The Fresh Loaf

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Can I mill grain in a coffee grinder?

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Can I mill grain in a coffee grinder?

I purchased one of these conical burr coffee grinders recently.

It works well for coffee beans, which it can grind down to a near-powder.

Question: Can it mill grain?

If not, why not?

Is it because the finest grind setting "espresso grain" would still be too coarse for flour?

Is it because the friction of a conical burr would expose the wheat to too much heat/friction? (And what would that heat do to the flour that, say, a stone (or other type of grain) mill wouldn't?)

I suppose I could just buy some wheat berries and try it out, but I'm curious.

What opinions ye?

(I recognize that it's not built for high-volume grinding. If it could work, I'd only use it for small quantities of grain for a levain (or single loaf quantities)).

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

mine in a cheapo Krups grinder that cost 1$4.99 and it does a great job.  Yours should too.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I can't say I've found the new grinder to be much better than the $5 Krups I now use for spices.

Maybe if I use it for wheat and coffee, it'll justify the expense. ;D

run4bread's picture
run4bread

I have a Capresso coffee mill burr grinder. I can't find rye chops and rye meal locally, so I recently started grinding rye berries on coarse and medium settings. My grinder has 16 settings across coarse, medimum and fine. I ran small amounts through at a sampling of settings to see what would come out. I do get some fines at the coarse setting, but a strainer works well if I want to be picky (I saw someone else post with that solution).

Clean your mill and burrs carefully before and after grinding. I was surprised to see how much coffee grounds were under the burrs.

I found, like others, that grinding at the fine settings took longer and things got warmer. I will not use it for making flour. You could, in smaller quantities. I don't need to. I encourage you to experiment to find the limits you feel are safe or smart with your burr grinder.

Now if only I could blame my pumpernickle failures on the homeground chops or meal!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Once on the most coarse setting and then again on the lower setting?

I didn't give much thought to the coffee grounds, but now that you mention it, that settles it for me. I'd have to clean to the coffee grinder really well each time–and it's a real pain to clean. I just figured it might be a less costly alternative to one of these machines: http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/index.aspx#Nutrimill

 

 

run4bread's picture
run4bread

I have not tried that. I would choose a finer setting and accept milling small batches to make flour. There is mention of that in the milling section of TFL. I read many posts there before trying milling in my Capresso.

I have not leanred how to post photos or I could show you the results of my milling at different settings.

Sounds like my grinder might be a little easier to clean. Still takes time switching from rye to coffee or viceversa. It is worth it for my circumstances, until I find a local source. If i were going to take on home milling, I would get one such as you are looking at. A proofing box is higher on my list!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, thomaschacon

I've purchased a similar coffee mill , smaller and cheaper version though, thinking that the metal burrs would mill my wheat fine enough for bread. No, actually it mills coarser than you'd want for bread, and my tiny mill sits now happily on the top of my cupboard, useless.

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I'll try it out just to see what happens.

It turns coffee beans to powder, so I'd like to see how fine it can grind flour. I just hope I don't break it.

You don't use yours for coffee or spices?

Mebake's picture
Mebake

No i don't. I don't drink coffee, nor mill spices, as packaged spice powders of all sorts are freshly available here in Dubai (it is the orient afterall). My 55$ mill is by krups. No use for it up to now! what a waste of $.

If one wants the job done, the proper machine inteded for the job must be chosen. I learned the hard way, starting from a cheapo spice grinder, food processors, all the way up to the coffee grinder!

Now, i settled for a Hawos- easy -  grain mill, with stones. It does the job very nicely, does not overheat the flour, and mills coarse to fine. I paid 400$ for it. It is an investment worth considering, seriously. This hardy german mill, comes with 5 years warranty. Solid as a fort. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Another machine to consider. Thank you.

http://www.hawosmill.com/index.asp

There are also several on the Pleasant Hill Grain website (a vendor I highly recommend) that I'm considering, including the Komo, which looks a lot like the Wolfgang on the HawosMill site:

This is the Wolfgang: http://www.tribestlife.com/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=56

This is the Komo: http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/KoMo_grain_mill_wolfgang_flour_mill_grinder_mills.aspx

My heart is still set on the Retsel mill loydb recommended back in October. I looks like it hasn't changed since the 1960s, which speaks to its quality. And it has a motor! :)

http://www.retsel.com/mill-rite.html

I'll buy one eventually.

blueytoo's picture
blueytoo

I have a few devices:

a. small Ascaso iMini coffee grinder - 140W motor

b. Champion Juicer with grain mill attachment - 540W motor - have ground coffee in it, a bit difficult to get the fine adjustment required for good espresso.

c. just got a Komo Magic Mill - 250W motor - instructions say it can be used for spices and coffee, yet to try with those.

Coffee grinding is a low-energy activity, since one only needs 7-14g per shot and coffee beans are relatively soft - easily eaten whole as chocolate coated coffee beans.

Grain grinding is a more taxing task, with larger quantities required - 100's of grams. Grains are hard - wouldn't like to eat whole wheat grains with teeth.

The problem with grinding grains in a coffee grinder would be the potential to overload the motor and gearbox doing harder work for longer. I'd be happier using a flour mill for double duty grinding coffee than using the coffee grinder on grains. The Komo Magic Mill costs a whole lot less than equivalent sized coffee grinders and seems to do a nice job of fine flour on its first run. (12 yr guarantee promises quality)

 

johnr55's picture
johnr55

I have a Nutrimill, the latest in 30 years of grinding equipment, and it's superb.  However, I don't like ordinarily to grind extra and have to freeze it, and if I'm just wanting enough w.w. or corn for a loaf or two, it's a pain.  I'd like to put in a plug for the Messerschmidt Family Grain Mill system.  And yes, it's a system, not just a grain mill.  I've had Bosch mixers for 30+ years, and for the last 10 I've had the FGM grain mill for the Bosch.  It's small, it's light, it fits easily on the Bosch and grinds beautifully; the noisiest part is the Bosch motor powering the mill.  What I really like about it, living in the Houston area where every bug known to man seems to enjoy living, is that it is such a snap to disassemble and clean.  Literally, a couple of minutes and it's completely apart, and I can rinse and dry.  It does have metal burrs for grinding, but I never got bent out of shape by that.  However, one can buy the multi-mixer FGM and simply use different adapters for different mixers!  If you go to Pleasant Hill Grain you'll see that you can mount it on KA, Viking, Cuisinart, DLX, and Bosch, and maybe some more I don't remember. Plus, if you buy the multi-mixer one you can buy a hand-crank stand and keep it for your emergency supply.  There is also a cone-type food slicer/chopper and a meat grinder, but I have those on the Bosch anyway.  This thing is German-made and just a great alternative to making huge amounts.  Plus, it'll probably outlast me-