Grinding Wheat With an Electric Grinder: The Basics

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grinding-wheat-with-an-electric-grinder-the-basics

One of the most asked questions I get is, “How do you make flour out of wheat berries?” The truth is most people know that bread is made from flour but they are not quite sure how the flour is made. Grinding wheat is a practice that is ancient but in recent years has become somewhat mysterious. My mother did not grind wheat and up until a few years ago, the practice was a mystery to me as well. There are a number of YouTube videos that compare wheat grinders and I recommend you watch some of those before purchasing your own grinder. In this post, I want to show you step by step how to grind wheat. Even though the process is simple it’s still a mystery to a lot of people. Hopefully, this will shed some light on this process and help you decide if it’s something you want to do for your family. If you are prepping for an off-grid scenario you’ll need a hand grinder; obviously, an electric mill will not work in that situation. Since I believe in rotating food storage I need a practical way to grind my wheat berries on the grid as well as off-grid; for this, you really need two grinders (but that’s another post). In this post, I want to focus on getting started with an electric grinder.

The Basics:

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This is the wheat grinder I settled on after doing a lot of research. It’s an L’EQUIP Nutrimill Grain Mill by BOSCH. I choose this model based on size and performance (at some point I will do a complete review but for now I just want to cover the basics of grinding wheat.)

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This is my bag of hard white wheat (more on the different kind of wheat in another post). White wheat has a milder taste than some other kinds of wheat like hard red wheat. The flour that I grind with this wheat is still whole wheat flour.

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I took this picture as soon as I opened the bag. This is what you can expect to see when you open a bag of wheat.

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 Here I’m about to place the wheat from the bag into the hopper of the grinder.

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 Here you can see I’m filling the hopper with wheat. (I know pretty basic but I wanted to show the entire process)

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After you’ve turned the grinder on and it grinds the wheat, you’ll remove the flour bowl. This is a picture of mine. You can see the bits of flour on the top.

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 Here I’ve just taken the top off so you can see the flour made from the wheat berries.

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After you’ve ground your wheat you’ll want to place the flour in the freezer. All flour starts to lose its nutrients after it’s ground. You may have tried to make whole wheat bread from whole wheat flour bought from the store and it tasted a bit off. It’s probably because the flour was rancid. White flour does not go bad as quickly as whole wheat flour because of all the processing done to it, but it’s not as nutrient dense.

grinding-wheat-with-an-electric-grinder-the-basics

This is the amount of flour I got from a 25lb bag of wheat berries. I grind one 25lb bag about every 3 weeks. It’s just too much work to grind wheat by the loaf. Of course for an off-grid situation, this routine would change. Perhaps, in that case, my husband would build me one of those grinders that is hooked up to a bike.  But for now, all my flour is kept in the freezer as I only grind it every 3 weeks or so.

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 All the components of the L’EQUIP Nutrimill Grain Mill by BOSCH.

grinding-wheat-with-an-electric-grinder-the-basics

 Like most grinders, the NuriMill will grind other grains. Here I’ve loaded some popcorn to make cornmeal.

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 This is the cornmeal or ground popcorn.

I hope I’ve taken some of the mystery out of grinding your own wheat. Now that you see how simple it is you won’t be afraid to try grinding your own grains.

  • Linda says:

    GOOD VIDEO! I have a older NutriMill that I got for $75 via CraigsList – and they still look (and work) just like the newer ones. A GOOD TIP: STORED WHEAT GRAINS LAST MUCH, MUCH LONGER THAN FLOUR! Properly packaged, what can last up to 30 YEARS! (Vaccum sealed or sealed with an oxygen-removing packet, then tightly sealed).

    FLOUR HAS ABOUT A YEAR’S SHELF LIFE. And….. your bread will RISE MUCH BETTER if you use freshly ground flour!!! Even whole wheat breads rise better for me if I use flour that hasn’t been ground over a month before. So….. GRIND ONLY WHAT YOU WILL NEED for a couple of weeks or month. This is ESPECIALLY TRUE with whole wheats, rye, etc….because the natural oils will turn rancid after a period of time (caused from oxygenation’). You can FREEZE flour to make it last longer (especially rye) – but that takes up valuable freezer space. Easier to just “grind as you need it”.

    Shift some of your kitchen stuff around so you have an 18″ area of countertop and cabt space above, with grinding, bread making flour, yeast, small jars of sugar, salt, machines – so it won’t be such a pain to have to get everything out from ‘thither and yon’ as they used to say. I keep my grinder on the higher shelf along with baking pans, my flour, scale & other ingredients on the lower shelf where I can reach them easily. All I have to do is pull out the scale, grab the flour and add ingredients into the bread machine without moving a foot. Same with grinding the wheat. BTW – I make the dough in the bread machine (sourdough usually), but ALWAYS bake it in the oven.

    Enjoy!

  • Christina says:

    Why grind popcorn? Does it make better cornmeal than other corn? Thanks.

    • Jennifer says:

      Yes, it makes excellent cornbread! I used popcorn because dried corn is not reliably available in most places. You could buy corn and dehydrate it and then make cornmeal if you wanted to.

      • Linda says:

        Actually – ground popcorn is good for cornbread and for breading foods – but it does have a ‘popcorn’ flavor. It is a bit of a surprise to taste that particular popcorn flavor in cornbread – but good! I think the aroma is different, too – but still good!

  • Marie says:

    Thanks! So what made you choose that grain mill versus another? Are there certain qualities you looked for when deciding? Is there a function you wish you had gotten that you didn’t or some you thought you would use that you don’t?

  • Joyce Price says:

    I too enjoyed the video, I have never frozen my ground wheat flour. I like the taste of the bread made from the fresh warm ground wheat berries, as compared to made from store bought, high quality, wheat flour. My question is: Do you feel there is a difference between your frozen wheat flour and the fresh wheat flour? It could be that it has nothing to do with the freezing process but rather the fresh ground as opposed to store bought.

    Sincerely,
    Joyce

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Joyce,
      I don’t notice a taste difference after the flour has been stored in the freezer. If it were stored in there for years I might, but mine is in there one month tops.

  • Madison says:

    We have a manual grinder that also accepts a motorized attachment. We didn’t buy the motor until after grinding enough wheat for a loaf of bread… and if we had to grind by hand for bread I can assure you we’d not eat it often! That was hard, LOL, but do-able. The motor is sweet. Ours is a Country Living grinder.

  • looli says:

    Waw… i didnt even know that this possible to do at home.amazing.

  • Kathy says:

    I also have a NutriMill grinder, does your flour get really warm from the grinding? I allow mine to come to room temp then store it. I get my grains from Bread Beckers (hope it’s OK to put their name in here) but will check out Honeyville. BB is a co-op system, so helps with shipping costs.
    I wishe I had someone like you close by to be friends, we could share so many ideas and “tricks”. I miss that.

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