Saturday, 27 October 2012

Success? Sort of

I mentioned in my previous post a problem with having to crush 25kg's of grain. Having got my well connected hombre Tom to ask around on twitter, sadly no one around these parts seemed to be able to offer crushing services so it was time to take matters in to my own hands.

Behold, the pasta maker grain crusher.

1 battery powered drill, 3 clamps, a couple of bits of scrap wood and a now ruined pasta maker and it's problem solved.

Ok sort of - its slow. But it's also pretty much hands off thanks to the 10mm drill bit and tiny clamp so speed isn't a major problem when you're not having to hand crank it. Theres no way in hell im going to manage to crush my 25kg's in one sitting but I think it should manage to do enough pale malt needed for a 10L brew in the time it takes for the mash water to get up to temp so as long as I remember to forward plan a bit it should work.

So, here's a quick rundown of how I put it together:

The pasta maker in the main component doing the crushing. As it is, with smooth rollers, it is useless for this purpose so the most important thing was to ruin the rollers to give something to grab the grain and pull it through. I tried running the rollers with the drill and simultaneously running a file across it, making a lot of vertical lines but that proved pretty useless, so using the same file without the rollers moving I scraped a series of horizontal lines on the rollers at varying points. Voila, success.

On top of this the only other major components were the 'drill' which is my 12v ryobi lithium screwdriver with a 10mm flat wood bit in which is the correct size for my pasta makers crank slot. Add a couple of bits of scrap wood for it to lean in to get it at the right height and an upside down bottle with the bottom removed, acting as a hopper, set in to a piece of scrap plywood cut to sit on top of the pasta maker. The feed in is slow as its only coming through in 1 place (rather than across the width of the rollers) so im going to see if I can make something better for this.

Finally i've made a chute out of a bit of foam board a scored in 2 places to make it fold and just pushed it through the gap and taped it to the back. Works perfectly.

Clamp it all down to stop it moving about and use a small babco 100mm clamp on the drill trigger set to about 1/3 speed and cue me laughing like Dr. Frankenstein.

All in all not long to put together and already owning the pasta maker only cost about £0.74 for the 10mm drill bit.

Next up: brew fridge! And hopefully some brewing.

UPDATE: I have switched out the standard size bottle for a 5L water bottle bought from Tesco in the same configuration. Having measured this holds about 2.5kg's of grain, takes a while, but means i can leave it on in the morning when i go out to work. Battery only lasts about an hour on the drill so it wears itself out relatively quickly. Neighbours might complain, but probably not as much as the girlfriend if i leave it on while she's trying to watch tv.

the crush

No comments:

Post a Comment