Category Archives: Malt

Hands on Review: Monster Mill MM-3 Grain Mill!

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Monster Mill MM-3

I started milling my own grains not too long after I switched to all-grain. At first I thought the idea was laughable to mill my own grains- why buy something and do the work myself, when I could get it done for free at the homebrew shop? But once my process had stabilized a fair amount, I became frustrated by my inability to hit the recipe’s planned OG. On my batches where my gravity was lower than predicted, I found a notable number of fully intact grains in the spent grains from my mash. Aiming for consistency, I wanted to make sure all my grains were always crushed, so I bought a 2-roller grain mill. That worked well, but if I wanted to optimize mash efficiency, I was always dancing on the edge of a stuck mash.

The 3-roller mill from Monster Brewing Hardware passes through a first pair of rollers that have a fixed gap. That is machined to be 0.060”, with the intention of doing a minimal crush to soften the inside of the grain without really breaking the husk. After the first pair of rollers, it passes through the gap that you can adjust to your liking. The instructions provided with the mill recommend 0.045” for a medium crush, 0.055” for a coarse crush, and 0.038” for a fine crush. But of course the beauty of having your own mill is you can adjust it as you want, based on what works best for you.

The MM-3 3-roller mill comes with some options. The base rollers are 1144 steel alloy that is durable for long life, but can get some surface rust if used in a non-climate-controlled area, or if you wet mill your grain. For those homebrewers, they offer a stainless steel roller option, which they say has the same durability as the steel alloy base rollers. If you are a manic homebrewer, they offer a 3rd option with their MM-3 Pro series, which has heat treated rollers. These apparently have about 10x the life durability, but the price tag roughly doubles over the base MM-3.

The other option to choose from is the drive shaft size. Standard is a 1/2″ drive, but 3/8” is available as a smaller option. The 3/8” really isn’t recommended since 3/8” drive drills typically don’t have the torque to drive this mill. It can also be hard to find a cordless drill with enough torque to drive it, so Monster Mill recommends a corded drill. If you order the grain hopper from Monster Mill, it comes standard in galvanized 20-gauge steel, or optional stainless steel. Galvanized steel is corrosion resistant, so the only real advantage of stainless for your grain hopper is the “bling effect”.


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When shopping for a mill, it’s important to recognize that even if a product looks the same/similar in a picture, there’s more to it than the photo. For example, there is a similar 3-roller mill in the market at a lower price. However, what you can’t tell from the picture is that the rollers are made of a cheaper steel that doesn’t wear as well, and uses non-sealed bearings which are prone to grain dust causing wear problems. Fred Francis, the owner of Monster Mill makes a point of sourcing all of his raw materials from the U.S., and assembling the mills in Georgia. Rather than chase the lowest price point in the market down to the bottom, he focuses on his American supply base and keeping high quality design/materials to ensure a robust product that stands up well with word-of-mouth recommendations

Hands on Trial

Full Contents of Mill and Accessories Kit

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Hands on Review: Viking Malt Xtra Pale Base Malt

Viking Xtra Pale Malt in a Vittles Vault Container – Hands on Review

This review is by Homebrew Finds Contributor Brad Probert.  Brad is an engineer, expert homebrewer and experienced reviewer.  Grab a link to Brad’s website at the end of this review.

Viking Xtra Pale Malt

When we say “malt”, most of the time we are referring to “malted barley”. The barley is grown and harvested as a grain, and then the malt house does the fancy processing of coaxing that grain to get it ready to sprout, and then heating it to stop that sprouting process. Both of these things (the grain and the processing by the maltster) are what give us the different colors and flavors in our beers. The temperature and length of time the barley is heated is the biggest variable affecting the color of the wort you end up making from it.


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Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhous by John Mallet

Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse (Brewing Elements)

Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse by John Mallet. Part of the Brewing Elements Series – Yeast, Hops, Malt, Water.

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From the book description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

Often playing second fiddle to hops in the minds of craft beer drinkers, malt is the backbone of beer: “No barley, no beer.” Malt defines the color, flavor, body, and alcohol of beer and has been cultivated for nearly as long as agriculture has existed. In this book, author John Mallett explains why he feels a book on malt is necessary, taking the reader on a brief history of malting from the earliest records of bappir through to the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period. When Mallett touches on the major changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution and beyond, he illustrates how developments in malting technology were intertwined with politics and taxation, which increasingly came to bear on the world of maltsters and brewers.

