I plan to take up grinding purple corn to grits (plain grits, not hominy grits) and corn meal soon. Maybe flour sometime too, but that's not really important. I'm interested if anyone has an opinion on how different options for grinding compare in terms of the quality of the finished product and in terms of ease of use, including cleaning if necessary.
I have a big Kitchenaid stand mixer and a Champion juicer and I've ordered one of the g-series Vitamix blenders which should arrive any day now. I believe grain grinding attachments are available for all 3 of these. For the first 2, I believe the attachments are pretty conventional grain mills that attach to splined shafts from the motor, kind of like a PTO on a big engine. For the Vitamix, what's available is a dry grinding container (with its own set of blades) designed for making flour. It is very similar to the standard carafe and fits on in the same way, so the blades spin the same way. The only differences, AFAIK, are the exact shape of the blades, and the size of container (smaller). So it essentially still a high power blender, which is a distinctly different from the mechanical function of conventional grain mills.
My understanding of the alleged superiority of stone grinding is that the temperature reached in the grinding is much lower than what is reached in more common types of flour mill. Even if I assume this is true (and I do) it's not clear how well that extrapolates to small machines grinding up a pint or so at a time. Manually powered grinders exist with both steel grinding plates and stones. The only stone ones I've seen so far are horrendously expensive. It seems to me that one of the main criteria should probably be how easy it is to get a grind with the desired coarseness with a fairly consistent particle size. Instructions for some of the manual grinders talk about sifting through multiple sieves and making multiple passes through the grinder to achieve this. Maybe there is no easier way. I'd like the resulting product to taste at least as good as a commercially ground product would, but I don't want the process to be so much work I never get around to it.
Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.