HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Chicago roast-off report (17 msgs / 481 lines)
1) From: Scott Marquardt
Very fun!
Several roasters showed up with good greens AND great rested beans. Sandy
was jammin' with her dulcimer (and guitar). A few customers were slack-jawed
at all the free coffee -- and beans -- that were flowing. The weather was
pleasant. Thanks to attending roasters for your spirited enthusiasm, which
market customers definitely noticed. I'll wager that next year we'll see
some new home roasters in these near west suburbs.
This roast-off was an open house for our roaster, but now that we've
dispensed with that I'll declare that next year's roast-off -- also likely
to be the week before Labor Day -- will be a bit different, provided we can
rent a good generator. My thought is that guest roasters can bring their own
roasters if they wish. The public education angle for our craft is really a
cool thing to see in action, as it played out today.
But that's a ways ahead; for all I know a comet will strike earth and
destroy half the planet -- in which case inevitable delays might push it to
after Labor Day . . .
;-)
Finally, a word of thanks to my 13 year old son, Cameron. This entire season
he's been the most helpful and responsible son a father could ask for, an
attentive and conscientous apprentice whose help has been indispensible
(this market stuff is a lot of logistics and sweat). Furthermore, he's
frighteningly proficient in wringing superb cups from an Aeropress. If
you're opening a coffee shop in a few years, he's your barista.   :-)
-- 
Scott

2) From: Brett Mason
Cool......
And the pictures of the new roaster are to be found at ... (?)
Pls advise,
Brett
On 8/26/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Brett

3) From: David Schooley
Scott - Thank you for setting up the event. I think a good time was  
had by all.
Yesterday has inspired me to spend more time working with my Aeropress.
Cameron rocks!
On Aug 26, 2006, at 9:24 PM, Scott Marquardt wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: Scott Marquardt
This farmer's market really has been a test case for (a) roasting at a
market and (b) brewing one-up with an Aeropress. Both are challenging. Both
done at the same time are insane!
Aeropressing for customers works best as a rhythm. Distractions -- such as
glancing nervously at the roaster and trying to read the TC instrument from
16 feet away -- are terrible for that. Having a dozen origins on the counter
is rough for keeping one's head clear. It's chaos -- fun, but chaos! And
yes, Cameron seems versatile in chaos.
I think the jury's still out on the viability of Aeropressing for farmer's
markets. Small ones, sure. That's proven to my satisfaction this year,
absolutely. But if you have a queue, you'll need to add a second PBTC. Or --
and I'm seriously wanting to try this -- perfect doing two at a time. The
grinder can be going while you're pressing one -- the problem is that you
only have two hands!
But here's the interesting thing: A Clover is really doing the same thing.
One at a time. The time is not briefer. So the principle has been
implemented in a device that costs a LOT. What we're doing is merely using
labor instead of automation. One-up brewing for customers, with choice of
several origins -- what a concept. It's fun, and it gives a chance to
converse with the person you're brewing for.
Think about it -- the alternative is to fill that Luxus I use for hot water,
with two gallons of Colombian instead, and pull the spigot and be done with
it for each customer in all of 10 seconds. No conversation about coffee, no
time for them to notice the care you're putting into their cup (which could
lead to some reflection on their own brewing practices), no getting to know
each other. That is SO McDonalds. No, not from me. It ain't gonna happen.
As for roasting, my judgement is that it's TERRIBLE in a small market. I
love doing it! And that's the problem. I have three origins I roast -- one a
decaf. The idea is to roast often enough that it engenders interest among
market attendees. But we're small, and I can't be sure of what I'll sell.
Statistically, it will vary between one and eight pounds. That's almost
nothing, but it's because we're small. So on any given Saturday, should I
just merrily roast my fool head off? For what -- rose fertilizer? I don't
think so! On the other hand, we do a LOT of brewing. More people want a cup
at the market than want to do their own at home with beans I'd happily roast
for them. Maybe they don't have grinders. I know that's true in many cases,
from conversing with customers. Should I sell grinders, then? All these
issues to think about.
Fact is, if it was a large market where the beans were moving, I wouldn't be
facing those questions.
So do I move to a bigger market? No way. I'll stick this one out and help
'em grow, even if it means brewing a LOT more than I get to roast.
OK, that was a lot of yacking. Dave, thanks for the remarks. BTW, you did a
fine job of mixing with customers. I really appreciated the way such
interplay worked out during the  day.
- Scott
On 8/27/06, David Schooley  wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: Scott Marquardt
http://scott.marquardt.googlepages.com/openskyroasterOn 8/26/06, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Scott

6) From: Eddie Dove
Scott,
That is some fine work!
Eddie
On 8/27/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: Jim De Hoog
Scott,
 
What a cool drum design.  The ability to load & discharge without removing the drum is exceptional. Your machinist has done high quality work from the look of the pics.  A great design!
 
What kind of bean weights does it roast - less to greatest?  Why did you choose a perforated drum over a solid drum? 
 
