Crushing grains is a really important part of brewing. But without a mill, it might seem impossible to crush them. You are not, it is possible.
So, how to crush grains without a mill?
Using your home appliances you can crush the grains at home. You can use the food processor or coffee grinder to crush the grains. Or you can crush the grains yourself. Using mortar and pestle or a rolling pin to crush the grains is really common as well.
All of the alternative methods of using the mill have more details to them. We have discussed everything you need to know. So jump right in.
5 Ways to Crush Grains without a Mill
Using the right tool for the right job is really important. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy a big machine just to get some grains crushed.
There are other highly effective ways you can crush grains. People used to crush grains with their hands and enjoy their beer afterward.
But with modern-day house appliances, we don’t even have to use our hands that much. Even if you have to use your hands, don’t worry, we have mentioned that as well.
So, how to crush malt without a mill? Below we have listed some of the methods you can try if you don’t want to use the mill.
Method 1: Rolling Pin
A rolling pin is the most classic tool you can use to crush the grains. No matter what appliance you have in your house, you must have a rolling pin.
Rolling pins are not the best tool to use, but you can make it effective. With the rolling pin, you’ll be needing a plastic bag. A zip lock bag works perfectly in this scenario. In the zip lock bag put the grains in and bash them up with the rolling pin.
A big zip lock bag will allow you to roll the rolling pin on it. This makes the process easier. But make sure the plastic bag is thick enough. The pressure from the rolling pin on the grains can create holes in the bag.
You also need to put a lot of pressure on the rolling pin. You have to make sure the grains are breaking out of the husk. Using a wooden rolling pin can make the job hard. Make sure to use a rolling pin that can withstand your pressure.
We recommend using Farberware Rolling Pin for grinding grains. It’s one of the best tools for grinding grains and wheats.
Mix and shake up the grains in the back so they break free from the husk evenly. Keep rolling on the grains until all grains are out of husks. This answers to how to crush barley.
Method 2: Food Processor
Using the rolling pin is a lot of work. On top of that, if there are a lot of grains, it can be tiring. A lot of people ask, can you use a food processor to mill grain? Using the food processor is the best thing you can do in this scenario.
But you need to make sure your grains are not slicing up by the blades. You don’t want powders of the grain. Must make sure grains are coming out of the husk.
Use the food processor in pulse mode a few times. The pulse mode makes use of the grains are moving from top to bottom.
Also, don’t hold on to the pulse mode. Leave the pulse switch after you pressed it once. This will make sure the grains will get less time to get powdered.
If your food processor has grain crushing mode, then that is wonderful. Using grain crushing mode and grain crushing blades will make it easier. The grain crushing blades can make the grains less powder-like.
Looking for quality food processor to smooth grinding? Try out there food processors we recommend:
These are the best food processors in the market. Be sure to pick the one you favor!
Method 3: Mortar And Pestle
Mortar and pestle are the oldest methods to ground anything. Yet still many places use this method to keep the tradition alive.
If you bought that old mortar and pestle to make guacamole, it’s time to bring it out. Mortars and pestles come in a lot of different shapes and sizes.
Using the wide mortars and pestles can make the crushing process easier. One tip to follow is to crush small amounts of grains at a time. Otherwise, grains will not crush evenly.
Start crushing from the middle. Put firm but not too much pressure on the pestle. Hold the mortar with your left hand and hold the pestle with your right hand. Tilt the pestle a bit, and make circles on the mortar.
Observe the grains and see if it’s coming out of the husk. But if not, you may need to increase the pressure. But too much pressure will make the grains powder-like. The perfect balance is the key.
Also if your beer isn’t coming out of the keg, grain powder might have clogged the nozzle.
Method 4: Coffee Grinder
So, if you are asking, how to crack grains for brewing? Coffee grinders are built to crack grains. If you have a coffee grinder around, you can make use of it here.
Coffee grinders are great because they can grind the grains as fine or rough you want. You don’t want the grains to turn into powder. Otherwise, they will be grains in your beer.
Make sure you are cleaning the coffee or any coffee dust from the machine. Or your beer can taste like coffee. Coffee has an overpowering taste and can dominate the beer flavor.
Using the coffee grinder is the best alternative to a mill. But there is a risk of getting coffee particles.
Here are some coffee grinders you can use for grinding grains.
Method 5: Wine Bottle
The process of using a wine bottle is similar to using a rolling pin. Let’s say you don’t even have a rolling pin. But that doesn’t mean you should stop your brewing passion.
Using a wine bottle as a rolling pin is really effective. But there is a risk of breaking the bottle and injuring yourself. Applying even pressure throughout the wine bottle is the key here.
Make sure you are using a long and even bottle. Similar to the rolling pin. Get your grains in a plastic ziplock bag and roll the bottle on top of it.
Mix and shake the bag up so that the grains even come out of the husk. Don’t try to bash the grains with the wine bottle. In this case, there is a risk of breaking the bottle and hurting yourself.
All of these are effective methods to crush your grains without a mill.
Why is it Best to Use a Mill to Crush Grains?
All kinds of tools have a designated job to do. So a mill’s job is to crush grains. And the mill you crush grains better than any of the above methods.
There are grain mills where you can crush your grains. You don’t need to own a mill to crush grains. But for small quantities home methods are okay. Or you can use a cheap mill as a corona mill. These usually come under 100 dollars.
There are other cheap mills available in the market as well. But cheap products are not always good. Check the below listed affordable mills if you are looking to buy one.
These mills are cheap, but really good performing. You can get any one of two. Both of them have a good review in the community.
The task here is to crush the grains so that the husk can fall off. This will expose the inside and make sure the mashing process is effective. Mash ph can be low sometimes for darker beer. But there are ways to fix it.
The inside part of the husk is known as the grit. You want the grit and the husk in your brew. Crushing the grains allows the enzyme to work. The enzymes convert the starches to sugar which will ferment and give you the flavors.
Is Overcrushing the Grains a Problem?
Yes, over-crushing the grain can be a problem. It can make the grains powder-like. The grain powders can go in your brew and end up in your beer. This will make the beer drinking experience gritty. It is better not to use the grains.
How Long Can I Store the Crushed Grains?
Crushing grains right before you brew is the ideal thing to do. Uncrushed grains can pack more flavors which can get affected by the air. But generally crushed grains can last up to 2-3 months. Cracked malted barley can be found in-store as well.
Can I Use a Blender to Crush Grains?
Yes, crushing grains in blender is possible. But there is a chance of over-crushing the grains. Over-crushed grains can make them powder-like. Also, grains below in the blender get crushed more than which are in the top. So it is better to not use a blender.
That is everything you need to know about how to crush grains without a mill. Though using the mill is the most effective method.
Crushing the grins is a crucial part of brewing. So don’t forget this.