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that may have been infected with some disease near the end of their maturity. Since the infection would occur late in the grains maturing process, the size and weight would be similar to a healthy kernel. With a gravity table that specializes in density it is possible to remove these slightly lighter kernels. A gravity table has a flat surface with small holes where air is forced through, much like an air hockey table. The top surface is then elevated at one corner so that this corner is the highest point and the opposite corner is the lowest. This angled surface is then quickly shaken so as to throw anything sitting on its surface to the highest corner. Grain is fed into the lowest corner at a steady rate. Grain that has low density will float on the air and slide off the surface to a reservoir, where it will be discarded. The grain of the desired density will not float on the air and thus the shaking surface will throw it up hill to the higher corner where it will be collected for production. The fan speed, shaker speed, angle of incline and rate of grain entering can all be adjusted to achieve the desired results. Since the grain being cleaned by a gravity table has usually already been cleaned, there is usually less grain discarded unlike the fan mill — a rate of 5-10 percent is

to be expected. This number can increase or decrease according to what the operator is trying to accomplish and how clean the grain was when it entered the gravity table. A color sorting machine is a newer method that has the ability to sort the grain by its appearance, to a startling degree. With this machine, grain flows into the intake and is directed to a number of different conveyors that arrange the grain so that each kernel is in an individual cup. These conveyors then move the grain to a dropoff, where it free falls for four to six inches. While the kernels are free falling, there are a number of electronic cameras that take pictures of the grain. These images are then processed by a computer to judge if the grains are the correct color, shape, size, or any other attribute that the cameras can catch. If the grain is judged to be desirable, it will fall directly into a collecting device and be used for production. If the kernel is found to be undesirable, a small puff of air will blow on the kernel and push it into a reservoir for discarded grain. All this happens in the time it takes the grain to fall four to six inches. A color sorter does an amazing job, but the investment in one is prohibitive for all but the most demanding of applications. The

percentage of grain discarded by a color sorter is normally around five percent — which is low because the grain has been cleaned extensively before entering a color sorter. There are other machines that take different approaches to cleaning grains. Some are for specific purposes, such as separating round seeds from flat ones or removing beards and hulls from kernels. The most difficult thing for a cleaning machine to do is to separate two types of kernels that have similar characteristics. This is most evident when rye and wheat kernels are mixed. It is almost impossible to separate the two. Removing soybeans from corn is very challenging as well. The key to finishing with a highquality product is to begin with a high-quality product. It is much better to take good grain and clean it so that it becomes exceptional. If the cleaning process begins with poor quality grain, the final product, regardless of effort or skill, will not be satisfactory.

Brett Glick is a farmer and business owner from Columbus, Indiana. He and his brother, Trevor, operate their family farm. They also own and operate their private seed company, L&M Glick Seed, which sells corn, soybean, and wheat seed directly to customers and to the wholesale market.

LOGGERHEAD DECO, INC. 1640 LA DAWN DR. PORTAGE, WI 53901 630.206.3747



Artisan Spirit: Fall 2017  
Artisan Spirit: Fall 2017  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.