HomeRoast Digest


Topic: To Vac or Not to Vac Week 3 (4 msgs / 261 lines)
1) From: Aaron
Now it is week 3 already.  Where has time gone?
Three weeks, I this is very close to the longest any coffee has ever 
lasted in my house.
Let's get to it shall we
In recap -  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.
It was determined around week 2 that the sealed mason jar and the closed 
container are BOTH airtight, and are exhibiting almost identical 
characteristics.  With this, while I will still test each as an 
individual, I will not comment on both each step unless there is 
something different about the two.
Looks:
All the beans still look the same with the exception of the vaccuum jug 
which a very few beans have just the slightest trace of oil on them.  
That is no change from last week.
Smell in storage container:
Baggie Beans had very little smell:  Starting to get a stale oil like 
smell.  Kind of reminiscant of a deep fat fryer when the oil in it is 
overdue to be changed out.
Valve Bag - The beans had a bit more smell to them, but the smell is 
definately changing,  I would put these beans, very close to the smell 
stage that the baggie beans were at last week.
Sealed Container / Mason Jar  -  beans still had much of the original 
smell to them, however are just starting to pick up a small hint of that 
'beefy' like smell I described last week.
Vaccuum Container -  The beans of course didn't have much smell to them, 
probably due to the lack of air to transport any aroma's.  Once the 
beans sat in air for a minute or two, some aromas were coming out of 
them, and they smelled pretty fresh and close to the first week's 
smells.  There was a bit of a change, however this is to be expected 
over 3 weeks.
Grind:
They all smelled pretty much the same in the grind, with the exception 
of the baggie beans, they had less smell and that hint of . .. 
staleness?? was in the smell as well.
Brewing:
One note about brewing, I find that the bodum santos electric vac pot 
does a great job of heating up water very fast as well.  just leave the 
top off the pot and turn it on, in a few minutes boiling water for your 
coffee.
All the coffee's brewed up the same, the smell was still wonderful from 
the Swiss golds, however the baggie coffee, the smell was a lot more 
subdued, it wasn't as strong and 'in your face' as the other storage 
containers were.
Taste:
165:  HOT!! - You can still taste some of the characteristics beginning 
to form in the coffee's  the baggie coffee has an odd flavor forming.
150:  The flavors are forming very well now. 
The vaccuum container still has that 'fruity' smell to the cup, and the 
taste is very close to the original week. 
The mason jar container, the smell is fruity however the taste is just 
now starting to pick up a 'hint' of that beefy flavor from last weeks' 
baggie.
The valve baggie, the smell has a bit of the 'beef' to it and the flavor 
is definately picking up this change in it.
The baggie coffee, the smell is really not there, it's not flooding from 
the freshly brewed cup like the others are, and the taste is becoming 
flat.  There is an element there, like an acidity or acridness that is 
permeating the flavor.  Remember what truck stop coffee tasted like when 
it's been allowed to sit on the burner for too long and burn / oxidize?  
That flavor is starting to take over in the baggie coffee.... I guess 
it's all part of the 'stale' flavor.   The baggie coffee is still very 
drinkable but the flavor of stale is creeping in fairly quickly now.  
The smell is no longer there really either.
135:  All the coffee's have come to their full flavors now.
        The vaccuum container coffee is just starting to pick up a bit 
of that 'beefy' flavor now that it is cooling, just a slight hint
        The mason jar has some of the 'beef' as well and is also picking 
up that 'creamy / silky' ish texture I described last week.
        The valve bag coffee is showing a moderate amount of the beefy 
flavor, and smoothness as well but still has a very good flavor.
       
