HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Storing Green Beans (50 msgs / 1116 lines)
1) From: Anil Mehta
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hello,
I am a newbie here.
Can someone help me on what if any is the best way of storing green =
coffee beans and how long do they keep without loosing  flavour.
Thanks
Anil

2) From: John - Wandering Texas
Anil,
    I'm sure you'll get lots of responses, most from more qualified folks
than myself.  The important thing is to keep them in a cool, DRY area.  If
you have them stored in cotton or burlap they should last a couple of
years - providing you buy them from Tom & Maria, because they sell fresh
beans. If you are concerned about attracting rats you might want to store
them in a screened box.  I have my beans stored in their very own cabinet
under the microwave and it has worked just fine.  However, stay tuned for
the professionals - I'm sure somebody has the plans for a humidity
controlled room soft lights and an evacuation fan system :O)
John

3) From: John - Wandering Texas
That would definitely apply if you are storing CIEB  :O)

4) From: Thom Underwood
John,
You left out piped in classical music!
Regards - Thom

5) From: Henry C. Davis
Ya left out the self agitating one way valved containers!
Seriously, I live in a house made of stone, block, stucco and the like. It
practically begs mold and mildew to grow whenever you turn your back. I
would not recommend closets (unless vented with positive air flow) or closed
boxes. If you keep them in an area where you keep the environment
comfortable for most human beings, protect them from strong light and
prevent air stagnation, that would work well.
Because of the kind of house I live in, I have been trying several
approaches. So far the favorite one is the big one way valve bags Tom sells.
Next best seems to be the cloth bags, so long as they are not packed tightly
together. I am also going to try vacuum packing in mason jars.
BTW, wouldn't storing them near a microwave expose them to a lot of water
vapor??? Guess it depends on how often you use the microwave. I generally
don't keep things I want to keep dry near the exhaust from the microwave or
venting for the gas oven.

6) From: Steve
I store my greens in those gallon and half gallon plastic juice containers.
Of course I wash them out and make sure they are completely dry. Or I just
leave them in the plastic zip lock that Tom ships them in. I leave them out
in the open on the table with the rest of my roasting stuff.
steve
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7) From: John - Wandering Texas
Steve
	I guess in soggy Seattle the plastic is a good idea.  I live in extreme
heat all the time in the tip of Texas.  Our home is air conditioned 12
months of the year.  Have you had rain you can see yet?  Hope you get a
white Christmas!!
John

8) From: Steve
John,
It's been like swimming every where you go! It always turns out like this
after everyone panics when we have a year of less then normal rain. Today is
sunny though, not just sun breaks but blue sky.
We have come close to snow but it has only gotten down to 34 degrees. Just
cold enough to tease us. Plenty in the mountains.
steve
<Snip>
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9) From: Steven Dover

10) From: Henry C. Davis
That would explain why the one way valve bags also work well. They seem to
have very little in the way of odor themselves and do a good job of keeping
air from the outside from getting in. Glass should even do better. There are
two reasons I am considering vacuum packing in glass (aside from the fact I
already have the equipment) 1) It will remove from the jar most of the stuff
floating around in the air, which, given my house, would be a lot of things
I would prefer not to have in my coffee - moisture, mold spores, dust, etc.,
2) the vacuum in the glass would tend to reinforce the rubber seal of the
jar. My experience is that the seals on a mason jar do pretty well if you
just use a screw ring to tighten them, but non canned jars have allowed
moisture in after several months of sitting during the late winter/early
spring. However, you have convinced me to give up on plain plastic bags and
cotton, I don't think my house is a good environment for them.
Did you find vacuum to be bad for coffee in some way, or just not providing
any appreciable benefit?

11) From: Ed Needham
I don't think sealing green beans in an airtight condition is a good
idea.  The beans themselves have moisture in them and also contain mold
and other bacteria.  Green beans are best stored in a bag that will
allow them to breathe.  Sealing them in an airtight jar will encourage
rot, mold and bacterial growth.
Regards,
Ed Needham
ed

