HomeRoast Digest


Topic: A Rather Challenging Bean! (16 msgs / 434 lines)
1) From: gin
John:
The decaf are very different to roast, for me.
I suspect that u roast um has some .25 cent beans they are selling you for a 1.50 plus. great, buy them.
It is tuff on this list to talk about "your bean" unless you got it form Sweet Maria's. I buy from Maria and Tom because I know that Tom cups everything that is sold. If the bean is not worth his sip, not for me either.
I have beans from other places, I roast them and give them away and folks are crazy for the beans. 
My espresso/beans/what I drink come from Tom and Maria.
Yes, we have the "Cult of Sweet Maria".
ginny

2) From: John N. Alegre
I have met what I consider to be a rather challenging bean to roast and I am 
looking for some comments.  I have been roasting for neigh on two years now.  
I started off in the Poppery world,  bought an iRoast last fall and have done 
a few things with outdoor drum roasting and wok roasting.
I obtained the bean locally from a compmany called u-roast-em.com.  The 
attraction of buying from them was the ability to pick up a good quantity and 
save money on price and shipping.
The bean is Sumatra Decaffe KVM.
The parameters I have tried so far are 330:2,390:3,440:5 1/2 and 
330:3,390:3,450:3.  In both cases this results in the Vienna stage roast I am 
trying to achieve but the taste is way off.  Bitter and baked.  The bean is 
essentially chaff free so I am guessing low roast temps are in issue.  My 
next moves will be toward a 330:2,410:3,450 > Vienna.
I am looking for any list comments.
john

3) From: DEchelbarg
I guess one of the things to wonder about is whether the beans are any good.  
I've bought from some other sources besides Sweet Maria and was quickly 
cured.  I've never had a bad bean from Sweet Maria, but from other local sources 
sometimes have been burned.  I remember running low of Sweet Maria's Purteo Rico 
Selecto and finding some at a company I was vsiting.  Couldn't understand why 
I didn't like this coffee anymore since it had been one of my favorites.  I 
reveiewed my notes and realized that I was roasting it the same, but it started 
tasting terrible when I ran out of Sweet Maria's beans and started using the 
other source.  That was an eye opener.  
  I have decided that in the long run, the shipping is worth it.  I have a 
carton of beans that I call Junk beans, that I won't roast for myself or anyone 
else.  I save them to condition a future roaster I might buy.  Not one bean in 
my junk pile is from Sweet Maria's.  
Point, it may well be the bean.

4) From: DEchelbarg
Sorry about the post I just sent, was trying to do a spell check but pressed 
send by accident.  Should read:
 guess one of the things to wonder about is whether the beans are any good.  
I've bought from some other sources besides Sweet Maria and was quickly cured. 
 I've never had a bad bean from Sweet Maria, but from other local sources 
sometimes have been burned.  I remember running low of Sweet Maria's Purteo Rico 
Selecto and finding some at a company I was vsiting.  Couldn't understand why 
I didn't like this coffee anymore since it had been one of my favorites.  I 
reveiewed my notes and realized that I was roasting it the same, but it started 
tasting terrible when I ran out of Sweet Maria's beans and started using the 
other source.  That was an eye opener.  
  I have decided that in the long run, the shipping is worth it.  I have a 
carton of beans that I call Junk beans, that I won't roast for myself or anyone 
else.  I save them to condition a future roaster I might buy.  Not one bean in 
my junk pile is from Sweet Maria's.  
Point, it may well be the bean.

5) From: Ken Mary
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
You bought from a competitor to SM's, you deserve what you get.
<Snip>
I assume your IRoast is working ok. How are the crack sounds? The beans
could be excessively wet or dry. Do you have a scale to check roast weight
loss? IMO most decafs are crap coffee to begin with, so there may be nothing
you can do.
--

6) From: DEchelbarg
John Writes:
"I assume your IRoast is working ok. How are the crack sounds? The beans
could be excessively wet or dry. Do you have a scale to check roast weight
loss? IMO most decafs are crap coffee to begin with, so there may be nothing
you can do."
I drink decaf after 3 p.m. and have found some of Tom's new decaf WP method 
to be truly stunning.  The Ethiopian Sidamo is an excellent coffee period -- it 
just happens to be a decaf.  Have you tried that one?  
Otherwise your points about how the roast is progressing is key.  I'm 
guessing bad beans.
Dave E 

