Week 10: Wheat
25 lbs of Wheat (Red or White)
After this week, you should have 50 lbs stored. The program goal is 200 lbs. We will address Wheat 6 more times (in weeks 20, 25, 35, 45, 48, and 50).
We covered Wheat in Week 2. In that module, we talked about the benefits of whole wheat, the differences between Red and White wheat, the differences between Soft and Hard wheat, how to store wheat, and it's shelf life. We recommend you go back and take a look if you have any questions.
Link: Week 2: Wheat
In this module, we are going to talk about sprouting wheat, grinding wheat, and we will touch on some wheat grinder options.
How to Sprout Wheat:
Sprouting wheat is a great way to determine if the wheat is still good. It takes about 3 days and is very easy. Want to test that old wheat you have been storing for decades? Try the following:
Day 1- Soak about 1/3 cup of grains (works with beans too) overnight in 1 qt of water. I use wide mouth quart canning bottles with netting (for straining) held in place with the canning lids.
Day 2- Rinse the seeds thoroughly and drain. Once rinsed, cover the jar with a damp cloth held on by a rubber band. Store the jars lying sideways in a dark, cool place. Rinse the seeds twice each day. Make sure the excess moisture is drained off after each rinse or the seeds will ferment.
Day 3- Rinse and drain twice a day. If using the sprouts: When the sprouts are ready, place them briefly in cold water and disentangle for use. For greener sprouts, expose them to sunlight for 2-3 hours before refrigerating. Store sprouts in a covered container in the refrigerator. Be sure to sterilize the jar before starting new seeds. Here's what mine looked like after a few days:
Grinding your own wheat:
Why do people grind their own wheat? There are a few reasons. First, it gives you a little more control. You can choose how you grind it. Maybe you prefer very fine flour (finer than you can get from the store), and maybe you prefer a more course flour or even cracked wheat. Depending on how you grind it, you can choose how fine or course you go. Also, consider freshness. You can buy big bags of flour from the store (or even little bags), but how long has it been since it got ground, and how long will it take you to use it all? The longer your flour sits, the more nutrients you lose. When you grind your own wheat, it's fresh every time. And you can grind only what you need. It's also nice to know that a few hundred pounds of wheat will last you a long time. This is very comforting if you ever go through some financially lean times. Or what about a pandemic (who thought we'd see one of these?) where all the stores are out of flour. You don't have to worry about any of this. You can have flour whenever you want. Another benefit is you can choose the kind of flour you want. Hard red wheat yields a different kind of flour than say hard white wheat, or soft white wheat. So consider storing several different kinds of wheat.
Types of Wheat Grinders
I have two basic wheat grinders. An electric grinder (my daily workhorse) and a manual grinder (my backup for when the power is out). My grinders are over 10 years old, but that just goes to show these last forever. Here's a brief video on my wheat grinders:
Manual Wheat Grinders
Can be used with no power source
Due to it's small size, they are easy to store
Slow to grind
Except for the higher-end models, you cannot grind a fine flour
Inconvenient (messy and hard to fit a large bowl underneath)
Low end: $20-$30 models will not grind flour, only coarse corn meal, etc. Not very useful.
Medium: $75-$150 is a good price range. Roots & Branches Hand Crank Grain Mill is $80. I have the Back to Basics Grain Mill and it was about $75, but I don't think it is available any longer. It can grind fine enough for bread flour but not for very fine cake flour.
High: Around $500 for the Country Living Grain Mill. It is quicker than other manual grinders and is able to grind a fine cake flour.
Electric Wheat Grinders
Grinds very fast
Useful for many types of grains, beans, nuts, etc.
Easy to select how coarse or fine to grind, and has a large range
Can be somewhat expensive, but prices have come down a bit in the past few years
Will still want to have a backup manual grinder (unless you buy a model that comes with a manual crank)
A larger appliance to store in your kitchen
Very loud, although they have improved on this the past few years
Low: Under $200, but the drawbacks sometimes are they are very noisy and cannot do very coarse grinds.
Medium: $200-$300 can get you a great grinder. Two popular electric grinders are the WonderMill at $300 and the NutriMill at $230. One that I've got my eye on, but haven't tried yet, is actually a manual grinder. It is made by Roots and Branches and the grinder is called the Deluxe Hand Crank Grain Mill and comes in at $120. But the cool thing is you can buy a motor (Grain Mill Motor by Roots and Branches) that attaches where the hand crank goes and now you have an electric grinder as well. The motor comes in at only $65. So for $185 you have a manual and electric grinder all in one. I'll be testing and reviewing this soon.
High: Over $300 is an unnecessary amount to spend in my opinion. There are heavy duty models out there but you can get the job done with the mid-range model.