Promoting the growing of tree nuts in Canada, and their use.
Canada Flag

StarsCracking acorns, for experimental purposes

To get the kernel out of the shell, we will crack the dried acorns. We have three ways this might be done for experimental purposes. We will try out the common household nutcracker. We will also try the nut cutter. If we can get funding, we will buy a Davebilt nutcracker for experimental volume cracking.
Who else to help us open acorn but our friend the squirrel. We expect this cracker could work if the acorn shell had hardened and become brittle with drying. We have found little information on this matter in the literature. So we will be experimenting.
This device is called a Cobjon Universal Kernel Extractor. It can open any nut, from the smallest pine nut to the largest coconut. It is a cutter device as much than a cracker, so if the acorn is not brittle the cutter will still break in.

If dried acorns prove to be brittle, this Davebilt continuous cracker will get through volumes of acorn. It could be the best device for mass production. We hope that our work this year 2008 will prepare us for such mass production by the next local masting season, probably in 2010, but maybe 2009 will produce enough acorn for a large village-wide harvest.

In spite of our prior processing to remove bad acorns, some will get through. We do not have a fool-proof selection process as yet. However, it may not matter over much if some acorns get through that had curculio. The processing we will be using will have gotten rid of all the larvae so only the frass will be still in the acorn. The cracked acorn heap will be a mix of shell fragments, kernel and frass. Pressure washing the heap in a purpose-built sieving tray could blow away the frass leaving clean kernel and clean shell. It could also be applied to remove the aril. Hi-grading the heap by hand selecting out discoloured and moldy kernel or paring out diseased parts would leave us with clean and ready-to-use kernel. washing hi-grading press chemo-assay
Canada Nutculture Association, Ottawa, Canada: "Progress through Research & Development"