Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

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Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:11 pm

In a further effort to take more control over my brew processes I am malting my own grains ( and if I can get good at it who knows maybe sell to local ag brewers for a small profit but for now just for me. )

Anyways I want to be able to dry and kiln aproxx 5 kg at a time. I want to automate thus as much as possible to have as much control.

Option 1. Re purpose an old mini fridge.
Add controller unit ( adrinno? Raspberry pi?) With 2/3 thermometers and 1/2 fans. ( controller to be used on any setup I make)

Heater unit ( thinking of using a reptile tank ceramic heater)

Add trays for grain to sit on the built in racking supports . Vent through the top and done.


Pros - already have an old non working mini fridge.
Insulated
Easy to clean

Cons- I don't know how well it will stand up to heat... not sure if it will off gass or what the effects if it would be. Hoping you guys would weigh in here.

Option 2 - build a box or buy a cheap cabinet.
Same type of setup. Trays with element and controller.

Pro built to spec
Control of material used for safety.
Cons. A little more expensive. More time consuming.

Option 3. Build a rotating drum. No fans needed drum rotates and mixes grains this will still.need to be in a cabinet to heat.

Pros more of a Comercial setup
Likely more efficient
Should work to seppereted the roots from the grain as well.

Cons.
Harder to build. More sophisticated electronic controls


Let's hear your thoughts as I will be doing this tomorrow and Sunday. ( necessity may see me using a simple thermostatic control for now until I can figure out the adrinno setup)

Yak
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby bitter » Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:26 pm

Arn't you a carpenter?

I woudl think some plywood and 2" foam and you coudl have a pretty nice malt drying cabnet. I think 3 100w light bulbs would heat it to 100F maybe hotter depending on airflow. I have been thinking alot about building one.

I will be watching!

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby Hedge » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:42 am

Hey Yak

I just spent some quality time inside my front loading clothes dryer and I think a busted dryer (they're pretty much worthless once the built-in timer controller is fried) might be a good starting point. A belt drive one should be relatively easy to fiddle the rotation speed on, you can get them with stainless drums, they have built in 220v heating elements that you could just hook up to a cheap PWM controller.

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby Hedge » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:56 am

A venturi would be a good way to unload the dried malt.

http://products.exair.com/lv-vid?t=7uug ... fsa8khspm0

I've used products from these guys for extracting metal slugs in the past, they work great and they're not silly money. The nice thing is there is no impeller in the vacuum path to get plugged or physically damage your kernels.

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:10 am

Bitter - ya I am lol. Just curious what everyone's thoughts were. I think I jave settled on a design, not sure if it will work but I'm hoping. Should be pretty cheap too.

Hedge- I don't want to use 220 for it and getting another dryer into my basement is not a challange I want to do a again. I believe I have a design that is very similar and should work well.

I like the venturi idea. I would for sure use it if I was to go bigger then personal. Otherwise a few minutes work by hand is no problem. Now, if I could use that to move mash.... that would be perfect.... I wonder....
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:00 pm

Progress today. Pictures tomorrow..

Settled on a 2 /3 tray design.
Will give specs tomorrow along with detailed build info and pics.

Ordered a controller also 55cdn with 2 day shipping. It will get here just in time to dry my barley. This may be a bit over converted but not by much. And it will only be 4 lbs anyways. https://www.amazon.ca/Inkbird-ITC-308-T ... B011296704

I'll be able to use this as a smoker and for jerky too.

Yak
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby cob » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:24 pm

yak air flow is at least as important as heat until you get to within about

10 points of relative humidity, without good airflow heat means little.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby bitter » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:26 pm

could make some peat smoked malt and make a single malt.

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:27 pm

Noted cob. More fans. Now which would be better. Exhaust fans in the lid, or fans underneath the malt blowing the hot air around...
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby cob » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:47 pm

pushers to keep your fans out of the humidity and dust/ debris.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:10 pm

Excellent. Thanks for the tips.

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby NZChris » Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:46 pm

Put it in the tumble drier. It's a bit noisy and the Missus might complain a bit when she dries the next few lots of clothes, but it works really well and most of the sprouts get knocked off and collected in the filter.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:19 am

Nz you mean to dry the malt or just to brake off the sprouts after? No missus to get mad at me lol, it's just me. Bit I've already bought the stuff to make mine lol. I was planning on making a spinning drum for it. Sized just to fit the inside of the box, screen sides for airflow through and using a bbq rotisserie motor to turn the barrel slowly. But settled for a tray system for now. Will get more ela borate later.

