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Topic: Speaking of aromas (4 msgs / 158 lines)
1) From: Frank Parth
A month ago I was in the Mid East and bought a kilo of green beans, with the only designation being that they were from India. For $5 I thought I would try them.
I just opened the bag today and was overwhelmed by a strong grassy smell. I enjoy the various aromas of the different green beans, but I've never smelled anything like this. Definitely grassy, and after bringing it to an early second crack stage it still smelled grassy. 
Does anyone have ANY idea what this bean might be? I may give it a 16 hour rest and try some in the morning. 
On a second topic, a couple of weeks ago I started hearing second crack very clearly on my GeneCafe. I still can't hear first crack, a complaint echoed by other GC owners. But second crack is loud and clear. This is exactly the reverse of when I was roasting in my Z&D, when first crack was obvious but second crack was hard to hear. At least now I have a much better reference for shutting down the roast cycle.
Frank Parth

2) From: Coffeenut
Frank,
It's hard to figure what to expect when the designation only says "India".
If the coffee ends up tasting as bad (post roast) as it smells green, then
chock it off to the old buyer beware stuff.  This is the reason I rarely
purchase from suppliers other than Sweet Marias.  You can end up buying
something that Tom would have either never sampled or rejected.   
I buy a fair amount of beans from India (Mysore Nuggets, Indian Robusta,
Kaapi Royal, Monsooned Malabar, etc) for blends mainly.  To me, a lot of
green coffees smell rather "grassy", so hopefully yours will smell better
after roasting.  Some of the Indian coffees are quite good with minimal rest
(less than 24hrs).
On your GeneCafe, is it possible that what you are hearing is really 1st C?
I know when I first started roasting (years ago) on an HWP, it was difficult
to hear the cracks at times due to the HWP noise.  Also, a few bean types
that I've roasted exhibit very little/low 1st C noise.  I've had a few bean
types that were so muted that you really had to wait for 2nd (and also
monitor time) to hear much activity.
Rick

3) From: Frank Parth
<Snip>
Yup, that's what I reported with the other bag of green beans I bought over there. The beans were from Yemen, and not nearly as good as what I get from Tom. But for the low price I set low expectations, I just never smelled anything quite that grassy before.
<Snip>
Tried it this morning. Still a grassy aroma, but very drinkable.
<Snip>
Good thought, but, no, I'm sure it's second crack. It occurs around 15 minutes or so at about 456 degrees and abouta minute after I see a good amount of smoke coming out. Other people have also commented that they can't hear firstcrack on a GC. The beans I was roasting when I first heard it were ones that I had no trouble hearing first crack fromin my Z&D.
I heard it because I was letting the GC go further than I'd let it go before. Usually I started the cool-down as soon as I saw smoke coming out. This time I let it go for another minute or so until the smoke was coming out pretty strongly. At that point I started hearing a definite cracking sound.
Frank

4) From: Coffeenut
Frank,
I had a similar situation with a replacement Alpenrost years ago.  It would
take the full roast time limit just to reach near the end of Full City.
Getting to 2nd was near impossible with most beans at full load (1/2 lb)
with that particular unit.  I could reduce the batch qty to less than 1/2 lb
which would yield a quicker roast and solve the roast time problem, but
having a smaller batch size was not desirable.  I ended up sending it back
to Swissmar to have it recalibrated hotter and they were good enough to do
it for me.
On the grassy-ness, I've seen that the degree of roast has impact too as to
how many days it takes to get over the grassy hump.  I'd give it a couple
more days rest.  Some of my Indian coffees need 3 days to get over the hump
even when I have roasted to Full City+.  I don't know how far you took the
roast, but roasting to a darker level may be helpful.
Rick


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