HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Poll Results Comments (354 lines)
1) From: Brett Mason
These are the answers that didn't show in the pure numbers....
Several emails included comments or didn't answer at all, just the
comments....   Cheers, Brett
All - obviously not a scientist!
All - I chose the answer to which I'm closest, but have some
additional comments: I think in reality I'm somewhere in-between A and
B. I keep track of my roasting, weigh the beans, etc, but I think that
there are so many other factors that influence profiles, that no to
batches are really the same. I measure the beans I'm grinding, know
where the grinder should be, but water is taken just off the boil and
the amount of water is never measured. For espresso, I measure the
beans, but the amount that actually ends up in the portafilter must
vary. I flush the HX of my Andreja, but haven't ever measured the
water temperature.
Q1 (Actually - I usually carefully measure the greens so they will fit
 into the planned storage bag/container. But the rest is a good
 description of my HG/DB process)
Q3 c. go somewhere where they make espresso and let a trained baristra
 make it for me!
Q3 I enjoy a good espresso, but not enough to make me take that plunge in
 cost, kitchen counter space and effort. Especially since my wife
 doesn't care for espresso (though she does like a good cappo).
Q1. a - exact weight to 1gram then listen for cracks while checking
temps on the HotTop, can't really profile with this roaster.
 Q2. a (FP/eSantos)
 Q3. b - otherwise I am way too slow. (S1)
Q1 ~ a. (Gene Cafe & SC/TO) although it can be tough considering
ambient temps outside.
Q2 ~ a. (Super Auto) & 'a' when I brew in somebody elses drip - or I
don't drink coffee at their house.
Q3 ~ n/a
Details (AKA: probably way more than you wanted to know):
 ---------------------------------------------------------
 The degree to which I control the variables is based upon the tools
available to me. As a consultant, I have some moderately precise
measurement equipment that I also use in my coffee roasting and
preparation. Thus I measure weights to the nearest 0.1 gram,
temperatures to the nearest 0.1 degree Fahrenheit, and voltages to the
nearest 0.1 volts (for roasting).
 All- All of this is geared toward repeatability. I have honed in on
what I like both in terms of roast for each particular bean (where I
consider 5 pounds to be a minimum buy), and in terms of brew method
and associated details.
   Before roasting or brewing I consult my notes, even when I think I
am familiar with a particular bean. I sort my beans both pre- and
post-roast. I use a slightly modified iRoast-1 with a Variac and a
thermocouple for roasting, and can repeatedly nail both a given roast
level and the profile for that level for a given bean (note, however,
that my profile options are dictated to some degree by the level of
control I've been able to achieve with the iRoast -- I've not taken
this as far as Jeffrey Pawlan has!).
   I've profiled my hot pot and know just how long to wait after
shut-off for the water temperature to drop to my desired brew
temperature. I preheat my brewing equipment, be it a press, vac pot,
or Technivorm thermal carafe. I've measured the temperature drops in
my brewing equipment from preheat to brew to assure that brewing
actually takes place in the desired portion of the 195-205 degree
window for a particular bean. For the vac pot, I measure the water
temperature in the carafe and only put the top part on when the
desired temperature is reached (usually around 202-206 degrees,
yielding temperatures around 195-198 when the water is in the top
part).
   I use a little baby shop vac and a brush to clean the grinder after
every use.
   My wife thinks I'm nuts.
   Note that I did not start out this way. I used to wing it with all
of the variables, but found that I could not readily repeat those
occasional outstanding cups of coffee I experienced.
  The procedures summarized above came about over a year or so of
gradual experimentation. The end result is that I can now experience
what I feel is coffee nirvana with almost every cup (although
occasionally things still do go a little off track).
Q4.  I disagree with the assertion that science is a requisite for a
true artist.
All- I answer "B" to all... except on those occasions when I'm purposefully
 trying something new.
   The results will be interesting to see. I will admit that at first I
 was trying to be TOO precise and that really detracted from the
 enjoyment of the whole thing. It was easy to want to be too perfect
 and lose sight of the fact that what I had available as a result of my
 efforts was usually a long ways better than what I can get locally.
