Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Daily Grind

This is the grain mill I normally use to grind our wheat:

And this is what it looks like now:

A few months ago when I was using the grinder, there was suddenly a horrible screeching definitely-not-normal noise coming from the grinder.  So I ran over to it and turned it off.  There was a little bit of smoke and a nasty metal burning smell. And I cried a bit.

This machine is one of the workhorses of our kitchen.  I bake a lot (look at my thighs if you don't believe me) and I try to use fresh-ground wheat for everything if possible.  So that baby grinds quite a bit of wheat.

Of course, I didn't have the original receipt or even the owner's manual (lost somewhere in the move I reckon) but knew that it did have a lifetime warranty with it so I went online to see what I could find.  And of course, nothing is covered without an original receipt.  I mean, come ON!  What does it matter if I have the original receipt with it?  It's obvious I bought it because I have the stinking machine, but even if I didn't buy it, somebody did at one point and they didn't say you had to be the original owner.  So after working myself into a hissy-fit, I just accepted the fact that my grain mill with the "Lifetime Warranty" only lasted me seven years.   And if I wanted another one, it's going to cost $260.  Ouch.

After learning that the mill wasn't under warranty, I started taking apart some of the pieces that didn't look too complicated or difficult to put back together. Looking for what?  I don't really know.  But I thought I should at least be a little proactive about it and try to find out what had caused the malfunction.  And I found nothing strange looking; just a bunch of flower dust covering everything and that burned metallic smell.

Paul took a look at it later on and he did a bit more disassembling than I was comfortable with (I am so incredibly mechanically uninclined it's pathetic).  One of the teeth in the milling head assembly had come off during grinding and got jammed between the other teeth, thus causing the mill to lock up.  Not sure if the tooth came off of it's own accord of if I didn't catch a stone or other foreign object in the grain bin.  Regardless, Paul cleaned it all up, put most of it back together and now I'm just waiting for some food-grade silicone to show up in the mail so he can finish re-assembling it.

In the meantime, here's what we've been using to grind our wheat:

The Good Old Country Living Grain Mill.  Non-electric, by the way.  I bought this mill several years before the move to Krazo Acres and was very happy with it.  But since the move, I had been making more and more of our baked goods with whole wheat and honestly, I was getting lazy so decided to splurge on an electric mill.  That's where the Nutrimill came into our lives.

Hopefully the electric mill will last several more years.  But when it does finally kaput on me, I'm definitely going to consider purchasing one from a different company.  I can't help but hold a grudge.  Even if it's just a grain mill.


  1. Honestly, they expect you to have the original receipt from 7 years ago? And after a move??? Talk about a loophole - you could drive a Mack truck through that. Just think of the biceps you will be building up with the hand-cranked jobby.

  2. My wife keeps all those maneuls, receipts, et cetera in one the kitchen cabinets that she can't easily reach. The instructions are handy if only to figure out which model number you have,

    I have never had anyone ask for a receipt on an appliance with a warrenty that was more than ine year.

  3. I would hate to lose my grain mill too~took too dang long to finally get one! I have to say though, if you're going to use a non-electric, that Country Mill is lovely!

  4. Those are so nice looking grain mills. Bulldog Man (my hubby) would have taken the mill apart, like your hubby, and found the problem and fixed it. Don't you love a man who can figure machines out and fix them? It sure saves money!!! Now you just have to wait for the post office to deliver your silicone and then your hubby will have the mill up and running for you.

  5. I agree ... that Country Mill is very lovely. It's one of my Craig's List items that I search for every day ....

  6. It just shows it's always good to try and fix things yourself, ya never know! :)

  7. We have the same hand-crank mill for a back-up. Sure hope you can get your electric mill up and going soon. There are certain tools we homesteading gals just have to have in our arsenal to make it through the day!

  8. Hope the repair works, missing one blade may make it vibrate and eventually self-destruct.
    Your the first person I know that has a Country Living Mill! Can you mill the grain into flour with just one pass or does this machine need two to get the flour fine enough for bread baking?
    I use the Family Grain Mill and a single pass works but I like it a little finer so I normally use two passes.

  9. Susan, I really should be using the manual grain mill, goodness knows I would get rid of my "Bingo Wings".

    Russell, actually I have that same kind of filling system, probably with products we've long since thrown out / given away....except I can reach the drawer they are in. That's what drives me nuts....I have a manual for an oil heater (that is long gone)from like 1990, but not the grain mill!!

    Kim, The Country Living Grain mill is a gem!

    Sandy, I am always amazed at someone's ability to fix mechanical doo-dads; it's like magic to me.

    DFW, hope you find one, that would be an awesome score!

    Nancy, and the money saved really helps :)

    Mama Pea, I may be better off using the CL grain mill. That way maybe I'd make LESS baked goods (and eat less of them) AND get a work out.

    Mike, I didn't even think about the unbalanced aspect of the grinding heads.....good to keep in the back of my noggin. I've been able to get a very fine (although not quite as fine as store bought white flour) flour with it, although we usually grind it a bit more coarse as I like it that way for bread. For pastries or cakes though, I use the finest setting. I actually am not sure if you're even supposed to re-grind flour in there, although I can't really see what that would hurt.

    1. Mike, the above reply about the consistency of the flour was using the Country Living grain mill, not the electric one BTW. The electric mill can also give a very, VERY fine flour, but the CL mill is more than capable of grinding a fine flour in just one pass if you set it tighter.

  10. I know this is after the barn door already was left open...but

    We have a drawer in our kitchen with a small binder in it. We put those plastic page protectors in and in each one we keep the receipt stapled to the owners manual and warranty card just so we know where it is and can reference it when we need. Nothing else goes in that drawer [heck, nothing else will fit] or you could keep it with your cookbooks too. We started doing this for the exact reason as you and the mill - we couldn't locate a receipt.

    Do you grow your own wheat or where would you purchase it? I can't remember [sorry] - and I like everything about it, especially the health aspect. I can't grow it, but I wouldn't be adverse to buying it to grind because I go through flour like water here [or so it seems :)]

    And I have the same type of husband. He would've had it figured out just like yours. Gotta' love them.

  11. I've been wanting both types of mill but can only afford one right now so I'm going to go for the manual crank, but i will remember to lacquer and hang that receipt on the wall once I get the electric one LOL! So glad it looks like you are going to be able to get it back up and running!