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Gravity Grain Handling System Idea, suggestions?

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  • Gravity Grain Handling System Idea, suggestions?

    I have a very tall building, I will be sharing a grain handling room with a distillery. I'm putting in a 10bbl brewhouse, distillery size is comparable. The distillery doesn't need a crush different that what I'm doing for the brewery. I utilized some drawings from the vibrascrew website to build what I'd like to purchase. The concept is to utilize gravity and minimize moving parts for the grain handling system. Looking at the drawing, the frame in light blue would be hold the manual bag dumping hopper (with door drawn in the open position). If we're loading 50# bags of malt, the operator would adjust the pour so they don't overflow the hopper which feeds the mill, the mill feeds the hopper that would feed cracked grain either to the distillery or the brewery. The second part of my design is the bulk bag system (the frame is in black). If I can't fund this part of the design right now, it's an option that I'd like to add when funds warrant (ie it would modular, I can add it on top of the blue frame at a later date). There would be a hoist to pick the super sac's, and unload as shown. I believe I'll need a pneumatic, manual control knife gate valve to control the flow of grain into the mill when using super sacs.

    Has anyone done something similar? I do have experience with material handling from my former career, but I was dealing with powders and not grains. I could be missing something with my design, but it seems like a pretty good idea?

    I'm working with vibrascrew to work a two roll mill into their existing design (they basically have the system drawn minus the mill). I'm all ears from anyone willing to provide feedback on my design.

    Any vendors willing to quote please PM me, anyone with a system similar I'd love to hear your feedback.
    Model II V HD with hoist and flexifeeder-Layout2.pdf

  • #2
    A few things to consider:

    What are the legal ramifications of sharing raw materials with another alcohol producer, specifically a distillery? If its possible, do you have a good handle on the material tracking and paperwork required by TTB?

    Can the floor support the total weight of the system within the footprint?

    How do you plan to weigh out grain from the super sack? Will the hoist I-beam be mounted to the super sack frame? If so, you can add load cells to the frame legs.

    What is the hold up volume between the IRIS valve and the mill? Meaning: when the mill/screw goes down, how much grain do you need to clear out before you can get in to fix it? You should leave space to wedge a slide gate between the bag dump outlet and the mill if possible.

    It looks like you'll need a platform for the bag dump. How are you getting bags to it? Will it be in the way of maintenance activities on the mill, screw, supersack, etc?

    You might rotate the bag dump so that its front doesn't line up with the glovebox, which makes the glovebox hard to reach.

    Spend the time/money making sure you get tight seals on the bag dump door, glovebox door, and mill inlet. Malt dust works its way out of connections just like cornstarch/flour/etc.!

    Definitely looks possible and like you've been around super sack equipment in the past!
    Kyle Kohlmorgen
    Process/Automation Consultant
    St. Louis, MO


    • #3
      To echo Mike, you'll need some kind of scale for weighing the grain from the super-sacks. Either compression load-cells on the sack support legs, or a single tension load-cell on the hoist.

      You'll also need a dust collection port on the top of the mill, and easy access to the mill for clearing jams. An electronic interlock to prevent any grain valves/gates from being opened without the mill running will help prevent jams, but, stuff happens.
      Timm Turrentine

      Terminal Gravity Brewing,
      Enterprise. Oregon.