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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

Some observations:

  • All the mills 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
Sound level 5 4 4 5
Flour Temperature 5 3 4 3
Flour < 50 grid 1 4 4 5
Price 5 3 4 4
Loaf quality 1 8 9 1
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
Mockmill 100
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.

8 thoughts on “Grain Mill Test Results”

  1. I, very recently purchased a NutriMill Harvest from Pleasant Hill grain. Can I assume that it would fall closely into the same group as the MocMill and the Komo? I have been using it in pretty much the same manor that you are suggesting and am satisfied with the quality of the grind. Thanks for your advise…………..

    1. Hi Paul,
      I’m not familiar with the Nutrimill. However, it looks like a micronizer mill rather than a stone or steel mill. A fairly obvious indicator is how the mill sounds when you turn it on. Does it sound like a jet engine whining as it revs up? If so, it’s a micronizer. If not, then not.

      I’m glad you’re happy with your purchase.

  2. Really enjoyed your review. I have a Family Grain Mill on my Bosch and the finest grind is not really so fine on spelt or kamut but my bread is amazing with the white wheat berries and I do not sift out the bran. I was wondering if you could give more info on the class you took in Petaluma since I live in Woodland, Ca.

    1. Hi Kathy,
      The class was at Central Milling’s Artisan Baking Center in Petaluma. It is a well laid out and provisioned setting. GREAT ovens, work spaces, mixers, and all the rest. Craig Ponsford, former Coupe du Monde de Boulangerie world champion is one of their instructors. They have other heavy weights teaching there.

      The class I took was probably a one-off class. It was sponsored by Mockmill, and was hosted by Paul LeBeau and taught largely by Guy Frenkel. It was a great 2 day class and I learned a lot about how to mill grain into flour and bake great breads with the freshly milled flour. I’ve since had a similar class at Barton Springs Mill in Austin, Tx.

      I recommend both classes highly, as well as any classes at either place. Go, you’ll learn a lot!

  3. I’m surprised the temp of the two highest scorers was higher than the temp used for raw foods. I thought the Komo at least was considered a cold stone mill…I guess it underscores the importance of freezing the berries first to keep the temp lower, even w cold stone milling.

    1. Hi BA,
      This is a recurring topic of discussion among home millers. Many become quite adamant about their position. It is similar to a discussion I had years ago when I suggested blanching honey before using it in dough to make sure the enzymes in the honey didn’t impact the dough’s rise. An outraged honey lover told me that heating the honey would destroy the nutrients. I pointed out that the next thing we did with the honey infused dough was to bake it, hotter than the honey lover liked and for far longer. In that case, I suggested to get the nutrients from the honey, put it on a piece of bread and enjoy it that way. I don’t think she was pleased with my reply, even if it did make sense.

      We have a similar issue here. The hottest flour clocked in at 130F. When I bake bread, I bake it until it gets to about 205F. It’s not likely that the milling will be an issue. Royal Lee Organics commented that flour lost essential fatty acids when heated about 170F. None of the mills approached that threshold. They found, in their mill, that wheat’s temperature rose by about 35F when milled.

      There are a number of approaches people use to minimize heat gain. Freezing grain is one, but I am concerned that the cold grains would have moisture condense on them which could cause the grains to clump up in the mill and not flow properly. Some people mill in two passes, one a coarse pass, the next a finer pass.

      All in all, I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble – the stone mills from Komo and Mocklmill made better bread than the Whispermill, despite the Whispermill flour being milled much more finely and much netter than the flour from the KitchenAid remaining much cooler. In the end, the loaf tells the tale. Please try making bread with flours from different mills, and with different temperature minimizing techniques and let us know if it made a difference. If you send me photos, I can attach them to your comments.


  4. For gluten sensitivity, I’m curious to know if the lower temperature of the grains milled with Kitchen Aid is better . And would the Mock Mill attachment for Kitchen Aid produce the same or higher flour temperature?

    1. Hi Hilary,
      Since I haven’t used either the newer KitchenAid flour mill or the MockMill KitchenAid attachment, I really can’t comment on them authoritatively.

      The older KA mill was slow, noisy and produced the worst flour of any of the mills we tested. I am leery of the newer one, perhaps without cause.

      As to heat, it isn’t clear to me how moderate heat will impact gluten. If you have gluten sensitivities, you would be wise to use gluten free grains.

      Good luck,

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