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby NZChris » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:31 am

It does both, want it or not. I've only done it with corn and it works really well. If I was going to change anything it would be to control the heat to the element. To automate it, compare T in to T out and shut it down when they are close enough, or monitor humidity.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:23 am

My controller would do the heat issue :) if i have to do a big batch that will be how I do it probably. Thanks for the tip nz. Might just use the air fluff feature for the root removal for now too.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:53 pm

Ladies and gentlemen. I give you my new malt dehydtator/smoker.

With 4 trays. 15.5 inches x 16 inches by 2.5 inch deep. Standing 43 inches tall. 18x20 inch base.
Made completely out of 1x6x6 tongue and grouve and 1x3 strapping.

Still need 3 more fans and for my controller to come in and then she's set.
Attachments
rsz_20170320_162523.jpg
How I'm controlling the venting through the top.
rsz_20170320_162507.jpg
Complete and closed up
rsz_20170320_164432.jpg
rsz_1120170320_154909.jpg
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby NZChris » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:17 pm

Very nice.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby bitter » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:22 pm

Nice were I send emt to get one? ;)

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:49 pm

Thanks nz. Question on fan placement. We've agreed that the fans need to be below the grain. Now. Would it better to have the fans inside circulating the hot air, or set to draw air in from the bottom at both sides? Not sure which way is better....

Bitter, everything is for sale for the right price :p it honestly wasn't that expensive to build tho.

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby bitter » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:57 pm

I was just joking.... nice job though.. I can't afford anything right now, not even any sugar for a neutral run. As a result working on using up any grain I have.. Be it beer or whiskey.

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby Lyonsie » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:50 pm

Well done yak looks the business. How much grain will it hold?
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:12 pm

2557.5 cubic inches of bed space. Aproxx 10kg full. I'll known for sure when I dry my first batch.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby Lyonsie » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:35 pm

Excellent. I was hoping for the fridge build myself cos iv got one but well done. I might pick your brains over this in the future.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby bitter » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:38 pm

The more I look the more I am going to have to build one these... maybe 2.5x as wide... so I can do a whole feed bag at once..

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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:41 pm

For the cost of the lumber I couldn't say no. It wad easier and ultimately safer to make it. And prob took less time than the fridge modification.

I could write up a cut list for mine to build it exactly the same.

I still.need to get these fans figured out
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby yakattack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:45 pm

bitter wrote:The more I look the more I am going to have to build one these... maybe 2.5x as wide... so I can do a whole feed bag at once..

B



You wouldn't need to. If I changed the rais to 1 inch stock and added the extra drawrs I could hold 25kg in it. But if you made it wider and dropped the hight in half, you could do it with 3 draws and have room to spare. You'd need 2 elemen's tho.. I may need a second one myself for doing any dark malts... or I'll just use the oven for those.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby Lyonsie » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:51 pm

I think that would be a fantastic resource for anybody interested in this.
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby bitter » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:04 pm

yakattack wrote:You wouldn't need to. If I changed the rais to 1 inch stock and added the extra drawrs I could hold 25kg in it. But if you made it wider and dropped the hight in half, you could do it with 3 draws and have room to spare. You'd need 2 elemen's tho.. I may need a second one myself for doing any dark malts... or I'll just use the oven for those.


I was actually looking at it a bit wider and also stacking things closer together... Was thinking if used maple.. could made the drawers spaced only about 1/2" apart... Was looking could make one with the maple I have I think... and then use 1/4" plywood panels on the sides and make dovetail slides for the draws... maybe from oak or ash.

I'm not worried about a ton of heat anything I do will just be drying the malt so if I can hit 120F be hot enough.. if I want to toast some will put that in the oven. In most cases would be malt enough for a big batch and then make a mash.. so don't want long term storage.

Here is a good article on crystal malts. bet could get something similar to honey malt by experimenting... and do like 1 tray worth to flavour things.

http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/01/h ... nique.html
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby cob » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:07 pm

yakattack wrote:Thanks nz. Question on fan placement. We've agreed that the fans need to be below the grain. Now. Would it better to have the fans inside circulating the hot air, or set to draw air in from the bottom at both sides? Not sure which way is better....Yak


yak ideally forcing air up through your malt beds,

however any airflow through the cabinet will draw off moisture

until your malt is as dry as the air outside the cabinet, then heat

will dry your malt below the ambient humidity.

blow as much air through the cabinet as you can

the malt will dry no matter how hard you think about it.

add heat at the end of the cycle if you think you need to.

try just fans only to see how dry it will get.

remember your not cooking just drying.

posted with bitter
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Re: Building a malt kiln/ drying cabinet.

Postby Swedish Pride » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:24 am

Looking good mate, it's obvious that you took pride in making it right, looks lovely
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