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Topic: humidifying beans (18 msgs / 435 lines)
1) From: Bill
Well, the subject line indicated that I've definitely gone 'round the bend,
and it's true.  Saturday I bought the cooler, yesterday I ordered the
propylene glycol (purchased today), and so tonight I have begun humidifying
my green beans.  The first steps of my craziness were obvious to everyone: a
refusal to drink *$, but a demand on freshly-roasted coffee.  Then, it was a
stash exceeding 20 lbs... now, it's a stash that won't dry the beans out.
Here's the issue: Cheyenne has relative humidity of around 20-25%, which
will dry out green beans (John Brown of Tucson reported that their RH is
10%)... so I got a "coolerdor" solution from Bob in Parker, CO, and have
created a humidor for my green coffee beans.  He got the idea from a cigar
website, Sean the Marine whole-heartedly endorsed:http://www.igtc.com/~pmm/tupperdor.htmlSo tonight I entered the additionally-crazy world of humidifying my coffee
beans.  I suffered from laryngitis all last week.  Cause: insufficient
humidity in my environment.  solution: humidify coffee beans!  Propylene
glycol leads to humidity around 70%...I am hoping to find a "sweet spot" for
the amount of airflow to create humidity of 50-55%... we'll see.  That seems
to be a good benchmark per this article:http://www.sweetmarias.com/green.coffee.issues.htmlAnyway, thought that I would report the additional journeying 'round the
bend!!!  Hoping for a longer shelf life and constant roasting from beans
now!!!
we'll see!
bill
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2) From: Treshell
<Snip>
Keep us posted on this.........
Tres
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3) From: Ken Mary
You can substitute glycerine for the propylene glycol, but the starting 
solution is 2 parts glycerine to 1 part water. The same 70% RH will result.
I have done some checking on how others store green coffee. The RHs range
from 45 to 55% for maintaining quality up to 1 year. 70% RH will supposedly
cause mold growth. The maximum recommended RH for long term storage to avoid
mold is 60%.
So I suggest long term storage at 45 to 60% RH. Then at some point before
roasting, the beans can be humidified to 12% moisture. This 12% moisture
equilibrium is reached at 63 to 65% RH. The moisture charts can be found on
pages 12 and 13 of:http://www.mesoamerican.org/pdf/Cafe%20_Britt%20_Trial_II.PDF<Snip>
at this moisture will roast "as good as" at 12% then this would be a
reasonable RH for the long term storage humidor.
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4) From: Sean Cary
My coolers sit at about 60-65% depending on how often I remember to tend
them and the outside temp moves them a bit also (warmer more humid, cooler
less).
Don't saturate your humistats - that will make them less efficient.
Sean
On Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 8:34 AM, Ken Mary  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Sean M. Cary
Major USMC
Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori
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5) From: Paul Helbert
You folks got me into this. Yesterday I got four cheap hygrometers from
Wally World and put them into a gallon zip lock bag overnight with the damp
salt for the 75% RH calibration test. All four failed by reading at least
ten per cent low. I opened one and found that they are not adjustable. So,
on to Radio Shack for the recommended adjustable one.
Meanwhile, I found a gallon of PG RV antifreeze in the garage. It says it
contains PG, water, a rust inhibitor and a colorant. It protects to -50F. I
read in one of the above mentioned articles that, in time, humidors get out
of balance, with too high a water to PG ratio causing them to produce too
much humidity. I suppose, then, that the contrary would be true and thus I
should be able to make a solution which would favor a lower humidity by
adjusting the ratio in favor of the PG. I can do this by trial and retrial,
but if anyone has a handle on the proper concentration, I'd be most obliged
for the information.
By interpolating from the tables inhttp://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/propylene-glycol-d_363.html it looks as
if my RV antifreeze must be pretty close to 60% PG by mass. Since we don't
really want RH over about 60% for long term storage, I'll make my first
trial with this stuff straight out of the jug.
Lastly (for now), if anyone needs a chunk of thirsty oasis, just drop me a
note off list with "Chunk o' Oasis" as the subject. I had to buy too much
and will  ship a piece, free of charge, to the lucky winner of a drawing to
be done on leap year day.
Paul
-- 
"There is nothing- absolutely nothing-
half so much worth doing as simply
messing about in boats."
---Ratty to Mole in Kenneth Grahame's
  The Wind in the Willows
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6) From: Sean Cary
I use the Radio Shack electronic ones in my coolers - and don't worry about
them being off.  I do the salt test - but I was under the impression it is
70% not 75...  I then write the delta on the meter and know what it is off
by.
PG is cheap - not sure what else is in anti-freeze, but personnally would
not use it with my cigars...beans, not sure...  I live in humid areas and
feel they are ok as is - that and I don't keep a large stash anyway.
Sean
On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 4:02 PM, Paul Helbert 
wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Sean M. Cary
Major USMC
Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori
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7) From: Bob
Paul,
You can get a pint of PG from just about any decent cigar shop ~ 
mine cost me less than $10. Dilute with H2O to your preferred 
level.
Bob

8) From: Paul Helbert
I just got back from town with the proscribed Radio Shack 63-1032. Will keep
it in the baggie overnight with the WM ones and set it tomorrow if need be.
