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6/21/2017 8:25:40 PM
Posted: 2/21/2010 4:51:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/23/2010 8:06:18 AM EDT by Feral]
Well after much thought and consideration my wife and I made the decision to buy a grain mill. We wanted something durable, flexible as to what it can handle, and US made. We settled on the Grain Maker Mill made right here in Montana. We drove to the shop where they make them yesterday and picked one up. I couldn't wait until we had a proper mounting system set up to try it, so I "Kimchi rigged" a couple C-clamps to hold it while I got to crankin'. Here's how it went.

Right out of the box with some of the wrapping removed


One side view


The other side view showing the handle and small parts bag (2 screws/2 Allen Wrenchs/small brush for cleaning)


Handle attached


Other side w/handle attached (that's the 2nd auger they give you, mounted in it's storage position)


Almost ready to go with Wheat Montana wheat


In about 4 minutes 2 cups of wheat are now about 2 1/2 cups of flour


I found the bread pan worked well to catch the flour. It gets up close to the mill and is deep enough to keep all of the flour in the pan and not on the counter.

My wife is an excellent baker/cook but when we want some "bread" in a hurry she makes a flat bread using a pizza crust recipe. She mixes the dough and lets it rise. Then she makes some flattened rounds


and on to the griddle they go.


Pull them off when they're done (it's a "feel" kind of thing) and let them cool a few minutes then it's snacktime


I grew up in WI so I like sharp cheddar cheese on mine.
Our next part of the project is to come up with a mounting system that will hold it down but not mar up the counter tops.
Link Posted: 2/21/2010 5:05:34 PM EDT
Does this maker have a web site??? Very nice mill. specwar1
Link Posted: 2/21/2010 5:10:48 PM EDT


Our next part of the project is to come up with a mounting system that will hold it down but not mar up the counter tops.

Easy. Aquire/build a small wooden cart/table with casters/wheels and bolt that bad boy down.

You get extra points if you get a cart with a shelf underneath for a motor, and make that bad boy belt-driven.
Link Posted: 2/21/2010 5:27:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By specwar1:
Does this maker have a web site??? Very nice mill. specwar1


Yes, they do: Grain Maker Mill

Damn nice people to work with too.
Link Posted: 2/21/2010 11:41:58 PM EDT
Could you post a pic of the bearings. On a mill like this, there are two things to go- bearings and burrs. Assuming they did their homework on the burrs (and the price implies that), the bearings are the only thing else to fail.

I've got 2 country living mills, but I'd take one of these over it in a heart beat, assumignt he burrs are as good.
Link Posted: 2/22/2010 12:06:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2010 12:06:57 AM EDT by The_Floridian]
Can you have your wife post that recipe if it tastes good? That sandwich picture has my stomach demanding food

Every now and then I'm in the mood for quick bread and a regular loaf takes too long to rise.
Link Posted: 2/22/2010 9:04:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Country_Boy:
Could you post a pic of the bearings. On a mill like this, there are two things to go- bearings and burrs. Assuming they did their homework on the burrs (and the price implies that), the bearings are the only thing else to fail.

I've got 2 country living mills, but I'd take one of these over it in a heart beat, assumignt he burrs are as good.


Here you go

The "guts", including the bearing shaft, grinding plates, and the adjustment knob:


The grinding plates/burrs:


The bearing shaft (they're sealed bearings, so maintenance free)


I've never had a Country Living mill, but I've heard about them.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 8:05:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 10:23:09 AM EDT
Feral, thanks. I think it's rugged as hell, all welded and machined. The only cast part is the flywheel. Making the base for it is this weekend's project. Once that's done I'm going to try other grains in it. So far I've got some flax seed lined up but hope to add more after a trip to the health food store. Performance reviews to follow, of course.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 2:38:41 PM EDT
Excellent post!!!!

Thank you OP! I may have just changed my mind about the Country Living Grain Mill....
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 5:45:56 PM EDT
While not the same, I have a Country Living mill; also made in the US and can purchase replacement parts easily. I made a stand out of oak 1x4's which I C-clamp to our dining room table (oak plank). Can grind pounds of flour quickly - it's the sifting and re-grinding that takes time. Good post with pictures. Might try adding to it (with pictures) of the actual process of grinding for those who have not done it. Thanks.
As an aside, I find that three cups of flour makes a good loaf (with my recipe). Also, with the Country Mill, there is a motor (about $400.00) which you can purchase or set up you own (getto rigged); have not done this as it seems to negate the experience.
Link Posted: 2/23/2010 8:03:11 PM EDT
One thing I failed to mention was about the adjustment of the burrs. The adjustment knob has a spring ball detent on the inside that rides in a series of holes/dents around the center shaft on the backside of the outer burr. That means that as you tighten/loosen the knob there are tactile clicks to help you track how fine you're grinding. When I did my initial 2 cups of wheat it went in as wheat grain and came out as fine flour on one pass. No re-grinding to get baking quality flour.
Link Posted: 2/24/2010 4:29:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/24/2010 9:43:49 AM EDT
1shott, thanks for the safety reminder, but we have no intention of rigging up a motor to it. We bought a manual mill specifically to not use or need electricity. They do include instructions about what type of motor to use if you want to do that with the mill.
Link Posted: 2/24/2010 11:10:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/24/2010 9:08:50 PM EDT
This looks like a mill I would like to own. How does it compare to the Country Living Mill? Any way to do a side by side comparison? Surely somebody in your area has a CLM. I'd be interested in a comparison of the burrs and such.
Link Posted: 2/25/2010 9:07:48 AM EDT
I read a review that didn't think much of this mill but so far your experience seems MUCH different. One thing in the review was peanut butter was DNF! Have you tried making peanut butter yet?

