Back To Basics hand grain mill

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by gunbunny, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I've had the Back to Basics Back to basics Hand Grain mill: Hand Grain Mill Grinder: Kitchen & Dining

    for a few weeks now and am happy with the unit. A real objective report may be beyond my scope because this is the first and only grain mill that I've ever used.

    The mill was purchased from Emergency Essentials ( part # IN FP M100 for the paltry sum of $59.95 on sale. Here is a picture of the unit from their catalog:

    The mill's frame is made of aluminum, seems to be cast, with all of the edges polished and rounded off. The grinding bit is stainless steel, with a plastic (most likely delrin) bushing and bearing keeping it in place.

    The interior of the grain hopper is smooth and has no edges, shelves, or protrusions for the grains to hang up on. The base is hollow cast aluminum, one piece design like the frame, with no visible seams. It attaches to a table or countertop with a rubber capped screw clamp.

    You adjust the fineness (or courseness) of the flour by tightening or loosening the handle's attachment screw. It seemed a little cheesey at first, but after grinding a little bit it seemed like a natural way to accomplish the task. When you back the attachment screw out completely, the whole grinding bit comes out and you can wash it if you so desire.

    I was able to grind a little over 5 cups of flour (from twice cleaned animal food grade flour) in less than five minutes. The amount of effort required to grind the flour is really miniscule. How much flour do you use in a day? Grinding is easy.

    The biggest drawback to the unit seems to be the construction. Yes I could see having problems with the bearings, leading to the grinding bit touching the side of the case. You would think that you would be able to feel that happening; aluminum is much harder than wheat grains.

    The screw clamp seems like a likely weak point because of it's one-piece design. I could see permenantly attaching the mill to a countertop by thru-bolting it down with a screw and very large washer. I'd have to be careful not to break any of the reinforcing webs under the top of the base. Or just designate a place for it on the countertop so you don't have to remove it each time you are done.

    The biggest advantage to this unit is that every part is available as a spare, and the price of the hand mill is low enough to allow whole units to be bought for spares or replacements.

    Could this unit last me the rest of my life when used every day? Probably not. Could three units? Most likely, if not abused and parts replaced when needed.

    We used the fresh flour to make a large blueberry pan muffin, since it was much easier and faster to prepare, and due to the fact that we were still getting blueberries from our bushes at that time. It turned out wonderful.

    We were warned that natural wheat flour has no preservatives, so it wouldn't last more than a few days until beseiged by mold; but unfortunetly we ate it all by the second day and were unable to verify.[rofllmao]

    Next batch we are going to use honey instead of sugar as a sweetener. I think it's time that my family get back onto the path of wholesome foods the way God intended us to.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  2. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    Thanks, GB! Good report!
    I'm definitely putting this grain mill on my "To Order" list. What was shipping time and cost like?
    Do you think it would handle grinding whole corn?
  3. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    We bake a lot of bread, and without any artificial preservatives it will mold in about 3 days time. The bread is long gone before then! Honey is a natural preservative and breads baked with honey seem to stay fresh longer.
  4. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I really don't see that happening with this mill; I'd say it would be for grains only. There is another mill, just picked one up today, that is a roller mill. It has three steel drums that can be adjusted to roll oats, crack corn into meal, or mill grain. It says to mill fine flour, you may have to pass it through the mill a couple of times... We'll see later this weekend. I'll write up a report on that one too.

    It was only $50 locally; I couldn't pass it up. Someday I'll find a pasta roller locally too.

    You got that right! There is just something about fresh baked goods.
  5. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2015
  6. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    I've never seen one, and at $425 a pop, I don't think I'm going to. It seems that if you have a store, or are going to be making flour for the whole village, you might need that one. I could have 6 more of the Back to Basics mills for that price.

    Don't get me wrong, if someone ships one to me, I'll make some flour with it. For sure!
  7. Monty

    Monty Monkey+++

    Great report, I'm in the market for a mill I just recived their latest catalog and I'll be looking to order one.
  8. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thanks for the write-up GB!

    I have the "Family Grain Mill", and I love it. For fine flour it does require 2 passes, but it's not that big of a deal.

    Here is a write up on it

    I got mine off Ebay about a year ago. Since then I have purchased the adapter to allow the FGM to attach to my Kitchen Aid mixer, that really makes short work of it (originally I only had the hand crank for the mill, and I still have that).
  9. PapaSasquatch

    PapaSasquatch Monkey++

    I've ordered one of these back to basics mills for my own birthday later this month. I spent a couple weeks ago scouring various reviews, opinions, and I even know some people with one and it's a great buy. It's a perfect beginner grinder, and possibly only grinder. 5 cups in 5 minutes seems pretty fast based on some reviews/opinions I read - usually that's a rate you get from the nice electric mills. I actually don't care if it's half a cup a minute as advertised because it really isn't that much work as the OP says.

