HomeRoast Digest


Topic: HG/DB Advice needed. (30 msgs / 661 lines)
1) From: Dan Hanson
OK I like my FR+8 roasts and it does big enough batches for myself but for
my christmas coffee giving I decided to go the route of the Heat Gun/Dog
Bowl method. The wife won't let me get an RK Drum till after the holidays.
My questions are pretty simple I think. What is the max. batch size that is
recommended? I figured I would start out with maybe 8oz to get used to it
but was wondering how much I could really put in there.  The dog bowl I have
is the biggest they sold.  It looked bigger than the one that was listed as
a 96oz dog bowl on the shelf but mine only says 13" on the tag.
I thought I also have heard of people using a mesh collander in the dog
bowl. Does this help with uniformity of the roast? I do have a collander
that will fit in it just about perfectly if this would help the roast. It is
the collander that I usually use for cooling off my beans but I have 2 other
collanders I can also use for the cooling process.
How far should I keep the heat gun away from the beans?  Do you continually
stir or mainly use the heat gun to move the beans ( I am guessing this
depends on how big the batch is)?
If anyone is wondering I bought a Milwaukee Digital Heat Gun 3300 that does
temps from 250-1350F. Anyone use this one?
Thanks for any and all input.
Dan

2) From: Brian Kamnetz
On 12/4/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
Dan,
I use a stainless steel mixing bowl with a collander that fits very nicely
into it. I cut a hole in the end of a cardboard box that the collander fits
snugly into. I snug the cardboard box, with the "hole" end up, next to a box
fan. At the conclusion of a roast I simply move the collander with the beans
still in it into the hole in the carboard box, turn on the fan, and the
roast rapidly cools and any remaining chaff blows out.
Brian

3) From: Sheila Quinn
I don't use a colander during the roast. I use just a good-sized dog 
bowl and get nice, even roasts. I then use two wire mesh colanders for 
cooling which also removes any leftover chaff. I see no reason to use a 
colander *during* the roasting process, at least not the way I'm doing it.
Sheila
Brian Kamnetz wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: Justin Marquez
On 12/4/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
I normally roast 1.5 cups of green beans - that works out to about 240
grams. It ends up as about 200 grams and around 2.4 cups roasted.  I
hold the HG about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch off the beans and I keep the
nozzle moving all the time.  I stir most of the time - nearly
continually. Others roast up to a pound of beans in a batch, but I
wouldn't recommend starting out there.
Get some relatively inexpensive beans to start with and roast about 1
Cup of them.  Carrty them all the way to French Roast (WELL into
second crack) so that you can learn what the sounds and smells are
during a roast. Note the time it takes to hear the first pops of First
Crack, the way the smoke smells as it progresses. Note when First
Crack ends. There should be a gap between first and second. Note the
smoke smell and its changes in the gap. Note when Second Crack starts
and what the smoke smells like.
When you move up in batch size, mostly what will change is about when
the milestones are reached. In my typical 1.5 cup roast size, first
crack starts at about 6-7 minutes, is finished at about 8-9 minutes. I
usually pull the nozzle back after first crack starts and keep it just
close enough to keep first crack progressing such that it is over in
about a minute and a half.  Then I pull it back a bit more and extend
the gap between 1st and 2nd cracks until I get the tell-tale sharp
smoke just before 2nd crack starts. The whole process runs about 9 to
12 minutes. Decaf is about 80% as long, makes almost no chaff.
On your heat gun, if you can dial in a temperature, I would try about
700-800 Deg F first.
I doubt that it matters very much whether you use the collander or the
actual dog bowl - it is purely a matter of convenience and what you
get comfortable with.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

5) From: an iconoclast
On 12/4/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
Hi Dan,
I read the lurkers post first, then saw this one, so cut and pasted
input from one to the other.  This is model I havehttp://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200195724_200195724, so it's a bit different. I do 2 lb batches almost every time I
roast.
From previous post:
My brand of gun is a Milwaukee with the LED readout.  I love it as it
has removable vent covers that clean easily and I can control the heat
precisely.  I use a BBQ grill side burner underneath and hang the HG
off the side of the main BBQ hood into a dogbowl with a mesh colander
in it.  I use a 5 lb bag of beans on the cord to weigh the gun down.
(This gun is heavy.) This leaves the slider temp controls on top and
easy to adjust after 1st crack.  After I reach my desired roast level,
I dump the beans into another mesh colander and cool it over one of
those $9.99 personal fans that adjust to horizontal.
Roasted 14 lbs day before yesterday.  I found a new way to save time.
While the new batch of beans is warming up on the side burner on low,
I weigh and bag up what I've already roasted.  I used to turn off the
grill and then start up again, but this is a much more efficient way
to do things, especially when it's 26 degrees and windy as it has been
the last week.
Good luck, Dan. Welcome to you and all those other lurkers.  Don't
hesitate to ask questions.
Take care,
Ann

