Inspired by a Boston concert last night and harvesting 2-1/2 pounds of fresh hops today I made this Guitar Hero Hop Dryer. OK, so this Instructable actually has nothing to do with Guitar Hero except that the guitar box just happened to be a size that worked well for me. The idea comes from a similar project recently published in Brew Your Own magazine.
Though I'm using this to dry home-grown hops, I see no reason why this same setup couldn't be used to gently dry other herbs or flowers. I plan to give it a try with herbs from my herb garden later this fall.
Step 1: Harvest Some Hops
This photo is about half of the hops from my first harvest of 2008. These are Cascade hops spread evenly on a window screen.
Step 2: Cardboard Hood From Guitar Hero Box
While looking for some cardboard to make a hood for the dryer I ran across the box from Guitar Hero. The size almost perfectly fit half of the window screen. So, I taped the box lid and bottom together with some duct tape. The depth of also seemed to be roughly what I had in mind.
Remove the adjoining edges of the top and bottom leaving some at the corners and tape it all together.
Step 3: Mark and Cut Hole for Fan
I'm using a 12v computer fan to draw air over the hops to help them dry. That's the very reason for the cardboard hood, after all. Place the fan in the middle and trace around it. Use a utility knife and cut about 1/4" inside the mark.
Step 4: Mount the Fan
Glue or tape the fan to the top. I'm powering the fan with a 12v wall transformer...aka wall wart. Make sure the fan is mounted such that it pulls the air out through the top when it's running.
Step 5: Use It!
Place the hood over the top, plug in the wall wart, and leave for a couple of days to dry.
I'm actually using the dryer hood over two window screens separated by 1-1/2" wood spacers. The whole thing is suspended between saw horses.