HomeRoast Digest

Topic: My First Roast & iRoast2 Preliminary Review!!! (7 msgs / 159 lines)
1) From: Jeremy DeFranco
     Despite the fact I have a test on Friday, and I originally planned to
hold off my first roasts until the weekend (when my 2nd iRoast2 will arrive=
to ensure consistant back-to-back roasting sessions), I just could not wait
anymore. After over a week and a half of pouring through SM's roasting tips
and instructions, inhaling portions of Kenneth David's Home Coffee Roasting
book, and spending hours creating a roast log I felt I could be somewhat
proud of, I decided to open up the box that would lead me to a whole new
world. I released the iRoast 2 from its cage, not knowing yet what to
expect, but yet hoping for the very best. The iRoast2 has many critics, but
I was hoping to prove them wrong (I dropped a good chunk of change on these
badboys!). Then came the following questions to my mind, "Would I be able t=
hear 1st crack? Will I recognize 2nd crack before losing the beans to a
burnt coffee bean graveyard?" These, my friends, are all questions I assume
all beginning home roasters have wrestled with- questions, when met with
reality, and when properly dealt with after the fact, ultimately prove to b=
major developmental milestones in any coffee roaster's lifetime.
     I'll have to say about my first look at the iRoast2 out of the box- I
was impressed! Very durable, not cheap or delicate by any means! Anyway, I
pulled out the sample bag of SM's Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu- El Conquestador,
measured out 150g, and placed them into the roasting chamber. I followed th=
Island roast profile provided by SM's that came with the iRoast2, but
extended it slightly, as I read on the SM's website that CRDT-EC is best
roasted to full city or full city +. (My roast profile was the following:
350/3min; 400/3 min; 450/5min)
     I was ready to go! I hit the Roast button, and took a seat in front of
this beautiful peice of machinery. What an amazing transformation to watch!
I sat patiently for 6 and a half minutes wandering whether I would be able
to distinguish first crack. And then: a "pop, pop...pop...." sound that
began building in speed and intensity! First crack- Nice, I can hear it lou=
and clear! I wrote this down on my roast log, and braced myself for the
beginnings of 2nd crack. Then, 2 and a half minutes later, the beginnings o=
2nd crack became audible. A bit different in sound and intensity than 1st
crack, but nonetheless very easy to hear, and distinguish. I let the roast
continue about 30 more seconds through the beginnings of 2nd crack, and the=
I hit the COOL button (total roast time ended up being 9:30). The roast was
officially over, all I could do at that point was wait...
     When the cooling cycle ended, I dumped the beans into a colander- to m=
surprise cool to the touch already! the cooling cycle, although I'm sure
could have been faster, was extremely efficient (I also determined this by
placing my hand over the vent during the cooling cycle, and noticing a
dramatic decrease in exaust air temp over a short period of time). The bean=
went into my coffee canister, while I cleaned the machine (very, very easy
to do- looks like the cleaning brush provided will fare well after each
roast, with soaking in soapy water only necessary after multiple roasts- by
the way many of the cleanable parts are dishwasher safe- another testament
to the durability of the iRoast2!)
     Well, of course I couldn't wait to try out the final cup, eventhough I
know it's best to rest the beans first. I won't even try to use words to
describe the experience I was yeilded via my chemex brew of the resultant
beans! Certainly the most deliciously complex coffee I've ever tasted. I'll
have to leave it at that to prevent trying to describe something words can
not begin to describe.
     I will have to say that this first roast was a religious experience fo=
me. It has passed the test of proving to be a major life-changing event, an
event that I beleive has ingrained itself into my mind for as long as my
mind will exist. I look forward to roasting the rest of my life. I am very
pleased with the iRoast2. I do plan to eventually try all kinds of home
roasters in the future, but for now this is Air Roasing, and it's pretty
damn great! Happy Roasting everyone! I got to go study for this test so I
don't fail out of medical school!

2) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Congratulations, Jeremy.  Welcome to homeroasting.
Great writing.  Reminded me of my first roast.
And, at least, you chose a hobby that will help keep you awake during
long nights of studying and/or long exams!  :)
Roasting in an SC/TO & i'Roast2

3) From: Peter Zulkowski
Congratulations on your first success!
We have seen the enemy....
Still loving roasting, here in LHC, AZ.
Jeremy DeFranco wrote:

4) From: Craig Turner
As a brand new member of this list (just joined up less than 24 hours  
ago), I want to thank you for a timely, enthusiastic and revealing  
note! The iRoast2 is the model I am thinking of starting out with and  
sometimes, within all the caveats and varieties of experiences with  
any roaster device, it is easy to hesitate about starting out and  
just doing it.
Your description of First and Second Cracks help me visualize (and  
audibilize) what I might expect.
Now I just have to convince my wife that it will all be worth it. : )
Craig Turner
On Mar 28, 2006, at 3:16 PM, Jeremy DeFranco wrote:

5) From: Woody DeCasere
Craig do you need some fresh roasted coffee to convince her, i think i coul=
part with a pound if it would help.
On 3/28/06, Craig Turner  wrote:
"Good night, and Good Coffee"

6) From: David Echelbarger
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Jeremy, welcome to a wonderful world.  Glad your first experience was so
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Jeremy DeFranco
Sent: Tuesday, March 28, 2006 3:16 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: +My First Roast & iRoast2 Preliminary Review!!!

7) From: Jeremy DeFranco
Thanks everyone for the feedback, and the congrats! I've actually managed t=
roast the rest of the original batch between studying- amazing! Wasn't a
problem keeping consistancy either. Craig, I hope things work out on the
home front- I'm happy I inspired you some. Back to studdies for me. See ya!

HomeRoast Digest