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Building a bean humidor.
John Despres
Thank you, CHAD and Eddie for the compliments. It's a slow time of the year, so I have to do something...
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
ginny
John:

your project is fantastic. Maybe the next contest should be for new ideas for home roasters.
way to go.

let me see if I can get you HT.,

ginny

alwayss:8s:8s:8 cuz I need to ands:5s:5s:5 mr ED
 
John Despres
Thanks, Ginny!

Today's update. When I last left you the RH in the humidifier was hanging at about 48% but didn't climb from there.

Since raising the temp made the RH rise, I put the heater back in. I call this part "heat conditioning your humidifier". I spritzed the interior with distilled water again and turned on the heat for a couple hours.

Yes, I removed the beans...

At about 6 PM the RH was 75% on both hygrometers so I removed the heater, closed it up and let it sit over night. There was some condensation on the bottom corner of the window.

This morning at 6 AM, the RH was 75% on one meter and 65% on the other - I'll be running meter tests later. They're digital, so I didn't snap 'em with a finger. The condensation had gone away.

It seems the interior may be stabilizing. The next step will be to open the door, let the RH drop a couple points. close it back up and see if the RH comes back up. If it does, I'm getting there. If it does not, but maintains at the most recent drop, more heat conditioning may be required.

Next update soon to come when there's something to report.
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
seedlings
What determines that 65% relative humidity will keep the beans around 12% moisture content? I re-read -->THIS<-- article from sweetmarias and it didn't mention what humidity level is good for greens. The key may simply be the normal humidity in XYZ coffee producing country. The 5 day forcasted relative humidity for Nyrobi, Kenya is 70%, 67%, 63%, 74%, 81%, with an average of 71%... hmmmm...

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
John Despres
CHAD, I'm working from this study http://www.mesoam...ial_II.PDF you might find it interesting.

I also made a mistake - 60% is condsidered safe. Not 65%.

Thanks for making me look this up!
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
John Despres
I will be editing all my post to this thread to read 60% instead of 65%.
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
coffeehound
From what you have said, the only thing that sounds for certain is that green beans must have a 12% moisture content. I curious why you are testing the cabinet moisture content and not the bean's moisture content? And I see that you are keeping your beans in plastic bags. Isn't that going to negate the whole project? Maybe I misread this thread, but it seems interesting, fun, but not something that is valuable to coffee storage. If the beans are at 12% when they arrive and you store them in plastic bags don't they stay nearly at 12%? Like I said, maybe I'm missing something here. Frank
 
seedlings
John Despres wrote:
CHAD, I'm working from this study http://www.mesoam...ial_II.PDF you might find it interesting.

I also made a mistake - 60% is condsidered safe. Not 65%.

Thanks for making me look this up!


Great info. Here's the chart from that study. To keep the coffee around 11% to 12% moisture content there is a narrow window around 60% RH.

CHAD
seedlings attached the following image:
Coffee Humidity[848].jpg

Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
John Despres
Right, CHAD.

Hence the challenge!
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
John Despres
coffeehound wrote:
From what you have said, the only thing that sounds for certain is that green beans must have a 12% moisture content. I curious why you are testing the cabinet moisture content and not the bean's moisture content? And I see that you are keeping your beans in plastic bags. Isn't that going to negate the whole project? Maybe I misread this thread, but it seems interesting, fun, but not something that is valuable to coffee storage. If the beans are at 12% when they arrive and you store them in plastic bags don't they stay nearly at 12%? Like I said, maybe I'm missing something here. Frank


Frank, Good questions, good thoughts.

I'm not measuring the specific bean moisture content because I don't have the gear or knowledge of how to do it with typical home equipment. Since RH affects moisture content, I'm going on faith an RH level of 60% will give me a moisture content of 11%-12%. My premise comes from this article http://www.mesoam...ial_II.PDF

As to plastic bags, I'm keeping my beans in them until I can stabilize the cabinet. I tossed the bags of beans in the cabinet for the pictures, as I said in an earlier post. I than removed them. I don't know the beans are 12% moisture when they arrive; I imagine they are awfully close, but it can't hurt to make sure, can it?

Keeping the beans in the plastic bags will undoubtedly keep the beans just fine. Freezer bags are designed for long term storage without any problems, but plastic can be porous to some degree, depending on the materials. I noted earlier that this may not be necessary to preserve the life of my beans, but I enjoy learning and sharing, so I'm posting my journey here.

