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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Industrial/resourceful entrepreneur's and product developers wanted

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#21
Bob, A couple of comments. Your heat sources are nice, but also expensive. a light bulb will do the job. On the expensive side of that issue, but extremely reliable. is something like this.

This one was priced at $26 but is made to produce nothing but heat from the power. No wasted energy on light, lol.

The water heater thermostat actually can be used for temps to 200 degrees plus. It is an issue of placement of the thermostat. Here is the explanation. The stat is not intended to be used in direct contact with the environment (or heat) it is regulating. But sets on the outside surface of the tank the hot water is in. The outside surface is not as hot as the water inside. The stat is set to regulate the temp of the water by the relative temp of the outside surface. not by a direct contact with the water. Lets say I hav the stat set to keep water in the tank at 120 degrees. If I then move the stat without changing any settings even a small distance from the tank. the temperature it keeps the water at will rise. in this case very likely by a huge degree. Air is a poor conductor of heat in comparison to metal.
In the same way I can raise the temperature of the kiln by moving the thermostat further from the heat source. I will gain a lesser among of temperature rise due to the stat being in direct contact with the heated environment. There is also an increase in temperature fluctuation as the stat gets further away.
I learned this while trying to build my first egg incubator The temperature in them must be very well controlled. You need 99.5 degrees that will remain steady for 21 days. if the temperature falls below 94 degrees or rises above 102 degrees the embryos will be lost. I had to place the stat very close to and actually above the heat source to gain a temperature that held steady at 99.5 degrees plus or minus 2 degrees for 21 days. moving the stat a foot or so away from the heat source would cause it to jump up around 120 degrees but have a huge fluctuation of 110 to 120 degrees. moving it even further would increase the temp even more as well as the fluctuation.

You could get a higher but less fluctuating temp by simply adding a plate to the back of the stat as well. Basically insulating it from direct exposure to the air. IN my case i actually used a dremel tool to cut away the black case giving more exposure to the air for the metal plate inside.

The above also illustrates the importance of exact instructions for some. A list of components will leave many with a bag of goodies they really have no idea what to do with. Instructions with photos of exactly how to construct the kiln will go a long way.
 

Jitterbugdude

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#22
This one was priced at $26 but is made to produce nothing but heat from the power. No wasted energy on light, lol.
100 watts is 100 watts. It doesn't matter if you have a light bulb or a ceramic bulb, if they are both rated at 100 watts, then that's what they will draw.
 

deluxestogie

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#23
The heating components I discussed for a flue-cure kiln are rated for a much higher heat output than needed for a fermenting kiln. The temp inside the flue-cure chamber would need to reach and hold a temp as high as 191ºF. I also have some concern about the use of a powerful light source to reach such temps while heating organic matter. Various frequencies of light generate some pretty nasty photolytic pyrogens that are not produced by the heat alone.

That last concern aside, since you could simply place the light inside an opaque metal cover, whatever source that can generate the required heat in a reasonable time will get the job done.

Bob
 

BaccaChew

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#24
Regarding microbes and mould, has anyone experimented with colloidal silver as a spray for leaves?

Microbes hate it and it is quite easy to make.
 

Jitterbugdude

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#25
The problem with colloidal silver is that it would most likely kill ALL of the microbes, including the ones that are needed for fermentation.
 
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#26
100 watts is 100 watts of Power, the question is what is it being converted to. In this case we want it converted to Heat, not Light. Teh power lost in making light is a waste. It was also a joke since the loss of power to light generation is insignificant. Hince the (LoL). It has actually been desirable to invent the light bulb that does not waste power making heat ever since the light bulb was invented. The joke is that this is a reversal on that desire. Incandescent bulbs are a supreme example of wasting energy producing the wrong stuff (Heat)
 
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#28
Bob, I started to reply to your previous post, in regard to reaching close to 200 degree temps. My estimation is that you could achieve this with 250 watts of power in a refrigerator size kiln. I know you can do it with 500 watts. That estimation is taking into consideration reasonable insulation and weather sealing even though the kiln is in an outside (cold) environment) indoors in a more stable environment would improve the results. Just some ball park figures that I have found in tinkering around.
 

LeftyRighty

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#29
well. I'm gonna throw out some suggestions, or general comments.
I'm thinking of building another larger (than what I have) fermenting kiln, and I'm a super tightwad, and looking at el cheapo way to get a satisfactory kiln. I also want it light-weight, so I can easily move it or drag it from room-to-room or to my outside shed.

