HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Longest Time Between 1st & 2nd Crack? (25 msgs / 450 lines)
1) From: Jeff Oien
What's the longest time you've gone between 1st and 2nd crack?
Or the longest time you've gone past first? What bean? Was it an
accident or were you trying for something? How did it turn out?

2) From: Ken Mary
Back when I roasted in poppers, the taste of second crack was foul and 
burnt. So I developed a profile ending in a coast right at the start of
second and was able to continue with snaps occurring very slowly (maybe 5
per minute) for up to 2 minutes. There was no longer any burnt taste, but
the brightness was greatly reduced.
Now my drum roasts are mostly city to city+, not even approaching second. I
measure the actual bean temperature ramp just prior to first, and adjust
this ramp and finish temperature to suit the bean. There is a decline in the
ramp during first when the water leaves the bean, but after first the same
ramp resumes at constant heat input. For aged coffees, I find that a 3C per
minute ramp and finish of 215C bean temp is best. Most non-aged beans use a
5 to 8C ramp and finish at 215 to 220C, and if I want more brightness, go up
to 10C per minute. The higher ramps need a higher finish temperature due to
the gradient within the bean. The bean surface temperature reading may be
10C or more above the interior at the highest ramps.
Would you be more specific in your questions or what you are trying to

3) From: Justin Marquez
On 1/5/07, Ken Mary  wrote:
Ken - I did not ask the original question, but I have another one.
  How are you controlling the ramp rates?  Is it by hand using the
knobs for the burners or by some temp control device? And, am I
assuming correctly that we are discussing a drum in a BBQ grill roast
setup?  If so, how do you measure the bean surface temps?
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

4) From: Jeff Oien
Ken Mary wrote:
The two things I was thinking about are flavor development after first
without going into 2nd and increasing body of something like a Sumatra
when going a little into 2nd. Also possibly increasing sweetness
in the latter. Thanks for the comments.

5) From: Ken Mary
I use a small homebuilt drum in a toaster oven. There is a switch for
top/bottom elements. I have a dimmer on the bottom elements to control
ramps. I read the power input in watts from a Kill-a-Watt meter. I have
determined power inputs for various ramps.
The drum is on a spit rod but an internal support allows one end open so
that a thermocouple can be inserted in the moving mass of beans.

6) From: Michael Dhabolt
I don't roast with a drum, but I believe the answers to your questions re:
of something like a Sumatra when going a little into 2nd. Also possibly
increasing sweetness in the latter. <
are pretty universal between roaster types.  IMHO faster ramps will enhance
higher notes. Slowing the roast at the beginning of 1st crack through to the
end of roast (other than post 2nd crack, if your going to Vienna or French)
will enhance body and sweetness.
Mike (just plain)

7) From: Eddie Dove
You wrote, "The drum is on a spit rod but an internal support allows one end
open so that a thermocouple can be inserted in the moving mass of beans."
Any way you can supply a picture of that?
My Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On 1/5/07, Ken Mary  wrote:

8) From: Les
I have gone 12 minutes in my RK drum.  It flattened all of the flavors of
the bean.  I could have gone longer.
On 1/4/07, Jeff Oien  wrote:

9) From: Vince Doss
I'm with Les here, I have gone 5-8 minutes intentionally and it
flattened the roast. I have found that in the RK, this is what happens
when i do large (4lb) roasts. The bean mass just draws out the time
too long so I stick to 2lb max now.
(thinking of overhauling the grill with a commercial burner)
On 1/5/07, Les  wrote:
At some point between French and fire, it really doesn't matter much
what the "origin character" of the coffee was...
Tom Owens - Sweet Marias

10) From: miKe mcKoffee
I don't recall the time start of 1st of end of roast but early in my profile
roasting days I did two roasts to test FrankenFormer Caffe' Rosto profile
capability extremes. A 5 minute French and on the opposite end of the
spectrum a 25 minute Cinnamon roast! IIRC that Cinnamon roast (of Panama
Songbird) was something like 12 to 15 minute start of 1st to end of roast.
To long a roast will indeed kill brightness regardless how light the final
roast level:-) Later profile experimenting found not only 1st through end of
roast affecting brightness but too slow a ramp tanning to start of 1st also
can/will flatten the taste. 
The beauty of home roasting with total profile control you can experiment
with the same bean different lengths of roast and different profiles for
various lengths of roasts and compare results finding what you like best.
Now seldom will my roasts be shorter than 10:30 minutes nor longer than 16
minutes, seldom will tanning to start of 1st stage be slower than 20f/min
nor faster than 30f/min ramp, seldom will start of 1st to end of roast be
shorter than 3 minutes or longer than 6 minutes, seldom will pre-tanning
warm-up equalization stage be shorter than 3min or longer than 4min. 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

11) From: Ken Mary
I do not have a camera. It should be easy to figure out if you make a
cardboard model and experiment. The drive end of the drum has a square hole
for the spit rod, this is one support. At the geometric center of the drum
is a metal strap with a center hole that fits snugly over the spit rod
making the second support. Since no support is needed for the idle end, a
fairly large hole can be made in the end cap to allow the spit rod and