I know that I should not covet, but I think that I am coveting your drum.  
Jim "Ice Bucket Roaster" De Hoog
 
----- Original Message ----
From: Scott Marquardt 
To: homeroast
Sent: Sunday, August 27, 2006 5:49:11 PM
Subject: Re: +Chicago roast-off reporthttp://scott.marquardt.googlepages.com/openskyroaster 
On 8/26/06, Brett Mason  wrote:
Cool......
And the pictures of the new roaster are to be found at ... (?)
Pls advise,
Brett 
On 8/26/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
<Snip>
--
Cheers,
Brett-- 
Scott

8) From: Scott Marquardt
Erik is an exceptional and well-equipped machinist, and I'll leave it at
that or I'll be singing his praises at length. I've enjoyed colaborating
with him, and we're both very pleased with the project.
And he doesn't drink coffee.
I'm interested in less conduction and more convection in a drum, thus the
perf.
I'll be careful about roasting less than two pounds in it. It may be able to
handle it, and frankly I could determine that without turning on any burners
-- it'd be a function of how well-immersed the TC is in the bean mass.
The drum could handle 10 pounds if I had enough BTUs in the prototype. With
this Weber, I don't have that. On a fine summer day, 5 pounds would likely
take 20 minutes. My target for popper roasting has generally been 10 to 15,
and for drum I like to see 12 to 18.
The next generation -- well, first really, since the prototype shouldn't be
counted as a generation -- will have at least double the BTUs, so I reckon
we could see 8 pounds with little difficulty. But I'm not sure what drum
size we're likely to have in the improved platform.
Thanks for the compliments; I have to admit the thing makes me smile. If
only I'd sell more beans than cups at the market! I love roasting more than
pressing drinks, doggonit!  ;-)
- Scott
On 8/27/06, Jim De Hoog  wrote:
<Snip>

9) From: David Schooley
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Scott,
What ratios of water and coffee were you using during the roast-off?  
I have been doing more AeroPressing since the roast-off, mostly for  
ice coffee.
On Aug 27, 2006, at 3:59 PM, Scott Marquardt wrote:
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Scott,
What ratios of water and = coffee were you using during the roast-off? I have been doing more = AeroPressing since the roast-off, mostly for ice coffee.
On Aug 27, 2006, = at 3:59 PM, Scott Marquardt wrote:
This = farmer's market really has been a test case for (a) roasting at a market = and (b) brewing one-up with an Aeropress. Both are challenging. Both = done at the same time are insane!   Aeropressing = for customers works best as a rhythm. Distractions -- such as glancing = nervously at the roaster and trying to read the TC instrument from 16 = feet away -- are terrible for that. Having a dozen origins on the = counter is rough for keeping one's head clear. It's chaos -- fun, but = chaos! And yes, Cameron seems versatile in chaos.   = I think the jury's still out on the viability of Aeropressing for = farmer's markets. Small ones, sure. That's proven to my satisfaction = this year, absolutely. But if you have a queue, you'll need to add a = second PBTC. Or -- and I'm seriously wanting to try this -- perfect = doing two at a time. The grinder can be going while you're pressing one = -- the problem is that you only have two hands!   = But here's the interesting thing: A Clover is really doing the same = thing. One at a time. The time is not briefer. So the principle has been = implemented in a device that costs a LOT. What we're doing is merely = using labor instead of automation. One-up brewing for customers, with = choice of several origins -- what a concept. It's fun, and it gives a = chance to converse with the person you're brewing for. =   Think about it -- the alternative is to fill that = Luxus I use for hot water, with two gallons of Colombian instead, and = pull the spigot and be done with it for each customer in all of 10 = seconds. No conversation about coffee, no time for them to notice the = care you're putting into their cup (which could lead to some reflection = on their own brewing practices), no getting to know each other. That is = SO McDonalds. No, not from me. It ain't gonna happen.   = As for roasting, my judgement is that it's TERRIBLE in a small = market. I love doing it! And that's the problem. I have three origins I = roast -- one a decaf. The idea is to roast often enough that it = engenders interest among market attendees. But we're small, and I can't = be sure of what I'll sell. Statistically, it will vary between one and = eight pounds. That's almost nothing, but it's because we're small. So on = any given Saturday, should I just merrily roast my fool head off? For = what -- rose fertilizer? I don't think so! On the other hand, we do a = LOT of brewing. More people want a cup at the market than want to do = their own at home with beans I'd happily roast for them. Maybe they = don't have grinders. I know that's true in many cases, from conversing = with customers. Should I sell grinders, then? All these issues to think = about.   Fact is, if it was a large market = where the beans were moving, I wouldn't be facing those questions. =   So do I move to a bigger market? No way. I'll stick = this one out and help 'em grow, even if it means brewing a LOT more than = I get to roast.   OK, that was a lot of yacking. = Dave, thanks for the remarks. BTW, you did a fine job of mixing with = customers. I really appreciated the way such interplay worked out during = the  day.   - Scott   On 8/27/06, David = Schooley <dcschooley> = wrote: Scott - = Thank you for setting up the event. I think a good time was had by = all. Yesterday has inspired me to spend more time working with my = Aeropress. Cameron = rocks! = --Apple-Mail-4-167965516--

