Grain Mill Question



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From Readers Glennis & Jim G.

I would also like to ask about wheat mills. I have a Corona mill with stone burrs that I tried to grind wheat with. I followed the instructions and I made the most beautiful loaf of wheat bread. It looked and smelled just wonderful. With great anticipation, I sliced into it, but what a disappointment—It was like eating bread with sand mixed into it. I had to throw the bread out as it was impossible to eat it. I put the mill away and have not tried to grind flour since.

My question is: Is there any hope for this mill or should I forget about it and get another mill and, if so, what are the recommendations for a good mill at a good price?



 

Dear Readers: I have never used a grain mill so if any of you have used one, would you please comment and let us know what you think? I would appreciate it!

Thanks! Tawra

 

Photo by: thermionics

Comments

  1. says

    I do not have a grain mill of this particular brand, but our experience with the mill that we do have (see http://www.cwtrades.com/page/14514/Stone_Products.html) is that you have to put more than one batch through before you use the flour for food. The instructions for our mill had us scrub the stone with a brass brush and vinegar, dry it, and then put at least 5 batches through (we put 6 through) before using it for bread, etc. We noticed, after a few batches, that the oils from the grains begin to impregnate the stone. Maybe this is what needs to happen. It would be interesting to hear other people’s experience.

  2. Kathy OMeal says

    Hi,
    Sounds like your grinder is not able to grind to flour fineness or it isn’t properly adjusted.

    For handgrinders, I really like Country Living, the diamant is super but more expensive, Lehmans “Our best hand grinder” works great for the price.

    We like K tec for the short jobs, becasue it grinds about anything and is so lightweight, we can take it anywhere (it is slow though).

    We also have an older MAgic mill which always works well either when using electric or by hand.

    My sister just bought a Red heavy duty Grainmaker out of Montana. We have heard some rave reviews about this grinder.

    This is all we have tried other than buying a used commercial grinder.

    We do use grinders daily.
    :)

  3. Jeannette says

    I don’t blog much, but I’ll see what I can do. I have used VitaMix to grind grains. My first one lasted 14 years with daily use (often many times per day). I bought my second VitaMix about a year ago. I like to grind spelt (a relative of wheat, but one I don’t react to) with some flax seed. I’ve also ground other grains–corn, quinoa, and others, but I’m blanking right now. I’ve never used any other kind of grain mill, so I can’t comment on that. I use my VitaMix as a blender, also.

  4. Melinda says

    Hi,

    We’ve been using a Nutri Mill for about 5 years now that works great. I bought it because the size and capacity work great with my bosch mixer. It’s easy to clean, add wheat, and I can turn it on and off at my leisure; i.e. if the phone rings. We mostly use hard white wheat, 9 grain wheat or Rye grains from Montana for bread baking. It sounds like a small airplane, but it only takes about 3-5 minutes! There are some great recipes out there for bread baking, so keep trying. I’ve had to adjust ours since we moved from the plains to the mountains. We really like using Molasses or a darker honey for the taste. Yum! Happy baking!

  5. says

    I totally agree w/Melinda when it comes to the nutramill and bosch mixer. I have done some research on making homemade whole wheat bread. You need to use wheat gluten in it. It makes the breads much lighter and very good. For a good site to learn more about Whole Wheat breads and other grains. Everyday foodstorage.net will make things alot clearer on the subject.

  6. JL Gosey says

    I also have a Nutrimill and LOVE it. It is expensive up front (about $260), but I think it pays for itself over time, both in cheaper bread and in more nutritious food. There are nutrients in the whole grain that oxidize after just a few days, so flour that was ground weeks ago with the germ removed has way fewer nutrients. I have used hard red (a stronger wheat flavor), hard white (milder flavor) and soft white (very mild, good for cookies but not yeast breads). I love the flavor of the freshly ground flour, and it cost me about $30-$40 for a giagantic bucket, which makes way more bread than I could ever buy for that same $30-especially if I was trying to by equivalent quality (i.e. organic, whole wheat no preservatives). I make the bread/muffins/tortillas in huge batches and freeze it, I have mostly used recipes from the Bread Beckers (http://www.breadbeckers.com/books.htm#The%20Bread%20Beckers'%20Recipe%20Collection), this is where I usually get my grain too.

