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Home Flour Milling and Meat Grinding

                              


Joined: Aug 02, 2011
Posts: 7
Hey Guys,

My brother and I are moving out to begin our journey toward sustainable farming using permaculture methods. We would like to be able to grind our own flour and meats. My question is about the actual tools themselves, we would like to purchase sturdy equipment that can be hand operated. Does anyone have any experience with either the grain mills or the meat grinders?

Any advice on this subject would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks,
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
I was just stepping out the door when i saw this post but i'll be back in a bit to expand.

How much throughput are you hoping for and how much time do you have on your hands. If your going all gunho manual you have some barrier's that you just have to be willing to walk straight through.

Meat grinding, i suppose your looking to have a big processing day then store sausage for future convenient storage. I grind meat and allot of things into sausage for my family and for the dog's. In a non factory setup i can only process about 80 pounds in a 16 hour span, that includes gather, prep, store, grind, store, grind, mix, store, stuff, store, seperate and final store. I think i could shaved 5 hour's off the strain if I was working in a walk in fridge. But if your talking manual then your like me and this is happening in your warm kitchen which is why there's so many stages where things have to go back in the fridge constantly to stay cool. 80 pounds of sausage will last my family of 3 1.5-2 months. There's usualy not enough room to have things in advanced for very long in their whole format. I have to gut the fridge when i work on 80 pounds chunked down into about 4-7 containers.

If your just talking ground beef, then yeah over 4 hours you could manualy take turns and just put cut's through ultil you've hat it, but our sausage's are 50% other so theres allot of veg that will get sliced, or dried, or blanched etc that really make it a headache, i don't think we could possibly do it without electricity unless it was during the winter and it was all done in a cellar.

Ok i'm late for my appointment but maybe fire back based on what i've said so far, does it sound like a pain in the ass, is the benefit of weeks of easy prep eat's make a day of hard hard work seem like nothing, or maybe your going straight burger no sausage making and this is all a non issue. I don't think i've ever ground meat that wasn't for sausage, strange......
                              


Joined: Aug 02, 2011
Posts: 7
Hey Thanks for the quick response.

I am gungho in spirit but I must deal with the reality that I am a spoiled American whom has purchased all of my food from the stores. I would like to think that we would be willing and able to manually grind our own stuff or rig some sort of contraption up to a bike or something of that sort. I was especially thinking of sausage as the purpose of meat grinding, either encased or just ground. I have no real experience with sausage or flours and ground grains. My main goal with this idea is to be able to store whole grains for long periods and then use the grinder when we need things ground. This to me is the first step.

The next idea was to get a meat grinder for sausage and just straight ground meats for tacos or whatnot. We like to cook and have the intentions of making most of our own noodles, breads and other items each month and storing them in a freezer.

Just wanted some ideas for good quality tools, I did however find this topic on grains here (http://www.permies.com/t/2777/homestead/Grain-Mills#8813.

Thanks again,
Saybian Morgan
volunteer

Joined: Apr 22, 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
    
    8
That's always the toss up, why does do it yourself rarely fit with the american way without big bucks to do all the work for you.
I dunno what it is about small scale commercial appliances that always seems to cost 1200-1800 dollars. I didn't want to preach about thresholds especially since we all come from different financial bracket's or better yet different tolerances for investing in ourselves. But that's really the issue, are you self honest enough to know your threshold when the juice of doing it yourself wear's off and you realize this is just hard bloody work and I your either still into it or you start to find loopholes to retire things to the backshelf and eventually to the dark alley's of craigslist. There's so much work involved that has nothing to do with your willingness to crank a handle, by the time you actualy have to crank the handle your at an 8 hour day. I've worked 16 hour days most of my life, and I can tell you i'm threw by the time the sausage is stuffed that I can't bother to twist it till the next morning.
In the grinding department I have an Omcan "american food equipment" FA22 it's a 1.5 horsepower grinder as I also do the dog's food and that means grinding bones. I supose if I didn't grind bones I could have spent half the money or got an attachment to a kitchen aid that would have eventualy broken the poor thing. It can run through about 80 pounds of meat and hour and run continously so it's really meant for big business, but i can't pay the butcher to 2x markup ground meat n bones just cuzz he has a tool that I don't n sit there paying him forever for raw food. With that aside i'd lock yourself into something electric and all stainless steel before anyone jumps into the forum to get you doing it manually.

