HomeRoast Digest


Topic: First Roast Results (10 msgs / 281 lines)
1) From: mirrera
Well, it's been a few weeks since the list was nice enough to provide me copious (and sound) advice on how to 'get started'.  I thought I'd give a 'trip report' on how it's gone, so far.  Sorry for the verbose post -- maybe it will be useful for someone else in the future, though it's pretty boring for the rest of you, I fear.
My initial question was whether to go with an RK drum initially, or ease into it with some other method first.  The overwhelming consensus was to go with a different method first, then graduate to the drum.  I ended up going with the HG/DB, since that seemed simplest, and should allow for a pretty steep learning curve. 
I got my Master 751B online, and an actual dog bowl from PetSmart.  I received my sampler pack, some Goo Goo Muck for practice, and a couple others from SM.  I built a cooler with a 3 gallon bucket, SS bowl, and vacuum.  With my Ove Gloves at the ready, I was well prepared to scorch some beans.
The weather in Boston hasn't been particularly cooperative lately, but I was able to get a roast in late last week.  The dog bowl went on the grate of the grill, the top of which helped to deflect some of the 20 mph wind.  I was able to take about 1/2 pound of the Goo Goo Muck through to second crack with only a few stray beans flying out of the bowl (and into the tub of the grill, of course).  Then I struggled to get the beans into my cooler and get the vacuum going (note: insert the vacuum into the bottom of the bucket before starting to roast).  Time was about 11 minutes to 1st, 13 minutes to 2nd (in ~50F temps), and it looked, well, like coffee, so I was relatively pleased.  
On to the first roast that I may actually want to drink.  I randomly chose a bag of Tanzania Mount Meru Nkoanekoli as my victim.  After holding the gun and stirring for 13 minutes on the first roast, followed by starting another roast and having to do the same, I started to think of ways to suspend the gun (so much for no 'mods').  Anyway, I got to first crack for 1/2 lb in about 10:30, let it go to about 12 minutes, where my expert eye judged it to be to Tom's recommended City +, dumped and cooled successfully.
On Saturday, after it had rested two days, I adjusted my Macap stepless grinder to a coarse FP using the Goo Goo Muck -- it was nice to have that around so I didn't have to waste any real beans.  Brewed up a pot of FP, crossed my fingers, and took a sip.  Tasty.  The wife (who, after having seen me hunched over coffee beans in a dog bowl on our porch with a hair dryer in my hand, chaff in my hair, and a wild look in my eye, now firmly believes me to be insane) tried some, and said, 'this is the only coffee I've ever had that didn't need milk and sugar'.  If she's sold, then I'm all set (she’s generally a cap/latte person).
So, with spring approaching Boston any month now, I hope to go through a bunch more beans and reduce the whole thing to practice a bit.  Some notes and questions that I have:
Though the chaff was flying from the Tanzanian, when it was done there was still a fair amount remaining adhered to the beans.  Should this have come off during the roast, or must it be manually removed using a colander or something?
Though stirring constantly through the roast, I wouldn’t characterize the degree of roast of the beans to be completely even – there were definitely color variations from bean to bean.  How concerned about that should I be?
I'm pretty sure that I was able to identify 1st and 2nd crack properly.  The advice to use the HG/DB as a way to get 'close to the beans' was appreciated.  And I think that I actually hit the City + that I was targeting on the Tanzanian.
Adjusting the grind on my stepless grinder is a chore -- I need a second grinder for FP coffee, I think.  I have been drinking espresso-based drinks exclusively, and with the introduction of some of these SO beans, I know I'm going to want to brew FP, and I don't have the patience to switch the grind back and forth.  Hopefully another grinder on the kitchen counter won’t be cited in any divorce proceedings…
I’m pleased with how the first try has turned out – better than I expected.  Many thanks to all those on the list that helped get me started.  And sorry for the ridiculously long post.
-AdkMike

2) From: Brett Mason
Congratulations AdkMike - you make us all proud!
Brett
On 4/19/07, mirrera  wrote:
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-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

