bootcampcoffee.com: online coffee courses for professionals and enthusiasts

Bitterant in compressed air cleaners

Postby shawndo on Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:53 pm

Every couple weeks I do a full disassembly and brush/qtip cleaning of my grinder. Usually when I run out of beans and it's time to start a new bag.
After reassembly, I like to top off the cleaning with some compressed air in the intake, just to catch any stray bits that I missed.
I ran out of compressed air about a month ago and never got around to buying another can.

I have also been trying different dose/grind/etc settings to try and reduce some unpleasant bitterness. I thought my machine was scaled, grinder belt loosening, etc.
I also lowered my extraction ratio from 100% -> 65% and started stirring my espresso. This seemed to finally do the trick and my espresso is pretty rockin' right now.

Today I looked for some amazon-prime compressed air, and all of them have complaints about "bitterants" Apparently, they have been adding a bitter flavoring chemical to compressed air cans in order to prevent illicit use and also leaves a bitter residue on whatever it's used on!

After slapping my forehead I started typing this post. Hopefully I'm not the only one with a red forehead! (I didn't find anyone using the word "bitterant" before on this forum)
User avatar
shawndo
 
Posts: 361
Joined: Jan 10, 2010
Location: NYC

Postby Randy G. on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:17 pm

I have never used the canned air on my coffee gear, but I have on the computer. My home environment is quite dusty (the price I pay for living in the woods and having two German Shepherds going in and out of the house with me many times each day). The computer is in a sort of corner area, and I have experienced that added ingredient that makes the air quite ,, well.. bitter for lack of another name. It is hard to imagine that anyone would enjoy the high from an inhalant ("huffing"). The bitterant they use would seemingly just make them move on to spray paint and toluene. If you are going to do brain damage, do it right.
Espresso! My Espresso!
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
User avatar
Randy G.
 
Posts: 3198
Joined: May 12, 2007
Location: Yankee Hill, CA

Postby cafeIKE on Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:57 pm

This is the advice old timers follow regarding cleaning with compressed air:

Image

from Keep Your Lathe Clean, August 1946 revision.

Vacuuming is preferred because damage may be done if fine dust is blown into machine bearings. Vacuuming also minimizes the amount of airborne dust, which is better for our lungs. Brushing may be an acceptable alternative, but brushes can't always get into the hard-to-reach places.

Grinder cleaning, like tamping, is grossly over rated :wink:
User avatar
cafeIKE
 
Posts: 3083
Joined: Jun 27, 2006
Location: Woodland Hills, CA

Postby yakster on Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:23 pm

I think the best thing for your grinder is regular use and avoidance of flavored beans.

I do appreciate the tip regarding bitterants in compressed air cleaners.
User avatar
yakster
 
Posts: 2396
Joined: Feb 20, 2009
Location: San Jose, CA

Postby jbviau on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:12 pm

Thanks for the warning! I'd just gotten a can at Staples for occasional use in cleaning hard-to-reach areas inside my LIDO's hopper. Sure enough, there's a "contains a bitterant" warning on the label.
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias
User avatar
jbviau
 
Posts: 978
Joined: Jul 02, 2010
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL

Postby voodoodaddy on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:48 pm

This is what I use and it contains no bitterant.

http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT2?PMPXNO=2714427&PMTERM=02983070
voodoodaddy
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Feb 13, 2012
Location: USA

Postby cannonfodder on Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:15 pm

I checked my can of air, not addatives.

Image
Dave Stephens
User avatar
cannonfodder
Team HB
 
Posts: 7881
Joined: May 23, 2005
Location: Downingtown PA

Postby allon on Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:21 pm

Except for the bits of compressor oil...

Unless you've got some nice filters....
http://www.airbestpractices.com/system-...1-iso12500
LMWDP #331
User avatar
allon
 
Posts: 1623
Joined: Apr 23, 2011
Location: Northern VA