HomeRoast Digest


Topic: new home roaster has iRoast2 woes (17 msgs / 997 lines)
1) From: Robert Kaye
Yesterday we excitedly received the iRoast2 that we ordered from SM as  
our foray into home roasting. Tried Tom's cupping roast profile  
(350`@2min/400`@3min/460`@4:30min) with 1/2 cup Pacamara Peaberry  
which we have been very eager to taste, and it turned out burnt  
terribly.  Reading online about the iR2 sensitivity to voltage, we  
hooked it up to a voltage regulator/line conditioner and tried again,  
this time with one full cup (thinking there might have been too small  
of an amount the first time); still terribly burnt, only slightly less  
so than the first batch.
As this is only our second batch (inexperience), and the fan is so  
loud, it is difficult to determine by sound when the first crack has  
ended and the second crack begun (or perhaps it is roasting so  
fast/hot that the second crack comes without much pause from the end  
of the first crack?).  I did notice that the chaff lid that has the  
mesh screen was >70% clogged with chaff on both roasts (is this  
normal?) and wondered if this was the cause of the problem we are  
experiencing (perhaps a clogged exhaust screen on top of unit is  
causing the beans to superheat?). I've done quite a bit of  
reading/research prior to deciding to roast, and in choosing the iR2.  
I understand how roasting is supposed to progress and know what i  
should be seeing/hearing and approximately when it should be happening.
I'm looking for suggestions, and tempted to try 3/4 of a cup and try  
to roast outside without the lid on to see if that makes a difference  
(will the iR2 let me do that?) -- maybe I have that (seemingly common)  
issue with the chaff collector being loose? --but it certainly doesn't  
seem to move around once the top is on (and I have not read about this  
happening to anyone with the iR2 new out of the box, I was under the  
impression that this was a problem that can develop over time).
-Robert
rkaye

2) From: Brett Mason
Too MANY beans retains too much heat...  Try a smaller batch size - maybe
1/3 cup or 3oz, and see if the heat will go by, rather than over-roasting
the beans?
THis is a typical problem with air popper roasts, the beans retain heat, the
more beans, the hotter she gets...
Brett
On 10/10/07, Robert Kaye  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

3) From: Sandy Andina
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Peaberries are very tricky to roast in an air roaster because they  
are dense and heavy despite their small size.  I can usually do about  
two "measures" (a scant 3/4-to-one cup) of most varietals, but less  
than one measure of peaberries.
As to hearing the cracks, it sounds counterintuitive, but I hear them  
better if I stand back--they cut through the motor noise better that  
way. Sort of like wearing earplugs to a rock concert and suddenly  
everything sounds clearer though not as loud.
On Oct 10, 2007, at 3:00 PM, Brett Mason wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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Peaberries are very tricky to roast in an air roaster because they are =
dense and heavy despite their small size. I can usually do about two =
"measures" (a scant 3/4-to-one cup) of most varietals, but less than one =
measure of peaberries.
As to hearing the cracks, = it sounds counterintuitive, but I hear them better if I stand back--they = cut through the motor noise better that way. Sort of like wearing = earplugs to a rock concert and suddenly everything sounds clearer though = not as loud. On Oct 10, 2007, at 3:00 PM, Brett Mason = wrote:
Too MANY beans retains too much heat... Try a = smaller batch size - maybe 1/3 cup or 3oz, and see if the heat will go = by, rather than over-roasting the beans? THis = is a typical problem with air popper roasts, the beans retain heat, the = more beans, the hotter she gets... = Brett On = 10/10/07, Robert Kaye <rkaye> = wrote: Yesterday = we excitedly received the iRoast2 that we ordered from SM as our = foray into home roasting. Tried Tom's cupping roast profile = (350`@2min/400`@3min/460`@4:30min) with 1/2 cup Pacamara = Peaberry which we have been very eager to taste, and it turned out = burnt terribly.Reading online about the iR2 sensitivity to = voltage, we hooked it up to a voltage regulator/line conditioner and = tried again, this time with one full cup (thinking there might have = been too small of an amount the first time); still terribly burnt, = only slightly less so than the first batch. As this is only = our second batch (inexperience), and the fan is so loud, it is = difficult to determine by sound when the first crack has ended and = the second crack begun (or perhaps it is roasting so fast/hot that = the second crack comes without much pause from the end of the first = crack?).I did notice that the chaff lid that has the mesh = screen was >70% clogged with chaff on both roasts (is = this normal?) and wondered if this was the cause of the problem we = are experiencing (perhaps a clogged exhaust screen on top of unit = is causing the beans to superheat?). I've done quite a bit of = reading/research prior to deciding to roast, and in choosing the = iR2. I understand how roasting is supposed to progress and know what = i should be seeing/hearing and approximately when it should be = happening. I'm looking for suggestions, and tempted to try 3/4 = of a cup and try to roast outside without the lid on to see if that = makes a difference (will the iR2 let me do that?) -- maybe I have = that (seemingly common) issue with the chaff collector being loose? = --but it certainly doesn't seem to move around once the top is on = (and I have not read about this happening to anyone with the iR2 new = out of the box, I was under the impression that this was a problem = that can develop over time). -Robert rkaye= homeroast mailing list =http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change = your personal list settings (digest options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go = to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings =
-- = Cheers, Brett http://homeroast.freeservers.com= Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-20--1008216202--

