HomeRoast Digest

Topic: ok roasted my first batch (20 msgs / 471 lines)
1) From: Dennis & Marjorie True
Now the real questions start!!!
My first batch was Ethiopian Yager
roasting in a popper (boy those beans jump around)
I found First crack then right at the end of that I got SMOKE!!!! I got 
scared  and stopped it  then  but looking at the roast  it seems that I 
stopped too soon.
So now I need some guidance on when to pull the beans off the heat.
any advice?
Dennis True

2) From: Tom Ogren
Smoke good! Fire bad! Smoke is just part of coffee roasting. Get your face
down in that smoke and enjoy! Did you mean Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (pronounced
"Yirg-uh-CHEF-ee")? If so, good choice. Actually my first roast (about five
months ago) was an Ethiopian Yirg greens I got from the local roasting
company here in town. Since I'm relatively new also, the memories of my
first mistakes are fairly fresh in mind. Just to give yourself a reference
point and to get a sense of how it sounds and smells, I would recommend
letting your roast go well into a rolling second crack (you'll know it when
you hear it...remember, it sounds like rice crispies...) Once you take it
this far you can back of to lighter roasts until you start to taste a
grainy, grassy cereal flavor, at which point you'll know you've gone a bit
too light. Remember that the ability to slow the temperature rise, and to
lengthen the time between first and second crack, will let you roast lighter
without those undesireable grainy flavors. Temperature control is not really
possible of course with an unmodified popper (or without a variac) and I
have found that I need to hit second crack on almost all the coffees I've
tried so far (twenty+ varieties) in order to get rid of that grainy flavor
completely. Welcome home Dennis and thanks for your service. Williamsburg
says howdy!
TO in VA
On 8/4/06, Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:

3) From: Dennis & Marjorie True
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Ok I was wondering about the smoke scared the Heck outta the wife she 
thought I was going to burn the house down and I am now banished to the 
garage for my roasting as the kitchen still has a bit of aroma...
Yes my first choice to roast was the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe I have had 
some before from Starbucks and I liked it alot  so I thought that it 
would be a good choice to sart wiht my coffee if a bit grassy is still 
very good 24 hours after roasting.
so to slow the first to second crack is there a school of thought about 
stopping the popper/roaster for like 10-30 seconds right after FC to 
slow it down?
any thoughts?
Thanks for the support Tom!!!!!
Tom Ogren wrote:

4) From: Eddie Dove
I completely agree with everything with everything Tom
wrote.  Learn to love that smoke ... with it comes
some  of the most incredible aromas.  I roast in the
kitchen under the range hood ... I think my wife is
learning to enjoy the aromas.
BTW, my father lives not too far from you and Tom ...
across the Bay Bridge Tunnel ... in Exmore.  I love
spending time in that area.
Have a great weekend!
--- Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:
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5) From: Scjgb3
thought this might help you

6) From: Ed Needham
I think it would be easy to get caught up in a lot of advanced roasting 
techniques and totally mess up the whole roasting experience.  You can roast 
very simply and get excellent roasts.  If you need to slow the roast, a 
longer extension cord will do the trick.  Some modify their poppers to have 
a switch on the heating element where they can shut off the heat and still 
retain the fan and agitation.  Cycling the popper might slow things down, 
but I'd go with a longer cord first.
If you pull the roast just after first crack ends, you'll get sour, 
astringent citrusy coffee.  Take it a bit further and much of the 
'greenness' disappears and the varietal flavor remains.  A bit further and 
the flavors go caramelly.  More and it takes on a roasty/caramelly/sometimes 
chocolaty flavor.  More and it gets some bitterness from carbonization. 
More and all flavor is lost to charcoal.
I'd say to listen closely for the end of first crack, go just a bit further 
until you begin to heat a bit of a sizzle, which is hard to hear with the 
loud air roasters, but it's there.  After the sizzle, second crack usually 
begins with a crack or two and then takes off into a full rolling crack.  By 
that time, the beans may be too dark though, unless you like a dark roast.
Notice the changes of the smells as the beans progress through the roast. 
You will get to the point where you know where the roast is just by the 
You will need to roast outside or under an exhaust hood that blows to the 
outside.  Roasting makes a lot of smoke and chaff to get to second crack.
Ed Needham®
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
(include [FRIEND] in subject line to get through my SPAM filters)