7) From: Les
John,
I can tell you what happened.  SWM (before Sweet Marias), I often ran
into baggy beans.  Do you know what crop those beans came from?  My
guess is some time in the 1990's.  From personl experience, decaf
beans tend to harden as they age.  I have two suggestions.  Just toss
them and consider it a lesson learned or try soaking them for 5 min.
in water before roasting.
Les
On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 14:24:07 -0600, John N. Alegre  wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Gene Smith
<Snip>
Dunno if you saw the article someone onlist posted a link to, but latest 
research says drop the caffeine by noon (if it bothers you) to avoid 
disturbed sleep.  The difference is that previous recommendations were 
based on lost sleep - as in: 'I couldn't get to sleep' or 'I had trouble 
getting to sleep' - whereas they have since looked at quality of sleep - 
disturbance that doesn't keep you awake, but does make your rest a bit 
dodgy.
In my particular case this tends to manifest itself as a dialogue that 
lasts most of the night that goes something like this:
"Am I asleep?  I think I'm asleep, but I feel like if I opened my eyes I'd 
discover that I'm really awake."  Repeat 8 or 9 hundred times, followed by 
"Wait a minute, that thing that just happened could only happen in a dream, 
so I must be sleeping..."  The last one is usually followed by actually 
waking or half-waking and then the whole process starts over again.
I usually wake up from a night like this feeling like I've spent 8 hours 
doing a door-to-door survey on an unpopular topic.
Oh yeah, I forgot...  I also usually fall sound asleep 20 or 30 minutes 
before the alarm goes off.  Seems to heighten the effect...
Gene Smith
riding the wild learning curve, in Houston

9) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
<Snip>
Decafs really do not have as long a shelf life as non-decafs and 
KVW-processed have been a problem. The main issue is that the process 
dries out the coffee to low moisture reading 0f 8-9 %. In some roast 
processes, these will actually roast faster but roasting requires 
moisture in the coffee - it helps transfer heat evenly. (I am really 
obsessed with watching the way we move through the decafs ... well, 
all the coffee really but especially the decafs. I buy smaller 
amounts of these than anything else, and I get them right when they 
arrive at port. Then I shoot for selling out within 3 months, and 
replacing with a new lot. That means buyers have at least 6 months 
from any time they buy to store the decaf. Actually KVW is not the 
worst in terms of storage, SWP is. On the plus side, Sumatras tend to 
hide age due to their flavor profile). The other issue here is really 
decafs in the i-Roast. You have no chaff, and I think he iRoast 
relies on a little chaff blockage to reach finish roast temperatures 
in the chamber. So when I roast decafs Ileave the chaff from a 
previous roast in the collector. This has worked well for me...
Some rambling thoughts on the competition...
there are SOooooo many people selling green coffee now! A few have 
already come and gone, but there's always another. In the past I felt 
like it would be nice to have an array of sources that specialized in 
different areas, origins, etc and that it would be good for home 
roasting in general to have these choices. But I gotta admit that I 
feel the choices are really poor (well, besides us of course!). The 
coffees I see listed are often from one broker, maybe two, and there 
seems to be no guiding principle behind the selection except 
convenience. If you simply buy whatever you are offered, you will do 
very badly. And it's not like green brokers offer detailed cupping 
reports. They give you a price and a "yeah, we liked it" review. I 
think you all can see by the incoming sample log that I cup a lot of 
what's out there, so when I look at a list on a web site I usually 
know all the coffees, where they are from, and what I thought of them 
... and perhaps more importantly, how old they are. And I have yet to 
be impressed. I mean, Geoff at Intelligentsia Roasters has a certain 
taste in coffee, cups, travels, and you can tell that by his 
offerings. Duane at Stumptown buys nice greens. Actually, Caribou 
does well, Batdorf and Bronson, Diedrich ... It's actually very nice 
to have these people out there who I respect, who I know do a good 
job, even if our tastes differ and we would disagree on some lots. 
But in the green end, I can't name one. Then again, probably the 
thing that has hurt home roasting more is A. the protection of the 
air popper "whirling roast chamber" design by patent and B. the lack 
of a end-all roaster that really hits the nail on the head (the 
roasting equivalent of the "killer app" if you remember that old 
term), and has a low price. On the later, maybe it's too much to 
expect because there is so much variation to green coffee, and to 
personal taste. But I still hope!
Tom
-- 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george

10) From: John N. Alegre
On Monday 31 January 2005 11:01, homeroast-request 
wrote:
<Snip>
was
<Snip>
 other
<Snip>
Not the answer.
I have dealt with these people for years.  Beans are almost as good as 
anything else on the web.  In fact if you look at the history they where so=
me 
of the pioneers of the home specialty market before they moved up to 
Wisconson.
What experience do you have to lend on roasting this particular bean.  I 
think .. "oh the beans are bad" is kind of a waste of band width don't 
you? ... especially three times!!!
john

