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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Krytes42 on November 13, 2012, 12:08:39 PM

Title: Grain mill - to buy or not to buy?
Post by: Krytes42 on November 13, 2012, 12:08:39 PM
Hello all,

I've found a nearby farm that I like which sells good, freshly ground whole-wheat flour.  I plan to continue buying from them, but it's rather expensive.  The same farm also sells 50-lb bags of unground wheat at a much cheaper cost per pound, so I was considering buying a hand-cranked grain mill in order to grind my own flour.  A good quality grain mill is also expensive.  I've done the math, and based on my usage patterns, the mill will eventually pay for itself, but it'll take about five and a half years.  Should I buy it?
Title: Re: Grain mill - to buy or not to buy?
Post by: Karl on November 13, 2012, 01:03:50 PM
Have you ever used a hand-mill?  If not, you can certainly look forward to bigger muscles over the next couple of years.  :)
Title: Re: Grain mill - to buy or not to buy?
Post by: meadow lark on November 13, 2012, 02:04:59 PM
  Just some thoughts.  Search craigslist, put a wanted ad on it, or in the paper.  Call local thrift stores and put out a request - grain mills are exactly the kind of expensive appliance people buy and use once and a lot of thriftstores will keep a list of people who want specific things.  Consider multipurpose solutions, I remember Vitamix having a grain attachment.  Expensive, but then you have an excellent margarita maker too!
  Feed stores are an excellent place to buy bulk grains.  I grew up on them.  Anywhere you buy them though you have to be aware of bugs.  If you freeze the bags for 2 or 3 days when you first get them it will help the bug eggs not hatch.  (Yes, whole grain has bug eggs in it.)  Then use it fast, making sure you store them where bugs and mice won't be able to get at them.  A great idea is to sprout the grains a day before you make your breads - supposed to be more healthy.
  For flax seed eaters - about 5 years ago I would buy 50 lb bags of flax seed for $30.  Most of it went to my chickens, but I used some.  From what I've read about flax, I suspect we actually absorb the nutrition better through eating the eggs of chickens fed it, anyway.  Don't grind it for birds, and don't sprout it - it makes a gelatinous mess!
Title: Re: Grain mill - to buy or not to buy?
Post by: Krytes42 on November 13, 2012, 02:50:45 PM
Wow, great info!  Thanks!
Title: Re: Grain mill - to buy or not to buy?
Post by: nubbs180 on November 13, 2012, 03:19:10 PM
We bought a grain mill.  We love ours.  We paid $190 for our mill, the attachment to hook it up and run it on our mixer and a hand crank. 

We make our own whole wheat bread every 2-3 weeks.  One batch makes 4 loaves, we freeze two, refrigerate one, and the last loaf is half eaten before it is completely cooled.

The reasons we decided to buy the mill are because whole wheat berries have a more-or-less indefinite shelf life, and we like to stock up on staples (50+ pounds at a time), as soon as you grind wheat, it begins to lose its nutritional value, and fresh wheat flour just tastes better/makes a better bread, as well as being cheaper to buy berries than flour.

The following article was helpful as we decided what type of mill we wanted to buy, in the case that you might want more to think about.