Hand Grain Mills?
I was wondering if anyone has experience using a hand-powdered grain mill for any extended period of time. I am interested in grinding my own grains for bread flour and some other uses (cut-oats, etc).
The electric mills are very expensive and the hand mills are a bargain in comparison. I am just worried about how well they work and if the amount of labour required is so excessive that the unit goes unused.
The opinions I have read on other websites are vague and contradictory.
I did a lot of research on grain mills and have managed to accumulate a lot of them in the process. The only hand mill I would recommend is the Family Grain Mill, which you can upgrade later to electric. I picked up 2 at different times from Ebay, without the hand crank or motor, for about $25 each. In the beginning, I used one by hand with an allen wrench for the crank, which worked pretty good. Thankfully I learned, via some obscure website, that I could use a FGM with a Kitchenetic or K-tec mixer, which if you watch long enough, you can pick up for under $50 on Ebay. I even managed to pick up a FGM Flaker Head, which makes great rolled oats & other grains.
Now I'm moving onto stone ground, as I have to grind all my own grains due to an allergy, but I'm still keeping my FGM for grinding small amounts, oil seeds, or other things stone mills just are not good at. BTW- the Kitchenetic/K-tec mixers make a nice loaf of bread, among other things...and this coming from someone who has owned a 5qt KitchenAid ProLine StandMixer for 20 years.
Right now the prices on the Kitchenetics/K-tec mixers are running high on Ebay, as there haven't been any for sale in a couple weeks. I predict in another couple weeks, the price will drop a lot, as several tend to get listed when the selling price is higher, bottoming out the market. I have both the old style Kitchenetics and the newer, digital K-tec Champ mixer. The K-tec Champ mixer is nice, because it has an automatic kneed setting- after you mix the bread the dough, you hit the kneed button & it kneeds until it 'feels right' to the machine. I have to say I also like being able to set the mixer to run x-number of minutes, or let it count up the time its been mixing.
Here is the site where I found out about the FGM working with Kitchenetics/Ktec mixers: http://www.mykitchencenter.com/Detail...
I have one that I use for grinding malted barley for homebrewing. Even for the large grain size I need for a mash a lot of effort is required. to get the grind down to the size of a flour particle would probably require multiple runs through the grinder. Kitchenaid does make a grain mill attachment for their stand mixers, but I've heard that it can put a lot of stress on the mixer and models with plastic gears have been known to fail due to overheating.
I have a Marcato that I think I've used precisely three times.
It's a huge, huge amount of work. In fact, I realize as I'm hauling all my kitchen gear out as I work on a remodel that I should really divest myself of this baby. Maybe someone else could put it to more good than I.