After almost a year of testing and revision, the bean cracker prototype is still a prototype. However, I can now use it side-by-side with the roaster.
I’d been to Raon the other week and found a strong snail blower. My primary purpose was to diy a suction enough to pull off cocoa hulls from nibs. If the suction thing won’t work. Then maybe blowing the husk off and collecting it on the other side is going to do the trick. I’ll never know unless I try.
My ShopVac as suction source is working out well. But it is too loud and seems breaking my ear drum after few minutes of operation. It is kind of uncomfortable and I can’t even talk to anyone while it is humming. Cannot watch TV or listen to music either.
I first tried the latter before the first. Blowing didn’t work. A husk or nib incidentally clinging on the side often block other falling debris, causing a chain reaction resulting to clog. The suction thing worked out well after few tweaking and installation of suction regulator. A relief.
Before, I was manually cracking beans with a loosely adjusted corn mill. Then blowing off the husk in front of electric fan. It was taking a lot of time and effort. Not to mention it was kind of messy. Big and small husk flying around that need additional effort to clean.
I began experimenting with the pvc pipe work and a ShopVac as suction source. I also made a motorized diy roller cracker. It paid well, reducing the cracking/winnowing time considerably and got rid of the mess. However, vacuum cleaner as source of suction is too loud and power hungry. Scrap snail blower solved it.
Before. I was finishing the roasting part before winnowing. Now I can start winnowing as soon as the first two trays are out of the oven. A silent suction helps a lot.
I am now working on speeding up the cracker/winnower a bit more. I want it finished shortly after the roasting does.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.