Why Processors Value Our Hemp Dryers

Why Processors Value Our Hemp Dryers

With the increase of popularity and mainstream approval of CBD oils and other hemp products, the hemp growing and drying industry is booming. As we continue to understand the uniqueness of hemp, more market opportunities are arising. It’s no wonder hemp processors are developing ways to have more control over the quality of incoming product.

Hemp farmers are experts in growing and harvest, and while the whole process from seed to sale is precarious, the drying process is especially volatile. A lot of crop rots because, without the right equipment, farmers can’t keep up with the drying demand. In our last article we talked about the growing popularity of co-ops and drying facilities to help streamline the process and make it more affordable for the farmers; but, there is another rising trend.

Hemp Processors Are Offering Drying Services

Many hemp processing plants are starting to offer additional services to their farming customers. By adding drying services, for example, they keep their farmers focused on growing more acres of plants while assuring their processing plants produce the best quality products available on the market.

Improving on the hemp drying process means providing a higher quality product while decreasing product loss.

The Right Equipment to Speed Hemp Drying

Louisville Dryer Company is an industry leader in hemp drying solutions. Just like processors want farmers to be able to focus on farming, we want processors to do what they do best. We know that most farmers and processors are not experts in drying equipment, but we are. We support our customers long after they make a dryer purchase because it’s important to us that your equipment operates properly and safely.

10 Benefits Of Our Hemp Dryers

Our hemp clients have improved the efficiency and thoroughness of their drying process by incorporating one of our hemp dryers while also protecting their cannabinoids and profitability. Here are 10 benefits to Louisville Dryer Company’s robust hemp steam dryer system:

#1: Continuous Process

Traditional batch processing is labor-intensive and requires handling the material multiple times. Our hemp dryer continuously dries and discharges material for as long as desired. Materials can be stored for delayed extraction or made immediately ready for the next step in the process.

#2: Size

Natural hemp drying requires a large footprint but our steam tube hemp dryer can replace a plethora of drying barns with the relatively small footprint of the dryer system.

#3 Speed

The chemical process of the hemp plant starts as soon as it is harvested. Hemp needs to be stabilized quickly so it isn’t actively rotting. The plant loses potency and value when you lose speed. With our steam tube dryer, hemp can be dried within minutes instead of days. Residence or dwell-time for materials in the unit is typically less than one hour at our quoted throughputs.

#4: Temperature

By using steam as the heating medium, you can directly control the pressure and set a “do not exceed” temperature to ensure there is minimal to no product degradation.

#5: Consistency

Depending on where you live and how the weather changes, drying times and efficiencies are likely to change a lot. A machine built for hemp drying provides a consistency to your process that you can count on. Even with varying particle size and moisture content, a Louisville Dryer hemp dryer adjusts to deliver consistent uniform material.

#6: Scalability

Our dryer’s production is directly related to the surface area of the tubes and can be easily scaled to match the desired throughput.

#7: Ease of Operation

The Louisville Dryer steam tube dryer is the easiest dryer to operate in the industry.

#8: Efficiency & Processing Rates

Our steam tube dryer has significantly fewer energy losses than a hot gas-fired system. It only uses as much steam as is required to heat and dry the material. Thermal efficiency is 80% in the steam tube dryer compared to 50%-65% in convective systems.

#9: Green/Environmental

Our steam tube dryer has less exhaust than other dryers – which means fewer greenhouse gases are produced.

#10: Process Simplification

Partial decarboxylation of the hemp that takes place within the steam dryer leads to less processing needed downstream. Decarboxylation requires heat and time to unlock the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids. Hemp naturally contains CBD-A, which needs to be activated through decarboxylation to make CBD. It’s a very important process but timing is EVERYTHING. Our hemp dryer puts you in control of the decarboxylation process and prevents significant loss of your crop and profits.

Why Are Processors Choosing Louisville Hemp Dryers?

Processors are thinking ahead towards future growth and they want a machine that makes it possible to grow and process more plants at top quality. They cannot afford to risk ruined products because the hemp farming business demands are growing faster than the farmer’s processing capabilities. A hemp drying system by Louisville Dryer Company is a wise solution to helping processors (as well as farmers and drying facilities) to achieve a level of production needed for their business growth.

Processors need:

  • Dry, stabilized biomass
  • Moisture levels at 10% or less
  • Free of mold or mildew
  • No excess fiber which dilutes the CBD numbers
  • Finely shredded materials

Louisville Dryer Company’s hemp dryers are manufactured to be easy to use and act quickly and gently on hemp biomass.

Whether you are growing and processing for cannabinoids or using other parts of the plant for various hemp products, our hemp drying technology makes all the difference in the quality of your end-product. Louisville Dryer Company’s hemp dryers are the right choice to grow and scale your business.

