options that are best suited for you and your family.
So let’s discuss the different types of mills:
1. Electric Mills – Seem to be the popular choice now days…… Technology has brought the mills to
modern day use. Electric mills are the quickest way to grind your grains with less effort. The major drawback is when there is no power ….no flour.
2. Manual Mills – Most manual mills require a lot of work to achieve the goal of fresh ground flour. If you are energetic or need a good work out then a manual mill may be the choice for you. One advantage of a manual mill is less of a chance of nutrient damage from heat buildup.
3. Convertible Mills – this is a mill that can go from manual to electric or vice versa.
1. Stone Grinders – this is the oldest type. The stone grinders of yesteryear were the ones turned by windmills or water wheels with stones up to three feet across. Today’s stone grinders are not made of natural stone but of hard materials that will last a forever if cared for correctly. The stones have grooves cut into them, radiating out from the center which then diminishes towards the outer edges.
2. Burr Mills – these mills are very similar to stone grinders except the wheels today are mostly made out of steel. There are two grinding plates, one rotates by a power source while the other remains
fixed. Stone burrs tend to crush the grain and metal burrs tend to break the grain.
3. Impact Mills – are similar to the other two as there are two wheels with one being stationary and one moving. But the two wheels with concentric rows of teeth never touch, the rotating wheel turns while grain is fed into the center of the fixed wheel. This process pulverizes the grain into a fine powder. These mills handle mostly dry, non-oily grains and generally can only produce fine flour not coarse.
4. Roller mills – use a combination of cylindrical rollers in opposing pairs or against flat plates that can be used to crush or grind the grain into flakes or old fashioned grist style flour.
When grinding your grain, heat is generated during the process. This occurs when the grains are crushed
or pulverized by the burrs or metal plates, the heat can also increase with time or speed. So if you were like me, I thought who cares….a little heat…what harm could that possibly do? Well let me tell you…it does matter.
1. 112 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit – This should be considered the upper limits of a safe range. Once the grains / flour reach 112 – 115 degrees Fahrenheit it is possible that vitamins may begin to deteriorate and the gluten could lose some of its baking quality
2. 122 degrees Fahrenheit – at this temperature there is deterioration of gluten (declines the baking performance) and some enzymes are destroyed and or become inactive.
3. 140 degrees Fahrenheit and above –at these temperatures vitamins and other components are destroyed which in turns affects the quality of your bread. Once temps reach excess of 167 degree
Fahrenheit all functionality of the gluten is lost