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Killer Coffee.....

I opened a fresh bag of whole roasted coffee beans to fill my cannister, and suddenly, my personal CO detector is going off on alarm. I put the device next to the cannister and it hit 350 ppm.



You find CO in the strangest places...



Adds new meaning to "Smelll the cawfee..."



ME
It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.

Comments

  • rlaggren
    rlaggren Member Posts: 160
    Coffe CO

    Maybe you could let us know what happens with the next bag... I wonder if the CO detector could be fooled by something else they used to clear the O2 from the bag....  You know, I think CO2 is the cheapest gas around; if so maybe that was used to purge the bag of air (and O2); then over the weeks of storage some reaction took place where the gas lost the "2" molecule.  Anybody else got the instruments to try this?



    Inquiring minds, you know.



    Cheers, Rufus
    disclaimer - I'm a plumber, not a heating pro.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    I think I figured it out...

    I am familiar with the roastery that produces this coffee, and they do not expose the bean to direct flame. Back during WW2, the Germans were running their vehicles on a wood gasification device. It is early biomass conversion that basically produced a high grade of Carbon Monoxide that could be burned in an engine. The beans are "coked", producing CO, and are bagged hot and fresh, thereby trapping CO in the aluminum/mylar lined bag, and when I opened it up, the CO escaped.



    Coffee doesn't kill. At least not this week :-)



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • rlaggren
    rlaggren Member Posts: 160
    Darn, the Amazing Stuff Years of Experience

    Can figure out!   Life can really have it's light side.



    Cheers, Rufus
    disclaimer - I'm a plumber, not a heating pro.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,393
    Java update....

    Interesting, Mark!



    Susan and I roast our own beans now and again, in a small roaster (i-Roast), about the size of a 6-cup coffee maker. As part of the process, when you take the beans out, there is no familiar coffee odor, but you put them in an air-tight jar to cure over night. When you pop that lid, ahhhh. The instructions say that CO2 is released as part of this process, but I have no reason to doubt you, the process is not unlike coking.



    But I also wonder if there are other hydrocarbon compounds that your CO detector is picking up? For example, the green sawdust type sweeping compound set my CO detector to the +70 range, said to be a proxy from a broad spectrum of hydrocarbons the sensor oxides will pick up.



    Of course, obviously, I have had my coffee today :)
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    No doubt...

    I've heard that certain aerosols will also set them off. I remember having certain pipe dopes that would set my natural gas detector off. Talk about making it hard to find leaks :-)



    Next time I open a fresh bag o' beans, I will have my full spectrum analyzer at the ready so we can see what the full spectrum of gasses are.



    I'm on my THIRD cup of Joe up here at the lake. Something about the views and environment that make coffee taste better...



    Enjoy!



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Gordan
    Gordan Member Posts: 891
    Is that bear from Starbucks?

    I prefer mine medium-roasted... more body.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,553
    With all detectors it is a good idea

    to calibrate them to a known quantity of the gas you are looking to find.



    With methane gas detectors they are sometimes calibrated with a .5% methane base test gas. This is really to sensitive for actual gas detection of say natural gas which has an explosive limit of 4.5% to 14.5% as related to air. Setting the detector to a gas of about 2% is better then you will not get alarming at very low levels such as pipe dope. Honeywell actually put out a white paper on this some years ago when a lot of gas valves were being returned for leaking when in fact the detectors were set for sensing very low methane levels of gas. The very low level calibration is for use on detecting a cracked heat exchangers on warm air furnaces using a .5% methane being allowed to escape into the combustion chamber ( No Flame) to show a possible cracked heat exchanger. Those very sensitive calibrated devices should never be used for actual gas detection on piping or in buildings.



    With combustion analyzers if you read the directions they should be calibrated in an uncontaminated environment using a measured quantity of the gas you are concerned with detecting. Such as Carbon Monoxide etc.
  • Nick W
    Nick W Member Posts: 200
    It probably is CO.

    I know CO is put in bagged salads to keep the lettuce from turning brown. It may be put in coffee containers to keep the coffee from going stale.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    The bear....

    See that tree that is near the upper left hand portion of the picture on the far shore line? He swam from there, a total of about 1 mile, in 20 minutes.



    I figured when he got to my side of the lake, he'd be tired and want to take a nap, smoke a cigarette, and maybe catch some rays. WRONG! He was headed for the high country, with the thoughts of a young female bearess in mind....



    If you look real close, it appears that his right rear quarters look a little ruffled. I suspect he crossed into a larger/older bears territory on the other side of the lake, and the older bear 'convinced' him that he was not welcome on that side of the lake. This photo was actually taken 2 years ago, but one of my neighbors tells me he saw another one swim clear across the lake this most recent summer.



    I guess maybe they've established a new migratory route :-)



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,393
    edited November 2010
    And I thought that bear

    was you before your first cup!



    If you look closely on the left, the point from where the bear is leaving, down on the ground? That small pile?



    That proves indeed what the ursine quadruped does in the arboreal environment.
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
This discussion has been closed.