Buying, building and using brewing equipment and apparatus. Product reviews and questions.

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Post by veegs » Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:32 am

I will not even get into how rude Jack Schmindling was in dealing with me when I received my hopper damaged and he refused to take ownership of the problem to where he actually wrote me in email "Go take your meds, hon". Not joking at all!
He ended up not even sending a shipping label to take it back, and I got my refund after I challenged the charge as he would not mail me replacements parts as his warranty promises. My brother came up from CA and saw the mill himself.


My brother has worked in engineering and is a Construction Manager in industrial
construction in power plants, modifications and refineries and controls bidding for all
these types of jobs. He has done everything from welding, design and construction in all
metals, woods, etc, and noticed immediately the complete hack job this mill was.

This is his review of the MALTMILL:

Regarding Jack Schmidling Productions "MALT MILL":

I would not recommend this product for use in milling grain or anything else. This
product is a perfect example of the internet market spoilers who ruin it for us all. It
is one thing to cut a few corners to keep production costs and low, and quite another to
go out of your way build something that cannot last any reasonable length of time. Below
is a detailed description of what you will actually get should you purchase one of these

The basic design consists of two 1 3/8" carbon steel rollers that have been knurled
to a fine texture similar to the handle of a ratchet or torque wrench. These rollers are
spaced 1/16" apart and ride in copper bearings on short 3/8" carbon steel
shafts. Two aluminum blocks that measure 1/2" x 3" x 3 1/4" are drilled
to hold the bearings and make up the sides of the mill section. One of the 3/8"
shafts is extended and has a flat spot ground on it to accept an aluminum and wood
handled crank. the other two sides are made of 1/8" thick Masonite (thin material on
the back of cheap furniture) attached with 2 cad plated Phillips head screws. The hand
crank turns one roller with a direct drive and the other turns because a 1/16"
o-ring around the secondary roller contacts the drive roller. The base and hopper are
made of Masonite and MDF board, also unfinished with minimal fasteners.

• The carbon steel rollers will rust very quickly, even though they appear to be
slightly dirty with oil from the knurling process. Stainless steel would be the best
choice here.
• The aluminum blocks have not been finished and still bear the pencil marks from the
mill. A cosmetic thing, and more of a pride in craftsmanship issue that could have been
easily been taken care of.
• The choice of unsealed Masonite for the sides is one step above cardboard. The cost
of this at Home Depot is $6.68 for 4 x 8 ft. This should be at least plastic, however
aluminum to match the ends would have been the best. It is only held on by two cap
screws, one on each end. Counter sunk screws would look better, but the material is not
thick enough. As it is, it is coming loose as you would expect it to do before
you receive it.
• All the screws are inexpensive, cadmium plated, and will eventually rust if exposed to
water, and given this is a coastal area, humidity could easily cause corrosion.
• The base is made of 1/2" MDF board unfinished with three rubber bumpers on the
underside to keep it centered on a 5 gallon bucket while milling. The unfinished MDF
will dissipate in time when exposed to moisture as it is basically a ground sawdust
material pressed together with glue. It should be made of something finished or another
material that would hold up to the elements better.
• The hopper section should not have been made of Masonite and MDF board and unfinished
for reasons mentioned above, and also appears to be a prototype of a considered design
rather than a finished product. There are scraps of plastic inside to direct the grain
and keep fingers out, but the whole thing looks like it was made from materials lying
around rather than planned. I would recommend removing the hopper and starting over.
This is easily done as there are only two screws barely keeping it attached.
The plastic directs the grain to a 4 in. window, so what is the point of the rest of the
rollers as the grain cannot disperse among the length of the rollers. perhaps to keep it
from the o-ring?
• The drive system is the worst part of design in that the o-ring will fail and is
susceptible to grain jamming in the same area. A gear drive is the common design here so
both rollers will have sufficient torque to actually "mill" the grain. Mr.
Schmidling says the o-ring, should it fall off, is not necessary. The mill will work
without it. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Breakdown of costs after chasing down material costs online and at hardware stores:
MDF material 1/2 inch thick used:
8.5 x 5.5 in Sides of hopper
12 x 14 in for base
168 total square inches used
MDF board at Home Depot is $21.48 for 1 48 x 96 in. sheet.
4608 total sq in. per board.
24 bases per sheet, counting for scrap material.
Per hopper expense: 4608 /168 = $.78 cents.

