KitchenAid Grain Mill Attachment Review (2020)
In theory, it should be very easy to make beer at home. It requires only a handful of ingredients that are very easy to find all over the world. After all, people have been making beer for millennia, so how hard can it be. Say this to any beer brewing aficionado, including me, and they will laugh.
Making beer is a complex process with multiple variables. Even the slightest variation in quality or procedure can spell the difference between a robust beer and an awful one. For years I have been working on the process and ingredients in order to be able to create great beer. Through my journey, I have come to realise the importance of using the right ingredients. From using the right type of grains with the right crushed size to using hops sourced from the right farm, everything can and will affect the end result.
One of the areas I have been focusing on lately is the grain I use. After using several pre-crushed grain mixes in my early days, another brewer was kind enough to tell me to crush my own grains, and I haven’t looked back since. When I crush my own grain, I get to pick and choose exactly which grains and in what proportion in order to achieve the right balance. A good grain mill should be heavy duty and should have a decent capacity.
There are many grain mills marketed towards brewers, but I recently heard of people using the grain mill attachment in their KitchenAid stand to do this job. If the KitchenAid grain mill works well, then a kitchen appliance that most homes have will suddenly make crushing grains for brewing beer accessible to many people.
Features of KitchenAid Grain Mill Attachment
The grain mill attachment fits easily into the KitchenAid and comes with a handy set of instructions and care manual along with the appropriate warnings.
- The attachment is all metal which means that it is sturdy.
- It is meant for crushing and milling wheat, oats, rice, barley, millets, and other non-oily grains.
- It comes with an adjustable knob which controls the coarseness of the grind.
- Has a wide hopper to hold and guide the grain towards the grinding burr.
- Comes in separate parts and can be assembled easily at home.
I ordered my grain mill attachment from the KitchenAid website and received it soon. While I was waiting, I sourced raw barley from my trusted farmer who has been growing barley specifically for brewing beer. I do not suggest using general barley that is found in feed stores as the flavour of the beer will not be good. I soaked 10 kilograms of the raw barley in fresh water for 8 hours; then air dried them in the sun for the same amount of time. It then when back into the water for another 8 hours where the rootlets started to appear. I then spread them in a cool area for 4 days to allow the germination process to continue.
The green malt then went into a food dehydrator until the rootlets fell off easily. One the grain had been separated from the rootlets I popped them into my oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour as I wanted a beer with a light and slightly nutty aroma. I then stored them in a paper bag for two weeks to get rid of the harsher aromatics from the grain.
The grain was finally ready for the grill mill attachment on my KitchenAid. The attachment itself is easy to fix. I decided to make a small batch of beer with the Kitchen aid and decided on testing about 2 kilograms of my malt which would yield around 10L of beer. Since I needed a good mix of coarse and fine particles, I divided my malt into three and began the milling process. I set the attachment to the highest setting which would result in the coarsest grind.
Although the coarsest setting did not have the capability of producing the right size of the crushed grain, I went ahead with it anyway and continued to feed the grain into the hopper. I then switched to a lower setting which would give me a finer grind and continued to mill the grain. By this time my motor had started to overheat, and due to this, I decided to mill the rest of the grain after letting the machine rest. I also milled corn and oats in order to add fermentable sugars to the mash. Since these where to be used in lesser quantity, the KitchenAid stand did not overheat, though the crush size wasn’t ideal here either.
Finally, I began the brewing process with the malt in my brewing system which is beginner-friendly. I had some difficulty with the lautering. The resulting beer wasn’t as full-bodied as wanted it to be since the lautering process wasn’t smooth. I would recommend using the KitchenAid grain mill attachment for home brewers brewing small batches as the KitchenAid’s capacity is less
- Not intimidating to first time home brewers
- Easy to assemble and simple to use.
- Sturdy as it is fully metal.
- Not the most economical mill, and the capacity is less
- Could overheat and blow the motor of the KitchenAid if not used carefully.
Why the attachment is Worth Your Money ?
Simply put, the grain mill attachment for the KitchenAid stand is worth it mainly for milling small amounts of grain. It is all metal and is hence really sturdy. The adjustable knob is very handy to control the coarseness of the grind. The wide hopper that holds the grain is very convenient. It is incredibly easy to assemble and use.