Q3. Don't do espresso, sorry.  FP and pour-over only.
All- I didn't respond initially because neither of the provided
responses seemed to accurately describe my activities. But I will
respond below as best I can.
Q1. I weigh the beans. I got into the habit when I was using a Poppery
II because it was so finicky. Now that I am using a monster Master
Appliance, 14.5 amp heat gun, I can easily do up to a pound, so size
of roast isn't so much an issue, but I still weigh the beans (half
pound per roast) just to keep the roast sizes the same, so that I can
roast on the weekend without running out during the week. Until this
past week I carefully noted the size of roast, the weather conditions,
time of first and second crack, and weight of the finished roast. But
since I wasn't charting results, I decided there wasn't much sense in
charting roasts.
Q2.  More like choice A. I measure by volume for FP (2 cups water, a
measure of beans that comes out to about 16 g) and measure by weight
(17 g) for stove-top moka pot (the smallest size, I think it is 4
tasse). I use a Zass grain mill mounted on the edge of my kitchen
island, and every now and then I pinch a bit of the grind to check for
grittiness. I grind the same way for both extraction methods.
Q3. I recently purchases a Gaggia Espresso espresso maker from the SM
sale page (it had been repaired by the distributor), but haven't found
time to fiddle around with it yet.
All- Neither answer suits me....
   I do nothing scientifically...but neither do I do it "roughly"....
 How about...
   I "intuitively" choose and measure, etc. etc with a sensitive feel,
 sensitive eye and, (oh i wish) sensitive nose...follow the process...not i=
n
 search of a "perfect" shot or a "similar one" ...but in search of a "worth=
y
 one"..an "interesting one"..one that will surprise me with its taste and
 feel in my mouth...one that I hope i will want to meet again in the
future.
0.a- I am not a coffee epicure, just a wannabe tinkerer, builder and
modifiler of equipment.
 0.b- Coffee is not a chemical compound, so the beverage can vary, pleasant=
ly.
 0.c- No book of instructions or standard equipment list is
forthcoming from the acknowledged Source of the Best raw materials.
That means there may be principles but no hard rules.
 Since there are no pigeonholes other than the preground canned stuff,
I fit right in.
Q3. When Pulling Espresso, I mostly dream of actually doing it on a
LaPavoni so I can learn, "hands-on."
  a.0- Carefully Control Grind, packing tamp, temperatures and times
to produce an interesting shot.
  a.1- While I found Tom's espresso blends are superb, I got too close
to Hell with some Ethiopian Sidamo, and it made a disasterous drip
brew. Fortunately, it was only popper quantity, and I decided to try
it in my new Capresso Classic Luxe thingy. WOW! mm-mm good!!
 Q4- There are so many variables in brewing coffee, given any origin
and roast level, and I'm in a daze just trying new things, taking
notes and enjoying. Why do I take notes?
   I hate Same. Misteaks may turn out to be New Ways.
 Great Caesar's Ghost! No Mistake- I just pulled my best double ever,
and I didn't measure a thing. I changed my mind about a drip brew of
the great FC+ Brazil Fazenda Ipanema.
   I already had the hopper loaded with 52g of the Ipanema but got the
urge for a good shot, The Capresso obliged with the grind set at 22.
Wow- I had to shut the Fire Hydrant off almost instantly, because I
hadn't started with the normal 14g in the hopper for a double. Whoosh!
and the PF was full- maybe 13g. Good enough- I just tapped it level
and rocked and rolled the tamper with no pressure to level the top and
a twist off.
   Lots more crema than usual, and it was brewing faster. The Bodum
Assam hit 2.5 oz in about 12 seconds but I was just watching the neat
little glass fill with very dark variegated nectar, and the crema just
boiled up from it.
   It was a real surprise how rapidly it brewed. I guess I normally
pack it too tight- rock and roll with about 25 - 28 pounds pressure
max, and twist off. The tamper and the PF were preheated and dried. It
really worked this time. Tom said this Brazil Ipanema would make a
good espresso at FC+. I don't know why in Blazes I waited this long to
try it out.