More experiences please!!
Link Posted: 2/25/2010 10:00:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By beakerello:
This looks like a mill I would like to own. How does it compare to the Country Living Mill? Any way to do a side by side comparison? Surely somebody in your area has a CLM. I'd be interested in a comparison of the burrs and such.


I've got a Country Living Mill. I'll try and post some pics of the innards sometime today.
Link Posted: 2/25/2010 2:15:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By midmo:
Originally Posted By beakerello:
This looks like a mill I would like to own. How does it compare to the Country Living Mill? Any way to do a side by side comparison? Surely somebody in your area has a CLM. I'd be interested in a comparison of the burrs and such.


I've got a Country Living Mill. I'll try and post some pics of the innards sometime today.


As promised...

The burrs:




The shaft. Couldn't find my snap ring pliers to pull it, but you can see one of the bearings here:




Rear view of the whole mill. The lid on it isn't the factory version available from the Country Living folks... just a chunk of oak I cut to size and rabbeted to fit into the hopper:




Front view:




And finally, the "blem". Don't know how clearly this will come across with all the image resizing and whatnot, but if you can see it, but this little bump in the finish saved me $50 on the price of the mill and got me the $25 "power bar" (visible in the rear view pic) for free. Sweeeeet :




Judging only by the pics, I'd say the Grain Maker Mill may well be a little better quality. I like the all-steel construction, and if I had to do it over again I'd definitely consider this mill. In truth, though, either one will probably last a couple of lifetimes, given regular maintenance and replacement of wearable parts. To me, the $75 in savings for the so-called 'blemish' - I've seen MUCH worse get through other product's quality control - probably would have leaned me back towards the CL mill. The very fact that they consider this a blem says that they set their quality bar pretty high, and they were also exceptionally good to work with on the order. Excellent communication, and I actually received the mill sooner than expected. At the very least, though, the Country Living folks definitely have a worthy competitor to contend with in the Grain Maker Mill ... which is probably a good thing.

Unlike the OP, I do intend to motorize our mill in the near future. If so, I'll document that project for the forum as well.

Link Posted: 2/26/2010 11:00:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/26/2010 11:01:25 AM EDT by Merlin]
Originally Posted By midmo:
Originally Posted By midmo:
Originally Posted By beakerello:
This looks like a mill I would like to own. How does it compare to the Country Living Mill? Any way to do a side by side comparison? Surely somebody in your area has a CLM. I'd be interested in a comparison of the burrs and such.


I've got a Country Living Mill. I'll try and post some pics of the innards sometime today.


As promised...

The burrs:

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/burrs.jpg


The shaft. Couldn't find my snap ring pliers to pull it, but you can see one of the bearings here:

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/shaft1.jpg


Rear view of the whole mill. The lid on it isn't the factory version available from the Country Living folks... just a chunk of oak I cut to size and rabbeted to fit into the hopper:

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/mill_rear.jpg


Front view:

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/mill_front.jpg


And finally, the "blem". Don't know how clearly this will come across with all the image resizing and whatnot, but if you can see it, but this little bump in the finish saved me $50 on the price of the mill and got me the $25 "power bar" (visible in the rear view pic) for free. Sweeeeet :

http://i1010.photobucket.com/albums/af227/mid_mo/blem.jpg


Judging only by the pics, I'd say the Grain Maker Mill may well be a little better quality. I like the all-steel construction, and if I had to do it over again I'd definitely consider this mill. In truth, though, either one will probably last a couple of lifetimes, given regular maintenance and replacement of wearable parts. To me, the $75 in savings for the so-called 'blemish' - I've seen MUCH worse get through other product's quality control - probably would have leaned me back towards the CL mill. The very fact that they consider this a blem says that they set their quality bar pretty high, and they were also exceptionally good to work with on the order. Excellent communication, and I actually received the mill sooner than expected. At the very least, though, the Country Living folks definitely have a worthy competitor to contend with in the Grain Maker Mill ... which is probably a good thing.

Unlike the OP, I do intend to motorize our mill in the near future. If so, I'll document that project for the forum as well.



If you're planning to motorize your mill, here's a reversible gear motor that should work pretty good: 177 rpm gearmotor



Good luck.

Merlin
Link Posted: 2/26/2010 5:01:05 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Merlin:

If you're planning to motorize your mill, here's a reversible gear motor that should work pretty good: 177 rpm gearmotor

https://www.surpluscenter.com/ENLARGED/p5-1098E1.jpg

Good luck.