6) From: Jennifer Medlin
I roast a pound at a time in a 96 oz dogbowl.  I don't recommend that
you roast 8 oz in it.  When I first "upgraded" my heat gun, I tried 8
oz, and the beans just baked.  I stir every few minutes at first, and
then more often as the roast progresses.  I keep the heat gun an inch or
two away from the beans, and stir with a wooden spoon.
Good luck,
Jen
<Snip>
On 12/4/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
for
<Snip>
Gun/Dog
<Snip>
holidays.
<Snip>
that is
<Snip>
it
<Snip>
I have
<Snip>
listed as
<Snip>
dog
<Snip>
collander
<Snip>
It is
<Snip>
other
<Snip>
continually
<Snip>
does
<Snip>
I normally roast 1.5 cups of green beans - that works out to about 240
grams. It ends up as about 200 grams and around 2.4 cups roasted.  I
hold the HG about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch off the beans and I keep the
nozzle moving all the time.  I stir most of the time - nearly
continually. Others roast up to a pound of beans in a batch, but I
wouldn't recommend starting out there.
Get some relatively inexpensive beans to start with and roast about 1
Cup of them.  Carrty them all the way to French Roast (WELL into
second crack) so that you can learn what the sounds and smells are
during a roast. Note the time it takes to hear the first pops of First
Crack, the way the smoke smells as it progresses. Note when First
Crack ends. There should be a gap between first and second. Note the
smoke smell and its changes in the gap. Note when Second Crack starts
and what the smoke smells like.
When you move up in batch size, mostly what will change is about when
the milestones are reached. In my typical 1.5 cup roast size, first
crack starts at about 6-7 minutes, is finished at about 8-9 minutes. I
usually pull the nozzle back after first crack starts and keep it just
close enough to keep first crack progressing such that it is over in
about a minute and a half.  Then I pull it back a bit more and extend
the gap between 1st and 2nd cracks until I get the tell-tale sharp
smoke just before 2nd crack starts. The whole process runs about 9 to
12 minutes. Decaf is about 80% as long, makes almost no chaff.
On your heat gun, if you can dial in a temperature, I would try about
700-800 Deg F first.
I doubt that it matters very much whether you use the collander or the
actual dog bowl - it is purely a matter of convenience and what you
get comfortable with.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

7) From: Dan Hanson
Thanks for all the input from everyone. I am going to go try my first HG/DB
roast a little later today and see how it turns out.
Dan
On 12/5/06, Jennifer Medlin  wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Dan Hanson
I almost forgot to ask...what size bowl should I use if I want to do a 4-8
oz roast?  Could I maybe use a small mesh collander in the large dogbowl to
keep the bean mass together and still get enough heat reflecting from the
dog bowl? Anyone ever try this for small batches in a large dog bowl?
Thanks again.
Dan
On 12/5/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>