As to whether or not my experiment is valuable, it may not be, but let's find out.
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
seedlings
John Despres wrote:As to whether or not my experiment is valuable, it may not be, but let's find out.


For me, just knowing weather or not the experiment is valuable ... is valuable, even if I don't change any of my habits. So, as you said, let's find out if the experiment is valuable!

As a side note, I have several burlap bags of greens stored (off the floor) in my unfinished basement. If I'm not going to invest in a humidor, would they be better stored in plastic bags? Assume my basement is 65F with <60% humidity all year around. Am I loosing moisture content, and if so, how will that show up in the cup? I understand how mold will affect the cup.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
John Despres
seedlings wrote:

For me, just knowing weather or not the experiment is valuable ... is valuable, even if I don't change any of my habits. So, as you said, let's find out if the experiment is valuable!


I agree, so will press on. I may have made a mistake yesterday. I opened the door to let the RH drop to room level. I intended to close the door once the meter showed a reading of 30% or so. Then my family came home, I got distracted, went to dinner, went to the funeral home, went for drinks, went to bed and found it open this morning. That's way more open time than I planned on.

The reason I opened it at all is to see if the RH would climb back up to the same level it was when I opened it up. I have removed everything except the 3 oases and the open & close experiment is to see if they have enough oomph to bring the RH back up.
Edited by seedlings on 03/19/2008 4:13 AM
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
John Despres
seedlings wrote:

As a side note, I have several burlap bags of greens stored (off the floor) in my unfinished basement. If I'm not going to invest in a humidor, would they be better stored in plastic bags? Assume my basement is 65F with <60% humidity all year around. Am I loosing moisture content, and if so, how will that show up in the cup? I understand how mold will affect the cup.

CHAD


I don't know how it will affect the cup. The only reference I have is the Mesoamerican study.

I wish I had the money to buy enough beans to waste on a loss. Ok, I know it wouldn't be a "loss" based on outcome, but it's money I don't have.
Edited by John Despres on 03/19/2008 4:34 AM
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
EddieDove
In my simple understanding (perhaps, very simple), if moisture content of the bean is way too low, then there won't be enough moisture within the bean for the Maillard Reactions to take place, thereby stunting the development of flavors.

I would posit that storing in burlap bags at a moisture level too high, might expedite the coffee defect known as "baggy," but that is just a hunch.
Edited by EddieDove on 03/19/2008 8:45 AM
Respectfully,

Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference
http://southcoast...gspot.com/
 
http://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com
John Despres
You are correct, Eddie. I just re-read the article in the current issue of Roasters Magazine and spent an hour or so reading on line. While the chemistry evades me to a great degree, moisture does indeed affect the Maillard Reaction. Too much moisture or too little will alter and degrade the results in just about any food preparation.

We need a scientist who can explain this for us lay-folk.
Edited by John Despres on 03/19/2008 6:14 AM
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
seedlings
I bet you can store your fruits and floral arrangements in the humidor and actually impart some added flavors? Could you imagine a Sumatra with hints of cherry and rose? Fun.

That being said, maybe I should move the bag of dog food. ;)

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
John Despres
Well, I have been keeping some beans in a used pepperoni pizza box just to get my 6 year old more interested in coffee... "No thank you, Daddy. Coffee is for Daddies, not big boys". He turns down a sip of ale the same way.

Dog food HA!
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
coffeehound
Thanks for the response and the article, it is very interesting. I imagine that ziplock bags would be about as effective at been storage as the cocoons they talk about in the study. The rest of the study is about bean stored exposed to the environment in bags, which I see is what the 60% RH is all about.
 
John Despres
The difference, I think, is the cocoons have a moisture source to ensure the RH remains at a constant 60%. But the article doesn't really say how they did it.

I wish I knew... So far things aren't as easy as I thought it'd be.

I'm not discouraged, though. Like I said: if it doesn't work as a humidifier, I'll still have a pretty nice cabinet to keep my beans stored in plastic bags in.
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
Kaffee Bitte
That is very cool John! Wish I had the space to do something like it.

Of course I really wouldn't need to. It is rare for a coffee to hang out at my house for longer than a month.
Lynn

"Some days it's spice, other days it's bitter dirt."
 
Favorite? How can there be such a thing?
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