Author Topic: Milling Grain?  (Read 1814 times)

Offline blueyedmule

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Milling Grain?
« on: January 07, 2013, 11:40:55 AM »
I'd love to have a hand-crank grain mill. Are there any worth having?? What is your experience with this?
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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 11:53:38 AM »
I would love to know the same thing.  I have toyed with the idea of getting an electric grain mill and figured that I could use the genset if necessary to mill some flour.  But the prices of $250 stopped me plus the cost of the grain.  At roughly $1 per pound I can buy a lot of flour and whole wheat flour for just the cost of the mill.  Then the better hand crank mills http://countrylivinggrainmills.com/ cost in the $450 range. 

So you say, "But what about the health benefits of eating whole just ground wheat?"  Well yesterday I baked off a loaf of whole wheat bread with wheat berry sprouts that I sprouted myself.  Even better nutrition?  Maybe if you believe that the sprouts contain lots of goodness and such.  Or take your whole berries (bought from your local supermarket) and grind them in your blender for a bit, then soak them in boiling water (maybe a 3 to 1 ratio) and let them plump before your bake them off in your dough.

Or better yet, boil off the whole berries and eat them for your starch instead of rice or potato.

From King Arthur Flour http://www.kingarthurflour.com/, it appears that fresh ground flour may or may not raise the same way as seasoned flour.

Be that as it may, although I have the whisper mill in my wish list at KAF, I still cannot justify the expense in my mind.

z

Offline Ronin4hire

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 12:30:41 PM »
Saw one on the AugusonFarms website with their name on it for $90ish? 
Thats a price range Id consider, if anyone has tried one before...

Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 05:05:19 PM »
I'm curious to see what you folks end up with and what you think of it.  I too am wanting a grain mill, but I want something that I can count on to grind 100% of my flour needs while not needing a lot of maintenance or repair after being used a lot.  That said, I've been told that it's pretty hard to beat the quality, ease of use, and flexibility of GrainMaker Mill's, but boy are they pricey.  Anyone else hear the same?
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Offline Burton

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 07:07:05 PM »
I love my wonder mill jr and have even gone so far as to grind whole cinnamon sticks in it. If you are not the active type it can seem like a chore but it does support mechanical devices to aid in grinding.

I found the bread I make with freshly ground flour tastes out of this world, I mean like old fashion baker quality bread taste!

Mainly I grind grains, spices, and nuts / seeds. You can even make homemade peanutbutter with it if you wanted to -- and might I add it taste a lot better than store bought.

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 10:12:25 PM »
I'm curious to see what you folks end up with and what you think of it.  I too am wanting a grain mill, but I want something that I can count on to grind 100% of my flour needs while not needing a lot of maintenance or repair after being used a lot.  That said, I've been told that it's pretty hard to beat the quality, ease of use, and flexibility of GrainMaker Mill's, but boy are they pricey.  Anyone else hear the same?

Yes the quality seems to be real good on the Grain Maker - model 99.  The cheaper grain mills don't always grind the grain as fine as possible with just one pass. Even the Grain Maker can be a bit hard on the arms when making corn bread meal. 

Many of the grain mills can be adapted to electric motors with a bit of spare parts and a few trips to the auto supply house.

Right now 2013's plans is to adapt my hand crank grain mill to run off electrical motor I found in my basement when I bought this house.
Brad(bn4) - In Colorado

Offline Entity

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 10:31:35 PM »
Personally, I'm planning on a wondermill jnr deluxe, but to be honest, part of that is because I haven't settled on what I plan to grind, and that gives me the greatest flexibility that I've seen so far.

My family has people with gluten, wheat and yeast allergies that we know of, so we will need to tinker with the grains for a while to work out what works best for everyone

Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 11:36:21 PM »
Yes the quality seems to be real good on the Grain Maker - model 99.  The cheaper grain mills don't always grind the grain as fine as possible with just one pass. Even the Grain Maker can be a bit hard on the arms when making corn bread meal. 

Many of the grain mills can be adapted to electric motors with a bit of spare parts and a few trips to the auto supply house.

Right now 2013's plans is to adapt my hand crank grain mill to run off electrical motor I found in my basement when I bought this house.

So do you have personal experience with the GrainMaker?  My experience (which is not much) with other mills are that they NEVER grind very fine with one run and can not get it very fine even after multiple passes.  I would like to avoid that.  I don't want to have to pay the price that GrainMaker mill's cost, but IMO it would be worth it if they do the job well and do it quicker.  So I have to ask, do they? . . .  Do any of them?

