Grain Mill Testing Results
So, we ground some flour. And measured the flour. And baked some bread. And ate some bread. And, what did all that mean? And did we like it?
Let's compare the things we can easily compare -
|KitchenAid||Komo Fidibus Classic||MockmockMill 100||WhisperMill|
|Time to grind||29:29||9:24||6:32||2:54|
|Sound level||80db@1 meter||89db@1 meter||91db@1 meter||82db@1 meter|
|Flour Temperature||93.6F (24.9F)||129.6F (54.2C)||122.2F (50.1C)||127.4F (53C)|
|Flour < 50 grid||193 gr (14.8%)||392 gr (30.1%)||435 gr (33.4%)||726gr (55.8%)|
|Price||$149.00 list||$499.00 list||$259.00 list||$199.00 list|
- All the mixers produced flour that was at a reasonable temperature.
- The sound levels of the machines could be a concern for users of the Komo and MockMill. Based on our readings with the Radio Shack sound meter and OSHA guidelines, if you plan on using them for more than 4 hours a day for the Komo or 2 hours a day for the MockMill, hearing protection may be advisable. However, if you are running them that many hours a day, you may also be well advised to get a commercial grain mill rather than a grain mill intended for home use.
- The loaves from the Komo and MockMill were excellent and head and shoulders above those from the KitchenAid and WhisperMill grain mills.
Everyone loves a final scorecard, and this is ours. Scores, each category rated from 1 to 5, except loaf quality which is worth 10 points because in the end, what really counts is the loaf quality. Higher numbers are better, lower numbers are worse.
|KitchenAid||Komo Fidibus Classic||MockMill 100||WhisperMill|
|Time to grind||1||3||4||5|
|Flour < 50 grid||1||4||4||5|
|Final score (out of 35 possible points)||18||25||29||23|
Did we like it? As I've mentioned, I've been on the fence about home milling grain. With the older mills the results just weren't worth the effort. It's been something I felt I should like but it never rose to the level of something I actually did like.
With the newer mills, the Komo and MockMill, the results were worth it and easily obtained. I am getting flavors I never imagined in my breads, and if you look in my freezer and baking closet you'll find large amounts of grain. Yeah, I'm hooked. I hope you will be too!
Final Ruminations - for now The WhisperMill's score is skewed by its speed. However, sometimes you have to ask if you want it fast or good? The KitchenAid occupies the unenviable position of being neither fast nor good.
There really are only two choices here, the Komo and the MockMill. The quality differences in the finished products are very small, and you can make great bread with flour from either. So, other factors may be the deciding ones. For some people, the deciding factor will be the price, and for many people, that is a valid concern.
The length of the warranty could concern some people. Komo has a 12 year warranty, MockMill has a 6 year warranty. Personally, I expect them to last longer, lots longer, than their warranty period. And the chances are good if they make it through the first 30 days they are likely to last a long time. The warranty period isn't that big a concern for me. (I'll quietly hope that comment doesn't come back to bite me.)
For some people the attractiveness of the woodwork on the Komo can be a deciding factor. This can be extra important if you have a spouse who wants the house to look "just so".
Convenience is a final factor to consider. If you grind cracked wheat or other coarsely ground grains the Komo is easier to adjust. The difference is minor, but if you need coarse grains often, you may wind up cursing the MockMill.
All this leaves me still debating which mill to return and which to keep. Right now, because I do grind coarse grains fairly often and because I'm thrifty, I'm leaning towards keeping the MockMill and using my KitchenAid for grinding coarse grains since I won't be getting rid of my KitchenAid or its grain mill attachment any time soon. I'll update this when I definitely make up my mind.
A follow up on 2/8/2010. In the end, the differences between the Komo and MockMill weren't that significant. Both made excellent bread. The MockMill ground the flour slightly more quickly and slightly finer. But, the difference wasn't obvious in the finished loaf.
The Komo is beautiful while the MockMill is, well, attractive in a form follows function sort of way.
Still, there is about a $200 price difference between them, and that buys a lot of grain. So, in the end, I sent a check to MockMill and am sending the Komo back to Pleasant Hill.
Where to get them - We've had links to the different companies throughout these pages, but for those who missed them, here they are again -
KitchenAid Grain Mill Please remember that this link is for the current KitchenAid Grain Mill, which we did not test. Looking at the reviews, it seems most people love this model.
Komo Classic Fidibus Grain Mill
The WhisperMill is no longer available. You can probably find used WhisperMills on eBay. There are other micronizer mills on the market, but at this time, we're not fans. (We are always willing to change our opinions based on experience. If you are a micronizer mill manufacturer or seller, we'd love to try your product.)
An addendum, September 20, 2019. In the end money ruled and we kept the MockMill 100. If I had it to do over, I'd get the heavier duty MockMill 200 or one of the newer MockMills that are designed for continuous operation.
Despite increased enthusiasm, I wasn't 100% sold on home ground grains. There is a convenience factor in being able to open a sack and make bread with no delay. Some people tout nutritional advantages in milling your own flour, but I haven't seen any studies supporting that notion that I take seriously. The flavor, however, rules. The ability to get varieties of wheat you'll never find in grocery stores or food service outlets is a big deal.
However, I still wasn't 100% sold. And then I went to a class at Central Milling in Petaluma, CA. Guy Frenkel taught the class, Paul Lebeau of MockMill was there, and Craig Ponsford helped immensely. It was a great class. And I learned I wasn't milling the flour finely enough. My approach was to move the stones of my MockMill closer and closer until they touched and then back off one step to mill flour. Guy started there, but when he started milling he moved the stones at least two steps closer together. The grain and flour keeps the stones from rubbing, so this isn't a problem - it's genius! Before, my flour had a slightly gritty quality, now it feels silky or like velvet, and my loaves are getting better.
This technique would probably work with KoMo or other stone mills, but not with the KitchenAid and is completely inapplicable to micronizer mills.