Contact Our Hemp Expert

Hank Lawson, Senior Process Engineer at Louisville Dryer, made it his personal mission to learn the best way our company can support hemp farmers, processors, and co-op hosts. He gained his experience first-hand by operating a small hemp farm so he could understand our hemp customers and their unique struggles. We invite you to reach out directly to him for insights into the unique issues involved with growing and drying hemp.

If you’d like to contact Hank or any of our team members about an industrial dryer, please call us at (800) 735-3163 or fill out our online contact form. A more efficient and profitable drying method could change everything for your hemp business.

Hank Lawson, Senior Process Engineer at Louisville Dryer

Could Hemp Drying Co-ops Make Farming More Profitable?

Could Hemp Drying Co-ops Make Farming More Profitable?

Reducing moisture is an essential part of hemp processing. The traditional method of hang drying is a long and tedious process where the hemp is hung upside down and dried by hand. Growers must remove the stems and then cut the plants into small pieces to dry more thoroughly. It is a time-consuming process that leaves little room for error. 

Drying only batches at a time, traditional hang drying requires:
  • Around 5-10,000 square foot per acre
  • Many days to dry
  • Days of curing after the drying
  • 12-15 people to do it successfully
  • Numerous fans and dehumidifiers for more consistent drying.

It’s a fickle process, and a lot can go wrong. If the hemp is dried too slowly, the resulting product can be low-quality or ruined completely. Higher moisture takes more time and energy to dry, and a lot of crop rots because farmers can’t keep up with the drying demand and the army of people it takes to complete it. 

This method is not scalable or profitable, and most hemp farmers who try it will only ever do it once. 

As we heard someone recently say, “There aren’t enough arms and barns for where the hemp industry is going.”

Reliability and Profitability from Seed-to-Sale

Success in the hemp industry starts with the farmer. If the farmer can’t grow successfully, the whole industry is affected. 

While the former process of harvesting, drying, and storing was adequate for growing a couple of acres of crop, hemp growers who wanted to increase production needed to speed the processing rate of wet biomass. 

With the increase of popularity and mainstream approval, the hemp growing and drying industry is booming. Laws have shifted to allow growth, processing, and transportation of hemp—even across state lines. Improving the hemp drying process means farmers can provide a higher quality product and decrease their product loss.

The problem for many farmers is cost and sustainability. 

       We understand. 

Known for our robust dryer systems, Louisville Dryer understands that the hemp market is turbulent and requires affordable dryers. We have worked diligently to bring a dryer to the market which also meets the needs of hemp producers. 

Hemp farmers need practical solutions to enhance reliability and profitability from seed-to-sale.

Our equipment is tailored to the process and we examined the return on investment for the end-user. When we work with farmers, they need to know they can trust our reputation and experience because they are not experts in industrial dryers. Our service to our hemp clients doesn’t stop with the purchase. We provide customer support after the sale to make sure the equipment operates properly and safely.

A Unique Option: Hemp Co-Ops and Drying Facilities

If you’re a farmer that wants to grow in the hemp and CBD industry, you will need to produce a top-quality product. Yet, many hemp farmers are unsure if they need an industrial-sized hemp drying system. 

Hemp co-ops and drying facilities may be the way of the future. 

Hemp co-ops and drying facilities team people together to share industrial machines—like our hemp dryers. They pool their money to purchase manufacturing equipment and then allow farmers to become members to gain access to their resources.

These co-ops and drying facilities provide a cost-effective opportunity for farmers and allow local-areas access to drying services. They maximize profit, reduce the cost of doing business, and mitigate risks. Also, members help other members through education, knowledge, expertise, experience, influence, capital, relationships, and other resources. Their commitment is to serve the farmer, from the field to the final product.

Don’t have a hemp drying co-op near you? This may be an opportunity to join with other growers in your area and get one started.

The Highest Standard of Hemp Production

Louisville Dryer has a desire to partner with the agriculture industry, drying co-ops, and drying and bagging facilities to create the highest standard in hemp production. We can help you speed up the long and tedious process of drying hemp for more efficient and consistent results.  

There are three things you should consider before investing in a hemp dryer:

  1. How much material do you want to dry?
  2. Calculate the dryer production rate in pounds per hour. 

Divide the pounds you plan to produce by the daytime hours you have to harvest. 

  1. Submit your Request for Quote for the dryer early. We suggest starting your purchase process in the winter

Allow five (5) to six (6) months to build and install the equipment. 

Our custom-designed hemp drying system is ideal for improving the process of hemp drying. Our equipment uses the proper time and temperature controls to remove the plant’s moisture without damaging its integrity. Our engineers also understand the importance of the decarboxylation process, which requires the proper heat and time to unlock the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids. 