7) From: raymanowen
"...it seems that I stopped too soon."
OK- easily fixed Dennis. Measure out enough to brew and set it aside to age.
Back to the roaster with the rest.
Let it go until you detect a positive change- darkening color, noise, smoke,
smell, and take notes. Again, set aside another brewing sample and let it
age, et cetera.
Now, you're in a good situation, with a range of roasts on the same bean.
Air poppers are fast roasters, especially if you overload them. Start with
1/4 cup of greens.
What popper
On 8/4/06, Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita WurliTzer- 1976

8) From: Dennis & Marjorie True
I have now tried a 100ft extention cord and that slowed down the 
roasting alot just about doubled the time.
I wasn't sure if I could beans back in the roaster or if that would 
destroy them but what the heck I will give it a try
I am using the butter dish to measure the beans as the popper recommended.
I am using a Presto PopLite it was the only one I have found so far.
raymanowen wrote:

9) From: Dennis & Marjorie True
Ok I have roasted a few batches now and my last made the beans very 
shiny (oily?) is that a good place to stop or go farther?

10) From: jim gundlach
I would try to stop before they get oily.
     Pecan Jim
On Aug 5, 2006, at 11:53 AM, Dennis & Marjorie True wrote:

11) From: Eddie Dove
Very shiny and oily is usually French Roast or darker.
 If you like french roast, you now know what it looks
like ... you'll have to try it.  I do like dark
roasts, but I like lighter roasts too ... it depends
on the bean and the flavor I am trying to achieve.  A
couple weeks ago I "accidently" roasted some the Timor
FTO Peaberry to a Frech Roast, and it was the best
French Roast coffee I have ever had.  Don't worry
about getting things right, your taste buds will
decide that.  Every batch is a point of reference for
you so enjoy the process without making seem like
This guide on the Sweet Maria's web site is a good
reference for the degree of roast:http://www.sweetmarias.com/roasting-VisualGuideV2.htmlHope this helps!
--- Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:
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12) From: miKe mcKoffee
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

13) From: Vicki Smith
Dennis, welcome to the infuriating and compelling world of home 
roasting. I'm not much on very dark roasts, except as an accent in a 
melange or blend, but everyone has different preferences.
I don't know if you are doing this, but I take notes on all of my 
roasts. Nothing is more annoying than having that perfect cup and not 
remembering what the heck I did to make it that way, or how many days I 
have rested it.
I too would like to thank you for your service. Enjoy your time home.
Dennis & Marjorie True wrote:

14) From: Scott Marquardt
I would suggest going no further than the beginning of second crack unless
you've heard that the particular bean you're roasting tastes better out that
far into dark territory.
If your bean is oily and very dark, that's a bit too far. If it's a nice,
mellow walnut brown that's fine, but too much oil usually means you've done
dark with the roast.
Remember, first crack "pops," second crack "snaps." Until you're really
cocky about your roasting, don't go far into second.
- Scott
On 8/5/06, Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:

15) From: Dennis & Marjorie True
Ok  I went to Java Jerry's and he has helped the learning curve 
tremendously!!! THANKS Jerry!
    I now have tried HG/DB I used a popper with a voltage regulator to 
make the popper really work great!!!!
 and I watched a wonderful drum in action
I realized just how much I could end up obsessed with all this.. GOOD 
But I love it!
Thanks to all I am now drinking a wonderful fresh homeroasted cup with 
more flavor then I knew passable ( remember your first  REALLY GOOD 
Cup?)  I'm having that moment  as I type.

