|Sissinghurst Oast House in Southeast England (source below)|
My Former System for Dehydrating Hops
Ever since I've been growing hops, I used a common household dehydrator to do the bulk of the work. Unfortunately, I could only dehydrate 4 square feet of hops at a time. Considering the volume that we have typically picked off the vines at our hop farm, this simply was not enough space.
|Former household dehydrator used to dry hops.|
|Dehydrating hops on a table in our old apartment.|
Building a Hop Oast
The idea for the new Dehydrating-damos Hop Oast came from Food Network's show "Good Eats" hosted by Alton Brown. The segment on the show is embedded below for you to see. Basically, he uses common household furnace filters and a box fan to dehydrate meat and make beef jerky.
Last year, I acquired a box fan that a friend was planning on getting rid of with the intention of building a similar dehydrator for hops, the Chillindamos Dehydrating-damos Hop Oast.
|The newly built oast hop tray frame.|
|Hop oast tray frame, simple construction.|
|Screen material stapled to the hop oast tray frame.|
|Screening material stretched and stapled on the sides of the oast tray frame.|
Dehydrating-damos Hop Oast
Building four trays and screening three of them for the latest harvest took under two hours. After, it was a matter of dumping hops in the trays, spreading them out, stacking, and applying the box fan.
|Hops dump easily into the hop oast trays.|
|Hop oast trays stacked easily.|
|Box fan blows air down through the oast trays.|
|Dehydrated hops are light and papery.|
|More Hops = More Chillindamos|
Bishop, Rob. Sissinghurst Oast House. Digital image. Geograph, Sissinghurst Oast House. Geograph Britain and Ireland, 18 Feb. 2006. Web. 12 Aug. 2010.