12) From: Mike McGinness
<Snip>
I was going to stay out of this thread but what the hey. I live in the quite often raining Pacific
Northwest, hence humid, so I've been not only storing my greens airtight but vacuum sealing them.
I'll let ya'll know if what's left of the 50# of Kona greens I brought back from Hawaii plus the
other 50 or so # of assorted greens are garbage in 6 months or so. I don't think so though. So far
the longest I've vacuum sealed greens has been about 6 months. Since about May 2001. Open 'em up and
they smell fresh, roast fine, brew great.
MM;-)
Home Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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13) From: Carl Thomas
Sorry to disappoint you folks, but organic matter in a nominally
vacuum-sealed container won't be in a vacuum after 6 months or so.  What it
will be is in an environment it effectively sets up itself.  Any gases and
moisture in the beans will outgas until some equilibrium is reached.  It's
unlikely this will be all the way up to atmospheric pressure, so some of the
things you gain are the initial removal and the subsequent exclusion of
atmospheric moisture and oxygen that may help deteriorate the beans in a
closed (not necessarily vacuum-sealed) container like a mason jar over that
period of time.  Of course, you also keep out any other random atmospheric
contaminants present in many households as well.  Not all - all seals leak
somewhat - but most.  Keeping the moisture and oxygen out helps suppress
bacterial growth and other rot chemistry (except for anaerobic bacteria).
If you pump the containers periodically, you can, of course, reduce even the
small amount of inflow that will ordinarily occur.  Remember, though, that
the beans are drying and hardening and this can change things as well,
'though I can't guess in what direction.  Maybe Mike's 100#s will be the
guinea pigs, what?
Carl T.
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14) From: Simpson
Carl, et al... I have well over 100# of green coffees (mostly bought
from Tom) that have been stored in (various) air conditioned homes
stored in nylon mesh bags (lingerie bags from walmart) and some of these
coffees date from several years ago. No coffee has ever rotted or
mildewed or picked up an unfortunate taste. I turn the bags
periodically. The environments have included sultry south Carolina and
muggy Virginia... no problemo. Remember we do use a/c, but still we take
little care beyond common sense (no air fresheners, or other strong
smells, no water or moisture near by i.e. not stored in kitchen or
bathroom or laundry room) and the coffee remains fine. I think this is
one of those issues where it's possible to worry way too much... without
reason.
Ted
<Snip>
What
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and
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It's
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of
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of
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a
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atmospheric
<Snip>
leak
<Snip>
suppress
<Snip>
bacteria).
<Snip>
even
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that
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the
<Snip>
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15) From: Ed Needham
Sounds like a great experiment.  Let us know in a few months.  Please!
Regards,
Ed Needham
ed

16) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Carl Thomas" 
<Snip>
I vacuum seal greens in Food Savers' food grade plastic bags rather than jars with dome lids. (It
would take too many jars!) Interesting statement "all seals leak somewhat". I'm going to take a
single roast batch size "control" of one of the greens I have a large amount and bag it by itself.
I'll date it and see if it's still under vacuum 6 months from now. Then open it and roast it. I'll
also roast some from the greens bag that's been opened and resealed over and over. Could be an
interesting comparison. Guess I could/should also take another batch of the same greens and put them
in a cotton bag. I'll put it under the bed with the vacuum sealed greens and leave it for the same 6
months.
Someone remind me in June 2002! (I'll put da reminda in ze computa...)
<Snip>
Which is of course done since I'm opening them to remove greens for roasting and re-vacuum sealing.
<Snip>
I don't have the "ideal" storage conditions I've read about, not even close. My understanding of
those conditions being cool, dry, dark, with air-flow. Under "ideal" conditions how much do the
greens dry & harden? More or less than in a vacuum? I'm not a chemist or botanist or ???ist so I
don't know. Figured why not try vacuum sealing. It works for longer term freezer storage of meats &
fish remarkably well. Nuts stay fresh for months & months vacuum sealing. Chinese noodles don't go
stale vacuum sealing. Virtually any "dry" food is an ideal candidate for vacuum sealing without
freezing. Works for longer term freezer storage of roasted coffee beans too (IMO) but that's another
discussion! I don't know how well or how long coffee greens will stay fresh vacuum sealing, time
will tell if I'm destoying $100's of coffee greens or not. So far the results have been promising...
MM;-)
Home Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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17) From: David Waterfill
I agree with Ed, beans should be allowed to breathe.
I have posted this before but it has been a few years.  A friend in southern
Mississippi sent me some green Brazil that had been stored for over 20
years.  They tasted fine but had a reddish caste which he tells me is common
with older beans.  And no, I do not have any more and neither does he.
David Waterfill
dwaterfi
dwaterfill
WWW.Spacestar.net/users/dwaterfi