I want it 4+ ft wide, so I can hang my 4 ft strings of cured tobacco in it, and not more than 2'-6" deep (I figure I can get 3 or 4 strings hanging in one level), and so it will fit through any interior door. And I want it 5+ ft high so I can double stack the hanging tobacco and have room for the crockpot below.

Going to build with a frame, similar to that of 'deluxestogie's. Will use 2x2's for corner/main frame, and 1x2's for cross and intermediate framing, and door frame(?), screwed, nailed and glued. Will use an old hollow-core wood interior door, maybe use the old door frame, and slap some insulation on the inside. If I get the framing/bracing right, it shouldn't be too flimsy.

Outside skin or sheeting will be coroplast corragated sheets, stapled and glued to the frame. (note: the coroplast has to be wiped with a solvent, acetone or like, to remove the oily sheen, or the glue won't adhere). If I get the coroplast fastened correctly, it should add stiffness to the frame. For those that don't know coroplast - that's the material that those realtor and campaign signs are made of - expensive to buy, but cheap by midnight raids - will be plenty available in 2012. Actually, I have a big stack of this stuff, odd pieces from cut sheets used as target backers at a local shooting range.

I looked at styrofoam-type material for insulation, would be good as it adds stiffness to the big box, but that stuff is expensive. Half or one inch thick is low on insulating value, and 2-inch is OK, but expensive for a big box. Decided on 4-inch fiberglass batt insulation (maybe 6-inch), with a water-resistant or plastic liner. Has a much higher insulating R-value, easy to staple in place, can tape or glue edges to keep glass fiber from contaminating the tobacco.

I'll use the crockpot and temp/RH gages from the old kiln.
Does this sound like a plan? I might be a bit flimsy and awkward, but I don't plan on moving it around too much, and if it gets weak at the joints, there is always more gorilla-glue.
 
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#31
Lefty, Coroplast skin on a 2X2 and 1X2 frame. This sounds doable to me without really being familiar with the weight of the Coroplast. I imagine it as fairly light weight material. In fact a kiln does not have to be a rock to work, air tight is more important. I would suggest you work any seems with duct tape as well.

I am concerned that the frame will support the weight of a door though. You may have some modifications to work out to make that one work. again keeping it insulated will be a must.

Otherwise the formula really is

Box + Heat + moisture = kiln. keeping the heat and moisture in the box is the hard part.
 

LeftyRighty

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#32
Coroplast looks just like corrugated paper/cardboard (typical box material), except it is a plastic material. Yeah, very light weight, and fairly stiff - that's why it's so good as a yard sign material....

Yes, I'm thinking about the door/frame weight also. I like the idea of a stiff door, that will be easy to open, and easy to install seals around. On the frame, I may keep just the frame at the door, and the stop, and cut off all the other excess wood frame.
I will cut the door frame at the top & bottom to fit the top & bottom of the whole kiln frame, using the heavier 2x2's of the top/bottom frame for more rigidity. I'll paint the cheapo wood door with polyurethane, so it won't warp in the wet exposure. I may have to add several latches around the door, to get a snug fit.

normal silver/grey duct tape sucks, won't last long in a wet environment. The black duct tape is more permanent.
 

Chicken

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#33
i believe i have got all the bugs out of my kiln,,,

moved the light and remounted it,,,,moved the crock-pot,, repositioned the fan,,, closed down a lot of unused space,,,,

i need to get pictures of the up-dated version,,,

so far im holding 120 degrees at 65% humidity,,,,and my leaves are in light case,,, i had issues with them drying out,,,

im gonna get exact measurements when i take the photo's....

allthough i believe i have mastered the elements,,,'' FINALLY''<----------
 
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#34
normal silver/grey duct tape sucks, won't last long in a wet environment. The black duct tape is more permanent.
Even silver Duct tape comes in different grades. Sounds like you have used the low grade in the past. Yes it is junk. Your comment reminded me of a thread I read a while back. there is a Military Grade of duct tape. The info made the claim that it is the best duct tape made, or something close to that. I know that is not a lot of help. I will poke around my usual haunts and see if I can locate it again. The conversation included a link to buy it. The Coroplast is what I was thinking it was. I have a small post office box made of it. Never knew what it was called before. The post office gave us the box because we regularly have lots of mail we hand carry to the post office. strong stuff for the weight it is. I think you kiln will withstand a bit of abuse.
 

johnlee1933

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#36
(Cheese caves are kept in the neighborhood of 50ºF, and this does not inhibit mold growth.)

