Chocolate Alchemy’s DIY Winnower part 2

It has come to light that a few clarifications are in order.

Very first off.  The use of the Champion.  The Champion is being used as a cracker and feeder.  The screen holder needs a little minor modification.  It comes with a grid which needs to be clipped out, and it needs to be attached (left as an exercise to the student) to the rectangular PVC fitting.  You can see what I did – a light piece of sheet metal folded up and screwed on.  That’s it.  Can you do it without the Champion?  Er, yes, I guess you can, but you have to crack the nibs still, and then feed them by hand, and your efficiency will drop – why not just use the Champion?  Money?  Fair enough.  Your call then.

And yes, I will be offering that piece for sale once I can catch my breath.

The next clarification is: what in the world that ‘disk’ is for, is it REALLY needed  (oy, no comment), and exactly where does it go?

From this point on that disk is now a ‘Deflector’ – ‘deflectors up captain’ (sorry, couldn’t resist, but I guess we ARE talking rocket science here).  Its job is to deflect the husk and nib that are barreling down the feed tube, at a fraction of the speed of light (OK, a VERY VERY small fraction), dissipating their momentum, and allowing them to enter the air streams (‘whatever you do, don’t cross the streams…’ ‘ok, we are going to cross the streams…’) (let me know if you need the old pop culture reference)…where was I? – oh yeah.  When the nibs and husk enter the air stream at near zero velocity momentum, they enter in a controlled fashion, and can be acted on by the air stream with minimal fuse – the result, if you have not noticed, is no long drop tube.  It’s not just short – it’s GONE.  The nibs drop about 2″, are out of the major flow because they are below that 2″ hole, and the husk immediately turn upward and are carried away.  In nearly all the designs I experimented with, the drop tube’s only function was to slow down the husk via an upward moving air stream so it could be turned around and carried away.  Here, the deflector does the job.


And likewise, I will offer up this piece for sale once I catch my breath.

Next set of questions?

5 Responses to “Chocolate Alchemy’s DIY Winnower part 2”

  1. Awesome work, thanks!

    So, questions. Is the hole and ball valve act to reduce air flow going up?

    In the 5 gallon bucket, are the 2″ 45 couplings close to each other so the shop vac gets some of the fines?

  2. Daniel,

    No, the hole does not act to ONLY reduce air flow. That is a consequence, but only incidentally. It appears to do many things. It ‘fluffs’ the nibs and husk, thereby reducing clumping. It mostly appears to create an area where the husk can flow upward, but the nibs drop (because they are just a little heavier) enough into a zone where the flow is less and can then fall into the collection bucket. If it only reduced the air flow going up, the 2nd valve to the right (in the photo in the previous post) would do the job – but it doesn’t . Basically, the hole acts as a husk/nib discriminator.

    As for the 45 couplings, no, they are as far apart as I can get them. I need to put up a top view. The two holes actually face opposite one another and create a vortex in the bucket that tends to drop most of the fines.

  3. Thank you. I was feeling pretty stupid because I couldn’t figure out just how the Champion fit in. Do you anticipate offering the entire unit for sale any time in the near future or should I cash in chips with someone who can build it for me? (I managed the old blow dryer PVC version by myself, but this one is a bit beyond my limited engineering and mechanical capabilities).

  4. it appears that your winnower works using the ‘Venturi Principle’ in physics

  5. Nope. Modified fluidized bed.

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