HomeRoast Digest


Topic: getting started part deux (11 msgs / 548 lines)
1) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
Thank you all for your replies. 
Ok I am planning on getting some coffee from SM I should have clarified
that I was planning on that I am just worried about having a learning
curve that would have ruined most of the coffee I get first time around.
Now my question would be are some coffees easier to roast over others?
Also
Since I have never had "fresh" roasted coffee I am really clueless as to
what I will like fresh. Normally I enjoy the Ethiopian/Kenya and some
African blends I have found that Asian are rather spicy and
Central/South American have a "dirty/earth" taste not sure if I am
describing that correctly.  Any insight? Does the fresh roasting change
the taste that dramatically that a coffee that I have in the past I
don't like I will now appreciate? I know this is a subjective thing but
any help would be appreciated!
My Popper will be what ever I can locate that matches the description I
have seen with the vents on the side. 
I have a metal colander one with holes and one with a screen I figure
starting out in the holey one and moving to the screen and back to the
holes and so on
It looks like I should time to 5 min or so for my first batch and gauge
from there... this leads me to my next question (I know so many
questions)
How can I tell if I got it right close or wrong with out waiting until
the nest day when I can brew it? 
If I do pull it early can you put it back in to roast it more or is that
a no-no?
NEXT question....
I have a Cuisinart grind and brew coffee maker, a Bodum French press and
a Starbucks Barista espresso maker and a Cuisinart grinder (yea I'm in
the navy and drink LOTS of coffee) what should I use to test my coffee? 
Thanks for all your help!
Dennis
R/
FC1(SW) Dennis W. True
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)
CS-5 DSPO
CS Dept CC
CS Dept TRANO
Duty Sec 1 CS E6 S/L
CS Dept Mentorship Coordinator
"Life Liberty and the pursuit of all who threaten it..."

2) From: Brett Mason
Hi Dennis,
You can roast, cool and brew immediately.  Many of us do, at least an
initial pot.  You'll know it's good right away.  Franlky any bean, roasted
any way at all in a popper, will out-perform any bean bought in a coffee
shop.  You'll start out with a great improvement in loving coffee, and then
slowly move up from that point.
First roast - stay with the popper, do it by color and sound, not time.
You'll see lots of chaff blowing off the beans, and hte colors change from
green to yellow to tan to cinnamon to dark brown to black to gloss black to
charcoal - stop before black.
Your cooling method sounds fine - we all did something like that for many
months as we were getting going.
Roasting is easy, and you'll find superior coffee immediately.
After a number of roasts, the memory goes, and the reminiscing for "that one
perfect cup" starts to tweak one's brain.  You start thinking of how to help
perfect the roast.  Gadgets can help like thermometers, variacs, timing,
logging the roasts, profiling the temperature curves - there's a lot of room
for the gadgeteer or scientist to work it.  There's a lot of room for the
artisan or craftsman to hone technique.  This includes slowing down the
roast between first and second crack to help develop the nuance flavors in
the bean...
Don't worry about botching a roast.  We've all done it, most have a few
times.  My first round with my homemade drum proved the latch was flimsy -
to prove the point my drum dumped 3lb of beans into the flames, making a $16
BBQ Fire - and I had no meat ready to grill...  That one hurt.  I've only
done that on two other occasions... We've also had great roasts, and
hundreds of very good roasts.  And then, one or two perfect roasts...
Alas the Gremlin of the Perfect Cup has attacked my brain, and I return to
the fire, chasing the gremlin again.
It's worth it,
Brett
On 7/25/06, True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
HomeRoast
   Zassman

