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Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Keeping Coffee...  
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 469
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Jun 17, 2013, 11:09am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

Black Cat was actually the culprit that this whole topic was about. Had some beans about 10 days off of roast and were screwing with my grinder. I normally do buy beans once a week but the problem is catching them on the right day. Sometimes it was roasted the day before and that's not best for espresso (days 1-4 are madness on espresso from my viewpoint). Other times its a week out, as was the case with this batch.

So does this mean I can only successfully use beans from days 5-10? seems like a very small window as in the winter I had no such problems.

I don't mean to argue with you but even being in the ideal city, there are these problems.
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Buckley
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 17, 2013, 2:43pm
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

Understand.  No argument taken.  
That opens up a whole new discussion and there are some that would encourage you to trade up grinders.  Some seem to be very sensitive to weather - there was just another recent posting about this, but I lost the thread...
...And Black Cat has been mentioned to be especially humidity sensitive.  Still... you have other local roasters to try, unless they are all inept (we have one like that here in Indy).
If you want to cool the beans, it would be interesting to try a type of 'swamp cooler'.  If you google the term, you will find the old fashioned window units that fit that description.  What I am talking about is sealing the beans in a waterproof ziplock, placing the ziplock in a burlap bag (I get them for free or a dollar from coffee roasters), placing the bag in a shallow-sided cookie pan or large baking pan, dousing it with water so that half is submerged, and aiming an electric fan at the part that sticks up above the water.  You want enough water so that it is always wicking up to the bag that is exposed to the air stream but not so much that it acts like a thermal sink and makes it difficult for the beans to get cool.  This should keep the beans cool without getting down into the 'kill zone' of the refrigerator.  If this sounds like a lot of work and bother, well, that is why I would choose to become a locavore sleuth and try roast after roast of local artisans until I found one that worked well in the summer.  But at least you have options.

B
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Tue Jun 18, 2013, 6:00am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

I like the idea of a well insulated cooler, not using ice or a cooling source, just leave the lid open when home and A/C on and close lid when turning a/c off. I used to store my cigars in coolers before I got a cabinet humidor, the cooler keeps a constant temp and keeps humidity low in the cooler as long as not being opened to let humid air in.

As I mentioned in your other thread the Vario is more then capable of grinding great for espresso and can make the fine changes to grind adjustment for aging beans and weather conditions.

A swamp cooler is great for low humidity areas but is not so good for high humidity living, it only adds more humidity.

How good beans are past the roast date are going to be bean dependent and even roaster (machine) dependent. Day 5-10 are going to be your best average use dates but this is not the final answer. I have had Yemen beans that where bland and flat and then on day 14 came alive, I have a blend that only has a 3day window of great shots and either side of that window are only decent.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jun 18, 2013, 6:53am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

Yeh insulated cooler may be your best bet. Is there any reason to not run the a/c or are you trying to save money? I would think even turning the temp up higher then when your home and running would be better then turning it off. I have friends in Chicago and know it can get hot, but usually it's the humidity there that can suck and make your apt/house feel completely stuffy w/o a/c going. I just checked and your humidity today is like 97%, I'm in South FL and its supposed to rain every day but humidity is in the 60-70% range... I would die if I came home w/ the a/c off lol.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 469
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jun 18, 2013, 6:58am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

Thank you guys, I now have some ideas. This is actually my second roaster that this happened with. That's why I was mentioning the grinder.

I got the grinder in the winter and this is the first time i'm dealing with summer. I think the first thing to do is to calibrate my grinder to the 2nd macro instead of the 1st. I seem to be on the border and after I get to 2A it seems to screw up in the 1s.

BlackCat is so cheap and it's at my favorite fruit stand. Although, they just recently added Metropolis there. The only problem is that the metropolis is in those large bean dispensors. Maybe i'll try anyways as its only $10 a lb. I actually just got some new blackcat but its actually 60 degrees today so there wasn't really a problem haha.

The BlackHawks lost yesterday so i'll need something to keep busy with after work and this project works. ha I'm not sure about the swamping item but the cooler seems like a good idea. just need to find a good one on amazon. Feel free to chime in as I don't want to buy a bad one. maybe ill post some links after work.
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Tue Jun 18, 2013, 7:26am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

Igloo makes good coolers but they are double what Coleman sells their coolers for and the Coleman's have good insulation it's just the tops tend to come unhooked, simple enough to reattach.

I keep my Vario calibrated so most of my grinding takes place in the middle of the macro 2 range. This allows plenty of room to move up on the micro scale and the times I need even finer I have all of the macro 1 range.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 469
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jun 18, 2013, 8:54am
Subject: Re: Keeping Coffee Beans Cool in the Summer
 

CMIN Said:

Yeh insulated cooler may be your best bet. Is there any reason to not run the a/c or are you trying to save money? I would think even turning the temp up higher then when your home and running would be better then turning it off. I have friends in Chicago and know it can get hot, but usually it's the humidity there that can suck and make your apt/house feel completely stuffy w/o a/c going. I just checked and your humidity today is like 97%, I'm in South FL and its supposed to rain every day but humidity is in the 60-70% range... I would die if I came home w/ the a/c off lol.

Posted June 18, 2013 link

I only have a window unit and its not smart enough to 'turn off' when it reaches the ideal temperature. Therefore it just blasts and blasts. I don't think it running all day would really do anything except jack up the bill. I may be wrong though as i'm not an expert. back when i had central air i would just leave it on. I'm only at this apartment for a couple more months so I guess i don't need to go nuts.
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