Post by itsallaroundyou on Jul 22, 2009 10:54:26 GMT -5
deleted my original post because i misread the specs for the winnower----the deciding factor for me would be what volume the winnower could handle. if i could winnow 10 lbs in 10 mins, i'd be pretty happy, but of course faster is always better, so i'd be willing to pay more for a faster one (probably the next price bracket up)
As a weekend chocolate maker with no plans to increase my small batches, I had to vote on the low side of the range-- simply because my 'utility' is low for a small-scale winnower. I can winnow a 5-10lb batch by hand easily, so its value to me would be similar to the price of the cocoa mill, since I can get good results without it.
...maybe not the most encouraging comment from this customer, but there it is.
Considering the smallest manufactured winnower I have found costs $12K I think the $750-$1000 (that's the one I voted for ) range is being very generous if that is what you are thinking of selling it for. When you first mentioned that you were designing one I immediately assumed it would be priced around $850, give or take a few hundred. Very reasonable for a small scale winnower compared to the other makers. I know that buying one from you would be in the best interest for anyone, you have always been very fair in your pricing and quality, you've never been about the "bottom dollar". It's a passion you have and it shows.
And that's my two cents on the matter.
Last Edit: Jul 22, 2009 16:49:58 GMT -5 by FeralOne
Post by reelchemist on Jul 22, 2009 22:56:37 GMT -5
Since I am in Australia I probably would make one - as I have with the one I have but it is smaller capacity and doesn't lend itself to automation. But I have checked the $750-$1000 as that is about the price I would pay if I didn't have to deal with a killer exchange rate and pay international shipping. I think that pricing is about right, any less and you might not be making money at your end and any more and I would just consider building my own.
Aloha! I voted 200-500$ because I am a bit cheep; but also know the value of a good piece of equipment that I only buy once and does a good job. I make chocolate every week and also sell nibs for other folks to play with; so a good one would be wonderful. We are working on some improvements of the one I made years ago. It worked ;but was time consuming. Aloha Sharkman
I also marked the 750 range because that is what I'd like to pay. The smallest automated winnower costs 11k and that is just too much right now. But my fingers get sore with the little automated one I have now and it goes just a little bit faster than using a hair-dryer Working on building my own, but would love to support you, John, and would love to not have to build my own...1-2-3 lbs per minute sounds heavenly
I voted greater than $1500, and I'll explain why. I also want to come clean and say that I voted even though I don't fall into the "weekend chocolate maker < 10lbs" category. But I wanted to express what establishes the value in an automatic winnower. We started winnowing with a hairdrier and bowl, and then the small pvc pipe, the seed cleaner wood cut slide, a large pvc pipe with a blower and a rheostat, a large box with the blowers, funnels hoppers, and then we bought one.
The reason we bought one in the end was the crankenstein. Winnowing effectively is dependant on pre winnowing processes and the crankenstein was the week link in our set up. But we need to prepare much larger quantities than 10 lbs a weekend. The design of a winnnower that automatically winnows with the crankenstein should be priced to match the crankenstein (imo). But to answer the question of the post "What is a good winnower worth?", I think it's worth a lot more than the price John will sell it for. But I really posted this in order to get people to think about another cracker design as I think that with a good cracker, a cheap automatic system can be built cheaply for $500, and add to it as necessary (ie dust extraction, vibration, etc). Re crankenstein: for us the original cocoa mill was fine for most jobs. As quantity increased we noticed a larger % of nib fragments that had shell on them as well as too many flats that fell between the rollers. If you screen these out in the pre roast it's not a big deal (until you scale up production and order a variable gap roller from crankenstein to deal with all of the waste). The second mill added a lot of time to the prep and wasn't so effective. A cracker that ensures better breakage of all of the beans will winnow better. High velocity beans being propelled at steel plates are one design option, as is the style of the cpl cracker from eng and BLT from Florida which is a large rotating steel gear that has beans impact against a pressurized plate. After spending a lot of time winnowing, researching winnowing, and building winnowers (while making chocolate and selling it) we bought one. So I think that a good winnower is worth a lot more than $1500.
Post by reelchemist on Jul 26, 2009 6:57:14 GMT -5
Holycacao, what winnower did you buy in the end? I am working my way up in winnowers also from the hairdryer/bowl I am at PVC pipe stage which works for now. I was considering building a 'Brad' style in series one.
The Brad style works for brad - and I think he can probably speak for himself, because he has the cpl cracker. It cracks the nibs smaller and ensures that all the beans are cracked (no flats or big shells). If you are using a crankenstein you will either need to build a better cracker (which I was told is not difficult). The second crankenstein we bought was a two roller with an adjustable gap. In experimenting using a strong motor and plate, the results were ok, but not what we were looking for. In the end we costed how much it would cost to build our own "BLT" style winnower here, but just the stainless steel frame was over budget. We contatacted BLT and asked if they would make a custom size of there winnower that would do 50kg an hour, and they were happy to help. We still are using brad's style but much larger, and having to screen out the flats and small fragments that pass through the crankenstein rollers. I think that Brad's winnower is very similar to the design of the pvc, or Alchemist's winnower just with an additional 2 passes built into the box. If you would incorporate an oversize screen into the box with a return exit it probably would work better for crankenstein. I would recommend looking at Minifie or beckett's descriptions of cracker to get the idea of the design used in the industry. Since you are in australia, why not get in touch with Samantha from tava, they built a winnower and I believe I read somewhere that Langdon was also going to sell them. Good luck, we've built 5 different winnowers to date and the journey definitely helped to understand the principles that are crucial for effective winnowing. All the best, Jo