The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Handmilling fine flour

vangoghbread's picture

Handmilling fine flour



Recently joined and enjoyed browsing the forum for helpful information. I would like to mill my own flour. I decided that I want a hand mill to achieve this goal. In my research I really like the



Salzburger (

Around the forums and over the internet, it seems these two seem to produce fine flour which is what I'm looking for in a hand mill. 

If I want to grind a ~500G of flour with these at a time, how many minutes would this realistically take? I received an estimate from the manufacturer, but would love to hear the members' experience around this. 

Also would like to get more options for different types of hand mill for fine flour, since these manufacturers seem slow to get back to me and are in Europe. I'm in the USA. 

Thank you. 


idaveindy's picture

Welcome to TFL!

Please define what you mean by "fine flour."

Do you mean "refined" as in low bran, or do you mean "small particle size" ?

What did a site search turn up? (Search box in upper right corner.)

User "wlaut" has recently said very good things about his US-made Grain Maker hand mill.


wlaut's picture

Thank you, Dave.  I _highly_ recommend my GrainMaker model 99.  It is a beast of a machine that was designed and built from the ground up with the concerns of the off-grid / prepper / self-sufficiency community in mind.  It will grind anything except rocks.  Wheat, rice, legumes, coffee, nut butters, you name it, it does it.

My preferred bread these days is a 100% whole wheat using Hard Red Spring.  I also mill Hard and Soft White for a change, or if I'm making biscuits.

The burr pressure settings are precise enough that I can mill HRS endosperm into a talcum-like consistency, while leaving the bran coarse enough that I can sieve it out. (Have not yet done much sieving, but plan to during the winter.). And if I tighten the pressure enough, I can also mill the bran into talc.

I still am meaning to grind peanuts to make peanut butter. As a devotee of self-sufficiency, I want the satisfaction of being able to say that I made a PBJ with bread whose flour I milled, peanut butter that I ground myself, and jam  that I canned myself.

The pressure can also be set loosely enough so that you can merely crack durum for making bulgur wheat for a taboleh salad.

The only thing NOT recommended is grinding wet stuff, like fresh nixtamal (although people report doing so with great success.). The reason is that the burrs are not stainless, so if you grind wet stuff you must clean and thoroughly dry them in order to prevent rust from forming.

How long does it take?  For 600g of wheat berries, it takes me about six minutes, grinding at 60rpm.

Obviously, some things are harder to mill by hand than others. unpopped popcorn or dent corn can be an OMG arm exercise / workout. If my mill were motorized, I'd just dump the corn into the hopper and not give it a second thought. However, as a _hand_ mill, I've found I can only grind about 1/8-cup of popcorn at a time.  Ant more and I cannot physically crank it.

The GeainMaker comes with a "Lifetime Heirloom Warranty," meaning if anything ever fails, you or your descendents can contact Bitterroot Tool & Machine for warranty service.

I am so pleased with mine that after I've settled into my rural property in Spring '21, I will be buying their larger model 116 mill, with motor drive; and their Flaking Mill.

When I bought mine in March, the price of the model 99, with table clamp and shipping, came to $750.  While that price may be expensive to some, if one of your considerations is having a mill that can take on the Apocalypse itself and afterward mill your morning coffee, this is the mill for you.

texasbakerdad's picture

Cool,thanks for sharing!

vangoghbread's picture

Hi wlaut,


Thanks for your thoughts on this. I haven't considered GrainMaker model 99 yet, but it's quite interesting from what you are saying. What's the cleaning process like after using it grind dry good like wheat? 


I would like to grind the bran as well into as fine as possible, so I can have the nutritional value of them in the bread. Have you have good success baking bread with it before? 

wlaut's picture

It takes me two minutes to clean my mill.  I'm attaching a video of a fellow cleaning his. The difference is that since I have not bolted my mill to a table, after removing the burrs and augur, I simply tip my mill forward to pour out the remaining grain into a wire basket to put back into the storage bucket.

In fact, cleaning the GrainMaker is so fast I do it while I'm waiting for my yeast to proof.

A quick note on baking with home-milled flour. My first success was with Hard Red Winter & Spring, using 70% hydration. I eventually increased it to 75%, and now am at 80%.

The results were pure magic.  It seems that autolyse has kicked in.  The dough seems to have developed it's own gluten during the first ride, where it hardly needs kneading. The finished loaf's crumb is soft and supple, and the bran flavor has almost disappeared completely.