  7. says

    Hi,
    I used a Retsel Grain Mill very happily for several years and it also had stones. The stones had to be adjusted carefully and once I got the adjustment right I would try to leave the stones at that setting. You may need to try several small batches of flour (adjusting it each time) until you get a fine enough flour. I would pick up a little between my fingers and taste it until I got it almost as fine as face powder. It shouldn’t taste gritty in your mouth. If it does, it’s too course a setting. Sometimes, if you get the stones adjusted too tight, they will glaze over. The cure for that is to run a batch of rice through the grinder, which will clean off the stones. Once you get the right adjustment, you should get nice flour. I used the Prarie Gold “White Wheat”. I had made great whole wheat bread for years with purchased flour and then ended up with loaves like bricks when I first got my mill and was grinding my own flour. I called up the bakers at the King Arthur Flour Company (who are always happy to answer any baking questions)and they told me that the ww flour you purchase has part of the bran removed and he suggested that for each cup of my home ground ww flour I should put a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten in the cup first and then fill the cup up the rest of the way with the ww flour. I thought it sounded like a lot of gluten but it did the trick. I had delicious loaves from then on.
    Happy Baking,
    Mary

  8. says

    I have a Nutri Mill which I really like. You can change the settings for the fineness of the flour that is ground. It takes less than 5 minutes to grind enough wheat for 4 loaves of bread.

  9. lilah dobbs says

    Marilyn Moll has great grain and grinder information on her website and I believe she also sells the products she uses and believes to be the very best for home baking.I
    think her website is Marilyn Moll.com

  10. Barbara Mims says

    I have a Champion Juicer that has a grain mill attachment. I love to grind wheat berries into flour for bread and it’s worked out just great! One tip I picked up on, since I don’t like “flour dust” all over my kitchen: I cover the flour mill and the bowl in which the flour falls with a white 13-gallon trash bag. Much less messy to clean up!

  11. Janice says

    I love the recipes that I have found on the website: http://www.thefamilyhomestead.com I especially love their Italian Whole Wheat Pizza Crust recipe. I use a NutriMill and set it on the finest setting for bread flour. I found an article in the Mother Earth News on the Corona Mill. It looks like they have some suggestions for cleaning the mill and getting a finer grind. http://tiny.cc/YJdUv
    Good luck.
    Janice

  12. Kelly says

    we have a BlendTec and love it. Started about 2 years ago, when my husband had high blood pressure and one of our sons was diagnosed adhd. What a difference it has made in our life. Will never go back to store bought foods with preservatives. Our children love the pancakes, waffles, muffins, bread, you name it. Anything that is made with flour. We even grind our on corn for corn bread. It has some work involved, but well worth it. Hope this helps.

  13. Lori Cummings says

    Hi,
    I now own a NUTRIMILL and Love it. Before I owned a K-Tec for 20 years. There are many other grain mills you can buy. Nutrimill had the best warranty, we looked at many to buy but I can’t remember the other one’s that we looked at sorry.
    ~~I grind many things with my ginder. I usually use Golden 86 wheat or Hard White Wheat for everything, bread, pasteries,etc. To use for pasteries or cookies depending on how fine I want the flour I will take one extra step with it and put it a small weave hand strainer and shake out all the flour and the remainder I use as wheat germ.
    I can make Whole Wheat bread and give it to people that hate Wheat and they can’t tell that they are eating Whole Wheat Bread–Makes great bread.

    I also grind beans, black beans, white beans pinto beans, etc. With the White beans you can make a Cream of Chicken substitute, or other cream soups. Use it to thicken things etc. With the Pinto beans I make Refried Beans with no fat and they are ready in 5 mins. Black beans can also be used for this. Tons of things to do with beans. You must grind wheat after every few cups of beans however.

    I also grind popcorn to make corn bread. Lots and lots of uses and it more then makes up for your up front investment for the mill. I can buy 25 lbs of wheat for approx 10.50 to 12.00 depending on the market price, 50# for usually under $23.00 double bagged (with Shipping). I go in on a truck load shipment and the costs is split for shipping.

    You will save so much money by using a mill for more then just wheat. You can not use a stone mill on beans.

    A good grain mill is a must.

    Happy Milling and baking.

    ~~Lori

  14. Nancy says

    I have a Golden Grain mill. It is like a piece of furniture but does a great job. It has stones and I found at first that there seemed to be some tiny stones in the flour/bread. After using it often the stones stopped. With the Golden Grain mill you can set the grind for different types of flour. (Cereal, pastry, regular grind) It has been great! The other plus is that it can be used with electricity or manual. (Of course, electric is preferred. :-) )It is heavy duty as well as heavy. It is pretty, like a piece of furniture, since it has a wooden case with a very nice drawer to catch the flour. It probably would not be the first choice for many.

