The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Motorized sifter for home?

tve's picture
tve

Motorized sifter for home?

My wife grinds and sift 1-1/2 lbs of flour every 3 days for our bread and the sifting is really a chore. She uses a 50 mesh to arrive at approx 80% extraction and it takes a while to get through, which is not horribly tiring, but not easy either. The worse part is that she ends up inhaling quite a bit of flour dust which leads to coughing. That in turn leads to a respirator, which only increases the tedium... Hence I'm (again) looking for a motorized option.

She has a Komo mill (really great!) and I'm aware of the sifter option. However, (1) it's pretty pricey, (2) the whole process of removing the mill stone and putting the sifter in place and going back seems clumsy and dusty, (3) the mesh sizes seem way too coarse.

I looked at the L'Equip sifter accessory for the Bosch (which we happen to have), but it has only one mesh size, which is way too fine (#70).

So I'm looking at ebay and there are some "Vibrating Machine Sifters" for around $250 (e.g. https://www.ebay.com/itm/163592308921) and I'm wondering whether anyone has tried these?

I could also build something myself, but I haven't found a how-to and would like to avoid going through 10 different iterations...

Any recommendations?
What are those of you that are milling and baking multiple times a week doing for sifting?

David R's picture
David R

My response is not really what you wanted, ... but to me it seems relevant to note that even as early as the Roman Empire, when most of society was do-it-yourself and extremely low tech, flour milling was normally carried on as a separate business, with large costly equipment. I don't think that was an accident; flour milling is difficult to do well, noisy, dusty, and inconvenient. Maybe it's time for a business relationship with a local miller? Or to go all in and build yourself a milling shed, with larger equipment, industrial-strength ventilation, and so on...

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

I tried sifting a time or two, but it ended up being more work, IMO, than it was worth, so I just mill then use it. 

tve's picture
tve

Whoops, I must have posted in the "where to buy flour" or "don't do it" forum by mistake :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and the answers might be more in line to finding a sifting solution instead of saving a slaving wife.  :)  Sifting and dust is dangerous, not only to health but it is highly inflammable.  I sift outside when I have to and down wind but pretty much avoid sifting.  Have you run a search on sifting solutions in the archives?  Try or Tack on: Bill, sieve and mesh.

David R's picture
David R

What if "Don't do it" is the right answer? Better to keep an open mind. Receiving polite answers to a wrong question is not very useful, compared to being redirected to a better question.

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

So I also sift, because I do a bran scald for pretty much everything I bake lately. My extraction rate is lower than yours, at only 94%, and it goes pretty fast since I sift it while it's milling and get the whole thing done at the same time. I use the 'spoon it into the sieve and whack it gently against my palm' method, which doesn't end up horribly dusty for me (I don't ever cough, for example).

With that said, if I were in your shoes and already owned the Bosch, I wouldn't even bother considering other options. I would joyfully buy the L'Equip and then just return the extracted bran to the flour to get the desired extraction percentage. 

From my POV, this does pretty much everything you're asking for, at a fair price point. The only disadvantage is that it over-sifts, and that is easily adjusted afterwards.  It's also possible that they might come out with other screens in the future, or you might be able to switch out the screen yourself with a little care and ingenuity. 

I hope you find the right solution for your milling and baking process. Best wishes, Jess

tve's picture
tve

Thanks Jess, makes sense, I should give that a try!

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

I look forward to hearing how it works out for you. I am not-so-secretly fantasizing about owning one of those Bosch mixers. Maybe next year... :D

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

I see that the Bosch / L'Equip sifter has a replaceable screen, so it seems to me you could buy a piece of screen in the mesh size that you want and use hardware scissors to cut it to the right size circle using the original as a template. 

David R's picture
David R

I haven't seen pictures, but it may depend on the type of replaceable screen setup they use. Some screens are welded (or fused or whatever) to their frames, making DIY solutions far more difficult. But if the Bosch screen is held in by clamping, and if a perfect edge (difficult when cutting screen by hand) isn't required, that could be a great idea.

SeasideJess's picture
SeasideJess

I saw a picture but can't find it again. It was a plain screen, no housing or anything. That's what gave me the idea. I suggest contacting the manufacturer, Royalux/MagicMill. They have all the replacement parts on their website including the screen and screen housing (but without individual pictures). Here's the page:

http://www.magicmillusa.com/products/bosch/sifter-parts.html

MTloaf's picture
MTloaf

This makes less dust and would handle the amounts you are talking about. It was lucky accident that the pieces fit together for me, but you get the idea.

 

sifter

tve's picture
tve

MTloaf: that's a great idea! I'll get my measuring tape out and start hunting for the pieces.

The L'Equip with changed screen also sounds worth pursuing, thanks for the pointers!