Sunday, March 21, 2010

Grain mill- first use!

I tried my new toy --er, tool-- this evening. I was hoping to make cornbread for dinner but ran out of time. Not any fault of the grain mill but mine for not having my waterfowl aligned properly (for those of you who are caffeine (or alcohol) deprived- I didn't have my ducks in a row!) But now I have cornmeal ground for tomorrow night.
The new machine worked like a dream! I opted to use the electric base to start out. The heirloom corn we grew last year (Bloody Butcher) is really hard and I was a bit nervous about grinding it. The instructions state that you can't grind popcorn or anything that is "rock hard" such as tapioca pearls or saw palmetto berries (not that I would have considered grinding any of those). It does say to grind flint or dent corn in two passes so that is what I did.
Ready to rock and roll!
From this...
after the first, coarse grind
The machine in action- not much to see.
The end product.
I think that next time I may grind it one setting finer for the second grind for a finer texture. But, this is about the same texture that I was getting with the old coffee grinder.
Clean up was easy. It disassembles and reassembles quickly.
The only concern was that it was kind of scary grinding hard corn for the first test. As it got down to the end of the hopper it flung a few kernels of corn out across the kitchen and it made terrible noises on occasion. I'm looking forward to using it for wheat and it also says that it will grind flax seed (and Mom gave me some!) So be on the lookout for new experiments.
I didn't opt for the flaker attachment that lets you make your own oatmeal or other rolled grains. I'm not that much of a hard core- yet.
Oh, and before you ask about the bandaid... yes, I hurt myself taking down the fence this afternoon. A miscalculation with the wire cutters resulted in a huge blood blister that popped. Ick and ouch.
All in all, I give the Family Grain Mill a thumbs up after the first use. It was pricey- $259- but currently they are throwing in the hand crank base for free- and I figure that it will be something that I will be using for years to come and is a great prep purchase. Now, to see if I can find a good source of wheat. The wheat berries I have now I got from Dad who went out with a bucket while the neighbors were unloading the combine. But, I guess you can't get much more local than that.


  1. Oh such a pretty machine...Split rail fences are not easy!! We took ours out last summer in the front yard...ours was only 2 rows and that was a pain...Enjoy the machine and hopefull the both of us can get to gardening..The snow was pretty and it was even nicer it didn't stick to the roads here in CR...Maybe this week I will work on the garden the meantime we are painting the family room in the basement..Hopefully your hubbies knee is healing..have a wonderful week..Lisa

  2. That is awesome! I would be nervous too about the first grind but what a great end product, and what a great machine to have around for the real homesteading woman!

  3. Your new machine is pretty tricky looking!Hopefully you'll show us a photo of your first corn bread! Sorry about your BooBoo. Wire cutters and pruners can be deadly we know that for sure!!...debbie

  4. Oh I've wanted one for a few years now. It's just such a huge expense for a toy....tool. I just wonder how much I would actually use it compared to buying grains. How much of a habit I can get into vs the cost.

    I really like that they are sending the hand crank attachment with it.

  5. So glad you got one! You can test it out for a while before I need to buy one. I still don't know where you find the time to do everything. Hope you have a great (warm) week!

  6. ohhhh, congratulations on the new addition! Grain mill is still on my wish list...I always wondered how the ones that attach to the good stand mixers perform. Have fun!

  7. Robbyn- These guys make a version that would have attached to my stand mixer but what I read worried me a bit. You have to run the mixer on it's highest speed and can then only run it for short periods. There is a risk of burning out the motor. Ack. Not something I wanted to worry about.


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