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  #1  
Old Jun 3, '17, 3:56 pm
HaroldA HaroldA is offline
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Default Grinding Incense

Does anyone have any experience in grinding incense? I'm new to this.

I have ground three times so far. The first time went well. The second time the powder solidified - possibly due to humidity. The third time, today, the small coffee grinder was straining under the task. I think a buildup of harder incense has happened in the parts of the grinder that can't be washed.

It seems apparent that weather has an impact.

I'd rather not do this by hand.

So, how to deal with humid weather and how to prevent the grinder from clogging are my initial questions.

If it matters I was grinding cypress incense.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old Jun 3, '17, 6:48 pm
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pianistclare pianistclare is online now
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

Why are you grinding it at all?
Our parish uses little cakes of it.
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  #3  
Old Jun 3, '17, 7:34 pm
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Gertabelle Gertabelle is offline
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaroldA View Post
Does anyone have any experience in grinding incense? I'm new to this.

I have ground three times so far. The first time went well. The second time the powder solidified - possibly due to humidity. The third time, today, the small coffee grinder was straining under the task. I think a buildup of harder incense has happened in the parts of the grinder that can't be washed.

It seems apparent that weather has an impact.

I'd rather not do this by hand.

So, how to deal with humid weather and how to prevent the grinder from clogging are my initial questions.

If it matters I was grinding cypress incense.

Thanks.
I've never ground incense before. I just got the chunks in little bags from the religious goods store, and got the little charcoals as well. Light up the charcoal, let it sit a short time, sprinkle the incense chunks onto it and they melt and release their lovely aroma.

I don't think you'll be able to grind incense -- there's too high a sap or oil content in them.
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  #4  
Old Jun 3, '17, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

Quote:
Originally Posted by pianistclare View Post
Why are you grinding it at all?
Our parish uses little cakes of it.
Same here.
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  #5  
Old Jun 4, '17, 8:32 am
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peter26 peter26 is offline
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

A mortar and pestle is your best bet. It is true that incense ground into a powder seems to burn more cleanly from my experience.
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  #6  
Old Jun 4, '17, 3:36 pm
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

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A mortar and pestle is your best bet. It is true that incense ground into a powder seems to burn more cleanly from my experience.
That's what we use.
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  #7  
Old Jun 7, '17, 10:48 pm
otjm otjm is offline
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

If you are grinding incense which was essentially pitch, I suspect your grinder is ready for the dumpster.

A piece of charcoal is normally used in a thurible; similar to a briquette for a barbecue. You don't need to grind incense; just use less of it. Once it hits the charcoal, it will work just fine without grinding.
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  #8  
Old Jun 8, '17, 12:32 am
malphono malphono is offline
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

in my experience, incense doesn't need to be ground into a powder, but it does seem to burn more efficiently that way. It also seems to somewhat reduce the eventuality of acrid smoke, which can happen even with the finest ingredients. Where a blend is used, the grinding also helps to distribute the components more evenly.

Humidity does appear to have a bearing, and one little trick that I used many years ago was to freeze my incense blend for a few days before pounding. I did mine with a mortar and pestle but I would imagine that a small electric grinder would work as well.
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  #9  
Old Jun 10, '17, 9:44 am
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

Try freezing it first.

Then pound it.

I freeze it in the thickest freezer bag (zipper type) available then pound it with a hammer while it's still in the bag.

It still gets a bit messy sometimes but it works.
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  #10  
Old Jun 10, '17, 10:50 am
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Gertabelle Gertabelle is offline
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

I have learned SO MUCH from this thread!

Thanks to the OP for starting it.
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  #11  
Old Jun 19, '17, 5:56 am
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Angel Bradford Angel Bradford is offline
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

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Originally Posted by Gertabelle View Post
I've never ground incense before. I just got the chunks in little bags from the religious goods store, and got the little charcoals as well. Light up the charcoal, let it sit a short time, sprinkle the incense chunks onto it and they melt and release their lovely aroma.
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  #12  
Old Jun 19, '17, 6:50 am
HaroldA HaroldA is offline
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

Thanks for all the replies. I'll try the freezing and pounding method or I'll just no longer grind.
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  #13  
Old Jun 24, '17, 10:30 am
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Default Re: Grinding Incense

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaroldA View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I'll try the freezing and pounding method or I'll just no longer grind.
I pound just the amount I want to use immediately. I take a couple of pinches, fold it up in a piece of wax paper, whack it with a meat hammer, and then pour the powder into a small dish (usually one of those little dishes used for soy sauce). I've never tried freezing it.

For those wondering: the larger chunks tend to suffocate the charcoal. Powdered incense burns up more cleanly and essentially lengthens the life of the charcoal.
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