3) From: Lissa
on 07/25/2006 09:14 AM True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69) said the following:
<Snip>
Yes. I think the Papua New Guineas and Timors are more forgiving than 
many of the others. You can get an idea by reading Tom's reviews, too.
Having said that, when you miss a roast, most of the time, it means you 
miss the special tastes, and is still more drinkable than 99% of the 
coffee out there. In the 9 or more years I've been roasting, I've only 
ruined 2 roasts so badly I couldn't drink them.
<Snip>
It is possible the freshness will change what you like. For one thing, 
fresh is just better. For another, not only does, say, an Ethiopian 
Yergacheff vary greatly from year to year, it also varies greatly from 
batch to batch, which is why Tom doesn't buy based on name, but rather 
on tasting.
If you like the Africans, you might start with a few of them, or with a 
sampler pack.
<Snip>
That works. I did it for years, before I got lazy and got a super turbo 
desk fan, taped up a cardboard collar and put my colendar into that. 
Then stir.
<Snip>
No. Don't time. Go by smell. Use the cracks as a backup. If you want to 
note times, go ahead (I never have). But, if you roast by time, you 
won't be taking the variations in the beans into account. Also, you 
haven't figured out how your house's electricity is yet. If you are in 
an old house, it might take a little longer.
<Snip>
When the beans are cool, grind and brew. If you grind the beans while 
they are still warm, they'll gum up your grinder. They won't be as good 
as they would be the next day (usually - I've had coffees that were only 
good for the first 12 or 24 hours a couple times). If you want to be 
really engineerish, every 6 hours, grind and brew again.
The 24-36 hours is a guideline. It isn't true for all coffees, and you 
won't turn purple if you drink a coffee a bit early.
<Snip>
I've done it a few times, but not after cooling. It seems to have a bad 
effect on the taste.
<Snip>
Whatever you use the most, and can be most consistent with. Although, 
espresso is a completely different can of worms.
You might want to consider a Swiss Gold one cup. They are portable, 
simple, and make it very easy to make one cup for testing.
Be well,
Lissa
-- 
History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people
maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of
ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always
avail themselves for their own purposes.
Thomas Jefferson

4) From: Ken Mary
<Snip>
Not necessarily any easier but more predictable are most Colombians and
Guatemalans. Actually any coffee from SM's except most dry processed should
give you easy learning and have a decent range of acceptable taste if you do
not get it right.
<Snip>
IMO Centrals and most South Americans are quite clean, far from the dirty
taste you describe, except maybe some dp Brazils. Most likely you have been
drinking mediocre coffee at the "wrong" roast level.
<Snip>
Check around the thrift shops for bargains. With poppers, you should use
sight and sound as your indicators. Timing is very important, forget
temperature measurement. Let the first roast continue until you see divots
flying out of the popper, that is probably the darkest one should need to
roast. Write down everything you see and hear with the times of occurrence.
<Snip>
Despite what most others will tell you, a good roast will be good to drink
as soon as the beans cool. Allowing 2 to 4 days rest will improve the flavor
and body of most coffees to some degree.
--

5) From: Eddie Dove
Sir,
I have been roasting coffee for about a month, so I
hope my limited amount of input will help.  One
important thing to remember is that along the way you
will change things to suit your personal taste
preferences.
<Snip>
As long as you don't set it on fire, You won't do as
bad a job as you think and you may not ruin any at
all; you may find room for improvement, though.  The
first batches I roasted were in a popcorn popper.  I
was not crazy about the finished product, but it was
more the coffee origin that was not my preference and
less the manner / degree of roast.  In my personal
experience, I found that it is best to learn on the
best coffee available, Sweet Maria's, so that you can
rule out quality of the beans as a variable.  Don't
give up, use each and every batch as a reference for
the next.
<Snip>
All I can say thus far is that some do roast
differently than others.
<Snip>
This past weekend I got a Popcorn Popper from
Walgreens, roasted six consecutive 1/2 cup batches and
it did just fine.  It was a their own Kitchen Gourmet
brand and cost $9.99.  I believe there are five of
these stores in the Norfolk area.
<Snip>
For cooling, I use a perforated, flat, aluminum pizza
pan (Wearever Cushionaire, 15.75") on the back side of
a fan that can tilt and lay flat.  When I turn the fan
on, the airflow holds the pizza pan tight to the back
of the fan.  When I dump the beans on the pizza pan
and shake them flat, the beans are cool to the touch
in seconds.
<Snip>
I am an impatient person.  However, I have already
learned that I like coffee far better when it has had
sufficient rest.  I recently roasted a 1/2 lb of Sweet
Maria's Ethiopian FTO Yirgacheffe Dry Process (got it
in the sampler pack) and brewed it when it was into
its fourth day of rest in an air tight container with
a degassing valve.  This was by far the best coffee I
have ever had!  This really boosted my confidence ...
and I ordered more of this coffee.
<Snip>
Whatever you prefer, but CLEAN IT AND KEEP IT CLEAN! 
This is vitally important!
I hope this helps ...
Thank you for serving our country.
Respectfully,
Eddie Dove
<Snip>http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>">http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast<Snip>http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
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6) From: Michael Wascher
I found one at a Walgreens around Christmas. A $9.99 popper with side vents.
It looked a lot like my Poppery 2 & had similar specs. I gave it & some
green beans to a friend, but she has yet to try it out, so I can't tell you
how well it works.
On 7/25/06, Ken Mary  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we
don't know." --  Ambrose Bierce

7) From: Jason D. Montgomery
<Snip>
and
<Snip>
coffee?
 