To answer your question, you would set the burrs completely shut (where gravity won't pull the handle down), then open the three "clicks." That's the "sweet spot" for milling Hard Red, as the endosperm will come out like talcum powder while the bran is still gritty. You then filter the flour with a #50 or finer sieve.  Clean out the mill (20g will be left in the machine), then clamp down the burrs, dump in the bran, add the leftover to push the bran through the mill, and mill the bran into dust.

I cannot recommend the GrainMaker highly enough. This is a beast that will take on the Apocalypse and afterward be ready to mill your morning coffee. If you have any more questions, I'll be happy to answer them!


wlaut's picture

Now that I've mastered 100% whole wheat baking, every loaf is a success.  The key is sufficient hydration. The attached photo is typical of my results.

I've also used my GrainMaker for milling Soft White to make biscuits, as well as unpopped popcorn for making conbread (the next batch I'll post about), and durum for making pasta as well as coarsely cracking it to make bulgur for taboleh salad.

You can also make nut butters, such as peanut butter and tahini.  That's on my list, as I want the satisfaction of making  PBJ using bread whose flour I milled myself, peanut butter I ground myself, and cherry Jam that I canned myself.

While it would be an OMG arm exercise to do so with a _hand_ mill, you can mill dried nixtamal to make Maseca for making tortillas, taco shells, and tamales.

Thankfully, the flywheel accepts a v-belt so you can motorize the GrainMaker with one of three options.

In case it's not obvious by now, I'm something of an "odd duck" in that I'm a devotee of self-sufficiency, and which includes prepping, homesteading, off-gridding and the like.  If you have similar interests, then this is the mill from God for you. And with that, I'll end my shilling! ;-)

charbono's picture


Is there really not much difference in grinding effort between popcorn and dent corn when using the GM?

wlaut's picture

That's a good question. So far, all I've milled is Jolly Time popcorn I bought at Walmart. As you can see, its shape is very uniform.  Dent corn is more irregular. I really need to buy some so I can compare the two, both in effort and taste.

While I was at it, I pulled the spring grain augur to compare it to the heavier-duty "GrainBreaker" augur and used for beans, corn, legumes, etc.  You'll note the teeth that interact with the teeth on the stationary burr.  Their job is to pulverize the beans / corn into pieces small enough to be ground between the burrs.

As to your question on the effort, when manually grinding I can only feed 1/8-cup through at a time. Any more than that and I cannot budge the handle.

charbono's picture

When you encountered difficulty milling popcorn, was the burr setting fine, medium, or coarse?

wlaut's picture

The burr setting was fairly coarse. I was iteratively setting the burrs closer with each pass, until I achieved a cornmeal granularity.  My problem was on the initial pass with unbroken intact popcorn. If I fed too much on that pass, the kernels would "clog," so to speak, the teeth in the previous photo to where I couldn't crank it. That's where I discovered 1/8-cup would get processed quickly enough before the augur's teeth would get swamped.

Of course, that's if I'm trying to manually grind it.  If I had a motor connected via a v-belt to the GM, I could fill the hopper full of popcorn and set the burrs to a fine consistency, and the GM would grind it without batting an eye. It's only when I'm cranking by hand that it becomes an issue of my strength.


vangoghbread's picture

Hi idaveindy,


What I meant was "small particle size". I would like to have all of the bran in the flour. But I heard it's easier to make bread with smaller particles? 

justkeepswimming's picture

Those mills look so cool!!! A couple of thoughts... You may have already considered these factors, but just in case anything below resonates before you make the investment...

I have an older hand mill (not one of these), and recently decided to get a motorized mill for several reasons. The hand mill took more time than I wanted to invest to mill enough flour for any recipe. Time = milling time plus setup/take down/basic cleanup. I don't have room to leave it clamped to the counter full time. And I am slowly developing arthritis in my shoulders, making hand milling less endearing. It took more arm strength than I have for 15+ min of milling, and was not doable for me long term. I ended up getting a Mockmill that fits nicely into a corner in our kitchen. I find I mill much more often (fine flour, coarse meal, etc) now that the futz factor has been removed, lol.

