This is a multi-part message in MIME format. 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
This is a multi-part message in MIME format. 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?
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
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 ***********************************************
On Mar 9, 2004, at 11:25 PM, Ed Needham wrote: <Snip> 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