{food} Drying room.

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Just a little word on our dry room results.

We lined the 3x4 space under the stair landing with large clear plastic garbage bags that we cut open to make larger single sheets. These formed a humidity barrier and we rolled a dehumidifier in on the floor and turned it on. On the top of the dehumidifier and another small table, we spread 25 lbs of grain out to dry in three box lids that were about 3 inches deep. After a couple of hours, there was about an ounce and a half of water in the tray, which was emptied. The water tray was made easily accessable from the outside. We ran it another couple of hours to make sure but the tray stayed completely dry.

The only disappointment is that we do have a humidity gauge here somewhere but couldn't find it last night. For one source, Petsmart sells them for monitoring conditions for pet lizzards, etc. In any case, the air in that space just *smelled* dry and the nose dried up from breathing the air. I'm sure the gauge would have been at the bottom of the scale.

It was a simple matter to slip inside the plastic covered doorway, dump the grain into a waiting bucket and seal it up.


-- Floyd Baker (fbaker@wzrd.com), April 17, 1999


I have been storing grain all of my life and I can't help but wonder why you would want to dry it???? You want some humidity in it to keep it viable, I would think.

-- Taz (Tassie@aol.com), April 17, 1999.

Interesting, Floyd. I dry mint every year, but it seems to take forever. Think this technique would work for that and veggies too?

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), April 17, 1999.

FM, have you tried drying your mint in the microwave? (I know this is not a Y2K hint if there's no power, but you could dry it this year for Y2K!) I put several sprigs on a paper plate, and nuke it for 2 mins at a time until the leaves crumble off the stems. Has worked for six years. Of course, if you have a big load of mint to dry, you'd want to look at another method. I happened on 8 bunches of reduced Italian parsley at the Food Lion "tired veggies" section ($1 total!) and they're hanging from a telescoping rod snugged about 4" below the fluorescent over the sink--no direct sunlight. (I use my dishwasher for dishes so little steam from hot water gets up there.) The bunches are secured by lengths of twist-tie originally bought in a large roll for garden-tying use. (You can easily tighten them after a day or two when the stems have shrunk.)

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), April 17, 1999.

Haven't tried the microwave, but I will this year! What kind of "telescoping rod" do you use, Old Git? Thanks for the info.

-- FM (vidprof@aol.com), April 17, 1999.

Reading this thread the thought (???) occured to me that maybe a clothes dryer could be used to dehydrate some food. Just put it in Nylons or some kind of bag and throw it in. Is this stupid?

-- Brian (imager@ampsc.com), April 17, 1999.


A word of warning.

If you decide to use the microwave method,stay by the microvave & watch whilst you are "cooking". We dry hay & straw this way but as the moisture content can vary from batch to batch & day to day,the cooking times vary. One day,the straw actually caught fire in the microwave !!

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), April 17, 1999.

Taz, don't 'official' recommendations for stored grains recommend =<10% moisture? So in other words, moist is not good for storage was what I interpreted (hence dessicants, for example).

PJ in TX

-- PJ Gaenir (fire@firedocs.com), April 18, 1999.

Having ignited a paper towel that was holding celery leaves in teh mocrowave to dry, BE VEWY, VEWY, CAWFUL in the microwave. Do NOT want to read about the housefire that started in the microwave!!


-- chuck, a Night Driver (rienzoo@en.com), April 18, 1999.

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