.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 11:49:26 PM by nelson96 »
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
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One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline chezrad

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 06:01:04 AM »
I've got the manual version of this.

http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com/family_grain_mills.aspx

It doesn't look like I've used it after 2 years. Yes it does take 2 passes, but the first pass is quick and the second pass is fine. I would buy another one.

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 07:27:46 PM »
So do you have personal experience with the GrainMaker?  My experience (which is not much) with other mills are that they NEVER grind very fine with one run and can not get it very fine even after multiple passes.  I would like to avoid that.  I don't want to have to pay the price that GrainMaker mill's cost, but IMO it would be worth it if they do the job well and do it quicker.  So I have to ask, do they? . . .  Do any of them?

.

Do I own a GrainMaker model 99?  Yes
Have I used it for Wheat & Corn meal?  Yes

Have I made bread from each?  Yes
How many passes for wheat?  1 - 2
How many passes for Corn - more than I can count

It did take some practice to learn how to use 100% whole wheat.  The learning curve mostly involved grinding it at maximum fineness - soaking the flour with water 1 hr before adding the rest of the mixture for bread.

If you are looking for a less expensive and maybe easier to use than the model #99 - I would recommend the  http://www.countrylivinggrainmills.com/

I have only used the country living grain mill for a few mins at a demo.  It did seem to be easier to use than almost any other grain mill I tried. The only problem I had was I was not able to test back to back between both grain mills.  Looking at the flour it produced seemed to be as fine as the more expensive mill I owned.

Key item to consider
Are you going to make your own peanut butter?  If so then mills using stones should be avoided.  The fats/oils load up the mill stones.


Do you need an option to convert to electric?  Recommend ones that have a built in track that can hold a v-belt.

Was the corn meal from popcorn chewier than expected?  Yes; but a second regrind at the maximum fineness seemed to work cut down that issue.   I did not re-soak the corn meal during the bread making process.  I will say this; fresh ground corn bread was the best I have ever made.   And the only way to make corn bread is in cast iron pan.


Brad(bn4) - In Colorado

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 07:52:23 PM »
I have the hand crank Country Living Grain Mill.  It is worth the money I spent but maybe I look at things differently.  Everything for me is not just about the price although I have to admit when I bought it, it was way cheaper than it is today - but I see it as a tool. One I use a lot so I want some quality to it.  It's something I hope to pass down to my daughter.  I also consider it an asset especially when the price of bread becomes exorbitant - ah wait - it's almost there and what passes for bread is a joke and not a funny one either.  And you also may think that I'm foolish with my money or rich (um - neither - we're pretty frugal in the TwoBlues house) but for something that makes life better and perhaps homemade bread becoming a great barter item if SHTF I will shell out the money.

snip... So you say, "But what about the health benefits of eating whole just ground wheat?"  Well yesterday I baked off a loaf of whole wheat bread with wheat berry sprouts that I sprouted myself.  Even better nutrition?  Maybe if you believe that the sprouts contain lots of goodness and such.  Or take your whole berries (bought from your local supermarket) and grind them in your blender for a bit, then soak them in boiling water (maybe a 3 to 1 ratio) and let them plump before your bake them off in your dough.

z

I was dreaming of this bread last week.  Time to get some wheat berries soaking and sprouting.  Thanks for the reminder.
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Offline Cedar

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2013, 07:54:26 PM »
I have the hand crank Country Living Grain Mill.  It is worth the money I spent

BINGO!

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Offline blueyedmule

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 09:06:11 PM »
Thanks so much for all the replies! I have homework to do. This all started because I was thinking of buckwheat, that it doesn't seem to be in the stores much any more and that what is, some claim is already stale because it moves so slow. Now I am also thinking of raising amaranth.

I'm definitely a fan of sprouting grains as a way to moderate the effects of grain on a paleo diet.
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 09:51:05 PM »
Thanks for the info, that helps a lot.

soaking the flour with water 1 hr before adding the rest of the mixture for bread.

Can you explain what you mean by the above comment?  I'm confused, why did you need to do this if it ground the wheat in fine enough particles you could call it "flour"?

popcorn chewier than expected

Isn't the corn grown for popcorn different from other corn typically grown to grind for traditional cooking uses?
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
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One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2013, 09:57:51 PM »
I have the hand crank Country Living Grain Mill.  It is worth the money I spent but maybe I look at things differently.  Everything for me is not just about the price although I have to admit when I bought it, it was way cheaper than it is today - but I see it as a tool. One I use a lot so I want some quality to it.  It's something I hope to pass down to my daughter.  I also consider it an asset especially when the price of bread becomes exorbitant - ah wait - it's almost there and what passes for bread is a joke and not a funny one either.  And you also may think that I'm foolish with my money or rich (um - neither - we're pretty frugal in the TwoBlues house) but for something that makes life better and perhaps homemade bread becoming a great barter item if SHTF I will shell out the money.

