The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hello all, new here, Looking for information on getting started with my new Retsel mill

DLMKA's picture
DLMKA

Hello all, new here, Looking for information on getting started with my new Retsel mill

Hello everyone, my name is David, I live in Central IL. I'm not new to making bread but the extent of my bread baking has been basic white and whole wheat loaves.  I was recently gifted a Retsel Mil-rite grain grinder and now my interest in baking whole grain breads and home milling has been piqued.  I've been reading the grains and milling forum here but it seems most people are using a Nutrimill or another mill that has a dial for coarseness adjustment. The Retsel does not have this, how do I control the coarseness and texture of the flour in my mill so that it's easily repeatable and I can get consistent flour every time I use my mill. I've thought about using a set of feeler gauges to set the stone gap, the other idea was to buy a set of sieves used for classifying material but that's another step in the process I'd rather not have to do.  I'm looking forward to trying some different things and feeding my family more whole grains and further reducing my grocery store bill.


In addition to my new found interest in bread baking and milling I'm an avid gardner, we've had our most successful garden to date this year, filling our freezer and nearly every canning jar we own with all sorts of jams, juice, beans, etc. We still have 2 months of productive gardening time this season and should be eating well throughout the winter.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

I don't own one but I've seen lots of photos of various Retsel Mill-Rite mills. Below is a photo of the Mill-Rite mill which shows the adjustment knob.


Retsel Mill-Rite grain mill


The blurb from the Retsel site says

Quote:
With just a turn of the adjustment knob, the milling grade is completely adjustable from fine flour to coarse cereal

Does yours look anything like this?

DLMKA's picture
DLMKA

That's the mill I have and I know how the adjustments are made, I just don't know how to make it repeatable.  I want to be able to grind nearly the exact same flour every time I use it.  Maybe it will just come with time and experience but with every batch of flour I grind it feels different between my fingers.  I was just thinking that I could probably use feeler gauges to set the gap between the stones and at least that aspect would be repeatable.  I'm a mechanical engineer and maybe I'm just overthinking this.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I own a Jupiter Mill that grinds with stones.  It is completely adjustable and for fine flour I set it as fine as can be without the stones touching each other. 


How about adjusting yours all the way down and then backing it off the same amount each time.


Jeff


 


 

charbono's picture
charbono

 


I've been using a Retsel Mil-Rite (Retsel's spelling) for over a year.  Despite the lack of a dial, getting a consistent grind with wheat hasn't been a real problem because I always mill wheat finely.  One closes the stones, and then one "backs off a little".  I've had an issue with soft wheat in that if I try to mill too finely, flour backs up in the eye. 


 


I can see that getting a consistent granulation of coarser wheat flour would be problematic.  I suppose you could mark the apex of one of the knurls of the adjustment knob, and then mark a dial on the back of the runner stone.  According to Retsel, after an extended milling period, the knob will slightly loosen; so Retsel sells a back-stop.


 


As one widens the stones, the bed stone becomes somewhat loose and is no longer perpendicular to the shaft.  At that point, I don't think the machine runs as efficiently.


 


With wheat, I usually sift out the bran, and then run it back through with the remaining berries.  I use an 8-inch sieve with a mesh of 16 holes per inch.


 


Maize (corn) is more challenging than wheat, and experience counts.  Select the appropriate kernel type, set the knob, and sift to separate the meal from the grits.  I'd prefer an 18-hole mesh for grits.  Edit:  Sifting maize is desirable with just about any mill.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

My mill instructions warn against milling corn or any other oily grain.  Does the Retsel mill corn without a problem?


Jeff

charbono's picture
charbono

The Retsel Mil-Rite is available with both stone and steel buhrs. I have both types, but I’ve milled corn only with the steel and have had no problems. According to an email from Retsel, the stones can be used to mill corn not over 10% moisture, not popcorn, and not with a fine setting. Retsel goes on to say that if the stones do glaze, they can be easily cleaned by running some rice through.

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

My mill has the same steel burr option but I do not have the steel but only the stone.  Unlike yours my warns that glazing the stones will ruin them.  I believe that the Retsel has an actual stone and that mine has manufactured stones.


Jeff

BjD321bJd's picture
BjD321bJd

Please see my post of today in the Grain Mill section regarding how I have been adjusting the burrs on my Retsel MillMaster.  Bernie D.

charbono's picture
charbono

are man-made.


 

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

I'd like to second Charbono's excellent comments.

Different grains do have different milling properties, which becomes more obvious if you're aiming for a coarse milled flour or grits. You can find that coarse flour from the mill is actually a mix of finer and coarser flour. (In this case, you may find it advantageous, as Charbono suggests, to sift after the first pass.) In brief, the perfect setting for a coarse flour or for grits from - say - hard spring wheat - may not be the perfect setting for a different grain.

If I'm aiming to get something like grits, I find that rye and popcorn are the grains most likely to yeild a significant percent of flour along with the grits.

A brief example may illustrate this (note that I do not own a Retsel and the grain in this case is popcorn). In a different electric mill (not a micronizer mill), about 7 oz of popcorn milled on a setting to produce coarse grits yeilded 5 oz of grits and 2-1/4 oz of fine corn flour. The output from the mill was sifted with an ordinary fine-mesh seive (nothing fancy here).

DLMKA's picture
DLMKA

Finally got some hard red spring wheat to make bread flour.  I got a bushel (approx 60 lbs) of Briggs seed wheat that I ordered through my work from our SD bird seed supplier.  Don't worry, it's untreated!  Made my first loaves tonight using a 50/50 mix of home milled flour and King Arthur unbleached bread flour.  What a difference using high protein bread flour makes.  What do you guys do with large pieces of bran that are left behind in the sifter?  I hate to just toss it out!  Should I just be using everything in my bread and skipping the sifting step?