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How to sift home milled wheat to get high extraction flour

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varda's picture
varda

How to sift home milled wheat to get high extraction flour

Hi,   I recently got a home mill and would like to learn how to make a high extraction flour.    I see references to a bwraith blog post on the subject but can't seem to find it.    Does anyone either know where it is or could give me tips on how to go about milling and sifting to get say an 85% extraction flour?    I am starting with hard red winter wheat.   Thanks!   -Varda

proth5's picture
proth5

Ah, my old milling buddy bwraith!  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/5518/home-milled-and-sifted-sourdough  He really went full bore on this and bought an eccentric sifter.   If you look at his blogs you will find several entries on sifting. 

I've got old blogs on the subject (search for me and then go to very early entries in my blog)

Some simply mill and sift once.

Let me know if you want further details...

Pat

varda's picture
varda

I'm almost afraid to read it.    I did read some of your posts on milling but you were experimenting with making white flour.    I'll go back earlier and see what you have to say.    And I'm sure I'll want further details but I'll read first.   Thanks so much.  -Varda

proth5's picture
proth5

is why I sorely miss my old milling buddy.

Everything that I did for white flour is the same for high extraction (and I did write about that in even older posts) - you just stop when you have the right extraction flour...

Happy Milling!

varda's picture
varda

In particular I found this:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/7184/flour-lab-test-results   and this:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/22647/hand-mill-questions  (your approach buried deep in the comments.)     Those give me a place to start with my own attempts.    I also noted your suggestions to avoid tempering with a stone mill, which I have, in order not to destroy the mill.    So I won't do it, but I guess will need to keep my eyes open for starch damage.    Whereas I enjoyed reading bwraith's blog post, I think I'll just move right along there.   I wish I could get his results without his "somethingorother".   Not sure I have the right word.    Thanks so much for your help.    I had some different more muddled ideas, and I think your approach is better.   -Varda

proth5's picture
proth5

that was written before I had my grain moisture meter (a Delmhorst G-7 - just like my hero bwraith).  If you can measure the moisture and put it at about 14% - I say "temper away!"  PiP has been doing the "temper by wing and prayer" thing and so far has not damaged his mill, but make sure the grain feels bone dry.

Tempering really has a positive effect on bran separation - but moisture meters can be pricey.

Happy Milling!

Pat

varda's picture
varda

I'll have to experiment with tempering.   I'm not likely to get a moisture meter anytime soon.   So I will try with none, then 1%, 2%, 3% water and so forth and compare results.    But very carefully.   I love my new mill.     Happy milling to you too.  -Varda 

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

I figured out a way to estimate the hydration of my wheat and then to temper it to a desired % without the expensive outlay for a moisture meter. I admit it is a crude method but it has worked well for me fo a couple of years. I reasoned that the weight of a given amount of grain was part water, and that if I weighed  the grain the water weight would be included. I weighed out 200 grams of wheat on a scale that measures in tenths of grams ( less than $10 on Amazon). I then put the grain in the oven at the lowest temp available, 170*F for my oven, for 3 hours. I reasoned that this would be enough to "dehydrate" the grain. I then weighed the grain again and found it to be about 188 grams, which equates to about 6% weight loss contributed to water.That means that in 2oo grams of grain there was 12 grams of water. 

I then added 16 grams of water over a couple of days which gave me 28 grams of water in 216 grams of grain, or about 13%. This method has  worked well; I get large pices of bran and germ in my sifter and can readily achieve 80-90% extraction depending on the mesh I use. The 6% average moisture content of the pre-tempered grain is in line with what I have read that grain suppliers provide for bulk grain supplied to the storage market. Additionally, I had access to an extremely accurate scale for the .1 gram test, and the cheap scale from Amazon was right on. I use a Nutimill electric grinder and a Country Living Grain Mill and have had no problems with either.

proth5's picture
proth5

something similar to that for awhile, too.  I will admit that the moisture meter is faster and easier - but does require an expensive toy (Although Suze Orman herself told me I could both afford it and that I desreved it....)

:>)

Pat

varda's picture
varda

told me I deserved the mill.   Too bad.  -Varda

proth5's picture
proth5

Denied! - Sometimes even Suze is wrong ....

:>)

Pat

BlueMEGranch's picture
BlueMEGranch

what do you mean when you say you "add  . . . . . water over a couple of days"?  Are you adding water to the flour?  How do you do that?

BlueMEGranch's picture
BlueMEGranch

sorry, reading too many blogs at once, I see now you are adding water to the grain. . .not flour. 

varda's picture
varda

this would be so much fun.    [But does that tenth of gram scale really matter?   It seems that the rounding isn't going to have too much impact.   In your example say you measure out 200g which is really 199.6g, and then the reduction as 12 which is better stated as 12.4g adding 16.4g of water to that leaves you with 28.8/216 = 13.3%  I'm imagining that kind of error hardly matters given that this is a pretty rough approach.]   Could you tell me what gauge sifter(s) you are using?     I am looking forward to trying your approach.    Have you also measure ash content by burning up your flour?   -Varda

MichaelH's picture
MichaelH

To pay $7  for a scale that accurately measures to .1 grams seems like a bargain to me. The risk of ruining a mill with wet grain makes it a no brainer. I don't understand why you think 200 grams is actually 199.6 grams, but no matter. I use sifters from Keene Engineering, which are inexpensive, stainless steel mesh sieves which fit perfectly over a 5 gallon bucket. My sieves are 20, 30 and 50 mesh. I think Pat uses the same. They work well. A good scale is your best friend in accomplishing milling grain to these specifications, and is well worth the effort.

varda's picture
varda

I was just measuring the potential error you could get if you only had a scale that measured to grams (I happen to have just bought a new one.)   So 200g measurement on a gram rather than 1/10 gram scale would be something between 199.5 and 200.4, and so forth.     In any case, I like your approach short of a moisture meter, and I'll try it.   Thanks for the info about the sieves.   -Varda

loydb's picture
loydb

I use  mining sifters as well. A 30-mesh sifts out between 15% and 20% of the flour.

varda's picture
varda

I guess flour is the new gold.   Thanks for the picture.  -Varda

loydb's picture
loydb

By the way, in my opinion, the #30 is the only one you need. I bought a #50 and a #100, but they let so little of the flour through that it's not worth using. If I want something that fine, I use King Arthur. Good luck!

varda's picture
varda

I was wondering about that.   I already have a sieve that's a #25 if I measure it correctly.    So I was going to start with that and see how it goes.    Then add a #30?    That's just a small increment but maybe it will be needed to get the flour I want.    Thanks for your help.  -Varda