HomeRoast Digest

Topic: removing nails from coffee (13 msgs / 258 lines)
1) From: Peter Zulkowski
Has anyone come up with an automatic device for removing junque from 
coffee beans?
This is usually not a problem, but the other day I fought with a small 
nail in my Major, and really wished I had spotted it before it got there.
Not sure how it got by me, I usually watch the beans as I dump them from 
place to place.
Several transfers between the bag and the grinder did not catch the nail!
Now I am looking to come up with something that will effectively remove 
stones, nails, washers.. anything that is not a coffee bean.
Major is just doing fine, here in LHC

2) From: Aaron
while I can't speak for removing stones, but nails and stuff, use a good 
strong magnet.
I recycle hard drives and have a ton of small but super strong magnets 
holding the refrigerator down in case gravity would ever reverse itself :)
I can send you a few if you want, bu I will warn you up front, they are 
a severe pinch hazard.  you get your skinners caught between two and 
they snap, you will end up bleeding..... don't ask me how I know this heh...

3) From: raymanowen
Several Ro-Tap screens for your different bean sizes and some of the neodym=
magnets should put you in bidness. If you're having trouble with a
particular lot of beans, inspect them on a cookie sheet pre- and post-roast=
I preach, but I don't perform- anymore. I did just that when I first roaste=
about 30 years ago in a Melitta AromaRoast. With the constant observation o=
stirring the beans in a mixer bowl with a heat gun, I found a couple of cor=
kernels in 5# of Uganda Bugisu, maybe.
The HG/DB roaster doesn't let your mind drift, and it's great for spotting
FOD. Stones and nails wouldn't turn brown- How does Big Coffee handle the
problem, I wonder?
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
Wichita WurliTzer- 1976

4) From: Heat + Beans --all the rest is commentary
On 5/13/06, raymanowen  wrote:
True enough!  Though I have to say that after nearly 4 yrs, I've rarely
spotted anything other than the occasional split bean, bean that refuses to
brown, or ugly fellow.  If I ever do find a stone or nail, I intend to weig=
it and ask Tom to replace that weight in beans.  I drive a hard bargain.
Roasting may be the ONLY time my mind is not drifting.
Heat + Beans
    all the rest is commentary

5) From: raymanowen
There is an irresistable cure for the "bean that refuses to brown, or ugly
fellow. "
Pull the heat gun back a bit and Keep Roasting. The Refuseniks are my
roasting indicators. If I wanted to do a light roast and I have a number of
Refuseniks, I know it's gonna be late... a couple minutes more, anyway.
Note to self: sorry, Brianna- your jar of ~

6) From: Aaron
Ray.... given that 'big coffee' pretty much grinds everything they give 
us anyways... they probably use a magnet and anything else ie stones are 
chomped up and thrown into the can with the rest of the burnt robusta at 
40 cents a pound they sell to us.
Face it,  honestly now....... if you were brewing a pot of folgers, 
would you really notice if there were a few rock fragments in your 
grounds basket, let alone by the taste??

7) From: raymanowen
In a pot of F-word, "would you really notice..."
What's the difference between different forms of Scheisse- Fingernail
Clippings compared to battery acid. (Really bright, and hold the lead,
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
Wichita WurliTzer- 1976

8) From: DJ Garcia
I guess my first question would be where is the coffee coming from? In
my over three years of home roasting I have never encountered such
things in my beans! What is the source of the junk, i.e. where in your
coffee workflow is it getting in? Is it in the green beans? After you
roast? After you store it?

9) From: Rob Stewart
I've been thinking something cone shaped with a neck at the bottom, like a 
funnel and stir or have it vibrate pretty vigorously settling the heaver 
objects to the bottom in the neck.  Then open the gate at the bottom and 
isolate and examine the first beans to exit and you should have anything 
heavier than a bean in a relatively small sample to inspect.     Could be 
done on a small scale for a popper or something large enough that SM's could 
run whole lots of suspect origins through before bagging.   I suppose there 
are commercial cleaners that might give some ideas as the result of a 

10) From: Linda Sharpe
I cool in a sink vegetable stainless steel strainer similar to window screen
wire.  The strainer is placed over a hassock turbo fan which removes the
chaff and cools the beans in seconds.  The beans move around under the force
of the fan, anything that doesn't move is checked immediately.  My roast is
a pound so not much trouble spotting anything suspicious.

11) From: Ed Needham
Beans that are picked too green will usually refuse to roast.  Poor prep at 
the mill is responsible for this.  There shouldn't be too many in the stuff 
that Sweetmaria's sells.
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)

I don't know if they use these methods in the coffee industry, but one
method I have heard use for seperating different items was by using a
controled speed convyer type ramp. As the objects carried reach the end of
the ramp they are jetisoned off. differring weights and shapes would be
thrown to different points of impact, allowing the collection of or disposa=
of the desired items.
Another method is to use a blower system, again differring weight and shape=
item would be blown to different points of impact.
In the blower system, heavier and more streamlined objects like rocks and
nails would not be blown very far and items like bits of vegetation (leafs,
sticks) would be carried quite a distance. So by placing the collection
trays or containers at a midway point the beans would be 'raining' down
pretty much by themselves.
On 5/13/06, Peter Zulkowski  wrote:
Start HOT and work your way Down...
Peppers AND Coffee.

13) From: kofi
I have seen the blower system used in a simpler form commercially where the
beans are blown up a tube and any rocks, nails etc fall out at the entry. I=
should be fairly easy to reproduce that type of sifter at home with a shop
vac blowing. Would a take a bit of experimentation.. who's up to do that an=
report back ;-)
On 5/15/06, TERRY TITSWORTH  wrote:

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