HomeRoast Digest


Topic: First batch in new Gene Cafe (6 msgs / 550 lines)
1) From: Public
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hello All,
            It has been forever since I have last posted (have always
continued to lurk) but I wanted to write the list to share my thoughts =
after
my first roast with my new toy!  After all of the back and forth on this
list on the subject I have retired my iRoast (v.1) after 2 years (being =
kept
in reserve along with my HW Precision-yep I have one that still runs- as
ďjust in caseĒ roasters) and took the plunge and purchased the Gene =
Cafť.
My first impression after opening the box was ďHOLY CRAP! This thing =
looked
smaller on the website!Ē  :-)  This thing looks like itís built to =
last.  I
just roasted 8 oz of Brazil Carmo de Minas-Aprocam and this afternoon I =
plan
on roasting some Monkey for my Solis SL-90.  I have a couple of =
questions
for my other Gene brethren and sisters:
1.	Will I get used to the sounds of the Gene and eventually be able to
hear 1st crack or is this going to always be a sight & smell roaster?  I =
was
unable to hear 1st crack with my first roast.  I did, however, see the
intense billowing of smoke from the chaff collector right around where =
1st
crack should have been heard.  I thought of maybe using ear plugs to =
dampen
the sound of the roaster.  Surprising how I was able to hear 1st Crack =
in
all of my HW machines given how unbelievably loud they were compared to =
the
GC. 
2.	I saw no mention of a ďperiod of restĒ for this roaster between
roasts.  For those that are doing 2 or more batches a day how long are =
you
waiting between roasts? 
3.	I manually hit the ďcoolĒ button right after the billowing of =
smoke
as I wanted a City-City+ roast.  I knew that the roasting process would
continue after hitting the ďcoolĒ button.  I donít know that I =
liked the
long cooling process as the beans were still fairly warm after the =
cooling
cycle ended.  I have them on a stainless steel platter with a fan =
running
over them.  Some on this list have stated they manually override the =
cooling
cycle (hitting the button twice to stop the roaster) and then cooling =
with a
fan.  My concern is the longevity of the roaster by doing this process.  =
Is
there any down side (shorter life time) by cooling in this manner?  I =
know
some say they then put the chamber back on the roaster and restart the
cooling process sans beans to cool it down.  I just donít want to do
anything that would shorten the lifetime of this pretty hefty =
investment. 
 
Thanks all in advance for all the help!
 
Mike
 

2) From: Steven Van Dyke
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Congrats!
To answer your questions as best I can.
You *can* hear the beans but it's kinda tricky.  I usually bend over and =
put my ear right near the gap in the 'safety shield'.  It can be very =
hard to hear the cracks over the 'sloshing' of the beans.  Actually it's =
just that the beans make a lot of sounds that sound just about like =
cracks as they slosh.  
Oddly, you can hear the cracks pretty well from further away.  If you =
stand about 5 - 6 feet from the chaff collector you'll hear them.  It =
acts as a resonator and they're pretty distinct.  Problem for me is I =
roast in a smallish sun room where I can't easily get that far away.
For the 1st/2nd transition I watch the smoke.  You can see right when it =
'kicks up' which is where I hit for cool.
My times are running right at 10 minutes to start into First and about =
14-16 to the edge of Second.
If you do the full cooling cycle the machine is ready to go again as =
soon as you are.  I dump my beans into a mesh strainer and stir them in =
front of a fan for final cooling.
If you do a shorter cooling cycle the machine will let you take the =
beans but will keep the fan running to cool itself off.  That's their =
recomendation for multiple roasts. btw.
Me, I generally roast 250grams (8.8oz) every 2-3 days so it's no big =
deal.
Enjoy!
Steve :->

