HomeRoast Digest


Topic: the smoke clue (4 msgs / 149 lines)
1) From: Vicki Wingo Grant
 >>  >>
Your best bet is to use your nose (in addition to your ears and eyes).
The odor (aroma?) gets sharp and begins to irritate the inside of your
nose as the beans approach 2nd crack.  Try smelling the beans at each
different stage. After 1st, and before 2nd, the smell is sweet, and you
will be able to take in big sniffs with gusto.  As the beans approach
second, the small gets sharper.
The color and the cracks are important, but the smell will give you a
direct link to the chemical changes which are happening.
 >> I'm still on the primitive thumbs
 >> up/thumbs down method of taste evaluation but mostly I'm
 >> making terrific
 >> coffee.
So far, so good.  I bet that you're a good cook generally.
Thank you, Thank you David! You supplied the piece of the puzzle that I 
needed. The Z & D roaster has a catalytic converter on it, which 
eliminates most of the smoke. I wasn't really paying attention to that 
clue, other than when it was overt, like at a Viennese roast. I was 
giving closer credence to the visual and auditory. There IS just enough 
  smoke "leakage" for me to track the changes but it is subtle, not 
overt, like it must be for the rest of you roasters. I've managed to get 
a couple of city+ roasts, including a delicious mug of Mexico Chiapas 
I'm drinking now, so I'm starting to catch the refinements. The smoke 
information was there and available but I wasn't really connecting the 
dots together...
I've been having an on-going conversation with my physicist husband 
about this list, the methodology and approaches present and where I fall 
on the continuum of learning/thinking styles. DH and I (I'm a retired 
professional firefighter) have a yin/yang relationship-- he,the 
theorist, and me, the realist, and we alternate between driving each 
other buggy with our methodology(s) and prying our brains open to other 
possibilities.
I definately approach coffee roasting as an intuitive cook--and, yes, I 
am a good cook--and I drive DH insane because recipes for me are merely 
a launching point and he can't figure out how I know what I'm doing 
because what I'm doing is not WRITTEN DOWN anywhere. But experimenting 
and watching other people cook, asking questions, paying attention to 
flavor combinations mixes up a lot of information that somehow sorts 
itself out in my head. I am just thrilled to be able to add GREAT coffee 
to that arsenal of good tasting things in life.
So, reporting in from the gestalt/holistic/intuitive coffee roasting 
side of the fence with nary a thermocouple in sight--YIPPEE, I'm getting 
it!  Thanks for the tips and insight--and in a shape and form I can 
understand! Bravo, Coffee List!
Vicki

2) From: zigzagmolly
On 5/17/05, Vicki Wingo Grant  wrote:
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<Snip>
Vicki,
I agree with you. I timed my very first roast on a Poppery and then
causually glanced at the clock when doing my first heatgun roast, but
no clock in sight since then. I have a thermometer I've never used. 
There are so many variables to roasting it would drive me crazy to
factor them in no matter how much I love details. I need to combine
left brain stimulation with right brain stimulation. It's healthy for
me to have that balance.
Do achieve perfection,  you've got the type and size of the bean to
consider, size of roast,  the ambient temperature and humidity and
windspeed, whether it's decaf or not, etc.  I think perfection may be
unacheivable and to attempt it would destoy the joy of roasting.  I
have found a method that works for me and roasts are fairly
consistent.  I factor in color, sound, smoke, smell and cracks.  I
mean even the quantity and amplitude of cracks are different with
different beans.  Guatamalan beans don't crack much, so I go by color
and smell. If I roast over 3/4 pound, I stop the roast before the
desired endpoint knowing it may take an extra minute to cool.
My favorite part of the whole roast is spraying a mist of water on the
coffee beans and stirring them in the colander right after turning off
the heat.  I love that smell?  After the coffee is cooled and put in
valved bags, I open the bags up several times a day just to smell the
beans, admire the milk chocolate color and wonder how they'll taste. 
I can smell the coffee smell in my hair until the next time I take a
shower.
Today, for the first time ever, I brought my one cup SwissGold filter
and grounds with me to work and when I hit the 4pm slump, I'm going to
make some coffee.  I can't wait!  I am down to 21 lbs of stash and
haven't made a coffee purchase in over 2 weeks. Soon....
Take care,
Nancy

3) From: David B. Westebbe
<Snip>
To give credit where it is due, Steve from Two Loons Coffee taught me.
He was roasting on a big Dietrich and had me sample the smell of the
beans when they were ready to be cooled.  He said he knew when they were
on the verge of second crack when the smell became sharp.
 I am just thrilled to be able to add 
<Snip>
It is such an easy thing, and yields such pleasure.  As delicious as
chocolate, but with no calories!
<Snip>
Hey - there's nothing wrong with a thermocouple.  They can be used to
teach you what you are seeing and smelling, and to double-check
yourself.  If you had a built-in temp sensor, you wouldn't need one.
But at the temps we're talking about, all that a human can really feel
is "Ouch!".

4) From: Brett Mason
You're not supposed to climb INTO the roaster David...
Personally I wondered how to couple the thermocouple to a nose ...
Brett
On 5/19/05, David B. Westebbe  wrote:
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ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!


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