I am in the market to buy a new grain mill. Actually, I have been for the last few years, but I think I am finally going to take the plunge and buy one! During my research on phytic acid, I was once again reminded of the importance of freshly ground flour. Store bought flour has lost a lot of it’s nutritional value, according to my understanding, plus lost most if not all of it’s phytase (the enzyme that breaks down phytic acid). My grain grinder is just not cutting it right now, so I am going to have to buy a new one. So, in light of this decision, I thought I would share my own experience with grain mills (limited at this point) and ask for your stories as well.
My experience with the Jupiter Grain Mill (I believe now called the Family Grain Mill).
I have a Jupiter grain mill which was recommend in Nourishing Traditions. About four of us bought this mill together, and I don’t think any of us have been happy with them. Our flour is just too coarse! On the plus side, they do grind very quietly and do a coarse mill for hot cereals. It keeps the flour very cool so that you don’t lose nutrients (or unstable phytase) and the steel burs it uses to grind with are replaceable. All great things. But even after putting the flour through the grinder twice (one of the only grinders you can do this with), I would have coarse flour. Plus putting the flour through twice took way too long. This has been a very frustrating situation! One company who sells them admits that it doesn’t grind as fine as other grinders and that it doesn’t work well for pastry flour. All information I wish I had known before I bought mine.
What I am looking for in a Grinder
A grinder that grinds “cool” so that I don’t lose nutrients and heat sensitive phytase
A grinder that grinds at least somewhat quietly would be nice.
A grinder that grinds fine enough flour for baked goods
A multi-purpose grinder would also be nice (i.e. one that would grind hot cereal size as well as fine flour).
As I have researched different options, one that I keep coming back to is the KoMo (or Wolfgang Mill). It’s supposed to grind very fine flour as well as coarse (multi-purpose). In fact, I believe it’s won awards for it’s fine flour. And it is also supposed to be a lot quieter than the more common grain grinders such as Wondermill or Nutrimill. I also like the fact that unlike the modern impact mills (which most grinders are), this one uses millstones- following a more traditional method of milling. I have read unbacked claims that the impact mills grind is an “unnatural” way to grind making flour that is bad for us. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do like the more traditional ways of grinding grains as a preference. They also look beautiful! This grinder is fairly new to the US market, but has been very popular in Germany where it originated. Because it’s newer to our market, it’s harder to find reviews of it.
It doesn’t grind as quickly at the Nutrimill, however, which is another (very popular) grinder I have considered. If I was going to buy an impact grinder, this is probably the one I would purchase. The Nutrimill has a huge hopper (where you pour the grains in) so you don’t have to keep refilling it, gets much coarser grinds than most impact mills as well as super fine flour, and while not as quiet as the KoMo, is it quieter than some of the other impact mills. But despite the many advantages of the Nutrimill I am leaning towards the KoMo. When talking to a company who sold both grinders, I was told that they both grind at low enough temperatures to preserve nutrients.
It looks like I am some decisions ahead of me! Meanwhile, I would love to hear your experience with grain mills!