HomeRoast Digest


Topic: To Vac or Not to Vac Week 2 (227 lines)
1) From: Aaron
Yes it is time for week 2 of our experiment here.
I am not going to get into the intro and all because we did that last 
week, so will just jump right into the results.
Once again the containers used were
1. Vaccuum container with the air sucked out of it
2. Sealed tight mason jar
3. Closed container, may or may not be Air tight
4. SM's valve bags that let the CO2 out and keep air from getting in
5. A container, .. a zip lock baggie, NOT airtight
NOTE:  For the CLOSED CONTAINER, I took one of these and filled it with 
water, capped it and shook the hell out of it, it didnt leak, I also 
took one capped it full of air and weighted it down under a sinkfull of 
water and let it set for a few hours. opened it and no leak.  For all 
practical purposes this will be like a mason jar I am thinking.  Not a 
vaccuum seal but IS airtight.
Looks:
All the beans pretty much looked the same with the following exception.
The vaccuum storage and the mason jar were showing the slightest signs 
of oils on the beans.
The oil was minimal, a spot here, a blotch there, but nothing major.
The mason jar was a bit less prevalent with oil than the vaccuum storage 
and in fact I had to really look to find any.
The rest of the beans remained dry.
Possibly being under a vaccuum is helping to 'suck' the oils to the 
surface???
===============
Smell in storage container.
The baggie pretty much lost all it's smell and the beans were smelling 
'beefy' ... They almost smelled like those jars of beef bullion cubes 
you can buy at the grocery store.  Not overwhelmingly so but definately 
noticeable.  The aroma was a lot less potent in the bag as well, had to 
smell slowly to really get it. I also noticed this, at this point it 
dawned on me as well that, hey, that wonderful smell of fresh coffee is 
not really there in the morning anymore either.  They definately are 
'wearing out'.
The sweet marias valve bag, still had good smell to it, and while most 
the co2 smell was gone, more of the 'bean' smell was there.
The vaccuum container had relatively no smell, and once air was 
introduced was kind of flat (note, this would be NORMAL for a vaccuum 
container, if there is little air in it, how can you expect it to bring 
out a full boquet of smells)
The closed container had a wonderful fruity smell to it, a hint of the 
co2 smell but a very nice full bodied smell.  The smell maintained more 
of what the original smell was a week ago as well.
The mason jar had essentially the same characteristics as the closed 
container, a great smell in it
===============
Grind:
All the beans ground evenly.  The smell of the grind differed a bit.
The baggie beans didnt have as strong a smell after the grind and it was 
a bit 'beefy' still in the grind bucket.
The valve lock beans had a fuller body smell in the grinder, smelling 
more of what they did in the container but not as full as the 
jar/container beans but lost some of the original aroma.
The vaccuum container beans had a subdued smell, you had to really get 
in there and snort it to pick itup or wait a minute or two for the smell 
to start coming at you, unlike the other beans where it was there right now.
The closed container  had a full bodied smell, nice and fruity and came 
right out, good strong aroma from them.
The mason jar, the smell was a bit more of a co2 ish smell to them, kind 
of a bit 'tart' but otherwise still the full body like the container smell.
====================
Brewing
All the coffee's brewed pretty much identially.
The smell of the baggie was suprisingly good, I was expecting more 
'beef' but it had a 'hearty' smell during the brew cycle.  The smell 
though is notably different than the other beans.
The smell of the valve baggie brewing was good as well but a bit more 
fruitier, still very good though.
The smell of the container / mason jar was very good, smelled hints of 
fruit, much like it was the first week.
The smell of the vaccuum beans brewing was not quite as strong but still 
had a great fruit smell to it like the mason jar / container did
====================
Taste - Post brew oddities.
165 Degrees HOT HOT HOT...  The coffee's pretty much tasted the same, 
though the baggie coffee had a bit of a 'lighter body' or thinner taste 
than the rest of them.  The container/mason jar/ vaccuum jar coffee had 
a fruity hint to it already, maintaining more of the original taste than 
the valve bag / zip baggie did
150 Degrees The flavors are becoming much more tasteable now,
The baggie coffee has picked up a bit of an acidic taste, it's has a 
'sharpness' to it and the other coffee's seem to have a fuller body than 
the valve bag coffee.
The valve bag coffee has a nice full flavor now, and good body, no acid 
bite to it like the baggie coffee, the fruity flavor though is not as 
pronounced as the mason / container / or vac jar.