18) From: Carl Thomas
In answer to some of Mike McGinness' comments:
All vacuums are not created equal.  The volume evacuated, the final vacuum
(pressure differential), and the surface area of the seal all would have
contributing effects to any changes in the beans.
Vacuum sealed foods tend to have conforming "shells" of plastic which
effectively reduces the free volume to the intrinsic volume of the
foodstuff.  Not much space.  The seals also tend to a large area which
reduces leakage because of long path lengths and relatively high pressure
over a large surface area.  Note that although plastics are still slightly
porous, the environment in a freeze (cold, dark, and dry) favors low
diffusion rates through the plastic ( low may be measurable in decades,
centuries, or eons).
Mason jars or any such rigid glass or metal containers of any size and of
any size charge will have more free volume than shrink-dried foods since the
surface is not conforming.  The seal area is smaller in general as well, but
the rubber may be slightly less permeable than plastic, especially if it is
neoprene.  I don't know what technique is being used for the sealing, but
that part of the seal will contribute something as well to the long term
vacuum integrity.  Also, the number of times a seal is made and broken
effects the quality of the materials making the seal as erosion occurs and
shapes change somewhat with each cycle.  Even with nominally accurate
pressure measurement, the change in a jar sealed once and left untouched for
a long period of time should be small (may be larger for wet-processed than
dry-processed beans because of the moisture absorbed by the beans in
processing that may not be subsequently lost).  With no quantitative
measurement, it would be hard to tell at all.  I would recommend slightly
heating the jars and lids (or whatever the seal top is) before putting the
beans in and sealing them since that outgases the glass beforehand.  I
wouldn't recommend boiling the jars like in canning since the temperature
doesn't need to be high for this practical use (serious high vacuum systems
are baked at 450F for a long time under the pumps to outgas the materials
inside the chambers) and no bacteria need to be killed.  Anyone who has had
occasion to "can" food in the fall for winter (or later) use knows that care
is required to avoid that yucky smell when a jar is opened later.
I store my beans in Tom's unadorned cotton bags.  I especially like the
1#ers he's been shipping lately since they are of a better quality that
earlier ones for the same price.  I keep them in a room in the basement
which is surrounded on three sides by the basement wall and seems naturally
to be between 55F (winter) and 65F (summer).  I add a dehumidifier in the
summer to keep the humidity down (that also is what puts the temperature up
to 65F).  I did that before I started storing green beans in there to keep
condensation from dripping off the cold water pipes running through the
room.  The beans are on wooden shelves exposed to the environment, although
I did store them in portable drink coolers for a while in the fall ( green
bean odor was prominent on opening - note there is material outgassing from
the bean even when not under vacuum) when we were gone just in case we had
mice.  I still keep some in there since these shelves also house our Xmas
decorations and are all disturbed right now.  I haven't had any beans longer
than since last February when I started roasting, so I can't comment on the
long term effects of this environment and storage process.  None of the
beans I have left from then seem to have been adversely effected, so far.
I'm reminded that the beans are after all seeds that have an innate
durability as part of a survival mechanism until sprouting conditions are
right, so they should be able to endure a lot.  Whether that equates to the
quality of the final cup is a different question.
Sorry this is so long, but I had to core dump since I spent 15 years working
with ultra high vacuum equipment with large volume chambers and small seal
areas, so I figured a few comment would be interesting in this thread.
Carl T.
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19) From: Steven Dover