 

Let’s Connect And Grow Together

Whether you already own a hemp co-op or drying house, or you are considering starting one, we’d love to talk to you about how our hemp dryers can be part of your scalable plan for growth. You’ll be making an investment that will create future growth for yourself and many other farmers and processors. Over time you’ll find that your expenses can be significantly minimized by automating your process, reducing risk, and cutting overhead costs.

Louisville Dryer is a leader in hemp drying solutions. Our hemp clients have been able to improve the efficiency and thoroughness of their drying process. We have the knowledge and experience to help businesses like yours increase profit and sustainability. We can help you meet the unique needs of your business to produce a final quality product.

We engineered our hemp dryers to be fast and gentle on hemp biomass. Whether you are growing for cannabinoids or using other parts of the plant, our drying technology makes all the difference in the quality of your product.

Think about your future. Not only can our hemp dryers help you now, but they can also help you grow into a larger operation. We’re here to grow and scale with you. 

 

Modernizing Hemp Drying for Efficiency and Profit

Modernizing Hemp Drying for Efficiency and Profit

For years, farmers hung hemp plants in environmentally controlled tobacco barns, where the harvest required a drying-time of three to five days. The barns needed to be retrofitted with forced-air units to dry the excess moisture out of the plants. Each farm required as many as 20 barns, each large enough to hold up to an acre’s worth of harvested plants. 

There has been a steep rise in the hemp growing industry since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived products. It’s no wonder many farmers started looking for ways to cash in on this rapidly growing market. Just three years ago, the U.S. hemp industry was producing around $820M in revenue, but experts expect that number to rise by approximately 15% by 2022.

A Better Way for Hemp Drying

When properly dried and processed, valuable CBD oil can be extracted from the hemp plant and used in a variety of in-demand products. While the former process of harvesting, drying and storing was adequate for growing a couple of acres of crop, hemp growers who wanted to increase their production quickly realized the need to speed the rate at which wet biomass is processed. 

Louisville Dryer did extensive research to develop a dryer that would alleviate the need for faster drying. We started with a desire to understand the unique position of hemp farmers. Hank Lawson, our Senior Process Engineer, made it his mission to learn how our company could best support hemp farmers and improve their business. 

“Properly drying your hemp is an essential part of processing it for CBD oil extraction or other medical or industrial purposes. I made it my mission to get you the best equipment to speed up your drying process, while also understanding all of your pain points as a grower.”

– Hank Lawson, Senior Process Engineer

Hank grew two-acres of hemp and saw the farming process through to drying and extraction. It provided invaluable insights into what hemp farmers experience as they plant, grow, harvest, dry, and extract. The most notable thing Hank learned was how much work it takes to grow hemp. After enduring the entire process, it was even more motivating to the Louisville Dryer team to develop the best agricultural-grade direct heat dryer available to our hemp farming clients. 

 

Farming, Drying, and Processing Hemp to Maximize your Harvest – Our Journey

 

Specific Needs for Drying Hemp 

Using Hank’s research, Louisville Dryer designed and manufactured our hemp drying system to improve your specific hemp-drying needs. Our design implements the same technology we have been using for decades to dry other agricultural products successfully but addresses two particular needs. 

Steam Tube Dryer

Steam Tube Dryer

#1: Moisture Levels Reduction

Hemp has a naturally high moisture level content, making it is critical to reducing its biomass to an acceptable level of moisture to extract quality CBD oil. 

#2: Decarboxylation Process 

If you wish to create CBD products from the cannabinoid-rich oil extracts derived from your hemp harvest, decarboxylation is essential. It is the necessary process of converting THCA or CBDA into the THC or CBD. 

Get The Outcome You Need

What if you could expedite decarboxylation through the drying process? You can.

Hemp dried in our Steam Tube Dryer aids in the decarboxylation process at the same time moisture is removed. This makes the extraction process move faster. 

We developed our steam dryer models to specifically dry 4, 6, 8 and up to 10 tons of wet hemp biomass per hour with an output moisture content between 10-12%. The result is a more efficient extraction with a higher yield. And a higher yield means higher profit per acre.

Louisville Dryer also builds direct heat dryers for customers who do not have steam.

Removing a Barrier to Higher Profit

While our hemp dryer shares many similarities to our other direct heat dryers, one distinguishing factor for this product is that it’s priced especially for the agricultural economy. It is more affordable than some of our other models of direct heat dryers.

If you’re looking for a more efficient drying system that includes decarboxylation, we can help streamline your process. 

We Are Here for You

Reach out directly to Hank for his specific insights into the unique issues involved with growing, harvesting, and drying hemp. He is always happy to have a conversation and is uniquely positioned to anticipate your needs.

If you’d like to contact Hank or any of our team members about a direct heat or steam tube dryer, please call us at (800) 735-3163 or fill out our online contact form. A more efficient and profitable drying method could change everything for your hemp business. 

