If you are storing whole grains, like wheat, consider getting a grain mill for your family for Christmas, or asking family members to donate to your grain mill fund for Christmas and your birthday.
Electric grain mills produce fine flour, which makes light baked foods like we are used to eating. These are great for busy people who want a fast way to grind wheat so they will use it regularly. When purchasing an electric mill, ask about the noise level and how much flour it makes at a time. Consider how easy the mill is to store.
In a time without electricity, a hand grain mill will be important. Before making a purchase, consider how fine you want your flour. It’s important to ask this specific question or test a mill yourself, if possible.
An inexpensive grain mill that is easy to turn, grinds flour quickly, and produces medium fine flour can be purchased for around $60-$80. This flour makes good-tasting baked foods that are more coarse and heavy than those made with fine flour.
If you want fine flour, like you get from an electric mill, a grain mill with stone burrs produces the finest flour. The trade off for producing fine flour requires more muscle, as these are stiff to turn. If you want less effort turning the handle, you have the option of passing grain through this grinder twice, on a coarse and then a fine setting. For this option, make sure the mill allows flour to pass through a second time.
Steel burrs are necessary for grinding oily or wet seeds and legumes, including beans. Some hand grain mills come with both stone and steel burrs that can be used interchangeably.