Does anyone own one of these Komo sifters and if so, how well does it work?
Phil (Pips) does. You may want to p.m him.
Thanks Khalid....and welcome back.
I bought one but returned it. It was expensive and quite a production - especially if the top isn't on right - flour everywhere. For me it was another thing to clean.
PiPs (Phil) uses hand sifters which are better in my opinion. Hold more flour and not as much of a mess to clean up. Less expensive and easier to store.
Varda sifts her flour too so you might ask her for her opinion.
I tried sifting but it lasted a few days only. Realized the whole reason I bake with whole grains is to use the whole grain - so why sift it out!!! Couldn't stand tossing the remains out knowing that they held all of the nutrition.
That is exactly the sort of information I was looking for.
I haven't used one, but I second Janetcook's opinion - just one more thing to clean.
I've been following your advice and milling once on coarse setting and then again on fine. I then sift the flour with HIC Brands Nylon Mesh Strainer (from Amazon.com) , take any 'leaving' for another pass thru the mill at the fine setting. Mix it all together in my flour bin and I have nicely ground whole wheat flour.
Glad to hear that the coarse, then fine, milling is working for you. I found it to be the best use of the mill after testing a variety of techniques.
I have done a few bits of sifting here and there mostly as experiments for general information. Now I am milling an heirloom wheat that is not availabe as an AP type flour and I want to sift it to the point of baking a lighter rather than denser loaf of bread. I am looking for the method that is the most effective and least labor intensive.
almost white flour is your goal - I've done it before (see my blogs). I've mentioned it before - soil classifiers. Large sifting surface that will allow you to use your hand to "push" the flour around - moderate cost. You will need to go quite fine.
Many long years ago bwraith used brass soil classifiers and a seive shaker to do the sifting with less physical effort than doing it manually. Pricey - but less effort.
An eccentric sifter involves the least labor - but will be an expensive and space consuming option.
I don't remember just how deeply you've gone into this, but I am doing some reading of milling books and the more I read, the more I am convinced that the preparation of the grain (including tempering) prior to milling is almost as important as the grinding process itself - especially if you are wanting a flour that is nearly white. If that's your goal you might want to consider how you handle and temper your wheat prior to milling.
Hope this helps.
I am not aiming for white flour, I can purchase that. What I do want to do is to remove enough of the bran so that the final loaf is lighter rather than dense like a typical 100% whole grain.
I am totally unfamiliar with tempering and preparing the grain prior to milling and would be very interested in any information you might add on that subject.
Forgive me if I misunderstood your goal – you spoke of milling heirloom wheat that was not available as AP type flour so my mind went to milling bolted, nearly white flour. (Can you tell that I’ve been delving into some really technical stuff?)
There seem to be many steps to grain conditioning after harvest and I’ve not yet researched them enough (nor processed the research that I have done) to write about them.
Tempering is the final step of grain conditioning. It begins with adding a controlled amount of water to the grain, but the true meaning of tempering is to allow the grain to rest once this moisture is applied so that the moisture content of the grain can equalize. This is done to toughen the bran and condition the endosperm so that it will form a powder more readily.
So, tempering involves raising the moisture level (often to 15% or above for roller mills) and allowing the grain to rest under conditions of controlled temperature. When bwraith and I were thinking this through, the folks at Meadows advised him that 14% was probably the maximum moisture level that he should try. But time counts, too. Letting the wheat rest for 12 hours will have different results than allowing it to rest for 48.
I think some differences between what I have experienced (and I really have seen substantial differences in the quality of the bran that I get from the milling process depending on how I have conducted the tempering process) and what Khalid and others have experienced is that I have equipment that will accurately measure moisture content and can bring the wheat to the higher end of the moisture content. I wouldn’t dare to do this if I couldn’t measure moisture well, as a grain with a moisture content that was too high would wreak havoc with my mill (although with the Diamant, because I can disassemble the thing completely and clean every surface, is much less havoc than it would be with other mills.)
I’m not prepared to write about what impact the moisture content going in to the tempering process has on the quality of the products off the mill. Frankly, I’m at the point where I’ve read enough about all the things that can/must happen between the time a seed is planted to when the grain arrives at the mill that can impact final bread quality that I wonder how we manage to make bread at all. Because I know that we do it (and have done it for a long, long time) I know that this is just wrapping my mind around the complexities that any process has when one examines it minutely and I have to let all this information “settle” before I discuss it on a forum like this.
I’ve been in discussions with some millers about tempering and they tell me that they feel that tempering has less importance with stone mills. So, another factor could be that I usually mill with steel burrs. I have recently acquired a Komo and do have plans to look into this further in a home setting. These things take time for me.
When I temper to the top end of the moisture level for long periods of time I get beautiful bran. The flakes of bran should be large (this helps in the bolting process) and translucent. Since commercial millers sell this bran as a separate product this is perhaps more important to them, but since I do used near white flour in some products and the resulting bran in others (no need to throw the stuff away…) it matters to me.
