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Guide to Grain Mills

Discover the world of grain mills and choose one that fits your needs so you can start milling delicious flours.

| January/February 2017

  • Make healthy meals from grains milled at home.
    Photo by BelisamaImageBroker/AGE
  • With stainless steel augers and hand-cut burrs, the GrainMaker can produce a large quantity of flour in a short amount of time, and it carries a lifetime warranty on all parts, if used under normal household conditions.
    Photo courtesy GrainMaker
  • The Country Living mill can produce cracked grains, grits, and even peanut butter with a special attachment.
    Photo courtesy Country Living
  • The Diamant mill pre-cracks grains before grinding into flour.
    Photo courtesy Lehman’s
  • Breads made with freshly milled grains taste delicious and contain a wealth of nutrients.
    Photo Fotolia/Timmary
  • The KoMo Fidibus Classic is a compact and attractive mill; you might even keep it on display.
    Photo courtesy Pleasant Hill Grain
  • The Blendtec mill is dependable and compact, perfect if kitchen space is limited.
    Photo courtesy Blendtec
  • The WonderMill is able to produce flour quickly, while keeping noise at a minimum.
    Photo courtesy WonderMill

Who can resist a loaf of bread, warm from the oven with a slab of cheddar on top? Or whole-wheat pancakes slathered in butter and maple syrup? What about tortillas fresh off the griddle, filled with beans, rice, salsa, and sour cream? These mouthwatering temptations can be staple foods at your home, made with flour milled right in your kitchen.

Choosing the best mill for your family’s needs is the first step. Considering the investment in a grain mill, an understanding of the different types of mills is important before making your decision.

Grain mills come in two types: the electric impact mill that bursts the grain open, and the burr mill, which rubs the grain between two wheels of stone or stainless steel. Neither mill is better than the other; they just operate differently and perform different tasks. It’s important to know what your purposes are before purchasing a mill.

Any mill on the market can produce flour of varying coarseness, but if you want to crack your grains for grits, or mill oily grains, seeds, and beans, you need a burr mill. Even then, some burr mills do not accommodate oily grains, because they are sealed and cannot be cleaned after use.

Generally, burr mills are hand cranked. Don’t let that deter you, though. Some manufacturers also sell motor and bicycle kits (pedal-powered milling). Most homesteaders accustomed to DIY projects can handle this adaptation with no problem.

The advantage of the electric impact mill is speed. This type of mill goes from whole grain to fine flour as fast as a fighter jet — but it sounds like one, too. Impact mills only produce flour, and never from an oily grain or seed. They require electricity, so if you do not have power, you cannot make bread.

11/17/2017 9:00:43 AM

I have a Country Living Grain Mill. Even without any kind of assistance, I didn't think it was that hard to turn. My son rigged up an old exercise bike with a platform to mount the grain mill on and a long belt that wraps around the wheel of the bike and around the wheel of the grinder. Now all I have to do is peddle away. I can grind a week's worth of flour in no time. It is well worth the money invested in it.

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