As with most things in life, everyday brings a new set of challenges in the malt house. One of the major issues we’ve been dealing with is grain raking. Specifically, how to accomplish this task without breaking our backs. As the batch sizes got bigger over the first few months, we quickly realized that our first malt rake had a tendency to float to the top of the bed after just a few feet of travel leaving the germinating barley relatively undisturbed. This was primarily due to the lightweight design which utilized stainless steel. Since the rake was now relegated to the “finesse” portion of this process, we were forced to use a grain shovel to manually turn over the bed. Trust me, shoveling 800+ pounds of grain on a Saturday night ranks right up there with root canals in my book!
Given the futility of this effort, we went back to the drawing board. Scouring old textbooks, magazine articles, and the internet to fine-tune our design. Information in hand, we went back to our friend Stefan at Steebo Design to build us the burly ass rake you see below. She clocks in at a hefty 35+ pounds and rips through the grain bed in 10 minutes flat!
Let me take a minute to walk you through some of the design features and process. The 3 triangles are welding together to form a solid plow. During our raking, the grain slides up the triangle and is “split” by one of the 3 tines. This process untangles the rootlets from the individual kernels and introduces fresh air into the grain bed. The malt rake also has an adjustable gear located at the top of plow. This allows us to adjust the approach angle to our different heights (I’m 5’7″, Brian is closer to 6′) and grain bed depths. A HUGE improvement over that grain shovel!
Call us to schedule a tour…maybe we’ll let you take her for a spin!