Welcome to the second installment of the Wheat/Wheat Grinding 101 series!

The first installment is here and talks about the types of wheat, where to buy wheat and what to do with it.

Today, I want to delve into a specific part of wheat grinding: The Wheat Grinder. There’s some good stuff here today including, but not limited to, the compiled list of wheat grinder reviews that many of you submitted!

But first, let me address a question I received several times after the first post a few weeks ago.

Why do I grind my own wheat instead of just buying wheat flour at the store?

1) I Stay In Control: I can control the type of wheat I use (many wheat flours at the store are derived from red wheat berries and I prefer a mix of red and white wheat or white wheat on its own), I can control the fineness and/or coarseness of the flour and with my wheat grinder, I can grind it much finer than the wheat flour from the store, I can control when I grind it which means by grinding and using immediately (or freezing), the wheat hasn’t lost any nutritional value (once the wheat berry is ground it is subject to oxidation which causes it to gradually lose nutritional value so freshly ground wheat is more nutritious than wheat flour that’s been on the shelves for a month).
2) It’s Cheaper: because I can buy wheat berries in bulk (see here for sources), I can grind my own wheat flour much more cost-effectively than buying already ground wheat flour.
3) It’s Not Just About Flour: Using wheat berries and a grinder, I can not only grind flour, but I can also make cracked wheat and grind a variety of other grains/seeds (I’ll talk about that in more detail below).
4) It Keeps Me Safe: Despite what natural disaster and emergency may occur (I’m talking even the loss of a job or financial difficulty), I know that I have 100 pounds of wheat ready to grind for a variety of foods that could help sustain our family. We’ve gone through “lean” months/years before and our wheat and other food storage has been a huge blessing and sometimes nothing short of a miracle.
5) It’s Healthy: Because I have a wheat grinder sitting on my kitchen counter and a bunch of wheat berries ready to be ground, I naturally use whole grains in most of my baking, making our bread and throwing it into cookies and other baked goods and breakfast foods willy nilly. Because I can. And eating a whole wheat chocolate chip cookie somehow feels a little healthier. Don’t burst my bubble, please.

Grinding flour and other grains is an investment, there is no doubt about it. Wheat grinders are not cheap; but for me (and I can only speak for myself here), the above factors more than make up for any of the downsides. However, wheat grinders and grinding wheat are not for everyone! This series isn’t supposed to put pressure on anyone – it’s simply a resource for those who already use/grind wheat or who are looking to start. If you know me well enough you know I’m the last person that wants to make you feel badly for something you aren’t doing. Trust me, I may grind my own wheat, but you definitely don’t want to see the state of my laundry room and/or toilets. We all have our strengths.

Okie doke. Ready to get started on wheat grinders?

First, I’m going to show you the wheat grinder I have. I’m in love with it. I’ve had it for almost 4 years now and I use it at least 4-5 times a week because I grind my wheat fresh for everything I make. I keep this baby on the counter tucked into a little corner and there it stays day in and day out.

My grinder (grain mill if you want to get technical) is a European model that has gained popularity in the United States just in the last few years. It is called a KoMo Fidibus or Wolfgang mill. I have the Classic model. In addition to wheat, it can also grind: oats, rice, triticale, kamut, spelt, buckwheat, barley, rye, millet, teff, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum and dent (field) corn. It will also grind spices, lentils and dry beans (pinto, red, garbanzo, kidney, etc.). Considering I don’t know what many of those foods even are, I use it for wheat 99% of the time, but you better believe I’m ultra-proud it can grind the other foods, too.

Let’s walk through how it operates and then I’ll talk about the pros and cons.
Wheat Grinders

Just like most wheat grinders on the market today, it has a large “hopper” or bowl-type apparatus on top of the grinder. Hello, hopper! Wheat Grinders

The hopper is loaded up with wheat berries. The hopper on my grain mill fits about 6 cups of wheat berries. This amount will vary depending on the type of wheat grinder you have.Wheat Grinders

Once filled (and you don’t have to fill it all the way to grind), I turn on the small power button on the side and it starts doing its thing.Wheat Grinders

I set my large Pyrex bowl underneath and the ground flour spills into the bowl.
Wheat Grinders

I find I can get about 12 cups flour for every 6 cups of wheat berries I grind. Keep in mind, though, that freshly ground flour has more air to it and so if you want a really accurate measurement, let it settle before you measure. I never bother with that; I just pack it slightlyΒ  more into the cups if it just came out of the grinder.
Wheat Grinders

Again, along with most other wheat grinders, my beloved mill, has a setting that lets me adjust the texture of the flour from fine to coarse. I simply twist the hopper bowl to get finer or coarser flour.
Wheat Grinders

When it’s all said and done, I’m left with beautiful, fluffy flour. Amazing!
Wheat Grinders

The thing with wheat grinders is that each of them differ slightly – in price, capacity, noise, fineness of flour, etc. So the best advice I can give if you are in the market for a wheat grinder is to do your research. I had a Nutrimill for 5 or so years before buying the KoMo mill. The Nutrimill is great and a very heavy-duty mill but the one I had eventually started having some major issues (including but not limited to spewing flour in a 5-foot radius).

