The Fresh Loaf

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NEWBIE to Milling at Home

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ptnf's picture
ptnf

NEWBIE to Milling at Home

Hello there!  I am new to milling and to this forum.  This site is so useful and with so much detailed information about everything you need to know about milling or baking!  I just have a question and I hope someone can assist me with this.  This may sound repetitive, please forgive a newbie but I have a Wonder Junior Deluxe Hand Grain / Flour Mill in my shopping cart on Amazon and would like to make sure this would be a good purchase before checking out.  Right now, I have a KitchenAid KGM Grain Mill Attachment for my KA mixer, it works great but it doesn't mill the grains to the fine flour I am used to baking with.  I am wondering if purchasing a Wonder Jr Deluxe mill would help mill the flour to the consistency I am looking for.  Can someone advise?  Any comments or thoughts are greatly appreciated!!  Thank you!!!

 

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Milling grain by hand is a lot of work.  Make certain that you are up for the task.  If you have never milled grain by hand I would suggest that you find a way to try it and then hand mill enough flour for one loaf of bread.

I am not familiar with the mill you have selected, but if you decide that you would rather have an electric mill I recommend the KoMo mills from Germany.

Read "Which grain mill is the best?"  at this link.  

http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/?gclid=CJWSlJvSzbgCFc4-Mgod0mYA0g#WJ

Good Luck,

Jeff

ptnf's picture
ptnf

Thank you Jeff for the information!!  It is very much appreciated!

My plan is to grind the whole grains in my Kitchenaid grinder attachment first and then through the hand mill (with the stone grinders - keep reading the stone grinders can mill it to a fine flour, is this true?) to get the fine flour.  Would this still be a lot of work? 

Or should I just scrap the idea and purchase an electric grain mill?  I just didn't want to spend a lot more money since I had already purchased the KA grinder attachment.

Thank you again in advance for your help!

Trish

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

Trish,

The response that follows from Pat (proth5) is about the best first hand information you will get.

Jeff

proth5's picture
proth5

No matter how you do it (crack with electric mill first - then mill by hand - or othe combinations) milling grain by hand is a lot of work. I know, because I've done it for a number of years.

There has been much discussion on these pages about the Wonder Jr being "as good as or better than" a Country Living grain mill - with more heat than light and no response from the Wonder representative when questions were asked directly and civilly.

I have no doubt the Wonder Jr grinds finely, but at what level of effort I do not know.

Anyway, when hand grinding, a flywheel on the mill makes a big difference, which does take you into the pricier mill category.

Some reveiws for hand mills are found here: http://www.grainmillcomparison.com/  including the Wonder Jr

Updated reveiws of the Grainmaker Mill can be found here: http://www.goodbadanduglycomparisons.com/2011/06/26/grainmaker-grain-mill-no-99-review/

I use a Diamant (yeah, talk about putting money into a mill, but mine comes with a long story) and it is still a lot of work.

You need to think about your flour needs, your level (or desired level) of fitness, your age/health, and disposable time when you think about hand milling.

If you have particular agendas about "doing things by hand" or think you have the time and energy to hand mill,  don't let me discourage you.  I am a little old lady and I still hand mill.  And for a little old lady, I have developed considerable upper body strength.

But I found a Komo at a good price a year or so ago and bought it, because I think at some point I will transition to less manual milling and more electric milling.

And my mill has already been promised to a good home - so, no, you can't have mine...

Happy Milling!

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

and why?

Have you started using the komo? If yes, are you using it to make high extraction flour (as you do with your Diamant) or just 100% whole wheat? How does it the resulting flour perform for each scenario?

 

proth5's picture
proth5

the Fidibus 21.

It was on clearance at Pleasant Hill Grain and I was feeling flush. Also I've heard only good things about the Komo mills.

Also, I felt that I should get some experience milling on electric home mills - just why, is kind of nebulous - but I felt that I should. I do expect in the next decade or so to lose the vigor required to hand mill and I thought it would be a good backup.

