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Thread: Bean storage possibilities??

  1. #1
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Bean storage possibilities??

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I wonder if this device could be adapted somehow for long(er) term storage of roasted coffee? What do you reckon?

    Mal.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Bean storage possibilities??

    Hhhhmmmmm......That may have possibilities! :)


    Java "Gotta love possibilities!" phile

  3. #3
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    Re: Bean storage possibilities??

    Mmmmm looks interesting....but....

    unless they are flushing out the oxygen/nitrogen/whatever other gasses are in the air with pure nitrogen.....

    When I went to school (many years ago).... it was/is very expensive to seperate the nitrogen and oxygen in air..... requiring extreme cooling/pressure to liquefy the air and then fractional distillation of the liquid air.....

    I know times have changed but.... not that much!!!!

    Air was, and as far as I know, still is- a homogeneous mix of gases.... nitrogen might be heavier (molecular wise) but all molecules are in suspension in air.... so how does the nitrogen settle over the wine (beans)......

    bit sus me thinks!

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    Re: Bean storage possibilities??

    Hey Java, check this out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PJTq2xQiQ0

    Makes the idea seem plausible, in principle. Theres only one way to tell - someone buy one and check it out.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  5. #5
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    Re: Bean storage possibilities??

    Luca....

    Great video..... and really interesting.

    Id say the tank has been flushed with a denser gas - possibly nitrogen or carbon dioxide (and then covered to prevent it mixing with the air and becoming homogeneous)..

    If the container above the beans (wine) was purged/flushed out with nitrogen and then sealed Im sure it would work...... but that cap thingo they are selling isnt going to do that..... it either pumps air in or sucks some out...... but it will be air still..... a mixture of gasses including the oxygen.....

    Im sure if in the video the lid was left off for a while - then the boat placed in the tank - it would sink!!

    And why not just fill the space above and around the beans with CO2 - cheap to get (you can get Sodastream cylinders which is pure, dry CO2.....)

    As far as I can see, storing beans in CO2 is the closest to their natural environment and should stabilise the CO2 losses from within the beans.

  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Bean storage possibilities??

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1191919331/0#4 date=1191928784
    And why not just fill the space above and around the beans with CO2 - cheap to get (you can get Sodastream cylinders which is pure, dry CO2.....)
    Unlike Nitrogen though, CO2 is not tasteless and will react with any water vapour in suspension creating additional acidity. Nitrogen is at least completely inert and will not alter any natural CO2 balance that exists. I guess the reason I posted this "thing" up there was to see if anyone knew of the availability of consumer oriented nitrogen pressurisation products. I hadnt even seen anything like the above before so thought someone may come across a more practical product??

    Mal.

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    Re: Bean storage possibilities??

    As far as I can see, storing beans in CO2 is the closest to their natural environment and should stabilise the CO2 losses from within the beans.
    Air is something like 70% Nitrogen!

    Like Mal said, I think that we actually do want to lose a bit of carbon dioxide from the coffee, else it will make the espresso taste too acidic (forms carbonic acid in water). Now, truth be told, I have no idea if it is actually CO2 that is responsible for acidity, but I have observed that coffee tastes less acidic as espresso if it is allowed to rest.

    I think that the aim of the game is really to lower the oxygen concentration around the beans to slow the oxidation of aromatic compounds (I mean aromatic in the ordinary sense of the word, not in the sense of compounds that obey Huckels rule).

    Anyhoo, the gadget just seems to be a canister of nitrogen, so its not immediately obvious to me why it wouldnt work. After all, nitrogen flushing isnt rocket science. Its just putting nitrogen in a container to flush out air. It is true that this thing would be basically useless if you kept on opening and closing the vessel, but I presume that the idea is to flush it once in order to let the beans sit for a few weeks. Constantly re-flushing the same vessel sounds a little too elaborate for my liking!

    ... then I suppose that there are a few more interesting broader questions. For example, if Nitrogen is denser than Oxygen and, so, can flush it out of a vessel, and if Nitrogen makes up the bulk of our atmosphere, why dont we immediately suffocate as Nitrogen displaces oxygen everywhere around the world? I dont know, but I imagine that it has something to do with the fact that air doesnt stay still, but circulates around for a variety of reasons. Absent huge amounts of circulation, perhaps it would stay put for a decent amount of time?

    Cheers,

    Luca

  8. #8
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    Re: Bean storage possibilities??

    Just did a little "googling" and found out a bit more about the device....

    It does indeed inject nitrogen into the space above the wine - which does flush the air in that space out (through grooves around the edge where it meets the neck of the bottle).....

    Once treated the bottle must be stored upright and the moment it is opened the protection is lost..... they claim you can treat up to 80 bottles with one can (I presume bottles with only one or two drinks poured out)... and in this case only the air space above the wine needs to be flushed.

    But in our case we have a bag of beans with a significant percentage of space between the beans..... containing air. So how much of this air would be displaced? Eventually I guess all of it.... but that would require quite a bit of flushing...... and then when you open the bag - you would have to do it all over again. I get the feeling the nitrogen wouldnt last that long with our application.

    Interesting also, many of these devices now use argon gas rather than nitrogen (also inert).... and better results are claimed - specifically for wine.

    And thinking about it, yes you are correct with the CO2 flushing.... it probably would increase acidity.

    So would it be beneficial when compared to a one way valved bag? Possibly if intending to store beans for a long time - but who does that? Mine dont last long enough for it to be a problem.

    I seem to recall that Nespresso pods are nitrogen filled, but in the factory of course. So the concept must work - up to a point.

  9. #9
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    Re: Bean storage possibilities??

    Hmm, I was actually thinking about Argon when I first read this topic.

    I dont see why you cant get a bottle of Argon from a welding supply store and use that.

    Anyone use a MIG welder and want to test?

  10. #10
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    Re: Bean storage possibilities??

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1191919331/0#8 date=1191984097

    I dont see why you cant get a bottle of Argon from a welding supply store and use that.

    Anyone use a MIG welder and want to test?
    nunu,

    Yep, that would be worth trying. You can get smallish disposable bottles of argon - and they arent that expensive from memory. Mind you... they arent food grade :P

    Id put a long thin rigid tube on the end of a hose and inject the argon at the bottom of the bag at the base of the bean mass.... and that should displace the air upwards and out of the bag.

    Any volunteers?



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