3) From: Eddie Dove
Hello Mike,
Yeah, the pictures really don't give one any relative perspective on size.
With respect to question 1, I have roasted several beans, but I have only
been able to definitively hear first crack on one specific bean; however, I
am half deaf and I asked the list for feedback based on that limitation and
Steven Van Dyke was kind enough to grant the following advice:
Eddie,
Here's my simple (very) roast profile:
1) Fill with 250 grams of greens
2) Set machine for 482 degrees, 20 minutes (it's not going to go that long,
it's just an easy starting number)
3) Let it run.
4) At about 10 minutes (see why I start at 20 - it's 10 minutes in when you
have 10 minutes left) you'll see that the exit air temperature is at about
450 degrees and the beans are getting that 'near first crack' look.  If you
listen closely you can usually hear a snap or two of first crack
5) Dial the temperature back down to 456.
6) Start keeping a close eye on the exhaust.  I use a flashlight.  You're
looking for the burst of smoke you get right as the beans get ready to go
into Second crack.  Sure, you've been getting smoke building up in the room
for a while but we're looking for the column to be visible right down near
the chaff collector.  You'll also smell the change if you have a sensitive
nose like I do.  It's usually at about 14 - 16 minutes into the roast
(display will show 4 - 6 minutes left).
7) Hit the Red button to start the cooling cycle, flip open the clear
'safety cover' to let more heat escape, and set a fan to blow across the
unit.
8) About 10 - 11 minutes later (when it finishes) pour the beans into a
large mesh strainer and give them a stir in front of the fan for a bit to
get them the rest of the way down to room temperature.
9) Pour into mason jars (I use pints so I need 2) and let it rest for a
couple of days.
10) Enjoy while typing up messages like this ;)
This was very helpful for me and I have gotten some great roasts so far.  I
have one decent-hearing ear and I am trying to train it to hear the cracks,
but I am really learning the other aspects too, which I find beneficial in
the event that I will not be able to rely on sound.  One thing I have
learned to do is watch for first crack.  Seriously I can actually see some
of the beans "shoot" across the chamber when it pops.
There are a few others on the list with a Gene Cafe ...
With respect to number 2, once the cooling cylce is completed I go ahead an=
d
run another batch.
With respect to number 3, I was probably the one that said I do my cooling
on the back of a fan with a Wearever Cushonaire Pizza pan on the back of
it.  A full batch (300 g) takes only second to cool and probably is at room
temperature in about a minute.  While the beans are cooling on the fan, I
put the roast chamber back into the unit and allow it to run through an
entire cooling cycle.  The cooling cycle cools to 140 F, which is still
quite warm and that is why I stop it when I want to stop the roast and cool
it on the fan.  However, when it has completed the cooling cycle, I conside=
r
it ready to run again and I start another batch.  On page 12 of the manual,
number 5 is about stopping a roast immediately and starting another batch s=
o
per the manufacturer, it should be okay to roast multiple batches.
From my perspective though, it is a tool and I expect all of my tools to
perform.  If it breaks, and I can't fix it, I will have to decide at that
time whether it was worth its value or not, but I do understand your
perspective.  Only you can decide that.
I hope this is helpful.
Respectfully,
Eddie
On 9/7/06, Public  wrote:
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4) From: Derek Bradford
Umm, ditto.  To everything; if I'd responded, I'd have said exactly
the same thing, right down to the sunroom roasting.
When I roast I generally do 3 at a time every couple/few days, and
it's fine.  Here in Korea there are actually a few shops using the
roaster to supply themselves with coffee.  While I'm not sure that's a
great idea, the company does officially support it, and there's a big
part of me that says "who cares?"...at least there's some fresh coffee
being served.
On an OT note...  I went to a shop here in Apgujeong--they have a 5kg
roaster in the front room and roast daily.  I thought it would be nice
to see.  The owner, also the barista, proudly told me how he takes the
beans, each morning, directly from the cooling tray and pours them
into his grinder within 30 minutes so they're absolutely fresh.  And
he also proudly steams his milk to exactly 172 degrees.
It's not my place to tell him what to do, so I didn't, but the coffee
sucked, and I've never gone back.  I'd ordered a cappuccino, and he
kept asking me how I liked it.  It was nearly 10 minutes before I
could taste it--it was that hot.
--Derek, sippin' Nicaraguan Pacamara Peaberry...
On 9/8/06, Steven Van Dyke  wrote:
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-- 
The Uglyroast 3! Coffee Roaster.  ...Now 85% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com

5) From: jblaine
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hi Mike:
 
While this is my first post, I purchased a Gene Cafť, from Sweet =
Marieís, in
June and have done about 25 roasts.  
 
I will try to answer your questions from my very brief personal =
experience
with the Gene Cafe.  Question #1 Sounds of 1st Crack  Ė It can be a =
bit
tricky to hear 1st crack but once you have an idea, approximately, of =
when
it comes, if you listen carefully, I think you will hear it.  The =
intensity
of the sound seems to vary greatly with the type of bean.  If you see a
fairly large column of smoke and havenít heard 1st crack, I think you
probably missed it.  First crack, for me, usually comes in at about 12 =
to 13
minutes.  I hold my ear about 3 to 4 feet from, and even with the drum =
(but
below the plastic shield).  I really believe your ability to hear the =
snaps
will improve over time with the Gene.
 
Question #2 Rest Period -  I allow the machineís fan to do its thing =
to
bring the Gene down to 140 degrees while Iím removing the chaff and =
putting
the freshly roasted beans into valve bags, which I purchased from Sweet
Marieís.  By the time Iím ready to do a second batch the machine has =
cooled
to below 140 degrees and I roast again without any special wait.  So far =
I
havenít had any problems.  The only thing that I donít really like =
about the
Gene Cafť is the process by which it cools down the beans.  Itís way =
too
slow.  After my first roast with the Gene I have not used the machines
standard cool down method again.  
 
