There are a number of reasons for grinding grain at home. Some people have strong feelings on the subject of self-sufficiency, and wish to grow and mill enough grain for their own use. Others have allergies or sensitivities, and prefer to have their food as pure and unprocessed as possible. Whatever the motivation, a home grinder is an inexpensive way to enjoy more whole grains.
Grinding Grain at Home
Many whole grains are available from health food and bulk food stores, online suppliers and, in some cases, local farmers. Whole grain can be stored for extended periods if it is kept dry, then ground as needed for daily use. It is possible to grind small quantities of grain in a coffee grinder, blender or food processor, but this is impractical in any but the smallest quantities. For more serious use of whole grains, a domestic grain mill is a better option.
Hand-operated Grain Mill
A wide range of hand-operated grain mills exist, from very compact and simple models to large, elaborate affairs. Some are functional but minimalist, while others include extra features and are built to last generations. The latter, of course, are correspondingly higher in price. The fundamentals are the same across all models. The mill clamps onto a work surface, or mounts permanently to a wall or countertop. A hopper of greater or lesser size feeds grain through the mechanism, which can be adjusted for flour, or cracked or flaked grains.
Motorised Grain Mills
Motorised grain mills are very similar to the hand-operated variety in their design but, of course, have a motor to turn the grinder rather than a hand crank. Motorised models tend to be higher in price, though a top-of-the-line manual model can be just as costly. As a rule, motorised models have larger feed hoppers and are favoured for grinding higher volumes of grain, but there are exceptions. Some homesteaders prefer a high-capacity manual grinder, because it is not dependent on electricity.
Grain Mill as a Kitchen Accessory
For those who own a stand mixer, it is possible to purchase a grain mill that attaches to the mixer's accessory socket. This is a relatively light-duty model, suitable for casual and small-scale use. For those who own a stand mixer and are not heavily committed to the homesteading lifestyle, this model can be a convenient way to "test the waters" before investing in a heavier-duty model.
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