HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Question about roasting (8 msgs / 307 lines)
1) From: Michael Wisniewski
    I'm new to roasting; actually, I just got started last week.  I'm
using the really basic heat gun / dog bowl method, but find that it
works well.  The beans I'm using are the Mexico Organic Nayarit
Terruno.  The question I have about them is how long do I roast them
for?  I think my first batch was a little too light.  When I did my
'yuck yuck' roast, I roasted them until they started smoking.  These
looked like they came out fine.  With my Terruno beans, I stopped them
before they were smoking?  Should I have let them smoke a little too?
    The second question I have is the 'resting time'.  After roasting,
should I let the beans rest overnight, or can I grind them and use
them right after roasting.  As for the resting, does it make a
difference on what kind of bean it is?
Thanks for any information!

2) From: Aaron
Hello Mike.
To answer your question?  You want to roast them until you hear them 
cracking at a very minumum and go about a minute past that.   If you 
like a darker roast you will go darker than that, possibly into w here 
they start cracking a second time, although at this point the cracking 
will sound more like snaps like rice krispies in milk do.  Smoking is 
normal, and yes stopping when you first see smoke is probably a bit too 
soon.  The color of the beans, and the smell of the smoke is probably 
going to be your two best indicators of when to stop them, along with 
the cracks.
Resting,.... this is a topic that will get 1000 different answers from 
as many people.  Generally, you want them to rest a day or three before 
drinking them, BUT yes you can grind and make coffee immediately.  I 
believe all of us has done that at one time or another... roasted then 
made it into coffee right away, but the coffee will taste sooooo much 
better if you give it some time to rest first.   How long this is, 
depends on the coffee and I believe roast level as well.   Some coffee's 
are great after two days rest, other coffee's like some kona's for 
example will taste their best after a week of rest.
Most people the rest time is when they start really drinking the 
coffee... ok for example, lets say I roasted half a pound of beans.  
This is a hell of a lot of beans to drink on one day yanno?  Now lets 
say this specific coffee tastes it's best at day 3.   I will probably 
start drinking it at day 3... into day 4, 5, 6 etc, depending on how 
much coffee I go through until it is gone.  Resting is not necessarily 
implying you HAVE to leave it set that long, just that, that lenghth of 
time, is when the best characteristics of the bean and flavors really 
start showing up.
Hope this helps

3) From: Ian Gowen
I'm another newbie roaster. I've gotten good results with the Mexico  
Organic Nayarit Terruno by roasting until just before second crack.
hope this helps
On Mar 9, 2007, at 8:39 PM, Michael Wisniewski wrote:

4) From: Scott Marquardt
On 3/9/07, Michael Wisniewski  wrote:
There's a lot of trial and error and learning, and don't begrudge
that. Frankly, don't wish you could know it all up front. A lot of the
fun in honing the craft is the delightful and often puzzling
discoveries that can come you way.
For example, I have a great Kenya bean I get in quantity, and it
tastes superb at a City roast (just after first crack) and great at a
Full City + (into second crack) -- though the latter is a poor use of
such a great bean. Anyway, the kicker is that dead center in the
middle of that -- around 435 degrees, bean temp -- if I terminate the
roast the brew will be harsh (regardless of rest). I came to call this
is "notch" coffee. Think of it this way -- you can hold up your thumb
or your index finger on the one end, and people will think this or
that. You can hold up your pinky or your ring finger, and they'll
wonder what you mean. But if you hold up your middle finger, no one
likes that.   ;-)   Same with this coffee. Odd.
I've found that as a rule, light roasts do well with longer rests, and
darker roasts begin tasting great with less rest time. In fact, my
first brave forays into blending -- territory that scares me to death
-- has been to blend dark-roasted Sumatra (or comparable) with lightly
roasted Arabian/African beans -- particularly dry process Ethiopians.
What I find is that this blend morphs with its rest; as the Sumatra
peaks and wanes, the Ethiopian is just coming into its peak. This
coffee tastes a bit different each day -- and I like that!
I'm close enough to being a noob myself (not yet two years) that I
smile to read your mail -- you're in the totally FUN phase where just
seeing that you've roasted beans is SO DARNED COOL.    :-D
You're doomed. Once a roaster, always a roaster.
- Scott

5) From: raymanowen
"...but find that it works well."
Hello, Mike, and Welcome!
You've found Run #1 of the Slippery Slope. I think you have an excellent
learning setup with the HG/ DB roasting. It works well, and will help you
improve, over time.
Roasting serves as a brief intro to Blue Blazes for the beans. They make
smoke when they get that hot. How hot for how long? Your own palate will
tell you.
Be sure to take notes and listen for the pops and snapping sounds
("Cracks"). The cracks are better indicators because they originate in the
beans themselves, not some lying thermometer.
Ask yourself- are you going to grind and brew thermometers or coffee beans?
The latter will taste lots better than the former. It will be exasperating
at the start, how little correlation you will observe between thermometer
readings and coffee flavors.
I recommend you get 5 or 10 pounds of a single coffee on which to practice
roasting and brewing. How much useful practice can you gain with 10
completely different small samples? If you change some aspect of your
roasting, your aging, your brewing, and a completely different bean- so,
I'll Guarantee the flavor will change. But Who Knows Why? You'll learn
nothing fast, except that there are no misteaks. It may take a while to
learn how to hit the flavor you like. "Errors" lead to new flavors and
greater interest.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
If it looks like coffee and smells like coffee, it's probably coffee...

6) From: Patrick S. Harper
Sight, sound, and smell are my sign's (I am a noob too though)  Tom has some
good pictorials on the site that show the stages of roasting.  For resting I
let them sit open air for about 12 hours then put them in a mason jar and
when I can open the lid without it sounding like it had been vacuum sealed I
know the beans are done releasing their co2 and I roast them.  Not sure if
that is the right way but it is what I have put together as my roasting
program from what I have seen here.  It also seem that the lighter the roast
the more resting they will need, some of the lighter roasts I have done have
needed 5+ days before they were rested the way I am doing it and tasted
right.  I found that they did not taste the way I expected until a proper
rest, I was roasting too soon and could not figure out why my coffee tasted
a little off.

7) From:
Hi Mike:
you will know if you burn them. let them smoke, all beans smoke when roasted. you can find some charts on degree of roast, Tom has one posted.
as far as rest, try some right away, I do all the time to see how they taste right away, most are excellent, then let them rest a day or so and try them again...
your choice all the wazy Mike,
good luck,
---- Michael Wisniewski  wrote: 

8) From: Michael Laggis
Being new to roasting and to this list myself all I can tell you is that =
I highly recommend that you pick up the book "Home Coffee Roasting - =
Romance and Revival" by Kenneth Davids.  I got my copy from Sweet =
Maria's and read it before roasting my first batch.  It has helped me to =
better understand the coffee roasting process. It really helps no matter =
what method of roasting you are doing.  I am built my roaster out of the =
Salton Popcorn and nut roaster(UFO) and Sunpentown Turbo Convection =
oven.  It has been working great.  I have now used up my first 5lbs. of =
greens and I'm starting on my second 5lbs. 

HomeRoast Digest