Long winded answer, but I hope it helps.
You extended my knowledge of tempering by a lot especially in consdieration of the fact that I started with no tempering kowledge at all!
I have achieved the end result that I am looking for but is a bit labor intensive as it involves multiply millings and repeated sieving. Refining that milling/sieving process is what I hope to do.
I'm not sure that you ever will be able to get beyond the multiple millings and sievings for bolted flour. The only arrangement I have seen that does this is the eccentric sifter at Heartland Mill. They essentially do one pass of fine milling through the 20inch Meadows mill and then send it through several screens that go from coarse to fine as it moves down in the sifter. They have a commercial use for anything that is not flour, so they can take the yield loss.
What I have found at home is that a second milling (even though I have not adjusted the burrs) will yield additional material that will pass through the "flour" sieve. It's always worth it for me to do that.
Again, what Heartland does is essentially what bwraith did with his set of classifiers and the sieve shaker (and eventually his eccentric sifter.) He would mill 5 or more kilos at a time - which is not currently pratical for me.
Let us know, though, if you can come up with a less labor intensive method, because I'm very interested.
I have succesfully milled wheat kernels coarse then fine, and have baked light 100% wholewheat with the flour. Intensive kneading, enrichments (butter, honey, milk), and sufficient rest periods prior to each dough handling are all key to a light 100% wholewheat bread.
I think you already kow all that :)
As to grain tempering, i have done it, and noticed only moderate improvement in bran separation (maybe because my grains have the correct moisture, or have been tempered by the mills.) I have baked lovely 100% wholewheat breads from the following wheats: Australian hard white wheat, Pakistani Hard red winter wheat, and Turkish wheat.
I am making this bread without any enrichment at all. Just flour, water, sourdough starter and salt...and there lies the challenge. I have to develop a process that is easily and accurately repeated. I am using (in the states) Kansas grown Turkey Red Wheat which has it origins in Turkey.
I bake lean loaves as you have described using my whole grains without a problem. (I do not mill them 2x as Khalid does. Only one time at the fine setting on my KoMo) The key is to allow your grains a good soaking time which softens up the bran etc. Makes a huge difference in texture and flavor. I bulk ferment all of my doughs overnight in the refrigerator so they get a lot of 'wet' time prior to baking. Dough is shaped and proofed in the morning.
What is the hydration level of your recipe and are you using sourdough, yeast or both?
I have made very good loaves ranging from fairly dense to somewhat light in final crumb density. My search is for a sifting method that is a bit quicker while maintaining a lighter crumb. Possibly the very nature of this process is somewhat labor intensive and that is that.
I am using a rye sourdough, presoaking the wheat flour and cold retarding overnight. I will keep experimenting............
My hydration level can range from 65% to 75% depending on what formula I am following. (I use a lot of PiPs formulas. He sifts and I don't but my loaves seem to be fine........at least people do not complain. (I give a lot of what I bake away and the people I bake for love the whole grains so I don't worry about lightness.)
I use a sd leaven with or without fruit water yeast added during builds. (Helps to keep my leavens from getting too sour due to the freshly milled grains.) I use 15% pre-fermented flour in my leaven. I keep my sd at 70%HL. Total leaven % is about 26% of the total flour weight in the formula.
I can't say that I have a specific formula that always turns out 'perfectly'.....Too many variables since I bake at home and the temps here do vary throughout the year. In the summer things happen a lot more quickly. In the winter things slow down. My proofing box may read 80° but I am convinced that my yeasties and beasties know that it is only 40° outside and 65° in the room the PB sits in and they react accordingly. I just have to watch my doughs and make adjustments depending on what it is doing. That is one of the things I love about working with a dough that is alive. Lots of mystery and surprises :-)
Jeff, A little addition to all above. I use a drum sifter #55 that I got from Fantes (recommended by Toad.d.be) The flour that I get out of this is nothing like white, but it can produce a fairly lofty loaf. I have tried tempering a few times, and it has either hurt or not helped, and I'm giving up. I have a KoMo as well. What has worked best for me is milling and sifting then milling leavings at progressively less coarse settings, sifting each time. This takes awhile, and I haven't come up with a good way of getting the flour I want more quickly. -Varda
to consider the issue that you are having with wheat arriving to you at a fairly high moisture content as I go about my reading.
I just haven't pulled it all together in my mind...
and I'm sure whatever you come up with will be interesting. -Varda
I will take a look at that sifter.
I went back and read the extensive work of bwraith on milling and sifting. I remember seeing his posts at the time but sifting did not have my interest then. Y'all (Bill, Pat, Varda) put a lot of effort into the subject and reading through it answered all of my questions.
Thanks again, Jeff