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Drying peppers

I have some peppers hanging to dry. Should I be concerned about dust getting on them? Also, How can I tell when they're ready to grind into powder?
you should be concerned with mold, and make sure the type of pepper you are trying to air-dry is a type that can be air-dried. I personally made this mistake a couple years ago making ristras out of habeneros and serranos, and then finding out that neither can be air dried. The outsides of the peppers looked OK, but they were full of mold on the inside. Now I only air dry cayenne peppers, everything else goes in the dehydrator. They are ready to grind into powder when they are crispy, if there is any moisture the powder will clump together.
Thai peppers air dry well also, but yeah be careful of the type of pepper. If in a dry hot place then you can air dry near anything. But looks like you're in Florida, which is mostly to moist for that. And to cool this time of year.
thin walled peppers dry best...and I have found that if you poke a hole in habanero types, they dry well also without the mold as long as there in constantly moving air...just gotta let the moisture get out of the pod...

I dry mine until they are kinda crisp when I pinch them...
Yes and no myself. Most often I will ,but sometimes I will remove them. It gives the spice a "finer" feel to its texture when they are removed. Though I also like to mill down just the seeds too, makes a seasoning of a different kind al it's own.
I leave the seeds in when grinding dried peppers; it's too much trouble IMO to remove them, but after the pods are ground into powder if you want to remove the seed bits that remain its a simple process to sift them out of the powder with a fine wire mesh strainer. Just be sure to wear a face mask before you begin sifting the powder. ;)
I guess these will be just for looks then or do something else with them. When grinding, do you leave the seeds in?

Some people leave the seeds in, some take them out, you should try it both ways and see what way is better for you. The seeds will give it more of a bitter taste in my opinion. I take all the seeds out of mine, just because I like pure powder, but it is a PITA.
I usually slice all peppers to help with air drying. Doing it in Florida has to be a serious pain though with that humidity. Most of the time I'll remove seeds prior to grinding but if I've had a decent year by the time I'm doing the last few pods I don't care anymore. Never noticed a flavor difference.

Best of luck to you.
Some people leave the seeds in, some take them out, you should try it both ways and see what way is better for you. The seeds will give it more of a bitter taste in my opinion. I take all the seeds out of mine, just because I like pure powder, but it is a PITA.

I agree on the bitter taste that seeds can give, along with the stems. I remove them before the grind.
I always dry my peppers in shade in house.

I spread them on a lot of fliers I get in mail. I cover them with tissue papper from rollĀ 

and put them in boiler room.

The peppers become bone dry dry retaining flavor and color.
Anyone have a good technique for removing the seeds? I was thinking of getting a bonsai soil screen kit or looking for something specifically for food. I have a hand grinder that can be adjusted to leave the seeds intact. I was thinking of grinding once to break out the seeds, sifting them out and then regrinding for a finer powder, just need to know the best way to sift them out.
I think that method would work fine but it sounds like too much effort. If the pods are already dried then it's probably your best bet.

I'm planning to make powder out of some Habs I will hopefully get from a row of plants that is growing nicely. The way I'm planning, is to cut around the stem and pull out the whole seedy thing, then cut the rest of the pod in half and stick it in the dehydrator. If you know its going to be powder ahead then it doesn't need to be pretty. To do it this way and get all the heat, (which is why we are all here!) then you have to get all the white membranes near the seeds because they are the hottest parts.
I remove seeds from a few select pods to save before drying, but it would be interesting to know how commercial seed vendors remove seeds. Surely it's mechanized in some way.
IMO there is no reason to remove the seeds. I have never done this and yet my powders always come out tasting like the real pepper, as some here can attest. Now if you are eating the seeds alone, yes they taste like saw dust. but, when ground all together you can not taste them.
Same here, I've never noticed any flavor difference grinding whole pods for my powders and don't see any reason to change.

I'd still like to know how seed vendors remove seeds in case I decide to remove thousands of seeds one day and flood the market. :)
One way to save large quantities uses water to separate seed. Use a blender to chop it up, pour off the bits that float, strain, and then dry. You waste a lot, but all the seed that is left is very good quality.
Thanks, I may give that a try one day, but I'd still like to retrieve the pepper too.

I've thought about drying the pods at low temps until crisp, crushing them and using a regulated air flow to separate and screen. Kind of like separating wheat from the chaff.