The Sylph winnower is the product of eight years observation, four years prototype work, thousands of pounds of cracked and winnowed test beans, and not a small amount of alchemical inspiration.
It is powder coated aluminum (the frame) and food grade PVC (the air flow/bean/nib path). It is a hand fed winnower that requires a cracker (a Champion Juicer is recommend and not supplied) and the use of a Shop Vac of some ilk. It was designed around a Shop-Vac brand wet/dry but others (with a 1.25" vacuum hose) may well work as the Sylph has a vacuum flow controller built in. It will winnow about 1 lb/min of ROASTED** cocoa beans.The Sylph is quite simple to use, but does rely on the user's technique a little. Roasted beans need to be cracked before you can use the Sylph. I recommend the Champion Juicer, with the lower screen removed. The Sylph has a 1 1/4" fitting that accepts 1 1/4" a standard small vacuum hose. It is not permanently attached should you decide you want to try other fittings or hoses. There is also a vacuum control valve that allows you to fine tune the suction of your vacuum. You will introduce your cracked bean mixture into the feed tube in a steady stream (you don't just dump it in and walk away). The nibs hit a small deflector that slows their momentum and allows efficient separation in the air stream. There is also a valve (the discriminator) that allows you to fine tune the air flows to better separate husk from nib. Once separated, the nibs fall out of the lower opening (into a bowl or tray you provide) and the husk is drawn up and over, into a 5 gallon bucket, in classic vortex/dust collector fashion, resulting in very little dust in your vacuum. **Note: The Sylph will winnow raw nibs, but depending upon the moisture content and preparation of the bean, the degree of separation may drop significantly. Sometimes a 2nd pass of nibs is required. Generally I find if raw nibs are produced the final product needs to be sieved through a 1/4" mesh. Delivery - This will ship in one large box via either UPS or USPS. You may be taken aback slightly at the shipping price. Due to the size, this ships as 'dimensional' weight, so although it only weighs around 15 lbs, it ships as if it were 40 lbs. Brutal I know. Some assembly will be required (attaching the feed tube), but no screwdriver will be needed. Directions will of course be included and as much e-mail support as required for no extra fee. A few other details. The Sylph is supplied with a 5 gallon plastic bucket. Champion, Shop Vac and bowls are NOT included, but are needed. I recommend you find the Shop Vac locally. In general it will be much cheaper than me supplying it. Many people already have a Champion juicer and it can do double duty - hence the decision not to include it. You can order an extra if you like of course.