3) From: Floyd Lozano
Congratulations!  I have been miserable here in Boston myself - the rain for
me with no garage means no roasting except in the Freshroast (man i sure
could use a $500 smokeless chaffless 1# roaster!).  With the weather
clearing up, looks like a monster roasting session this weekend (relatively
speaking)
With the dogbowl, picking that thing up is a chore.  Couple things you can
do:
1) drill a couple holes in it carefully and screw a handle on.  Not too hard
to do I think.
2) put a mesh colander inside the bowl (saw this suggested on list somewhere
else).  You can get em at target if nowhere else.  you just pluck the thing
out of the bowl when you're done
3) if you haven't yet, you can turn your grill on low to add some heat to
the process, though your time to 1st isn't out of line.  I found during the
winter I had to have the grill on to get more even roasts on a lb, not so
much on 1/2lb
4) it's hard to shake off that chaff with a spoon when you are stirring.  a
breadmachine will whip chaff off those things during the course of roasting,
as will a drum.  you'll either have to live with the chaff or rub the beans
between your bare hands after cooled to 'dechaff' it some.  Used to do it
then stopped, too much hassle!  Whether I do or not the cofffee still chokes
my paper filter, so I didn't bother any more =)
5) 1/2 lb is about the max I can do with a gun and get entirely even
roasts.  Even with a bread machine and a lb of coffee some beans get trapped
and stay a light tan.  I cull them from the bean herd post roast.
I think I am going to get me a drum soon.  I am, however, tinkering with the
idea of modding a thrift store bread machine into a bean agitator (swapping
out the bread pan for a stainless steel container, adding stirring vanes,
bypassing the thermal cutoffs and adding speed control to the stirrer, etc)
so we will see how that goes!
-F
On 4/19/07, mirrera  wrote:
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4) From: miKe mcKoffee
AdkMike,
Congrats' on your successful maiden roasts! Especially cool that "she =
who
must be obeyed" found your offering so good, may make future insanities
easier:-)
Just a suggestion, while exploring grinder options to ease press =
grinding
changes, try pulling some super Lungo SO shots for Americanos, grinding
coarser and keeping time more like 20 to 25sec rather than 25 to 30 sec
target. Don't worry about some blonding, it's gonna happen this type of
pull. (Or normale pulled Americanos, I just prefer more Café' Crema =
style
Americanos). You may find regular press pot usage going the way of the
doe-doe bird:-)
If I understood correctly you went from start of 1st to end of roast in
about 1:30 min. You might try backing off heat a bit as 1st crack starts =
for
longer time to end of roast for a sweeter cup. Also may help in more =
even
roast. But slightly uneven (melange) roast not necessarily a bad thing, =
in
fact can be a good thing often yielding more complex cup!
Pacific Northwest Gathering Vhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGV.htmKona 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.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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5) From: mirrera
 From: "Floyd Lozano" 
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That's a good idea that hadn't occurred to me.
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I did buy a dog bowl shaped like this: /\__/\ (cross-section) with the theory that I would be able to use the grill as a secondary heat source, and the shape would help to trap heat.
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I would have thought that the chaff would contribute off-flavors if you let it stay there through the grind and brew.  Is that not the case?
From: "miKe mcKoffee" 
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I'll try a few like that -- at least to compare to the press pot.  
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I'll try -- the conditions I did the first roast in weren't very conducive to any exacting parameters.  I was mostly trying not to have half black/half green beens at the end.  Hopefully next time the weather will be better.
Thanks for the responses, guys.
-AdkMike

6) From: Brian Kamnetz
On 4/19/07, mirrera  wrote:
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 Somebody on the list - I think it was Ken Mary - collected a bunch of chaff
and made tea with it, just to see what it tasted like. IIRC, it had
negligible flavor.
Brian

7) From: stereoplegic
i'll give a little update as well. my Trosser (the one i'm sure is a 
Trosser, the first one i bought, not the one Brett said looked like a 
Trosser or the one he said looked like a knockoff) arrived yesterday. 
tried both espresso grind (even this fine doesn't take that long) and 
French press (enough for my 3-tasse Bodum in no time). nice, even grind 
on both settings. there have been a lot of them on ebay lately. this 
would probably be your best (cheap) bet for a dedicated FP grinder, that 
doesn't give you a combination of Turkish dust and French boulders. even 
w/ the Trosser sticker coming off, mine looks gorgeous.
mirrera wrote:
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8) From: Brett Mason
Have you noticed how the beauty of your grinder is enhanced when you are
sipping an exquisite cup of coffee?
Brett
On 4/19/07, stereoplegic  wrote:
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-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

9) From: mirrera
From: stereoplegic 
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I was considering a hand crank as my 'other' grinder, as I don't think that I can justify the cost of another Mazzer/Macap type grinder just for drip/press, and the thought of a 'lesser' grinder sitting next to the Macap somehow disturbs me.  I think that the hand crank would look good, and as long as it grinds well, would fit the bill (literally, as well).
So as I'm not particularly familiar with the hand cranks, I have a few questions.  I know the Trosser & Zassenhaus brands, but not the relative strengths and weaknesses.  
How do the hand cranks in general do as far as consistency of grind and ease of adjustment?  What should I look for in one?  eBay or new?
If anyone can point me in the right direction -- links or whatever, that'd be great.
Thanks,
-AdkMike

10) From: stereoplegic
sorry for the delay, but yes, yes i have. my +TZBST (+the zillionth 
"blend suggestions?" thread) Blend taken to FC+, makes an equally smooth 
straight shot and French press cup, both ground by Trosser. it's as 
pretty to look at as it is functionally.
homeroast wrote:
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