That said, shortly after unpacking that purchase my life went into one of those spins where it has been one danged thing after another.  Every time I feel like I've finally recovered from the last danged thing - the next danged thing pops up.  So milling (as well as anything but "utility" baking) has been just a bit out of my reach this year.  I do intend to use the mill to do varieties of flour as with the Diamant.  Because that was the intent.

Of course I want to get going with milling and baking with triticale, but again, this apparently was not the year for any of that.

With my peculair work situation I have years like this and I know that the cycle will end and I'll have more time soon to devote to milling.

Sorry I can't give a good review on the thing...

Pat

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

I'll check back in about 6 months to inquire again about the komo (if you haven't posted earlier about this mill)

For better or worse, you can count on my (future) inquiry.

best -sf

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

I use the KoMo medium and selected it as it is the most mill, of the KoMo mills,  for the money.  It gets substantial weekly use and I am 100% satisfied with its performance.  I would recommend it without hesitation.

Jeff

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

Another option is to try to buy a used mill.  If you buy one with stones, as long as the stones are not cracked and the motor is fine and you get all the pieces, there is very little that can go wrong with them.  All grain,   little jiffy.  country grain mill, and others are all pretty simple to use mills. One downside is that a number of sellers don't know anything about the mills, and so you would want to try to get them to test it to see if it works by running some wheat berries in it.  I just looked on ebay and the one All Grain mill has the discharge chute broken clean off, and the seller is saying it is in good condition, which it isn't since there is no way to contain the flour unless you fabricate your own discharge chute.  A look at completed auctions shows that a number of All Grain A-22 ( which is a nice machine ) sold for around $100 to $140.  You still need to buy a bucket, or rig up some collection bag or system, but you can still buy the collection bucket and lid from the manufacturer for around $52 delivered - so that would put you around $200.  Some of the other machines, like the Marathon, come with a little tray that the flour collects in.  So if you are not willing to spend for the KoMo, and I can understand that,  you might want to look at used.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

...if your intent is to mill flour on a regular basis. I don't think it will give you a sufficiently fine flour and I do think that you might find using a manual mill all the time to be more effort than you would like.

If you want to cancel your order for the Wonder Jr Delux mill, I will be happy to elaborate on my reasons and to suggest alternatives.

If you've already purchased this mill, the two suggestions I can give you are [1] to grind as fine as this mill will allow (perhaps using two passes) and [2] to use an autolyse for your home milled whole grain flour.

Please post back to this thread if you want me to go into an extended response. If you post back please do say

  • the maximum $$$ you're willing to pay for a mill
  • whether you have a preference for a manual vs electric mill
  • how much flour (broken out by grain - wheat/rye/other) you might need to mill for a single baking.
  • whether you want to make bread from 100% home milled flour OR are ok with using a mix of commercial (unbleached) white bread flour + home milled whole grain flour in your bread

Best - SF

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I own it, and it works fine for coarser grinds. Try to grind fine flour with it only if you need a really, really good work-out for your upper arms and have a lot of time.

I use my Wonder Mill Jr only for small amounts of cracked specialty flours. Meanwhile I purchased a Nutrimill for serious grinding, and I'm quite happy with it.

Karin

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

for every 400g of berries that I grind in my Krup's coffee mill, 10 g of it disappears somewhere.  I predict we will be seeing many commercials on TV,made by ambulance chasing lawyers, for some kind of grain milling lung cancer one day:-)

ptnf's picture
ptnf

For everyone's input!  I have decided to save my money and purchase a Komo Fibidus Classic.  For now, I will continue to use my Kitchenaid grinder and use the milled flour for breads and hearty recipes.  If I am craving for the baked scones or cookies, I will use a combination of my milled flours with store bought flour.  Thank you again for everyone's input, it has been so helpful and I appreciate it!!  Happy Milling & Baking!