Milling Guidelines

Rather than invent any precise “rules”, here are some principles and applications

1. Principle facts:

A. Grinding in any Mockmill (100/200/Mixer Attachment) takes place based on friction, i.e. food being “trapped” between two rough surfaces, one of which is moving. The friction (deriving its energy from the movement of the rotor stone) wears down the softer of the three materials (the food) and that material exits, because of the limited space between the other materials (the two stones) as flour. The friction thus created also generated heat.

B. Every “food” will, when ground down into fine particles (and warmed up), have its particles bind back together (coagulate). The conditions for this happening are dictated by i.the characteristics of the food itself (fat content, water content and ii. the milling parameters (stone speed, warmth generation, stone gap (particle size). The wetter and fattier the food, the more easily it builds a film in the stones. The longer we run the Mockmill, and the tighter we set the gap, the greater the chance of a film build-up. Happily, this phenomenon occurs in conditions more extreme than are created by the milling of most grains in the Mockmill. So, with most (dry) grains, it will never happen.

C. A film of coagulated (and sometimes even hard-cooked food on the stones reduces the friction on which milling is based, eventually to the point that milling stops. No food enters the milling chamber, and the rotor stone turns and turns to no effect.

Happily, this situation is IMMEDIATELY remedied by changing the situation: i. Opening the stone gap ii. Introducing less coagulation prone (drier, less fatty) food material. These two steps will quickly remedy the situation, removing the film from the stones. (It then becomes an indistinguishable part of our flour, if we wish. The second step is often not needed because just opening the gap, then quickly closing it back down (but not as far as before) puts things right. Very tough films (baked-on sugar, which I had to remove once after testing whether I could make powdered sugar from granular) may, however, require even that one make some deep scratches in the film, then mill a small amount of very hard food (cheap white rice works best) over and over and over again until the film is worn off the stones. This process only takes a few minutes. What needs to be understood here is that the great forces at work in the Mockmill make a kind of „shot“ out of the hard food particles that blasts the coagulated food off of the stones‘ surfaces (and the walls of the milling chamber, too!)

D. If one tries to mill very fatty (>12% fat content) food such as oilseeds (flax, sesame, poppy) one will see that only a few drops of seed paste are delivered by the Mockmill before production stops. Opening the Mockmill, there will be paste that needs removal by scraping (it can be used!) Cleaning-by-milling as described in C. must then take place. AGAIN, a matter of minutes, then the Mockmill is clean and ready to go again.

E. The Mockmill‘s stones are porous; they will take on the oils from oily foods thus milled so care must be taken to clean-by-milling right away when oily foods are milled. Else a degree of rancidity could set in, giving your Mockmill‘s milling chamber a not-nice smell. The good news is that grains more readily absorb the oils than do the stones.

F. When hard foods (grains, lentils, others) are milled together with oily foods, the formation of a film is usually prevented. i. The hard bits of grain scrape away any coagulated food particles I have even had success milling mustard seed (30% oil!) by itself, as the seeds‘ hard shell seems to have a scraping action that keeps a bad film from forming.

ii. The oils are picked up by the flour and carried out, without „staining“ the stones.

This means that if you wish to make seeded breads, you can mill the seeds TOGETHER WITH HARD GRAINS. I suggest that the ratio of seeds: grains should be no more than 1:4.


Here‘s how *I* apply these principles:

1. Divide the grains you are milling for your recipe into two halves.

2. Add your seeds to the grain berries, and mill them together at the finest setting (stones just touching.)

3. Mill immediately the second halff of the dry grains, on their own. (This will clean out your Mockmill.)

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