One of the most basic ingredients in beer is grain. Grain is what breaks down into sugar that yeast feeds on. When yeast eats this sugar it produces both alcohol and carbon dioxide. Grain also adds color and flavor to beer.
Choosing the right grain for your beer is important as grain gives beer many of its unique qualities. Sometimes only one type of grain is used such as barley, however, there are many types of grains that can be used.
It is only required to add one grain to brew a beer. However, you can add multiple grains depending on what kind of beer you want to make. Different types of grains include barley, corn, oats, rice, rye, and wheat.
Most local beer supply shops sell these beer grains and even allow you to taste them before you buy. However, once you buy them you will have to grind your beer grain using a beer grain mill. Grinding grains makes it easier to break down the starches into sugar when you are making your wort.
These beer supply stores usually have a grain mill for brewing on site that you can use to grind the grain you have purchased.
However, it may not always be practical to use their mill. It can be much less expensive to buy grains in bulk which may not be used immediately or you may be purchasing online. Because of this you may consider picking up a DIY grain mill of your own.
There are many different kinds of grain mills. These mills come in a wide range of price, quality, and purpose. Because of this we took some time to point out some of the key features of some popular grain mills and hope you find this information useful.
Here are the best grain mill reviews.
Here are our Top Picks
- 1 Premium Quality Cast Iron Corn Grinder for Wheat Grains Review
- 2 KitchenAid KGM Stand-Mixer Grain-Mill Attachment Review
- 3 Barley Crusher W/ 15 Lb.-Capacity Hopper Review
- 4 Victorio VKP1024 Deluxe Hand Operated Grain Mill Review
- 5 Victoria Commercial Grade Manual Grain Grinder with High Hopper Review
- 6 Manual vs. Automatic Grain Mills
- 7 My Vote for Best DIY/Homebrew Grain Mill
Premium Quality Cast Iron Corn Grinder for Wheat Grains Review
This home brew grain mill is perfect for grinding any grain or nut you may need. It is constructed with a cast iron frame, which makes this mill rust resistant, durable, and easily to clean. It is also very easy to operate as it can be mounted and utilizes a manual turn.
The manual lever has a hardwood handle that provides good hand support and makes it easy to turn over. This way you will be able to turn a lot of grain in a single sitting.
Another important feature is the large aluminum hopper. With this you can turn a pound of grain per minute.
This mill also makes it very easy to regulate how coarse or fine the grain comes out. All you have to do is adjust a couple of screws located below the hopper. If it seems you are putting a lot of stress on the grinder, then just adjust the screws until you get your desired results.
- Great Price
- Large Hopper
- Adjustable Grinder
- Screws can wear out
- No cover
KitchenAid KGM Stand-Mixer Grain-Mill Attachment Review
This is an attachment grain mill. It is designed to be used in tandem with a KitchenAid mixer. It is mounted to the front of the mixer and is powered by its motor. That makes this grain mill an automatic mill.
This beer grain mill attachment is all metal and is intended for all dry and minimal oil grains. Different settings allow you to choose whether the grain will turn out cracked or fine like a powder. This makes grinding grains such as barley, wheat, corn, and rice an easy task.
- Course and Fine Grind Settings
- Hopper Cover
- Requires KitchenAid Mixer
- Operates Poorly with Moisture
Barley Crusher W/ 15 Lb.-Capacity Hopper Review
Due to its consistence in quality, hopper volume, and throughput, this homebrew grain mill is one of the most popular choices for a home brewer.
Consistency in quality comes from the rollers that can be adjusted to produce different grinds. The rollers are made of steel and are intentionally designed to pull grain through while you turn the crank.
In my opinion, the crank is one of the best features of this mill. This is because it can be operated manually or automatically. All you have to do is attach an electric drill and then start turning out multiple pounds a minute. This output is supported by an very larger hopper that can hold up to about 15 pounds of grain.
- Automatic or Manual
- Attachable 5-gallon bucket
- Very Large Hopper
- Wooden Mount
- Rustable if not properly cleaned
- High RPMs can cause binding
Victorio VKP1024 Deluxe Hand Operated Grain Mill Review
If you are looking for something easy that is going to get your grains turned and aren’t looking to spend too much money, then this brewing grain mill is a top contender. It is hand operated and utilizes a simple dial to adjust the coarseness of your grains.
The hopper holds about 4 cups and makes this a perfect candidate for small batch brewing. All you have to do is attach this mill to any surface thickness between ½ and 2 inches and you are ready to go.
This is a quality mill that will last for years and is a great option for easy at home milling.
- Easy to use
- Easy to mount
- Perfect for small batches
- Plastic hopper
- Mount limits serviceable locations
Victoria Commercial Grade Manual Grain Grinder with High Hopper Review
This mill works like most hand mills. However, It’s entire body, including the hopper is made from cast iron. The blades are make from self-sharpening stainless steel and the crank has a wooden handle.
Like most hand operated mills, the coarseness of your grain can be easily adjusted and it can be mounted to a flat surface. The hopper is not as large as some others but with two people you can easily have a continuous feed.
- Very inexpensive
- Self-Sharpening blades
- Cast iron body
- Small hopper
- No hopper cap
Manual vs. Automatic Grain Mills
There isn’t a large difference in how a manual or automatic grain mill operate. Both are designed to grind most grains and both can be adjusted to regulate coarseness. However, the biggest difference is the speed at which you can turn your grains. An automatic grinder has a much faster throughput and will take you fraction of the time than a manual mill with the same volume. For the most part the difference comes down to how much beer grain you need to turn and how much time you want to spend doing it.
My Vote for Best DIY/Homebrew Grain Mill
Go with the 15-lb capacity Barley Crusher. This is by far my favorite DIY grain mill. It is the most versatile and mess free. All I do is attach it to my fermenter bucket and let it rip. I do keep a drill on hand for larger batches but I have honestly used it more times than not turning the manual crank. Also, the massive hopper makes it easy to put through a coarse grind and then add it again to produce a fine powder.