I'm hoping to start going all-grain more frequently soon, but I need a better method of automating the malting and kilning of the grain. I played around with a few ideas in my head and here's what I came up with:
All you really need is grains, water, aeration, and means of rinsing/draining the grain to prevent molds/bacterium from having a field day.
All you really need is grains, air, a heating element, a temperature sensor, and a humidity sensor.
Q: What has all those pieces?
A: A washer/dryer combo.
So the question that I wanted to bounce off of you guys is do you think something like this could work?
Ultimately a Washer/Dryer Combo (link
) would have all the pieces you need. Stainless tub, fresh water supply, drains, air ducts, temperature and humidity sensors, and convenient form-factor. Obviously you would have to gut or hack into the controller board to make it work right (unless you can find one with a 'Malt Quinoa' setting). Seriously though, do you-guys think something like this could be made to work?
Washer = Malting:
Put all the grains in a ginormous grain bag, then I could see it partially filling the tub with water, rotating ever say 30 min, so that the grains all get enough water, emptying and refilling once every 8 hours. You could even add a small fish-tank heater to keep the temp of the water just right.
Dryer = Kilning:
Then when you're done malting you just switch over to kiln. All the water drains away and you apply hot air until the humidity equals some percentage. You could probably get a max temp in the 150-170F range, and since you replaced the hacked the controller you could likely program in certain kilning cycles. I doubt you could get this thing safely above say 250F, but still that would get you a pretty awesome variety of grains.
So let me know what you think, any tips or caveats would be appreciated and who knows, maybe I'll try getting a bunk one off of Craigslist and see if I can make it work.