How to Make A DIY Grain Mill
A grain mill comes in handy for individuals who often work with different types of flours from either corn or wheat. Both bakers and home brewers put grain mills to work but this is one piece of equipment that can get expensive over time. Moreover, the mill might not be able to meet all of the needs that you or your business has. This guide will walk you through how to make a DIY grain mill that you can feel confident and proud using.
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Benefits of Making Your Own Grain Mill
First of all, a mill can be as big as you want it because you’re the one gathering the materials and constructing it. With store-bought devices, you need to sift through various models to find the right size; even then, you might only get a mill that can produce a cup or two of flour at a time. If you’re a frequent baker, you need much more flour than that so a store-bought option might not suffice.
Make sure you read about all of the reasons that food storage is important.
You’ll have a better idea of how to repair the mill in case anything goes wrong. There won’t be any fancy or expensive equipment to play around with or replace. This can lead to much greater peace of mind. You can also build the grain mill to best suit the textures that you work with the most rather than buying separate mills and spending hundreds of dollars.
The monetary savings are a huge benefit to crafting your own grain mill at home. A decent one from the store can cost around $100 and it might not even suit all of the different grain textures that you want to work with. This means that you need to purchase attachments or another mill altogether.
The bottom line is that when you do it yourself, you can control the measurements of the device as well as what it’s capable of. Don’t worry; you don’t need to be a master builder to build a mill on your own.
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The Anatomy of a Grain Mill
Before jumping into constructing your own mill, it’s important that you get comfortable with the various parts of the device. A bit of background knowledge can also help you decide which materials you need and how long you’ll need to complete the project.
The first hopper is the receptacle that holds the grain while the mill is working. Hoppers are usually detachable to make them easier to work with and clip onto the body of the mill. The second hopper that you need is the one that will hold the grain once it has become flour. A ceramic bowl or a plastic bin will work well since they’re both easy to detach and clean.
The rollers are often made of PVC plastic but they can also be metal, stone, or wood. The rollers are what will turn your grain into flour.
The body of the mill needs to be able to support the weight of the grain-filled hopper and it should also be able to withstand friction from the rollers. Wood is a common choice for homemade mills both large and small.
The final basic part of a grain mill is some kind of power source. This could be a hand crank or something motorized. Depending on your preferences, you might choose the crank, water or wind power, or some kind of mechanical motor.
Building a Basic Grain Mill
This is a guide for constructing a basic grain mill made of economical and easy-to-find materials that will get the job done.
First, cut four pieces of plywood measuring 8”x12”. Hammer these together to make the outside square frame. On one side, use a drill to create holes 2.5” from the bottom and 2.25” from the center. Repeat this on the opposite side; these holes will hold the axle bolts.
Grab a 40 PVC pipe and cut into three pieces, each 8” long. Cut four pieces of scrap wood, each measuring 3.875” long. Push them into the PVC pipes with wood screws about 0.5” from the edge. Use a drill to make 0.5” holes in the center of each end block, then put a handle fitting in the ends.
To build the rollers, screw on a plastic spacer, a washer, a bronze bushing, a nut, and a tap handle adapter. This should allow you to insert the PVC rollers into the base of the mill.
You can construct a grain hopper with the method used to build the board base. Place the hopper on top of the base with the rollers in it. To drive the grain mill, use a socket adapter and power drill. You can also build a backup hand crank just in case.
You might need to play around with the rollers the first few times so it gets used to turning consistently and efficiently.
Best of luck on your new DIY grain mill!