The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Which mill to choose?

Ramona's picture
Ramona

Which mill to choose?

Well, I am sure that somewhere on this site there has been a discussion about which grain mill to choose.   I have been looking into this some and have come options and would like to see what all of you use or favor.  I will be grinding whole wheat, rye, barley, spelt, maybe corn.  My main concern is a fine flour, perferably not heated up too much, cleaniness ( I have read that ones with cabinets are not cleanly and have areas not able to be clean and attract bugs), and I prefer not to have to clean my grains, but I am not ruling this out, as I have read that the micronizers are suppose to be the best in the market, but cannot handle a stone going through the teeth.  I also will not buy one that is using mill stones that have aluminum in the stones for binding the stone particles together with.   Here is what I have come across so far:

1. Wondermill

2. Country Living Grain Mill

3. Kitchen Mill

4. Whispermill

5. Grain Master Whispermill ( I have read by some that they won't sell this mill because it is questionable if the quality is still good and the customer service as well, as it is being produced under a new name).

6. Ktec

7. Magic Mill

8. Retsel

9. Jupiter Mill

10. Ultramill

I appreciate all your input. 

 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

  Magic Mill your #7 listed, I could be wrong but isn't that a mixer????qahtan

 

 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

qahtan, how do  you like your Kenwood attachment for milling pastry flours?

Will it crack grains?  Can it do legumes and corn as well as wheat?

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

  Well I like it for what I do on it, which is I am sorry to say is only hard wheat Kernels, I am sure though that it would grind a good flour for pastry, one of these days I shall have to get some soft wheat and try.

 I have never tried  but I don't think it would take kindly to corn or legumes.

     qahtan

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 I just looked up the Kenwood grain mill, and  it states that it does grind corn.

 this of course is the newer mill, mine is the old square one, like my machine, old

 but still works well.

 My S I L gave me her mill as she bought a new Kenwood. and the old parts will not fit the new machine. ;-))))  qahtan 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

"My S I L gave me her mill as she bought a new Kenwood. and the old parts will not fit the new machine."

How nice!  I guess there goes my assumption that they haven't changed the machine at all.  Did she buy one labeled Kenwood. I really thought that Delonghi bought all the rights to the machine, and sold it under their name only.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Well, I guess my question is can you get the really fine grind like a pastry flour? And just out of curiousity, can you do a rather coarse grind if you wanted to?

I say out of curiousity, because I'm pretty certain this is the mill I'll get. Especially since I looked just now and it's selling for $70 - $75, which is less than I thought it cost.

Here's the blurb from Amazon, and a picture from totalvac.com. Does this look like your mill? I assumed that since DeLonghi kept the machine the same, they also kept the milling attachment the same, but I don't really know that.

Product Features

  • Enjoy the goodness of home-milled flour
  • Suitable for grinding wheat, rye, oats, rice, and more
  • Flours useable for breads, cakes, and pasta
  • For use on a DeLonghi stand mixer
  • 6 settings, from fine to coarse

 

qahtan's picture
qahtan

 

 My grain mill has a square tray in clear brown plastic. It does not look any thing like this new style.

 I wish I could find the booklet I have about it.

 Your problem if you are thinking of a Kenwood is that the connecting thing  at the 

very front of the machine is different fitting now.

  My Kenwoods are old both of them, the oldest is pale blue trim, the other one is navy blue trim, Both bought before they went electronic. 

I have 5 settings on the dial, from coarse to fine...... Speed is controlled by the machine.......

  qahtan 

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

The Whispermill did indeed have quality issues near the end of its life. As such, the product was sold and another company is now marketing it as the Wondermill. I've had great luck with the Wondermill, though I do wish there was more variability in the coarseness of the flour. Basically you can get fine, really fine, and super duper fine.

Eventually, I'll probably upgrade to a NutriMill, which I understand can grind more coarsely. But if what you want is fine flour, I've had no complaints.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

The Nutrimill would be my first choice for regular home milling if it is not outside your price range. Some people complain it cannot produce coarse grits (much less cracked grain) but I haven't used mine for coarser milling. If you want finely milled flour only, the "one-speed" Nutrimill was selling for $200 (including shipping) a few months ago.