I can do sausage stuffing with the machine, and that's what i been doing for the first 200 pounds of throughput and i'm already online looking for a dedicated sausage stuffer. I had no idea that once you grind meat and do all the mixings ground meat refuse's to be grabbed by the auger because air pressure back's up and the plunger refuse's to go down. NOT what I had in mind when i spent 1500 dollar, I thought it was the do all device of my dreams only to find out it does 1 thing well, try to grind apples and the only thing that comes out is juice.
Maybe you are the supra do it yourself engineer and you can bicycle the mofo out, but torque is hard to produce without wobble and with wobble comes failure's in the system. Bless the DIY'fer in all of us but you end up in prototype city for an indefinite duration. Just ask my portable rocket stove dehydrator that was suppose to take 3 days and ended up being 6 weeks. I'm bad with pulleys so I have a bias, just ask my compost sifter that throw's itself on the ground if I overload it.

So really so you don't get information overload you kind of have to give yourself a limitation, whether budget, time spent, or what will it take to overcome ones inability to persist. For some that may mean a motor, for other's it may mean more processing session's lower output to meet budget. So declare a limiting factor so we can get specific --> Id like to spend $$$$, I wouldn't like to spend $$$$ but I will if it's the most rational thing for my present and future self.

On the grain mill side of things, oh man I know the thread you linked all too well. I don't have any tolerance for plastic, and with that intolerance comes $$$$. But I can't stand "old school appearances with no value." Im not spending mega bux just to say somethings cast iron or looks like an heritage artisan show. I watched all the test I could find, decided against the conoiseur reviews that are quibbling about a micron of grain size results that require a $600 dollar price difference. I have my heart set on the motorized grainmaker after living the exhaustive process of manually rolling pasta, I can't in my right mind see myself hand grinding buckets of grain in a timely manor. It can be done, but I got better things to do like spend time on the forum's if this was the middle ages or I didn't live an overdrive simple life I'd have no problem with it. But I'm always wanting do things that burgeon on small scale commercial possibilities if I so choose so a few extra hundread dollar's to keep my initial investment in active use instead of sidelined makes all the difference. Fresh pasta is like another planet, fresh flour is supreme, I don't want to run a fridge 24/7 to make up for the fact we live without unnatural preservatives or we pretend were sustainable but we could never generate enough energy to store all of our self reliant items. So being able to whip up 5 pounds of flour on demand instead of having a grinding day once per month again has more to do with persisting with an item "our problem" than the item itself. I'm going to get old one day, and I don't want to give up these great moment's in life of love and care put into every drop we eat.

I like the people who make the grainmaker, they really ring true to when made in america meant something, and it's probably why if I'm spending extra on them it's better than saving a buck on plastic and it's not retarded like blowing cash on something italian because everyone says it's the best.

I'm a big stickler for alternative uses, so when i see but butter's flowing out of it I feel confidant it's a real appliance and not a 1 trick pony. It's not made to grind nut's but with a motor it's not going to bother me that it took slightly longer either. Everyones going to promote what they buy cuzz nobody want's to feel like an idiot, and everyone feels what they think is king. But coming from a family who consider's it a badge of pride to have no intrinsic skills and to aquire instead of create is the effigy of status, I've learnt the hard way as I move in the other direction. Tis never as peachy as you think, especially when doing things manually. hand mixing mountains of cold meat really takes it's toll on your hands but appliance guilt is what keeps me putting my hands back in instead of spending another 300 dollars on a mixer. But life goes slow and goes fast, and when it goes fast ideology's fall to the wayside, so if 300 bux keeps me mixing when i'm working fulltime instead of part time it's very cheap indeed.

