Finally, at LONG last I have the grain mill mounted on a sturdy table and in operation! I bought the mill in the fall of '07, but could never use it because it had to be mounted somewhere - and I didn't have a somewhere for it!
Anyway, the first day I milled two cups of my white wheat berries, coming up with about 2 1/2 cups of fine meal, not really yet "flour" after running it through a second time. It will take a little experimentation to come up with the ideal texture, but for a first effort this seemed fine.
The mill came with an extension for the handle, to improve the leverage, but it is not threaded right, so couldn't be used. With the handle directly on the flywheel, however, the mill operates smoothly and without undue effort. I forgot to note how long it took me to mill the two cups of grain, but will do that next time. It didn't take long, and I'm sure it will go faster as I get used to it and get stronger!
A motorized "kit" is available from the mill manufacturer, but at $375. it is actually a little more expensive than the mill itself! The lifetime warranty of the mill is void if you use a different motor. I may change my mind as I get older, of course, but for now the hand crank is plenty good.
I will purchase a spare set of grinding plates and a "repair kit" for the drive shaft and other small parts - about $150. The plates are rated to last 5 years for family use, and I suspect they'll last a lot longer for just me, but it doesn't hurt to have spares and they might not always be available at any price. I think I'll also get the extra auger needed to grind corn and other larger seeds. It's another $36., but could be a life saver. (I just visited the website, and some of the prices are higher - just so you know.)
The fresh milled meal smelled SO good!
It would have been best to use a tried and true recipe for this first meal, but I could not find a recipe for whole wheat buttermilk type biscuits - so just used an ordinary recipe, with my usual embellishments and substitutions. Seems I seldom have all the ingredients actually called for in a recipe, or I don't like some of them. [grin]
So, in my wild and wacky way, I made a double batch of buttermilk biscuits. I should have used no more than half whole wheat, but tossed in the extra half cup anyway. Instead of buttermilk, I had sour milk and used that.
They didn't rise as they should have (too much whole wheat), and they certainly smelled strange (sour milk?), but they taste wonderful - almost like graham crackers, except not sweet.
This morning I crumbled two of them with scrambled eggs. YUM!
Next project is to mill enough to make a full batch of bread. I think I'll stick to the ordinary whole wheat recipe I've used a thousand times. I've got years to experiment. :)