As for the KoMo, the main pros are:

-I can keep it on my counter at all times because it takes up very little space which means I can grind wheat on demand (no more pulling out the wheat grinder from storage to grind flour).
-It’s fast and can grind flour as finely as any other mill I’ve used. It also can make fantastic cracked wheat because the coarse settings are easy to adjust.
-It can grind far more than just wheat (see the list at the top of the post).
-It doesn’t heat up the flour like other wheat grinders can which helps retain the most nutrition.
-It doesn’t spew flour anywhere. Occasionally I’ll wipe up a bit of flour dust after a week or so of using (you’ll notice from the pictures above that my baby looks a bit dusty but that’s because it’s been a while since I’ve wiped her down) but it is very clean when grinding.
-Speaking of cleaning, it doesn’t need it. No parts and rings and equipment to take apart and clean which means a very low risk of those pesky weevils taking over. Run a handful of rice through it every month and you are good to go.

The cons are:

-It’s pricey; one of the most expensive mills on the market. I saved my pennies for a year or so before buying but it was worth every single one.
-It’s noisy. Akin to the volume of my vacuum.
-The capacity of the hopper is smaller than other heavy-duty mills. This isn’t a problem for me because I grind wheat on demand but if you like to grind, say, 20 pounds of wheat at a time, you would need to fill the hopper more frequently than mills with a larger capacity.

Because you shouldn’t just take my opinion on what kind of wheat grinder to purchase/use, I asked for input on what kinds of wheat grinders all of you use and what you love/don’t love about them. Over 50 of you responded (bless you, everyone!). The results have been compiled in an easy-access document so you can read what others have to say about the mill they use. I read it like a novel. It’s good stuff, people. Click on the image to access the full document.
Wheat Grinders-1

Here’s an at-a-glance view of how many of you own what type of grain mill:
Wheat Grinders by Popularity

And just for fun (seriously, I need to get more hobbies), I did a cost comparison on all of the wheat grinders listed in the above graph. These are using average prices since actual price can vary based on sales and where you buy.
Wheat Grinder Cost Comparison

The best way to figure out where to buy a wheat grinder is to check your local retailers (unless you are me and live in the sticks; wheat grinders are not necessarily widely available in myΒ  neck of the woods) and also look online. I’ve listed a few places that have sold wheat grinders to my friends/family (I bought mine from a company that no longer sells them):

Pleasant Hill Grain
Emergency Preparedness

Now, a word about manual wheat grinders. If you are into preparedness and food storage, it might be worth looking into a manual or electricity-free wheat grinder. These beautiful heavy-duty wheat grinders won’t do a lick of good if the electricity is out. However, you could argue that you won’t be making bread if the electricity is out, either, although, as discussed in this post, there are many other ways you could use wheat berries to provide nutrition for you and/or your family during an emergency (i.e. if you have a propane stove or other heat source you could make cracked wheat, pancakes, etc.). Anyway, just a little bit of food for thought. I do not have an electricity-free wheat grinder, so I can’t recommend a brand, but googling “electricity free wheat grinder” or “hand wheat grinder” will pull up some good resources.

Ok, that’s it! Did you make it through? Let me know if you have any questions. Ah, I just love talking about wheat!

103 Responses to Wheat Grinding 101: All About Wheat Grinders {Plus over 60 Reviews of Popular Grinders}

  1. Kathy says:

    A word about manual grinders!
    I have a Victorio grinder and I love it!
    Because I have read that flour actually loses about 90% of its nutritional properties within 72 hrs of being ground, we only grind what we need when we need it.
    If it’s just a little for some gravy, I’ll grind it myself, otherwise I have an 11 yr old son that needs to build his upper body strength (thank God for kids!).
    I chose a hand grinder for a few reasons: the 1st, as I’ve stated, I knew that we wouldn’t be grinding massive amounts of wheat, so I felt we didn’t need an electric one. 2nd: was the cost!!! the manual grinder was less than $100…I didn’t want to spend any more than that! 3rd: though part of my desire for a wheat grinder was preparedness, I feel that we as Americans have gotten very lazy and dependent upon electrical and electronic devices. I know that if the electricity goes out (for whatever reason), I can still grind our wheat into flour and cook whatever in our propane stove/oven…or if we run out of propane, on top of our wood stove in the livingroom…or the wood cook stove/oven we have out in the shed! πŸ˜‰

  2. ricardo says:

    At the end of your post you said: “there are many other ways you could use wheat berries to provide nutrition for you and/or your family during an emergency (i.e. if you have a propane stove or other heat source you could make cracked wheat, pancakes, etc.)”. I would really like to know how to make cracked wheat and pancakes with wheat and a heat source. I know cheap and quality resources for my wheat already. Please share with me.
    Thank you,

  3. Brianna says:

    My grandma has a Magic Mill she bought in Boise back in the 60’s. She used to use it regularly, but hasn’t used it in the last 10 years. Does anyone have any know-how on cleaning that type? It still runs, but it looks like bugs have been in it and the stones have a rusty-tinge on the edge. Just wondering if it is salvageable- if anyone has any experience with that type.