9) From: Brian Kamnetz
Dan,
I think in general in roasting it is desirable to have a mass of beans that
are cumulatively able to absorb the heat. That would be especially true when
you are transferring heat via air. So, a generaly answer to your question is
that your vessel should be small enough that the beans are 3/4 inch or more
deep. Others who are more expert may have different advice, but that seems
to summarize what I have read here on this list.
Brian
On 12/5/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: Dan Hanson
Thanks for the advice Brian. I tried to keep the bean depth around 3/4 to 1
in. First I dumped the 8 oz(226g) into just the dog bowl and it ended up
only 1/2" depth. Figured that might not be good enough so I put the
collander in and ended up with around 3/4" depth so I figured I would try
it.
Well the results were amazing. I did up a batch of Ethiopian FTO DP
Lekempti. Normally I would do 2 - 3oz batches in my FR+8 and it would take
me about 30-40 min. Did this 8 oz batch in 14 1/2 min. WOW. The first thing
I noticed was the amount of roasting smoke. Filled my backporch quick as the
roast progressed especially after 2nd crack. I was wondering how the cold WI
weather was going to effect things but it worked well. Ended up with chaff
everywhere but that is easy enough to clean up with the shop vac.
I hit 1st crack around 9 min into the roast and second around 13 1/2 min.
Finished with a good solid 2nd crack at 14 1/2 to make it a nice FC+. Dark
roast with no oil on the beans. Aside from the mess this was a lot of fun
doing it this way. Only wish there was an easy way to know where my temps
were during the roast. I have a candy thermometer in the top of my FR+8 that
works good for temps.
Well now to just wait for tomorrow to try out the Lekempti and see how I
did. Smells great already.
Dan
On 12/5/06, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: Dan Hanson
Almost forgot to say that this is the most even roast of a DP coffee that I
have done yet.
Dan
On 12/5/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>

12) From: Brian Kamnetz
On 12/5/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
Dan,
You might consider Pecan Jim's suggestion that you remove a few beans at
regular intervals after first crack to see what the roast is like at that
level. You might find that with many beans (you can use Tom's suggestions on
the bag as a guide) a lighter roast has some nice characteristics.
I am originally from NW Wisconsin; where are you?
Brian

13) From: Justin Marquez
On 12/5/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
In general, I think it is easier to get an even-looking roast when it
is taken darker.
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

14) From: Dan Hanson
Brian,
I am in South Central WI about 30 min from the Illinois border.
The reason I took it to full city this time was to see where the cracks
would happen and the label for the Lekempti said it could be taken from a C+
thru FC+ roast, so I figured I was safe with where ever I stopped it. Next
time I will try a lighter roast now that I have an idea how the whole HG/DB
roast progresses.
Dan
On 12/5/06, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>

15) From: Brian Kamnetz
On 12/5/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
I don't know that area very well, mostly just passed through on the freeway,
but it's very pretty down there around New Glarus (good beer too) and
through all those hills. A couple nice bike trails in that area. That would
be a pretty place to sip coffee and watch the seasons change.
Brian

16) From: Brett Mason
Keep heading south west, and stop in Cedar Rapids.  We have a guest room and
a passion for coffee!
Brett
On 12/5/06, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

17) From: Heat + Beans --all the rest is commentary
13" is about right for the 96 oz.  Any recommendation by a poster on this
site should be taken seriously as a "very good" way to roast.  That is, even
more problematic methods, in experienced hands, can produce great coffee.
What I like best about HG/DB is that I can keep it so simple that I spend
nearly every minute roasting and practically no time at all setting up and
putting away my gear.  Every new piece of hardware that you might add
(colander, boxes, hanging supports, bread machines, trampolines, . . .)
-----I've tried 'em all----just adds something to adjust, more stuff to
store and arrange, and another variable to consider.
So here's my clutter-free, keep-it-simple suggestion.  Heatgun:  1350
degrees is higher than the 1100 I use, but I see no problem setting it and
keeping it there. The only exception might be with very small roasts (under
6 oz?) where you might want it lower.
Stirring:  I like to use a dowel or stick end of a wooden spoon.  The combo
of a good wanding motion of the HG and stirring of the stick gets a well
mixed, even roast and the beans stay in the bowl
SS dogbowls.
Timer (for when you want to set targets for getting to or extending between
cracks).  You asked about distance between HG and beans.  I suggest you
target your 1st c. for 6 or 7 minutes.  If you get there at 5 minutes, next
time hold the gun further out.  Soon you should be able to sense that you
are roasting too fast or slow and make these adjustments "on the fly."
Don't worry about a few "divots" or small flakes of coffee beans that wind
up in the bowl.  But if there's a bunch, it may indicate that you are
singeing the beans. It takes some discipline to back off the roast and let
the heat build. Some years ago, there was much talk about "stalling" the
roast------
I also have a super-sized mesh wire round dish cover (for picnics keep flies
of dishes, etc.) that is great for dumping and tossing beans for a quick
cool (then they go onto a stone counter top).
My "sweet spot" for the 96 0z bowl batch size is roughly 9-13 oz.  Yes, if
provoked I can go much larger, but it doesn't save much time over doing 2
smaller roasts and my results are more predictable.
I do my roasting over the lit BBQ.  I can't say much for certain why I think
it produces a better roast for me. I just like it.
-- 
Martin
Heat + Beans
    all the rest is commentary

