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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Crane suspended grain hopper

Greetings. I'm in the process of making the final decisions on my distillery that I hope to have operational sometime in the next few months. I'm in a great old building that is equipped with the original overhead gantry crane. My distillery building consists of a large main floor (~3,000 sf) and the same size basement. My tasting room/event space/distillery will occupy the main floor while we will use the basement for grain storage/milling and barrel aging.

The crane will play an integral part of my operations as I'm going to use it to raise and lower barrels to the basement for aging. Since I'm milling grain down there as well, I decided to see if I could come up with a way to mill the grain into a crane hopper that I could then raise up to the distillery floor, up to my mash tun, and then have a controlled flow of grain into my mash tun. I've found a small (0.65 cubic yard) steel "concrete bucket" that has a manual control valve so that I could control the flow of grain. Seems like a no brainer as my building is not really ideal for a flex auger solution, I don't want to shovel grain and I really want to utilize this beautiful crane.

My only concern is this bucket is not food grade. Does that matter? The only time I'll be using it will be for the grain dump. I'm just concerned that if I ever get a visit from the PA Dept of Agriculture will they call me on this piece of equipment?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Sorry, I should have posted this in the equipment section - mods feel free to move if you'd like.


Reply:

If your Dept of AGRICULTURE call you on that then I say they do not understand their job.

Ask the inspector if the farmer's grain harvester was certified food grade?

Was the farmer's truck food grade?

Was the storage silo food grade?

was the delivery truck food grade?

I am sure all the above answers will be NO, then why should your grain bucket be food grade.


Reply:

Awesome points PeteB!! Thanks for your thoughts on the subject!


Reply:

I love your gantry crane

"Armstrong" design, you will be able to cancel your gym membership


Reply:

Thanks Pete, we love it too!


Reply:

I really hope you are talking about the trolley hoist and not the simple pulley. Otherwise ... Armstrong indeed!


Reply:

Nope, it's a legit chain hoist (some refer to it as a chain block). Lots of pulling required but rated at 1 ton.


Reply:

Not sure what the size of your bucket is, or how it mounts to the the hoist, but something that might be worth looking into is the Buckhorn Centerflow boxes.

It is food grade.

http://www.buckhorninc.com/products/specialty-boxes/centerflow.aspx. The base holds probably at least 6 or 7 bushels, and you can pallet jack it around on the ground for filling and getting it there.

We use them here, and you can typically find them used from a seed supplier for a couple hundred bucks.