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WonderMill Grain Mill - Powerful, fast, gets the job done!
on January 27, 2010
Let's start right with - I LOVE my WonderMill! I also have a hand-grinding mill (Back to Basics) that I have used, but decided to look around for an electric mill, because even though the B2B is great, my hands and arms got tired, quick. Have no fear though, I'll keep the B2B for when the power is out, or we go camping, it does a great fine grind. So, I did some research, and then I saw and read some comparison tests. Well, I chose the WonderMill.
Just to clear up some things:
YES, you can turn off your WonderMill in the middle of grinding. Whether you can do this with the older models, I don't know, but the newer models you can. The manual still states (shown below) that it 'should' never be turned off, but if you go to the video link that I included, John shows you how to do to it. The manual has not been updated, per phone call.
Here is the information from the manual:
"You should NEVER SWITCH OFF your mill during its milling cycle. Wait
until it has finished milling all of the grain in the hopper before stopping.
Starting the mill with grain in the hopper or stopping the mill while it is in
process may cause your mill to clog up with flour. If you wish to mill a small
amount of flour just add a small amount of grain.
If an emergency occurs and you must turn off the mill before the hopper is
empty, turn the texture knob to the far left, pastry setting (11 o'clock), then
switch the mill off. To restart the mill, remove all grains, hold mill firmly and
shake mill upside down while tapping one side of the mill, readjust the texture
knob to the coarse position, then turn the mill on. If the mill only hums - Do
NOT continue to try to run the mill. Call the Service Center for
Assistance at 208-234-9352."
And here is the updated info, via youtube video: from the company, showing how to do it: [...]
** Added: 2/3/1010 - Amazon took off video link, which I can understand, so, here is how to find it: go to youtube and in the search bar at top of page, enter "grotemolen" WITH the quotes (the quotation marks will narrow down results), and you should see the different videos that the company has put out. Click on the one titled "Turning off the Wondermill Grain Mill During Milling". **
I also called the company itself, to make sure that when I wrote my review, that I was stating accurate information, and I was told: for older models, the information in the written manual is correct - but they have done more testing, and have found that NO, you do NOT have to turn the machine upside and empty out the hopper, and NO, you do NOT have to turn the texture knob to coarse before turning it back on. I also asked about the video showing John putting the wheat berries in the hopper before turning it on and was told it is better if the machine is empty when turned on, but that it was okay if you had grain in it.
So... if you need to turn off your grinder to run to the bathroom (please, wash your hands before coming back ;o)) or grab the phone that is ringing, or answer the doorbell... well, you can.
Loudness of the grinder: yes, it is very loud - when empty. Presumably though you won't be running it for too long with the hopper empty, then it quiets down some while grinding and stuff is hopper, as it empties it gets louder again. For myself this is not a problem, especially after grinding up Parmesan cheese chunks in my food processor. If you've ever done that, you know what I mean. :o)
Which brings me to next point: when you first go to turn it on - hold onto it - maybe it's just mine, but it jumps a little. Once it gets going it's fine, but just so you know. Also, be prepared for when the hopper empties out, that 1 or 2 grains might try to escape by flying out. ;o)
As far as getting the lid off the flour canister, I agree, it originally was a pain, but, I learned a trick. Hopefully, it will work for others, and not just on mine: I turn the canister so that the part with the curved flour tube is pointed AWAY from my body and pull up on the tab that is located by the tube while my other arm is wrapped around the canister - then I have a much easier time getting lid off. As I said, hopefully that will work for others. I don't know why it works on that particular tab for me, but it does. Don't ask me why. And yes, push down on all sides to make sure that it is firmly attached before turning on machine, push down with both hands firmly until you hear loud click - I learned that lesson very well.
Here are some things to hopefully help others when they get their machine:
When you first get your mill, you're told to run at least 2 cups of wheat or other hard grain, well, I wasn't willing to throw away good wheat, so, I used rice instead, and did 3 cups, just to be safe. No problems. It was also a good way to test the texture settings for me.
The curved flour tube does NOT come off and does not pull straight out sideways! It becomes easier to move with usage, but first time might be a little tough. I'm right handed so here is how I do it: place my left hand, flat, on top of canister with tube side facing right, I take my thumb and hook it just into the hole and lay my forefinger along the side of tube for stability, and gently pull up and around. Basically you will be 'flipping' the tube horizontally, without removing it.
When I first got machine, I hand washed all that could be washed, and wiped down the hopper part, then I milled my first grind, which was the throw-a-way rice, when you go to grind, make sure that the filter is on the machine and that you put the separator cup back on correctly (line the flat side of cup up with flat tab - I used a marker and made alignment arrows for ease). I forgot that first time, and made giant mess. Just an FYI. Another reviewer talks about lining the canister with plastic bag and that it helps with clean up - I have not tried that, but it sounds like it would work, I'll add addendum when I try it next week. Just ground up 6 cups of wheat so won't need more until then.
Hope that this review helps someone else and clears up a little of the confusion that seems to be around about this machine.