  4. Roberta says:

    I wanted a mill that was built to last. If I was going to make a purchase, I wanted to make sure it would last me more than a year or two. I was having a hard time because some of the companies would offer a warranty on the mill but not the burrs. Then I came across the GrainMaker on utube. All I can say is thank you God! I had to save up a bit for it but was it ever worth it. I called to order and was greeted by the owner of the company! I had a million questions and she answered every one. They not only make grainmills..they are a tool and machine shop in Montana. The mills are built one by one with 100% attention to detail. They are machined alloy steel, not cast. They have a lifetime warranty including the burrs! I was so impressed. I received my mill, opened the box and was given a free 5# bag of wheat! This beautiful machine is sitting in my kitchen with the custom clamp and I am now making my own bread, nut butters, cornmeal and am very satisfied. My sister has one of the other mills and her burrs wore out the first year and she had to pay over $100 more to replace them. Thank you GrainMaker. Love it!

  5. Wade Brezina says:

    Just a quick note for those with the Nutramill that are having trouble with the dust. I figured out that if I take the belt from my bathrobe and tie it around the basket to hold it tight into the mill, I get no dust. Hands free otherwise meant dust all over the place;-) Got tired of standing there holding it the whole time and started tying it off and am now happy with it. It is a slow mill but I can now do other things while it is grinding and don’t get dust all over the kitchen. Thanks for the great site.

  6. Claire P says:

    Hi Mel! I was hoping you could give me a few quick pointers about the Komo mill – we received some wheat berries for free and I’ve been grinding them with a coffee grinder… a ridiculously inefficient way to go. I recently found a Komo mill on craigslist for $300, they said they’ve only used it 6x and it looks very clean in the pictures. I’m going to try and check it out this week – what are some things I should look for to make sure its working right? I’ve never used one before. I’m hoping they’ll let me try to grind some berries with it just to make sure everything is ok. Any help would be appreciated! Thank you so much for your time!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Claire – hope it works out with the Komo mill! I’d definitely make sure you can grind some wheat berries to see how it sounds. You don’t want to hear any clacking or clanking of the stones hitting each other while it grinds – it will be loud but you should just hear a grinding noise and there shouldn’t be any smoke coming from the hopper (where you put in the wheat berries) while it grinds. Good luck!

      • Claire P says:

        Thank you for the help! The mill is fantastic πŸ™‚ but I’ve been having trouble with my bread – no matter how long I knead it (+10min) it always seems sticky, and tears very easily, never stretches. I’ve read about lecithin and gluten and vitamin C: are these things I should be adding? Or do I need to add ingredients in a different order? I’m sure this is a rookie mistake but everything I make is really crumbly, not stretchy/chewy and, while the flavor is great, I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong with the texture πŸ™ thanks again for your input!

        • Mel says:

          From what I’ve read it’s really hard to over knead 100% whole wheat bread so it definitely wouldn’t hurt to knead as long as you can. I add Vitamin C (or lemon juice) to my whole wheat bread recipes. Here’s a link to my favorite whole wheat bread recipe. You could experiment using lecithin although I never have.

  7. beenaria.org says:

    Hi there, just wanted to say, I liked thi article. It was helpful.

    Keep on posting!

  8. I have been baking bread for nearly 70 years (really!). In the market for my 3rd wheatmill and my daughter (who follows you all the time) sent me the post on wheat mills. Question? you write you like the Fidibus classic. Looking on the Pleasant Hill web page there are two different pictures: one for Fidibus and one for “classic”. Which do you prefer??

    • Mel says:

      Good question, Kathleen. I’ve had my wolfgang mill for many years and I think they’ve since changed the models. I think the one I have is the equivalent of the classic model. My main recommendation would be to get the one with the largest hopper (the place you add the wheat berries) so you don’t have to add them as frequently while grinding. My understanding is that most of the models have similar motors.

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  14. John says:

    Hi Mel
    Great post
    Will read it overs and over and gleen some good ideas.
    A question you may be able to help with.
    I have an old burr coffee grinder can you grind flour in it?

    • Mel says:

      Hi John, unfortunately I’m not sure since I haven’t tried it. You might try googling or looking online to see if others have had good success.

  15. sandy says:

    Thanks a ton Mel for so much research. Yday I saw Wolfgang mill at my freind’s house and decided to do some research before buying and came across your blog. So useful service to mankind. Thank you much. I use my wheat flour for making flat breads (roti) My family likes to eat directly hot from the pan. Growing in India, I saw my grandmother and mother grinding every grain at home with manual grinder. Two round stones, one on the top and other in the bottom. I will send picture if possible.

  16. angie mitolo says:

    Having read all the reponses, I still have one question that I believe hasn’t been answered. I recently purchased the KoMo Classic, thanks to an awesome sale:))) Which setting do you use to grind your flour for bread? I am wondering if maybe I am setting my knob, to fine for bread flour. Is the finest setting for soft white, used forcake flours etc?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Angie – I really don’t change the settings on my KoMo much unless I’m going all the way to coarse to crack wheat. Otherwise, I keep it on the finest setting (right before the stones start clacking together) because I like the flour as finely ground as possible. Does that make sense?

      • angie mitolo says:

        Yes, this makes sense. My next step is to make my loaves bigger (32 oz). I have been making Darcy’s recipe for the last year, subbing store bought white flour. Beautiful rise, etc.
        Just can’t get the loaves to rise with my freshly milled flour.

  17. Allen Hunt says:

    I would like to suggest to your readers to look at the Grainmaker mills! Fabulous mills made here in the USA.

  18. Becca says:

    Hi Mel,
    I’m sorry if you’ve answered this. I looked through your posts and comments, but didn’t see it. I have to store my ground wheat flour because I don’t have a mill yet… (someday!) Thanks to my sister, I can at least grind my own though. Anyway, once it’s ground, you said you can freeze it. I’m wondering how long it will stay good in the freezer? Thanks!