10) From: Scott Marquardt
Hi David!
My Aeropress technique is to use as much water as I can fit in the Aero no
matter how much or little grind I use. This increases extraction efficiency.
I then have to account for that by varying the duration or level of
aggression with agitation.
The problem with varying how one agitates things is that it's darned hard to
quantify the extraction variation. It becomes a fairly subjective,
seat-of-the-pants thing.
I brew only two sizes at the market, which helps. However, my water is not
constantly a consistent temperature. I boil it and put it in the Luxus, and
it cools over time. I boil more and add it. Etcetera. This is NOT ideal. So
as it cools, I increase extraction time to compensate. Definitely not ideal.
Even so, the latitude with an Aero and a sweet-spot grind is pretty
forgiving, and it's hard to screw up a cup. This is especially true if
you're starting with good beans, a good roast, a good rest, good water, and
good banter with the customers. The more elements you can make good, the
more forgiving the final result will be.
The Aero is great for any coffee, but I know of nothing better for iced.
Except espresso, of course.
BTW, just so anyone in the area knows, I've decided that the baristi at
"Nola's Cup" in Oak Park (on Oak Park Ave., just a block north of 290) do
fine shots. They're an Intelligentsia shop, apparently (their beans, that
is).
On 9/21/06, David Schooley  wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: Angelo
<Snip>
Scott,
I was thinking that you might make a sort of jig to hold, maybe, 4 -5 
AP's in a row. When it comes time to press them, you could use a 
board, with indentations for each AP to help stabilize them, placed 
on top. Holding the board at each end, you can press them all at the 
same time...Worth a try...
A+

12) From: Scott Marquardt
The notion of multiple Aeros in some kind of jig has haunted me for some
time. It's a tough one. This year I learned, with the Open Sky roaster (more
generically, a "ring roaster"), to let tough problems brew a bit longer.
Over-extraction is FAR preferably to under-extraction, you might say.
;-)   I keep setting the multi-Aero on the back burner, but little by way of
new inspiration has had me rushing to bring it back to the front. So I think
about it a bit, set it aside, think about it a bit, set it aside.
Geez, I'm waiting for some genius on the list to do my heavy lifting for me,
here!   ;-)
On 9/22/06, Angelo  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Scott

13) From: miKe mcKoffee
High volume individually brewed exquisite cups of coffee challenge =
already
solved. Think espresso machine and serving Americanos and or Café =
Cremas. If
you long to keep the manual esthetic aspect, think lever espresso =
machine. 
miKe
	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Scott =
Marquardt
	Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 10:26 AM
<Snip>
	The notion of multiple Aeros in some kind of jig has haunted me for
some time. It's a tough one. This year I learned, with the Open Sky =
roaster
(more generically, a "ring roaster"), to let tough problems brew a bit
longer. Over-extraction is FAR preferably to under-extraction, you might
say.   ;-)   I keep setting the multi-Aero on the back burner, but =
little by
way of new inspiration has had me rushing to bring it back to the front. =
So
I think about it a bit, set it aside, think about it a bit, set it =
aside. 
	 
	Geez, I'm waiting for some genius on the list to do my heavy lifting
for me, here!   ;-)
<Snip>

14) From: Eddie Dove
Scott,
Think circular / elliptical.
Eddie
On 9/22/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
<Snip>

15) From: Scott Marquardt
That's be great if I had electricity and running water!
Everything about a farmer's market -- well, this one -- is primitive.
The economics of a farmer's market -- does one buy generators, portable
sinks with pressurized water, etc.?
- S
On 9/22/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
y
<Snip>
s.
<Snip>
.
<Snip>

16) From: miKe mcKoffee
Water issue easy, no go juice tougher! There are gas heated lever =
commercial
machines, but I doubt would be economically realistic. Bummer. 
miKe
<Snip>
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Scott =
Marquardt
	Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 2:29 PM
	
	That's be great if I had electricity and running water!
	 
	Everything about a farmer's market -- well, this one -- is
primitive.
	 
	The economics of a farmer's market -- does one buy generators,
portable sinks with pressurized water, etc.? 
	 
<Snip>
	
	 
	On 9/22/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote: 
		High volume individually brewed exquisite cups of coffee
challenge already
		solved. Think espresso machine and serving Americanos and or
Café Cremas. If 
		you long to keep the manual esthetic aspect, think lever
espresso machine.
		
		miKe

17) From: Scott Marquardt
Here's an improvement I'm thinking of:http://www.dealec.co.uk/acatalog/Burco_gas_boiler_series.htmlThese would be really nice, provided they could keep the water hot enough.
Expensive, though.  :-\
- Scott
On 9/22/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>


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