The baggie coffee, is almost overpowered with the 'acidy' bite to the 
coffee and the coffee has picked up a coffee ground flavor, sort of that 
like dark bitter flavor if you were to munch on some old grounds.... 
again like truck stop coffee.   It is still drinkable, but there is a 
major change in the flavors from the other storage methods and id 
definately choose the others over this one at this point.  Maybe the 
taste I am trying to describe is not so much acidy, but possibly the 
oils starting to go sour / rancid,  although I can't smell any 
rancidness to them yet to be honest. I don't know for sure, but the 
flavor is definately not a desireable one.
115:  All the coffee's have picked up a 'fuller body' like characteristic.
        The vaccuum container coffee has smoothed out a lot (not the 
smooth as in the taste defect described earlier, perhaps I should say a 
bit creamier of a texture to it instead)  The flavors are still full and 
good.
       The mason jar and the valve bag coffee both have 'fulled out' in 
body as well, the taste of these two is a bit 'beefier' than the vac 
container
       The baggie coffee is well,  flat tasting, with that 'bite' to 
it.  it tastes old, not quite stale, if that makes a difference but 
taste like old coffee.
90ish aka CRT (Close to Room Temp)  The coffee's are at 92 degrees and 
are still full of flavor.
The vac sealed coffee has a full body and a nice smooth taste to it.
The mason jar coffee has a nice full body to it but picked up ever so 
slight a citric acid like taste to it, barely noticeable
The valve bag coffee has a nice full body, however, oddly enough it did 
not pick up this every so slight acidy taste but the beefy taste is much 
more noticeable than the mason jar coffee.
The baggie coffee is stale, I nailed down that flavor I was looking 
for,  the flavor like if it was made in a not being cleaned very well 
coffee pot and picked up some of the flavors from the gunk left in it.  
I have an old grungy mr coffee laying around in a closet somewhere to 
verify but id much rather not.
Just for the heck of it, I knocked on the neighbors door and borrowed a 
scoop of coffee from her, she had that 8 o clock brand bean.  I ground 
them up and tasted them.  Now I know there is no way to compare flavors 
since they are two entirely different beans, but I wanted to get some 
kind of gauge on the 'staleness',  did the homeroast really go south 
that bad, that fast?  No way!!  the 8 o clock was nasty!!.  This helped 
me to conclude that, yes the baggie beans are going stale, they are in 
my opinion, past their optimum use before date, but are still 10 times 
better than the store bought stuff.  Perhaps I have just become so 
spoiled with having super fresh at my fingertips all the time, that any 
deviation was immediately and immensely noticeable.  In return I gave 
the neighbor a container of coffee I roasted last night, let her have 
some real stuff, see what she says in a few days.
Post Brew Oddities:
One thing I did notice.  Every cup I have brewed in the swiss gold has 
had bubbles on top, like a bloom in the coffee cup.  Not much but just 
around the edges a bit.  The baggie coffee did not bloom.  Maybe it had 
to do with the aging and going stale of the coffee?
One other thing I have noticed is that,.. the coffee's seemed to lose a 
bit more weight as they aged.  After I roasted them, I carefully 
measured them out and put them each into their respective containers.  
Each week I measured out exact amounts (down to the 1/100 of a gram to 
be honest) +/- 4/100 of a gram variance in each brew.  I am finding that 
the amount of coffee left to test yet, is definately less than what it 
was supposed to be.  perhaps I should count beans next time as well to 
see if I can prove that backdoor to the missing sock parallel universe 
theory.  I know that the CO2 gassing is going to cause them to lose some 
but I didnt expect this much.
Conclusions:
In conclusion, the vaccuum sealed coffee held it's original flavor and 
freshness the longest, but still, time is making a change after 3 
weeks.  This coffee is still very close to the original week.
Second place would goto any SEALED container coffee:  They are holding 
the flavors well and while are showing signs of aging more rapidly than 
a vaccuum sealed container, are still holding a very respectable coffee 
within.  Definately the containers of choice for the non vac folks.
Third would goto the valve bag container... they will prolong the life 
of the coffee a little bit, but are not really meant for any long term 
storage of roasted coffee.  If your household uses coffee within two 
weeks, these would be ideal as well as a sealed container, to keep the 
coffee at it's optimum freshness.
Last place would goto a zip baggie -  Ok, if you are bringing the coffee 
to a friends house or something, these will work to transport it.  If 
your coffee is not going to sit around the house more than a few days or 
a week at absolute worst, these will do the job, but clearly are not 
designed to hold the freshness of our fine coffee's in.  These might be 
ok for the first day or two to let the coffee 'gas out' after it's 
initial roast, but after that id strongly suggest moving it to one of 
the above mentioned storage containers to ensure the best freshness.
This about wraps it up and Ill report back next week with the final 
tests of how the coffee ages.
Aaron
,

2) From: Peter Zulkowski
Hi Aaron :)
Thank you very much for reporting your tests and the results.
I find your writing very enjoyable and informative.
PeterZ
Aaron wrote:
<Snip>

3) From: Phillips, Larry
 
Aaron: I've really enjoyed your reports.  Thanks for your outstanding
efforts!!!!
Larry
"If you can't beat them, arrange
 to have them beaten."
        -- George Carlin

4) From: raymanowen
"Three weeks, I this is very close to the longest any [real] coffee has eve=
r
lasted in my house." -in the name of research!
On Ginny's recommendation, I'm letting some FC+ Horse ride for 10 days, but
in the name of "Huh, Uh- Not on my boat," I've had a couple of Fabulous
doubles, while I managed to botch a TechniV brew of the same bean. I'll
figure it out tomorrow, Day 10 for the Horse Ride.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Heere, Horsie, Horsie, Horsie-


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