Sunday, July 28, 2013

Barley Crusher Tear-Down and Maintenance

 My Barley Crusher has not been working so well lately, lots of spinning, but not much crushing. I've adjusted the gap wider a few times, but when I needed to set it to 0.050 to get any grain to go through, it was time to look at another solution. At 0.050, there were quite a few grains that weren't even crushed. 

It looks pretty simple, so I thought I'd try taking it apart and cleaning it. It turns out it was pretty easy to do. It originally came with an o-ring on the non-powered roller to help make that roller spin, so I added a couple of new o-rings also.

Here are the details in lovely pictures:

Before, not working so well, lots of spinning but not much crushing.

Need to loosen the two screws holding on the bin. They just need loosened, the bottom of the bin has slots, so it will pull off without having to completely remove the screws.

Bin is removed, you can see the small slot in the bottom.

Roller section unbolted from the work bench. There is quite a bit of grain dust.

The side with the adjusting knobs has two long screws with lock washers.

The spinning roller side has two small screws, no lock washers.

Just remove all 4 screws.

Both sides removed.

The ends should pull off easily.

There is some crud build up on the end plates.

The other end needs cleaned too.

I lubed the rollers by putting a drop or two of oil on the brass bushings.

View of the other end of the rollers.

Originally, the Barley Crusher had an o-ring around the non-driven roller to help it spin. That disappeared into the mash about the second time I used the mill. I found these at Home Depot in the plumbing section, thought I'd put on a couple and see how long they last.

Cleaned, lubed, added new o-rings.

All assembled and gap adjusted. I set the gap at 0.038". I was a little worried that the o-rings would be too thick and wouldn't let me adjust the roller tight enough, but no problem.

Looks like a pretty good crush, both rollers moving really helped pull the grain through.

Update, Sep 15, 2013 -- the rubber o-rings wore out the second time I used the mill after the maintenance. Also, the mill was really slow with the second roller turning. It looks like either it needs a larger gap or slower speed. When I brewed yesterday, it was back to its old ways of lots of spinning and not much crushing, so I took it apart again and removed the o-rings. Also, I step that I may have left out when I did this the first time was to make sure that the knobs for the adjustable roller were both set on the mark. I don't know that this makes a difference, but after reassembly, that left the roller gap at 0.045", which seems to work just fine. The grain fed smoothly, and the crush looks good, very little shreading of the husks.

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