FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a Stone Grain Mill & Flaker (Oat Roller)?

A stone mill or grinder uses grinding stones to produce high quality fine to coarse flours, used for breads, pastries and baking. A flaker or Oat Roller, uses 2 rollers to gently press grains, seeds and spices, used for making freshly rolled oats, seed meals and spices for breakfasts, baking and cooking. Maximum nutrient and taste value are the result.

Is it easy to use a Stone Grain Mill?

Yes, it takes as little as a few minutes grinding for a loaf of bread, and is an economical and easy way to have healthy and tasty breads and baking from whole grains. Buying and storing grains is also very simple, with many organic stores stocking whole grains. Flaking is also very easy, even younger children can enjoy making freshly rolled oats with a hand flaker. All the stone mills and flakers available at Skippy are designed for decades of use, making them a long term investment in your health and enjoyment of whole grains at home.

Why use a Kitchen Grain Mill?

Commercial milling removes nearly 30% of the whole grain. Within 72 hours, whole grain flour has lost over 80% of most vitamins. Mold and bacteria also quickly combine to further reduce nutrients and taste. The wheat germ oil quickly becomes rancid, leaving the flour tasting flat at first, and then bitter. This is why big flour mills remove these parts, so their “flour” will sit on the supermarket shelf and not spoil – vitamin B deficiency diseases Beriberi and Pellagra emerged when industry began to mass produce refined flour, and their solution was to “vitamin enrich” the flours with Thiamine and Niacin made from Coal Tar. So most people don’t know what fresh flour and pressed grains are like – even store bought “Stone Ground” whole grain flours are not fresh, having been milled days, weeks or even months before use.

What grains and spices can I grind?

Stone and steel milling of Wheat, Rye, Spelt, Barley, Oats, Millet, Corn (Maize, not popcorn), Durum Wheat, Long Grain Rice, Round Grain Rice, Buckwheat, Linseed, Chickpeas, Dried Peas, Quinoa, Amaranth. Other clean grains of a similar size (that are dry and low in oil content) can be milled with care in stone mills. Coffee can be done with some success if it is very well roasted. Stone grinding of spices includes Coriander, Fennel, Cloves, Fenugreek, Caraway, All Spice (pimento or Jamaican Pepper), Pepper Corn, Mustard Seed on coarse setting, Dill, Cumin, Nigella (Black Cumin), Chili, the seeds of Green/White/Black Cardamon etc. Small amounts of oily items can be done 100%, or used in a mix with dry items. Contact Us if you have specialty uses or questions about mixes.

What can I press or roll in a Flaker?

Oat Groats (kernels) are naturally soft and press into rolled Oats (flakes) without preparation for breakfasts, and this is the main use of the flakers. Other harder grains like rice and buckwheat etc, can be pressed into flakes by pre-softening first – requires the grains to be doused in water in a muslin cloth or similar, and then left to drain/humidify (not soaked) until they become the same softness to that of an Oat groat. Stainless steel rollers in the CAMPO SS and ESCHENFELDER models (not the Campo ST) allow for spices, seeds and smaller nut pieces to be pressed fresh. e.g. making fresh linseed meal, crushing spices for cooking etc.

Can I grind or flake nuts and seeds?

Unless roasted very dry, nuts and seeds do not stone mill well 100% on finer settings due to the higher oil content. Shorter sessions of meal can be achieved on medium settings 100%, like linseed or sunflower seed meal. A stone grinder can also mill nut pieces and seeds down on fineer setting when mixed up to 50:50 with hard dry grains like wheat. The stainless roller flakers from Schnitzer and Eschenfelder are ideal for pressing nut pieces, seeds and spices. Linseed meal is very popular together with freshly rolled oats. Please Contact Us for specialty uses and mixes.

Is the flour output fine from a stone mill?

