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Topic: Taking Control...un-modified (4 msgs / 157 lines)
1) From: Chris Cockrell
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hello to all!
 
After considering my situation with the short roasting times and poorly
roasted greens with my WBPI, I decided to go back to my earlier WBPII and
try roasting with it again.  I moved past it before because at the time I
was having trouble getting the unit up to the temps I needed to roast (first
crack beyond 18min), that's when I found and bought the WBPI, which is
roasting to fast for me un-modified.
 
I tried a batch of greens (4oz.) and roasted without pre-heating.  I stirred
with a wooden spoon on and off for the first minute.  After that I found I
could easily get to temp and to first crack.  I also found it easy for the
roast to continue to 2nd crack if I left the chute and lid in place.  It was
easy to slow the roast by removing the chute, spooning it some, or by
turning on the cooling fan plugged into the same "ground faulted" outlet in
the garage.  My first batch was almost 8 minutes.  This is far better than
the 4:30min observed using the WBPI.  My second batch took slightly less
time around 7:00-7:15min.  My next roasting day I am going to try 3.75oz.
and see how much that will extend the time.  I wonder; in general, which is
better, fast to first crack or slow to first crack?  
 
I also found that after each roast, I took my roaster and placed it in front
of our floor fan tilted on its side with the pot facing the fan.  In about
10 min it was cooled and ready to go.  
 
The beans were much more even colored and were close to a FC roast.  I may
have heard an stray 2nd crack just prior to dumping.  This is a little more
than I would prefer for a Yirge.  I like it to be more of a City or City +
roast.  Since these roasts were really more like tests, I wasn't too
concerned about the degree of the roast above the time and temp.
 
Anyway, as a newbie I'm happy to say the roast went well in my book and
still without unit modifications.  Yes everything is under "control"...  :-)
Perhaps the WBPI will show up on eBay?  Last one I looked at was over $65.00
- that is insane!  =O  $65.00 would buy a lot of nice greens!
 
Chris in LaGrange
ccockrell
 

2) From: Randall Nortman
On Fri, Jul 13, 2007 at 10:07:38AM -0400, Chris Cockrell wrote:
<Snip>
In general, you will get lots of different answers to this question.
I've been doing this for only about 6 months myself, but my current
thinking is that you should get to first crack as quickly as you can
except not too quickly.
Right, so "too quickly" is the key.  If the beans are changing from
green to yellow to brown unevenly, or if the outside is turning much
faster than the inside (you have to bite a bean in half to see that),
or if you're getting divots (little craters in the bean, usually
starts happening after first), then you are going too quickly.  If the
coffee tastes both sour and carbony-bitter at the same time, you
probably scorched the outside but underroasted the inside by going too
quickly.  If first crack is weak, with only a few pops spaced far
apart, you might be going too slowly, though I have gotten some great
roasts where first crack was rather weak, so this is not a perfect
indicator in my experience.  Still, I usually try for a vigorous first
crack by keeping the temperature ramping quickly through first, but it
can be tricky to slow it down just right so that you don't just barrel
right on through into second.
I usually ramp the temperature about 40-50F/min up to 300F, then
30F/min until first crack, then 20F/min through first, then 10-15F/min
to finish.  This results in a first crack around 8-9 minutes.  I go
more quickly to first if I'm planning on going all the way to second,
because the bean will have more time to even out in the later stages,
but if I'm doing a light roast I like to stretch out the early part a
little more to make sure the interior doesn't come out underroasted.
I have tried some truly "slow to first crack" profiles where I hit
first at around 13-14 minutes, such as you might in a drum roaster,
and it was a disaster -- the beans come out rather bland or baked
tasting.  Don't try to mimic a drum profile in a popper.  If you
haven't hit first by 10 minutes you're going too slowly (in my limited
experience and humble opinion).

3) From: Brian Kamnetz
On 7/13/07, Chris Cockrell  wrote:
<Snip>
Others might disagree, but you might be right around city+. It always seemed
to me that with the hot air popper the roast was just a little behind where
you might think it was from cracks, maybe because the roast is fast enough
that the temps inside the beans lags a bit behind the temps on the outside.
Let us know what it tastes like in the cup!
Brian

4) From: John Moody
Very nice write-up of your process, thanks!
I have been ramping to 200F fast, then slow to 275F thinking that the
internal temperature differences between the beans equalizes better that
way, then run up to first at 30F/min. Currently I know too little about bean
varieties, and give them all the same drying step.
I am hoping to experiment more with the drying phase; have you ever tried a
two-step drying ramp to 300F?
John


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