4) From: Stephen Carey
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Robert,
Welcome.  You are bound to receive many good ideas about the problem 
you are having.  There is a lot of knowledge here.  For me, I have 
been very lucky with my IR2, though I know it runs hot from using a 
thermometer.  However, what I did was connect a dryer duct hose to my 
ceiling fan, which pulls air out, from the lid.  The IR2 now runs 
within a degree or two of what I have it set for.  The pull of the 
fan made the difference.
Also, as has been mentioned here, some people have cut the screen 
from the lid garnering excellent results (though at this point it 
will void your warranty, I am sure).  When done the chaff that 
escapes can go up the air duct to the fan.  If you don't use a fan 
just be careful not to let the chaff fall and be sucked into the air 
intake valve on the back of the machine.
I tend to roast about 157 grams or 5.5 ounces, sometimes 6 as a 
maximum.  To date only one has been ruined and that was recently.  I 
listen and look carefully.  I have built a number of profiles which 
work on various beans but many times I have cut them a bit short to 
hit the exact roast I want.  I can hear the cracks quite well, though 
it takes some practice and I always look at the color.  Smell is less 
effective due to the dryer duct hose, but it still comes in to play at times.
I suggest that you hit the cool button before the end of the roast, 
go by the first crack, let it finish, maybe drag it out a bit longer, 
then hit cool.  Experiment to see where you end up.
I still am learning so much on every roast, but I do know that many 
roasts come in at as little as 6:50 to 8:25, I have had some longer 
for some beans, but to do that I have had to stretch the first cycles 
and then hit it hard during the last cycle.
I know this isn't much help, mostly I am suggesting not getting too 
frustrated, play some more, try shorter roasts.  And mostly, really 
try to learn to hear the cracks and the colors, that is what helps me 
the most.  Again, you will get much more help from those with much 
more experience than I, but this approach is working for me so far 
and I have had some wonderful roasts, one dud, and a few that I knew 
were a bit too early or too far, but still very good.
Stephen
At 03:54 PM 10/10/2007, you wrote:
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Robert,
Welcome.  You are bound to receive many good ideas about the problem
you are having.  There is a lot of knowledge here.  For me, I
have been very lucky with my IR2, though I know it runs hot from using a
thermometer.  However, what I did was connect a dryer duct hose to
my ceiling fan, which pulls air out, from the lid.  The IR2 now runs
within a degree or two of what I have it set for.  The pull of the
fan made the difference.
Also, as has been mentioned here, some people have cut the screen from
the lid garnering excellent results (though at this point it will void
your warranty, I am sure).  When done the chaff that escapes can go
up the air duct to the fan.  If you don't use a fan just be careful
not to let the chaff fall and be sucked into the air intake valve on the
back of the machine.
I tend to roast about 157 grams or 5.5 ounces, sometimes 6 as a
maximum.  To date only one has been ruined and that was
recently.  I listen and look carefully.  I have built a number
of profiles which work on various beans but many times I have cut them a
bit short to hit the exact roast I want.  I can hear the cracks
quite well, though it takes some practice and I always look at the
color.  Smell is less effective due to the dryer duct hose, but it
still comes in to play at times.
I suggest that you hit the cool button before the end of the roast, go by
the first crack, let it finish, maybe drag it out a bit longer, then hit
cool.  Experiment to see where you end up.
I still am learning so much on every roast, but I do know that many
roasts come in at as little as 6:50 to 8:25, I have had some longer for
some beans, but to do that I have had to stretch the first cycles and
then hit it hard during the last cycle.
I know this isn't much help, mostly I am suggesting not getting too
frustrated, play some more, try shorter roasts.  And mostly, really
try to learn to hear the cracks and the colors, that is what helps me the
most.  Again, you will get much more help from those with much more
experience than I, but this approach is working for me so far and I have
had some wonderful roasts, one dud, and a few that I knew were a bit too
early or too far, but still very good.
Stephen
At 03:54 PM 10/10/2007, you wrote:
Yesterday we excitedly received
the iRoast2 that we ordered from SM as  
our foray into home roasting. Tried Tom's cupping roast profile 
(350`@2min/400`@3min/460`@4:30min) with 1/2 cup Pacamara Peaberry 
which we have been very eager to taste, and it turned out burnt 
terribly.  Reading online about the iR2 sensitivity to voltage,
we  
hooked it up to a voltage regulator/line conditioner and tried
again,  
this time with one full cup (thinking there might have been too
small  
of an amount the first time); still terribly burnt, only slightly
less  
so than the first batch.
As this is only our second batch (inexperience), and the fan is so 
loud, it is difficult to determine by sound when the first crack
has  
ended and the second crack begun (or perhaps it is roasting so 
fast/hot that the second crack comes without much pause from the
end  
of the first crack?).  I did notice that the chaff lid that has
the  
mesh screen was >70% clogged with chaff on both roasts (is this 
normal?) and wondered if this was the cause of the problem we are 
experiencing (perhaps a clogged exhaust screen on top of unit is 
causing the beans to superheat?). I've done quite a bit of  
reading/research prior to deciding to roast, and in choosing the
iR2.  
I understand how roasting is supposed to progress and know what i 
should be seeing/hearing and approximately when it should be
happening.
I'm looking for suggestions, and tempted to try 3/4 of a cup and
try  
to roast outside without the lid on to see if that makes a
difference  
(will the iR2 let me do that?) -- maybe I have that (seemingly
common)  
issue with the chaff collector being loose? --but it certainly
doesn't  
seem to move around once the top is on (and I have not read about
this  
happening to anyone with the iR2 new out of the box, I was under
the  
impression that this was a problem that can develop over time).
-Robert
rkaye
homeroast mailing list
http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest options, vacations,
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5) From: Aaron
With my I roasts if I went to 9:30 on the cooking time Id end up with 
starbucks special blend as well... way burnt... way too long to cook.
id recommend not going over 8 minutes max until you get the hang of it 
and probably wont anyways after that... 8 minutes is pushing well into 
second crack in most cases.
Don't go by 'cupfulls'  weigh the beans.   Use 5.5 ounces or about 145 
to 150 grams to roast and try that.   Do remember that some beans don't 
'flow' as good as others,  ie they are more abrasive and tend to not 
bounce around as much hence keeping them down in the hot box and 
possibly tipping or burning them or uneven roasting.
Aaron