That's good to know.  I too want an heirloom quality mill, but more so I want to be sure it will pass the test of time if SHTF.  I don't want to be left without if I find myself depending on it for survival. . .  I'll find a way to afford any price for that peace of mind.

I was raised on 100% homemead bread but my family never did grind their own flour.  Now that I've got a family of my own we haven't made the time to get back to our roots and make our own bread, but with the cost of a loaf of bread now and the health concerns we have of ANY store bought product, we feel we have no choice but to start.
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 10:00:41 PM »
Thanks for the info, that helps a lot.

Can you explain what you mean by the above comment?  I'm confused, why did you need to do this if it ground the wheat in fine enough particles you could call it "flour"?

Isn't the corn grown for popcorn different from other corn typically grown to grind for traditional cooking uses?

Sure - when grinding fresh 100% whole wheat you need to re-learn how to make bread.  One of the methods I found to get the bread to raise better was to take some (most) of the flour and add 100% of the water part to the 100% whole wheat.  I then let it soak up the water for a good hour.

After that soak period I then resume making bread and the bread rises about 2x more than it would have without the soak period. 

For Popcorn - yes, it is different - but many folks do enjoy corn bread from popcorn.  I find that the corn bread can have a bit chewier parts to it than normal corn bread.  I could soak it to help soften it more.   I have not had time to tweak the corn bread as much as I tweaked how to make bread from scratch. 
Brad(bn4) - In Colorado

Offline Cedar

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2013, 10:01:54 PM »
Isn't the corn grown for popcorn different from other corn typically grown to grind for traditional cooking uses?

There are many different types of corn, but those commonly grown for food fall under one of these five categories:
Flour Corn Because of its soft, starchy, yellow kernels it is one of the only corns that can be ground into a fine flour. The rest make a coarse sort of cornmeal.

Flint Corn Sometimes called "Indian Corn", it comes in a wide range of colors. Because its kernels are covered in a hard shell, it preserves well as an ornament, however it is also edible when ground into cornmeal.

Dent Corn This is a high yield, yellow or white corn, characterized by a dent in the top of each kernel. It is a popular American agricultural crop used for animal feed, industry, and some human foods, as well.

Sweet Corn This corn can be yellow or white and is often eaten fresh like a vegetable. On the cob or canned, sweet corn's high sugar content makes it very palatable. This is the kind of corn that is commonly grown in home gardens.

Pop Corn Its kernels can be yellow or white and have a soft, starchy center covered by a hard shell. When heated, the center expands until it explodes from its shell, making what we call popcorn. But you can also grind it into meal or flour. Popcorn pollen if crossed into other types of corn cause the next generation to be popcorn.. not good popcorn generally, but popcorn.

Shoepeg Corn Shoepeg corn is a cultivar of white sweetcorn valued for its sweetness. It is characterized by small, narrow kernels tightly and unevenly packed on the cob. The corn has a sweet, mild flavor. The only variety of shoepeg corn available today is "Country Gentleman".

Cedar
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2013, 10:04:20 PM »
Sure - when grinding fresh 100% whole wheat you need to re-learn how to make bread.  One of the methods I found to get the bread to raise better was to take some (most) of the flour and add 100% of the water part to the 100% whole wheat.  I then let it soak up the water for a good hour.

After that soak period I then resume making bread and the bread rises about 2x more than it would have without the soak period.

I hate to ask a stupid question, but want to be sure I understand. . .  Do you mix the flour and water together (make a paste) to let it soak for that hour?

Thanks for the info, very helpful.
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
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One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline Cedar

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2013, 10:07:28 PM »
There are many different types of corn, but those commonly grown for food fall under one of these five categories:

GENERALLY! That said, I have popcorn which is "Calico" and it is multi-coloured like indian corn. I have a brown popcorn. I have a red corn which is a sweet corn. I have a green dent corn, Then there is the red and white striped parching corn... ect.

Cedar - who cant just be normal  ::)
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2013, 10:09:17 PM »
There are many different types of corn, but those commonly grown for food fall under one of these five categories:
Flour Corn Because of its soft, starchy, yellow kernels it is one of the only corns that can be ground into a fine flour. The rest make a coarse sort of cornmeal.

