Home Bread-Bakers v097.n055.2

grain mill summary (long)

bbriscoe@runestone.net (Bonnie Briscoe)
Fri, 5 Sep 1997 21:52:48 +0100
Here, finally, is the summary of grain mill information I promised to send
to the list.  It appears that the "best" grain mill is a very personal
choice, determined by your preference for fine versus coarse flour, slow
versus fast milling, quiet versus loud operation, whether you have the
patience and foresight to plan ahead to dry your grain before milling (for
the stone mills), whether you are willing to make sure your grain is
triple-cleaned to remove even tiny stones (for the micronizer mills).

No one who responded to my request mentioned the kind of mill I have, the
Miracle Mill (made in Poland).  It's a burr mill which costs about $150.
With 16 indexed settings, you can control the fineness of the flour from
very coarse cracked grain to the finest setting, which is a somewhat coarse
flour (I don't care for very fine flour anyway).  I like the mill, its
price, and its ease of use and cleaning, but I have had problems with the
200-watt motor burning out and needing to be replaced.  It has a 3-year
warranty, so I'm still working with it for a while longer.

Here are excerpts from the responses I received -- I hope I didn't miss
anyone.  Many thanks to all who sent information.

from: neil.flatter@juno.com (Neil L Flatter)

Model name:  ?
Manufacturer:   Corona (Mexico)
Cost:                   $35
Comments:   This design is more like a flour mill than a grain mill with an
plate rubbing the grain against a fixed plate.  It has a hopper that holds
just over a pound of grain.  It does not have a good method for delivering
the product into a receiving container so you will end up with grain flour
all over you, the area you use it, etc.  My father now has the mill and
loves it for making feed for his earthworms.  The handle is
held on by a bolt which has a wide head which allows tightening by hand.
The bolt is easily exchanged for one with a hex shaped head.  The
replacement can then by turned with an electric drill and a nut driver.

Model name:  ?
Manufacturer:   Glatt
Cost:                   $60 (on sale)
Comments:     It has a hopper that easily holds 3 pounds of grain, but it
could hold 4 if
poured in carefully.  It is a roller mill with hardened steel rollers about
2 foot long.  The entire mill is designed to fit over a 5 gallon bucket.
This is the mill the stores use when I purchase grain and they crush it for
me.  It is motorized by the attachment of a belt pulley and motor.  It will
run through over a pound in a minute when turned at 100 turns a
minute.  There is much less flour generated with this method so clean up is
not a problem.


=46rom: bredlady@softdisk.com (G Nuttall)

        I've had the opportunity to use several types of grain mills
throughout my bread baking life.  One important thing to look for is how
hot does the mill make the flour when milling.  Heat destroys the
nutritional value of the flour if it gets too hot.
        Once I saw a demonstration for the " Whisper Mill", and although it
does mill pretty well, the flour was really hot when it came out into the
receptacle.  I believe that the added insulation to "keep the noise down"
has caused it to heat up too much.
        Without a doubt, the best way to mill any grain for flour is to use
a slow, stonegrinding mill.  Check around locally to see if anyone in your
area does stoneground milling.  You'd be surprised at who does.  If that's
not an option, you need to know what criteria you look for in a mill.  Most
small mills range from around $300 then the price goes up.
        How much flour do you want ground in one hour, is another
consideration. If you are using it for a few loaves, then most any mill
should work.
        Stone mills are available for around $300-400.  I recently received
material from a company called Lee in Wisconsin.  They have a carberundum
(going off memory here!) stone mill.
        The best stone mills can be read about on Alan Scott's web page at
http://pomo.nbn.com/home/ovncraft/    He has been using stoneground mills
for about 20 years now, and he is a great source of knowledge about all
types of mills.
        I've used the Skiold stone mill he describes there.  It is great,
but pricy for a home baker.  The Diamant stone mill is an excellent buy for
$425! Also, at that page lists the Jansen mill company out of North
Carolina.  I have not used their mills, but I know Mr Jansen and I wouldn't
hesitate to purchase their product based on his knowledge and craftmanship
(and quality standard!)

=46rom: Dan Erwin <dherwin@prairienet.org>

Model name:  ?
Manufacturer:   K-Tec
Cost:                   $200+
Comments:   It is rather fast.  It works like a Magic Mill if you have ever
heard of that. It is loud and makes a very fine flour, whichever grain you
use.  I don't like it because I don't want fine textured flour.  If you do,
that might be your interest.  It is made in Utah, about 30 miles from Salt
lake, they tell me. Their 800 number is 800-748-5400.

