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Old 07-26-2012, 02:53 AM   #1
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Default Ideas for improvising a kiln

I've been trying to get some home malting done, and have been going about collecting the various equipment for the task, but I'm trying to figure out a way to kiln that won't take anything too exotic (aka expensive). I've built a couple of racks to dry the malt on from flywire and pine, but have not yet figured out how to dry it effectively beyond using the ambient heat since it's summer now. However, living in Ohio as I do this heat will be gone before too much longer, and I'll be SOL.

What I'm hoping to do is find something that can generate some heat at the base of a column so that a fan at the top can suck it through the malt, but it also not likely to catch the wooden base on fire. This is where I turn to the homebrewing community for answers, because I just don't know exactly what piece of equipment I'm looking for. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-26-2012, 02:57 AM   #2
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Any way you can line the interior of the base with brick or metal to deflect heat? Then you could use a slow burning charcoal to produce the heat.


There are probably some small radiant heaters that you could use. You might scour craigslist for one. Or you could try one of the propane camp stoves. Set it on a very low setting and see how it does.

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:06 AM   #3
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Do you want to heat it or just dry it?I picked up a nice dehydrator with 5 racks at an estate sale for $5.

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:07 AM   #4
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I could probably do something with some brick. Unfortunately I'm in an apartment, and my only other area available is a garage and our driveway. So I don't think I could leave something like that going without getting some grief from my landlord. A radiant heater with a brick/metal base might be my best bet.

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Old 07-26-2012, 03:24 AM   #5
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At this stage I just want to dry it to a pale malt stage. After being able to achieve that consistently I'd like to try my hand at roasting the grains to different levels. My only concern with most dehydrators would be how much capacity they have once I start scaling things up.

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Old 07-26-2012, 08:59 AM   #6
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I would think airflow would be more important than just heat. Yes, hot air absorbs more moisture, but you need to be dumping the moist air and pulling in dry air. The charcoal idea is good because you can get some convection going, but a radiant heater and a fan should work as well. My gut instinct would be to use a little ceramic space heater and an air intake and chimney to regulate airflow.

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Old 07-26-2012, 01:16 PM   #7
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Default clothes dryer

Why not use a clothes dryer???. Craigslist. There are lots of You tube articles on this are available! If you want passive set up. Google air drying lumber. Lots of creative solar wood dryer set ups especially if you have southern exposure. Use clear Plastic sheet attached to southern wall with fan to circulate air and moisture out!! Use your existing frames and screen!!

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Old 07-26-2012, 06:56 PM   #8
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Unfortunately I don't have a wall with southern exposure, or the room in our apartment, or garage, for a second clothes dryer. I think I'm going to try the radiant heater on the bottom with my rack held above it by a few cinder blocks. The racks are two feet by two feet, so I'm wondering if it would be ok to just set a box fan directly on top of them and have it pull the hot air up and through the grain, or if it would be better to use a piece of wood as a lid with a smaller computer type fan put into the center of that. Thoughts?

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Old 07-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigroaster View Post
Why not use a clothes dryer???. Craigslist. There are lots of You tube articles on this are available! If you want passive set up. Google air drying lumber. Lots of creative solar wood dryer set ups especially if you have southern exposure. Use clear Plastic sheet attached to southern wall with fan to circulate air and moisture out!! Use your existing frames and screen!!
Yeah, I seem to remember an Australian guy who rigged up a kiln out of an old used clothes dryer. He even grew his own barley if I remember correctly.

Searched up YouTube and found this:

and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotat...&v=I8PQinJOjsg
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:28 PM   #10
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I remember coming across that recently when I was looking for more info on DIY kilns.

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