6) From: dsobcz716
I found that My IR2 was the same way.? Tom's profile was way off.??Either my voltage is very different than tom's or the IR2 has been enhanced (I got mine about a year after Tom's tip sheet was written).? Tom's Tip sheet also states the bean temp that his roast hits with the profile.? His beans do not get close to the profiled temp.? I noticed that mine did.??I would hit first crack during the 400 stage.? So I made a profile that is closer to his bean temps.?? There was a lot of discussion a while back on profiles?for the IR2.? Here's a couple of?things to try.
1.??Roast 150 grams of coffee for wet processed coffees.? Dry Processed is usually less, 120 grams,?because?extra chaff on Dry processed coffee blocks air flow.
2. the IR2 has a built in warmup regardless of what you program.? It is 350 degrees and I think it's for the first?3 minutes.? You can use this as a "free stage" in?your profile.? For examplee, 335-2:00,?360-2:00?actually does 350-3:00, 360 1:00 so you might as well program 360-4:00.
?
3.?I use?something like this for city, city+, and sometimes Full City.? 365- 4.5 minutes, 390-1.5 minutes, 405 - 2 minutes, 430 2 minutes.?? Most beans hit first crack in the 1st minute of the 405 cycle.? some higher density beans crack towards the end of the 405.? Once the crack ends?I use sight and smell to stop it at City, City+, based on what I'm going for.??I don't think this profile has ever gotten a wet processed bean to 2nd Crack but it has?done Full City.? Dry processed is another story (becuase of the chaff issue).????

