HomeRoast Digest

Topic: no first but second (14 msgs / 345 lines)
1) From: Aaron
I have a question.
I was playing with my roaster today and oh man, I vienna'd the tar 
(almost literally) of a batch.
I did not hear any first crack from it, didn't see the customary smoke 
that tells you are in the 'crack zone'... yet finally did hear snaps and 
seen the smoke... figured it was first crack hitting. ...WRONG... it was 
second,  a few minutes into it I finally dumped the roast... umm ouch, 
black as hell...  happened right about 22 minutes..
any idea what I did wrong... did I heat them up too slow and cook in 
stead of crack or did I heat it up too fast and raced them into second 
without a chance at first, if thats possible.....  I was roasting only 
half a pound this time so that might have something to do with it too.
any ideas, suggestions,... please share....  this was definately strange 

2) From: M. McCandless
I've noticed the same on some roasts.
I shoot for 350F @ 5:30 - 6:00.
Some types don't put out a very dramatic crack.
If I let the temp sit at 350F for much more than 6 mins,
the water is baked out & little or no 1st crack.
Too fast makes for a wild 1st crack.
Could even run into the 2nd.
Hope this is helps.
At 12:10 AM 5/1/2006 -0400, you wrote:

3) From: David Yeager
 >At 12:10 AM 5/1/2006 -0400, Aaron wrote:
 >>I did not hear any first crack from it, ... yet finally did hear
 >snaps and seen the smoke... figured it was first crack hitting.
 >...WRONG... it was second,
Others can comment on the roasting profile, but some beans just have 
a very soft first crack.  I currently have a Sumatra that is like this.
David Y

4) From: dsobcz716
First crack comes from water/steam expansion.  Second comes from physical cellular breakdown. 
I've seen this too.  It happens in two instances, older beans because the moisture content naturally reduces over time, and with a slow ramp up of temperature.  I general I think you want to increase you heat up time so that you get a distinct first crack.  With normal fresh beans, no first crack means you are risking baked beans.   How much faster depends on what bean you are roasting.  Go to slow with a kenya, and you kill a lot of the brightness.  Go to fast and your city roasts for some beans may have a "grassy" quality. 
As for the old beans issue, there was some experimenting on the list awhile back where people were re-hydrating old beans.  For example, say you lost 4% moisture over time, add 4 ml of water to 96 grams of beans, the beans soaked up the water like a sponge and once they dried, were close to 100 grams.  I remember that it made a profound difference in 1st crack.  I don't remember if it actually affected cup quality.

5) From: Aaron
Thanks for the replies, especially dave.  Yes these were older beans, a 
good year old to be honest.  The ones that hit the bottom of the roaster 
did 'crack' at first crack but then again they were very close to the 
heating element as well.
The thing that threw me the most probably was the lack of observed smoke 
as they went through first crack.  Normally that produces some smoke no?
They did smoke a ton at second.. wow.

6) From: Scot Murphy
On |May 1, at 10:52 AM|May 1, dsobcz716 wrote:
I've been having some issues with a "missing" first crack.  Many  
times, first crack is soft or sparse, unlike the popcorn-like crack I  
got when I roasted with a Poppery. I am using a SC/TO, and I add the  
beans when the air temp has reached 300. The temp usually dips down  
to around 240 t0 250 once I have added the beans, and then it takes  
around four minutes or so to get up around 400, maybe five to six  
minutes for 450. Now, what I had tried at first was adding the beans  
once the temp got to 400, but I ended up with baked-tasting beans.  
(By the way, these temps are air temps only. The probe doesn't touch  
the beans because the bottom of the SC is still hooked up.)
Here's what I am wondering: I could add the beans at a lower temp,  
say around 200. Any guesses as to whether that would improve first  
crack and ease the bakey flavor I get with my beans? Also, I have  
gotten a second SC and disconnected the heater, but I am not through  
modding it. (It needs something to cap the ends of the rod. I tried  
3/32" nuts, but they scrape on the bottom. I'm going to Menard's  
today to see if I can find anything tubelike to slip over the ends.)  
It's possible that removing the bottom heat source will improve my  
first crack, but I won't know that for at least a couple of days.
Any suggestions? Lower heat? Disconnected SC? Anyone? Bueller?
Scot "better beans through aging technology" Murphy
"To think contrary to one's era is heroism. But to speak against it  
is madness."
         --Eugene Ionesco