Which brings me to Question # 3 Cool Down - It is very easy to dump the
beans manually.  I hold the Quit button for about two seconds and the
machine stops.  I use some silicone mitts, which I found at Costco for =
about
$10 - $12, to lift out the drum.  Although you have stopped the drum =
from
rotating the fan keeps going.  I dump the beans into my cooling device,
replace the drum in the Gene and start it up again, only to immediately =
hit
cool so that it goes through its standard cool down (to 140 degrees F) =
but
without any beans.
 
My cooling device is very simple.  I bought a 5 gallon bucket with a lid
from Home Depot for $5.  I cut a hole in the lid in which I can set a =
wire,
mesh, colander (I lined the sides of the colander with tin foil).  I =
also
cut a circular hold in the side of the bucket in which I cemented an
attachment from my shop vacuum so that I can easily attach my shop =
vacís
hose to the bucket.  With this setup I can stop a roast that is in a =
roiling
second crack on a dime (although I usually never go to second crack).
Within a minute of switching on my shop vac the roasted beans are at =
room
temperature.  I really donít think that manually cooling the beans =
will in
any way adversely effect your Gene Cafťís longevity.
 
Iíd also like to take this opportunity to thank the members of this =
list,
for while I havenít posted before, Iíve sure done a lot of reading.  =
I canít
adequately explain to everyone what a great help your shared knowledge =
and
experiences have been to me so Iíll just say thank you.
 
Sincerely, 
John Blaine
 
 

6) From: Public
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Everyone,
            Thanks for all of the replies.  I will take the roasting
suggestions and try them out.  The consensus seems to be that I will get
used to hearing the cracks as I get used to this roaster.  Iíve =
downloaded
the roasting log that someone generously posted the other day and =
canít wait
to roast all 8 lbs sent by Tom so I can place a bean order.  So much for
keeping the stash small!  :-)  Thanks again everyone.
 
Mike  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of jblaine
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 1:42 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: +First batch in new Gene Cafe
 
Hi Mike:
 
While this is my first post, I purchased a Gene Cafť, from Sweet =
Marieís, in
June and have done about 25 roasts.  
 
I will try to answer your questions from my very brief personal =
experience
with the Gene Cafe.  Question #1 Sounds of 1st Crack  Ė It can be a =
bit
tricky to hear 1st crack but once you have an idea, approximately, of =
when
it comes, if you listen carefully, I think you will hear it.  The =
intensity
of the sound seems to vary greatly with the type of bean.  If you see a
fairly large column of smoke and havenít heard 1st crack, I think you
probably missed it.  First crack, for me, usually comes in at about 12 =
to 13
minutes.  I hold my ear about 3 to 4 feet from, and even with the drum =
(but
below the plastic shield).  I really believe your ability to hear the =
snaps
will improve over time with the Gene.
 
Question #2 Rest Period -  I allow the machineís fan to do its thing =
to
bring the Gene down to 140 degrees while Iím removing the chaff and =
putting
the freshly roasted beans into valve bags, which I purchased from Sweet
Marieís.  By the time Iím ready to do a second batch the machine has =
cooled
to below 140 degrees and I roast again without any special wait.  So far =
I
havenít had any problems.  The only thing that I donít really like =
about the
Gene Cafť is the process by which it cools down the beans.  Itís way =
too
slow.  After my first roast with the Gene I have not used the machines
standard cool down method again.  
 
Which brings me to Question # 3 Cool Down - It is very easy to dump the
beans manually.  I hold the Quit button for about two seconds and the
machine stops.  I use some silicone mitts, which I found at Costco for =
about
$10 - $12, to lift out the drum.  Although you have stopped the drum =
from
rotating the fan keeps going.  I dump the beans into my cooling device,
replace the drum in the Gene and start it up again, only to immediately =
hit
cool so that it goes through its standard cool down (to 140 degrees F) =
but
without any beans.
 
My cooling device is very simple.  I bought a 5 gallon bucket with a lid
from Home Depot for $5.  I cut a hole in the lid in which I can set a =
wire,
mesh, colander (I lined the sides of the colander with tin foil).  I =
also
cut a circular hold in the side of the bucket in which I cemented an
attachment from my shop vacuum so that I can easily attach my shop =
vacís
hose to the bucket.  With this setup I can stop a roast that is in a =
roiling
second crack on a dime (although I usually never go to second crack).
Within a minute of switching on my shop vac the roasted beans are at =
room
temperature.  I really donít think that manually cooling the beans =
will in
any way adversely effect your Gene Cafťís longevity.
 
Iíd also like to take this opportunity to thank the members of this =
list,
for while I havenít posted before, Iíve sure done a lot of reading.  =
I canít
adequately explain to everyone what a great help your shared knowledge =
and
experiences have been to me so Iíll just say thank you.
 
Sincerely, 
John Blaine
 
 


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