I'm now probably going to spend the night going back n forth from video to article to video to see if manual sausage stuffing is viable for me. If I can't press tincures, honey, juices with it I'm gunna be pissed, and at the same time as I watch these people hand crank 1 sausage in 30 seconds then reload the canister every 5 sausages i start to realize 300 bux spent might get me nowhere. I'm dreading finding out the cost of an electric one as i'm plum sick of buying things, the hammer and pellet mill busted my credit card far into 2012.
Jordan Lowery
volunteer

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
    
  11
i mill all my own flour, grind my own meat and make my own sausage.

for mills if you want hand milled, id go with a schnitzer german hand mill. made of stone, very high quality. ive used quite a few mills and this one does the job the first pass every time. from fine pastry flour to cracked grains. it may be a little pricey compared to other mills, but i have made up for the price in the bread/pasta/flour i have milled in only a few months. compared to if i was to buy all of those things pre made at the store.

for meat grinding imo you cant get much better than the old fashioned cast iron meat grinders. i have over 15 attatchments for it which do many things along with grinding meat. which i can do a few lbs in a few minutes.

i stuff all my sausages by hand, all that is needed is a small piece of tube about the diameter of your casings and about 2-3 inches long, you hold this in your hand as you have the casings on it, meat goes in one end with the help of your other hand, sausages are filled out the other end.

another option is to hook up your meat grinder and mill to a bike setup and you just pump your legs to get the things going, no arm power needed.


The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
Dennis Mitchell


Joined: Sep 28, 2011
Posts: 48
You might keep an eye out for antique grinders. I got a feed mill and a flour grinder. It is as much work to grind the flour as to bake the bread. A good solid half hour of hard work a loaf.
Mick Cressman


Joined: Jan 02, 2011
Posts: 22
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
I have a Grainmaker and am extremely happy with it, the cost, and the function. I have a cheap #32 hand grinder for meat, and extremely happy with that. I need to find a way to deal with worn tinning, but I think I can work that issue. One thing I do advise is to buy the larger meat grinder (if it is a manual grinder)...a small grinder is more trouble than it is worth if you process all your own meats, and I don't like to use electricity for anything my arms can do easily. Also, in my experience collagen casings aren't worth the price, natural casings are easier and tastier, and grinding your own sausage is fun, rewarding, money saving and wholesome. I use a horizontal stuffer, though I've used a vertical and see no great difference between the two. Good luck, be free.
Stacy Zoozwick


Joined: Dec 15, 2011
Posts: 74
I agree we proses all our meat, no matter what they are. Go big rather than small. It’s not as hard to turn and you can get a lot more done faster. They do make had meat grinder new. Just get on your net and look at any outdoors stores. You can order or go in a buy one. They are very inexpensive. I suggest you get extra blade right away. Sometimes you get the grinder and us the same blade for a cup years need a new one, and find out it nowhere to be found.
Charles Kelm


Joined: Apr 30, 2010
Posts: 149
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
Yeah, I got a cheap meat grinder at a garage sale. I don't use it ever, but have it around in case I ever need to eat squirrel or crows or something (crow burgers would probably be better than crow steaks). I grind grain with a GrainMaker, which I love (there's one cheap on eBay right now). I want to start experimenting with alternative flours instead of just wheat.


Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
Stonewall Greyfox


Joined: Apr 13, 2011
Posts: 13
Saybian Morgan wrote:That's always the toss up, why does do it yourself rarely fit with the american way without big bucks to do all the work for you.
I dunno what it is about small scale commercial appliances that always seems to cost 1200-1800 dollars. I didn't want to preach about thresholds especially since we all come from different financial bracket's or better yet different tolerances for investing in ourselves. But that's really the issue, are you self honest enough to know your threshold when the juice of doing it yourself wear's off and you realize this is just hard bloody work and I your either still into it or you start to find loopholes to retire things to the backshelf and eventually to the dark alley's of craigslist. There's so much work involved that has nothing to do with your willingness to crank a handle, by the time you actualy have to crank the handle your at an 8 hour day. I've worked 16 hour days most of my life, and I can tell you i'm threw by the time the sausage is stuffed that I can't bother to twist it till the next morning.
In the grinding department I have an Omcan "american food equipment" FA22 it's a 1.5 horsepower grinder as I also do the dog's food and that means grinding bones. I supose if I didn't grind bones I could have spent half the money or got an attachment to a kitchen aid that would have eventualy broken the poor thing. It can run through about 80 pounds of meat and hour and run continously so it's really meant for big business, but i can't pay the butcher to 2x markup ground meat n bones just cuzz he has a tool that I don't n sit there paying him forever for raw food. With that aside i'd lock yourself into something electric and all stainless steel before anyone jumps into the forum to get you doing it manually.