18) From: raymanowen
My wife's Kitchen Aid mixer bowl is pretty deep, compared to the bowl you
would use to feed the mutt. It's stainless steel, so after roasting there's
almost nothing to clean up. I actually hit it with a 3-M Scrubbie sponge 2-3
times when I'm just using it , but I can't tell the difference in its
appearance or the Irish Soda Bread that's a no-go in a bread machine.
So- my Celtic Critic just made a mess of big fluffy biscuits to go with some
"creamed beef" for the morning when I'm headed out for another inspection
gig @ Lucent/ Avaya. Quick bowl cleanup, then I roasted the last 366g of my
Kenya AA.
It has now become tomorrow- the Kenyaa is very good after 7 hours! It got
more rest than I did. I had a brew in an airpot thermos all to myself- one
of the little 1.9L flower pots this time. My little group of inspectors
likes soda pop to drink, but the pop machines were all gone today. I'm sure
they wouldn't like my 1:10 coffee
"...a Milwaukee Digital Heat Gun 3300 that does temps from 250-1350F. Anyone
use this one?" Not I, but you can dispense with the digital control feature.
While I would love to add to my Milwaukee tool stash (then I would have
two), you modulate the heat gun by the way you hold it and the excess
instrumentation is just so much distraction, IMHO.
There's no problem with the tools you have. I just recommend using the heat
gun at its max setting and pay no attention to fiddling with the controls
while you're roasting. Don't let anything distract your attention from the
beans for even an instant.
Cooling these larger roasts will be a whole different ball game than the FR
batch size. You'll potentially roast 10X the batch size comfortably. Plan
how you'll get 'em stopped and cooled off.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

19) From: raymanowen
On 12/5/06, raymanowen  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

20) From: an iconoclast
On 12/5/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
As I like at least 3 of everything, I bought 3 dog bowls and a set of
3 mesh colanders to fit in the dog bowls.  I use the 64 oz dog bowl
and the largest colander to roast 2 lbs. I find if I roast less than 2
lbs, I have to turn up the heat because of less bean mass.  I could
get the 32 oz DB and colander, but I'm too lazy.
Here's links from long ago post:
Here is the dog bowl I use:http://petco.com/Shop/Product.aspx?R&00&Nav=1&Naor&N=0&Ntt=dog+bowl&cp=7&sku2662&familyID`07&I bought a 64oz and 32oz, but use the 64 oz the most.
I bought these colanders:http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?order_num=-1&SKU508006.I use the one that fits the dog bowl best, usually the one 10 inches
in diameter.  I roast with the colander in the dog bowl.  It's easier
to stir the beans in the colander rather than the dog bowl. I don't
even need to use hotpad.  At the end of the
roast, I just lift the colander out by it's handle and hold it over my
cooling fan until the bottom of the colander is cool.  Then I set it
right on the fan.
Have a great time,
Ann

21) From: Brett Mason
I trust you have a 3-group commercial espresso machine?
Brett
On 12/6/06, an iconoclast  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

22) From: Brian Kamnetz
I'll keep that in mind, Brett!
Brian
On 12/5/06, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>

23) From: Dan Hanson
Ann,
Those are the same 3 colanders I bought and am using. Thanks for letting me
know how much you can roast in the 64oz bowl. How long does your 2 lb roast
usually take?  I can not wait to do some 2 pound batches right before
christmas to see how they go.
Dan
On 12/6/06, an iconoclast  wrote:
<Snip>

24) From: Brian Kamnetz
Dan,
You may already know all this, but in case not, not all heat guns are equal.
A while back Justin M. provided the following method of analysis:
"The total BTU's is exactly dependent on the wattage (normally about
equal to the amps x the volts).  The suitability for roasting depends
on both the wattage AND the air temp produced.  You can use a 1200
watt hair dryer all day long and never get to first crack.
"AT 14.5 amp and 110 volts, your heat gun runs close to 1600 watts,
mine is 1000 watts or so. Thus, with 1100 degrees and 1600 watts, I
can believe that you could roast a pound in about the same time as I
do a half pound."
Brian
On 12/6/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>

