Tuesday, March 11, 2008

drying tunnels

Drying tunnels are the future! I get kinda excited about coffee processing। On my last trip to the DR, I visited the Karoma Estate coffee farm, which has its ecologically friendly wet mill on site. I hadn't even heard of drying tunnels before my trip, but got a full lesson on the simple technology. Here are the basics: they are made of clear thick plastic, built on a slope, have ventilation flaps, and the newest tunnels have raised beds.

Here is how they work: (1)the de-pulped and washed coffee (pergamino) is laid out on the patio or raised bed (2)the sun dries the coffee by heating the tunnel (3) then hot air rises and pulls a constant air flow over the beans (because they are built on slopes) (4) the coffee is turned as it dries. and your coffee is sun dried without any combustion!

The tunnels shown are huge, about the size of a football field! These tunnels don't have raised beds, but mine will when I build my tunnels this pre-harvest.


Bill said...

I am interested to learn more about the angled, covered coffee drying tunnels. I have a small finca in Costa Rica and am looking at processing our first harvest this year, and plan to produce honey pulped coffee. Drying is the one aspect I haven't completely come to grips with. Can you explain to me in great detail how the beans are turned as a result of the air movement?

Young Tree Coffee said...

Bill, there are a few tricks to honey-ed coffee. One is raised beds. they usually start in direct sun light (not under a drying tunnel) spread out for only 1 bean thick for 2 days. Then turn each bean to the other side by hand on day 3. Then at days 4-12 you can keep the beans moving. You need to have really tight beds and keep the rain off. Dry it to 12%. By the way it does not shed the silver skin. I would be happy to tell you what I know about my experiences with pulp-natural or honey-ed coffee. My skype address is byronjh. Feel free to call my phone at 678.431.3341. If you call after Thursday (Oct/8/09) then I will be in the Dominican Republic. I can be reached there at 1(809) 979-9111. Tell me more about your story.