I can do sausage stuffing with the machine, and that's what i been doing for the first 200 pounds of throughput and i'm already online looking for a dedicated sausage stuffer. I had no idea that once you grind meat and do all the mixings ground meat refuse's to be grabbed by the auger because air pressure back's up and the plunger refuse's to go down. NOT what I had in mind when i spent 1500 dollar, I thought it was the do all device of my dreams only to find out it does 1 thing well, try to grind apples and the only thing that comes out is juice.
Maybe you are the supra do it yourself engineer and you can bicycle the mofo out, but torque is hard to produce without wobble and with wobble comes failure's in the system. Bless the DIY'fer in all of us but you end up in prototype city for an indefinite duration. Just ask my portable rocket stove dehydrator that was suppose to take 3 days and ended up being 6 weeks. I'm bad with pulleys so I have a bias, just ask my compost sifter that throw's itself on the ground if I overload it.

So really so you don't get information overload you kind of have to give yourself a limitation, whether budget, time spent, or what will it take to overcome ones inability to persist. For some that may mean a motor, for other's it may mean more processing session's lower output to meet budget. So declare a limiting factor so we can get specific --> Id like to spend $$$$, I wouldn't like to spend $$$$ but I will if it's the most rational thing for my present and future self.

On the grain mill side of things, oh man I know the thread you linked all too well. I don't have any tolerance for plastic, and with that intolerance comes $$$$. But I can't stand "old school appearances with no value." Im not spending mega bux just to say somethings cast iron or looks like an heritage artisan show. I watched all the test I could find, decided against the conoiseur reviews that are quibbling about a micron of grain size results that require a $600 dollar price difference. I have my heart set on the motorized grainmaker after living the exhaustive process of manually rolling pasta, I can't in my right mind see myself hand grinding buckets of grain in a timely manor. It can be done, but I got better things to do like spend time on the forum's if this was the middle ages or I didn't live an overdrive simple life I'd have no problem with it. But I'm always wanting do things that burgeon on small scale commercial possibilities if I so choose so a few extra hundread dollar's to keep my initial investment in active use instead of sidelined makes all the difference. Fresh pasta is like another planet, fresh flour is supreme, I don't want to run a fridge 24/7 to make up for the fact we live without unnatural preservatives or we pretend were sustainable but we could never generate enough energy to store all of our self reliant items. So being able to whip up 5 pounds of flour on demand instead of having a grinding day once per month again has more to do with persisting with an item "our problem" than the item itself. I'm going to get old one day, and I don't want to give up these great moment's in life of love and care put into every drop we eat.

I like the people who make the grainmaker, they really ring true to when made in america meant something, and it's probably why if I'm spending extra on them it's better than saving a buck on plastic and it's not retarded like blowing cash on something italian because everyone says it's the best.

I'm a big stickler for alternative uses, so when i see but butter's flowing out of it I feel confidant it's a real appliance and not a 1 trick pony. It's not made to grind nut's but with a motor it's not going to bother me that it took slightly longer either. Everyones going to promote what they buy cuzz nobody want's to feel like an idiot, and everyone feels what they think is king. But coming from a family who consider's it a badge of pride to have no intrinsic skills and to aquire instead of create is the effigy of status, I've learnt the hard way as I move in the other direction. Tis never as peachy as you think, especially when doing things manually. hand mixing mountains of cold meat really takes it's toll on your hands but appliance guilt is what keeps me putting my hands back in instead of spending another 300 dollars on a mixer. But life goes slow and goes fast, and when it goes fast ideology's fall to the wayside, so if 300 bux keeps me mixing when i'm working fulltime instead of part time it's very cheap indeed.

