Drying Your Hemp Biomass w/ Shivvers Manufacturing|The HempList #59|

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In Summary

Kyle Canady with Shivvers Manufacturing joins us on the HempList this week, hosted By Chase Nobles, Founder of Kush.com

Kyle & Chase discuss Drying, Curing, & Post Harvest for the Hemp / Cannabis industry this week, perfect timing for the Harvest Season! Shivvers Manufacturing has taken their knowledge and experience working with Grain Drying equipment made for industrial farming, and applied that to the growing Hemp industry. Focusing mainly on drying Hemp Biomass, Shivvers has developed systems and equipment to fit even the largest hemp farms drying needs. Chase and Kyle talk about the challenges that come with a transition from Grain to Cannabis, and what’s on the horizon for drying technology!


Shivvers has been a mainstay in the commodity drying space since they started in 1968. We take great pride in innovation, customer service, automation, reliability, and efficiency. They have developed a great product that addresses many of the issues farmers face when it comes time to dry their crop, and they are 100% dedicated to supporting hemp/cannabis farmers as the commodity continues to transition into the mainstream.

Transcript (Auto-Generated)

hey everybody chase nobles here founder
of kush.com we’ve got kyle kennedy with
shivvers manufacturing with us today hey
kyle how are you buddy i’m doing well
doing very well right on well this is
take two because take one uh apparently
broke my machine zoom did some kind of
crazy big update with a whole mess but
uh glad to have you back thanks for
making the time you’re a busy guy out at
a bunch of different trade shows what
have you been up to lately what’s going
on in uh in kyle’s world with shivers
yeah well i mean last time we talked i
was down in texas at a hemp show and now
i’m up in decatur illinois for farm
big show a lot of money out here for
right that’s because manufacturing does
a lot more than just him you were just
telling me you were talking about grain
drying all kinds of different drying
equipment what is the whole umbrella
what all does shivers manufacturing do
yeah so shivers got their start in 1968
basically they patented this tapered
auger that was
better at removing an even layer of
grain from the bottom of a grain bin
and then that kind of jump started their
way into the grain drying world so since
then they’ve been
working with farmers uh drying different
commodities there’s a number of
different things we dry but
personally i got involved with shivers
in 2019 they came out to oregon to learn
about hemp they wanted to get into the
hemp drying space
they really started with the just the
ground level they wanted to talk to
farmers and find out exactly what they
needed from a hemp dryer
i happen to be managing a contract
drying facility at the time in eugene
oregon and
through that facility we were able to
get a lot of different farmers in with a
lot of different
harvest methods so we could see and talk
to them and find out exactly what they
and based on what they learned there
they’ve developed a really good system
drying temp biomass
right so it’s been a process you all
have been around since 1968 drying all
kinds of different crops when you think
about him what are the main differences
from other traditional grains and
whatever else that you might be drying
what is the what are the biggest
differences in the equipment that you’ve
had to
um you know come up with specifically
for him because i know your hip dryers
are a little bit different
just moving the material and the amount
of moisture that we’re
putting into the dryer is going to be
so some of the core concepts are going
to be a little bit different than what
we would see in a grain dryer but the
bones of it would be the same i guess
so the biomass dryer we might see
material coming in at 65 moisture
content and we got to take it all the
way down to 10.
so that’s a lot of water to remove
whereas most grain dryers um you’re
probably only going to remove maybe 10
15 points of moisture at the most
um so we’re moving removing a lot more
moisture and then the material itself
just moving it around how it flows and
how that changes with different harvest
was kind of a challenge so we had to
redo some of our implements on the
inside of the machine to purpose build
them just to move hemp material so
does that mean more time more air flow
lower temps less humidity in the air
yeah what is it what does it mean for
actually drying the the hint
kind of all the above really so we in a
normal grain dryer you might see 180
degrees is a temperature that we would
put in the plenum which would be the
area underneath
and in a hemp dryer i’m probably running
closer to 90 or 100 degrees
a big concern that we found from farmers
was they want to really preserve their
they’re worried about running high heat
and ruining any potential cannabinoids
even at that low of temperature they’re
they’re concerned about it so
basically what we’ve done is
we run a 90 100 degrees and we put a
temperature and humidity sensor above
the material so as that air is coming
through the material and once it gets
through it i can take a look and see the
temperature and humidity to see what
kind of drying i’m doing as long as my
air is not at 100 saturation meaning
like 100 humidity
uh then i have a pretty good idea that
i’m getting some good drying and the air
is flowing through there before it’s
fully saturated and if it was fully
saturated i would know that by raising
the temperature i would be able to get a
little bit better drying done
so i think it’s every 20 degrees you
raise the temperature fahrenheit you cut
the humidity in half and when it comes