Merlin


I was originally planning on going with an intermediate-pulley setup since I have a decent 1725 RPM motor lying around, but that's a sweet little gear motor there, and a great price! Slap a 4" pulley on that bad boy and it would directly drive the 12" pulley on mill at 59 RPM - just about what they recommend. Thanks for the link... might have just changed my course!

Link Posted: 5/19/2010 3:32:25 PM EDT
Looking to buy my first mill, the question for me is country living or grain maker?
Link Posted: 5/20/2010 1:26:56 PM EDT
In case anyone else is interested:

GrainMaker mill website
Link Posted: 5/24/2010 1:17:19 PM EDT
think I'm gonna have to get me one of those!
Link Posted: 6/9/2010 10:30:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/9/2010 10:51:56 PM EDT by gkmiami]
I posted this in another thread:

Here's how I motorized our CLM with our Kitchen Aid mixer:



The hand crank and 12" diameter fly wheel has been removed to motorize it this way. Easily reassembled it you wish to crank by hand.

I've heard less than great things about the grainmaker but, admittedly, have no experience with it. The CLM will not only grind small grains like wheat but with the auger will grind corn, beans, coffe, etc. We've used it on wheat, corn, and coffee with no problems. The cast aluminum body of the CLM is much lighter than the grainmaker (Unless you have a dedicated spot for your mill this may be a big factor if you have to set it up each time.) and still absolutely durable.

gk

eta: I checked out the link for the gear motor above and couldn't find it's horse power rating. It's amperage, however is 1.9 amps. The kitchen aid mixer we used is the 300 watt unit which I believe would be about 2.5 amps. I consider our kitchen aid to be just big enough to do the job and would be very leary of using anything smaller. However, that motor is priced pretty cheap so it might be worth an experiment. Grinding these hard grains is more work than you might think.
Link Posted: 6/10/2010 2:36:23 PM EDT
Can these mills be used to crush malt?
Link Posted: 8/10/2010 4:22:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2010 4:23:29 PM EDT by shooter_gregg]
bump

Oh look! A new page.
Link Posted: 8/14/2010 11:12:15 PM EDT
What did you use to attach the two?

This interests me greatly.




Originally Posted By gkmiami:
I posted this in another thread:

Here's how I motorized our CLM with our Kitchen Aid mixer:

http://i572.photobucket.com/albums/ss163/gkmiami/P1010037.jpg

The hand crank and 12" diameter fly wheel has been removed to motorize it this way. Easily reassembled it you wish to crank by hand.

I've heard less than great things about the grainmaker but, admittedly, have no experience with it. The CLM will not only grind small grains like wheat but with the auger will grind corn, beans, coffe, etc. We've used it on wheat, corn, and coffee with no problems. The cast aluminum body of the CLM is much lighter than the grainmaker (Unless you have a dedicated spot for your mill this may be a big factor if you have to set it up each time.) and still absolutely durable.

gk

eta: I checked out the link for the gear motor above and couldn't find it's horse power rating. It's amperage, however is 1.9 amps. The kitchen aid mixer we used is the 300 watt unit which I believe would be about 2.5 amps. I consider our kitchen aid to be just big enough to do the job and would be very leary of using anything smaller. However, that motor is priced pretty cheap so it might be worth an experiment. Grinding these hard grains is more work than you might think.


Link Posted: 11/11/2010 2:17:24 PM EDT
I went and did it! I ordered one yesterday now it's like Christmas waiting for the shipping notice.

I've re-read the entire thread a couple time but never did see a recipe for your wife units flat bread recipe. I would like to see how it's made.

Thanks for the thorough review!
Link Posted: 11/19/2010 5:32:47 PM EDT
I haven't thought about this thread for a while and forgot to post the recipe. I'll try to get that up this weekend.
Link Posted: 2/24/2011 10:29:49 AM EDT
Bump.

Has anyone had experience with the grainmaker being hard to turn? I read some reviews that were less than flattering of the mill.
Link Posted: 2/24/2011 10:56:26 AM EDT
Originally Posted By shooter_gregg:
Bump.

Has anyone had experience with the grainmaker being hard to turn? I read some reviews that were less than flattering of the mill.


Must admit I've had mine for a couple of months and have yet to grind grain. It was hard to turn until I loosened the pressure on the auger.
Link Posted: 10/11/2012 11:37:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Feral:
Great post! Very nice to see a review on this mill. Looks tremendously solid.

I'm marking this thread "no archive" and taking the liberty of adding the mill's name to the title so the post can be found more easily in the future.


Add "Grinder" as well. I missed this thread when I was just doing page searchers for "grinder"

Caught it with "Mill"

TRG
Link Posted: 10/11/2012 11:29:39 PM EDT
Holy cow, talk about thread resurrection! TRG, thanks for bumping this.
Link Posted: 10/12/2012 8:29:45 AM EDT
Wow, that's really neat. Now if only I had the space in my fucking townhouse...
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