First Brian: Have you been drinking martini's with Alfred again? I roast in Oregon at that altitude and have never has your issue happen. Maybe a bad batch of coffee or your popper is pooping out. ginny
I will second that... ginny ----Original Message----- From: John Blumel Sent: Oct 14, 2004 4:19 PM To: homeroast Subject: Re: +No cracks? On Oct 14, 2004, at 7:13pm, gin wrote: <Snip> Maybe next year, instead of focusing on coffee at a PNWG III, everyone should just go to Alfred's for martinis. I nominate Rick as bartender -- he's clearly in touch with the soul of the martini. John Blumel
Hi, I had an unusual experience while roasting this morning and thought I'd see if others have had similar experiences. I live in New Mexico, at about 6500 feet. I needed to roast this morning, though the temp was about 30. I could see my breath as I was roasting. I roast with a Poppery II, and have found that 1/3 cup has allowed the best control, and that's what I used this morning. I tilted the popper about 30 degrees, as I have begun doing regularly, and stirred every few seconds. I've learned that the smaller bean mass, the tilted popper, and the stirring help me to slow the roast, so that there is a break between first and second crack. Of course, today was much colder than it has been as I've been learning. Well, I heard a crack or two at about 6 mins, but that was it, no additional first crack, and no second crack. Finally, at around 12 mins, I fished out a couple beans. The first bean I tried I could crush with my fingers. I bit in to another and it had a definite roasted coffee flavor, so I stopped the roast. The color is still very light, but the smell was heavenly as soon as I dumped the beans out of the popper. I am looking forward to finding out whether that continues to be my perception when I get home tonight. I will have to try this batch tomorrow morning because I'm nearly out of roasted beans, so it won't have long to rest. When I have under-roasted beans in the past, they haven't had much roasted coffee smell. The batch this morning has a strong roasted coffee odor, so I have great hopes that I will not again be cursed with under-roasted, bitter coffee. The question is, does anyone agree that this batch is probably done? If it is, have others roasted batches with next to no cracks, either first or second? Thanks, Brian
Hi Brian, If you didn't hear any real cracks, the coffee might be quite underdone. When using popcorn poppers, the parameters are VERY sensitive to ambient temperature. It seems likely that at that low temperature that 1/3 cup is probably not enough -- in fact, any amount of coffee with that ambient temperature might propose a challenge. It doesn't get that cold in my garage -- so I don't know much about the proper parameters for roaster popping at that temp. Hopefully, some folks with experience will pop in with some ideas. I have noticed that even the drop in nighttime temperature in my garage from mid-70s to low 60s has forced me to re-calibrate -- forcing me to use more beans and allowing me to get roasts in the ToastMaster that don't necessitate any slowdown techniques. Best, Edward At 4:53 PM -0600 10/14/04, Brian Kamnetz wrote: <Snip>
On Oct 14, 2004, at 7:13pm, gin wrote: <Snip> Maybe next year, instead of focusing on coffee at a PNWG III, everyone should just go to Alfred's for martinis. I nominate Rick as bartender -- he's clearly in touch with the soul of the martini. John Blumel
This happened to me with one of my first batches. In fact it turned out to be under or over roasted, I can't remember which. I ultimately had to begin to use 1/2 cup, but my roasts go pretty fast... to fast, and as I just wrote in they look soewhat uneven. I start into first crack about 3 minutes and finish with a full city roast at about 7.5 minutes. Actually, I have also started to judge matters by the snaps rather than the crackling sound because the sound of the fan is so loud. I figure that by the time I get the first snap I am still close to the beginning of first crack but into it just a bit. What I want to work on is slowing the roast; I have tried your method, but it seemed to me to even go faster. "When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?... Too much sanity may be madness, and maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be."
<Snip> The intensity of first crack depends on the bean and the profile. Longer profiles may not make any first crack sounds at all. I believe that at least 1 or 2 pops are needed as an indicator that the roast is progressing fast enough to avoid baking. Second crack or your desired finish temperature may not be reached if there is not enough heat input. Many cold weather roasters put the popper in a partly closed cardboard box to prevent excessive heat loss. --
As others have expressed, I would suspect that the ambient temperature is the key factor here. In fact, it sounds a lot like my first experience roasting with a popper at cooler temperatures outdoors. It was a couple of years ago so I'm not certain of the temperature but I suspect it was closer to around 40 or so. The box method works well, basically providing a warmer environment for your popper. Dave Lowe
If you are using something like my Salton popper, with front slats, you can try covering them with a metal pot top (helpd with a towel). The metal contracts the heat and I suspect contributes to the roast. "When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies?... Too much sanity may be madness, and maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be."
You will probably hear from more experienced popper roasters, but try 1/3 cup or, even better, 1/4 cup, and tilt the popper at about 30 degrees, stirring every few seconds with the handle of a wooden spoon. It should slow down the roast so that it is easier to follow what is happening. Brian At 09:54 PM 10/14/2004 -0400, you wrote: <Snip>
Hi Ken, I roasted another 1/3 cup of greens this morning. Ambient temps were much warmer and my old profile returned, with first crack about 6 mins and second crack about 8 mins. Looks like I will be a box roaster as ambient temps decline. Thanks for the tidbit regarding profiles and cracks. That is interesting and useful to know. Brian At 07:49 AM 10/15/2004 -0400, you wrote: <Snip>