    I've purposely voided storing red and white wheat in my emergency food stores because I knew it was impractical until I first tested/experimented making bread from freshly milled flour. I do know that you get mad diarrhea when you suddenly introduce real, fresh wheat bread like this and that I'd need to first be acclimating my body to it and making sure it's something I would do if needed. So I decided to get started now..also, it's insane spending $3.50 per loaf of bread at the store and who knows how good it is for you!

    Now all I need to do is go to our local church cannery and start hoarding red and/or white wheat in #10 cans.
  10. fwilliam1

    fwilliam1 Monkey++

    After reading this I've added a "Back to basics mill" to my list of must haves.
  11. Double Ott

    Double Ott Monkey+++

    Gunbunny and others who contributed to this post...Thank you.
    I to have avoided storing grains in my preps. Re: Didn't have a way to convert it to flour. I've looked at the Back to Basics Mill and was leary of it. Just seemed to cheap to work. The Country Living Mill was to much for my budget to start storing grain. So here I sat without doing anything.

    Looks like this is a good solution.
    Regards, Double Ott
  12. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Well to each his own. I have read all I could find pro and con on both the "back to basics hand grain mill" and this one here recommended by kckndrgn. I am going to order this "family grain mill". Before you dismiss me and move on, consider this.... For $140 You can get; the family grain mill, the hand crank base, and the kitchenaid adapter. shippping free at
    For me it is a no brainer. I have the HD kitchenaid mixer. replacement parts are available for both these mills. Limited lifetime waranty on the "family grain mill". JMHO of course
  13. Double Ott

    Double Ott Monkey+++

    This thread got me looking for grain mills. Here's one that is 1/2 the cost of premium mill, but comes with a great warranty.

    The description talks about plastic parts in mills and compares the better qualities of grain mills. They don't appear to make outlandish comments about their mill.

    What do you think of it?
  14. Sam

    Sam Monkey+

    You've added very nice information on hand grain mill,lot of people are now more conscious about the nutrients in flour after grinding.Is that the main reason for preferring hand grain mills instead of electric one ?
  15. survival_junkie

    survival_junkie Monkey+

    I've heard the Grain Mill Attachment on the Kitchen-Aid is really hard on the motor. All the reviews I've seen suggest that it's worth the investment to just get a wheat grinder. I do have the back to basics hand grain mill and it's the only one I've ever used and it sure feels like a lot of work for a little wheat flour.

    No doubt about it, it worked and we made some great bread, but it seemed like it took more than a minute per cup. I'm not complaining...I'm just say'n...
  16. CrufflerJJ

    CrufflerJJ Monkey++

    If you've got a recent Kitchen Aid mixer, the gear box housing is a bit more study than those using a plastic housing (which would crack/fail when mixing a nice thick dough). That's why I avoided the problem years ago and bought an Electrolux Assistent mixer. Very rugged/powerful/expensive (oops!). It's great when mixing up bread dough or masa dough for tamales.

    I think that ANY hand grinder will be a "lot of work for a little wheat flour." You're grinding nice hard wheat berries into fine flour. I've got a Country Living grain mill, and it's still a decent workout to use it when grinding flour. Such is life! We also use it here at home for cracking corn to make bird feed. I also find it useful when cracking/splitting whole green peas when making split peas for soup (I use compressed air to blow away the husk).

    While a powered grinder is much handier than a manual grinder, that's only true until the power fails.
  17. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    Also, bread baked with honey will be moister, as honey is more hygroscopic (attracting moisture from the air) than sugar, and boy, that makes baked goods yummy.

    My family eats paleo (Caveman diet - LOTS of meat...80% meat NOM NOM NOM), and we bake with coconut flour, honey, and eggs, and let me tell you my friends, my wife makes the moistest most delicious brownies and muffins you will ever eat. Yes, I am probably biased, and she DOES read my posts, but heh, truth is truth.
  18. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    Recipes !!! Please, Please, Please. We do have a recipe subsection now for the posts. Thanks !!!
  19. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Retsel mills, out of ID

    Retsel has been making grain mills for decades. Located in Idaho, they have both hand and electric powered mills.

    The electric mills run slowly so as not to overheat the flour and are designed to mill large amounts of grain.

    I was a Rainy Day dealer in years past, and the Retsel was (and still is IMO) the Cadillac of mills.

    Check out their new website, lots of photos and all the data you will need.

    Made in the USA, worth the time to look.
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