The miller is a mighty man, a mighty man is he. This is a phrase that takes us back into history to the days when milling was literally a cottage industry. In olden times the community revolved around two necessary characters. One was the blacksmith without whom you couldn’t get your animals shod. The many things made from wroughtiron you might need. He also sharpened mill stones. The other was the miller who took your raw grain and made into something that was useful. Flour was the main product produced at the miller’s place. He made other things as well. One of these was bran which is the outer layer of wheat. Another was cracked grains used to make animal feed, grits or corn meal.
In olden times all flour was ground in a stone mill. They were of varying size depending what they used as a power source. It's still possible to buy stone ground flour. You've to hunt for a source. Today most flour is milled by a machine that uses steel rollers to crush the grain into flour. Is enriched with vitamins and minerals.
The old stone mills used two mill wheels that were mounted horizontally with the bottom wheel turned by water or wind power. The wheels were from six to eight feet in diameter. There was a series of grooves that went from the outside to inside at an angle. My grandfather who was a blacksmith by trade knew how to sharpen these mill wheels when the miller decided that they'd grown dull from use. This was a big job because not only were there grooves across the face of the wheel. There was a slight bevel cut into the wheel between segments. You'd to know just how much material to chisel off each segment or the mill wheel wouldn't mill the grain properly. The best mill wheels came from a quarry in France. Many mill wheels were cut from local quartzite or granite.
The miller could adjust the distance between the two mill wheels to make the different products his mill was capable of making. Bran the outer shell of the grain was the first product to come out of the mill. The next product was wheat germ. Some other germ which was actually what the grain grew from. The last product was flour that was used for making bread and other baked products by the local baker or the farm wife.
The other product most millers made was animal feed. In this case he cut the grains much coarser then he did for flour. In addition the animal was usually ground from whole grains. Some of the flours the miller made were also whole grain.