12) From: Les
Why waste your time doing something that is totally unnecessary.  You are
not going to micro adjust a RK drum.  You don't want to micro adjust a RK
drum.  The secret of a good drum roast is the nice ramping of the
temperature that can be controlled by the powerful propane heat.  By burying
the temperature probe in the beans you are defeating the whole purpose of
taking a temperature reading in the first place.  The best way to roast with
the most accuracy is to know the relative temperature of the roast chamber,
and not have the temperature masked by bouncing the probe around in the
beans.  Why are you taking something simple and making it complex?  You
might think you are gaining control, you are not.  You end up with false
readings and being 10 degrees behind and 30 seconds too late.  What you want
when roasting by temperature are accurate relative temperatures so they can
be repeated.  It really doesn't matter to know the temperature in the mass
of beans if you know your relative temperatures in relationship to time of
the roast.  First and Second crack are your check points.
Set the temp probe in a good spot and do 4 or 5 test roasts.  It will take
less time, and you will get better roasts.
On 1/6/07, Ken Mary  wrote:

13) From: Ed Needham
I make all my drums with a hole in the end.  No trap door to mess with and it 
allows me to insert a probe to measure bean temps.
Ed Needham
"To absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com

14) From: Ed Needham
For day to day roasts, the roaster is almost on autopilot, and there is little to 
no thinking in the process.
The bean probe helps me most when I'm doing something 'non-standard', and my 
roaster temp benchmarks don't prove to be a good guide.  Like roasting different 
batch sizes or when I want a non-standard bean temperature.
Ed Needham
"To absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com

15) From: Jeff Oien
I would agree with you if I didn't do so many different sized batches.
I do one size for myself, two for my wife, a couple for the occasional
customer and a couple if I'm doing a post roast blend with some left
over for myself. It's hard to come up with standards using roast
chamber temps in wildly fluctuating climate outdoors. My main problem
is knowing how much to decrease the heat during/after first crack.
Les wrote:

16) From: Ken Mary
OK, I admit that I am a nerd. I MUST know the true bean temperature.
In my case, using an electric toaster oven and small drum, while knowing
only the oven temperature, my roasts were unpredictable. Since I never
intentionally roast into second crack, I would be guessing the finish
temperature and too often roasted light or ran into second crack
unexpectedly. After the thermocouple mod, I felt more in control. Now, I can
dry the beans at 125C and stop the roast at my predetermined temperature.
There are 226-212C = 14 finish temps between too light and second crack, 14
roast levels, 14 chances to find the sweetspot. I know the ramp approaching
first is 3C per minute for aged beans, for example. Knowing bean temperature
makes it easy to use the same profile in whatever roaster I choose. And as
Ed and Jeff mentioned, it is much easier to roast different batch sizes.

17) From: Eddie Dove
I assume by now you probably know most of this in your head, but did you
take lots of notes on your roasting?  You seem to have certainly become a
master at your setup.
My Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On 1/7/07, Ken Mary  wrote:

18) From: Ken Mary
Absolutely. I have roast and brew notes on every roast that I have ever 
done. The first few years of notes were rudimentary and may not have much
value now. I suppose I should toss them out. But those notes were a learning
experience. I still have a lot to learn. It seems to be a slow process for
me. I wanted as much info and data as I could obtain, that explains my
desire to measure bean temperature.
BTW, I am returning to normal after the heart attack and getting off most of
the meds. I believe that of all those meds, Zocor was the absolute worst.
After I stopped Zocor, my back and shoulder pains went away, a hot itchy
rash on my neck and near the incision went away, my swollen lower leg where
the vein grafts were removed suddenly lost most of the swelling, my heart
rate suddenly dropped from the low 80's to low 70's, and my mental attitude
went from near depression to happiness and I am eager to get back into my
master at your setup.

19) From: Eddie Dove
Great news, Ken!  Maybe you could post your notes on a blog or something for
us newbs ... just a thought!
My Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On 1/7/07, Ken Mary  wrote:

20) From: Mark J Bergh
Great news Ken!  But not surprising given all the un-(or rarely)disclosed
side effects of most of these modern miracle drugs.
Don't spread that news too openly....lest the black ops helicopter from the
Pharmaceutical Industry Protection Agency (PIPA?) shows up late one night
over your home! 

21) From: RK
good to hear you are recovering Ken, Meds are more dangerous today then they 
were 30 yrs ago. So many allergic reactions today.
It's good to know you are on the mend and will be getting back to roasting 
and enjoying the fruits of your labor.
God speed.

22) From: Wesley Simon
I had a roast that took about a week in between first and second cracks.
Actually, I ran out of propane shortly after hitting first crack with some
Uganda Bugisu.  I gave it a good four day rest to try it out, but decided it
was not dark enough.  So, a couple days later, I finished out the roast.   I
do think that it may have been a little flatter than usual, but it was
delicious nonetheless.
Oh, I do long for more Bugisu!
On 1/7/07, RK  wrote:

23) From: Jeff Oien
I did a roast of Sulawesi Decaf with 5 minutes between the end of
1st and beginning of 2nd, RK Drum. This resulted in a very nice
huge bodied cup. When I use 1/3 regular with it, it pretty much
swallows up the regular where previous roast of Komodo blend didn't.
Problem is I hadn't had this bean for a while and this is the last
of what I have so I can't make direct comparisons.
It seemed to work very well. I think as others have stated
it may flatten out a brighter, fruitier bean though.

24) From: Tim TenClay
On 1/11/07, Jeff Oien  wrote:
I did a mexican oaxa that hit first  crack around 14 min. and wasn't near
2nd by the time I hat 23 (and stopped)...it was a complete accident.  i was
roasting outside and just never got quite hot enough.
It tasted aweful.
Grace and peace,

25) From: Brian Kamnetz
From reading past posts, type of roaster seems to make a big difference. A
drum roaster seems to get very good results with a relatively long pause
between first and second crack, whereas a longer pause with a fluid bath (
i.e., hot air) roaster bakes the beans and flattens the flavors.
On 1/11/07, Tim TenClay  wrote:

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