to temperature what it what is kind of
the max range that you would want to
even consider drying at with him because
things do start to decarboxylate
right yeah you can see some
decarboxylation um
i’ve ran tests at 135 degrees
back in 2019 where i took some samples
before and after to see if we would see
any uh loss or degradation or anything
like that and we saw almost no
difference but i didn’t push it too much
past that and again that kind of goes
back to
i’m measuring that moisture coming out
and so if i go any higher
fuel than anything else i’m not getting
a lot of drying speed out of it
so i’m trying to balance that that
temperature to what’s coming through the
material which i mean it all can change
based on how you’re harvesting the depth
of material your incoming moisture
content your ambient conditions
now they’re all factors you have to kind
of balance but
you know
thankfully it’s it sounds probably more
complicated than it is it’s it’s pretty
easy you can usually shoot from the hip
and say you know i’m going to dry around
95 degrees as long as you’re not in like
florida or somewhere where it’s 95
degrees and 95 humidity outside anyways
now obviously you’re not going to get
any good drying done in that kind of
conditions but
and so
your machines are
pretty big right it’s not for the every
you know every small farmer out there to
go ahead and get one of the whole
facilities set up because you set them
up outside and they’re
quite massive
yeah they can be 36 foot diameter is our
biggest we do 24 30 and 36 foot diameter
bins and then that 36 footer i mean
comfortably you should be able to pull
about 10 000 dry pounds out of that in a
day of biomass so
i mean just again rough number might be
about five acres a day
that we can put through there
so you would need at least five acres to
turn this thing on more or less you
could do less i’m sure but like if it’s
to invest yeah it’d be kind of equipment
exactly it becomes just the economics of
it doesn’t make sense for me to invest
in this dryer
you know sometimes even some smaller
they have neighbors or it’s like a co-op
type situation where you know they get
together and say
we can try all this or charge do
contract trying for people
um and go that route to kind of justify
having that excess drying i mean right
for me personally i always try to
overshoot the drawing anyways because
i mean i’m sure you know
especially when it comes to harvesting
any kind of cannabis time is always
against you your time frame is going to
be smaller than you probably hope it’s
going to be whether it be
weather or mold
there’s going to be something fighting
you and you’re going to probably want to
get it out of the field as quickly as
you can because the last thing you want
to do is be sitting on your hands
waiting for your drying space to open up
and watching your field mold
right especially up here in the
northwest where you know you and i kind
of cut our teeth
it’s just the weather the winter comes
so fast and you can’t predict exactly
when it’s going to come and it can be a
nightmare if you still have your plants
in the ground so people oh yeah yeah
no fun in october and you start seeing a
rainstorm coming yeah do you have
smaller machines as well or is the 36
kind of the one and only
we go down to 24 foot but again it kind
of comes back down to economics so
the computers and a lot of the stuff is
kind of a static price no matter what
size the machine
and you actually get double the capacity
of a of a 24 when you go up to a 36 but
not double the price you know
right so for some guys
the rate of growth is exponential with
the with the radius or the diameter of
those right
pieces of equipment
so yeah double so from 24 to 36 you get
double the
like space to dry yep
wow wow
and when it comes to drying biomass and
and i you can do flour in this it might
not be as recommended um
you just have to be really careful and
dial it in but when it comes to drying
biomass do you need to move the material
around does your machine keep it moving
or is it static does it stay in the same
spot the whole time while it dries and
then kind of conveyors it out how does
that work
great question yeah so
generally the process is going to look
like you’re going to be getting it into
the bin first and foremost so out of the
field and into the bin
um maybe use a grain conveyor or
something like that we’ve got side door
or you can load through the top either
way once it’s in the bin we’re going to
use the machine to spread it out level
it out
and again depending on the material is
going to be what your depth might be and
numerous other factors of course but
you’ll spread it out and level it out
and then
we’re going to run that dryer for maybe
6-8 hours and i’m going to be monitoring
my temperature and humidity we’ve
actually got it set up to where when
your humidity reaches a certain set
point you’ll get a text message on your
phone and say you know hey
your humidity is at 40 just random
number here but
that can give you a pretty good
indicator like hey it’s probably time to
stir so what will happen as you’re
drying that air is going to follow that
path of least resistance over time so
you’re almost forming like a channel
we found that using our stir machine we
can break up those channels
and you’ll get some really good drying
again again so you’ll see like
your humidity will start to dip after
like i said maybe about eight hours
and then you’ll run the stir
machine and you’ll see that spike in
humidity again getting some more good
drying you might stir that once or twice
in about a 24-hour batch period
and then you’re ready to unload at which
time we’ll use our auger that we have to
unload bring it to the center where you
can drop it straight through the chute