Tempered hardboard 1/8 in.:
10 x 5 in 50 in. hopper panels
11 x 3 33 in. roller container panels
Total sq. 83 in.
Tempered hardboard at Home Depot is $6.68 for 48 x 96 in.
Per hopper expense: 4608/83 = $.12 cents.

Aluminum for roller container:
3 x 3.25 in. = 9.75 sq. in. x2 = 19.5 sq. in
$108 for 72" x 3 flat bar aluminum = 50 cents per sq. in.
19.5 in x .5 = $ 9.75 per unit

Caste handle with JSP in mould:
$5 estimate based on several sites die caste aluminum fees. Being generous here.

Screws cost estimated based on bulk cost at Home Depot: $.50 per unit
Plastic and finger guard almost no cost estimate as so cheap: pennies

MDF: $.78
Tempered hardboard: $.12
Handle: $5
Aluminum: $9.75
Screws: .50

Estimates not able to estimate is:
Knurling of low grade carbon steel rollers:
Brass inserts that hold the roller

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Post by Hoppyness » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:25 pm

Sounds like sour grapes to me for something UPS did. Why don't you vent your BS to UPS instead of Schmidling. I would not put up with you as a unreasonable customer either, but at least he did.

Posting vents like this do nothing but show everyone what an unreasonable person you are, especially as Christmas. I hope the folks at Barley Crusher & Monster Mill never see your business as they will find out the effort is not worth it.

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Post by jawbox » Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:04 am

Couple of items for you

1 - Barley crusher has an mdf base and carbon steel rollers (still waiting for rust on my BC been in use for 3 years).
2 - The o-ring is not required. The rollers will both roll as the grain is pulled through. Barley crusher uses the same principle.
3 - You'll find most homebrew shops use a JSP mill.
4 - Those are self lubricating brass bushings, not copper.
5 - I think you had a bad experience, but slating someones product when they have issued you a return isn't cool. I think you'll find many happy jsp customers.
6 - You could break down the cost of anything and come to the realization that a person is trying to make a profit. How much do you think a pair of nike running shoes cost to be made in china then sold for $150 here?
7 - Didn't you !@#$ about this 3 weeks ago? Give it up.
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Post by ColoradoBrewer » Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:11 am

jawbox wrote:Couple of items for you

7 - Didn't you !@#$ about this 3 weeks ago? Give it up.
I couldn't agree more. Veegs, you've only posted on this board four times, and all four have been to whine about how you think you got hosed. Sorry you had a bad experience, but It happens. Time to forget about it and move on, dude.
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Post by Jack Schmidling » Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:58 am

Nice to see this guy got all the respect he deserved.

I won't waste my time addressing his "engineering analysis" other than to say that after 20 years and over 20,000 mills, we are still the Rolls Royce of the industry.

The only engineering problem we have not solved is UPS proofing the shipment. When you think of the problems of putting a bowling ball in the same box as a carton of eggs, it is obvious that some shipping damage will occur. Solving this problem would cost more in packaging than customers would be willing to spend.

I don't often lose my cool with a customer but this guy could not take yes for an answer. He wanted blood and I have none to spare so we issued a refund and as far as I know, he still has the mill.

Jack Schmidling, Pres
Schmidling Productions, Inc.

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Post by jawbox » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:12 am


most of my homebrew friends have your mill and have used for years with no complaints. In fact I borrowed one recently since I wore out my Barley Crusher.

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Post by Jack Schmidling » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:35 pm

Not sure what "wore out" on the other mill but like tires on a car, the knurling on the rollers does wear down in time.

We have dealt with the problem in two ways. First of all, we offer case hardened rollers for commercial or big time users. These pretty much last forever.

The less obvious solution is that longer and larger rollers spread the wear out over a larger surface and last longer.

To my knowledge, we are the only ones in twenty plus years who have recognized this fact. Competitors save money buy using smaller rollers and you get what they pay for.

Jack Schmidling

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Post by marvin » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:41 am

Thanks for the info, I was going to buy one but now I will look elswhere. Esp seeing how arrogant the merchant is.

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