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Bean cooler for large volumes

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  • Bean cooler for large volumes

    Recently weve started roasting 1kg of coffee at a time which is great because it means we stop running out of coffee!  Hooray!  However, the ceiling exhaust fan that we were using in our cooler didnt have enough grunt for 1kg of beans...

    So I found a 40cm high velocity fan at kmart for $20 which was reduced from $49.  They still had about 6 of them left at the launceston store -- dunno if other kmarts would have them?  Not only a bargin, but the fan has a lot of power and barely slows down when under load. And.... it also has a stand which allows it to put upwards!  

    I then found a 60L garbage bin that I got cheap because it was missing a lid.  Put upside down, the bin is a perfect fit for the fan, and just sits there by itself.  We then cut a big hole in the bottom of the bin and placed our cooling thing on it.

    All it needs now is a container with a flatter base for holding the beans, and were got a super-quick bean cooler.  It cooled 1kg in about 2 mins this morning, however with a flat meshed container, I think this will be a lot quicker!

    Heres a video showing the power of the fan:

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/v/TKtz3pprrz8&hl=en&fs=1[/media]

    And Ive attached the following pictures:






  • #2
    Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

    You have to do that video again using a ball.
    One of those cheap fake soccer balls.
    It should then just keep floating if its not too heavy.

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    • #3
      Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

      Well done Humphrey! That looks like an awesome cooler. When I went into that catering shop I was telling you about to buy my flat colander, I am pretty sure I saw a size bigger than the one I have. I reckon that would sit nicely on top of that bin and provide a good surface area for cooling. Good luck!

      Alistair

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      • #4
        Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

        Nice but to big for me
        I am under strict instructions that whatever I design needs to be stored away and not take up to much room

        Q
        Do you find the fan speed strength blows the beans out

        KK

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        • #5
          Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

          You have to do that video again using a ball.
          One of those cheap fake soccer balls.
          It should then just keep floating if its not too heavy.
          Yeah! thatd be awesome. Ill have to keep a look out for one!

          When I went into that catering shop I was telling you about to buy my flat colander, I am pretty sure I saw a size bigger than the one I have.
          Yeah Alistar, went in there on Friday after you left. They had a 25cm, 35cm, and 40cm version. Very nice colander, but not cheap. The 35cm was about $28 and the 40cm was above $30. Probably worth it in the long run though?

          Do you find the fan speed strength blows the beans out
          I did lose a few beans when I stirred the beans quickly. However, a lot of the air escapes out the sides because all of the beans sit in the middle of the colander. When we get a flat meshed one, there might be enough force to blow away the beans. If so, we should be able to turn the fan to the medium setting, or turn it around so that it sucks, rather then blows. Our previous cooler sucked air and worked ok.

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          • #6
            Re: Bean cooler for large volumes - Improved!

            Hi all.

            Thought Id update with a major improvement weve made to our cooler. We bought one of the flat seives mentioned above (35cm fits perfectly atop the garbage bin) and its considerably more efficient. Cuts the cooling time remarkably - I just cooled 500g (roasted weight) in about 35 seconds (compared to ~2mins).

            Attached are pics of:
            1 - the seive.
            2 - the cooler - with high-tech seive holder!
            3 - snapshot from a video of the cooling process (will post the video when I work out how to down-size it etc.).





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            • #7
              Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

              ps. As you can see in the above photo, the fan (on full speed) tends to move the beans around in an entrancing circular motion... but it does tend to lose a couple over the sides. I reckon our next move will be to cut some sort of flap in the top of the bin that we can use to throttle down the fans power. But only for this (smaller) sized batch - I reckon full speed will be fine for our 1kg batches!

              pps. the beans (Peru Ceja de Selva) turned out a lovely even CS9 - not the CS13 that they appear to be in the photo! :P

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              • #8
                Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

                Hey there Stuart,

                Actually mate, with the flat sieve you now have, Id be reversing the fan so that it sucks cool air through the beans. All you need to do then is gently stir the beans around with a large spatula or similar and the beans will cool down even more quickly with no losses over the side... 8-)

                Mal.

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                • #9
                  Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

                  Nice job there Stuart.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

                    Originally posted by 1D30343835590 link=1238811932/7#7 date=1240822024
                    Hey there Stuart,

                    Actually mate, with the flat sieve you now have, Id be reversing the fan so that it sucks cool air through the beans. All you need to do then is gently stir the beans around with a large spatula or similar and the beans will cool down even more quickly with no losses over the side... 8-)
                    Hey Mal,

                    Were trying not to have to reverse the fan since it sits on its own frame with the bin fitting snugly on top without us having modified anything... with the fan turned the other way, the fan speed control would be inaccessible, and wed probably need to seal the bin to the fan to get 100% efficiency. Also that fan moves a lot of air and it would be mighty breezy with it all shooting straight down. Youre right in theory, of course, but I dont think itll work for this set up. I might just set the fan 1 click lower - should still cool them in no time.

                    Cheers
                    Stuart.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

                      I thought you could just point that fan down (from the look of it).

                      A few air outlet holes in the bottom sides of the bin would prevent lift off.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

                        Originally posted by 665A475C565740555D56320 link=1238811932/10#10 date=1240884878

                        A few air outlet holes in the bottom sides of the bin would prevent lift off.
                        and spoil the fun of chasing it around the room... ;D

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                        • #13
                          Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

                          Yeah, the could be quite easily pointed down -- it would just be a matter of unscrewing a couple of bolts and flipping the fan over. However, stu is saying that the button controls for the fan would then be inside the rubbish bin. Although, that may not be much of an issue if the fan is sucking air. So it could probably work... (I might try it tonight?) Although, putting the fan onto the medium settings doesnt blow beans up in the air anyway.

                          Also, having it suck rather than blow will stop me getting things blown into my eyes while cooling ;-) The other reason for having it blow rather then suck, would be because blowing would automatically mix the beans a bit.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

                            I have what some would call an overpowered fan blowing through the beans on my cooler.

                            I have simply taken the lid of a large food bucket and cut out the middle, leaving only the rim. I then stretched a bit of wire mesh over that and secured it. Sit the mesh lid on top of my flat bottom colander (I usually hold it on myself but can weigh it down with anything) and watch the cyclone of beans inside the fully enclosed bean compartment.

                            Super fast cooling of large quantity with no loss

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                            • #15
                              Re: Bean cooler for large volumes

                              Pavboy do you have photos and specs?

                              Cheers

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