Fine flour output from the Hawos & Schnitzer 90 – 100mm mill-work is particularly good at greater than 90% under 300 micron. This translates into genuinely fine flours when the finest setting is desired. The output makes fantastic breads without sieving, and where sour dough benefits greatly from the complete balance. Sieving is of course an option too if you want super fine flours for pastries etc, but many home millers discover that the fresh whole grain flour output in natural balance including the bran and germ grain particles make wonderfully tasty and nutritious foods, without the need for further refinement… super-fine is not always the best.

What are the benefits of Stone mills over Steel mills?

Korean/USA designed kitchen mills including the Wonder(Whisper) and Nutrimill operate at ~ 20,000 RPM, exploding the grains with metal teeth in a small mill chamber. High speed steel milling is noisy and considered to be harmful for the flours due to heat and oxidation under forced air. “I had the ‘whisper mill’ in the garden shed because of the noise, but also because of the flour flying around. It will be luxury to stone-mill the grain inside the house.” Roy & Lyn, NSW In contrast, the age old method of gentle stone grinding is valued for the high flour quality. Most electric European stone mills operate at 1440 or 2800 RPM, and are considered intermediate speed grinders designed to retain the integrity of the flour whilst producing a useful output rate. Our tests have shown that stone grinders using slower speeds increase the flour transit time and heat up the flour, but intermediate speed mills generate less heat at ~ 36-42C, well below the 55C damaging levels, producing higher quality fine flours with more nutrients and better taste.

Is grain easy to source and store?

Yes, there are many Traditional, Organic and Biodynamic growers in Australia. Grain is easy to store in your home. Consult your supplier on best storage practice. See the Grain Suppliers Listing for an outlet near you.

How much flour do I get from the grain?

When whole grain milling, you get the same amount of flour from the grain measured by weight. Volume increases ~ 50% depending on variety. e.g. 1 cup of wheat grain makes ~ 1 1/2 cups flour.

Does it take a long time to make flour?

The time depends on the output of your grain mill – from 40gms per minute for stone hand milling, up to 400gms per minute with semi-commercial electric models on the finest settings.

Why is grain moisture important?

Milling of grain requires grain-moisture of less than 14% to prevent the milling surfaces from binding. Try the knife test – place a knife blade flat over a grain on a hard surface and press down. If the grain cracks, it is usually dry enough to mill. If it squashes without a “crack” sound , it is considered too damp to mill and should be dried out before milling or another grain supply sourced. Moisture/Oil balance should be between 15-25% for flaking (rolling/pressing) as found naturally in oat groats.

Is cleaning a stone grain mill easy?

Yes, cleaning a stone grain mill is a simple task. For regular milling and flaking, cleaning is not a necessity, but can be done at any time if desired. Two simple options are; 1) coarse mill a tablespoon of rice between sessions to clean the grinding surfaces. (stone mill), and 2) Run on coarse and vacuum the output spout. *NB dry cleaning only. If a stone grinder stops grinding due to high moisture or oil “smearing” the stones, simply turn off the mill as soon as you observe the grinding output lessen, clean the mill chamber out, clean stones by milling white rice on medium to remove the smeared product, and you are ready to mill again. Cleaning timber housings is done with a dry cloth, and rejuvenate occasionally with Linseed Oil.

How long will a stone grain mill last?

A quality stone grain mill will last many decades. The brushless induction motors are large and heavy duty, without any brushes to wear out or replace (ratings on Induction motors are much lower than brushed motors, equivalent to ‘000 of W in a smaller brushed motor). The corundum stones last up to 15+ years under normal use conditions because the stones are always kept apart by the flours whilst milling, even on the finest settings. The timber housings are very sturdy in regular dry climates. The Hawos Billy & Queen models are recommended for high humidity climates. eg. far north QLD.

Can I trade an older or smaller Mill for a new one?

Yes, Skippy has a high demand for trade in unites — contact us

Can I get spare parts and service?

Yes, spare parts and service are available here in Australia through Skippy.