  19. Liz says:

    My question is about adding malt (barley malt flour) to fresh ground wheat. I think I remember that some of your recipes do call for adding vital wheat gluten. At any rate, I was travelling recently and saw Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread flour – a new product from BRM. I picked up 2 bags and have had great results making no-knead artisanal breads with it.

    Now, I did not have any complaint about the bread I was making with a local flour from WheatMontana farms, but the Bob’s was a step above in crispness of crust and perfect crumb. The Bob’s lists “malted barley flour” as the 2nd ingredient after wheat. Some reading turned up the info that the malt has enzymes that help the rise. Further down the rabbit hole at King Arthur’s site I found diastatic malt, non-diastatic malt, barley malt syrup and malt powder (like for shakes). Comments and even some KA info suggested that the diastatic, syrup and malt powder all contributed to the enzymatic action with the non-diastatic being more in the flavor and crust color department.

    Further…there were comments/info that commercial store flours HAD malt added but organic and fresh milled did not.

    I bought a little of everything (malt-wise) and will be experimenting with the various malts with my WheatMontana flour as well as I’m going to buy some WMontana berries and grind my own (VitaMix for now).

    If you’ve read this far … my actual question is…have you used any of the malt in anything you make with your fresh ground flour?

    RE those with VitaMix flour grinding questions…Yes, you can but the thing is, the VitaMix gets the flour hot because of the way it works. When I do grind my own, I do just what I need and use it immediately. I don’t think it is the best method vs a “real” wheat grinder, but if you have a VitaMix, give it a try. There are a lot of videos and tutorials for using it as a dry grinder. I do have the grain container but not sure it is really necessary. The blades are slightly different but I’ve used both and don’t notice any difference.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Liz, sounds like you’ve done a lot of research! I haven’t added any malt products to my home ground flour. I occasionally use malt barley syrup when making bagels (in the water bath) but that’s the extent of my knowledge about it. Good luck experimenting!

      • Liz says:

        Ok – thanks for the reply, Mel! The info I read was not definitive…for every 3 bakers there were 6 opinions or something like that, so will just have to see for myself.

  20. Happy MaMa says:

    What kind of wheat that is already ground that you buy in the stores?

    Can you grind wheat in the vitamixer container that is usually comes with?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Mel says:

      Usually store-bought wheat flour is hard red wheat but the package should say on the back. I’ve never used a vitamix for grinding wheat; you might look around online for tips.

  21. Ilean Sullivan says:

    Do you have any information on the Retsel wheat grinders? I am looking at replacing my 40 yr old generic made stone grinder that always gave me a fine flour–perfect for bread making. The stones have gotten out of alignment and bind up when grinding, hence I think I will have to just junk it. Anyway, in my looking just came across that brand and am looking for further information.Thanks.

  22. Jill says:

    Ah yes, homemade Coco Wheats makes a frequent appearance at our house on weekends as something special!
    Thanks again for the info. My main initial question was about the fineness of flour the Komo produces (because I know myself well enough to not kid myself into thinking that I’d take the time to sift what the mill produces), but it seems from your replies above that it produces a sufficiently fine flour for your uses without sifting, and the pictures of your bread look fantastic, so I think I probably shouldn’t be worrying about flour fineness with it!
    As a sidenote, FWIW, I’ve had some luck in finding soft white at a comparable price to hard white by going through Azure Standard. It’s a little random though – some months their price will be great, other months it will be awful. I try not to pay much more than $25 to $30 for 50 lbs of hard or soft wheat (sometimes it’s a little more, sometimes a little less), if that helps in terms of what I consider to be a good price.

  23. Jill says:

    I’m not sure if you’ll see this since this post is over a year old, but at least I see that I’m not the only one leaving comments on it so long after you wrote it! I have a question about the flour produced by the Komo vs the flour produced by a Nutrimill. Specifically, have you noticed any difference in how fine of a flour the 2 different types of mills can produce? (That is, if you can remember what the flour from your Nutrimill was like!)
    I’ve had a Nutrimill for about 6 yrs, and it is a fine machine but mine has had issues with spewing flour in all directions for some time now and I really don’t like the clean-up (as minimal as it actually is). The customer service folks have been great, but I’m at the point where they say they can’t do anything until I ship it to them (at my expense), and before I sink that much money into shipping I wanted to see what else was on the market. I like a fine flour for some of my baking, and I’ve seen others commenting that the Komo type mill doesn’t produce flour as fine as an impact mill. Have you noticed that?
    Thanks so much for any insight you can provide!
    (Also, we love your blog – your baked chicken taquitos are such a favorite in our house that I have to triple the recipe each time I make them!)

    • Mel says:

      The reason I purchased (and continue to love) the KoMo mill is because I can leave it out on my counter 24/7. I prefer to grind my wheat fresh (although occasionally I’ll store some in the freezer) and having it on the counter makes that super easy, even in the mornings for breakfast, etc. The flour dust isn’t as much of a problem as it was for me and my Nutrimill. I like that it isn’t as industrial as it is functional and beautiful – I don’t diversify and grind much more than wheat these days but I love it for that. I never sift out the germ but you could definitely do so if you want a softer texture. Hard vs. soft wheat is just a personal preference and mostly, I’m able to buy hard white wheat berries much more inexpensively than the soft white. Good luck!