Q1. With only 2 options, I would have to choose A, with the time being the
 one I don't really monitor. It is usually pretty close, one roast to
 another but I go by sound, and colour primarily.
Q2. Definitely A within the limits of my equipment. I weigh my beans pre
 grinding, carefully measure the water. Have an electronic thermometer
 that beeps when the proper water temp has been reached. If I am using a
 press instead of my drip brewer I use a timer for the infusion and
 immediately dispense.
Q3. I haven't really gotten into the espresso thing yet. I have an
 inexpensive espresso machine (DeLonghi) that I have only pulled about 5
 (rather nasty) shots on. Those shots were very much in the B category.
 When I have a little more money I plan on getting a more capable machine
 and then it will be in the A category.
Simple. Do I pass the test?
 Q1. Roasting - Veriy clearly A- I measure to the gram, try very hard
to only increase
 10-15degrees per minute.
 Q2. Brewing - I suppose A- I use drip. It is always 3 large scoops.
It's basiic but
 precise. Beans go into Rocky for grinding. Usually +30 unless I'm
 experimenting. Basic, but precise. Temperature is what the *S brewer
 gives me- less than 190. when experimenting a lot more precision goes
 into FP, AeroPress, etc.
 Q3. Espresso - B- no measuring grounds, I use what fills the basket,
I do time the
 shots and I take what temp the krups gives me. I suppose I could weigh
 the grounds and temp surf if I wanted to get an "A" on this question.?
 No regular process though. Each shot is like an experiment and I compare
 the taste with the input.
Q1.a, Q2.a, Q3.a. That said, when I use my SC/TO I go for a more
intuitive thing, e.g. 1.b.  iRoast2 is more 1.a, and when I get
another probe I'll probably be more scientific with my SC/TO.
Q1. Roasting - a. Green Beans measured in 0.1 ozs., PID controlled Rosto
Q2. Brewing – a. Again, beans measured to 0.1 grams, Gaggia grinder -
but I don't always produce the perfect pot
 Q3. Espresso –about to buy my first Espresso machine (probably a
Silvia) can't say yet.
Q1. b. I roast in a bbq drum mostly and I for the most part I do
things intuitively, but I sometimes weigh beans If I want to nail a
certain profile
Q2. a.  I am very meticulous about all things about brewing, I
couldn't imagine drinking homeroast out of an old dirty auto-drip
Q3. - I worked as a barista in a couple of cafes one of them had a
north american barista champion come in as a trainer, that was a lot
of fun! If I had a decent espresso machine I guess it would be A.
falls into brewing I guess
All-I'm a "b" on 1,2,3 . I love good coffee and most always pull a
25,30,35 sec shot
 with about 3-4 ozs of water from the hot water. I have been a lurker for y=
ears
 and really enjoy this list. roast via hg/db and will stay with it for a wh=
ile.
 keep up the fine comments.
Q1. a
 Q2. b- read to what I like and expect from coffee I have roasted
 Q3. b- ditto above
Here are my (mostly unscientific) answers.
 Q1) A.  I'm an engineer by training so fastidious measurement is an
 occupational hazard.
 Q2) A.  See above.
 Q3) A.  I've got a well tuned Rocky, a PID'd Silvia, and a digital
 timer for timing the pull.  Like I mentioned before...  ;-)
Must qualify each:  Spent painstakingly long time to discern the ideal
profiles for roasting, brewing drip and pulling espresso shots. Use a
gram scale each time on 1 and 3.  2 gets a pre-measured scoop quantity
as corresponds to the amount of cups being brewed.
Q1.  B - Use a HotTop digital; pretty much a no brainer with 250g of
beans: Look and listen, push the eject button.  Happy camper
Q2.  B - Use a Capresso MT500, temp was measured at 197F and dialed in
with 7g scoops.  Good every time (If I have perfectly rested
HomeRoast!)
