HomeRoast Digest


Topic: A new heatgun record (for me) (6 msgs / 183 lines)
1) From: Chris Diersen
Not that I'm the sort of get excited about speed  or quantity, but the holidays (and LOTS of roasting of small  quantities) are upon us (or me, at least!), and I'm pretty stoked to  report that I just finished a record-sized roast!
  
 I'm  roasting with a  Wagner 775 Heat gun and a "medium" size stainless  mixing bowl.  Usually, I roast only about 1/4 pound (roughly a cup  with most beans) at a time, and shoot for a roast time of less than 10  minutes from start to finish.  
  
 My concern is always  that if I try to roast too much I'll get inconsistently roasted beans  and the roasting will take too long and get "baked".
  
 Tonight  I thought I'd see if I could do near a pound, and roasted a little over  3/4 pound of the Columbia Huila-Oporapa MR.  I chose this coffee  because it's not my favorite (though I really like it!) and mostly  because it has a very uniform bean size that has always roasted  predictably well and uniformly for me in smaller batches.
  
  Seven minutes into the roast i got a good even first crack, and kept  the heat right on the beans to roll right from first to second crack (I  usually back off a bit between the two, but I also usually hit 1st  around 5 minutes).  Second crack got to where it was rolling along  pretty good and I took the heat off and just stirred the beans for  about 20 seconds letting them do their thing before quickly cooling  them over a fan in a large wire-mesh colander.  I like how a  bigger bean mass will "roast" itself quite well without added heat in  second crack...
  
  Anyway...
  
 13 minutes from start of  roast to cool beans!  A little longer than the smaller batches,  but the roast looks consistent in color, and it's right in between C+  and FC, which is where I like this coffee.  In a couple of days,  the taste will tell, as the say...
  
 My question is, without  major modification to the heat gun (or multiple heat guns, or whatever  other crazy things I'm sure folks have done), what is the max size  limit that some of the more experienced heat gun roasters have found in  their practice?
  
 Not to wax philosophical, but I think that  good heat-gun roasting is an art.  On the surface, it seems a  crude way to roast, but in practice, I feel like I understand better  each time I roast what needs to be done to get the most out of the  beans. Now that I've developed my own technique, I'm curious as to what  limits others have found.  I've read just about all I can find  about heatgun roasting, and it seems that they all recommend roasting  very small batches....
  
  Chris
  
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2) From: an iconoclast
On 12/9/05, Chris Diersen  wrote:
 Now that I've developed my own technique, I'm curious
<Snip>
y
<Snip>
I regularly roast around 1 1/3 lbs of greens or a bit more to get
approx 1 lb roasted.  I am limited only by pain in my wrist.  I am
most comfortable with a 1 lb green giving me 2/3-3/4 lbs roasted.  I
almost never go more than a few snaps into 2nd crack.  I use bottom
heat from my BBQ side burner along with my HG and adjust the heat to
get to first crack in about 10 minutes regardless of size or ambient
temp. I turn off the bottom heat once first crack is rolling and
adjust the HG temp to get perfection.
Ann

3) From: David Yeager
At 11:58 PM 12/9/2005, you wrote:
 >On 12/9/05, Chris Diersen  wrote:
 > Now that I've developed my own technique, I'm curious
 >> as to what limits others have found.  I've read just about all I can find
 >> about heatgun roasting, and it seems that they all recommend roasting very
 >> small batches....
 >
 >I regularly roast around 1 1/3 lbs of greens or a bit more to get
 >approx 1 lb roasted.  I am limited only by pain in my wrist.  I am
 >most comfortable with a 1 lb green giving me 2/3-3/4 lbs roasted.  I
 >almost never go more than a few snaps into 2nd crack.  I use bottom
 >heat from my BBQ side burner along with my HG and adjust the heat to
 >get to first crack in about 10 minutes regardless of size or ambient
 >temp. I turn off the bottom heat once first crack is rolling and
 >adjust the HG temp to get perfection.
 >
 >Ann
Chris,
I routinely do 750g (1 lb 10.4z) with my Wagner 775.
Expect to add maybe five minutes to the total time.
I avoid aching wrists by using a bread machine motor to do the stirring.
David Y
Atlanta

4) From: Justin Marquez
On 12/14/05, David Yeager  wrote:
<Snip>
A couple of questions....
1) What wattage is that heatgun?
2) How long does it take to complete first crack with the 750 gr?
3) Are you roasting in an enclosed area (I do find that wind outside has a
significant effect on roast time!)
thanks,
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)http://www.justinandlinda.com

5) From: Peter Zulkowski
Hi David,
Thanks for this information. Have you managed to slow down the bread 
machine motor? Do you just use the bread machine set up like it is and 
add the heat gun?
Thanks,
PeterZ
Thinking of using a sewing machine motor in the bread machine, here in LHC.
David Yeager wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: David Yeager
At 02:43 PM 12/14/2005, Peter Z wrote:
 >David Yeager wrote:
 >>>
 >> I routinely do 750g (1 lb 10.4z) with my Wagner 775.
 >> Expect to add maybe five minutes to the total time.
 >> I avoid aching wrists by using a bread machine motor to do the stirring.
 >>
 >Hi David,
 >Thanks for this information. Have you managed to slow down the bread
 >machine motor? Do you just use the bread machine set up like it is and
 >add the heat gun?
 >
 >Thanks,
 >
 >PeterZ
 >Thinking of using a sewing machine motor in the bread machine, here in LHC.
Peter,
I just go with it full-bore.  I do my tinkering with the stirring arms.
My first version used a bent coat-hanger wound around the center 
spindle and secured with a mall radiator hose clamp.  Fiddling with 
the length and curvature of the wire was quite a trip.
This past week-end I gave up on the wire, as it had gotten too soft, 
and went to a short strap of metal 4" long (kind of like a half of a 
door hinge).  I cut out a "V" to avoid hitting the thermocouple that 
hangs down in the pan. I drilled holes, attached it with a U-bolt, 
and tried it out.  The agitation was somewhere between "vigorous" and 
"brutal."  Beans would have flown all over the patio if the top 
weren't partially covered.  (I took one of those cheap, soft aluminum 
garage worklight reflectors and cut the middle area out of it.  It 
give me about 1.5 inches of a domed roof to catch beans.)  I then 
bent the agitator arm to give it a propellor-like twist.  That lofted 
the beans more; but with less effective surface area, it was more 
gentle snow-shovel kind of action.
 > Justin wrote:
<Snip>
1) The Wagner 775 is rated as 1680 watts.  The adjustment of heat/fan 
speed is by a louver system.
2) Time to first crack varies from about 9 minutes for one pound to 
18 for a kilo.  I watch more for the time to 300F, where the 
yellowing begins.  I try to get that around seven minutes if I 
can.  The one-kilo batch went way over that and came out a bit flat 
tasting -- still good enough to give away, though  ;^)  IOW, I push 
it as hard as necessary to get to the 300F mark, and then I vary from 
there.  If I hit that 300F target then I'm pretty much home free for 
any degree of roast.
3) I roast outdoors.  It was 40F when I did the one-kilo last 
week-end.  The pan is insulated somewhat with some aluminum tape that 
used to have some foam-backing on it.  It still traps some air and 
the dome hold a lot of the heated air in.  Wind and ambient temps are 
still a huge factor though.  It's not as bad as the wide-open 
dogbowl, however.
I think I'll try to build an exhaust hood and move it into the garage 
this winter.
David
Atlanta


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