Grain Mills: What’s your experience and recommendations?
Pretty self-explanatory. My food pantry includes whole grains because they naturally last a long time and with a little extra care, a really long time. But you need to keep them whole as the outer layer is the best packaging. Wheat berries can last 30 years based on studies done by the LDS church, but once you grind them into flour they go downhill fast.
I’ve owned a variety of mills, all but one of the antique variety. They were all small clamp-on type that eventually failed—or had failed before had even bought them LOL. I was scanning Craigslist etc every so often the last however many years looking for a better unit without any luck. Then came the pandemic and even the beer-brewer hobbyists machines and kitchen decoration items disappeared.
I want a $1,000 of course and had placed a pre-paid order for the new Green Power Mill from Lehmans that looks pretty cool. But it turns out that Lehmans has been sold and whether that, the JIT supply catastrophe or whatever, I had my money returned 6 months later when the mill still wasn’t in production. That was recently and prompted me to bite the bullet so I finally broke down and bought a modern version of the clamp on style, the Wonder Mill Junior.
It comes with both steel burrs and stone wheels and a second auger for nuts —and importantly— masa! But what is best are the drive options, it has available a power drill adapter, a large motor pulley, even a geared reduction pulley with drive gear. I opted for the bicycle sprocket attachment. I ordered one of those bicycle stands made to let you use your regular bike as an exercise cycle. I’ll get a chain locally. If I were ever needing to use this machine… and there was power of some type available, I’m confident I could rig up a motor. Most likely, in the event it is needed, the only power available will be me.
You can see in the listing that it has a square plate base rather than an integral clamp. The clamp device is mounted using machine screws. I expect to mount the mill, sans clamp, along with the bike stand on a piece of ply, probably using a hunk of 6-8″ steel plate as reinforcement under the mill. Several of my “clamp on” mills have failed at the neck due to metal fatigue, there is quite a bit of torque involved. And of course there is no way to mount a clamp style mill on most modern counters, let alone use with the bike rig I’m contemplating. Grinding more than a cup’s worth to rough flour consistently turns into work.
I’ve been dragging my feet on this purchase for a while, $400 all in for an item I’ll hopefully never use beyond simple experimenting is pretty high for my budget. The rational is, I probably have that much in stored grain and without a decent mill I’m limited to mush and sprouts.
So anyway, talk about your mills.