Are you a hemp farmer looking to diversify your revenue sources with CBD oil production? Or maybe, you’re just tired of hemp companies low balling your poorly dried hemp. Whichever the case, you need efficient industrial hemp processing equipment if you want to make real money in the hemp industry. One of the most important equipment that you can’t do without is an industrial hemp dryer.
Why Do You Need an Industrial Hemp Dryer?
While you can always dry your hemp outdoors, the unprecedented weather patterns can slow down the drying process and even destroy your produce. What’s more, some regions such as Oregon, California, and other coastal states have a marine layer influence which not only elevates the night-time humidity and fog but may also cause mold proliferation in your hemp plants. What’s worse, moisture can evaporate from the ground and soak up into the hemp, countering the drying process.
Drying hemp properly is an art in itself. The process determines the quality of the end product. Hemp is vulnerable to bacteria and fungi if stored in wet, poorly ventilated conditions or dried out too slowly. When moisture isn’t properly removed from harvested hemp plants, they may develop mold growth, which may render the final product unsafe for human use.
Without the proper drying capacity of their own, hemp farmers are usually forced to accept poor price deals from CBD extraction firms for their moisture-laden hemp biomass. With a dryer, you can reduce the moisture content in your freshly harvested hemp to less than 10%, which is the industry standard. As a grower, you can now strengthen your price negotiations with CBD processors.
To keep up with modern-day consumer demands, businesses have to dry and cure their hemp fast and en masse. Large-scale indoor hemp drying usually calls for the use of specialized drying equipment.
Common Types of Hemp Dryer Machines to Consider
If you’re in the market for an efficient hemp dryer, consider the following common types:
One common mistake that many hemp growers make is adding up wet batches of hemp material to already dried-up batches that were harvested earlier. This leads to the degradation and rehydration of the hemp that had already dried up. To solve this issue, batch dryers demoisturize hemp in batches, giving completely dry hemp that you can mix with other dry batches.
Typical batch dryers feature drying chambers, which comprise of dehumidifiers, heat sources, and an airflow system. These components can be individually adjusted to the desired temperatures and humidity levels. Ensure you don’t exceed the standard drying conditions as too much heat can lead to over-drying which hampers the quality of the hemp.
These hemp dryers feature either a conveyor belt or a drum system that enables them to continuously run the drying process. A typical conveyor belt dryer has multiple mesh belt layers that drive the hemp plant material in and out of the drying chamber. These dryers are great for bulk hemp drying as they feature accurate controls for temperature and humidity regulations.
Meanwhile, a drum dryer (also known as a rotary dryer) features a rotating cylinder where the hemp material is placed and dried. To propel the hemp biomass through the cylinder, the internal sections are lined with shoveling plates.
4 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Industrial Hemp Dryer
To properly dry your hemp, consider the following factors when shopping for a hemp dryer:
1. Quantity of Produce
Hemp dryers come in several sizes to cater to the needs of both large-scale and small-scale hemp farmers. For a small-scale farmer, a small batch dryer will do just fine. On the other hand, continuous dryers are more suitable for large-scale hemp producers.
2. Hemp Use
What will you use your hemp produce for? This will determine the amount of drying that’s needed. For example, hemp that will be processed to make fiber and paper will need higher degrees of heat compared to that used for the manufacture of oil and beauty products.
3. Control Settings
High temperatures can easily reduce the CBD content of your hemp. Therefore, it’s crucial to get a dryer that allows you to set the appropriate temperature depending on your hemp heating needs.
Unfortunately, the most efficient hemp dryers are not always the most affordable ones. If you don’t have enough capital to invest in an industrial hemp dryer, you could always consider renting or leasing one. This is better than buying a dryer that doesn’t fully meet your needs.
How to Properly Store Your Dried Hemp
After your hemp is dry, you need to store it correctly to preserve the quality of its content. One of the biggest mistakes you can do in this regard is to keep your hemp in bags. Moisture can easily soak back into the produce, especially when the humidity levels are high.
Additionally, dried hemp is extremely sensitive to light exposure and temperature. Ideally, you’ll want to maintain a temperature of 77-86°F in a dark space to avoid mold growth. According to studies, the direct exposure of hemp to sunlight can degrade its cannabinoid content. For humidity, maintain a relative humidity of 59%-63% for maximum potency. Don’t refrigerate – your hemp will become overly moist and degrade in a matter of days.
For longevity, store your dried hemp in sealed, air-tight containers, about three-quarters full. With proper storage, dried hemp has a shelf life of up to two years.
Dry Your Hemp the Right Way
Hemp is naturally woody and wet when harvested, meaning that it needs to be dried as soon as possible to prevent decomposition – and this is a great challenge to many hemp farmers around the country. Fortunately, with the guide above, you can get a hemp dryer that will efficiently meet your needs and budget. Keep in mind that besides drying, other factors can also affect the quality of your hemp produce, including the method of harvesting, storage, and processing. Thus, ensure you have an efficient process from start to finish.