HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Hottop Question --> was Re: +Sweet Maria GC Drum sales (10 msgs / 263 lines)
1) From: Ron Wood
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
If I am understanding this correctly you begin your beans anywhere from =
the beginning after the warm-up cycle to 4 minutes into the roast.  =
Educate me a little.  What type of beans would you start at the =
beginning and what beans you would start closer to the 4 minute mark?  =
It also sounds like the roast is between 14 and 18 minutes since you =
would stop both at 18 minutes.  What the the results of the two =
different roasts?  Thanks
Ron Wood
    I set my roasts for 22 min but most of my roasts run for 18 =
minutes before I push the eject button. However I vary the actual bean =
roasting time by adding beans later in the cycle, so in my case they can =
be roasted anywhere from 14 to 18 minutes within that 22 minute

2) From: MichaelB
Yes, you interpreted my data correctly.
Curiously, I started playing with the start time just a couple of months ago
when I first heard about the programmable hottop. I figured that to build
profiles for the new update the place to start was by changing the existing
profile. So my first step was to measure the profile to have have a known
baseline to start with. I plotted a few regular roasts and found that the
profile is practically the same with every 225 g roast. Then I plotted the
profile with the machine empty. This curve rises more quickly, reaches a
peak at about 14 minutes, and then falls for the rest of the time past 19
minutes. These are points that will help me start profiling the programmable
when I finally spring for it. (My excuse for not buying it sooner is that
I'm gonna wait till Tom starts selling it :-).
Anyway, at the same time, I started reading up on ideal profiles for
roasting coffee. When I first started roasting a few years ago I read a lot
of profile information by Jim Schulman. He posts a lot on the home-barista
site as another_jim. Here's one example of a profile he recommends.
0 - 1 min to 250F (basically top speed)
1 - 4 min to 300F (drying phase, an absolute must)
4 - 7 min to 380F (top speed again, the longer you're here, the worse it
7 - 11/12 min to the end, 11 for brewing, 12 for espresso (balance fast
vividness and slower sweetness)
I noticed that the empty hottop reached 300 or so in 4 minutes, and that if
I added the beans at that time, there was a temperature drop (adding the
room temperature beans) that took 4 minutes to return to 300, matching the
first segment of Jim's  profile. But after that 4 minute lag the profile is
right back onto the built-in hottop profile, sticking to it the rest of the
way, just like roasts with beans added at 0 minutes. Basically the only
difference with my manipulation is that the original way the beans take 8
mins to pass 300 and with the 4 min delay they take 4 min to pass this
temperature. One small step in the direction of following Jim's profile.
Is there a difference in the coffee? I think so. Curiously it was not
brightness per se that I noticed, but rather an amplification of the
characteristics of each coffee. So the centrals and the Kithingururu were
brighter, the Sidamo was earthier, the Ismaili was spicier. Curiously the
one coffee I was not sure about was my all time favorite Monkey Blend. It
did a flipflop on me. My experience has been that it punches through milk in
a cappucino better than it does as a straight espresso. The flipflop is that
the cappa has lost a bit of its punch but the espresso has gotten tastier
and is a better standalone shot. And another change is that I cut back on
the amount of grinds I use in my French press and vacuum brews. They now
taste better with less grinds. I'm just discovering this and cutting back
every time I brew a batch.
Could I identify these differences in blind tests? I would not bet a lot of
money that I could. But all indications are that manipulating the hottop
profile can improve the taste of the output. I have been so delighted with
the stock hottop and built in profile that I was originally not in a hurry
to upgrade. But these modest manipulations indicate that delightful as my
original hottop output is, there is room for improvement.
On 2/15/07, Ron Wood  wrote:

3) From: Jim Russell
I've added beans later in the cycle a few to my hottop as well, but not
often enough to really be able to figure out if it made a difference.  I
think I'm going to try this when I roast next week.  I'll roast two batches
of the same volume of the same beans, one added at the beginning of the
cycle and one delayed until the 4 minute mark.
It'll be interesting to see if I can tell the difference between the two
batches.  And interesting to see if I can hit the same level of roast twice
in a row.  :-)
Thanks for the idea Michael.
On 2/15/07, MichaelB  wrote:
Roasting them almost as fast as they come

4) From: Michael Dhabolt
Good work (and thinking).  I've found Jims profiles to be a serious learning
tool as I've been modifying my profiles.  The profile you identify is quite
similar to my current base profile.  I play a bit with my 'base' profile,
depending on the bean and hoped for outcome.
Different equipment, but the beans seem to respond in a pretty consistant
Mike (just plain)

5) From: Brian Kamnetz
MichaelB (or anyone else kind enough to comment),
I am interested in your roasting profile (adapted from Jim S.):
0 - 1 min to 250F (basically top speed)
1 - 4 min to 300F (drying phase, an absolute must)
4 - 7 min to 380F (top speed again, the longer you're here, the worse it
7 - 11/12 min to the end, 11 for brewing, 12 for espresso (balance fast
vividness and slower sweetness)
How close to correct would I be if I were to assume the following temp/color
250 -- green turning to yellow
250 - 300 -- yellow turning to tan
300 - 380 -- tan turning to brown, approaching 1st
On 2/16/07, MichaelB  wrote:

6) From: MichaelB
I can't answer with authority, but have a few comments:
1. Look here for pictures and notes on color and temperature.http://sweetmarias.com/roasting-VisualGuideV2.html.I'm not ready to look at
color yet because I'm too busy watching the temperature and plotting the
curves. Hope to get there soon.
2. Keep in mind that the temperatures I quote ( and this probably holds for
most of us home roasters) are probably not exact bean temperatures that
compare directly to Tom's notes. The importance of the temp measurements for
me are that they are consistent and help predict roast milestones.
3. You've provided a valuable reminder that we can use color and several
other roasting cues in addition to temperature to help with building
successful profiles.
On 2/16/07, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:

7) From: MichaelB
I was focusing on the roasting profile and machine capability so didn't
think to do the comparison. But you're doing the right thing. After all,
what's the point of all this manipulation if you can't taste it?
Hoping you'll share your first impressions and later thoughts too.
On 2/16/07, Jim Russell  wrote:

8) From: MichaelB
Hey Mike,
My first adventures with roasting were with the Freshrost. I was just past
the initial joy of the "I can roast coffee!" phase and starting to get into
profiling, and started following Jim and others who were leading the way.
 Then I switched to the hottop, took a few steps up in convenience and roast
size, but a major step back on roast control. So I've got
considerable experience with default hottop roasting, but I'm a rank
beginner when it comes to profiles. Variations for different kinds of beans
are on the to-do list -- but will have to wait till I upgrade my hottop and
pass my basic profile exams.
On 2/16/07, Michael Dhabolt  wrote:

9) From: DJ Garcia
In a more simplistic approach, I drop my beans in when the temp gets to =
on the digital display. In general I have enjoyed the roasts better, but =
could easily be making it up. I'll be getting the new model since I want =
get a backup (well, the old one would be the backup then), unless we =
to hear horror stories. I'll be able to try some stuff without getting =
involved. Roasting is still therapy away from complicated stuff for me =
Simple DJ

10) From: Brian Kamnetz
I took a big step forward a while back when I got a scale. The next step in
precision is knowing my roast temps. I'd like to do it electronically, but
I'm not knowledgeable about these things, not sure how it's supposed to
work, etc, and so have been mostly standing around scratching my head....
So, lacking that, was was wondering whether I might be able to roughly
follow the profile you were describing by watching the color changes. I
agree that measuring temps would be the way to go.
On 2/16/07, MichaelB  wrote:

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