11) From: DEchelbarg
In a message dated 1/31/2005 2:54:33 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
lists writes:
Not the answer.
I have dealt with these people for years.  Beans are almost as good as 
anything else on the web.  In fact if you look at the history they where some 
of the pioneers of the home specialty market before they moved up to 
Wisconson.
What experience do you have to lend on roasting this particular bean.  I 
think .. "oh the beans are bad" is kind of a waste of band width don't 
you? ... especially three times!!!
john
John, sorry about three times, it was an error on my part to send it.  But, I 
think bad beans is an issue -- this is the company I had my problems with.  
So, if you roast them right, if they are cracking right, why is it not 
appropriate to look at the other variable?

12) From: John N. Alegre
On Monday 31 January 2005 13:32, homeroast-request 
wrote:
<Snip>
Beans are weighed on triple beam balance.  I only roast by weight.
Cracks are audable but not load.
As I said in another post, I don't buy the "beans did not come from SM, they 
are no good" argument.  Although most of my beans are bought from SM i did 
purchase two bags from u-roast-em when I was in the neighborhood.  The other 
back is a Java Estate which roasts with the exact parameters that the JE I 
got from SM roasts at and the cupping is indistinguishable.
I am strongly suspecting this has to do with the KVM decaffe process.  The 
amount of chaff is almost zero on this bean so the iRoast is most likely 
running cold.  The next roast I try on this bean will be a much higher temp, 
faster ramp up.  I will post results.
john

13) From: Brett Mason
The beans aren't exactly "bad" ...
Brett
On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 13:53:54 -0600, John N. Alegre  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

14) From: Tom Ulmer
John-
I am going to presume that you are trolling... either that or you have the
etiquette of fungus. In either case you're not shining favorably.
I am thinking... you ask "your purveyors of the home specialty market" what
your problem is with their beans.
Regards,
Tom
<Snip>
some
<Snip>

15) From: DEchelbarg
have met what I consider to be a rather challenging bean to roast and I am 
looking for some comments.  I have been roasting for neigh on two years now.  
I started off in the Poppery world,  bought an iRoast last fall and have done 
a few things with outdoor drum roasting and wok roasting.
I obtained the bean locally from a compmany called u-roast-em.com.  The 
attraction of buying from them was the ability to pick up a good quantity and 
save money on price and shipping.
The bean is Sumatra Decaffe KVM.
The parameters I have tried so far are 330:2,390:3,440:5 1/2 and 
330:3,390:3,450:3.  In both cases this results in the Vienna stage roast I am 
trying to achieve but the taste is way off.  Bitter and baked.  The bean is 
essentially chaff free so I am guessing low roast temps are in issue.  My 
next moves will be toward a 330:2,410:3,450 > Vienna.
I am looking for any list comments.
Okay, assuming it is not the bean, and you want to try something different.   
Roast some caffinated beans.  Remove the chaff from the inner collector but 
leave 75% of the top chaff collector plugged.  Use 150 grams of beans.  Your 
1st profile should work.  
Now, with my I-roast, having done what I just describe, my last batch of 
decaf  took a total of 9 minutes and 49 seconds.  Profile: 2 at 320; 3 at 375, and 
4:49 at 415.  It was Sweet Maria's Donkey blend.  I stopped it when the 2nd 
crack just began to become rapid.  The beans taste good after 2 days of rest.  
Be sure you rest your beans, although decaf usually doesn't require as much 
rest, in my experience.  I usually roast decaf in my manual Back to Basics 
Popper.
It looks like what you have been doing actually works, in terms of profile 
and time -- so otherwise, I'm at a loss . . . .    

16) From: John N. Alegre
On Monday 31 January 2005 16:37, DEchelbarg wrote:
<Snip>
I am not closed to this idea.
Just because I got a lot of good Java Estate from u-roast-em.com does NOT m=
ean 
the bag of Sumatra Decaffe KVM is a great lot as well.
I am just observing that up till now I don't think I am getting the bean to=
 
the Vienna stage fast enough, with the correct pyrolysis to produce the tas=
te 
I want.  I belive this is due to using a profile that works fine for other=
 
beans with a bean that does not produce any chaff.  The iRoast appears very=
 
sensitvie to the chaff vs heat control issue.
As soon as my current 4 day supply is gone (I really don't drink decaffe, t=
he 
wife does because of a sleep disorder) I will do another roast with higher=
 
temps and ramping those temps up faster.  I will report back on this to the=
 
list.
Thanks to everyone for the continued input.
john


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