      • Jill says:

        Thanks so much for the prompt reply to my comment! I definitely see the appeal to the Komo, both in terms of its looks as well as in terms of the ability to truly “grind as needed” with it. I initially tried to do that with my Nutrimill, but I quickly realized that I was spending as long cleaning the machine after grinding as I was actually grinding!
        Sorry to keep pestering you, but I have two more quick questions –
        1. Noise level of the Komo. Do you feel ok using it with children in the kitchen, or do you make sure everyone is out of the room before turning it on? (With my Nutrimill I try to keep everyone out, but I’m not always successful. I doubt the noise is going to do any serious harm to them, but it does upset them from time to time.)
        2. I’ve been making Cream of Wheat using the Nutrimill since I got it, but I never thought about toasting the wheat first. Do you have any troubles grinding the wheat after it is toasted? Does the mill handle it ok? Are there any special precautions to take apart from making sure the grain is cool?
        Thanks again for your help!

        • Mel says:

          No worries, Jill – the reply to your comment actually was meant for BW, a few comments above you, so I’m sorry if all your questions didn’t get answered. Here are my thoughts about your recent questions:
          1) The KoMo is definitely loud. I can’t remember if it as loud as the Nutrimill or not since I never used them both around the same time to compare. Having said that, loud or not, I run it all the time with my family around. It’s usually running several mornings a week while we gather for breakfast or mid-morning when I make bread. My little 2 1/2 year old covers her ears and says “loud, loud” and it is even a relief to me when I shut it off but I don’t think it’s any louder than my vacuum.
          2) The KoMo does great grinding toasted wheat – the only thing that you already mentioned is that I always make sure it is completely cool. If you want an over the top cream of wheat, try adding a little unsweetened cocoa powder to the ground wheat for a chocolate version. Love!

  24. Ken carriker says:

    I just started grinding my own flour and trying to make biscuits with it but they just don’t seem to rise into a nice fluffy biscuit. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Mel says:

      Whole wheat biscuits probably won’t turn out as light and fluffy as using white flour unless you go to the extra work to sift out the germ from the freshly ground wheat (and just use the sifted, fine flour).

  25. BW says:

    Hi Mel, I know this post is old but I’m *finally* in the market for a grain mill. I love that KoMo one because of the pros you mentioned but…$500 ain’t happening at this stage. I’m even afraid to drop the $300 it’ll cost to buy the Nutrimill! (I want the l-equip attachment because it catches 00 flour..ooo).

    Anyway, besides the pros you listed above, what makes KoMo sit above the Nutrimill for you? Fineness? Able to grind more grains? Better overall craftsmanship?

    Also, do you ever sift the germ out of the flour to make it more AP-like? I know baking is much different with WW than AP and while I want the nutritional benefits of WW in things like bread, I don’t really care about it in pie crusts or cookies (though I do add a dash of wheat germ in my cookies when I remember).

    And one more thing…I’m probably going use someone’s mill to see the difference in texture before I drop the $$ but what makes you like hard vs soft white wheat?


    • Mel says:

      The reason I purchased (and continue to love) the KoMo mill is because I can leave it out on my counter 24/7. I prefer to grind my wheat fresh (although occasionally I’ll store some in the freezer) and having it on the counter makes that super easy, even in the mornings for breakfast, etc. The flour dust isn’t as much of a problem as it was for me and my Nutrimill. I like that it isn’t as industrial as it is functional and beautiful – I don’t diversify and grind much more than wheat these days but I love it for that. I never sift out the germ but you could definitely do so if you want a softer texture. Hard vs. soft wheat is just a personal preference and mostly, I’m able to buy hard white wheat berries much more inexpensively than the soft white. Good luck!

  26. Freeman says:

    This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am actually pleassant to read all
    at alone place.

  27. Dorothy says:

    I am new to milling, and just purchased my Komo grinder. The problem I am having is that after grinding about three cups, one cup at a time, the machine will not grind. It turns on but doesn’t grind just makes a humming sound. The last time I used it, I took everything out of it and then tried it again and it started. I am not sure if it started because it rested. Just wondering if you have had the same problem.



    • Mel says:

      Hi Dorothy – what model of grain mill do you have? I’m not familiar with the smaller models but my classic (21) model can grind about 6 cups of wheat berries at a time and often I have it running for upwards of 10-15 minutes. I don’t think yours would be stopping because it’s too much grinding but it could be that the setting you have it on is too fine. If you hear the stones clacking together while grinding, you probably need to adjust it just slightly over until it stops. I think mine has done what you’ve described once or twice when I first turn it on (when it hasn’t been running before) and a long time ago I called the company I purchased it from and they said I just needed to move the hopper (the bowl the wheat berries go into) all the way over to the coarse side while the mill is on and it will start grinding at which point I moved it quickly back to the fine setting. Remember not to move the hopper if it is full of berries if the mill is turned off. That can cause some pretty significant issues – only move it when the mill is running (unless it is empty).