Flint Corn Sometimes called "Indian Corn", it comes in a wide range of colors. Because its kernels are covered in a hard shell, it preserves well as an ornament, however it is also edible when ground into cornmeal.

Dent Corn This is a high yield, yellow or white corn, characterized by a dent in the top of each kernel. It is a popular American agricultural crop used for animal feed, industry, and some human foods, as well.

Sweet Corn This corn can be yellow or white and is often eaten fresh like a vegetable. On the cob or canned, sweet corn's high sugar content makes it very palatable. This is the kind of corn that is commonly grown in home gardens.

Pop Corn Its kernels can be yellow or white and have a soft, starchy center covered by a hard shell. When heated, the center expands until it explodes from its shell, making what we call popcorn. But you can also grind it into meal or flour. Popcorn pollen if crossed into other types of corn cause the next generation to be popcorn.. not good popcorn generally, but popcorn.

Shoepeg Corn Shoepeg corn is a cultivar of white sweetcorn valued for its sweetness. It is characterized by small, narrow kernels tightly and unevenly packed on the cob. The corn has a sweet, mild flavor. The only variety of shoepeg corn available today is "Country Gentleman".

:o Thanks Cedar, now I'm even more confused (not really) ;) . . .  To keep it simple and cut down on storage, can you recommend a type of dried corn that we can find in our local area that would serve multiple purposes?

“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2013, 10:10:31 PM »
Cedar - who cant just be normal  ::)

I'm glad you said it  ;)
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2013, 10:10:44 PM »
I hate to ask a stupid question, but want to be sure I understand. . .  Do you mix the flour and water together (make a paste) to let it soak for that hour?

Thanks for the info, very helpful.

Yes I do; and often I will had honey to the mixture.  My guess is that the flour is not quite fine enuff and the sharp edges prevent the dough from raising as well as it could.  Or it needs to break down a bit to feed the yeast. 
Brad(bn4) - In Colorado

Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2013, 10:12:23 PM »
Yes I do; and often I will had honey to the mixture.  My guess is that the flour is not quite fine enuff and the sharp edges prevent the dough from raising as well as it could.  Or it needs to break down a bit to feed the yeast.

That makes total sense, but this dumb hick wouldn't have thought about trying that on his own . . .  Thank you.
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline Cedar

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2013, 10:17:01 PM »
:o Thanks Cedar, now I'm even more confused (not really) ;) . . .  To keep it simple and cut down on storage, can you recommend a type of dried corn that we can find in our local area that would serve multiple purposes?

To grow or to buy? Most guys in my area are growing for the canneries. Where do I get mine on the odd occasion when I want some? Wilco. But I have to pick through it. I have no idea where it comes from or if it is GMO.

Cedar
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2013, 10:26:50 PM »
I have no idea where it comes from or if it is GMO.

Exactly . . .  Plus I've toured too many livestock grain mills to feel comfortable buying from a place like Wilco who probably gets it from a producer making livestock feed.
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

Offline Cedar

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2013, 10:35:38 PM »
Exactly . . .  Plus I've toured too many livestock grain mills to feel comfortable buying from a place like Wilco who probably gets it from a producer making livestock feed.

Want some "Bloody Butcher" or "Stowell's Evergreen" to try this summer? I have a half gallon of each of seed.


Bloody Butcher


Stowell's Evergreen

Cedar
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Offline nelson96

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2013, 10:45:36 PM »
Want some "Bloody Butcher" or "Stowell's Evergreen" to try this summer? I have a half gallon of each of seed.

You're bound and determined to make me look bad in public aren't you? ;) . . .  I'm embarrassed to admit that we've not grown a garden in some time (too many other things we've allowed to take priority). . . .  We have to fix that, but being completely honest, I would hate to take it off your hands when another could make use of it sooner.

Thank you Cedar . . .  Who has proven to be a very good friend in a short amount of time.
“There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn.”
 ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

One hundred thousand generations of people lived and ate as hunter-gatherers, and only two generations have grown up on highly processed fast foods. . .  It's not too late

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Re: Milling Grain?
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2013, 12:22:49 PM »
All this talk about mills has me wanting to go buy one again.

I have an acquaintance who has I think a Whisper Mill and makes 4 loaves a week for her family.  She swears by both the taste and nutrition.  I do not see my wife and I going Paleo so grains will always be in our diet and I love to bake bread.

Durn it, this forum is a rough place to be.  Just when you have your mind made up on what you're going to do and all.  I think I'll go investigate mills some more!
z