Q3.  B - Use an Andreja Premium HX; dialed in the pre-flush quantities
and time; setup the p-stat; know the Rocky grinder pretty well; use a
Click Tamper from espro (30lbs).  Pretty repeatable; great
shots...........most of the time.  Don't even use a thermometer to
froth milk any more.
All   So, the answer to your  poll is really "A" first THEN "B".
Im a B type of guy, I go by generalities.. but I do not do cappucino's
 or espresso's since I don't have a machine to do it.
Here are some more answers that could have been possible and deserve
 honorable mention ;-)
 Q1.C. Roughly follow the same path to the supermarket and buy a can of Cra=
p
 Q2.C. Roughly follow the instructions listed on the back of the Crap Can
 (ewww... And you might need a flashlight to see behind there...)
 Q3.C. Roughly follow a regular route to the nearest Charbucks and "pull" i=
nto
 the parking space similar to the size of my auto.
Q1. b. I'm still learning my Gene Cafe so variation is the rule for
now, but I also played around a bit with profiles on the iRoast2,
never really settling on one profile for a particular lot or origin.
On the Gene Cafe, it will probably take several months to narrow it
down to two or three "profiles" - and since I can't stick a TC into
the bean mass (and the tumbling action would probably prevent that
from being meaningful anyway), it will probably be touchy-feely
forever.  I try a lot of different beans from Tom & Maria, never
ordering more than 2 lb of any one variety, so that has a lot to do
with my choice of "b. rough".
  Q2. a. Only occasionally do I change quantity of ground coffee in my
auto-drippers and never change time or temps.
  Q3. b.  But I don't pull many espresso shots - I have an old Gaggia
that works well but it doesn't see a lot of use.  I'm closer to
"rough" than "precise."
Q1.b
 Q2.a
 Q3.a
   It's interesting how I'm not as precise with roasting. Hmm... I'm
 curious to see how others respond.
All-I'm afraid I'm a terrible poll responder.
 Q1.a)   Yes, these elements are necessary but not sufficient.
 Q1.b)  Also, Yes  This statement is not as fully exclusive of point
(a) as it first seems.  "Scientific in my approach" is especially
problematic because as used here, it seems pretty much limited to
measurement.
 Q2 b  (the caveat here, is that I'm not so much a fan of brewed as espress=
o)
 Q3. (a) is the answer.  But I don't want to disrespect something
important in (b).  It depends on what "roughly" means to different
people.  My regularity is indeed rough (sound like a problem for a
gastroenterologist), but to a high degree it is purposeful.  IMO, each
shot is like a tiny trial.  The result of the years of experimenting
is empirical (more answer a), but not derived from an ordered data
base (more answer b).
All- I never measure anything at all when I make or roast coffee,
although I have thought about it many times. It is just not in my
nature ;)
   So my answer to all three would definitely be "B."
Q1. B I generally roast similar (but not exact) quantities, especially
when roasting for myself.  Only when roasting for others do I change
the batch size.  I don't measure temperature, but I do keep a close
eye on the timer to make sure the roast is progressing normally. I am
more concerned with the length of the roast and the sound of the
cracks than any other factors. I use the Heat gun/doggie bowl, by the
way.  If I were to switch to the RK drum, I would probably also switch
to method #1)
Q2. A (When brewing, I don't measure the beans, I measure the ground
coffee itself very carefully. I manage the temperature only in the
sense that I take water just off the boil and pour it into my press
pot.  Though you didn't ask, I do measure the quantity of water that
will be used as well.  I have found that I like 4 ounces of water per
tablespoon generally, or 5 ounces of water per tablespoon if I am
feeling parsimonious.)
Q3. C (Not applicable)  Does that disqualify me from the poll?
Q1. I guess my approach is a combination of the two. While I do not -
 cannot - roast at a 'scientific' approach, much of what I do  (I am
 currently doing stove top roasting) are things I try to repeat. I do,
 however, roast on more of an intuitive level.
Q3. Can't answer #3 - don't do espresso (haven't had the time to
 …… see if I can get it to work).


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