I just recieved the i-Roast 2 I ordered this week with the 4lb sampler from sweetmarias.com. I have no prior roasting experience. Tuesday when it arrived I performed 2 roasts with the Papua New Guinea - Kimel Plantation beans. I thought I'd try something simple I saw on the list this past week to start out - a program of 4 minutes at the 350 degrees setting + 4 minutes of 400 setting. I stopped the roast at about 7 1/2 minutes though at the first hint of the toasty smell turning to a burnt smell. When I was roasting, I was thinking I was getting a light city or city roast, but now looking at the beans and the pictures on sweetmarias.com I'm thinking it was probably a full city. The second roast I did with the idea of getting a full city or full city+ roast. This roast was 4 minutes at the 350 degrees setting and 4 1/2 minutes at the 400 degrees setting. I stopped this roast as soon as I saw the first appearances of oil on the outside of the beans and now realize that I was probably into vienna before I stopped it. I was listening and watching pretty close for signs of second crack, and thought I might have heard it, but wasn't sure if maybe it was just the beans hitting the glass sides of the roaster. I assume second crack happened though (whether it was when I thought it was or not) because little chunks appear to have cracked off many of the beans. It took me several tries to get the coffee/water proportions right for my french press too, but it seems 3 level tablesponns per 16oz water worked pretty well for me. The first batch was bright and fruity, so much that it actually startled me at first. The overpowering tastes in the cup were really unlike any other coffee I'd ever had, and I liked it. The second batch I think I will ultimately call a loss because it mostly tastes burnt and all the unique "origin character" as Tom calls it, is certainly gone. So, per the subject of this post I have a couple questions... First off, I think I learned that if I want a light city roast I need to stop roasting right after first crack. First crack seemed to start at about 5 1/2 minutes into the roast with the settings I described above, so maybe a 6 minute total roasting time for light city? Of the beans I have: Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu - El Conquistador India Matadakad Estate Peaberry Guatemala Acatenango Cooperative Ethiopian Wet-Processed Sidamo Ethiopian Dry-Processed Ghimbi Papua New Guinea - Kimel Plantation Columbia Narino - Carocol del Abuelo Would any of those beans work well with the darker roast program I used above? Or is that always going to be too dark a roast for any bean generally? I notice the i-Roast 2 manual comes with two presets for a light and dark r= oast. light: 385 - 3 minutes 425 - 4 minutes 455 - 2 minutes dark: 455 - 6 minutes 400 - 4 minutes 435 - 1 1/2 minutes The first interesting thing I see here is that the light roast seems hotter and longer than my light roast program above that turned out to be a full city roast. Is that because of the kind of beans I used? Since my 8 1/2 minute roast seemed to burn my beans pretty good, I can't imagine using this dark roast program ever! The second interesting thing I see here is that the dark roast program is hot, then cooler, then hotter again. I wonder if someone could help me understand what benefit there is from doing something other than a roast that gets consistently hotter until it's done? Lastly, since the visual and audible clues to second crack apparently eluded me, are there any fragrance changes that accompany second crack I might be wary of? If other i-Roast users were interested in sharing programs that might go well with the other beans I listed above, I would appreciate that too. Thanks for sticking with this post through all my ramblings, and happy roasting :-) Aaron
first off welcome to the obsession, and be prepared to hand over you previous life. Search the homeroast list archives in the forums at SM's website there is lots of good sharing of info, i also made the jump to an iRoast2 a few week= s back and i love it, it really makes good coffee i am sort of `lazy, but i used the pre2 setting for the ethiopian Ghambi dr= y process and stopped it as it entered full city plus, and it was awesome ver= y full bodied and chocolaty but it has alot of chafff so you motor may cycle = a bit funny in the last roast cycle. have fun experimenting. On 3/2/06, Aaron Peterson wrote: <Snip> -- "Good night, and Good Coffee"
Aaron: I'm in the same boat as you. Total newbie just getting started. I've blown through my 2 lbs of samples and am now just getting started on my first order of Guatemalan and Salvadoran beans. So far I've just been running the preset 1 setting in the iRoast and have been finding that I reach the first crack with about 3:30 to go showing on the countdown timer. I checked my household voltage and it is 123 volts so perhaps my machine is running a bit hotter than normal. Because that seemed pretty fast. I reached what I'd call a french roast with about 2:50 to go on the clock. So far I have been able to easily hear the first crack but I've been uncertain about reaching the second crack and burnt one batch to a crisp waiting for it. I have an old jar of beans from Costco that I hold up to the iRoast to get close to the same color and then hit the cool button when I think I'm there. From the color charts I think I'm getting a Full City +. I'm stopping the roast when I feel the first crack is completely over. The Guatemala Antigua, Honduras Organic, and Papua New Guinea Kimmel have come out absolutely fabulous. The Indonesian coffees have been too earthy for my taste. The Kenyans have been so acidic as to be nearly undrinkable but I think I roasted them too light. I don't have answers to any of your questions but just wanted you to know that there are others here who are just getting started in this too. -Kent- Aaron Peterson wrote: <Snip> -- No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Free Edition. Version: 7.1.375 / Virus Database: 268.1.1/272 - Release Date: 3/1/2006
For the newer iRoast folks, I have the email message from the past couple of months from different folks trying different profiles and their results with the iRoast2. Email me off list if you'd like me to forward them to you. Don't want to waste everyone's inbox with reposts. Email: sctoroaster -- Brent Roasting in an SC/TO & i'Roast2
