Country Living vs. Wonder Jr grain mills?
Even thought I bought my grain mill last summer, I find that I'm still a geek about these things. It's fun to visit websites, check Youtube and eBay to see what's out there and follow changes, etc.
I visited the WonderMill website last evening and found they have a new video up that compares the speed of their Wonder Junior and the Country Living grain mills. The speed test is quite simple -- eighty revolutions of grinding some sort of grain in a period of one minute. Then the volume of milled flour is measured. Surprise, surprise, the Wonder Junior grinds almost twice as much grain as the much higher priced Country Living mill. Hmm . . .
This simply doesn't make sense to me. The Country Living mill has five-inch grinding wheels and the Wonder Junior has only four-inch wheels. Now, five is only 125% larger than four, but when you do a little math, the area of a five inch circle is substantially larger (156%) than a four-inch one. So I did a little more detective work. I downloaded images of both the Country Living and the Wonder Junior wheels. Then I opened them up in Photoshop, which has a nice measuring tool. I was able to determine the diameter of the inner-circle cutout of each of the grinding wheels and get a more precision estimate of the total grinding area of each mill.
grinding area: 16.935" square
grinding area: 9.81" square
I've got a Retsel Uni-Ark hand mill at home, which is very, very similar to the Wonder Junior mill. Here's its spec.
grinding area: 9.42" square
I ran my own tests with the Retsel. Eighty revolutions of milling soft white wheat gave me a tiny bit more than one-half cup of flour. Seems reasonable. So how did the guy from WonderMill get one cup and a quarter out of his mill? I backed-off the setting and ground a very coarse flour. Eighty revolutions gave me just over one cup. It simply flew out of my little mill! And it actually looked like flour. Not that it was fine enough to use for anything, though.
I suggest the speed test was with the Wonder Junior producing coarse, unusable flour -- not much of a test at all! I don't think there's anything wrong with that mill, but it isn't in the same league as the Country Living. Can't wait for the Wonder folk to shoot a test of the Wonder Junior out grinding one of those thousand-dollar Diamant mills!