Grinding wheat berries

The main reason I bought the Vitamix is to grind grains. I have had it a little over a month now and still haven’t used it for that purpose. I did grind out some oats into flour for making pancakes, but no flour yet. It was time.

I pulled out the 50 lbs bag of hard red winter wheat berries that I have and got to work.

As I was scooping the wheat out of the large paper sack I noticed that there were “things” in the wheat berries, larger things that the wheat berries themselves so I slowed down to have a look.

Hard Red Winter Wheat Berries

It was just bits of stems.

As I poured it into the vitamix I would pick out the bits of stem. Then I noticed something smaller and darker… it was a small stone. About the size of a pea. I am sure glad that I saw it.

I ground the grain in small batches and true to what others have told me, the flour heats up during the grinding process. I kept two bowls nearby and would alternate putting the warm flour in each bowl so it had a chance to cool down.

I also did not grind the grain very fine, but left it more like a course ground flour.

Stop by on Friday to see what I made using this flour.

The hard red winter wheat berries I ground have been kept in their original paper sack until this point and I know I need to get another food-grade plastic bucket to keep them in.

I am looking for advise so I can keep my wheat berries dry and fresh.

Do you have any advise for me?

Sincerely, Emily

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13 Responses to Grinding wheat berries

  1. Dani says:

    What you call wheat berries we call pearl barley – very interesting 🙂

    • Interesting. This is what I found on the Food Network site about Wheat vs Pearl Barley.

      Wheat Berries: not berries at all, but whole kernels of wheat. They vary by type — hard, soft, winter, spring, red and white — but the taste difference among them is minimal. Cook in lots of boiling water (like pasta) until a kernel is one color throughout when sliced in half crosswise. When thoroughly cooked, wheat berries remain slightly chewy. Cooks in about 50 minutes. Available forms: whole kernel, cracked, rolled, puffed, flour.

      Barley: a comforting, chewy, slightly sweet grain that is most familiar to fans of mushroom-barley soup. Barley is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals as well as a heart-healthy soluble fiber called beta-glucan that has been shown to lower cholesterol. Because of barley’s structure, some of this soluble fiber remains even when much of the bran layer has been removed, so even pearl barley has good nutritional value. Available forms: whole kernels, pearl, grits, flakes, flour – then it said this about “Pearl Barely” Pearl barley — along with the hulls, some percentage of bran is lost as a result of “pearling”, an abrasive polishing process. The more the kernels are pearled, the less bran remains. Pearl barley that sold in health food stores is generally less pearled than the barley sold in supermarkets. Cooks in about 30 minutes. Quick-cooking barley is heavily pearled barley that has been par-cooked. Cooks in 10 minutes.

  2. Hi Emily. I have been making bread with fresh ground wheat about 14 years now. We buy in bulk from Montana Wheat and have to get a truckload between a lot of people here. We put out whole wheat in big white food grade buckets with the screw on lids. Some people even put dry ice in the buckets and that sucks the air out so little bugs can’t get in and live. Some also put big baggies of the whole berries in the freezer.

    Did you buy organic? Sometimes I get stuff like that in mine too. Good thing it’s big so it can be picked out. And sometimes I have noticed that when I am eating the bread, it’s like there’s sand in it. I always thought it was the mineral salt and quit using it in the bread. But now that I saw your post, it just could be little pebbles that I’m not seeing.

    • Hi Kris. thanks for stopping by! I have some org. spelt (from Montana wheat)in one of those big white food-grade buckets. That seems like the best way to go from what I hear. I was in on an order last year with a group and combined we ordered 15,000 lobs of grains and flours from MT Wheat. What fun!

      This wheat that I bought is organic. Interesting (odd interesting) that you get a sandy grittiness in your bread from time to time. I guess it could be little pebbles being ground up. I completely missed getting a photo of the little one I found.

      I have heard of people using dry ice in their buckets, I didn’t just understand what it did. Thanks for explaining that. Also, I am going to to back and edit your comment to add the link to your blog, somehow it didn’t come through with your comment.

  3. Jane says:

    I love my vita-mix and use it most days. It was the one electric appliance I knew I would keep when we went off grid. It comes in handy for making so many things. But I have to admit that I do not like the way it grinds flour. I will be curious to see how your recipe turns out.

    • Hi Jane – I know you just need to keep your biceps pumped up and use your manual grinder for your grains don’t you! ha. I am having fun with the Vitamix. I am glad you still use yours even off-grid!

  4. Jenn says:

    Hi Emily, were you using the Vitamix Dry Grains container when you ground the wheat berries? In the dry grains container you would place 1/4 – 2 cups of grain into the container and secure lid. Select Variable 1 & slowly increase speed to Variable 10 & High. Grind to desired fineness. The longer the machine runs the finer the consistency of the flour, usually about 1 minute. Please give us a call at 800-848-2649 (option 2). We’d be happy to help you achieve the best blend. Thanks!

    • Hi Jenn – WOW! Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my post. Yes, I did use the dry good container. I know I didn’t grind it for very long, and it was fun to see what it actually did to the grains. The muffins turned out fine and the more course texture I ground the grains to came through in them. It has been fun playing with the dry goods container. I have ground oats for flour to use in pancakes and they were great! I will give you a call after I play a bit more and experiment with course and finer grinds. Thanks again for your comment. Fun to you know you are out there!

  5. narf77 says:

    Try using those silicone packets that come in all sorts of dried ingredients these days. I kept one from a large container of fish oil tablets (for our dog) and ended up using it to keep the home made dehydrated dog jerky that I make for the dogs crisp and dry and it really works. I haven’t been brave enough to grind wheat in my dry vitamix goblet. I occasionally grind sesame seeds or make seed/nut meal but most of the time it languishes in the back of the pantry…makes me wonder why I paid the extra $125 for it all those years ago! 😉

    • Hi Fran! I do save those. Someone said they were great to use when saving seeds to help keep moisture out (it might have been Xan over at NDIN) That is great they worked to help to keep the moisture out of your dog jerky. I am sure Earl and Bezial thank you I am sure!
      Ok, time to get brave and use that dry vitamix goblet. Your aren’t getting your money’s worth with it sitting in the cupboard. So use that dangit! (what are you grinding your grains with?)

  6. Wow Em! I just got a vitamix too but have yet to use the dry blade. I didn’t get 50 lbs of wheat berries but I have a small bag waiting. Maybe I should grind them up so I can make a loaf for those turkey sandwiches coming up!

    • Hi Rebecca. Looks like we can compare notes on our new vitamix machines. I need to get some more wheat ground to get some loaves of bread made, cubed and dried for stuffing next week. (and bread too!) I just made a loaf using 1/3 of the coarsely ground flour and it was nice (the other 2/3 was org white store bought flour) and I added in some whole grain millet for crunchy grains in the bread. it turned out a very nice and moist loaf. I will up the course ground flour to 2/3 next time and see what it is like. It will be fun to try grinding the flour more fine also to see what happens in the bread backing too.

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