20) From: Steven Dover

21) From: Steven Dover
---- Original Message -----
From: Mike McGinness 
To: 
Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 12:47 AM
Subject: Re: +Storing Green Beans
<Snip>
jars with dome lids. (It
<Snip>
My biggest glass jug is a 5 gallon. However, it's full of Muscadine wine. IF
you're interested... www.homebrewheaven.com has some nice 5 or 6 gallon
glass jugs {also 1/2 and 1 gallon}. They have some other *large* containers
that light can't penetrate - I forgot what they call them. - Steve D
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22) From: Carl Thomas
To those of you using vacuum storage of your green beans, be of good cheer.
I just received a pamphlet on the HWP and they claim vacuum storage is the
panacea for all storage problems: green, roasted, and ground, so proceed in
good conscience.
Have a Happy Holidays, everyone.
Carl T.
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23) From: The Scarlet Wombat
Hum, I think I disagree about vacuum storing roasted beans.  Many of the
oils are highly volatile, which is one of the reasons why roast beans are
only at their best for a few days.
While a vacuum, if a hard vacuum, would surely eliminate the oxidation
problem, it would also cause the volatile oils to leave the beans.  It
seems to me this cannot be good.
My real field of expertise is wine, and I know that vacuum sealing wine is
destructive because of the volatiles that are lost.  I've done lengthy
experiments on this score, but have not with coffee, will have to get back
into Mr. Science mode.
Dan
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24) From: Fookoo Network
At 11:02 AM 12/24/01 -0500, you wrote:
<Snip>
Not to get too excited, but the post was about storing green 
beans.  Anyway, given the green beans that come out of Hearthware, the 1 lb 
free bonus with the HIG, I don't know that I would want to preserve them 
any longer than necessary.  Hint: they don't compare to the Sweet Maria's 
green beans.  Although there maybe a market for them for those who don't 
want to waste the "good" stuff on unappreciative acquaintances.
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25) From:
Vic:
I think a lot of folks store using vac bags or vac seal mason jars.
ginny
<Snip>

26) From: Jim Sheets
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
From all I've read on-line, beans should be stored in a "breathable" manner.
i.e. cotton bags, burlap, etc...  I purchase the cotton bags from sm and
store all my beans in them once they arrive.
 http://www.sweetmarias.com/greenstorage.html 
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Vic DeAmelia
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 4:58 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: ++storing green beans
I've been using snap top canisters similar to the ones Jim is using, but
lately
have been giving a lot of thought to vac sealing the bulk of the beans for
long term storage, and 
just keeping a  1lb cotton bag of each bean out for roasting needs. Am a
little concerned
about condensation forming on those plastic thingies, I think mine might be
a little too
tight.
Vic

27) From: an iconoclast
On 3/10/06, Jim Sheets  wrote:
<Snip>
er.
<Snip>
Me, too.  Then I put all the cotton bags along with all my roasting
equipment in 2 burlap bags with the orgingal coffee logos on them and
use them as decor.
Ann

28) From: Brett Mason
I use Mason jars
Mason bags
mason plastics
mason cupboards
But that's my name, and they're mine - I paid for them
Brett Mason
  Zassin much
On 3/10/06, beanzebub  wrote:
<Snip>
r
<Snip>
be
<Snip>
es)
<Snip>
--
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

29) From: HailSeeszer
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
OK, so I am sure there has been plenty of discussion concerning how to
store green beans and not only here but on CoffeeGeek.com,
GreenCoffeeBuyingClub.com, Home-Barista.com and so on.  This must be one
of those subjects where folks agree to disagree.  The problem is that I
am somewhat new to roasting and in my excitement of this new hobby I
have put together a nice library of greens.  At first I was storing them
in the Ziploc bags they were sent in from SM's, but I was told by them
that that was OK for say a month or so but then I should move over to
the cotton and burlap bags.  I've read that storing them in bags,
especially burlap, can cause the beans to become baggy.
 
I'm just looking for the right way to store my coffee.  Ziplocs, cotton
or burlap bags, vacuum pack them, freeze them, store in lead containers
or some other new and inventive way...
 
And for how long?  Less than a year, 1-2 years, doesn't matter?
 
I don't mean to open a can of worms, but I do want to be able to sleep
at night knowing my beans are well cared for.
 
Thanks!
 
