October 8, 2013 at 10:06 am
After months of research, I finally bought a micro-ionizing grain mill.
Both Nutrimill and Vita Mill are made by the same company: L’Equip.
Nutrimill retails for about $249.99 and Vita Mill for about $179.99, a $70 price difference.
I bought mine from For Your Kitchen, which throws in Free Shipping (a $20 savings at the moment) for the VitaMill.
Here are the pros and cons: VITA MILL: PROS: Price, lives up to its marketing, grinds 12 cups of whole wheat in a little over 3 minutes, so it’s exceptionally fast.
Only has one grinding result, which is 98% fine flour and 2% very fine coarse meal; most people will not even notice the coarse mixture.
Seal connecting motor and flour canister is tight, includes a ‘fine flour filter’ which captures all of the flyaway flour.
12 cups of wheat yields 20 cups of flour.
I have noticed that different grains yield a different grinding result.
For example, wheat grinds up a 98/2% flour/meal ratio, but popcorn grinds up about 85/15%.
The “cornmeal” specifically takes some getting used to, because it comes out looking much more like flour than commercial corn meal, which is very coarse.
Of course, if you’re looking to make tamales or tortillas, the 85/15% blend will be perfect.
Regardless of “meal” percentage (wheat or corn), the coarseness is very fine.
Due to its two piece design, (the motor section can invert and sit inside the flour container including all the implements) it stores easily in your average kitchen cabinet.
CONS: No courseness settings (i.e., fine, medium, coarse), The motor housing and flour container hook together via a pop out rivet type fastener fitting into a groove on two sides, which are very stiff and difficult to manipulate.
You need to push in on the rivet, and pull up the motor housing at the same time, which is difficult to do, the motor housing weighs about 6 pounds and is a bit bulky.
This weight makes cleaning out the motor housing a bit difficult.
The difficulty in separating the motor housing and flour canister is significant.
Add this to the normal cleanup and frankly, it inhibits spontaneous, impulsive grinding.
Translation: grinding is a project not a spur of the moment decision.
NUTRI MILL: PROS: Adjustable courseness setting, flour canister simply slides in and out, making it friendly to grinding small amounts for a single use.
Motor housing unit and bottom are all one unit, so nothing needs to be disassembled.
Cleaning is much simpler because of this.
The fine flour container does not sit in the flour box like the VM, so less collects on the outside of the FFC (both collect flyaway flour inside the FFC, that’s the point.) Due to its coarseness settings, a Very Fine setting will produce flour identical to flour bought in a store bag.
CONS: Price; it’s not cheap no matter where you buy it.
Perhaps due to the coarse setting ability, grinding is significantly and noticeably slower: 12 cups of wheat takes about 10 minutes on Fine.
It’s ironic that the length of grinding time is significant enough that I would put off grinding unless “I had to,” however today, as an example, the convenience would likely induce me to grind up 8 cups to fill my flour canister.
Although the fine flour setting produces virtually 100% flour texture, the feeder requires regular attention.
Due to its one piece design, the Nutri Mill will not store easily in a kitchen cabinet (height), if at all.
RECOMMENDATION: For irregular or once a month use, the Vita Mill is an excellent machine.
If you plan on using your grinder on a daily or frequent basis, the difficulty in separating the housing units will become annoying quickly.
I keep my flour in a Rectangle 3 Modular Mate from Tupperware.
It happens to hold 20 cups of flour.
As I write this, I am down to about 6 cups of flour in the container.
DILEMMA ! Do I grind more flour (but less than the maximum I could-20 cups) or do I wait until I’m completely out (which will be in the next day or so) and then I have to add grinding to a baking day? (I try to do all of my grinding at the same time- wheat, oatmeal into flour, etc.) By the way, neither one of them will grind oatmeal, or any of the oil based grains or seeds (i.e., peanuts, flax etc.) For daily use, the Nutri Mill is more convenient, and if you will truly be using it daily, it’s likely worth the extra $70.
If you’re not going through enough flour to make two loaves of wheat bread daily like I am, the Vita Mill is a high quality, solid machine, a great value for the money, and will last you a long time.
October 8, 2013 at 10:12 am
Micro-Ionizing is a process which uses some type of force (usually wind, via a blower) to break up larger particles.
These mills use a micro-ionizing blower to blast the grain into flour, versus a stone mill where the grains are crushed into flour (after several iterations) or a hand-grain mill which uses a roller-type grinder and pressure to grind into flour.
This is why the settings on the Nutri Mill can be turned to “coarse, medium or fine”, what you are really adjusting is the force of the blower.
The Vita Mill only does “fine” because it is permanently set to only one blower force.
A stone mill (or even hand grinder) depend on the length of separation between the two stones or roller/grinders to determine coarseness (or lack of it), as well as the type of grain.
It is this “lengthening or shortening” which allows you to create say, “cracked wheat” (generally once through a stone mill at its largest length) but makes you pass through wheat which has been ground once (on a fairly short setting) again, in order to get really fine (think commercial texture) flour.
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