I'm now probably going to spend the night going back n forth from video to article to video to see if manual sausage stuffing is viable for me. If I can't press tincures, honey, juices with it I'm gunna be pissed, and at the same time as I watch these people hand crank 1 sausage in 30 seconds then reload the canister every 5 sausages i start to realize 300 bux spent might get me nowhere. I'm dreading finding out the cost of an electric one as i'm plum sick of buying things, the hammer and pellet mill busted my credit card far into 2012.

I just wanted to credit you for some seriously sound advice! While in an ideal world, electricity wouldn't be required...power is, whether that's physical toils, mechanics, or...electricity. My hat is off to those individuals who live the dream of being off-grid and self-sustaining producers because that is quite an acomplishment, and a most noble endeavor. BUT, the reality is that until folks are willing to compromise/self-sacrifice their personal life enjoyments (or replace with farm chores) it's not attainable. It can be frustrating seeing the 'right' tools marketed at such exhorborant prices...but as has been identified in your post, I think you spoke truthfully...

Kudos,

Paul B.
Courtney Richie


Joined: Feb 20, 2012
Posts: 2
I can only add my experience with our hand cranked WonderMill Jr. I really like the mill, but of course it takes a long time to get enough flour to make a loaf or preferably two. While I have a son and husband to help me grind it, we all rejoiced when my husband added a motor, toothed gears and a chain. It doesn't grind it fast, and the flour stays pretty cool. The flour has always come out nice and fine, but when done by hand, we would usually run it through twice. With the motorization, it takes one grind and it's super fine and lovely for my breads. Granted, we have the handle that could be easily replaced on the machine if the power was not on, but I think for long term purposes my husband would figure out a bike cranking method.

I'm very happy with my purchase. I spent less than $200 and I am very happy with the mill. Hope this helps!

Charles Kelm


Joined: Apr 30, 2010
Posts: 149
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
Thanks Courtney- did your husband figure out how to add a motor himself, or does WonderMill offer a kit or something? Do you use both the burrs and stones?
Courtney Richie


Joined: Feb 20, 2012
Posts: 2
Charles - We tried it first with a simple belt and pulley system, but the belt would slip due to the resistance of the grinder, so we thought we ought to look up some ways to run the darn thing. I showed my husband this website from the wondermill company. Here is the site
The instructions were nice, but he already had a motor that would work without having to have the double gear set up. Something about step down motor, forgive me, he's a sleep and I can't ask him to clarify right this moment. I uploaded a video to youtube. Nothing fancy! Grain Mill Mechanization

So far, I've only used the stones. I just haven't had any nuts to make into a butter yet!

Wilson Foedus


Joined: Nov 07, 2011
Posts: 43
Location: NW Montana
Bioritize McCoy,

I am so happy that you are starting off on the road to self sufficiency by asking the right questions. Whole grains are far superior nutritionally.

I am not as proficient in grinding meat, but grinding flour is something that we do in our house multiple times per week.

Getting directly to your question about hand operated mills, I own both the Country Living and the Wondermill Jr. Deluxe. I prefer the Wondermill Jr because it has a higher throughput (one crank revolution yields more flour), it comes with all of the clamps that you need at no extra cost, it has stone burrs (for dry grains) and metal burrs (for wet items like beans or oily items like nuts) and it costs much less.

If you wanted to come up with a motorized solution, it does have a v-belt pulley wheel offered as an accessory, or a machined drill bit adapter that can be fitted into a cordless drill. Dewalt makes a very economical 18 VDC drill that has an optional charger that can be powered from a 12 VDC power source. So, if you are off grid or hoping to be, a rudimentary solar panel to car battery to female cigarette lighter socket system would suffice to give you a motorized option. Moreover, there are thousands of uses for a cordless drill on a homestead so it would not be a single purpose work around.

I hope this helps.

Wilson


pantryparatus.com - homesteading supplies
Erin Dee


Joined: Feb 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Williamston, Michigan
Saybian Morgan wrote:But that's really the issue, are you self honest enough to know your threshold when the juice of doing it yourself wear's off and you realize this is just hard bloody work and I your either still into it or you start to find loopholes to retire things to the backshelf and eventually to the dark alley's of craigslist. There's so much work involved that has nothing to do with your willingness to crank a handle, by the time you actualy have to crank the handle your at an 8 hour day. I've worked 16 hour days most of my life, and I can tell you i'm threw by the time the sausage is stuffed that I can't bother to twist it till the next morning.