The Nutrimill will do grains and beans but not seeds or coffee (or peanuts) or, basically anything oily. The flour temperatures I've gotten immediately after milling ranged from 120F to 95F (measured with a digital thermometer). I've read 140F is the point where heat degradation can happen. It is large and noisy but does the job well. It is relatively easy to clean and reasonably sturdy. Its self contained with an enclosed bin for receiving flour so it won't get your kitchen dirty.

The Retsel's I've seen are more for volume milling and are the most expensive of the lot.

Its unclear to me if you would accept a hand-operated mill or want an electric one. Hand operated mills (I've used them too) are really for smaller amounts of flour (unless you want to develop your muscles). In addition, they can be awkward to assemble and disassemble and require a sturdy table/counter with at least a 1" overhang to clamp securely to the counter.

As for cleaning grain, that will depend on your source(s). Most grain sold retail for human consumption will be well cleaned. Sometimes specialty grains or beans from India need to be checked. If your grain is dirty it will need to be cleaned no matter what kind of grain mill you use.

As for cleaning the grain mill itself, I clean mine after every use. It is sufficient to wipe it off with a dry towel (actually, a pastry brush is very handy for this). However, I'm not using it several times a week, so I want it clean for storage. Some people only clean it if they're switching from one grain to another.

If you bake bread regularly and generally prefer breads with whole grain flour (or legume flour) I think the investment is worth it. You *will* notice a taste difference.

Best of luck on your search.

PS - There have been a fair number of posts in this forum on grain mills. Do a search on "grain mill" and see what you get.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I bought the Nutrimill because the hand mill I had bought a couple years ago was not good for large quantites.

The Nutrimill is a bit noisy.  I don't have anything to compare it to - I do have ear protectors that I keep nearby; but the cats are only moderatly disturbed by the noise.

The electric mill is inconvenient enough to empty that I find myself using my hand mill a lot more than I did before.  If I want maybe a cup of a variety flour, or a little bit more flour for the dough, then I use the hand mill.  I have it set up permanently now.

I can make coarse or cracked grains with the hand mill.  My blender will also crack grains.  And if I want to do seeds or spices, I can pull out the coffee mill that I don't use for coffee because I don't drink coffee.

So, you see, there are lots of options.

Rosalie

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Rosalie - what brand hand mill did you buy? Could you elaborate why it wasn't good for "large quantities"? Could you get a fine flour from it? Was it easy to assemble, disassemble and clean? TIA!

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

My hand mill says "Back to Basics".  It's not approproate for "large quantities" because it's manual labor.  The mill can handle it; I can't.  It does have a range of textures, and I think fine is pretty fine.

It's not really difficult to assemble or disassemble.  I wasn't using it as much as I could have been (only for corn meal for a while) because I had to stow it in a cabinet, and the place I was using it was awkward.  But I've found a place to set it up permanently.  It's attached to the side of a table on wheels that's designed for the sick bed.

I'm a bit lax on cleaning.  After I use it, I bang on it to knock the dregs out.  My next use will clean it further.  I have taken it apart and cleaned it thoroughly, but it'll just need to be cleaned again the next day.  I'd rather be baking bread.  (But my freezer's full of bread waiting for me to eat it - I can't keep up!)

Rosalie

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

The Nutrimill owner's manual can be viewed at http://www.kitchenresource.com/catalog/product_detail.asp?brid=18&prid=304# (click on "Support Materials" from this page)

This is the User's Manual / Owners Guide that comes with a purchased Nutrimill grain mill.

It may be helpful to you as you explore the various options.

loydb's picture
loydb

I'm a huge fan of Retsel because of how gently it treats the grain and how I can easily do cracked grain (Rye) with it by loosening the wheels. Also lot of the hammer/impact mills sound like a jet engine, which makes it hard to listen to PTI while I bake. :)