DIY Project #1 Billion – Motorized Grain Mill

Posted by on Mar 3, 2013 in Brewing, Island Life, Slider | 2 comments

Corona mill

Corona mill

Crushing my grain has been a bit of a chore with my current set up. I installed a low-cost corona mill in a bucket and I’ve been using my drill to spin it. For a 10-gallon batch, though, I run through two fully charged batteries. My hammer drill doesn’t really have the torque to power it and started smoking the last time I tried it. I needed to build a proper milling station for weighing and crushing grain. I decided to re-purpose my original brewing stand and find a way to mount my mill to be powered by a proper motor, all while keeping dust down. Especially since the dust can ignite and explode.

 

Holes!

Holes!

Reinforcement

Reinforcement

I cut a hole to mount the mill and then reinforced the area with a strip of wood. The original hopper for the mill was reused as the lower chute for crushed grain. Since I have no jigsaw and little use for one, I drilled overlapping holes around the edge with a 7/8″ spade bit. One thing I have a lot of right now is time, so I really didn’t mind. I cleaned it up with an oscillating plunge saw and a bastard file. Looks legit, right?

Sheet metal fun

Sheet metal fun

I wanted a nice smooth metal lining for the interior, so the next step was fabricating a shield out of sheet metal. I had some scrap around and played around with it. I cut and bent and shaped and folded it for hours to get something that seemed to work OK. I then used it as a template to cut an improved shape out of nice clean metal. I riveted it together and was amazed at the results. With a little clean-up work with the angle grinder this easily became one of my best works.

Metal shield

Metal shield

For a bigger hopper, I used a 6-gallon plastic carboy fermenter that I dropped and dented beyond use. I cut out the bottom, and trimmed down the spout to fit into the mill’s mouth. I had mixed results with cutting the bucket’s lid to hold it. I cut a hole and then slit it like a pie to spread out to allow the carboy’s spout to be inserted, while still holding it firmly.

Hopper attachment

Hopper attachment

The cuts just expanded and the hopper would lean terribly. Enter the moment of genius. I realized that if I drilled a hole at the end of each cut, it would stop the spread. Also, if I cut the length of each piece of pie properly, they would lock under the edge of the spout. This worked amazingly well! I’m not even sure I can get the carboy out now without a lot of work.

Inside the beast

Inside the beast

I used the old bucket as a support for the grain hopper. A few angle brackets later and this sucker is solid!

The next step is motorizing this sucker. That will be a fun post!

Together at last!

Together at last!