One thing you need to consider for your food storage efforts is the ability to process raw ingredients. One of the biggest culprits here is wheat. It’s not enough to just store wheat, but you need to have a good grain mill as well to convert it into something that’s usable.
Grain Mill Types
There are three main types of grain mills: Stone grinders, burr grinders, and impact grinders.
Stone grinders are pretty straight forward. Two rocks that use friction to grind the grain into flour. Nuff said.
Well, it’s a little more complicated than that. You have a stationary stone and another one that rotates and grinds against the stationary stone. There are grooves in the stones that help transport the ground grain to the output chute.
Burr grinders are similar to stone grinders but they use steel wheels with burrs or teeth that do the actual grinding. One nice thing about burr grinders is that they can be used to grind seeds or nuts that have oil. Stone grinders clog up if you do that!
Impact grinders also have two grinding heads, but the teeth actually never touch. The grains get stuck in the gaps and as the heads rotate the grains impact against the teeth (hence the name) and essentially break apart. They operate very quickly and create very finely ground flour. Unfortunately they have a hard time with larger grinds, so you’re not going to make steel cut oats or anything like that with an impact grinder.
Reasonably straight forward here. Mills use hand power or an electrical motor. I think it’s important that you get either two different mills, one with each drive type, or one mill that can handle both drive types. The chances of you needing your mill in an electricity-free time is pretty high, but grinding for your daily use is probably going to get tedious FAST.
I’m avoiding any specific recommendations here for now, but I’d love to hear what you think. Share your favorite grinders in the comments here!