Jim

30) From: Espressoperson
In a message dated 5/25/2006 2:43:42 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
hailseeszer writes:
OK, so I am sure there has been plenty of discussion concerning how to store 
green beans...   
Here's what Tom has to say on the subject...
MichaelBhttp://www.sweetmarias.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?ScreenOD&Product_Code26&Category_Code=Premium_Robustas">http://www.sweetmarias.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?ScreenOD&Product_Code26&Category_Code=Premium_Robustahttp://www.sweetmarias.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?ScreenOD&Product_Code26&Category_Code=Premium_Robustas
Some background and personal notes on green coffee and bagginess: Baggy 
flavors are the result of several factors: the fats in the coffee absorbing the 
smell of burlap, the loss in moisture content as the coffee ages, and other 
chemical changes. Green coffee is physically dense, and stores quite well 
(depending on the origin, the altitude/density of the seed, etc) ... but all things 
have their limits. We used to talk about green coffee lasting 2 years from 
arrival date. Pish! For some origins theses changes in flavor can emerge in 1 year, 
9 months, even 6 months for some decafs! Add in poor storage conditions (too 
much humidity, exposure to freezing temperatures, too dry, etc) and there are 
really no set time guarantee for green coffee. What we do is make sure every 
coffee has an arrival date in the review, and that we are sold out or refresh 
the lot with a new arrival within 4-6 months, which will allow at least 6 months 
storage for the buyer with NO shift in flavor. After that, bagginess might be 
detectable in some coffees, whereas others will be solid as a rock. We are 
really obsessed with the freshness of our green coffee stock and everything here 
turns over very rapidly. Now to the cup: You might not note the age of this 
coffee by appearance (I really can't, the yellower coffee is simply 
dry-processed). You might notice a slightly lower 1st crack temperature. You might notice 
a flat smell after roasting. You WILL notice a haylike smell when you grind 
it, provided your roast is to a City-Full City level. You will find the same 
smells in the wet aromatics as you brew it. And then the taste. You might find 
it a bit like a DP coffee, Sumatra, a Yemen, at first. But note how the rustic 
flavor finishes. It smells and tastes like wet cardboard, papery, hay-straw, 
grass (old, dry), and yes, burlap cloth. Welcome to the world of bagginess! 
Now, a few might find this coffee not too offensive, especially roasted to a 
Vienna or so. Fine ... but ask yourself, is this coffee attractive? Do I want 
another cup right now? Do I want to wake up tomorrow to this coffee? If you answer 
yes, well, I just can't help you!!!

31) From: Dean De Crisce
What are peoples thoughts on storing green beans. I imagine vacuum packed is probably the best, but I would like to try something without a new machine. Has mason jars worked for people?
Dean De Crisce
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32) From: Brett Mason
Mine are in a plastic bag, stored indoors, and get used over a 2-4 month
period....
Brett
On Sat, Mar 8, 2008 at 9:09 PM, Dean De Crisce 
wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
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33) From: Larry English
I use the cloth bags from Sweet Maria's, stored in my wine room, where the
temps are 60-65F and humidity around 50%.  I had let my stash grow to a
1-year level but have gotten it down to around 6-months, but the 1-yr-old
beans (based on Tom's "arrival date") were just fine.  I would think that
keeping the stash to a level in which nothing is older than around 6-8
months would obviate any need for special storage - glass jars should work
just fine.  But if you find something you really love and get a 20-lb bag or
more, maybe something special needs to be done.
Larry
On Sat, Mar 8, 2008 at 7:09 PM, Dean De Crisce 
wrote:
<Snip>
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34) From: Paul Helbert
I have about a year's worth at present rate of consumption, so turned a
cooler into a humidor and keep them in cotton bags at about 60% relative
humidity. I have to dig through most of the bags to find the one I want to
roast so they get rotated fairly frequently.
Plans for humidor may be found at:http://www.cigargroup.com/faq/#6.1Discussion may be found by searching the archives of this list.
Also, have a look at Tom's discussion:http://www.sweetmarias.com/green.coffee.issues.html**
-- 
Paul Helbert
"The time has come, to talk of many things..."
-- The Walrus to the Carpenter
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35) From: Vicki Smith
I picked up a bunch of old cotton pillow cases for 10 cents each at a 
local thrift store. They are big enough to let me tie the end in a knot. 
Paper name tags stick to them really well and pull off cleanly when the 
contents of the bad change. I love my SM bags, but the labels didn't 
seem to stick very well onto them.
vicki
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36) From: Bill
Vicki,
classic idea... pillow cases!!!  never would have thought of that one.
 that's a nice move.  still glad i have my sm bag's, but that's a great idea
bill
On Sat, Mar 8, 2008 at 10:33 PM, Vicki Smith  wrote:
<Snip>
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37) From: Ken Mary
No matter how you store green coffee, keep it isolated from drastic 
temperature changes that could cause condensation.
I have recently started a humidor and bean remoistening project. Dry storage
conditions will suck the moisture out of green coffee fairly quickly. Part
of the project will be roasting beans with very low moisture content, and
how this affects the flavor.
Most plastic bags except some vacuum and freezer bags will allow moisture to
pass through easily.
--
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38) From: John Despres
Ken,
I bought the same Accurite hygrometer yesterday and, despite what I 
thought about my basement's moisture. I was wrong. Just because it 
leaks, doesn't mean high humidity, I guess.
The basement showed a RH of  27%. after a few hours. Last night I left 
the hygrometer in a bag of beans over night; this morning it read 49%. 
In either case, it's too low.
I'm trying a salt test to see if the Accurite is accurate now. In any 
event, It looks as though I'll be building a humidor.
Just trying to eliminate another variable.
In my cup is miKe's Ohana blend, French Pressed - still awfully damn 
good! In a while I'll be making my list of what to roast this afternoon! 
WOOHOO!
Do I understand you to say you'll be doing a sort of side by side 
comparison of roasting drier beans as compared to properly moist beans? 
Let us know your results. I'm very interested.
John
Ken Mary wrote:
<Snip>
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39) From: Ken Mary
From: John Despres
"Do I understand you to say you'll be doing a sort of side by side
comparison of roasting drier beans as compared to properly moist beans?
Let us know your results. I'm very interested."
Yes, but the results could be a matter of personal preference, not a
universal. Many years ago, when my roasting skills were lacking, I did a
roast of beans dried in a food dehydrator, and the results were not very
good. If the cup quality of roasted low moisture beans is not much different
from normal moisture beans, then all this playing around with humidity is
useless. One of the keys is of course tailoring the roast profile for dry
beans.
BTW, I find that the saltwater test requires at least overnight. After 24 to
36 hours, the humidity and meter should be stabilized. Getting that last few
points near 76% takes a long time.
--
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40) From: Ross
Vicky,
There is a reason they recommend you change pillow cases often.  It's hard 
to kill all those little critters.
Ross