On 3/2/06, Aaron Peterson wrote: <Snip> The Sidamo would probably be a good darker roast. I have a sampler bag of that as well which I am considering giving a good Vienna. The bag also has recommended roasts which can sometimes be helpful. Then again, I've not ye= t been brave enough to roast something Full City+ which was recommended City. This morning I tasted some Sumatra TimTim Blangili Longberry at a Vienna an= d maybe French Roast.. It retained a sortof dark honey sweetness, but it had a sortof mediciny aftertaste... Not sure I liked it all that much. Still, it was alot better than some of the things I've seen in stores being sold a= s French Roast. These beans were a very shiny dark brown, but not almost black. -- Steven Hay hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Hey fellow iroasters, A couple of tips off the top of my head: -I have never heard 1st crack. Only second. (did play with the amp at 11 a lot) -no matter what you program the machine will roast at 350' for the 1st 3 min. -Forget the presets. -external temp plays a big role. (I roast at night, outside, where the temp is 55-65) -I am really liking the 4:00, 6:00 right now. (this will get too hot-for a controlled roast- inside my house where the room temp is 75-78) Stop the roast at 1st sound of a crack (which is 2nd crack) This is a nice full city. I have found with the machine that a few of the beans will enter 2nd crack b4 others are near that spot. -It is also easy to under roast if the beans are not roasting evenly. You think you are at second crack/full city+ - at drinking time it is all baked bread and unfermented beer. (was a brewer at one time). -It doesn't have to be dark and oily to taste dark and roasty. -I roasted 110g batches when I first started. Less to drink if you make mistake. You get 4 roasts from a lb of green. More chances to get better at it. -get a digital scale that you can tare. -Try all the beans you can get your hands on. They are all different and in my opinion great (from SM). Try different roasts. -I remember the first couple of cups I was in shock. Completely different, unbelievable. It was sweet and roasty without the bitter. Threw away the cream and sugar and have never looked back. Millstone, I never knew thee. Happy caramelizing, Tom Brent - SC/TO Roasting wrote: For the newer iRoast folks, I have the email message from the past couple of months from different folks trying different profiles and their results with the iRoast2. Email me off list if you'd like me to forward them to you. Don't want to waste everyone's inbox with reposts. Email: sctoroaster -- Brent Roasting in an SC/TO & i'Roast2--------------------------------- Yahoo! Mail Use Photomail to share photos without annoying attachments.
hmm, seems strange that you never hear first crack. I hear that one consistently, and I'm pretty sure it's first not second because the beans have only just gone from green to tan. Perhaps I'll try roasting outside, but I seem to be doing fine putting the roaster on my stovetop and turning on the overhead stove fan. Perhaps I will try roasting less beans at a time too. I have read that changes how quickly the roast happens, and hate to change too many variables at a time while I'm figuring out this new gadget. Yeah, I do need a scale... I've just been using a measuring cup. I've also just ordered a thermometer so I can know what the temperature is with some objective certainty. I hate to relying on the temperature settings or the current temp indicated by the iRoast itself since both of those have been shown to be fairly inaccurate. I ordered the 4 lb sampler with my iRoast (8 different kinds of bean) and plan to experiment with those. I get 2 roasts out of each 1/2 lb bag, so I'm trying to do 2 different roasts with each kind of bean. I've also ordered at least 2 lb bags of the following: Brazil Cerrado 1st Place -Faz. Cruz Branca Kenya Auction Lot #54 Peaberry Sulawesi Toraja Grade 1 Sulawesi Toraja WP Decaf So I'll be experimenting with those soon too. I roasted the Ethiopian Sidamo - Wet Processed last night. I was trying to get a good dark roast but before the dark-oily stage but I'm so paranoid about over roasting my beans now that I didn't quite get as far as I wanted. I used preset2 on the iRoast, but stopped it early... probably too early :-) Anyway, I'll taste it tonight and see how it turned out :-) Thanks so much for everyone's insights and suggestions. It's much more fun to do these experiments with some other interested folks than all by myself... Aaron On 3/2/06, Coffee Kid wrote: <Snip> a <Snip> mp <Snip> ce <Snip> ter <Snip> u <Snip> ed <Snip> r <Snip> in <Snip> t, <Snip> e <Snip> . <Snip>
On 3/3/06, Aaron Peterson wrote: <Snip> Check these folks out:http://www.rightonscales.com/web/my-weigh/Safe Journeys and Sweet Music Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)http://www.justinandlinda.com
On 3/3/06, Justin Marquez wrote: <Snip> Better yet, check these folks out. Our hosts. www.sweetmarias.com
Tom sells a very nice scale, a Salter 3001, at a very reasonable price. The same scale costs $50 at Bed Bath and Beyond.http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.roastkits.shtmlBrian On 3/3/06, Justin Marquez wrote: <Snip>
On 3/3/06, Jim Anderson wrote: <Snip> Wow - That Salter is a fine scale. I didn't realize he was selling scales. Safe Journeys and Sweet Music Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)http://www.justinandlinda.com
Yup, easy to do. The Ethiopians will fool you. The Arabia beans will also do that. They get dark on the outside but still light on the inside. Slow the roast down and get a bit in to 2nd crack. Aaron Peterson wrote: I roasted the Ethiopian Sidamo - Wet Processed last night. I was trying to get a good dark roast but before the dark-oily stage but I'm so paranoid about over roasting my beans now that I didn't quite get as far as I wanted. I used preset2 on the iRoast, but stopped it early... probably too early :-) --------------------------------- Brings words and photos together (easily) with PhotoMail - it's free and works with Yahoo! Mail.
Perhaps years of playing my guitar at 11 has something to do with that. Tom "whats that" W. Aaron Peterson wrote: hmm, seems strange that you never hear first crack. I hear that one consistently, and I'm pretty sure it's first not second because the beans have only just gone from green to tan. --------------------------------- Yahoo! Mail Bring photos to life! New PhotoMail makes sharing a breeze.