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Topic: Roasted skunk was(Re: +Ronco 4000 (6 msgs / 176 lines)
1) From: Alchemist John
Well, I wanted to get a baseline on my convection oven so I preheated 
to 400 (over about 15 minutes), and put in a modest 8 oz coffee 
"calibration coffee".  Suffice it to say, 14 minutes later I was on 
the outskirts of 1st, with 1st done around 17 mins.  At 22 minutes I 
had copious smoke pouring out, but no 2nd.  Enough was enough. I 
pulled the roast.  Deep mahogany, with tons of oil.  But no 2nd.
Knowing there was no way I was going to taste this, I asked a 
co-worker if he wanted some "bad coffee".  I have roasted for him in 
the past, and I am slowing but surely converting him, so I was FULLY 
up front that this coffee was going to suck.  He assured me he would 
give it a go, and that he could and would drink anything.  I said, 
ok, but this is bad.  "no problem, bring it in".
His first comment was "OMG, it smells like you roasted a skunk.  This 
is terrible".  I did respond that I had warned him, but he figured 
that it was going to be "bad for what I usually bring in - not actually bad".
Regardless, I have nailed the roast defect Tom's skunk is based 
on.  Super long ramp and roast time.  Classic roasting beyond a 
roaster's capacity.  Really great to know.  I have always wanted to 
know what caused that defect and how to avoid it.  Looks like 
sufficient and steep initial ramp is critical to avoiding skunk.
BTW, he had to triple bag the roast just to keep from throwing it 
away on the spot.  And he is still going to try and drink it.  I bet 
he pours it out.
Also, in a cross-thread relation, he is a solid non-taster.  Anything 
not amazingly flavored tastes like dirt to him.  Can't tell any beans 
apart, nor most cooked vegetables.  Meat must be rare or it tastes 
like leather (well, I agree here), but all the same 
leather.  Surprisingly he is learning the differences in origin 
coffee.  Definitely training his palette.
And finally, more cross-posting.  I would NEVER give this guy ABC 
coffee even though he has on more than one occasion not liked the 
coffee I have brought him.  I respect honesty.  He did not like the 
origin - hell, he did not care for the Idido.  "too fruity".  Fair 
enough.  It was pompousness and a closed mind that got the other guy 
ABC (null-taster who thought he was a supertaster - NOT).
At 10:53 12/14/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

2) From: Ken Mary
<Snip>
I was eager to read about the roasted skunk, but was disappointed to see
that you were talking coffee.
I see nothing seriously wrong with your profile. It is likely that the high
finish temperature and surface oil caused the skunkiness. I have used many
slow profiles, including spending too much time in the critical region of
275 to 400F, and never any skunk. I almost never roast past the first snap
of second.
If you used a wire mesh drum, could you have seared the bean surface with
overexposure to radiative heat? This may explain the surface oil, smoke, and
no second crack.
--

3) From: Alchemist John
Well, I would do roasted skunk should I ever find 
one.  Interestingly, I have a few books on "alternative" foods - 
insects, cat, raccoon, snake...etc, you name it except not a single 
one has a recipe for skunk.  I wonder what that says....
Actually there was something seriously wrong with the profile.  I 
know by looking at what I wrote, it looks vaguely ok, but it was 
not.  The ambient to 275 time (yellowing) was also way too long, in 
the 9 minute level.  I think that was the critical zone.  It is the 
same drum I always use, and same type elements (solid), at the same 
distance from the beans.  The only difference was convection and 
lower power (600 W).  And agreed, I also hardly ever roast past the 
beginning of 2nd, but having done deep 2nd roasts for people, this 
roast looked deep 2nd.
I do agree the surface oil had a lot to due with the skunk, but part 
of my point (as surprise) was that heavy oil occurred way before 
2nd.  And I didn't say anything about my final temperature.  It was 
not that "high" - TC indicated 430 F.  Right where most of my roasts 
are, and actually a little under.  In general, "baked" comes to mind.
At 08:00 12/17/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

4) From: Ken Mary
<Snip>
Very interesting. My "chocolate" profile for Brazils and Sumatras uses this
exact time and temp, 9 minutes to 275, but from a cold start (oven and beans
at room temp). Also, I am talking probed bean temperature, so we may not be
in the same verse but certainly within the chapter.
--

5) From: Peter Zulkowski
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I did not get any skunk but dumped the beans all the same.
Would not give these away.
Lately I have been experimenting on the time between first and second crack.
This last attempt was a very sloooow ramp, and second occurred at 444F, 
in about 17 minutes.
As I have been in this experimental process of slowing the ramp, I have 
noticed that second comes earlier and earlier.
Used to I hit second at about 461F, and these beans are great!
Anyway, the 445F second crack were very dark and oily.
The resultant cup tasted 'funny' and made both C and me sick with 
burning stomachs and heartburn, two days in a row.
Sent the beans to the trash, roasted some more Harrar, following the 
original fast profile (just turn it on and let it race to 460F in 9 
minutes or so) and the coffee is back to being great again.
Apparently the beans will reach second crack at widely different 
/detected/ temperatures, and it depends on how long you let the beans 
soak at a given temp that helps determine the outcome.
Slow ramp to second is not always a good thing.
There is such a thing as too slow.
Also, even though the thermocouple is immersed in the center of the bean 
mass, there is still a major difference between what the TC sees and 
what the temperature of the insides of the beans actually is.
At least if you are to avoid baking them.
PeterZ
My .02, from here in LHC
Alchemist John wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: Justin Marquez
On 12/17/06, Alchemist John  wrote:
<Snip>
A friend of mine who ran a candle factory for a while says that the
reason there are no "coffee" scent candles is that they they usually
smell too much of skunk.
And, if you lived in Texas, finding a skunk would be no problem.  They
are the most common roadkill. When we lived out in the boonies in
Snyder, TX (and 6 miles out of town at that), frequently skunks would
wander in our yard and on our carport at night. They would also grub
for bugs under the security light - it looked like they were dancing
in the moonlight!
About the dearth of recipes for skunk...  recall that famous old
recipe for rabbit stew: "First, catch a rabbit.."
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)


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