  28. Chris says:

    Hi Mel. Thanks for posting this article. I am considering a KoMo grain mill based on your review and was wondering if the flour that comes out is very warm when milling small quantities like 1 or 2 cups? I was also wondering if the bran can be easily separated from the flour by grinding the wheat berries coarsely and then sifting it out.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Chris – the flour that comes out of the mill is warm but not nearly as warm as the Nutrimill that I used to have. I would say “slightly warm” is how I would describe it. If I’ve been running the mill for 15-20 minutes the flour gets a bit warmer but for small quantities, it’s definitely not extremely warm. I haven’t sifted out the wheat bran like that but the settings on the mill range from really fine to extra coarse and so I’m guessing if you got it situated at just the right setting, you’d be able to do that. Let me know if you have any questions!

  29. Al says:

    That’s the answer I was looking for Mel, thanks.

  30. Al says:

    I know that purchasing white flour at the store is nutritionally void because of processing, over processing to be exact. But if I grind my own wheat berries won’t I end up with the same result as store bought?

    • Mel says:

      Al – Not necessarily, especially if the freshly ground wheat flour is either used right away or frozen to preserve freshness.

      • Al says:

        Thanks for your reply. I’m just trying to come to grips with why I might want to grind my own flour. I read that commercially processed flour is devoid of any and all nutrients. Therefore they have to be added back in. I read also that white processed flour is not good for you, but I don’t know why. That was the gist of my question; if I grind my own wheat berries, isn’t it the same thing as buying brand x all purpose flour at a store.

        • Mel says:

          Al – Oh, ok, I think I understand what you are asking. It is true that once wheat berries are broken open/ground they begin to lose their nutritional value. I believe it has something to do with the oxidation that happens. My understanding is that some people don’t like to use all-purpose (processed white flour) because it has much less nutrition than whole wheat flour since the wheat bran and other components have been stripped from it leaving it with hardly any fiber. The whole wheat flour on the store shelves, because it has been ground and kept at room temperature for a while, is less nutritious than whole wheat flour you grind yourself if you are able to grind it and use it right away (or like I said earlier, store it in the freezer). Does that help?

  31. Kim Randall says:

    I’m fairly new to grinding my own wheat, but am sure you cold never get a proper grind using a food processor. If you have a Vitamix blender, you can grind with the proper container. Otherwise bite the bullet and buy a dedicated mill, or check around and find someone local who will grind some wheat for you to experiment with a few times. If your experience is anything like ours, you will not regret getting a dedicated mill for how much better bread tastes with fresh ground. Although I think you had better be getting hard white and not soft white for bread. I have not used it, but was counseled that soft wheat was for making very fine pastry flour, not bread flour.

    • Mary Beth says:

      Thank you Kim and Mel for the information. I didn’t really think I could but hubs thought it would work. This way, I can show him the posts. I may seen if someone around here has one that I can either borrow or have them grind some for me, before we invest in a grinder.
      Thank you so much ladies

  32. Mary Beth says:

    My husband has decided that since we are going to be eating healthier, that he would be a dear and bring me home a bushel of soft white wheat berries so that I can grind my own flour and start making our own wheat bread. The trouble is I do not have a wheat grinder. Hubs thinks I can grind it in a food processor. I really hate to put the money out for a grinder if this is something that I won’t be doing regularly or hubs gets tired of it and we go back to buying bread. My question is, is there any way of grinding wheat without a wheat grinder to see if we are going to like doing this? Thank you!

    • Mel says:

      Mary Beth – You would have to look around for info online since I haven’t tried it but I agree with Kim above that I would be surprised if a food processor could grind it effectively. Good luck!

  33. Lisa says:

    Hey, just reviewing this post again after thinking about making bread today. πŸ™‚ I saw the part on the bottom about not being able to make bread when the power is out and thought I would mention that we have a sun oven and love it! I use it when it gets really hot so we don’t have to heat up the house but we could definitely use it in an emergency (hopefully on a sunny day….lol). Enjoy bread making everyone!

  34. Carla Riggs says:

    Hello, Kim ~
    I feel for you, having created many bricks of in my time!
    Below is a few suggestions ~
    Don’t grind your wheat on the finest grind. I use an old Magic Mill, thus my settings are not the same as your Nutrimill. I’m assuming that the mill will have a suggestion for you, though. I use Red Star Active yeast, mixing it with tepid water, and a of Tablespoon of sugar per Tablespoon of yeast. Generally it sits, foaming and growing while I grind my wheat and place it into my Bosche mixer. (I use about one Tablespoon of yeast to three/four cups of flour.) After it has risen a few inches in the container, I add the bubbling yeast mixture to a few cups of flour and continue the recipe.
    I don’t know what mixer you use, but to properly knead whole wheat dough, it must be powerful. When the kneading is done, it should feel springy, like a baby’s bottom πŸ™‚ while still a bit sticky when you poke the dough.
    Form your dough into a nice round ball, place it in a greased pan, and let it rise, covered, in a warm place. But not too warm! 75-100 degrees maximum. I generally preheat the oven to its lowest setting, then turn it off while making the dough. I will put the dough there and let it rise until about doubled.
    Gently cut the dough into how many loaves your making. Don’t punch the dough, though you may want to pinch any obvious balloons of air in the dough.
    Shape the loaf with your hands. Don’t roll it out, and roll it into a cylinder. Just shape a nicely even loaf.
    Place in your greased bread pans, and again allow the bread to rise until at least to the top of its pan. Be sure to cover the pan with saran wrap, or whatever you use to keep the dough from drying out.
    Preheat your oven, and place the pans into the oven. Bake at 350 from 30-40 minutes, according to the loaf size. The bread should register 190 – 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
    Good luck! Just be sure proof your yeast ~ you want a lively yeast! Treat the dough gently, and let it take its sweet time rising, in a warmish environment.