 

Mash to Cash • Insight from the Inside

Mash to Cash • Insight from the Inside

Whiskey distilleries across the United States craft unique products with intricate balances of complex characteristics. Each facility is as distinct as the landscape that surrounds it and the people who orchestrate the production of its beloved spirits. Different as they may be, there’s one inescapable quandary shared among them all; once the good stuff is made, there’s a whole heap of stuff they have to get rid of. 

Distilleries have two choices when it comes to spent grain: 

  • Scramble and try to give the spent grain away before it rots.
  • Turn the grain into something of value and let it make them money.

We asked an expert insider to get to the root of what distillers really want to know about turning their waste into profit – how to do it and if it’s worth it? Jack Schanie, the Applications Engineer for Louisville Dryer, has eyes and ears on the ground every day in this niche field and tells us what he knows about the business of distillers grains.

What are distillers grains?

Essentially, it’s the leftovers after distillation – or the material that was not converted to alcohol through the fermentation process. A liquid consisting mostly of protein, fiber, fat, and water remains in the still and is no longer useful to distilleries. This material is called Whole Stillage and needs to be disposed of quickly and properly to prevent slowdowns in production.

 

 

 

“The value of the material may be a significant portion of the original grain purchase.”

-Jack Schanie, Applications Engineer, Louisville Dryer Company

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do distilleries dispose of these grains?

This material cannot be disposed of through sewage treatment, so it’s processed as a byproduct. Some distillers will give it away as Wet Distillers’ Grain (WDG) to local farmers, or ship it short distances at a cost. WDG can be fed to livestock, but the problem is, if it’s not transported and consumed immediately, it will spoil or rot, leaving it useless.

The solution is to dry the material in a rotary dryer at the distillery. This way, it can be stored for long periods of time. Distillers can sell it as a nutrient-rich feed additive for cattle, hogs, chickens, and fish. The term for this product is DDG (Distillers Dried Grains) or DDGS (Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles).

 

What are the advantages of drying distillers’ grains, and how can this process benefit distilleries?

The benefits of the process are a win/win situation for both the distillery and agricultural industries. Drying the grains significantly extends the shelf life of the byproduct. Dried Distillers Grains typically last six to twelve months in a cool, dry warehouse or silo, compared to Wet Distillers Grains, which have a shelf life of less than one week. Drying makes the grains more valuable to farmers, and it’s easier for distilleries to unload while making them money instead of costing them money.

 

Is DDGS a viable source of revenue for a distillery?

Yes. For distillers with large quantities of WDG that don’t have a dependable local source to accept it, DDGS converts waste into a revenue source. In fact, once the WDG is dried, the value of the material may be a significant portion of the original grain purchase.

 

 

What’s necessary to dry distillers’ grains?

Two crucial elements are necessary:

  • The proper equipment
  • A partnership and support from an experienced team in the industry

The main component in the equipment is a Rotary Steam Tube Dryer. It’s a heat exchanger that uses the energy in steam to dry the material. It’s the best method because it provides more gentle heating, which gives the grains a light color. And that’s the key when assessing the value of the DDG product.

Engineering the equipment to adequately handle the weight and size of the material, mixing, air pollution control, and efficiency is vital for effective operation. There’s a lot that goes into it, and the proper design for all the moving parts is critical for distilleries. That’s why Louisville Dryer designs, engineers, and distributes “Dry Houses” complete with everything a distillery needs to process their DDGS, and all the back-up and support of the leaders in the industry. 

 

Which distilleries are currently preparing and selling DDGS?

Most large distilleries and ethanol plants make DDG/DDGS. Louisville Dryer is the preferred equipment throughout the Bourbon Trail in distilleries such as Buffalo Trace, Jack Daniels, Wild Turkey, and others.

 

What kind of history does Louisville Dryer have in the Distillery industry?

Louisville Dryer has been building steam tube dryers for distilleries for over one hundred years and continues to do so. We’re proud to have a history of trust and reliability in the industry. We built the oldest known DDG dryer, which is still operating in the Old Forrester Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. The unit started drying in 1932 and has run continuously for eighty-seven years. We only recently replaced three dryers at Buffalo Trace, which were manufactured in 1944.

 

What are the benefits of going with a Louisville Dryer product?  

 Louisville Dryers are designed to last. Louisville Dryer Company builds very robust equipment designed to run twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with minimal shutdowns. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of quality when it comes to our workmanship. Distilleries who invest in a Dry House from Louisville Dryer know they are getting a quality dryer that will last for years to come.

 

Where can distilleries get what they need to successfully and efficiently prepare DDGS?  

Louisville Dryer can put together complete equipment proposals for Dry House designs for any distillery to prepare DDGS.

Our team is ready to help distilleries turn their waste into profits. Contact us today to learn more!