into bags or onto a conveyor and onto
the next process
got it got it good to know because
you and i have both seen
creative ways to dry material in the
sometimes it’s completely homemade
sometimes there’s you know a couple of
different pieces from different places
this is one set solution that’s been
around for a really long time that you
know you’re continuing to innovate with
technology such as you know getting a
text message on your phone and things
like that
when it comes to like the creativity
within drying in this space this is more
of kind of just i’m curious what your
answer is what is one of the most
creative homemade drying systems that
you’ve seen having been in the cannabis
market in oregon you know
for a couple of years prior to this
i’m sure you saw some interesting things
going on
oh man
you know most of the guys and the people
that i’ve talked to and know and see i
mean the most common thing i see in
oregon is hang drying for sure
some more some of the more questionable
things i guess i’ve seen personally is
people putting stuff into
rooms that aren’t built to be a drying
so you’re going to see really high
spikes in humidity and temperature
so they might lose everything in their
drying room you know it’ll all go to
they put it in there and they think i’m
just going to leave it for a few days
and come back and they come back and
you know just mold everywhere
that’s probably some of the worst thing
i’ve i’ve actually seen
but you know i don’t i don’t think that
comes up with an innovative way or a
funny way to dry it’s just just poor
poor choices i guess or what not lack of
lack of experience or education yeah
yeah exactly i saw an an old apple
packing house converted into a cannabis
drying facility once and they they hung
you know
30 40 feet up
all in a row and it was like a it was
like a you pulled the string like your
old garage door and it would like come
down and rotate it around it was
pretty cool to see that all put together
but uh
it was probably pretty challenging to
work with i would imagine too just with
how high up it all was if something went
wrong with one of them but uh oh yeah
i’m sure i’ve seen tobacco barns out in
that got converted um some guys had some
success but a lot of i’ve heard a lot of
mold out of those as well
but you know similar similar idea i
you know whenever i’m hang drying i’m
drying i think you should include the
word curing in there almost so whenever
i’m going for a smokeable high quality
end product i’m focusing very much on my
conditions i want you know 60 degrees 60
i want to probably hang it i don’t want
to lay it down so i can preserve the
structure of the flower
and i’m going to do it over a long
period of time maybe 10 to 14 days
trying to hold that humidity and
temperature as much as i can because a
certain point you’re you’re kind of
stopping the drying process and you’re
entering the curing process
and to me i think that’s there’s no
substitute for flavor and aroma and all
that if you can maintain those but
a lot of people don’t invest as much as
they should maybe in to controlling that
climate of that of that drying space and
it’s it’s crazy to me because
um they spend all this money on the
growing side
you know
they you’re like growing for all this
show but then it comes time to dry and
it falls all the way aside and you can
lose all that hard work in such a short
amount of time
i mean literally in a day you could ruin
months and months of work it’s crazy and
hundreds of thousands of dollars too yes
it is wild to see kind of the risk
people take not just at the drawing but
as you mentioned kind of the curing
stage or completely skip it in a lot of
cases but yeah at a certain point drying
becomes curing especially for smokeable
flour and uh
it is a shame whenever you walk in you
go oh man all this is uh not smokeable
anymore you might do something with it
but i wouldn’t recommend smoking yeah
yeah you won’t enjoy smoking it that’s
for sure right right
well for anybody out there looking for a
drying system a process even just
somebody to learn from kyle you’re a
great resource for the industry you’re
going to be down at the texas home
convention with us we’re excited to see
you there
and the community is better with people
like you in it and i appreciate you
being a part of this space and
contributing so much knowledge to all
the farmers out there
uh if anybody has any questions or if
you have five plus acres
to to drive or if you have a co-op of a
bunch of different farms around that all
want to invest in one
local solution to you
give kyle a call shoot him an email
shivers manufacturing kyle it’s been a
pleasure having you on the show thank
you so much for your time hey thanks for
having me i really appreciate it i can’t
stress enough how much i think education
is one of the most important things
somebody can do to protect themselves
there’s a lot of bad information out
there and bad actors that could take
advantage of you the best way to protect
yourself is to educate yourself talk to
as many people as you can
and just get a good feel for everybody
involved before you
make a big decision
i’m gonna second that one i think we’ve
both seen enough in the space to make us
wince every once in a while when we hear
those stories so kyle you’re a big part
of that resource thank you for keeping
it real with us today thanks for
providing the information and if you
have any questions
everybody listening give kyle a call he
knows it all when it comes to trying
kyle thank you so much
yes you can find me at shivers.com
and all the information is there
all right well we’ll talk soon good luck
with everything we’ll see you at texas
yeah have a good one man all right see
ya bye

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