  15. Tricia says

    I have a Nutrimill, and absolutely love it. It grinds quickly, is a little loud, but not bad. I purchased mine from Pleasant Hill grains (www.pleasanthillgrain.com). I have only had mine for about 6 months, but I use it for wheat, beans, and popcorn (corn meal).

  16. says

    I have a nutrimill.

    It works wonderful. When I first got it there was something wrong with the base and they promptly sent me a new one. They also gave me a free sample of dough enhancer and didn’t expect me to pack up the old base and send it back. It was so easy.

    Anyhow, it works GREAT! It was an expensive kitchen item but if you use it the machine will pay for itself VERY QUICKLY. Do the math. Good store wheat bread is at least $3 a loaf.

    The machine grinds so fine that the dough comes out really nice.

    I do have a bread secret to tell you though…. I WAS mixing the dough in my bosch mixer and had to use dough enhancer and gluten to get it to rise as well as the store bought bread. (I didn’t want to feed my family HEAVY bread which is what you would get in any mixer without the enhancer) Then I found out that if I took the 10 minutes to knead it by hand I did NOT need all the enhancers and my bread started coming out better than imaginable. The first time I hand kneaded it for 10 minutes my husband thought he was eating store bread!!!!!!!!!!

    By the way… don’t try to make a whole grain bread in a kitchenaid on a regular basis because that machine can’t handle it. You WILL break the machine. It can only take white flour. Trust me. I went through at least three of them and they were professional models!!! Granted I have 6 kids and used them a lot but if you want a machine that is going to last a lifetime do NOT get a kitchen aid. (unless you are only making cookie dough)

    • Ann says

      Store bread? Ewww. That’s disappointing to hear. I’ve never tried dough enhancer though either. My bread is usually quite fluffy.

      I’m surprised to hear about your difficulties with the Kitchenaid because mine has been a champ. I grind flour several times a week with my artisan and have had no problems over the last 18 months. I think most people who’ve had troubles have tried to grind too much flour at once. There’s no need to grind more than you’ll use right away and fortunately I never need more than 12 cups.

  17. Doree says

    Jeanette,

    In reference to the Vita-Mix, do you use the dry blade container for grinding grains or just use the wet blade container. I have a Vita-Mix and am wondering if buying the second container is worth the money.

    Thanks,

    Doree

  18. rose says

    Hi,
    I have the k-tec and really like it. I make bread almost every week. I use the recipe from Marily Moll at urbanhomemaker.com and use the soaking method. We love the grains that she sell, too, but it is too far away to pay shipping charges. I recommend that anyone wanting a good recipe for bread to try this one.

  19. Christy M says

    Do you have a KitchenAid mixer? I do not have the grain mill attachment, but there is one available for the KitchenAid. If anyone has input as to how well it works, I’d like to hear in case I ever decide to go that route myself. If you have a different type of stand mixer, maybe check to see if it has the attachment available. Would probably save money and definitely save on storage space.

  20. says

    We have a “Whisper Mill” (recently rebranded to “Wonder Mill”). It’s much quieter than others (but not “quiet”), but doesn’t use stones at all. It has worked well for us. I haven’t had much experience with stone grinders, so I’m not sure what to do for the malfunctioning one.

  21. says

    A reader alerted me to the grain mill discussion here at the blog. I have to say the WonderMill, aka The WhisperMill has been my favorite for nearly 15 years.

    It is quieter and faster than some of the other high speed grain mills and produces very fine flour. As they say, the finer the flour the higher rising the bread.

    Several posters mentioned my bread recipe, Marilyn’s Famous Whole Wheat Bread. Here is the link for those who are interested:
    http://articles.urbanhomemaker.com/index.php?article=83

    If you are wanting a grain mill and wanting to save, now is the time to get the WonderMill. Now through Sept 30 the manufacturer is giving a $30 rebate on a Wondermill purchase. Here is the link for that information:
    http://www.urbanhomemaker.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=161&idproduct=1227

    And if you purchase the Wondermill from me I’m giving a copy of my spiral bound book A Beginner’s Guide to Baking Bread. It is over 80 pages of step by step instructions and recipes.

    Here is the link to the book:
    http://www.urbanhomemaker.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=163&idproduct=2216

    As always, if you have a bread baking question, you can call me at 1-800-55-BREAD (2-7323).

