The Fresh Loaf

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Hawo or Komo Mills: Recommendations? Experiences?

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philoloaf's picture
philoloaf

Hawo or Komo Mills: Recommendations? Experiences?

I've been lurking here for a while, learning a ton and finding myself getting sucked in deeper and deeper -- which is not a bad thing! This site has inspired me to begin experimenting more in an attempt to improve my baking.

One thing I'm now interested in is home milling, where I'd like to do a mixture of wheat, spelt, and rye, ranging from fine flour to cracked grain. That range of coarseness rules out impact mills. However, I'd like something relatively self-contained that I could leave out on the counter in my kitchen. In researching this on the internet, I've come across Hawo and Komo mills at such places as http://www.nutritionlifestyles.com/hawos%20grain%20mills.htm and http://www.naturaleurope.com/ne/home/komo/komo_grain_mills.html. Does anyone have recommendations for or experiences with these mills?


In particular, are these mills durable? Is it easy to find replacement parts? (Should I worry, for example, that the stones, at 3.9 inches -- 100 mm -- in diameter, are too small and so would wear out relatively quickly?) Can they grind coarsely enough for cracked grains? (I've seen seemingly conflicting info on this: info that seems to come from the manufacturer says "the fineness of the milled grain is continually adjustable, from coarse meal to fine flour", though I've seen one report that "I can set it to produce what is basically a cracked grain for hot cereal".)

Also, are there other mills you might recommend?

Philoloaf

mommajack's picture
mommajack

I too am interested in this, ive been reading and reading and havent seen too many reviews on these?  (is that a bad sign?) but the reviews I read were supremely positive........anyone?

philoloaf's picture
philoloaf

I bought the Wolfgang Mill and am very impressed. It's slower than micronizer mills, but faster than I thought it would be from the advertised specs, and perfectly adequate. I like being able to measure out the weight of grain I need, pour it in the top, put the bowl underneath, turn it on, and have exactly the flour I need. It adjusts easily from fine flour to barely cracked grain (which is something I wanted) and doesn't require anything by way of cleanup. It has a small footprint and looks good on my counter. I do recommend it.

 The only downside is the price ... and it looks like they've gone up considerably since I got mine about 6 months ago.

 

Philoloaf 

dlt123's picture
dlt123

Hi, I am thinking of getting the smaller version, Fidibus 21 Mill.  Other than size, is there anything that cannot be done with the Fidibus 21  that can be done with the Classic? 


I read on Amazon that one guy could make Muesli with his Classic by turning the hopper counterclockwise about 90 degrees, can this be done with the Fidibus 21 Mill?


Here is a quote from Amazon:


Quote:
Now for the creme de la creme. I was going to also buy a flaker for making muesli, but I don't have to, because this mill makes the very best muesli I have ever tasted. [OK, I make my own yogurt, too.] I turned the hopper counterclockwise about 90 degrees, you can keep turning it for even larger bits, but this is where the oats come out as if they were 'slivered.' May not be the same as rolled [commercial rolled oats are steamed], but the taste, texture, and nutrition is way better. 

 


Also, I've read that with other mills, impact, you need to make sure you clean up the flour dust, because you could get weevils in your mill.


How do you clean this mill?  Is it easy to get to the areas that need cleaning?  I don't want to give weevils a place to live if possible.


Thanks,


Dennis

shakleford's picture
shakleford

As noted below, I have the Fidicus Classic, but I think that I can answer most of your questions:


-You should be able to do anything with the Fidibus 21 that you can with the Fidibus Classic; the design is exactly the same.


-I remember reading that same review on Amazon before I bought my mill.  I would say that whether or not you can produce museli depends on how picky you are of the definition of museli.  You cannot produce rolled oats (or other grains) with a mill like this, but you can certainly produce what is generally sold as steel-cut oats.  The only caveat I'd add is that you inevitably get some smaller pieces and crumbs in the process, so you will probably want to sift out the larger particles.


-The only part of my mill that gets "dirty" is the spout that the flour comes out of.  I do wipe this out periodically, but I haven't come up with a good way to get it fully clean.  I have not had any issues with weevils or other insects, but I live in a desert thus deal with different insects than most folks.  I suppose that the wood housing is a disadvantage in this regard; flour just doesn't wipe cleanly off of wood like it would off of plastic.

shakleford's picture
shakleford

I purchased the KoMo Fidibus Classic mill in April or so (from NaturalEurope.com) and have been very happy with it.  I have had no issues using it, and it is exceptionally sturdy and well-built (with real wood!).  Some reading indicates that stone-ground flour tends to not rise as well, but I have not noticed any performance problems.