The 75% figure came from the Cigar Smoker's FAQhttp://www.cigargroup.com/faq/#5.2that my">http://www.cigargroup.com/faq/#6.1I see from further readinghttp://www.cigargroup.com/faq/#5.2that my
assumption about changing the ratio of PG to water as a means of changing RH
was wrong headed. My new assumption is that regular use (opening and
closing) will moderate the humidity, as I generally roast small lots (100 to
150 g) two or three times per week.
-- 
"There is nothing- absolutely nothing-
half so much worth doing as simply
messing about in boats."
---Ratty to Mole in Kenneth Grahame's
  The Wind in the Willows
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9) From: Sean Cary
odd - 75% will make mold appear on your cigars...and that can ruin an
expensive box of smokes.  DAMHIK
I aim for 65% - 70/70 is the "magic" ratio most humidors strive to keep, but
I don't know many who keep there house at 70 degrees...
You can get PG at many drug stores - it is in so many things we eat
etc...kinda scary.
Sean
On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 7:15 PM, Paul Helbert 
wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Sean M. Cary
Major USMC
Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori
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10) From: Rich
This is the tool to use to calibrate those cheap hygrometers.  The bag 
trick is crude at best.http://search.ebay.com/sling-psychrometer_W0QQ_trksidZm37QQdfspZ1QQfromZR40QQfsprZ1QQssPageNameZWD8BIf it breaks, cut and paste...
Paul Helbert wrote:
<Snip>
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11) From: Paul Helbert
Sean,
The 75% is just the handy point for setting the instrument by the moist salt
method. You are correct that it is too high for storage of cigars (or
coffee) because it is conducive to mold growth.
On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 7:22 PM, Sean Cary  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"There is nothing- absolutely nothing-
half so much worth doing as simply
messing about in boats."
---Ratty to Mole in Kenneth Grahame's
  The Wind in the Willows
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12) From: Paul Helbert
Rich is correct. A sling psychrometer can be borrowed from any weather
station; and would do a better job if properly used. No room to sling one in
a cooler though.
On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 7:54 PM, Paul Helbert 
wrote:
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13) From: raymanowen
"...a pint of PG... cost me less than $10." [= $80/gallon]
Oh, boy- I inherited a partial 55gal drum of food grade propylene glycol
(about 30 gal.) My friend was using it in a high contrast screen printing
operation.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
I got people...
On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 5:12 PM, Bob  wrote:
<Snip>
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14) From: Sean Cary
Oh, but it is something to aim for - I have always wanted a walk in
humidor...next to my walk in gun safe, attached to my 40X60 wood
shop...which is a short walk way from the 3 car garage with my MC's and a
lift and full set of MAC and Snap On tools...oh yeah, and the Hooters
training facility on the next lot.
I can dream...on Government salary, it is all I can do. (that and a wife and
2 kids)
Sean
On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 7:59 PM, Paul Helbert 
wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Sean M. Cary
Major USMC
Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori
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15) From: John Brown
i would want the gun safe on other side of of the wood shop not next to 
the humidor.  but i shoot a lot of Black Powder Guns
Sean Cary wrote:
<Snip>
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16) From: Steven Dover
It's 75%. All the salt must be wet and some of it must be above the water.
It cannot be just "wet salt".
It will take several hours to stabilize. Remember to use enough water and
salt so that it doesn't take so long to create/stabilize at 75% humidity.
Ftr, ethylene glycol is in auto anti-freeze. You already know that
propylene glycol is in RV/camper antifreeze. Propylene glycol is also used
in the pharmacy as a substitute for glycerin if I'm remembering right. You
can get it at your local pharmacy much cheaper than the cigar store!
The dial type hygrometers would make good targets I guess - if they were a
different color. They're too light for fishing line weights too. About 9
out of 10 humidor or wall "dial" types are low quality junk. The *ONLY*
cigar related dial type that's worth much {that I've found} is a white one
that's about 2" in diameter and has "France" printed inside the glass at
the 6 o'clock position. The Radio Shack digital ones made *several* years
ago {#63-855} work really well, but must be calibrated first. They can be
adjusted by a pot {potentiometer} under the back cover. I am told the one
that replaced 63-855 can not be adjusted.
Steven D.  
At 05:22 PM 2/24/08 -0500, you wrote:
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.com
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17) From: Ken Mary
Radio Shack discontinued the humidity monitors, but still has the more 
expensive weather stations. I am trying to get a #63-164 weather station
which was just recently discontinued, and priced at $4.97 in-store only, a
good deal if you can find one. Most stores in my area are sold out.
Walmart sells pure propylene glycol antifreeze for $10.97 a gallon. This
contains anticorrosion additives and is certainly not food grade, but the
label claims "low toxicity". This is a last resort if I find no other
sources of food grade PG or glycerine.
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18) From: Bill
Ken,
I had no trouble at the local walgreens ordering a pint of PG.  I walked in
one day, ordered it, picked it up the next day, 7 bucks, no hassle.  Gotta
imagine a drug store could order it for you.  Supposedly it's really common.
 My druggist didn't even bat an eye or ask a question.
bill
On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 7:25 AM, Ken Mary  wrote:
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