Building the HBX Barley Mill (Grinder).

A story and pictures of a long ordeal building a grain mill for grinding malted barley.

The mission started simply; build a safe, dummy-proof grain mill that customers can use in a homebrewing supply store to grind their bulk grains. Really, I would have preferred to buy a finished product, but all I could find were stone grist mills that started around $4500. This was out of our budget.

I looked around on the web and found a number of suppliers for barley mills. From Schmidling to the Barley Crusher and, finally, the Crankandstein mills. None of these companies had the complete, dummy-proof system I wanted. I ended up buying a basic 2-roller mill from Crankandstein, along with the round hopper they ship. The mill looks very solid, but this is only a very small part of what I need. I ended up spending way too much time building the grinder I wanted. I stayed up past 1 AM multiple days trying to finish it as I had few days to work on it. It was an exhausting ordeal--as we were struggling to open a retail store at the same time.

Below are pictures from the assembly. Click any picture to enlarge. The grinder works quite well. I added a small sheet metal guard inside the hopper to keep fingers out of the steel rollers. The grinder is anchored to the wall to avoid trouble. It seems to work quite well with minimal dust production (thanks to the chute and mill side covers I attached). The hopper, chute, and mill can be disassembled for cleaning or servicing.

Mill mount and chuteMill mount and chute
Chute detail 1Chute detail 1


Chute detail 2Chute detail 2
minimal clearance between hopper and sheaveminimal clearance between hopper and sheaveThe hopper's shape made this project harder than it should be.


Legs, table top, back panelLegs, table top, back panel
shroud detailshroud detail


Atttaching mill mount to table topAtttaching mill mount to table top
Attaching back panelAttaching back panel


steel bars hold bottom of shroud flatsteel bars hold bottom of shroud flat
Shroud hammered and attachedShroud hammered and attached


shroud bending detailshroud bending detail
motor mountmotor mount


leg reinforcementsleg reinforcements
Customer using millCustomer using mill


Finished barley mill, yay.Finished barley mill, yay.


Medium pic: Finished barley mill, yay.