Winnower update

Yes, it’s been a long time coming, but it is coming along.  I’ve made a few discoveries (both good and less than good) along the way.

1)  The new Deluxe cracker (not yet available) that I designed to give a more even crack for the winnower works great.

2)  With the new cracker, due to the extreme evenness of the nibs and husk, I was able to reduce my air flow over 50%.  This amazed me.

3)  The new cracker is quite a bit more expensive than I had planned (high $100’s).  I am working on scaling it down to the bare necessities to do the job, and am re-working the assembly technique in order to bring it back to the ‘approachable’ price level.

4)  Material introduction (cracked nibs and husk) are critical for through put and keeping a non-turbulent flow inside the winnowing chamber.  After 3 attempts, I have a new feeder (less expensive and simpler than before – round of applause) that delivers the material in a steady, evenly distributed  stream.

5)  I am looking into some alternative materials for the cracker.  It must be food safe, durable and hopefully affordable.  Stainless steel is ‘easy’ from a choice stand point, but it is expensive.  Down the road, it WILL be an option, but I’m looking into using some new hard food safe plastics.  Beta testers will be just that – testers to determine if the material(s) will hold up.  A clear, thick, hard food safe acrylic was suggested by my machinist.  It would certainly have a wow factor.  We will see.

6)  I’ve decided that when the winnower is offered, there will be two models.  One with just a feeder, where you must crack the beans however you wish.  One with the deluxe cracker.  Why?  Price really.  With just the feeder, you will loose efficiency and have to screen the nibs (what I do now) and sometimes (depending on the bean) run the leavings through a second time.  Basically you put in sweat equity instead of hard cash.  With the cracker you will gain through put, (no screening, no second pass) but will have to pay for it.

That’s it for now.  It’s coming together.

5 Responses to “Winnower update”

  1. Regarding the cracker, would wood work?

  2. What kind of price are you looking at for the winnower + deluxe cracker combined?

  3. @Tom.
    Wood most likely would not work in general for the winnower. Parts of my prototype are wood, but that’s just to prove concept. In a production environment it has to be food grade material and wood is not. Aside from that, if it was what you were asking, I don’t think wood would hold up as crackers.

    @Daniel, I don’t yet have an answer to that because I don’t have a winnower price. But I can tell you this. The prototype deluxe cracker was around $800, my cost. I drawings on the board right now to get that down quite a bit.

  4. John, when do you think it will be available to buy?

  5. @Charles, Not knowing if you mean the winnower or cracker, either answer is that not next week, but not 2012 either. No, not an exact date, but R&D is like that. I hope the cracker is before the end of the year. The winnower…after that.

Leave a Reply



Articles and other Helpful pages

Alchemical Formulations