41) From: Bill
Ross, what little critters are you referring to?  i looked back over the
entire thread thinking that you meant raccoons or possums, and maybe i had
missed a reference.  but now i think you are meaning like microscopic
organisms.  are you serious that my pillowcases have tons of those?bill
On Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 9:37 AM, Ross  wrote:
<Snip>
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42) From: Ross
Bill,
Yes, sorry about that, didn't mean to gross anyone out.  But old bedding and 
old underwear are in the same category as far as I'm concerned, best used to 
wax the car.   Running for cover.
Ross

43) From: Oolan Zimmer
Ross,
Stayed in a hotel lately?
Oolan Zimmer
ozimmer
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44) From: Rich
If you put them in the washer with HOT water and a couple of cups of 
Clorox there is nothing left alive.
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45) From: Rich
Or, The NoTell Motel .....
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46) From: Ross
Oolan,
Yes, I'm an airline pilot, so I get to do that too often, first thing I do 
is pull the cover off the bed, or at least down to where I don't touch it 
and then I wash the glasses before I use them.  Have you ever seen a Maid 
use dish soap to wash them?  They wipe them out with a dirty towel.  By now 
I am probably immune to everything so I am one of the few who can actually 
use old underwear to make my coffee.  I have a Costa Rican coffee stand that 
adapts well to old socks or underwear.   I still store my greens in the bags 
I get from Tom.  It's very dry here in Tucson, so if anything my beans dry 
out a bit when I put them in burlap or cotton bags.  Lately I have been 
using them so fast I just order the 2lb bags and dump the whole bag in the 
RK drum.   It's worth the little extra to have them all pre measured for me.
Ross

47) From: Oolan Zimmer
Even better, my washer has a "sanitize" cycle that uses a heating
element to keep the wash water over 160F for some number of minutes.  I
think it was intended for diapers.
I imagine that other modern washers have similar cycles.
ObCoffee: The washer has a large perforated stainless drum that rotates
and a heating element.  Hmmm... Naah, my wife would kill me.  :-)
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48) From: Rich
There are very few items that will survive a dunk in that much chlorine. 
  Good stuff.  Some bugs will survive boiling water but not chlorine bleach.
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49) From: Barry Luterman
Some years ago I chaired a volunteer burial society (Chevera Kadisha). I
used to wash the sheets wash cloths and towels used on the corpses in my
home washing machine using the sanitize cycle with no ill effects.
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50) From: Vicki Smith
Urmmm, I wash the pillow cases in hot water with detergent and bleach. I 
have no critter concerns.
v
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