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I want to buy a flour mill for bread and pizza flour. I read that stone grinding wheels are better for grinding fine flour (tipo 00) than metal burrs. The mill that I am looking at does offer fine metal burrs. Any insights into which is better, stone grinding wheels or metal burrs? Can I grind "tipo 00" in one pass or do I need to do multiple grinds?

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  • Consider an electrically powered unit. Your arm will get very tired grinding a pound of wheat into flour. I use a Victorio Hand Grain Mill which I've attached to a DC motor drive. With the proper shim, this steel grinder will get down as fine as you like, but it's not of a size to make grinding a pound of anything very practical. Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 0:45
  • Are you using hard or soft grain wheat? Hard grain (as in /semola do grano duro rimacinata/) will probably wear off metal burrs faster, and stone ones are probably better suited.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 14:35
  • I am planning on using hard white spring Nebraska wheat but as this is a new adventure, I am open to new ideas. I doubt I'll be grinding enough that wearing out the burrs will be a problem. I'll be dead by then. I saw the KoMo electrics but they look boutiquey to me. Nobody appreciates a well made and beautiful wood product more than me but I am looking for a serious machine. I am leaning towards the Diamant hand driven mill right now...unless I find something better.
    – user36802
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 16:24
  • Diamant, good, that's set up for easy attachment of a belt drive. You will be tired after you've turned that handle manually 20,000 times. Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 22:58

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Though I've never ground wheat, I've used metal and ceramic mills to grind spices, rice, and nuts. As far as I know you'll usually find either ceramic or steel burrs. Steel burrs though usually stainless steel, can still corrode depending on the type of steel used. Where as you typically want a harder steel for mills, you also want something corrosive resistant, but often a compromise needs to be made between one of the other.

Its known that ceramic burrs do a better jobs grinding to a consistently small grind. However I've never had an issue with a steel burr, though I've never ground anything to the fineness of OO flour.

As far as I've heard you should not grind anything in more than 1 pass. Its my understanding that its harder to grind something that's already been ground than it is to originally grind it to that same coarseness on the first run. My coffee grinder, which is a conical burr grinder, actually voids the manufacturer warranty if you do this. I assume this is because the burr can become clogged, and can wear out the motor.

In my experience I've preferred ceramic burrs for their ease of cleaning, they don't have issues with static like steel does so the burr rarely needs to be dusted off because it doesn't accumulate build up nearly as quickly.

As far as grinding to a finer coarseness I have no reason to believe that one is better than the other, and cannot think of a reason why that would be so. I've heard that ceramic is better for this, but cannot back that with any facts.

For other reasons I prefer ceramic for just about any type of burr. As far as fineness I've found that the size and quality of the burr can effect consistency the most regardless of the material its made out of.

Addition:

I've used this grinder for over 2 years now. I don't know if it will grind to the fineness of 00 flour, but its rather cheap and good quality.

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  • Nor grinding in more than one single pass is probably more concerning to coffee grains/mills than what ones. Notice that "rimacinata" means "re-milled" as hard wheat grades need to be miles twice to archieve 00 finesse.
    – J.A.I.L.
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 14:40

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