Best wishes for whichever way you go! Happy milling/baking!!

vangoghbread's picture

Hi justkeepswimming,


That's a good point. I would like to use it as much as possible to get my money back and also to bake more bread ;) 

I think I'm more open now than a few days ago. Do you have the Mockmill attachment or the standalone?

justkeepswimming's picture

I have the countertop Mockmill 200. We downsized 3 years ago, and as part of the process, I gave my niece (who loves to cook) our mixmaster. I didn't miss it until recently, lol.

My top contenders were several of the Komo mills and the Mockmill. I ended up going with the Mockmill. My impression from multiple reviews, videos, etc. is that it has a wider range of coarseness abilities. I wanted to be able to mill flour, as well as coarse grinds for hot cereal. Not sure, the others may have been equally good for the wider range? After months of agonizing over it, I went with the Mockmill 200, as it has a more powerful motor than the 100 (and hopefully a longer lifespan as a result). 

Availability and price were other factors. Many sites were out of the Komo mills I was interested in, and I was not wanting to overspend. I know my own history of buying things that I lose interest in later on, and didn't want to regret spending a lot of money on something that may turn into a passing interest (like the mixmaster, lol.) 

I have been quite happy with my choice! I am using it more than anticipated, and don't regret getting it. It's roughly equivalent in size to a coffee pot.

Side note, if you haven't already researched baking with freshly milled flour, it might be a good idea to start. There is a definite learning curve, including potentially shorter rise times (yeast LOVES fresh milled flour, and really takes off) and hydration (fresh milled whole wheat definitely sucks up more water). I had to take baby steps, making loaves with 25% of the flour as fresh milled (the rest AP) to start with. My early bricks are now much more pleasant, and I am up to 80% fresh milled. I am a definite newbie at all this! And am so grateful for this site, full of information and encouragement. 

Best wishes, whichever way you go!!

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

Have fun with your new mill, whichever you decide upon. It does have a learning curve, but in a good way. I'm just chiming in to agree with justkeepswimming's advice to read up on baking with fresh milled flour. I didn't have too much trouble (or any, really) as long as there was some (20%-30%) white flour in the mix. However, 100% fresh milled whole grain was a different animal altogether. idaveindy was a great help to me and has some excellent posts on working with fresh milled flour, including this one:

Also, a thought on particle size: I learned from Trevor J Wilson's ebook that the finest particle sizes absorb water the fastest, but you might also want to mix in some larger particle sizes because they retain water longer. This improves texture and keeping quality. I'm still experimenting to determine what size and percentage work best for me.

headupinclouds's picture

I'm curious to hear more about your experience milling and blending a mix of coarse and fine flours.

Another Girl's picture
Another Girl

...and have been focused on other breads the last couple weeks so I haven't done any additional testing since I posted about it.

What I've been doing is setting the mill to the skip point and then dialing back one notch to get fine grained flour. I'll use that for 85%, give or take, of the ww flour in the formula. Then I dial back several more notches and mill the rest of the flour. The part I'm not sure about is what is meant by "coarse," so I'm not sure how far back I should set the dial. The first time I did it, I dialed back 3 notches and didn't notice much of a difference. The next time, I dialed back 7 notches and it was noticeable. What I do is sift out the larger branny bits and soak them for a couple hours and then do a short autolyse of the flour that passed through the sieve. (I started doing that because I wanted to soften the bran without accelerating the already fast fermentation time of the fresh milled wheat any more than necessary.) When I dialed back 7 notches, I probably needed to soak the branny bits longer or use hot water - more of a scald - to soften them up more. On the other hand, maybe 5 notches would yield particles large enough to accomplish my goals without requiring a scald or an extra long soak. I try to use fresh milled flour as soon as possible after milling, which is why I'd consider a scald before a lengthy soak. As you can probably tell, I'm more or less winging it. 

I have a Komo mill. If you are using a different mill, the settings I mentioned may or may not work for you. Also, I would speculate that results would vary between wheat varieties and even individual crops. The other qualification I should make is that I use commercial yeast for breads that are predominantly whole wheat. Sourdough would probably affect the texture, too. If you decide to tinker with this, I'd be interested to hear your impressions.

Timothy Wilson's picture
Timothy Wilson

It all depends on the power of the device you are using for grinding, as well as the quality of the grain and the desired grinding quality. But it seems to me that it makes sense to get confused with grinding if you make almond flour or oatmeal. Well, that is, a product that is not easy to find in a regular store.