I will be honest, I am truly a "newbie" to roasting coffee. I have only three roasts under my belt on my new IR2. But, from everything I have read in many places, the exact times and temperatures have always been a guide and not a recipe. On my most recent roast, my first outdoors, in the shade, ambient temperature at about 74% - a cold wave or sorts for this time of summer. The roast was about 142 grams of Sumatra Classic Mandheling. I set my cycles based on what I had read, but was ready to shorten them, up the temp or bring it down, for I wasn't sure what the "exact recipe" was. I made my settings for three cycles, then a cooling cycle. However, I watched the colors, remembering that I had read that it appears lighter to the eye than the actual degree of roast "when compared to other coffees visually." I had a true sense to what the smells should be, and I listened for the first crack. With my senses working overtime I changed the roast settings as I went, ending the final cycle a bit earlier than I had first planned. I can say that the final product, before resting, smells wonderful, and when a bean was put in my mouth for a "munch" I could taste the earth flavor, the woody flavor I had read about, among others. Now it is sitting, after a proper cooling, for its rest. I learned that this is not a "by the book" recipe endeavor. But rather that it involves all of me, my senses, including the ability to read so I can learn from others. Some might say that this makes it harder to get a perfect roast - whatever that is, for I don't know. But, to me, it is more fulfilling, more exciting, and more about me and my trying new things which I can share at some point. I know I am in the right hobby field since all I want to do is to learn more through practice, drink more of this great drink by roasting more and more of it. And, most important, no matter how a roast turns out, I am having fun. Sounds good to me!
Stephen, I think most will agree, the main goal is to enjoy roasting and to enjoy the results in the cup. A few ups, a few downs, are all part of the trip. I'm currently in NW Wisconsin, and the temps here were in the low 70s yesterday. Are you anywhere near here? Brian On 7/23/07, Stephen Carey wrote: <Snip>
Wow, you are off to a great start. Consider making some coffee right after roasting and each day of rest. You might find that an enjoyable experience as well; the experience, not necessarily the coffee. I just had some Tanzania Mount Meru Nkoanekoli right off the roaster, and it impressed me with its full flavor, compared to other beans I have roasted. I have so much to learn. . . . John
There's only one way to learn the sensory part of coffee tasting. That is ...coffee tasting. Side by side comparison of a roast with the settings at one extreme and the other at settings at the other extreme. Example: Roast one, set the first cycle for a low temperature, and put the other two cycle temps wherever you think they might give you a good roast. Roast two, set the first cycle at a medium temperature, and set the other two cycle temperatures the same as Roast one. Roast three, set the first cycle at a high temperature, and set the other two cycle temperatures the same as Roast one. Grind and brew each exactly the same. I use 10oz cups, coffee grounds, and hot water from the same pot for each sample. If you don't want the grounds in your teeth, after they have steeped for about three minutes, pour each through a fine mesh strainer into another cup. Compare and note differences (if any) of aroma, fruitiness, sharpness, aftertaste, etc. and make notes as you go. One should taste better than the others. Go with that one for your next taste test, and vary the second cycle temperature the same way as you did in the first comparison. Do the same for the third cycle temperature until you think you've got each dialed in fairly well. Do over when you get another type of coffee. Ain't this fun? ********************* Ed Needham "to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************
Ed, Excellent directions for dialing in a bean. IIUC you inferred taking each roast to the same finish degree of roast for that 9 batch greens dial in sequence. Gotta add bracketing ideal degree of roast too which I believe ideally would be done first before dialing in the profiles, then again after selecting desired profile! But that's only 6 or so more batches. Of course multiple degrees of roast can be done in one batch before and after determining profile if the roaster has a tryer:-) The good news once done for a particular "type" of coffee similar type of coffees can (usually) be dialed in with fewer steps. Though even the exact same SO same Estate etc. different year or even different picking same year can be different of course. Truth, home many roast a dozen or so batches just to determine how best to roast a given bean! Which is why we home roasters more often than not may settle for less than may be the absolute best possible roast we "could" achieve. (And yes, I'm referring to me too.) Pacific Northwest Gathering VIhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVI.htmKona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately 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/ <Snip> <Snip>
My first draft of my post simply said to compare two roasts, one done with high settings and one done with lower, and the beans taken to the same roast level and compare. Then I started tweaking it and it got a bit messy. I have dialed in a bean in the past and they run out of that bean doing the tests! Sick, I tell you, but fun! ********************* Ed Needham "to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************
Remember the Diedrich seminar notes on dialing in a roast:-) miKe <Snip>
"The roasting process is balance of technology, chemistry and physics. The quality of the green coffee, the roasting equipment and the skill and knowledge of the roaster operator are all very important when striving for excellence. Part of the learning can be passed on through recorded documentation, however, most is learned through the first hand experience of roasting coffee and cupping the results and constant refinement of techniques. You learn from sight, touch, smell and taste, as well as a lot of trial and error. Coffee is a biologically active system. The process and techniques used at every stage will influence all subsequent processes and their associated chemistries. Even with the best climate, soil condition, elevation, careful nurturing and correct processing methods, improper roasting can ruin all previous efforts. Even improper grinding and brewing can ruin a nicely roasted coffee. It is important to have an understanding of the green coffee itself. You will find variations in green coffee, even within a particular growing region in the same season." Does that ring a bell? ::g:: ********************* Ed Needham "to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************