I love to try freshly roasted coffee out in my bodum french =
press...here's a link from the SM's site for tips I found helpful for =
brewing in the french press:http://www.sweetmarias.com/brewinstr.frenchpress.html=
 
 
later,
jason
From: homeroast-admin on behalf of True, Dennis W. =
FC1 (CVN69)
Sent: Tue 7/25/2006 9:14 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: +RE: getting started part deux
Thank you all for your replies.
Ok I am planning on getting some coffee from SM I should have clarified
that I was planning on that I am just worried about having a learning
curve that would have ruined most of the coffee I get first time around.
Now my question would be are some coffees easier to roast over others?
Also
Since I have never had "fresh" roasted coffee I am really clueless as to
what I will like fresh. Normally I enjoy the Ethiopian/Kenya and some
African blends I have found that Asian are rather spicy and
Central/South American have a "dirty/earth" taste not sure if I am
describing that correctly.  Any insight? Does the fresh roasting change
the taste that dramatically that a coffee that I have in the past I
don't like I will now appreciate? I know this is a subjective thing but
any help would be appreciated!
My Popper will be what ever I can locate that matches the description I
have seen with the vents on the side.
I have a metal colander one with holes and one with a screen I figure
starting out in the holey one and moving to the screen and back to the
holes and so on
It looks like I should time to 5 min or so for my first batch and gauge
from there... this leads me to my next question (I know so many
questions)
How can I tell if I got it right close or wrong with out waiting until
the nest day when I can brew it?
If I do pull it early can you put it back in to roast it more or is that
a no-no?
NEXT question....
I have a Cuisinart grind and brew coffee maker, a Bodum French press and
a Starbucks Barista espresso maker and a Cuisinart grinder (yea I'm in
the navy and drink LOTS of coffee) what should I use to test my coffee?
Thanks for all your help!
Dennis
R/
FC1(SW) Dennis W. True
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)
CS-5 DSPO
CS Dept CC
CS Dept TRANO
Duty Sec 1 CS E6 S/L
CS Dept Mentorship Coordinator
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8) From: Michael Dhabolt
Dennis,
All the popper information so far is good and following it will
provide you with a functional roaster.  While you are hunting for
poppers keep in mind that sooner or later you'll run into a Poppery
(original) by West Bend.  This model hasn't been produced for better
than 25 years.  It can be the basis for a superb roaster (along with
another long out of production unit called the 'Pumper' (again
original)).  Don't confuse either of these with later units with
similar names.  These poppers were produced with cast roast chambers
and 120 volt fan motors and are virtually indestructable.  The
possible modifications for roaster use are endless and can result in
total roast control.  You will occasionally run into them at thrift
stores and garage sales and are attracting serious bidding on EBay.
After you have seen one, you won't confuse it with other poppers.  To
give you an initial comparison, look at picture # P1 1-2 in this
thread:http://homeroasters.org/php/forum/viewthread.php?forum_id2&thread_id'0Mike (just plain)

9) From: Michael Dhabolt
Dennis,
Another thought re: the Poppery.  It would result in the kind of geeky
project that a Fire Control Tech (even an airdale type) would enjoy.
Mike (just plain)

10) From: Jerry Procopio
Dennis,
Order your sampler pack from SM.  It's just what it implies - a sampler 
pack.  It will have some fine coffees from different regions and you 
will be able to decide what you really like once you taste fresh 
homeroasted.  When you get in port, give me a call and I will help you 
get started.  I live in Chesapeake and have all the "essentials".  I 
have several poppers, an iRoast1, HG/DB and an RK Drum.  I'll send you 
my contact info offlist.
Welcome to this crazy adventure!
JavaJerry, ACCM USN(ret)
RK Drum roasting in Chesapeake, VA
True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69) wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: Justin Marquez
On 7/25/06, Michael Wascher  wrote:
<Snip>
I bought one of those a while back just to play with.  It was the
Kitchen Gourmet brand.  It worked well, roasted 80 gr. pretty fast (in
about 4 min as I recall).  A long ext cord and/or a slightly smaller
batch would've extended the roast time a little.
The unit is noisy enough that one must listen closely to catch the
SHORT gap between first and second cracks.  Extending the roast as
mentioned would help that some..
It would not be a bad unit with which to begin the homeroasting journey.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)


HomeRoast Digest