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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Oast'

Oast Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    oast n : a kiln for drying hops
Oast Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Oast \Oast\ ([=o]st), n. [OE. ost, AS. [=a]st; cf. Gr. a'i^qos burning heat.] A kiln to dry hops or malt; a cockle. --Mortimer.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Oast'

An oast, oast house or hop kiln is a building designed for kilning (drying) hops as part of the brewing process. They can be found in most hop-growing (and former hop-growing) areas and are often good examples of vernacular architecture. Many redundant oasts have been converted into houses.

They consist of two or three storeys on which the hops were spread out to be dried by hot air from a wood or charcoal-fired kiln at the bottom. The drying floors were thin and perforated to permit the heat to pass through it and escape through a cowl in the roof which turned with the wind. The freshly picked hops from the fields were raked in to dry and then raked out to cool before being bagged up and sent to the brewery. The Kentish dialect word kell was sometimes used for kilns ("The oast has three kells.") and sometimes to mean the oast itself ("Take this lunchbox to your father, he's working in the kell.").

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