    Thanks for those who mentioned me, my website, and my bread recipe. I appreciate the unsolicited endorsements. Marilyn Moll

  22. Linda says

    In reference to the person with the question on the Kitchen Aid grain mill. I went that route. I used mine frequently for approximately 6-7 months. I have a family of 8. I used the mill to grind grain twice a week and then to make wheat bread. At the end of that time, I had managed to wear the metal gears smooth and melt it to the casing. I was told by the repair place that we took it to that they are not made to handle that kind of use, so if you plan on using it that often I would not recommend going that route. I went to a NutriMill grain grinder and a Bosch mixer. That was 2 years ago and I have not had any problems. I have been pleased with them.

  23. Judy H says

    I have a small famiy (total of 3) and I wanted to start grinding my own whole grain flour but the price of the mill seemed outrageous. I took a tip from my mom. She just got a coffee grinder and uses it for her and my Dad. So…if you aren’t using a lot or want to try it out grinding your own flour but don’t want to make the huge investment try a coffee grinder. I got one for 15-20 dollars at Walmart. For fine flour I have to strain out the bigger chunks with a flour sifter but I like it a bit on the crunchy side…and can use it either way for things my hubby isn’t going to eat. It takes a while to get enough ground for a batch of anything that uses a lot. But it works for me!

  24. Jeanne says

    I have an electric grain mill. There are several settings from course to fine.
    By any chance did you have it on a course setting?

  25. tuxgirl says

    I have a wondermill, and I highly recommend it. As for your particular problem, I’m guessing the flour wasn’t ground fine enough. I had that problem back when I used an attachment to my kitchenaid (note: not recommended… i burned out my kitchenaid motor with that attachment).

    Is there any way to adjust how fine the flour is ground? If not, you might consider sifting the flour, but you’ll probably lose a lot of the bran and most of the good parts of the wheat if you do that.

    Other than that, I don’t really have any suggestions :(

  26. Brooke says

    I have a kitchenaid grain mill. I have been using it for two or three years and haven’t had a problem. I love that it grinds a very fine flour.

  27. says

    You asked about hand mills and most of the responses have been to recommend electric mills.

    I do have a K-tec mill I use. But I also have a “Back to Basics” hand mill that I use. Generally speaking, a hand mill will not grind the flour as finely as an electric mill will. It has to do with how fast the grain is milled and how close the teeth are set.

    I had a Corona mill and got rid of it because it was hard to turn and really didn’t grind the flour all that well. I also bought a “Little Ark” and was VERY disappointed in it. We were told that it was an easy to turn mill and it is NOT also, there was no way to contact the company as every number on their paper work (that was in the packaging) was no longer working.

    The Back to Basics mill will grind the grains to a flour, but it’s not a really fine flour like my electric mill is. However, it was $50 vs about $160 or so (I bought mine used, so I don’t know the current price of this model.) As someone else suggested, I mill my flour 2 times to get it fine enough. I have ground both popcorn and wheat in it. It’s not nearly as hard to turn as my Corona and Little Ark were/are and it is easier than either of those items to bolt to the tv tray I use to hold the grinder while I grind.

    I think that you need to run several batches of wheat through the Corona and see if that gets the stones to settle down a bit and quit shedding grit. I’d also check different settings and see if one of them grinds a flour that will work. You should not have grit in the bread, even when the flour isn’t ground as finely as you’d like it to be, because the water and heat in making bread should soften any larger-size bits of grain. The other thing you can do is try soaking the grain a bit before you grind it. I would Google “grinding soaked grains” for help (I know people do it, I just don’t know the conversion on how may cups of soaked ground wheat makes a cup of regular flour.)

    HTH

  28. says

    My reply has an ambiguous comment in it.
    The Back to Basics mill I bought last year cost $50. The K-tech was purchased used 5 years ago and I don’t know what they are now selling for.

  29. Nona says

    I have a Corona mill and use it whenever I make bread. I bought it used and the person I bought it from attached a motor to it with a reduction gear which slowed it down to the speed a person would crank it at. I use the stones, I’ve never attempted to use the steel plate. The only problem I’m having is that the stones in time crack. If anyone out there can solve this problem for me I would be very grateful. I find it grinds my grain quite fine and don’t have to put it through the second time. In reading comments in the past it was recommended not to fill the hopper but to put in a small amount and keep adding to it as it grinds. That way the grain is fine and no need to put it through again.

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