16) From: Lynne
Isn't it /incredible/??? You just can't explain it to anyone who hasn't 
experienced the difference.
I lived near a wholesale place that roasted coffee for years. (Great 
smell - terrible coffee). I used to say that the smell was far better 
than any coffee I could find. Never realize that I could just do it 
myself. Like the pizza - and the bread - and the cookies - and 
everything else I made that was/is better than anything I'd buy out. No 
wonder I'm considering a foodie career!
I have a new doctor - wonderful woman - who is trying to get me to quit 
my coffee addiction, because of some problems I've been having with my 
stomach (stress, stress, and more stress). I can't get it through to her 
that the coffee I roast does NOT have any bitterness to it. Don't think 
she's a coffee drinker, so bringing her some wouldn't work, I don't 
think. I should find out if her receptionist is... might get my point 
across through her!
I am doing a remarkable blend, just to cut down on some of the caffeine. 
Part Bolivia de Montana (organic!), my current favorite (but I've just 
started w/this blessed obsession), part Costa Rica Decaf. Mmmm - and my 
daughter, who is trying to keep away fr. coffee is having a REAL 
difficult time.... too, too good....
Dennis & Marjorie True wrote:

17) From: Dennis & Marjorie True
Yes it is incredible and indescribable !! I am loving my 3rd French 
press cup right now what is even more important is my wife a non-coffee 
drinker  actually had a sip or two and said wow it isn't biter (I would 
love to havew Marjorie be able to share my passion for coffee with me) 
she gets up at 4:15 every morning to make coffee for me but doesn't 
drink it so this is a huge step in my house....
just hanging out in an euphoric state with my coffee..
Thanks for ALL the wonderful support and hints to get me started!!!
Lynne wrote:

18) From: Les
If you are going to get into half caf coffee or full decaf, you need
to order Tom's current African decaf blend.  It is better than many
full caf blends.
I enjoyed some more of the awesome Brazilian Yellow Bourbon this
morning.  My daughter commented on how different it is.  Going from
Harar Horse to Yellow Bourbon is like going from a ride in a Viper to
a Bentley.  Both nice rides, but for totally different reasons.
On 8/6/06, Lynne  wrote:

19) From: Lynne
Right - there you go, tempting me - I've kept mental notes about the 
Harar Horse and Yellow Bourbon, not to mention the lovely surprise 
packages I've also been tempted to order. Now I also need the African 
Speaking of which - need to make a cup of decaf. Mmmm....
Les wrote:

20) From: Justin Marquez
On 8/4/06, Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:
Definitely do the roasting outside of the house!  It is messy.
What I normally see when roasting is the following:
About the time the beans first go yellow/tan, there is a hint of smoke
and a toasty kinda smell.
As they hit first crack, a sweet-smelling smoke evolves and chaff (on
regular coffee, not decaf) begins to fly in earnest.
As first crack finishes, the smoke volume declines.
In the gap between first and second cracks, the beans darken in color
and smoke just a little.
As you approach second crack,  more smoke happens quickly and it is
sharper in aroma. Then second crack begins.
Since I don't normally go much past beginning of second crack, I can't
tell you reliably what to look for past that point.
With the popper, it goes fast enough that some of these may run
together.  Slowing the popper roast with a loooong extension cord
Also, use less beans in the batch and it will slow the roast too.
That is not what you would expect, but the reason it works is that
fewer beans agitate more easily  and the hot air doesn't hit the beans
as completely, so less heat is transferred to the beans as some of the
hot air "bypasses" the beans.
If little chips are found in the roasted batch, they are the result of
very fast heating.  These are usually called "divots".  If you see
these, you may need to slow the roast. (If you like the way the coffee
tastes, maybe not.  I didn't mind it when I was popper roasting.)
Fast popper roasts can be hard to control and to stop exactly where
you want to. Sometimes first and second cracks can even overlap, which
makes it very hard to control. If this happens, you probably do need
to slow the roast.
Using less beans is a bummer, since it means more batches have to be
run to support your new homeroasted coffee habit. This is what drives
a lot of us to using methods allowing larger batch sizes.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)

HomeRoast Digest