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Homemade Cornmeal: GrainMaker Hand-Powered Mill Sets The Standard

| 12/10/2010 12:29:00 PM

GRIT Editor Hank Will at the wheel of his 1964 IH pickup.Rarely do I find so high quality a tool that I get gooseflesh using it, but last night when I converted about five pounds of the Bloody Butcher corn we grew last summer into homemade cornmeal with our GrainMaker hand-powered mill, gooseflesh crawled all over me. Homemade cornmeal is easy to make if you can source some nice and hopefully open-pollinated corn and have access to a home-sized mill. I’ve used the C.S. Bell No. 2 mill to grind meal – and it is possible to make fine cornmeal with that mill using multiple passes, but the GrainMaker is truly a work of art that delivers finished cornmeal (from coarse to fine) in a single pass. I can’t wait to try it with some other grains and may even use it to whip up some homemade nut butters next year.

Hank's about to grind some Bloody Butcher corn with his GrainMaker mill. 

Proudly made in Montana, U.S.A. at a precision machine shop, the GrainMaker reeks of American pride and a master craftsman level of quality that is not attainable in any but a handful of shops in the world. With the GrainMaker you won’t find poorly finished castings or stab yourself on stray metal slivers that were somehow missed by quality control. Instead you will find a perfectly functional and absolutely gorgeous piece of metal craft that is simple to use, intuitive to assemble and that actually works exactly as intended. Top that off with a lifetime warranty and the mill is nothing short of phenomenal. My GrainMaker grain mill came with a beautifully crafted, optional clamp that reminds me of some of the German-built machinists vices I’ve had the privilege to use over the years.

The GrainMaker hand-powered grain mill comes with a pair of feed screws. One is essentially a spring-steel spiral that is suited to feeding smaller grains to the grinding burrs, while the other, called the GrainBreaker augur, is machined from stainless steel. The GrainBreaker’s cracking action makes it easy to mill larger and harder grains such as corn and dry beans in one pass. The GrainBreaker cracks the grain as it is fed to the grinding burrs – my experience with making cornmeal with the GrainBreaker installed was entirely pleasant. So that you don’t have to lose the different feed screws in a cluttered kitchen drawer, the GrainMaker comes equipped with a post to store the unused feed screw on and a pin to lock it into place.

Hank's grinding Bloody Butcher corn to make cornmeal with his GrainMaker mill.  

Photo Courtesy Karen Keb 

Nebraska Dave
12/16/2010 8:47:00 AM

@Hank, I am envious of all the nifty gadgets you get to test and report about. This grain mill looks to be a solid built machine that would last for generations if need be. Just like things used to be made back in my grandpa’s day. It’s great that you have a job that requires just what you like to do. I always looks forward to your reports about different homesteading products. Keep up the good work. Have a great Kansas winter day on the homestead.

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