Pleasant Hill Grain

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SKU: RA223, Part Number: S-700
  • $749.95
  • In Stock Vendor shipped. Usually ships in 1-3 days.

Included

  • Royal Lee grain mill
  • 4 quart glass flour bowl
  • Bowl cover
  • Cleaning brush
  • Disasembly tool
  • Owner's manual

Description

Royal Lee Household Grain Mill

The Royal Lee Household Mill grinds dry grains, including dried sprouted grains, into whole grain flour or meal right in your kitchen. The Lee mill is a precision-engineered appliance based on Dr. Royal Lee’s original 1940s design. In the current mill, Lee Engineering has upgraded the electrical components, made the motor quieter, added an automatic overheat protection circuit, and made many other improvements.

The Lee mill has a unique design; it's a high speed micronizing mill, but unlike most micronizing (aka "impact") flour mills that use disks with opposing rows of stainless steel teeth, the Lee mill features impeller arms that sling grain particles at high speed against a stationary synthetic stone. By adjusting a gap at the outer circumference of the milling chamber, the user determines how fine particles must be to exit the chamber. Setting the outlet gap tighter increases the time flour remains in the chamber, and decreases the throughput rate. In this respect, the Lee mill is identical in basic concept to a commercial hammer mill. A typical stone burr mill controls output texture by the burr gap, a typical impact mill controls it by input restriction, and the Lee mill controls it by output restriction.

Input rate is self-governing in the Lee mill, so the rate of grain input automatically keeps pace with the texture setting you choose.

Capable of grinding most dry grains, experience with this mill has demonstrated to us at Pleasant Hill Grain that the Lee mill is uncompromising in its focus on ultra-fine flour. It produces the finest flour of any home grain mill we've ever seen, and if making the finest whole grain pastries is your goal, we think the Royal Lee mill certainly should be a finalist in your selection process. At its finest setting, the flour truly is incredibly fine, containing virtually no coarse bits at all. Such flour is just what you want for pastries, but offers no advantage for making normal bread. Deciding whether it's the mill you want for wider-ranging needs involves weighing several more factors.

As is usually the case in life, attaining a pinnacle as remarkable as the fineness produced by the Lee mill requires tradeoffs. From our perspective, we find those in the price, milling speed, flour temperature, and ranges of input and output sizes, compared to other mill choices.

Starting with cost, the Lee mill clearly occupies the upper tier of mill pricing. How you personally look at that price will likely depend on your mill budget, how highly you value ultra-fine flour, and how important the mill's limitations are to you. These are highly personal considerations; some will say “no way,” others “no problem.”

Looking at milling speed, at its finest setting we timed the Royal Lee mill at 25 minutes to grind a full hopper (8 cups) of hard wheat. As mills go, that's a long, long time—easily the slowest milling performance we've ever observed. In fairness, of course, at that finest setting the mill is using that time to make incomparably fine flour. At the Lee mill's medium setting, which produces flour perfect for making bread, it ground 4.7 ounces per minute, still 2-4 times slower than most of the mills we offer. A slower mill can simply be started earlier to have your flour ready when you need it, but a two-to-four-fold difference is a lot, bearing in mind that grain milling is inherently a somewhat noisy operation.

Related to milling time, in the Lee mill, is the temperature of the flour. Excessive heat destroys nutrients, and while most of the mills we offer keep flour around 118 to 120 degrees at their finest settings, we measured the Lee mill's finest flour at 155 degrees F, which is simply extreme. Milling bread-texture flour kept it at 122 degrees, just a little over what's common among other quality mills. These results were for full-hopper batches; when milling smaller amounts, temps likely won't get quite as high. We aren't aware of quantitative figures on the difference in nutrition loss between 118 degrees and 155 degrees, and when making pastries your primary focus may not be on nutrition, but the presumption would seem to be that it has some value, or you'd just be baking with white flour.

Output texture range: Having established that the Lee mill has fine flour nailed like never before, it can also produce excellent bread flour and, by moving the texture lever to the coarse end of its range, it will also produce a meal texture. Some mills that are claimed to produce meal actually only make coarse flour (which is finer than meal), but the Lee mill will indeed make a true, gritty meal texture—something that other micronizing mills cannot do. And because the adjustment mechanism is continuously variable within its range, you can choose any texture between true meal, and ultra, ultra fine. The Royal Lee mill's output range stops at meal texture, so it does not share the ability of some mills we offer, to produce a cracked-grain result (coarser than meal texture.)

Input size range: While some mills will accept large-kerneled field corn, the Lee mill's inlet size requires that field corn (also called dent corn) be reduced in size first, using a food processor. You could probably use a blender instead, taking care not to go too far with this pre-milling, as Lee Precision says not to regrind flour with the mill.

Another limitation of the Lee mill is that it cannot grind beans or oilseeds. The oilseed restriction applies to most home grain mills of the types that can make good bread flour. The makers of the Lee mill recommend that users who want to mill products that are higher in oil or moisture content purchase a second mill of the steel-burr type, made for grinding coffee or seeds. Most such mills are quite inexpensive, and we think this is good advice. Most grain mills can grind beans if they fit into the mill's inlet which, for some mills, requires pre-processing.

We've found installation of the flour skirt between the mill and the included flour bowl awkward, and its removal after milling to be messy. Also, if the stationary stone is removed for cleaning, its reinstallation is quite difficult due to its tight fit tolerance with the milling chamber.

Overall fit and finish of the mill are impeccable, as one expects—but doesn't always get—from a countertop machine at this price point.

In summary, we find that the Royal Lee Household Mill's ability to make incredibly fine flour from whole grains is unparalleled. If your baking focuses on whole grain pastries and if none of its tradeoffs are deal breakers for you, then we think this mill offers excellent value.

For more details please see the specs tab, above.

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Specs

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Brand Royal Lee Organics
Width 9.3"
Depth 13.8"
Height 17.6"
Product Weight 23 lb.
Grinding burr diameter 6.25
Finish Painted glossy
Housing Material Cast aluminum
Burr Material Corundum
Bowl Material Glass
Capacity 8 cups
Power Electric (AC)
Horsepower 1 HP
Volts AC 120
Watts 746
Amps 7
Hz 60
Cord Length 36"
Warranty Length 1 year disc assembly, 5 years motor and stone, 15 years other parts
Country of Manufacture United States

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Parts

Specials:

See product description below.