I'm working on a blog post about exactly this - trying to come to grips with modern appliances while moving along the path to a more sustainable life. A friend of mine grilled me the other day about using a food processor and dishwasher at times: "I thought you were supposed to be so homesteady and sustainable?"

Where I am right now, and this may change, is we have to do the best we can manage. For me, if using the food processor means more veggies find their way into our meals because I don't have to spend a half hour chopping and prepping, then I'm on board! The same holds true for a grain mill. If having to hand-crank it will keep you from using it, be realistic and get a powered version.

I love the idea of having a mill be able to be hand-cranked, but also to have a motor hooked up to it. That way, we don't have a useless hunk of plastic if the power ever goes out, but still have the convenience of using power when we want to.
sarra donathan


Joined: Feb 22, 2012
Posts: 1
I am pretty new at homesteading but I am in it for the ability to not buy from a supermakret that is recalling the chemically processed food all the time and in some case the financial freedom. I am raising pigs and a cow this year, but until then I am grinding local stores sale priced meats. I got a ton of pork for $1.28- $1.69 depending on the cut per pound. So I sliced the bone off and made a stock with the bones for some ham and bean soup. I cut the meat up into cubes and put it in a hand grinder. Got the hand grinder on ebay for $10 including attachments for cheese and vegetables. But the meat grinder was what I wanted. Also got another one with just the meat grinder for $5 off ebay as a spare. (I lose things lol). Spent a couple hours grinding and made some of t he best sausage I had ever eaten. I did not even slice off any fat and my goodness it still has literally zero grease. I have to add water or butter to the skillet to fry it up. It is like premium expensive sausage.

Plan on trying out the wheat grinding in the next couple weeks so that should be fun. But the sausage was easy.
Charles Kelm


Joined: Apr 30, 2010
Posts: 149
Location: Western Washington (Zone 7B - temperate maritime)
Hi Sarra-
I enjoyed your post. I have never ground meat before, but your post has convinced me to try. In fact I already have a meat grinder. Once you grind the meat, how do you get it into sausage casings? Also, where do you get the casings?
Wilson Foedus


Joined: Nov 07, 2011
Posts: 43
Location: NW Montana
sarra donathan wrote:I am pretty new at homesteading but I am in it for the ability to not buy from a supermakret that is recalling the chemically processed food all the time and in some case the financial freedom. I am raising pigs and a cow this year, but until then I am grinding local stores sale priced meats. I got a ton of pork for $1.28- $1.69 depending on the cut per pound. So I sliced the bone off and made a stock with the bones for some ham and bean soup. I cut the meat up into cubes and put it in a hand grinder. Got the hand grinder on ebay for $10 including attachments for cheese and vegetables. But the meat grinder was what I wanted. Also got another one with just the meat grinder for $5 off ebay as a spare. (I lose things lol). Spent a couple hours grinding and made some of t he best sausage I had ever eaten. I did not even slice off any fat and my goodness it still has literally zero grease. I have to add water or butter to the skillet to fry it up. It is like premium expensive sausage.

Plan on trying out the wheat grinding in the next couple weeks so that should be fun. But the sausage was easy.


Sarra,

Your post here is so inspiring! We are very much into people producing, preparing and preserving their own food surplus. I just wanted to say thanks for giving some practical testimony on the subject. I hope that others start to take up the lifestyle by seeing people like you do it and reap the benefits (cost saving, healthier food, etc).

richard valley


Joined: Aug 18, 2011
Posts: 195
Location: Sierra Nevada mountain valley CA, & Nevada high desert
Greetings, I haven't read all the post. KitchenAid sell stone grinders for grain and meat grinders for their mixer. They are not bad. KitchenAid is made by Hobart. Hobart makes grinders and mixers in graduating sizes, you can get any size Hobart grinder you think you need or can handle.
 
 
subject: Home Flour Milling and Meat Grinding
 
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