  35. Kim Randall says:

    Absolutely love your site and your style of writing. I just bought our first mill (Nutrimill) because of some health concerns for my wife. I wanted to try baking with more nutritious ingredients. My problem has been with the results. I have several bread recipes that made delicious tasting, well risen breads using store bought flour, but they do not translate into fresh ground flour. All my results have been relative bricks. They rise very little, and still have a slightly sandy grittiness to them in spite of grinding on the finest setting. I even tried adding vital wheat gluten that I had read would help with the rise. The bread tastes really good, but without the rise, it is just too dense for my taste, and makes lousy sandwich bread because the loaves are so short. What am I to do? I have read countless web blogs and stories of the wonderful bread others are making with their fresh ground flour (oh, I use hard white wheat from Emergency Essentials), but my results have thus far been a comparative bust.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kim – have you seen this tutorial on yeast?

      It may help with a few of your questions. I’ve noticed over the years that generally bread that isn’t rising well is either overfloured or you may need more dough in the pans to help it hold it’s shape and not deflate. The post with the tutorial on yeast shows how I flour my dough – it’s slightly sticky but still soft. I grind my flour as finely as possible and even when using it in bread but I don’t know that the texture of the flour will impact the outcome of bread as much as how much flour is added to the dough and other factors. Let me know if you have other questions!

  36. Melissa says:

    Very thankful I came across your blog. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge on the different grinders. I am looking to purchase the KoMO but not sure which model to get. Do you have any information on the differences of each model?W Which one would you suggest?

  37. Nikki says:

    Thank you for all the great information! I am looking into wheat grinding and found your tutorials very helpful. I am pretty sure that I can buy the berries and vital wheat gluten from my local walmart. Thanks again and I will be printing your tutorials for my personal cookbook

  38. Cynthia says:

    Great article! Thanks for doing all this research. After several attempts, I finally figured out how to make good wheat bread. I’m a little obsessed with it and make it every day! I inherited my mother’s magic mill and love it; however, I’ve been dusting my house like crazy. So funny that I never thought to use it outside or in the garage. It’s a bitter winter here, but I’ll trade five minutes of that for the monotony or dusting everything over and over again. Thanks for the tips πŸ™‚

  39. Carla Riggs says:

    Hello, Mel ~
    This is a late post, so I hope you see it!
    I’ve had my Magic Mill for probably about 35 years now, and have used it primarily for grinding wheat. With nine children, I baked a LOT of bread through the years! I also owned the Bosch Mixers. My first one finally died after 25 years, and I purchased another one. Because we’re down to a few people, I purchased the Bosch Compact just recently, and gave my larger Bosch to a daughter in law.
    I’ve tried to discover why the Magic Mill is no longer produced. I realize it’s a big thing, but it lasts forever, and is able to grind 15 cups of wheat easily. The flour is lightly warm, but not hot. (Which grinder does create hot flour??)
    The hopper is very large, and everything is self contained. I occasionally vacuum the mill, which is so easy to do. I keep mine in a cupboard w/an electrical outlet; it’s at waist length, and perfectly situated for frequent use.
    The best fact about the Magic Mill is its ability to be switched for manual grinding. There is a handle on the back of the Mill which can be attached to a stationary bicycle. This seems so much easier than the hand grinders for sale now.
    Do you know why the Magic Mill seemed to fall out of favor?
    Thanks for this series!

  40. patty fromherz says:

    do you know if the komo can handle being in a kitchen with lots f moisture?

    • Mel says:

      Patty – I’m not sure about that or how much moisture you are talking about. It might be worth calling the company who sells them to see for sure.

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  42. barbara says:

    Your information was very helpful to me. I am thinking of beginning to make wheat products and grinding my own wheat. I was surprised you did not mention this as one of your reasons why, as it is mine. Whenever I eat whole wheat commercially produced it tastes horrible and I heard or read once, that it becomes rancid. So, I concluded on my own, that that is probably why it tastes so nondelicious. Once I had fresh bread made with freshly ground berries. It was delicious and as delicious as any white bread I have ever had. Also, I am thinking of purchasing the Vitamix w 32-ounce Dry Grains container which advertises to grind grains among many other things I would like to do. Do you have any info or opinion on this product for grinding flour.

  43. Great comparison on grinders! If you’re talking manual grinders, I have the Victorio deluxe model that comes has an optional motor so you have the best of both worlds! I love it and actually use it more than my Nutrimill because its so much easier to clean up!

  44. Ashley Clark says:

    Hey Mel. Love your blog. Thank you for being awesome! I have and love the Komo Fidibus wheat grinder. I noticed yours has a metal piece in the hopper. Mine did not come with one. Did yours? I got mine from Pleasant Hill Grain. If it is supposed to come with one, I’ll be sure to give them a call and get mine. It seems important.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ashely – hmmm, that’s strange your grain mill doesn’t have that piece. Which model do you have? Maybe it depends on the model? It seems to help filter the wheat through the hopper but I can’t take mine in and out which makes me think it must just come installed on certain models.