I also quite like the ability of this mill to grind coarsely, produced cracked grain, and so on.  However, as Philoloaf points out, they are not cheap.

mommajack's picture
mommajack

what are the differences in the Hawo (Tribest) and Komo mills?  They look very similar and yet they seem to have a 100 USD or so price wise?  Is it really worth it to spend the extra 100?  I definitely will keep and use the mill I eventually go with....thank you for your replies!

:)

shakleford's picture
shakleford

I went with KoMo primarily because I could find more information on them, but also because they're cheaper and look a bit nicer in my opinion.  As you point out, the specs are very similar.  Sorry I can't be of more help.

gvgrains's picture
gvgrains

I don't know if I'm violating rules about selling here, but I have a Meadows 8 inch mill. model C with the table that I'm selling.  I've had it almost two years but am getting a bigger one.  I just dressed the stones and have put a new shaker arm on it.  I read a long thread about somebody on here that did some serious milling tests with a Meadows.  This would be big enough to do some serious home milling or to share with some other local baker.  You can email me at reedhamilton38@yahoo.com if interested.


 

charbono's picture
charbono

How many pounds of grain can one grind on this mill before having to dress the stones?


What state are you in?


 

zpak's picture
zpak

If I mill 5- 10 pounds of whole wheat flour for future use ...is there any nutritional loss that I should be aware of...   ?? It would be stored in an air tight refrigerated container  and used within 14 days..


Thanks .

bread_improver's picture
bread_improver

Folklore has it that the vitamins and nutrients mostly leave flour within the first 72 hours after milling. It's one of the arguments for a grain mill, obviously.


But if I were to do that, I would definitely refrigerate, maybe even freeze the flour until I get to use it.

mrs_o's picture
mrs_o

I plan to purchase a KoMo mill and am trying to decide between the Classic and the XL. 

Beside price, what other differences are there?   

The XL motor is 3/4 HP and the Classic is 1/2 HP.    What difference would the larger motor make?  Less wear and tear on the machine?

What about spout height - any significant difference in the size or type of bowl you can put under it?

Anything else I should think about? 

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help you can give! 

 

technodevotee's picture
technodevotee

According to the Komo brochure, the Classic is somewhat smaller than the XL and the spout is a little over an inch lower (130mm compared to 160mm). The extra motor power gives the XL twice the throughput of the Classic.

I also see from the brochure that the Komo distributor in the US is Pleasant Hill.

My goodness though aren't they expensive over there!

 

 

bread_improver's picture
bread_improver

Age old thread, revived.... Sorry I can't give an opinion on the Komo mills. I have a hawos octagon which I absolutely love. It is allegedly large enough to grind corn -- I have never tried. It is the size they sell for whole food shops, not normally even for small households, but it was a birthday present.

It can be adjusted from coarse to fine. Coarse contains cracked grain and also the bran. The finer I grind, the less coarse particles and bran. Rye produces more bran than wheat. I usually grind to fine, then sift off the bran and use it for sprinkling the walls of the bread form with. The bread dough gets smoother without it.

It's gorgeous: I just weigh the grains, fill them into the top, put a bowl with a sieve in it under the spout, switch it on and there it goes. I can directly sieve the flour as it comes out of the mill. If I want to make breakfast cereal, I usually use my hand-cranked Flaking mill.

I have now had the octagon for close to 3 years and it has faithfully served means shows no sign of ageing. With it's wooden finish and unusual shape, it Is a stylish addition to my kitchen bench.

Freshly ground wheat flour apparently needs a bread improver to be able to best connect the protein molecules.

SCChris's picture
SCChris

I've had an hawos octagon for about a year.  I weigh the whole grain, mill it, most of the time at fine, and use the flour.  I use about 15% fresh milled flour and I've gone to pre-soaking overnight, 40% of my total flour at 80% hydration and then adding this to my levain and water, squeezing the two together adding in the remaining 60% flour to complete the dough for the batch.  I autolyse for 30 minutes S&F and then add salt..  Anyway, back to the mill..  I love mine, I picked it up on Ebay..

