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Seeking Suggestions for Wet Milling Equipment

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I'm interested in exploring options for wet milling grain.  Perhaps some sort of batch shear mixer or in-line grinder pump type system.  Curious if anyone has any suggestions for specific models that are appropriately sized and priced for a microdistillery?

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Thanks, that is a relevant article and similar to what I'd envision.  I am still interested in a discussion of specific models and feedback, if anyone has any experience with them...

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We priced some of the options a few years ago but didn't pull the trigger due to cost. The shear mixers have to be mounted pretty strongly/permanently so its not a clamp on option. We were intrigued by possibly doing it using a shear pump but not sure if the applicable has been tested. We had planned to send some grain to Admix to test but never got around to it. Shear pump could work but you'd probably need to pump back and forth or run a standard mixer to things in motion and not have all your grain sink to the bottom. If you are milling to a flour, I don't see a downside to shear mixing. 

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I heard that the shear pumps couldn’t handle corn (though it was suggested if you soak it for a few days it could). That threw that out the window. The shear mixer sounded cool, but when I spoke to the company rep from the artisan article they just didn’t have the knowledge of our industry to get the requirements dialled in to my satisfaction. 

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What exactly is it you want to wet mill? How many pounds per session?

For wet milling I use a meat grinder, works extremely well. Different grain sizes and differing moisture work better with different sized holes in the front plate. 

If you are very small I see electric ones on EBay from $50 , up to commercial 3 phase.

I find the water content is quite important. If milling too slowly add water down the throat, but not too much or it will slow down again .Doesn't take long to be able to judge.

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Primary benefits we looked at were yield (easy to get down to a small particle size and you're getting 100% of the grain in the mash), consistency, and easier cleanup. Since it also obviates the need for a hammer mill, you may save a little space and not have to worry about the safety issues of dust. We never tested running shear pumps but if they worked, they would seem to be a really good solution to a lot of issues.

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H-D, 

I know that John McKee out at Headframe Spirits in Montana did some work with this. You might look into getting ahold of him. 

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4 hours ago, Hudson bay distillers said:

ok here is a dumb question but what is the advantage of wet milling 

tim 

I don't want to deal with messy dust, not to mention extra safety hazards.  Also benchtop tests do show improved yields, which definitely adds up when you're using organic grains.


Thanks for the tips so far.  A meat grinder sounds like an interesting option, although we're looking at 1000lbs per batch and I'm not sure how practical it would be.

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ok here comes another dumb question do you pre soak the grain first or do you put it thru and add water as it goes like a grist dehydrator . we have 2 grinders left over from when we raced sled dogs one is a 5 horse electric and the big one is turned with pto on the tractor , i may give this a try . 

tim 

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Most of my meat grinder milling is with green malt. I have soaked the grain and when sprouted it is soft. I originally tried dry unmalted rye and added water as it entered the grinder.  I found the grinder required a very fine front plate otherwise some whole grains got through. I think dry corn with water added as it entered the meat grinder would work well but would require more horsepower than pre-order soaked. That PTO grinder sounds like a heavy duty beast. 

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ya with green malt that would be sweet . the pto driven grinder is from a mink ranch originally grinds frozen chickens and turkeys as fast as you can thro them in lol but it will make a 100hp tractor burn black . ...how small of a bur did u use for green malt .

tim

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On ‎5‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 7:15 AM, Hudson bay distillers said:

 . ...how small of a bur did u use for green malt .

tim

I presume you mean the holes in the front plate, the holes are slightly smaller than the grain to prevent whole grains passing. I guess with corn the holes could be much larger than for rye.

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