  45. Jestine says:

    Hey Mel! Since I know you care about your wheat for your family (where it comes from, health, etc) I thought you might appreciate this. I had started to question the sudden rise in conditions like “gluten intolerance”, and why it has sky-rocketed so much in recent years. My mom, who recently had to give up wheat, actually told me that the wheat of today is nothing like the wheat of our grandparents (it now has about 4x the chromosomes, completely genetically modified, no wonder our bodies don’t recognize it). And for me, that just doesn’t sound like a good idea…
    Thought you might appreciate this article:

  46. Ashley Nicole. says:

    I so badly want to buy my own wheat and a grain mill, but my hesitance is that it’s -not- cheaper for me. The cost of the grain mill aside, I can’t find wheat berries that -don’t- cost an arm and a leg. :/

  47. Michele says:

    Thanks Mel!!! Love the post, so helpful!!

  48. Lauren says:

    I am not able to pull up the reviews attachment by clicking on the image, am I doing something wrong or can I get to it another way? Also, I was wondering if you’ve had any other readers having problems with reading your posts since your new web design went up. I can read the main page fine, but whenever I open a post to read it is SUPER slow to scroll down. My computer is kinda slow anyway, but I don’t have the problem on other blogs so I wondered if anyone else was having problems with it. I love your blog and am so disappointed to be having trouble reading it! Thanks!

  49. Jen says:

    So, rumor is you can use the Kitchenaid attachment without power with a little modification. I have it (and LOVE it), so I keep meaning to look into that, for emergencies. I need to go Google!

    • Paula says:

      Did you find info on this?

      • Jen says:

        I haven’t yet. I’ve seen that there’s an option out there to convert your whole Kitchenaid to hand-crank (for $200), and I wonder if that’s what I originally saw and didn’t realize it. It seems like there ought to be some way to power it without having to convert your mixer, though. If I find it again, I’ll come back and post!

  50. bluebaker says:

    Your wheat articles are great! I’ve learned alot. Unfortunately I’m not in a position right now to invest in it, someday I’d like to try it. Have you ever read “The Long Winter” in
    the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House series? The family’s supply of wheat is litteraly what kept them alive until Spring when the trains could get through again. Times are not that drastic now, of course, but I can see why you like the safety of having your own stocked pantry, as well as the control of what goes in to your family’s food.

  51. Krista says:

    I too use the Vitamix to grind my wheat and its great! I would love a KoMo, but for now the vitamix does an excellent job!

  52. Hannah says:

    Ohhhh my, that mill is gorgggggggeous. I am drooling. For anyone interested, YouTube is full of videos on these grinders. They make (expensive) flakers as well.

  53. Jamie says:

    Just curious, have you ever tried using/making natural yeast? The kind made from fermenting flour and water? I’ve had a little success with it, but not much!

  54. Tahnycooks says:

    Thanks for such great info! Love it!

  55. Thanks for this interesting and informative post, Mel! I’ll be honest I never considered grinding my own wheat before but now that I know more, I’ll definitely be looking into it.

  56. Jocelyn says:

    Thank you for answering my question about wheat berries so thoroughly. I am eager to get started on this project, and to change the taste buds of my reluctant family!

  57. Joy says:

    What a great post. Thanks! I would LOVE it if you added pictures of each grinder. I guess I could look it up myself…

  58. Army of 7 says:

    I have the dry container for my Vitamix as well! Worth those {lots and lots of} extra pennies. Thanks for the tips πŸ™‚

  59. Tiffany says:

    I love my vitamix dry container as well. I grind wheat several times a week with it.

  60. EmilyF says:

    Great post! I bought a Wondermill a couple of years ago and I LOVE it. I never got a chance to reply for your research gathering … but there it is! I really wanted the one you have, but I don’t use it enough to justify the expense. πŸ™‚ It’s very pretty (yours)

  61. Nicole says:

    Thanks, awesome post! I’m still deciding what mill to get, so timing of this post was perfect, thanks!

  62. Robyn says:

    I have a Vitamix and bought the $100 attachment wheat grinder for it. Oh man, it is amazing. Several cups of flour in 1 minute. And you can control how fine you want it depending on how long you let it grind.

  63. Susan says:

    Hi Mel ~ I enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing. Is the Ko Mo an impact grinder? I would be interested in seeing what cracked wheat looks like from this grinder. I’d like to make corn meal and polenta but the coarsest setting on my grinder still doesn’t give me enough texture.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Susan, the KoMo is not an impact grinder. It is a stone grinder and actually, it’s about as old-fashioned and authentic as you can get (except for the electric motor!) – it’s basically two round stones that sit on top of each other and grind the grains. One of the main advantages of the KoMo is how differently it attacks the coarse setting because it really, truly can get the perfect cracked wheat. I’ll take a picture of it next time I crack wheat in it.

  64. Tracie Atkinson says:

    Have you ever been to Kitchen Kneads in Logan? You should check it out, I think you’d really like it!

  65. Jocelyn says:

    This is a fantastic post! I love the idea of grinding my own flour. However, my family does not like whole wheat flour very much. Are there any varieties of wheat berries that would approximate the taste and texture of white flour? (I know this is probably a silly question. Perhaps you have some other suggestions.) Thank you.

  66. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for this Mel! I will be showing this to my husband! I want to make this investment-and now I have some ‘data’ to support my cause!

  67. Emily F says:

    Thanks Mel! While I would love, love, love a Wolfgang like yours, after reading this I will probably start with a NutriMill. This is a great resource!

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