 

Chris

bread_improver's picture
bread_improver

Hi, I just thought of something.
This is for those of you who don't own a mill yet and are contemplating one. I believe it's not brand specific.
What you get from the supermarket is things like: white flour (which is very powdery-fine); semolina; cracked wheat; maybe coarse polenta and fine cornmeal; ....
Maybe you are thinking that that's what gets produced at different settings of coarseness/fineness.
That's not the case; every crushing/grinding process, as far as I know, produces a distribution of particle sizes, so, some larger and some smaller particles. Adjusting the fineness setting on a mill just changes the percentage of the fine particles.
So, if you want to have cracked grain, you have to grind quite coarse, then sieve something out.
I own two sieves: one with a 1mm mesh and one with a 0.3mm mesh. The 1mm mesh always sieves off the bran together with the large particles, and I have no real way of separating those. That 's a reason for me to rarely grind coarsely.
The 0.3mm mesh produced some larger and some smaller fractions. The finer a flour is, the smoother the dough is that it will make. Obviously, in wheat, the finer particles are also the whiter ones. The coarser ones have a nice brownish colour and make a nice hearty porridge. My mill produces hardly any flour that is as powdery-fine as the white flour from the supermarket, and I have no way of sieving it out.
With my hawos octagon II, at setting 1.5 out of 8, about half of the particles are <0.3 and the other half >0.3. This will obviously depend a lot on the mill.

SCChris's picture
SCChris

Sometimes I'll run a bit of the grain at a larger grind size and it adds a bit more rustic feel to the finished loaves.  For my current style of breads this fits right in..  I've gone to adding the fresh flour to an overnight soaker to add complexity and to make sure that I get full hydration of these bits.

 

Chris

technodevotee's picture
technodevotee

I have no experience of KoMo mills myself as I have a Salzburger MAX. I would have liked the MT5 - the one with the natural granite millstones - but the MAX was the nearest I could get. Having said thet, I've had it just over a year and am very pleased with it - it does everything I want.

I wasn't going to mention it because, firstly, the question asked was about KoMo vs Hawos and although I do a lot of research on all the models for the website I host here in the UK, I don't actually have any personal experience of anything other than my Salzburger. Secondly, I believe that there are only a few of the European models actively sold in the US and some of them are special models or have different names. Lastly, I am not familiar with the situation regarding regulations re importing foreign made goods.

However, my years of research has revealed that some of the European models not actively sold there are available with 110v motors and English instruction direct from the manufacturers or through distributors.

Overall, as part of Europe, we obviosly have easier access to European machines at lower prices than people in the US do and vice-versa.

John

technodevotee's picture
technodevotee

I was interested to read your observations about fineness of flour. However, the results from your mill don't seem to match the experience I get with my Salzburger MAX. For making whole wheat bread, etc., I mill on just above the bottom mark on the scale and it works very well - producing lovely light airy loaves. If I mill at anything less, I get extremely fine flour - not talcum powder but certainly finer than shop bought whole wheat flour - but I don't get such a good rise.

I tried sifting the flour with a 0.5mm sieve when making cakes, muffins and pancakes etc., and I find that what I get is very much like shop bought brown flour in the bowl, with bran and what look like miniature grains of rice left in the sieve.

But I found very little difference in the taste or baking quality of the resulting flour and, since I hate throwing away half of my wheat - and what is worse - the half with all the goodness in it, I don't bother.

I spent a lot of time (nearly two years and counting) researching all the different models trying to find the best all-round mill. The problem is finding any kind of consensus. Hawos, Komo, Osttiroler, Häussler, Schnitzer, Waldner, WIDU and Salzburger mills probably all have their strengths and weaknesses and I think that in the end it comes down to what suits you best - like cars. I mean, just because your dad thinks that Volkswagens are the best car ever made doesn't mean that you should buy one.

In case anyone can read German, here is one of the best tests I found: http://www.hawos.de/pdf/pressetext/2010_03_TESTMAGAZIN_VERGLEICHSTEST_Kornmuehlen.pdf. 

I did feel that the test was a little biased/skewed in that the Salzburger MINI-MAX is the cheapest mill that the company makes and not quite in the same league as most of the other mills in the test. Or am I just being protective?  

John