Among the best reasons for buying and using your own wheat grinder is the ability to make your own fresh breads, rolls and pastries out of the flour that you grind. Features to consider when buying a grain mill include electric vs. manual; the grains that can and cannot be milled; the grain hopper capacity; cleaning difficulty; how loud the machine is; warranty length; and the range of flour coarseness. Electric grain mills are the easiest grain mills to use at home.
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Compare grain mill prices first, as this feature may greatly impact your decision. The price for a high quality grain mill in 2009 will fall between £149 (Miracle ME300) and £422 (Hawo Octagon). The cost difference is based mostly on the construction of the grain mill itself. Hawo products are made from solid beech wood and are finished with natural vegetable oil. All of the internal parts are metal and are replaceable. The Miracle ME300 is made of a plastic housing with metal internal parts. Purchase the best model your budget can handle. Chances are that the grain mill you purchase will last for many years, and like many other products, you get what you pay for.
Consider how loud each model is. The quietest grain mill is the Wondermill 110 at 49 decibels. This used to be called the Whispermill because it is the quietest mill available. The loudest mill is called the Wolfgang at 73 decibels.
Know that there are various flour output range features. The hopper capacity ranges from 9 cups with the Nutrimill down to 2 cups as with the Miracle ME300. Grinding production capacity (also called throughput capacity) for fine ground flour ranges from 42.5gr. per minute (Nutrimill) to 1247gr. per minute (the Hawo Octagon and Mill 1). There is little difference between the grains that can be ground by each model. The grains that can effectively be ground into flour include hard and soft wheat, oats, rice, triticale, kamut, spelt, dried beans, corn, popcorn, split peas, buckwheat, barley, rye, millet, sorghum, dried mung beans and soybeans. Most of the electric model manufacturers recommend not grinding oily grains and seeds, but the Miracle ME300 will grind oily grains and seeds well. There are also attachments available for couch grass juicing and salad making. Every model compared is easy to clean. Hawo models require cleaning only occasionally. The range of flour coarseness for every model compared ranges from finely ground flour to coarsely ground whole grains.
Compare the warranty time as the last major feature of each grain mill. The Nutrimill and the Wondermill 110 both have a lifetime warranty. Hawo grain mills have a three-year warranty, but all of the parts can be replaced to make these grain mills last for a lifetime. The Miracle ME300 comes with a one-year warranty.
Decide if you need to buy a manual wheat grinder in addition to or instead of an electric model. Manual grain mills are best used for emergency situations, and the comparison considerations are the same for manual grinders as they are for electric grinders. The Wondermill Junior Delux grinder is one of the best manual mills out there, but is also one of the most expensive at around $220 in 2009. Manual grain mills can be used all of the time, or they can be saved for times of emergency to help you make use out of your food storage items. A few manual models can be connected to an electric motor. Electric grain mills are more convenient to use on a regular basis than manual mills are. Manual mills have come a long way over the years, with modern designs that produce the most flour possible using manual power, and modern materials that last for years, even when they are used a few times per month.
Tips and warnings
- Find recipes that you can make utilising the flour and other products you will be able to produce with your grain mill. There are literally hundreds of them available on the Internet.
- Many grain mill manufacturers sell spare parts for their mills. Buy the parts that need to be replaced the most to keep your grain mill in top working condition.
- Shop locally for grain dealers to find the best whole grain prices. Health food stores stock many hard-to-find grains, but they may be expensive.
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