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Topic: [coffee] +Changing beans (5 msgs / 199 lines)
1) From: Rick Farris
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John's reply is quite true.  If I may elaborate a little, though, here's
my take on it.  If you roast your beans dark enough you will eventually
see them turn all black and shiny (Italian roast?).  That's because the
heat drives the oils inside the bean up to the surface.  If you don't
roast them quite so dark, you may see patches of oil on the beans that
are reabsorbed as the beans cool.  That's about as dark as I ever roast.
In fact, if I see patches of oil on the surface of my beans, I make a
note in my roasting log to not roast them so long next time.  (By "long"
I don't mean in minutes, I mean with respect to the cracks.)
But, even for beans that aren't showing oil when roasted, it is still
there, but below the surface.
Over time, the oil rises to the surface and makes the beans shiny.  The
darker the roast, the more quickly this happens. (Another factoid: the
darker the roast, the shorter the resting time, but also, the shorter
the peak and the quicker the staling.  So, if you roast several batches
in a roast session and you're wondering which one to drink first, I
suggest the darkest.)
If you're not trying for a dark oily roast, oil on the surface of your
beans (as JA pointed out) is a sure sign that it's time to give the
neighbors some of the best coffee they've ever tasted.  :-)
-- Rick

2) From: alfred
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MessageThanks Rick. I'm trying to learn the Hot Top. Since I can't hear =
the beeps, I'm not quite sure when to put the beans in.
One of the members says he sets his timer for five minutes and then =
dumps them in. Given a selected temp setting, how does the roaster know =
when they are done? Is it time or temp? I just tried some Columbian and =
at the 5 temp setting and it was way too dark again.
Now to the "resting" part
Do you rest them uncovered? 
For how long?
Then do you seal them and if so in what?

3) From: Rick Farris
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Ok, first, the Hottop doesn't "know when they are done."  It's a (not
so) simple timer.  The higher the setting you put it on, the longer it
roasts.  You say you can't hear the beeps -- can you hear the cracks?
If not, you're going to have to rely on smell and color, and color is
not very reliable.  After I hear your answer I'll give you more advice.
As to waiting five minutes and dumping them in, that's probably ok.
You'll want to make sure the machine has cooled off enough that it's not
still running a cool-down cycle when you dump in the beans, or they'll
come right back out the bottom, but five minutes, after 15 minutes of
rest is probably ok.
As to resting, we all have our own ways and we all have the ways we tell
people.  Personally, I change my habits from time to time.  I used to
seal them in vacuum bags immediately when they came out of the roaster
and then store them in a drawer.  Then I began putting them in the
freezer instead of a drawer.  I made small, flat packages about 8" by 4"
by 3/4".  They stacked well in the freezer.  I did that a long time, and
because I could seal up small quantities if worked quite well.  Then I
shifted over to vacuum sealing them in wide-mouth mason jars and
freezing them.  I did that for a long time, too.  Then Barry Jarret sort
of convinced me that freezing was good, but that vacuuming was not, so
now I'm sealing them in mason jars without a vacuum and storing them in
the freezer.  Actually, I keep out all the beans that I think I will use
in a week, and pour them into my coffee maker.  That's often all I
roast, but sometimes if I know I might not be able to roast again the
following weekend I'll roast two weeks worth and put one in the freezer.
Personally I wouldn't worry all that much about this resting business
right now.  The differences in anything that reasonable people can
argu...debate to the extent we discuss resting, must be very small.
There are far more important things for you to concentrate on now, like
degree of roast and origin of the beans you like.
Oh.  I usually roast late at night, so I put the beans in the mason jars
and leave the lids loose, and then in the morning, if there are any to
freeze I tighten them up and put them in the freezer.
Now, how about them ears?  Can you hear the cracks?
-- Rick

4) From: Ed Needham
That factoid is really true.  A lighter roast sometimes is not even it's best
for days, and if it's 'too' light, it may never hit a peak.  Conversely, if
you roast too dark, a bean might peak right out of the roaster and go
downhill fast.  An ashy, old dark roast bean is nasty.
A balance is my preference, usually roasting into second crack and stopping
as the pops begin to get fast.
One additional variable is the altitude where the bean is grown.  I find that
very high grown beans, such as Guats tend to not oil up as quickly as softer
low grown beans.  They also take longer into second to get a dark color.  I
can take a high grown bean a minute into second crack and it will come out
with a much lighter color than say a lower grown Mexican, which might darken
30 seconds earlier.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!
"Nunc Aut Nunquam"
homeroaster ... d.o.t ... com

5) From: Pecan Jim Gundlach
On Mar 9, 2004, at 11:25 PM, Ed Needham wrote:
This is something I often take advantage of,   When I try to get my 
roasting done on a weekend, I will roast two beans, one a little 
further along than the other.  I start using the darker one in a couple 
of days and the lighter one comes in on Thursday, sometimes blended 
with the darker roast.
The truth is that there are so many variables that you can play, or 
work, with that have a noticeable impact on flavor that I know I will 
never be able to do it all.
Jim Gundlach
roasting over pecan wood fires
in La Place, Alabama

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