Model name:     Little Ark
Manufacturer:   Retsel Corporation      http://www.retsel.com/
                        e-mail:  RetselCorp@retsel.com
Cost:                   ?
Comments:    It is designed as a hand mill, but they do have adaptive kits
to set it up like an electric mill. It works like the old fashioned water
mill. The grain is crushed and ground between 2 separate stones. There is a
great deal of variety corcerning texture. That depends on how tight the
stones are pressed together. There are limits, of course. You try it make a
super fine flour and the stones will glaze. Then you have to stop and put
rice in there to unglaze the stones. With a small amount of experience any
concerned baker will quickly learn to use it very efficiently.   The Little
Ark is rather bulky and has relatively small stones.  If you do decide to
purchase a Retsel mill I would suggest you take the option of NOT
purchasing the metal burrs which are also available.  They aren't
necessary. The stones will last a long time.  At least the Little Ark
stones have.

Model name:     Mill-Rite
Manufacturer:   Retsel Corporation
Cost:                   $400
Comments:    I just received my $400 Mill-Rite today and have already
milled about 5 lb of winter wheat grain and made dough for 4 loaves of
honey wheat bread (a 50/50 whole wheat bread that takes 4 cups of whole
wheat flour.) The stones are about 6 inches in diameter and the mill runs
smooth and very quietly.  Its hopper will hold about 5 lb of grain.  It has
a 2 way switch so that if you want to reset the milling to a finer grain,
you can just reverse the direction, tighten the knob for finer grinding,
and then continue milling. Although it is expensive I'm sure this mill will
pay for itself.  I do a lot of baking of wheat, rye and triticale so this
will be ideal for my needs.
        The Mill-Rite stone mill will mill just about any whole grain, but
the grain must be dry. For instance, when milling rye, if the moisture
content is too high the stones will glaze. The moist flour sticks to the
stones and the stones end up like glass. If that happens, the grain can be
placed in the oven at low temperature for a period of time to dry it out.
Meanwhile, to unglaze the stones, rice will do the job very quickly and
you'll be back in business.

Re: the K-Tec grain mill:
The K-Tec grain mill also works by micronizing. I don't like it. I can only
get very fine flour from it. That's not my way of baking breads. I prefer
the European style of whole grain breads. I enjoy whole grain bread with
more texture. Also, that mill is very LOUD!

=46rom Heart =EBn Home Products
PO Box 442
Black Mountain, NC 28711-0442
 E-mail: HeartHome4@aol.com

(Sent a copyrighted message with useful information about various types of
grain mills, approximate price range, and how to determine which mill is
most likely to meet your needs based on how much you plan to use it.
Contact them to receive your copy of this information.)  From the end of
the message:

In our humble opinions, we offer the brand name that we feel is the best
for each category. We carry most of these as we believe that we can back
and recommend  them with confidence.

Small hand mills:  Back to Basic hand mill. Retail approx. $69.00
Kitchen machine attachment: The Bosch, or Kitchen Aid retail approx. $ 150.0=
Large manual mills: Check  in Lehman=EDs Non-electric Catalogue, many good b=
Micronizer mills: GrainMaster Whisper Mill retail approx. $259.95
Electric stone mills (hand crank and steel burr adaptable)
        Retsel Mill-Rite retail approx. $400.00

Please feel free to contact us for more info on these products or if you hav=
any questions. The information provided reflects our research, experiences
and opinions and yours may vary.


=46rom: venture@etsc.net (Monica Venture)

I have used two mills that I really like. One is the K-tec Mill. It is
electric and can mill just about anything(grain, beans,seeds.) The one I
love and use now is the Whisper Mill. It is wonderful!!!! It is much
quieter and comes with a lifetime warranty. I also have a home business and
sell it as well as other bread-baking supplies. Be glad to send you some

Just wanted to add a few things concerning stone mills vs. electric. I
totally disagree with the person on the post who said that The Whisper Mill
milled the grain too hot. This is not true. The cool milling temperature is
one of the best features of the Whiper Mill.  Flour milled will always be
somewhat warm due to the friction. I would never recomend stone mills over
electric.  Stone mills are limited to dry grains, they don't mill as fast
and the current mills are made of bauxite particles held together by
natural clay. Because of this, these modern stones chip, adding grit to
flour. That's my two cents worth.                    Monica


Bonnie Goodwill Briscoe                     e-mail:bbriscoe@runestone.net
Morris, Minnesota, USA
        Language is all that separates us from the lower animals--
                        and from the bureaucrats.