We're wanting to start grinding our own flours for everything from wheat grains and acorns, to bark and nettle roots. Those nettle roots are tough. I've pulverised nettle root in a stone mortar and pestle for 10 minutes on dry root and the fibres remain intact!
I've seen a lot of mills around, but I would love to know what some serious permies people use to ground up stuff into powders and why. And what to avoid. I've heard stone is the best, and that also that the stones stay cold to avoid cooking while grinding.
Nettle root is TOUGH. And acorns can turn to butter instead of flour. A real tough task to ask one machine, really you are probably looking at 2 or 3 machines.
The grinder everyone talks about in the US is the country living mill. It is good. It is kind of expensive. But there are a few that are much better if you spend more.
Look for a Diamont, they are made in Poland. It is my favorite 50 lbs of cast iron. It has cutting teeth that pre-crack grain as it enters the feedscrew so you can do fine flour in one pass. If it is cheaper there than here or you can find used, it is a great machine. Otherwise, it is more expensive than my last car.
Grainmaker is a new family company in Montana that makes great machines--cnc milled steel instead of cast. They make several of I would call homestead or community scale machines--bigger than normal home-duty but not full commercial scale. http://www.grainmaker.com/
I have or have used all of the above grinders. Only real complaint is the price. All of them make great flour, none of them work well for nut butters or fibrous material.
Fibrous stuffs are usually processed with a hammer mill at a large scale. Small scale it is probably best to initially process with something like a vitamix and then finish with a flour mill if needed.
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posted 6 years ago
R Scott, thanks for all those recommendations and information. They look like beautiful machines, and yes, pricey. Looks like they are real heirlooms though that last forever.
I've wondered for a while how are they making these things like almond flour as when I try it turns to butters. Perhaps soaking in water then drying well before might help convert some of the oils?
Nettle root in my blender didn't go so well.. kind of just pushed it to the side. My blender is powerful, but not a vitamix. I would really love to be able to powder up nettle root. Much more than making wheat flour. Second to that would come making almond and acorn flours, and then thirdly would be making flours from grains.
I did find some new Diamant mills on poland ebay. Will keep an eye out for 2nd hand ones.
So it sounds like you are a bit of a master bread maker R. I'm guessing your home often is filled with great smells!