25) From: an iconoclast
On 12/6/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
I usually do about 13-15 minute roasts.  I timed it ONCE just to see.
I am a Zen roaster and do not want to think about time.  That's all I
do all in most of my life. It's taken me about a year to get in a
groove where I do the same thing over and over. But just last weekend,
I changed my method a little. Then there is the ambient temp.  I
preheat the beans with the side burner before I start the HG. I
preheat longer when 32 degrees outside than when it's 90 degrees.  I
can tell you the fun is in figuring out the process.  You'll do lots
of test.  I can tell you in the beginning I was afraid of second crack
and under roasted more than I should have.  Do a batch all the way to
burnt to see each stage. Just have fun.
Take care,
Ann

26) From: raymanowen
What Brett said, plus my HG/DB roasting takes place in a 5 quart Deep Bowl-
a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl. I've probably roasted as little as 8 oz, if that's
all I had. It was a Yirg. Long story...
Ethiopian Sidamo and Harar were the dickens to roast. They were looking
horribly uneven at the start, and were playing "Hide and Seek" when I just
wanted them to Finish first Crack!
With my head over that bowl, I never have a problem discerning the sound of
the cracks. If the beans are acting obstreperous- actually Not, there are
Methods of Persuasion.
We have ways- just bring the Magnum hair dryer closer to the beans. They
will talk! Purposely burning coffee is so like Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
The Starbucks Dystopia of coffee.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Crashing an airplane is no part of learning to fly! Get a Grinder- Don't
Burn Beans.
On 12/6/06, an iconoclast  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

27) From: Todd Christell
Which is why I ordered a pound of SM's "thumbs down" Vietnam Robusta.  I
figured it wouldn't hurt my feelings as much to ruin a questionable
coffee.
When I taught silversmithing I had all of my students save their first
scrap silver piece.  Before they tried soldering their first project I had
them heat the scrap silver; noting things like timing, torch placement,
color and lustre change, all the way to molten blob state.  I truly
believe that it gave them a valuable understanding of the heat transfer
process and probably saved the anguish of melting 10 hours of work.
tlc
Todd Christell
Network Manager
SpringNet
www.springnet.net
417.831.8688
Key fingerprint = 4F26 A0B4 5AAD 7FCA 48DD 7F40 A57E 9235 5202 D508
 Purposely burning coffee is so like Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit
<Snip>

28) From: raymanowen
Well, things are likely to fly but I got 5# of Vietnamese green coffee
online about two years ago.
When it arrived, I roasted two 1/4 cup batches in the PII popper. I really
didn't know from Robusta, and their ad copy didn't specify "This stuff is
Scheisse- prepare to hate it..."
I first roasted into second Crack and the beans started looking deep brown
and sweaty. It is against my religion to just look at a bottle of beans I
just roasted, so I whipped out the mighty Solis M +. As long as I was going
to put them in something, why not try my brand new grinder?
The 1:13 Bunn drip brew was complex, with a fragrant aftertaste. I roasted a
second batch and put those in a baby food jar to age til my next brewski.
With 20 hours rest, the tantalizing fragrance was muted but still there.
That was my Celtic Critic's comment. She noted the same thing too.
Several more roasts to fill an 8 oz fruit jar for actual aging trials was a
flop.
What happened was that the little jar allowed too great an air (O2) exchange
when I'd open it to sniff the sweet smell of progress.
Egad- The last time was Ghastly- the jar smelled like a retread plant!
One of these days, I'll get more Vietnamese beans and zero in on the
tantalizing fragrant taste we both noted at first.
I guess the Vietnamese coffee doesn't handle like every other coffee. So
what else is new?
My experience with Silver working is only an FM antenna- two 20-element
stacked Yagis with twin lead ladder line that used Silver conductors, and
U-shaped insulators. FM wasn't just a wireless jukebox.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
The Grinder is the Fundamental Coffee Brewing Implement!

29) From: Dan Hanson
Thanks again for all the info. I tried to talk my wife into letting me try
to roast with the bread machine we have not used in years but she was not to
keen on that experiment.
Dan
On 12/7/06, an iconoclast  wrote:
<Snip>

30) From: Brett Mason
$3.50
Thrift Store
Buy your wife some flowers too!
Brett
On 12/7/06, Dan Hanson  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com


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