Flour Milling



I have recently acquired a grain mill and have started on the long, slow road to learning how to mill.


Was just wondering if anyone with some experience would be happy to give me some tips on getting started. In particular:


- Do you sift/sieve/bolt your flour? If so what do you use? If in Australia can you recommend a product to use?

- Do you temper your grain in water? If so what mill do you use and do you know if this can be done with all mills or only certain types without damaging the mill?

- How many passes do you make through the mill for say an everyday baking flour? Do you sift in between passes?

- Can you recommend to me any resources either online or in book form that could assist me?

- Any other beginners tips you learnt that really helped you when you started?


Thanks a lot in advance.

328 users have voted.


LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2016 March 16

Yes, I mill some of my flour.  I do sift my flour and I use what is called a classifier.  This is a stainless steel screen that is used to classify soil samplers or to pan for gold.  I use a number 20 screen and it removes about 3% of the flour from the rest.  http://www.blackcatmining.com/mining-equipment/jobe-classifiers.cfm  They are designed to sit on top of a 5 gallon plastic bucket.  I just rock the bucket back and forth and the flour gets sifted in about a minute.

I don't temper my grain and never have.  I have a KOMO DUETT MILL.

I only make one pass through the mill.

If you want to make white flour you can buy more classifiers and stack them on top of each other.  The higher the number the more flour that will get sifted out.  I would start with a number 20 and included all the classifiers to about 50 or 80 for a white flour.  I don't sift out higher than a 20 because then to much flour gets sifted out for me.

Anonymous 2016 March 29

Hi LeadDog,


Thanks very much for that info. I’ve also since come across recommendations to use a classifying sieve to remove some of the really large bran particles.


Unfortunately I am located in Australia so that company won’t be able to help me. Further I don’t seem to be able to find any good resources in Australia for classifying sieves.


I do however have an option to order a sieve from the UK. However the only details I can find about the fineness is that the gaps are approximately 1mm apart:




Do you have any idea if that is a similar level of fineness to the number 20 screen that you use? There doesn’t seem to be a uniform measurement listed on the different sieves I am seeing which is making it very difficult to compare. I’m really just looking for something that will give me perhaps 75-85% extraction. The home sifter I have is clearly not for this kind of use as everything gets through if I sift it.


Thanks again.

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2016 March 30

The #20 classifier is 1/20 of an inch or 1.27 mills.  I think to get 75-85% extraction you will need #50 or 70# classifier.  With my mill I would start with a #20 and not skip any of the classifiers until you got to the level of fineness that you want.  I'm surprised that the gold industry in Australia doesn't have classifiers for sale that is why I mentioned it.  You can try and contact Jobe direct and see if they have a contact in Australia or if they will sell to you direct.  http://www.jobewholesale.com/products_results.php?Search=0

StretchNFold 2016 March 30

Thanks LeadDog & Farinam.


Farinum - I will check out that sieve as I can see it is stocked in House so I will go in and have a look for myself. Thanks for the heads up.


LeadDog - I have tried contacted Jobe so will see what they say. I have also found the following Australian gold prospecting company who lists a series of classifying sieves that sit on top of each other which sounds similar to what you use? Would you mind having a look and letting me know what you think? Link is:



There are also 4 different grades of classifying sieves listed on Reeds Prospecting. I haven't quite got my head around the grading yet but I assume the .08" means .8 of a mm is the gap between each mesh connection?







Thanks for your assistance.

farinam's picture
farinam 2016 March 30

Hello StretchNFold,

Mesh size is expressed as the number of openings per inch so a 20mesh screen would be about 1.25mm opening.  So basically, you would have to decide how small as size you wanted to screen at and work out the necessary mesh to look for.  A 53mesh screen (as I recall) is 300 microns (a bit under a third of a mm).

The 'dog ears' (") means 'inch' and the 0.08 inch is a 12 mesh screen or about 2mm opening.  I think you would be looking for something quite a bit finer than that.

Good luck with your projects.


LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2016 March 31

The classifiers at Prospecting Supplies will work.  I would get the 20, 30, and 50.  You need all three as if you try to just use the 50 by itself the screen will be overloaded with all the bigger pieces.  They don't show a 70 on their site but I think that is most likely the finally grade that you would want.  The 100 might be to fine but I don't know.  I have never gone above a 50 so I'm not sure what one will get the job done for you.

The classifiers at Reeds have to large of screens and will not work to make flour.

StretchNFold 2016 April 1

Thanks again LeadDog that input is invaluable to me.

I received a response from Jobe who pointed me in the direction of the following website:




They have 20, 30 and 50s so I could look at buying those, however each one is $40 individually so at $120 total I am looking at a big spend to sift my flour… I may have to stick with my kitchen sifter for now or just purchase the 30 and hope this will do the job.


Thanks again for your help.

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2016 April 2

I would start with a 20 and add as you can afford them.  If making a more whole grain bread is a possiblity for you make that loaf with the 20.  Then keep adding classifiers until you get the flour that you want.  I have a 50 and it doesn't make a white flour.  I still think you will need to go to a 70.  One thing that I forgot to ask you is what kind of mill do you have?

StretchNFold 2016 April 4

Hi LeadDog,


I have a Hawos Billy 100 with an electric motor. I think they're somewhat comparable to the Komo Mill?

Okay thanks for the recommendation I might start on a 30 just to get a slighter finer flour than I am currently getting with my kitchen sieve and then if that is too fine I'll make my next purchase the 20 and then the 50.

Thanks again.

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2016 April 5

Yes, the Hawos Billy looks very comparable to the Komo mill.  I think they might even be related.  My comments so far should be good for you then.

The 30 could be a good place to start.  You can sift out the larger bits with your kitchen sieve first.  I only sift one classifier at a time instead of stacking them like they are designed.  That way I can tell when the flour is done sifting.  I have tried running the sifted out bits through the mill a 2nd time and I don't think I ever gained anything.  Your mill could be different so it will not hurt to find out.

farinam's picture
farinam 2016 April 4

Hello StretchNFold,

I wonder whether you should look at something a bit finer than 20# (1.25mm opening) in the first instance since you say that everything goes through your normal kitchen sieve and in my experience the mesh size in them is about 1mm.  Some of the specialist 'chef' shops might also have kitchen sieves with finer mesh though I'm not sure how the price would compare with the 'mineral' sieves that you are looking at.

Good luck with your projects.


StretchNFold 2016 April 4

Hi Farinam,


Thanks for your suggestion. I agree and I think I might start with a #30 and go from there as I would like something a bit finer than my kitchen sieve.

That is a good idea re the chef shops. I guess the only unknown might be the grading details as some sieves I am seeing around simply have the outer dimensions listed and not a grading of the mesh itself.

Thanks for your suggestions.

LeadDog's picture
LeadDog 2016 April 5

I forgot about a great place to read about mills, milling, and sifting is here.  This is where I learned more than I would ever use.

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