Alison Freeth-Thomas wrote:
Does anyone have any advice on buying one for grinding your own grains for flour?
Improvised Grain Mill
The grain mill described can efficiently pound whole-grain wheat, corn, etc., into meal and flour-thereby greatly improving digestibility and avoiding the diarrhea and sore mouths that would result from eating large quantities of ungrounded grain.
(1) Cut 3 lengths of pipe, each 30 inches long; 3/4-inch-diameter steel pipe (such as ordinary water
pipe) is best.
(2) Cut the working ends of the pipe off squarely. Remove all roughness, leaving the full-wall thickness. Each working end should have the full diameter of the pipe.
(3) In preparation for binding the three pieces of pipe together into a firm bundle. encircle each piece of pipe with cushioning, slip-preventing tape.
(4) Tape or otherwise bind the 3 pipes into a secure bundle so that their working ends are as even as possible and are in the same plane-resting evenly on a flat surface.
(5) Cut the top smoothly out of a large can. A 4-inch-diameter, 7-inch-high fruit-juice can Is ideal. If you do not have a can, improvise something to keep grain together while pounding it.
TO MAKE MEAL AND FLOUR:
(1) Put clean, dry grain ONE INCH DEEP in the can.
(2) To prevent blistering your hands, wear gloves, or wrap cloth around the upper part of the bundle of pipes.
(3) Place the can (or open-ended cylinder) on a hard, smooth, solid surface, such as concrete
(4) To pound the grain, sit with the can held between your feet. Move the bundle of pipes straight up and down about 3 inches, with a rapid stroke.
(5) If the can is 4 inches in diameter, in 4 minutes you should be able to pound 1/2 lb. (one cup) of whole-kernel wheat into 1/5 lb. of fine meal and flour, and 3/10 lb. of coarse meal and fine-cracked wheat.
(6) To separate the pounded grain into fine meal, flour, coarse meal, and fine-cracked wheat, use a sieve made of window screen.
(7) To separate flour for feeding small children, place some pounded grain in an 18 X 18-inch piece of fine nylon net, gather the edges of the net together so as to hold the grain, and shake this bag-like container.
To make flour fine enough
for babies, pound fine meal and coarse flour still finer, and sieve it through a piece of cheesecloth or similar material.
Unlike wheat and corn, the kernels of barley, grain sorghums. and oats have rough, fibrous hulls that must be removed from the digestible parts to produce an acceptable food. Moistening the grain will toughen such hulls and make them easier to remove. If the grain is promptly pounded or ground into meal, the toughened hulls will break into larger pieces than will the hulls of un-dampened grain. A small amount of water. weighing about 2% of the weight of the grain, should be used to dampen the grain. For 3 pounds of grain (about 6 cups), sprinkle with about one ounce (28 grams, or about 2 tablespoons) of water, while stirring constantly to moisten all the kernels. After about 5 minutes of stirring, the grain will appear dry. The small amount of water will have dampened and toughened the hulls, but the edible parts inside will have remained dry. Larger pieces of hull are easier to remove after grinding than smaller pieces.
One way to remove ground-up hulls from meal is by flotation. Put some of the meal-hulls mixture about I inch deep in a pan or pot, cover the mixture with water, and stir. Skim off the floating hulls, then pour off the water and more hulls. Sunken pieces of hulls that settle on top of the heavier meal can be removed with one's fingers as the last of the water is poured off. To produce a barley meal good for very small children, the small pieces of hulls must again be separated by flotation.
To lessen their laxative effects, all grains should be ground as finely as possible, and most of the hulls should be removed. Grains also will be digested more easily if they are finely ground.