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Homemade Desiccant packs - EASY

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QldKev

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As brewers we've all got plenty of grain storage. I use kitchen air tight containers for my spec malts, and a large old chest freezer for my bags of base grain (not switched on). So I make my own desiccant for very cheap.

Get a bag of Silica Gel kitty litter. This is the same stuff you get in the small air gel packs, but at a lot less cost. I just throw heaps in a bag of cheese cloth or swiss voile and drop it in the corner. For large areas such as my 700L chest freezer a small bucket in the corner covered with swiss voile and an elastic band to hold it in place works easy.

They last 3 months easily. After 3 months you can either dry them or dump it and load up some fresh crystals. You can dry them in the oven or using a microwave. I just dump it and get some fresh crystals. The only thing to be aware of is the main bag of crystals needs to be kept sealed shut, otherwise it too will be no good after the 3 months. I have cats so I just make mine from a fresh bag all the time.

The blue crystals change colors one they are saturated with moisture, I've never actually noticed mine change color. The used crystals are also great water saving crystals for the garden.




This is the stuff I use from Big W.




In this pic I'm using a double layer of cheese cloth, but swiss voile also works perfectly. This is 1 table spoon of crystal I'm going to use in a larger air tight container.




Fold it over, then fold both ends in (only one end folded in pic)





Then fold it over on itself again so no crystals can get out, and I use 1 wrap of tape to hold it into place.
Cable ties, cable twists, even an elastic band would work.




Give is a little shake to ensure no crystals can get out, and your done.


 

Truman42

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You forgot to include photos of your pussy cat taking a dump in the crystals Kev. :D
 

QldKev

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Truman said:
You forgot to include photos of your pussy cat taking a dump in the crystals Kev. :D
I'll pm them to you ;)
 

Edak

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Is it necessary to use desiccant for your grain? Those bulk bags aren't airtight and aren't stored particularly well at the supplier.?
 

mikec

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How do you stop your cats taking a shit in the grain fridge?
 

QldKev

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Edak said:
Is it necessary to use desiccant for your grain? Those bulk bags aren't airtight and aren't stored particularly well at the supplier.?
The sacks have a plastic liner / bag in them that would keep them fairly airtight. But they probably don't need to have the moisture sucked out of the air, but living in Queensland with the humidity during summer I thought it would benefit it.
 

mikec

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May not be absolutely necessary with grain, but it's a top idea for containers of DME!
 

Nibbo

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Maybe not necessary, but it's not going hurt putting some in. I got a heap that come with some outdoor blinds so i just through all the undamaged ones in with the grain.
 

Edak

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Fair enough, I want site whether there was a particular issue that was missing now that I buy grain in larger qty. I store it in an esky so pests can't get to it.
 

browndog

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Awesome tip there, thanks Kev.
 

Fourstar

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A word of warning,

I find this is worthwhile for use anywhere other than in a operational fridge. I tried to utilise these when doing some charcuterie but it got no where near reducing humidity to an acceptable level (went from 98% to 95%~). Ended up pulling it out and braving the elements like i should have anyway.

Great idea Kev, great indeed!
 

Lecterfan

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The poll results: YES.
 

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