Friday, January 17, 2014

Photos: What’s new at the UMF beneficio

The first coffees of the 2014 harvest are in at the beneficio! As we discussed in a previous post, we made some changes to how we are running things at the beneficio this year. But we couldn’t do this without making some changes to the beneficio itself.

First, and most importantly, we turned our four large fermentation tanks into eight smaller tanks. This is important because it allows each farmer to have two small tanks, meaning they can bring coffee more continually:

Second, we are building another two solar dryers. One will be a large solar dryer, totaling four, so that each farmer has access to their own dryer. The other will be a smaller dryer that we designed in the off-season. This dryer will be used mainly for experimentation, and will also serve as a model to farmers who produce small amounts of coffee and cannot afford to build a larger solar dryer:

Third, we have our custom-built coffee cherry size sorting machine up and running. This machine will sort out under-ripe and over-ripe cherries that would otherwise lower the quality of the coffee:

Fourth, we have installed a biodigester. This biodigester will use anaerobic fermentation to treat coffee wastewater and coffee pulp, ensuring that we are not contaminating the environment around us. Additionally, it will produce methane gas that can be used to run our processing equipment. More on this in another post.

We have also made several smaller changes including a newly designed valve in our upper tanks that will facilitate coffee flow, lowering our processing water usage, and check boxes in our wastewater tubing to prevent blockages:

All of these changes will help UMF to better achieve our goals of quality, training, and sustainability at the beneficio.


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