Grinding, deseeding, and bucking hemp

As the title states, looking for options to handle hemp biomass at a larger scale after harvest. Ive searched the forum and havent found a ton of information regarding this part of the process.

What is the best way to deseed, buck, and grind the material?

Is there any machines that can do 2 or all 3 of these steps?

If i plan on processing down to isolate or distillate, would seeds in the biomass even be that big of a deal?

I appreciate any input!


thanks cyclopath, from the sounds of it a hammer mill is the way to go if you are processing hemp and need a high throughput.

the only thing I haven’t found much information on is the bucking process. are most people just doing that by hand or what? I have found a couple of machines but they claim to be able to do 150lbs/ hr or so. that isn’t enough for a good sized operation.

Finely milled material works for CO2 and hydrocarbons, I’ve not been happy with the post processing required when extracted with ethanol.

The cannabinoids are in the trichomes, so opening most of the other cells by grinding mainly adds things you dont want to the extraction.

IMO you’re also going from cannabinoids dissolved in solvent (terpenes in unbroken trichomes), to cannabinoids ppt all over the place once you start breaking trichs open and letting the terps (more valuable than most cannabinoids by weight right now) evaporate.

I turned away 1k lb of biomass last week because it had been hammer milled to dust.

The farmer wasn’t happy, but once he’d admitted that he’d had several other folks also reject that material because of the grind, he didn’t have much room to argue.

I purchased and processed 20lb in front of him to demonstrate the issues involved.

The right grind is critical, and ideally it is the processor who picks that grind.

Edit: in this case it was the processor. Farmer had been working with a CO2 operator who was also pelletizing the biomass before extraction (again, not an obvious win with EtOH. Seems to work for CO2).

Edit: I could probably have fit 30lb of this stuff in my nominal 10lb fuge…and I’ll try cleaning the product up. It might be worth the effort given the increase in throughput.

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In your opionion what would be the best way to mill biomass for cryo ethanol extraction then? I am working with a farmer and trying to figure out what to tell him to get his biomass ready for processing. All of the other options i have come across seem like they wont work when you are dealing with 100+ acres worth of hemp.

@Future?

I do know the last 400lb of 12% biomass was pretty close to my gold standard of “frozen at -80 and passed through a 1/4” screen” as far as particle size goes. It had however clearly been through something that could shred stems. I found one stem fragment about as big as my pinkie processing 400lb, but most where smaller in diameter. I also came across a single intact bud slightly over 3/4in in diameter. Don’t know what they used, but it seems to have been appropriate and after the hammer milled fiasco I can probably find out how this batch was prepped

My $0.02?

The middle one is ideal…for EtOH.

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How common would you say it is to find seeded hemp on the west coast? Everyone in VA preaches feminized seed which they happily sell us at a premium. This is the first post I have come across saying there was seeded hemp being processed (not that I looked for the thread) and if that is viable I would have to think on it.

I did a few acres at my farm to try it out, a farmer down the road decided to grow hemp for seed and I was pretty much fucked as a result (less than 1.5 miles away). dude doesn’t even know what he’s going to do with his crop. even offered to pay him a couple grand to mow it down and he refused. as more farmers move into hemp its going to be a bigger and bigger issue. you can do everything in the world to make sure there are no males in your field, but if your neighbor is a jackass about it there is nothing you can do. only solution is to find a way to make it work with a seeded crop (feminized auto flowers to avoid cross pollination).

the farmer I am talking to about processing also said he was keeping a few males in his field to “see what happens” and has over 100 acres. guarantee that will be riddled with seeds as well. this is the midwest FYI.

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