Monday 31 August 2020

Dehulling Machine Needed!

 I've grown a small amount of Emmer wheat with the hope of planting more of it next year, or potentially as a crop to over winter.

Its proving difficult to hull though. This isn't threshing - this is the act of removing the grain from it's protect hull - something that is a lot more suborn on these "less developed" grains.

Does anyone know of any open source plants to build a dehuller? Or seen a method that works well by hand. I'd rather not use heat as want all the seed to still be viable.

Currently thinking I'll get an old hand grinder and create rubber plates for the seed to rub through, which should take the hulls off. Although I'm open to suggestions!


  1. Depending on quantity for your first year you could try rubbing it over one of those rubber door mats that is made up of short 'stipples'. I used it with reasonable effect when i grew spelt, but i have to say energy in for calories out made hand dehulling old-fashioned grains a questionable choice. If you do find a suitable plan and build one that works we will welcome your post on it. Chooks ended up eating quite a bit of our spelt.

    1. That's not a bad shout. This isn't a huge amount - hopefully enough to grow a good amount next year. Or good for me anyway!

  2. I have a link for building a rice huller. Not sure it would work for your Emmer, but they have some videos at the website that might give you a better idea of how they work -

    1. Thank you! I think at the moment it's more building some ideas and seeing what I can come up with!

  3. I can help you out! At least, I can show you what I use that works for me.... I bought a 'String Mulcher' several years ago and use it to thresh dry beans, wheat and oats. It is intended to mulch up leaves and grass, etc. I found that if I sent my dry beans through it they were 'dehulled' without breaking the beans. Then I tried rye and wheat. Again, Perfect! As for winnowing, instead of using air currents as is the tried and true way, I use water. That's right; I first air winnow the bulk of the chaff away, then I toss the whole works into a half-barrel of water. The seeds sink, the chaff floats. After a time or two of clean water, I collect the now washed! seed and put it on screens to dry.

    Here is the machine:

    I think I paid aroung $75US. I bought a 'second' from Amazon. It works fine. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Tim - I thought of you when I posted this! Unfortunately it doesn't look like I can get that over here but it's given me some ideas as to what I could do.

    2. I think with your 'engineering expertise' you could counterfeit one pretty easily. The idea is the thing. It is just a two-string weed whip. The strings spin horizontally, and the chaff drops vertically past the strings. A second hand weed whip and a little 'elbow grease' as my grandmother would say, and I think you could build a box to hold the weed whip and have thresher. Safety Forced! Be careful, but do it!

  4. I have been thinking about this Kev. In my head it is a machine centred on an old bike, some sort of drum. Something like a washing machine drum, some how fix in dowels in the holes. Kind of like a chicken plucking machine. In my mind it need a collection at the bottom.not astro turf but something spiney. something like stickle bricks but a mat. maybe an orthopedic mat with spikes

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