Bob
Interesting

Years ago I did quite a lot of spelunking in eastern PA wet limestone caves and knew a fellow with one on his property. The little pond inside was always at 52 deg F +/- 1 deg. I know this because I helped him build a heat sink/exchanger for his whole house heat pump. We measured repeatedly, winter and summer to check the temperature change as he pumped energy into and out of the pond. Even on the hottest and coldest days the temp stayed right close to 52 deg. His heat pump was much more efficient than air exchanger units.

I've never tried making cheese. What kinds do you make?

John
 

deluxestogie

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#37
John,
I make various cheddars, colby, feta, cream cheese (several varieties), canestrato, and a host of soft cheeses. The soft ones are something you can think of today, and be serving it tomorrow. The hard cheeses are months away.

Nikki Carrol, "the Cheese Queen," lives up in your neck of the woods, and offers 1 day classes. http://www.cheesemaking.com/

Bob
 

BarG

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#38
This is a generic design for a 2'x2'x4' kiln box. The scaling is for 2"x2" and 2"x3" members (real measurement). If the panels are plank or plywood, then no diagonal braces are really needed at this size. If building this of wood, the parts will be less affected by humidity if the parts are attached using brass wood screws.

It shows a general location for a water heater thermostat, the back of which must be exposed to the interior. A notch is shown for running electrical wire into the box.

The door is elevated from touching the floor by the thickness of the kiln floor. Any hinges can be used, but the design provides room for a brass piano hinge along the length of the door.

Insulation can be added to the interior (between the posts and diagonals) or as sheet to the exterior, including the bottom.

The edge of the box that makes contact with the door should be fitted with folded PVC weather strip all around.

For safety, the thermostat exterior should be covered by a plastic utility service box large enough to cut out its back (and provided with a means of locking or otherwise securing it, if children may be around it). The remaining back flange of the utility box is then drilled and screwed onto the side of the kiln.

The dimensions chosen are large enough to accommodate hanging leaf, while still allowing room for a Crockpot at the bottom. Interior hardware is whatever seems convenient for you--wire, hooks, rod, shelves.

Any comments are welcome (even harsh words).

Bob

EDIT: The thought just occurred to me that if the unit described is considered a module, and provided with removable side walls and lid, then multiple units could be bolted together to create, for example, a double-wide or double-height kiln, with double doors. With bolts and wing-nuts attaching adjacent modules, the larger assembly could be separated for moving. The lid can also be hinged for top access. The fewer exterior walls for the same enclosed volume would increase thermal efficiency. All the components could probably be cut and pre-drilled as a kit.
Bob, Iv'e been toying with the idea of finding some of that 1 1/2" styrofoam insulation with a 1 1/2"x 1 1/2" wood frame and sandwichicing between 2 pieces of 1/4" plywood like a hollow core[lightweight door]. You could determine dimensions and precut all panels prior to construction. The solid wood edges would allow for drilling and attaching screws. There is also a variety of knockdown hdw. available through various hdw. supply outlets. There should be little warpage and light weight shipping if panels and styrofoam are glued together with simple non toxic. titebond II wood glue. and insulation would be protected from abuse. You could even use an interior stain grade 1/4" panel on ext. and an exterior grade 3/8" panel on interior to handle humidity and exterior decor.
Just an idea.

Edit: Interior could also be made with 1/8" shower paneling as long as no holes were made to allow moisture in lamination. It would be lighter and easier to clean. [A work in progress heh].

Tim
 
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johnlee1933

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#39
Bob, Iv'e been toying with the idea of finding some of that 1 1/2" styrofoam insulation with a 1 1/2"x 1 1/2" wood frame and sandwichicing between 2 pieces of 1/4" plywood like a hollow core[lightweight door]. You could determine dimensions and precut all panels prior to construction. The solid wood edges would allow for drilling and attaching screws. There is also a variety of knockdown hdw. available through various hdw. supply outlets. There should be little warpage and light weight shipping if panels and styrofoam are glued together with simple non toxic. titebond II wood glue. and insulation would be protected from abuse. You could even use an interior stain grade 1/4" panel on ext. and an exterior grade 3/8" panel on interior to handle humidity and exterior decor.
Just an idea.

Tim
Good idea Tim,

Do you think shipping costs for the kit might be prohibitive?

John
 

BarG

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#40
Good idea Tim,

Do you think shipping costs for the kit might be prohibitive?

John
It's all size and weight related John, any thing under 70 lbs. I believe ships standard. 70 lbs, and above would be freight. a light weight kiln should fall into standard shipping prices as long as packages are kept below maybe 6 or 7' in length, Ive shipped lumber up to 7' and 70 lbs. regular usps.
 
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