Analysis of Hop Drying in Chamber Dryer
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This article is aimed at the analysis of the hop drying process that has been carried out in the chamber dryer of Rakochmel Co. Ltd. in Kolešovice with the Saaz hop variety. The values measured by means of dataloggers as well as fixed sensors show an identical trend. When the hops fall over from one slat box onto another, the drying air temperature declines and the relative humidity rises. A sharp increase in the relative humidity gradually decreases starting with the first slat box and finishing with the emptying conveyor, which points to a gradual levelling of the relative humidity and hop moisture. The hop moisture content, determined from laboratory samples, logically decreases depending on the measurement time. In comparison to belt dryers, chamber dryers clearly ensure continuous and more gentle drying during which the hops are not overdried and a moisture content of 10% is achieved practically only at the outlet of the dryer prior to conditioning.