Once the agave cones are cooked, they’re cut again into smaller pieces with an ax or machete to place in milling.
Usually a circular mill made of stone or cement in which another stone rotates is used, of about 500 kilos, thrown or pulled by a pack animal (horse or mule), this type of grinding mill is called Chilean mill, Chilean tahona or Egyptian mill.
Another way to grind the agave is manually using a mallet and a container to crush. Obviously the last is a more complex process that requires great physical effort. Usually this type of grinding is used to produce small amounts of mezcal or mezcal de olla.
Because it is more common to find the Chilean mill, we’ll explain the process based on it.
The pieces of cooked and cut agave are placed in the mill for grinding leaving a paste and bagasse. The mill manager must be constantly removing the cooked agave and the bagasse so the stone can pass on it and crush it. Something we must put attention to is moving the pack animal to walk and turn the mill stone.
Once all the cooked agave is crushed completely we proceed to the next step which is fermentation.