7) From: Scott Miller
Scot Murphy wrote:
Hmm Scot. That has me thinking. I am going to do at least 2 roasts on 
Wednesday and will try a couple different starting air temps and keep 
the resulting roasts separate to see if there's a noticeable difference.
As far as caps for the ends ... is that the SC stirring arm? I bought 
aluminum spacers. I think they are called "slip on clamps at True Value. 
They do just miss touching the teflon coating of the SC. Between gently 
adjusting the angle of the stirring rod and using pliers to shape the 
slip on clamps, it took a couple attempts to get things working properly.

8) From: Scot Murphy
On |May 1, at 6:47 PM|May 1, Scott Miller wrote:
I found something that may well work for the end of the SC stirring  
arm. At least, if they don't I  can remove them, I hope. I bought  
some nail anchors--the nails that come with a sleeve for embedding  
in, I think, concrete. The sleeves are a little wide, but I stuck  
them on with silicone sealer (which I used in the previous SC). The  
stirring rod doesn't quite fit right on the center now because of the  
width of the rollers I am using, but I put a copper cap over it full  
of silicone and that should keep the thing down and stuck. (I do  
things like this because I am too impatient.) If it doesn't work out,  
I'll scrape the things off and give it another try, but it seems like  
a make-work that will work.
Oh, and I tried to use a pliers to clamp the sleeve on, but it  
doesn't seem to want to squish. Silicone to the rescue!
Scot "new vistas in sticky stuff" Murphy
"The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and  
usually idiotic.  He is, more likely, one who likes his country more  
than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us  
when he sees it debauched.  He is not a bad citizen turning to crime;  
he is a good citizen driven to despair."
	-- H.L. Mencken

9) From: Tom Bellhouse

10) From: Scot Murphy
On |May 1, at 8:33 PM|May 1, Tom Bellhouse wrote:
I am trying to think of what you mean, but the only picture coming to  
mind is of those plastic cones you put on the end of an exposed wire.  
Do you have a picture anywhere?
Scot "not exactly technically proficient" Murphy
"The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedoms."

11) From: Scot Murphy
On |May 1, at 8:41 PM|May 1, Scot Murphy wrote:
Never mind. Google Images works wonders.
Scot "occasionally smart" Murphy
"A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start  
down the path either to dictatorship of the right or the left. "

12) From: Scott Miller
Scot Murphy wrote:
DOH! why didn't I just send you a link?
I am using aluminum "thingees" like this.

13) From: raymanowen
These things are called "Uninsulated Butt Splices." Someone mentioned the
wire nuts. Not!
The butt splices are staked in the middle so they can't slip too far onto
either wire and barely- or not catch the second wire.
The Stir Crazy stirring arm wire is 0.093" dia.
You could use 10 Gauge butt splices and drill out the stakes with a 3/32
inch drill. That will let them slide on the stirring arms with 0.0007 inch
clearance. But they're tinned! Yecch, I think.
All of the above is too much like work. Take the stirring arm to the
hardware store and ask for some copper gas line tubing that will fit over
it. 1/4 inch copper tubing will rattle, with an ID of about 0.180 inch,
almost 2X the stirring arm diameter. The OD is the 1/4 inch spec.
See what the helpful hardware store has in stock. I don't know if there is
any such thing as 3/16 inch copper tubing.
How about steel gas line or brake line at the auto parts store? You were
going to crimp it, right? 10WR Vice-Grips might do it if you use the wire
cutters at the bottom of the jaws. Adjust it so it can't close up enough to
cut through- just crimp the tube.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
Wichita WurliTzer- 1976

14) From: Ed Needham
You posted this just so you could say 'butt splices' and 'wire nuts' in the 
same sentence, didn't you (g).
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)

HomeRoast Digest