictures of your setup would be cool. Do you use any grist hydrator?

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Stumpy's    7

We built a stand for one of the boxes shown in the link:

http://www.bulkcontainerexpress.com/p/BH574565-HB.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwnubLBRC_ARIsAASsNNmaBQof6bn8QtG51BJG9y2wWPZHL4jsZ79LpTpXVj2e_Cw7d2UqjkEaArw4EALw_wcB

We just set the box on the stand above the mill and use the slide that's built into the box for controlling the grain flow. We do 2k lb per batch this way and it works like a charm.

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Cunningham    1
3 hours ago, Stumpy's said:

We built a stand for one of the boxes shown in the link:

http://www.bulkcontainerexpress.com/p/BH574565-HB.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwnubLBRC_ARIsAASsNNmaBQof6bn8QtG51BJG9y2wWPZHL4jsZ79LpTpXVj2e_Cw7d2UqjkEaArw4EALw_wcB

We just set the box on the stand above the mill and use the slide that's built into the box for controlling the grain flow. We do 2k lb per batch this way and it works like a charm.

@Stumpy's Your setup sounds absolutely perfect. Did you build it out of wood or weld up a stand? Could you post a picture of it?

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Stumpy's    7

We built ours out of wood. As you can see...I didn't want to spend a ton of $$$ on it! Haha. Stand is built out of wood, picked the mill up for $200 on Craigslist, spent $300 to get new screens made and then the cost of lumber. The hopper piece you see is off of an old roller mill we had laying in the scrap pile at the farm...I'm sure plywood would have worked there as well. 

The wood works perfect, although I'm considering making one out of metal just to make it a bit more presentable!

mill.JPG

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Stumpy's    7
13 hours ago, bierling said:

Love it!  How are you getting the grain out of the mill?  A blower?

You got it. It's an old-school Bearcat mill with a blower on it. We blow through a 4" grain tube that normally comes off a grain dryer on a farm. To keep dust down, we run it through a grist hydrator as it enters the mash tun and then use a wood shop dust collector (which you can see in the pic) attached to one of the accessory ports on the mash tun to collect any additional dust. I'm sure a cyclone would be a bit more effective but this seems to work nicely and we don't get much dust. Although I do think an auger may be a little better suited for a distillery...

8 minutes ago, Hudson bay distillers said:

nice set up stumpy do you take the tote down and refill it or is it filled with a auger . 

tim 

We do take the totes down and refill them. The forklift makes quick work of that. We have a couple of them so it makes it nice for recipes with multiple grains. We grow all of our own grain so we will usually fill super sacks right out of the grain cleaner. The day before we make a mash we'll fill the totes with all of the grain we will need out of the super sacks that way we can come in early in the morning, set the box on the mill stand and get our mash started.

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bierling    0
18 minutes ago, Stumpy's said:

To keep dust down, we run it through a grist hydrator

 

Do you use an off the shelf hydrator or one you made?

 

19 minutes ago, Stumpy's said:

Although I do think an auger may be a little better suited for a distillery...

Why do you say that?  I'm using a blower now and am thinking to switching and am just curious.

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Stumpy's    7

Yep, it was just an off the shelf 4" tri clamp hydrator that I bought on Pro-Brewer for $250.

I guess I should clarify on the auger...it may work a bit better with our current milling situation, especially when using corn. We mill down to flour with a 3/32" screen. It works great for small grains but it is quite a draw on the mill when we run corn. The problem with that is that the mill's motor slows down and the grain moving through the tube loses velocity. With corn, sometimes we can only mill 1,000 lb per hour or so. If we run the corn much faster than that, we will clog the tube right as it comes out of the mill. I look a lot like the Pillsbury Dough Boy when I am done unclogging it. I'm currently drilling out one of our 3/32 screens right now. I'm drilling every other hole in every other row to 1/8. We'll see if that speeds up the milling process. I could also put a larger motor on but don't feel like pony-ing for anything larger than a 20 HP right now.

The other benefit of the auger is that you don't have do deal with the air displacement issue that a blower creates inside your MT. The nice thing about the blower though is definitely lower startup costs and less maintenance.

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