Grain Mills

A variety of grain mills exist, with three main types. These are stone, burr, and impact. The first to be used, and the first to be discussed here, are stone grinders.

Naturally, being the first to be used they are also the oldest type. Originally, gigantic stones, often many feet in length were used. These stones were specially carved so that the deep grooves ran along them, getting progressively, more shallow towards the edges. The method of function was, more or less, the same, as it is today, in both commercial and personal grinders. This mechanism of action involves grain being passed through two, heavy rotating stones that would grind out the grain. The flour would be obtained as it fell out of the edges of the stones. This mechanism is miniaturized in today’s personal, home grinders – which, incidentally, aren’t usually made of natural stone but, rather, of a much more durable substance to ensure that the grinder lasts longer.

Stone grinders have their pros, and cons, when compared to other types. They are very durable, and should never need replacing. Additionally, they are the safest type to use if the grain being ground is impure i.e. is mixed with foreign objects – perhaps unnoticeable tiny stones. Stone grinders should filter these out nicely. They can also be adjusted to vary types of grain, or other raw material, making them very versatile. The downside to stone grinders is, largely, their weight, and the fact that oily grains can stick to it as it grinds. This inhibits the process greatly and, often, requires interruptions to remove the grain.

Next up, the burr grinders are very similar to their stone counterparts, except that they use steel, instead of stone. Additionally, they have little teeth, sticking out, that “cut up” the grain. These grinders are immune to the problem, detailed above, of grain sticking to the stone and inhibiting the process. Burr grinders don’t grind it quite as finely, however, but the difference is usually negligible.

Impact grinders are about as far from the other two types as you could get. This mechanism involves two wheels, laden with many sharp blades, one of which spins rapidly so that the blades never actually touch each other. Rather, they cut it very close and it is this rapid, skewering of blades that the grain is passed through. The grain is simply, to put it bluntly, beat up by the sharp blades and reduced to flour very rapidly. The flour generated by this new type of grinder is very fine, high quality, flour, regardless of how course the grain may have been. They are also quite small, and lightweight, making them perfect for home use. They are, however, easier to damage than their grinding counterparts but if only clean grain (free of foreign objects) is used, this should not be a problem.

When selecting a grinder, for personal use, you should review all the available types, and consider the pros, and cons, detailed here. Buying a grain grinder is a long term investment as they last, at the very least, many years, when used properly. This means that it’ll be around for a while so it’s worth the time to consider your current situation, and potential future. For example, if you know you aren’t the type to enjoy removing grain, stuck to a stone grinder during, and after, use, you would probably be better off with a burr grinder that eliminates this problem. Personal preference matters too and, if you’re picky and want your flour to be super-fine – as fine as humanly possible – then you would be better off with an impact grinder. In this way you can take your own, individual needs, and liking, into account to make sure that you get the best grinder for you.

This Grain Mills Review is Written/Updated on Jun 23rd, 2010 and filed under Kitchen Appliances. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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