Of course, no book on malt would be complete without a look at the processes behind malting and how different malts are made. Mallett neatly conveys the basics of malt chemistry, Maillard reactions, and diastatic power―the enzymes, starches, sugars, glucans, phenols, proteins, and lipids involved. Descriptions of the main types of malt are included, from base malt, caramel malts, and roasted malts through to specialty malts and other grains like wheat, rye, and oats. Information is interspersed with the thoughts and wisdom of some of America’s most respected craft brewers.

Understanding an ingredient requires appreciating where it comes from and how it is grown. The author condenses the complexities of barley anatomy and agriculture into easy, readable sections, seamlessly combining these details with high-level look at the economic and environmental pressures that dictate the livelihoods of farmers and maltsters. Mallett explains how to interpret―and when to rely on―malt quality and analysis sheets, an essential skill for brewers. There is a summary of the main barley varieties, both modern and heritage, from Europe and America. The book finishes with what happens to the malt once it reaches the brewery, addressing issues of malt packaging, handling, preparation, storage, conveyance, and milling in the brewhouse.


 

Malt: A Practical Guide from Field to Brewhouse (Brewing Elements)Brewing Elements Series

Also: The Ultimate Homebrewer’s Book Set – via Adventures in Homebrewing

Also: The Homebrewer’s Library – Selection of Homebrewing and Craft Beer Books

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Free Sugar Creek Smoked Malt with Kveik Yeast Purchase

From Great Fermentations:

Buy any of our liquid Kveik yeast strains, and get a free pound of Sugar Creek Malt’s Stjordal Smoked Malt! This is the same malt we use in our super popular Surtr Smoked Ale, and is a great all around smoked malt for any brewing needs. Plus, combine with a Kveik yeast strain and you’ll have a beer the nordic gods would approve of! Kveik and smoked malt is a match made in homebrew heaven!

Update: This promo has expired or pricing, availability or description has changed – Check the supplier’s site or product page for current availability

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Announcing: Viking Sahti Malt from MoreBeer

Viking Sahti Malt GS944

Viking Sahti Malt via MoreBeer

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From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

Sahti Malt is a special malt blend for producing the traditional Finnish beer, Sahti. This unique beverage is uncommon in modern brewing but still highly appreciated, for example, by the late Michael Jackson, an English writer and journalist who has written several books about beer and whiskey. Sahti is traditionally brewed in farms and country houses and is still enjoyed today at festivals and summer weddings in Finland.


 

Viking Sahti Malt GS944

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55 lbs Belgian Pale Ale Malt… $29.99

55 Lbs. Belgian Pale Ale (Actual Cost Shipping Item)

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From the product description, check product page for current description, price and availability:

Used as a base malt or in combination with pilsner base malt to provide a richer flavor. Adds a golden hue to ale, and is ideal for pale ale and traditional English style beers. Made from . Well modified, and easy to mash at 148 to 156 degrees. F. 7° lovibond. We have used this malt extensively and find it compares favorably to Maris Otter. Malted by Castle Malting.

NOTE: This item weighs about 57 lbs. total, and actual Fedex Ground shipping based on your delivery zip code will be charged at checkout.


 

Castle Malting 55 Lbs. Belgian Pale AleWilliam’s Brewing Winter Clearance Sale!

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Visit William’s Brewing – Web Only Clearance Sale

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Hands on Review: Vittles Vault Stackable Storage Bins for Homebrew Grain Storage!

Free Sugar Creek Smoked Malt with Kveik Yeast Purchase

From Great Fermentations:

Buy any of our liquid Kveik yeast strains, and get a free pound of Sugar Creek Malt’s Stjordal Smoked Malt! This is the same malt we use in our super popular Surtr Smoked Ale, and is a great all around smoked malt for any brewing needs. Plus, combine with a Kveik yeast strain and you’ll have a beer the nordic gods would approve of! Kveik and smoked malt is a match made in homebrew heaven!

Update: This promo has expired or pricing, availability or description has changed – Check the supplier’s site or product page for current availability

Recent Deals!  Last Fifty Finds

More: Recent Great Deals