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Old 01-27-2009, 07:11 PM   #1
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Default Continuous Hopper Project?

I was just wondering if anyone had built something like this before? I've been wanting to built a continuous hopper to slowly drop out hop pellets into the boil, but not sure what kind of motor or hardware would accomplish this. Any ideas?

The goal would be to approximate what dogfish does for their 60,90, and 120 min IPAs. I've done clones of these before by doing additional every 2 mins, but a hopper to do this for me automatically would be awesome. Below is a picture of an old DFH one from their brewery that unfortunately doesn't give anything away.

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Old 01-27-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
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What you want is a timer motor.

TIMER MOTORS - FOR SALE - Surplus $10 for a 3/4rpm.

Setup some small containers in a circular turntable (something like old 35mm film containers). It would pivot on a plate that has a small hole that is passed every time a container advances over it. This 3/4rpm motor would ride against the larger turntable. Size the wheel depending on how often you want to drop hops.

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Old 01-27-2009, 07:43 PM   #3
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Well, just thinking to myself that looks like a grain mill at a glance.

So if we assume pellet hops are used they are of fairly uniform size. You could get a grain mill where the hopper nose is small enough to only allow a small volume of hops to go through the rollers at a time and open the gap of the rollers wide enough that it doesn't cling onto the hops, but tight enough that the hops do not fall through.

Then just attach a drill at a very low speed?

I came up with that idea in about 12 seconds so it probably isn't worth trying, hah.

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Old 01-27-2009, 08:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
What you want is a timer motor.
Setup some small containers in a circular turntable (something like old 35mm film containers). It would pivot on a plate that has a small hole that is passed every time a container advances over it. This 3/4rpm motor would ride against the larger turntable. Size the wheel depending on how often you want to drop hops.
This sound promising, just having a tough time visualizing it. Guess it wouldn't hurt to open my pellet stove and see how it works.

What about a miniature wheel at the bottom of the hopper that has little baskets. The hops would drop in and the wheel would turn slowly and eventually drop them when turned past 90 degrees.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:22 PM   #5
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Another idea comes to mind. Get some kind of variable speed motor, attach an auger to it that has a wide twist, put the augor in a fitted chute and place one end over your hopper. The pellets would drop into the end of the auger and depending on how fast the motor was pushing the hops forward, governs the speed of hoppage.

Any ideas what kind of motor to use?

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Old 01-27-2009, 08:29 PM   #6
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The auger idea seems really easy to implement but sourcing the auger seems to be the tricky part.

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Old 01-27-2009, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
What you want is a timer motor.

TIMER MOTORS - FOR SALE - Surplus $10 for a 3/4rpm.

Setup some small containers in a circular turntable (something like old 35mm film containers). It would pivot on a plate that has a small hole that is passed every time a container advances over it. This 3/4rpm motor would ride against the larger turntable. Size the wheel depending on how often you want to drop hops.
This is the ticket here. Plus it allows you to measure each addittion whereas an auger would not.

Google automatic fish feeders. I used to have one in my aquarium that did the same thing, but dosed every 12 hours and much smaller quantities.
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:31 PM   #8
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DFH first system involved and electric football table...so there's that

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Old 01-27-2009, 09:32 PM   #9
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Fish Feeder?
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/hopp...17/index3.html
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/so-y...ld-hack-76731/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/zizzles-brewbot-99860/

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Old 01-28-2009, 05:56 PM   #10
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Ahoy hoy,
I built one and it works like a dream. If your interested in seeing it, including a small video, check out my homebrew blog. The link is in my sig below. After that if you have any questions just send me a pm.
A great day to you all....

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