Friday, May 16, 2014

home made cornmeal

An easy task.....grinding your own cornmeal / cornflour

Grinding our own flour / meal was something that we knew would be easy, but we didn't really want to spend over a hundred dollars on an electric grain mill. Luckily, I came across a few hand operated grinders on ebay for anywhere from 24.95 to 39.99.  I elected the cheapest one first (just to see how "bad" it was gonna be.)  I read numerous complaints about the fact that these cheaper models don't really do anything  more than just "crack" the grain.  So I figured I could at least  use it to crack corn for the chickens.  Needless to say, it works much better than expected, you just need to run the grain through it more than a few times to get the desired results.

This is the hand grinder I bought for 24.95 (free shipping too!)
I decided to try corn first.

You will also need a strainer and a bowl.

After filling the grinder with the corn (or whatever grain you are using), I suggest using a large plastic ziplock and a rubber band to catch the millings. It is not necessary, but it can make quite a mess otherwise. 

This is the perfect time to get the kids involved. (unless of course you have an electric one.) Start the grinding plates out with a decent gap where most of the kernels are cracked. Then, refill the grinder with the millings and reduce the gap between the grinding plates. Regrind. Refill. Reduce gap. Regrind. Refill. Reduce gap. Regrind.....are we seeing a pattern here yet? Keep it up until you get the desired texture. This batch we did took 7 times. The more you do it, the more meal / flour you will get and the less tailings that get feed to the chickens. 

The first bowl shows the texture after the first run through the grinder. The second bowl is after 5. I probably could have reduced this to 4 or five grindings by reducing the gap more between each grind, but I don't like to over work the grinding plates.

After the last grind, I dump the millings into the strainer which has been placed in the bowl. (I do this in small amounts so I have room to shake, rattle and roll.

The left bowl is the final product I wanted (cornmeal). The bowl on the right is the tailings I will feed to the chickens. These are much finer than the cracked corn you get at the farm stores, so I like to mix them into the chick feed when the chicks are about 3 weeks old.

Time to bread some fish.....or make corn muffins!!!!
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