The Mason jar coffee has a nice fruity flavor developing now as does the 
container coffee
the vaccuum container coffee has the same flavor as in taste, but .. 
something seems a bit different im trying to pin it down.  Nothing bad, 
it taste great, but the 'feel' of the coffee is different.
  135 Degrees
The coffee's flavors are very pronounced now and have changed from the 
'hot taste'.
The baggie coffee still has that acidic taste or 'twang' to it, where 
the other coffees are changing flavor but not getting any sharp flavors 
to them.  Im not saying this has turned into a BAD flavor, just different.
The valve bag coffee has a nice flavor to it, much of the fruit flavors 
as the original, there is a bit of a 'lessening' though of those flavors.
The mason jar coffee is full of flavor now, and good smell too 
maintaining the best of the flavors of them all.
The sealed container coffee is pretty much the same as the mason jar
The vaccuum container coffee, I pinned it down i think, the flavor as in 
the actual taste is pretty much the same as the mason jar and container 
coffee BUT the texture of it, or feel of it on my tongue is a bit 
creamier, smoother, silkier to use a few words.  If that makes any sense 
to you.
115 degrees
The bag coffee is definately a different flavor than the other coffee,  
more 'robust' I guess you could call it.
The valve bag coffee is still a bit smoother and fuller bodied and 
doesn't have that slight 'bite' to it it has maintained a bit of the 
original fruityness flavor as the original but not as much as the sealed 
container / vac samples did.
The mason jar coffee has a nice full bodied flavor, the personality of 
the coffee really stands out and you can taste the very subtle flavors.  
This was kind of missing in the baggie coffee and the valve seal coffee.
The container coffee was nearly identical to the mason jar coffee but it 
had a bit more of a 'pronounced' flavor to it.  like the taste was 
easier to detect, ... again, if that makes any sense or am I babbling 
here from the impending caffeine overdose.
The vaccuum container now, the flavor is the same but it is definately 
'smoother'.  Now technically this makes the flavor NOT the same. so how 
to describe this.  The tastes, ie orange, cherry, hickory, etc etc are 
the same, but the overal 'sensation' is smoother. 
Is this a bad thing, I don't know, I tried to think of how this could be 
bad, and really couldn't, i tried to think of how it could be good, and 
again, it depends.  Then I tried to think, which one I would like better 
all the time, and came to the conclusion, it depends on what's happening 
at the time of drinking the coffee.  Sometimes a fuller body would be 
better, like in the morning waking up, im too brain defunct to notice, 
or really care for that matter of the subtleties of smoothness.  Now 
after a big dinner and you are relaxing, the smoother flavor would 
probably blend in perfectly. (sorry for the pun)  The conclusion here 
being it would ultimately boil down to your tastes and what you like.
I am going to add another measure point for today.
90 Degrees, I let the vaccuum coffee cool down to 'lukewarm' and the 
taste of the flavor with smooth have melded into a perfect harmony with 
each other.  This coffee would make a fantastic cold coffee for those 
who like the iced coffee type drinks.  It is fully drinkable at any temp.
==========
My conclusions:
The zip lock baggy coffee is definately feeling the effects of time.  
The flavor has changed drastically from original roast flavor.  Not that 
it's a bad flavor but has changed significantly
The valve bag coffee is holding up very well but it is starting to show 
changes as well.  It is nowhere near as obvious as the zip lock baggy 
and it still retains much of the original flavorings but it IS 
noticeable that it is changing as well.
The sealed container / mason jar coffee kept the most of the 'original' 
flavor of the coffee, the smells flavors etc were the closest to the 
first week of them all.
The vaccuum stored coffee kept it's flavor just as well as the sealed 
container did but, other entities, such as smoothness, silkiness are 
starting to show in the flavor.  Possibly these flavors are not 
something 'new' but were actually there all the time, and it's just 
that, since they all had it in the first week, there was nothing 
'different' for me to be able to spot and point out.  Possibly the 
vaccuum stored is the closest to original and the others actually 'lost' 
this flavor nuance, instead of vac 'gaining' it.  Unfortunately I can 
not go back in time and 're taste' those samples to try to correct my 
shortcoming in that observation so am going to have to leave it for you 
folks to decide.
This about wraps it up for this week and I will report back next sunday 
with the results of week 3.
Now to go wash the car, paint the house, put new carpeting down, mow the 
lawn. etc etc....
Any questions or comments please feel free to ask either on list or off 
list.
Aaron


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