Instructables

Grinding Flour from Wheat?

This season, I plan to plant 4 sq. meters of my garden with hard wheat, with the intention of making bread.  I have no idea how I should make the transition from berries to flour, though.  I have read online that for small quantities one can use a blender.  I have also read that that produces highly inferior flour.  I would prefer to spend no money, but I could allow $20 or so.  Does anyone have any suggestions or ideas?  I am not opposed to high-labor options.

rickharris2 years ago
1. 4 sq m isn't going to give you a lot of flour.

2. On the cheap grinding between 2 flat rocks is about the only choice you have.
A home blender/coffee grinder will get you started but isn't going to give you a find flour for baking.
I should have said a medium sized loaf requires 500 gms of flour you can expect to get perhaps 8 tonnes of wheat per acre (4840 sq yards) more or less 4700 sq m)

8000kg/4700= 1.7 kg per sq meter on a good day! This is wheat not flour. There are some losses say from 1000gms wheat you may get 750gms or less flour.

So if your lucky you will be able to make 4 loves from your 4 sq m bet on less.
4 loves ? He'll be lucky
In ideal conditions, in reality your right he will be lucky to get enough to make one.

The 8 tonnes per acre is the UK average for 2007 the rest is just speculation.
tincanz (author)  rickharris2 years ago
OK, thanks, all of you. Yield is not a large issue, this is just my first grain experiment. I will try to find suitable stones for creating a metate, if my area's a'a lava has working rocks.
And then there's this:
http://www.amazon.com/grinder-HEAVY-DUTY-manual-adjustable-soybeans/dp/B0038NTONK/

The reviews on that page are not so glowing, but this artifact does meet your price criterion, just barely. Of course that's not including shipping...
tincanz (author)  Jack A Lopez2 years ago
oh! That would work well. Thank you.
The trouble with blenders is that they don't work very well with dry material, or even with wet materials that do not flow well.  It's all about flow.  Flow delivers new material to space containing the spinning blades, and flow delivers material that has already been chopped by the blades out of the way.

Another thing about blenders is that they rely on the fluid surrounding the blades and the bearings to carry heat away from these.  Something dry and fluffy, like a mixture of wheat berries and flour, is not going to do a very good job of delivering heat away from the bearings.

I know this because I ruined (melted) the cheap plastic bearings on a blender once, by attempting to grind shredded aluminum foil into aluminum powder.  I mean it made a good quantity of powdered aluminum, but it wrecked the blender in the process... although admittedly the blender was already lost to future food-related jobs, just because it was contaminated by powdered aluminum.

In spite of this previous failure, or maybe because of it, I think I have some good ideas for getting your blender to grind wheat into flour.

Idea #1 is to rock the blender back and forth while blending, as this help new uncut material flow into the blades. Not sure how much experience you have with blenders?  It may be the case that you already knew about this trick.

Idea #2 is run the blender with a very low duty cycle, to keep it from overheating.

Idea #3 is to periodically take the charge out of the blender and sift it through a fine screen, like, a flour sifter
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbm=isch&q=flour+sifter
or even a piece of splatter screen
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbm=isch&q=splatter+screen
 hose-clamped to a coffee can, for the purpose of moving the fine material out of the blender, so that the coarse material has an easier time reaching the blades.

Conveniently, Idea #3 is something that can, and should, be done with the blender turned off, and this is good because it is giving the blender time to cool down, in concert with Idea #2, which was to give the blender more time to cool.

I think all I have outlined above will be much more fun than grinding your flour with a mataté,  or mortar and pestle.  I mean,seriously:

Grinding two rocks together?
FoolishSage2 years ago
I dont know if you can pull this off for 20 dollars but this guy did it to save money on a 100 dolar mill so it should be below that at the least. I suppose it depends on where you can get the materials: http://www.intothefray.org/brew/grainmill.htm
Burf2 years ago
A metate has been used for that very job for thousands of years. Basically, you grind the wheat between two rocks to produce flour.