Ulian Field Notes 3: Experiment, experiment, experiment

*Field Notes are posts made from notes I record in the field while visiting coffeelands.  The are often raw, unpolished, even scatter-brained.  They are intended to 1) allow the reader to follow along in the journey and 2) allow me to archive my notes to the web.

1000 hr partial overcast

26.4 inHg

1225 hr sunny
32.8* C
25.36 inHg

Sunny and dry all day. Didn't get additional weather readings because of making para para.

Made para-para all day.

Beans on the tank were over-dried to below 7% (the minimum for the meter is 7%).

Today B said "Michael likes clean." Hopefully they eventually like it too.

He also cleaned the floor after using the chainsaw to cut a bunch of wood. Progress for show or for real?

I bought new buckets today and set aside the ones used for cement mixing.

B left around 6, knowing Komang was yet to come. Komang came around 7 and delivered over 100 kilos. I started processing, T helped for about 5 minutes then left. Ibu ate while watching me then around 8 said it was cold and we could finish tomorrow but I kept working. She then skimmed floaters from the fermentation tank, for maybe 5 minutes then said she had to go to pray and left me to finish.

Update:  I've since learned that their religion is very important to the family (and many Balinese).  Evening prayers occur at 6p and are performed at the temple/shrine in one's home.  They were prioritizing their religious duties and I was prioritizing the work. The best compromise is to hire someone to help, who doesn't have such strong religious obligations.

Experiment 1:

I think the beans came from beside the mill. 6/5/15 10:06 verified they were from Made's wife and Made's farm is next to the mill.

Washed and floated cherries. Pulped. Fermented using 2 green scoops of previous day's water as a starter for roughly 1/3 of black trashcan of beans.

After 30 minutes; 5.1 pH

Previous day's water (starter culture) pH at 4.1

Local water pH 9.1

Ferment started 1830 or 1900.

8/4/15: the experiment was lost in the para-para shuffle. Such a shame, but not surprising.  Even though I communicated to Ibu that the specific rack is for an experiment, she's not the only one who works with the drying coffee so the message to keep the experiment separated didn't make it to everyone.  A more explicit hierarchy would help, with a defined mill manager.

Michael C. Wright

Michael is an American expat living in Singapore where he writes about many things coffee-related. A roaster by trade, Michael is also exploring coffee production and how to improve the lives of those who produce the noble bean.