Below is a list of questions or problems you may have with the mill along with solutions.
A) Check Mill Mounting. Make sure that your Country Living mill is sturdily mounted to something that is attached to either the floor or the wall. It takes a fair amount of leverage to turn the mill and if it is not firmly mounted extra effort will be required to hold the mill still. Even mounting the mill on a sturdy table will be problematic, because the table will have a tendency to move around. We suggest a counter or a workbench which is built or screwed into the wall.
B) The Power Bar. The power bar extension handle reduces the effort of turning the mill 40%.
A) Check Grains. Most often this problem occurs when soft, oily, or moist grains are being ground. These clog up the patterns of the grinding plates and make grinding a laborious and interminable job. Even hard grains like wheat, spelt, and corn can collect moisture during storage and gum up grinding plates. The best test to determine if your grains have collected moisture is to throw a pan of your grain into the oven at 150 degrees for 45 minutes, and then try grinding that grain. If there is a noticeable or miraculous improvement then you know that moisture is the problem.
Clogged grinding plates can be cleaned by taking off the adjustment knob and rotating grinding plate and using a stiff toothbrush or even a wire brush.
The Country Living mill is not recommended for grinding oily grains, seeds or nuts. The following is an incomplete and ever-expanding list of what can and cannot be ground by the Country Living Mill.
What the Country Living Grain Mill will grind:
Beans – depends on variety, but hard, dry beans grind well (requires corn auger)
Barley – This grain is somewhat soft and will require more grinding time.
Buckwheat- This can be ground with the hull, but tends to clog the grinding plates if ground without the hull.
Cane sugar (already coarsely ground) – This will grind into powdered sugar if you add approximately 50% cornstarch before grinding
Coffee beans – Coarse grind only because these beans are oily (requires corn auger)
Corn – most hard varieties, including popcorn. Popcorn may not require the corn and bean auger, because of its smaller size, but most other corns require use of the corn auger. Some large kernel corns may not feed because of their size.
Garbanzo Beans- Though very hard on the exterior, the interior of these is rather chalky. They can be ground into a fine flour, but the grinding plates will require frequent cleaning because they will clog at the center. Garbanzo beans do not grind quickly. (requires corn auger)
Herbs (dried)—Many varieties of herbs (but not all) will grind if well dried, are without stems and in small flakes. (May require corn auger and progress may be slow)
Mushrooms- If broken into small pieces and dried extremely well. (May require corn auger)
Raspberry seeds- Only if dried to a 3 or 4% moisture content, otherwise they will clog the grinding plates.
Rice – All varieties of white and brown
Rye – This grain is somewhat soft and will require more grinding time.
Salt – This grinds well but can be corrosive to the plates, so clean them afterwards!
Seaweed- Certain varieties only, and the seaweed must be extremely well dried
Soy beans – Depends on variety, but they will crack well. They are too soft and moist to make flour. (requires corn auger)
Spelt – This grain is somewhat soft and will require more grinding time.
Stinging nettle-If well dried, and broken into small enough flakes these will slowly grind into a fine power. (requires corn auger)
Wheat – All hard varieties. Soft varieties will tend to clog the grinding plates. Soft wheats can be mixed with harder wheat varieties and be successfully ground.
What it will not grind:
Products that are too soft, too moist, or too oily will not grind well and tend to clog the grinding plates. Among these are:
Coffee beans- espresso style grinds will tend to clog the grinding plates
Nuts of most varieties
Oats- These are generally too soft for grinding, but if you mix them with another hard grain they work well, as the harder grain has a tendency to clean out the grinding plates.
Mesquite beans or pods
Peanuts?Raspberry seeds- Unless dried to 3 or 4% moisture content these will clog the grinding plates
Seaweed- Many varieties of seaweed will not grind well
If there is another kind of nut, bean or grain we haven’t mentioned, you will not damage your mill by experimenting with it. You may find you have to remove the rotating plate for cleaning if your product is too moist or oily or becomes clogged. Simply use a stiff, clean toothbrush to brush out the plate grooves and make sure both plates are completely dry before re-assembling.
Have fun and get the most out of your Country Living Grain Mill!
B) Replace Worn Grinding Plates. As grinding plates wear they will began to produce flour more slowly. A healthy set of grinding plates should have grooves radiating from the center of the plate out to the edge of the plate. When these grooves began to disappear on the outer edges it may be time to consider replacing your grinding plates.
The most likely problem is that the adjustment knob is slipping. Below are some solutions to the problem:
A) Clean the Adjustment Knob. Fine flour can get in the threads of the adjustment knob and serve as a lubricant, causing you to lose your adjustment. Unscrew the adjustment knob and clean out the inside threads with a toothbrush. Also clean the threads on the stainless steel shaft.
B) Create more Friction. Use a piece of fine sandpaper to roughen the threads of the stainless steel shaft. Often this will create enough friction so that the adjustment knob will no longer slip.
C) Lock the Adjustment Knob in Place. After adjusting the knob to the fineness of grind that you desire, spin on a 5/8 nut, locking the knob into place. This is an especially good solution when the mill is motorized, hooked to an exercycle.