Date: 1992-03-31 23:54:06 GMT
Subject: Jack's Grain Mill (George Fix)
I have been meaning to do a review of Jack's mill for some time,
but have been putting off doing it. It seems that every time I
would start the review, Jack would send a post to HBD insulting
someone I liked and respected. That plus a heavy workload made
procrastination easy. In recent weeks the tone has greatly improved,
and in fact his experiments with NA formulations have been quite
interesting. Thus I decided to make the time to do the review.
To get to the main point, Jack has built a first rate mill that is
worth every penny he is asking for it. The metal work, the
heart of any mill, is extremely impressive. When the mill first
arrived, the first thing we did was to compare the quality of the
crush with that obtained from the commercial mill at the Dallas
Brewing. For the record the latter cost between $5000 and $6000.
There was absolutely no difference between the two.
Shortly after getting the mill, I joined the staff at the Brewers
Research and Development Co. (BRD) as a senior consultant. This
firm makes brewing equipment and provides technical services for
brewpubs and micros. With that job came a 1/2 bbl. BRD prototype to
be used as a part of our customer service. Out went my old system including
Jack's mill. The new owner of this system bought it primarily to get
the mill, and is very happy with it. He promised a review which I will
communicate to HBD.
Two very small additional points. Jack has gone overboard with respect to
safety. He seems to be very worried he will be sued. (Folks, we have flamed
him too often in the past!) This has lead to features in the mill which
hurt its throughput, but not the very high quality of the crush. First, as
noted in an earlier review, it is underpowered especially considering the
quality of the rollers. This is of course easy to fix, and a motor which
works in the 900-1200 rpm range seems well suited. Also by by stepping up
to 1/2 hp, one could start the mill with grains in the hopper. One can not
do this with the motor Jack has on the mill.
Second, the pulley driving the rollers is not rigidly attached to the rollers,
but rather to a slip disc on the roller shaft. Jack did this obiously with
safety in mind. We took the mill to a local machine shop and they extended
the screw hole in the pulley through the slip disc, and then threaded it.
With this change the pulley could be rigidly attached to the rollers with
a hex nut. The throughput went up by a factor of ten after this was done.
Congratulations Jack. You have every right to be proud of your mill.
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