7) From: Mike Koenig
Robert,
The i-Roasts are notorious for variability, so and it looks like you
have a hot one.  You might want to lower the temperature of your last
profile stage to overcome this.  You can also try a different outlet,
further from your breaker box, or a long extension cord to drop the
voltage a bit.
Did you hear the fan cycle between high and low speeds at all during
the roast?  You should hear it at high speed for the first stage, then
slow down in stage 2.  It will sometimes cycle between high and low to
control the temperature.  If it's not doing this it's possible that
you have a defective unit that doesn't control the fan properly (my
first IR1 did this).
The "normal" bean load from the IR manual says 1 cup, I believe.  I
would use 150-160 grams, which worked out to be a little less than
this.
It is normal to see chaff build up in the collector and block the
screens during the roast.  Leaving the top off will spew beans all
over the place during the cool cycle (I've had it pop off, and spew on
my sidewalk a few times).
Definitely try to watch, listen and smell the roast as it progresses,
and stop it when it gets to the point you want, don't let the cycle
run to the end.  Also,  keep an eye on the internal temperature
readout during the roast, (especially when you hit first crack), as
this will tell you what the unit's temperature controller is seeing
during various stages of the roast,  and use this information for
future profiles.  For example, I know on my unit, first crack would
happen at ~390 on the readout, so I would use this to set a profile
that would get me to first crack,  then raise the temp to get to
second.
I found that if I sit about 10 feet away, I could hear the cracks much
better, as you don't have the motor droning right in your ear.  After
a number of roasts it seemed like my brain began to tune out the sound
of the motor, and I could pick out the cracks fairly clearly.
I know how frustrating it is to have beans you really want to try get
ruined,  I'm going through the same thing transitioning from my
i-Roast to a drum, but it is a learning process that takes time, and a
good number of batches of beans.
Good luck, and post your progress!
--mike
On 10/10/07, Robert Kaye  wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Robert Gulley
Robert
I just recently purchased the IR2 from SM and using Tom's profile I 
have had about 12 roasts come out well - but I follow this procedure 
each time: I weigh out about 140-150 grams of beans, I run the 
program Tom suggests, and I always hit "cool" early, sometimes as 
much as 3 minutes before the program is over. I believe Tom has the 
4:30 third stage to allow for adjustments, rather than shutting down 
too early. I have never let the program go all the way through. My 
usual time goes to about the 2:00 left mark, and then I am hitting 
cool; this gives a full city roast. When I want a lighter roast, I go 
by color and smell (and sound, except some beans have a hard to hear 
1st crack). My voltage runs pretty consistently at 116v. See if 
stopping early like this helps. I do leave the screen on, and have 
not had problems with a loose cover.
Just as a side note, when storing the IR2 I do not tighten the chaff 
collector or the "pot" to the base, following some old advice I once 
read about my food processor. By not keeping the unit under pressure, 
I hope to have it last longer - I'll update my findings a year from now!
Hope this helps -
Robert (RG)
At 03:54 PM 10/10/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>
"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons."  ~T.S. Eliot  

9) From: Stephen Carey
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Robert, that is great information about keeping the pot or chamber 
under pressure when storing it.  I had never thought about it.  Makes 
sense to me, so I will try it.  It won't hurt anything as long as I 
carry it carefully.
Thank you.
Stephen
At 05:17 PM 10/10/2007, you wrote:
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Robert, that is great information about keeping the pot or
chamber under pressure when storing it.  I had never thought about
it.  Makes sense to me, so I will try it.  It won't hurt
anything as long as I carry it carefully.
Thank you.
Stephen
At 05:17 PM 10/10/2007, you wrote:
Robert
I just recently purchased the IR2 from SM and using Tom's profile I have
had about 12 roasts come out well - but I follow this procedure each
time: I weigh out about 140-150 grams of beans, I run the program Tom
suggests, and I always hit "cool" early, sometimes as much as 3
minutes before the program is over. I believe Tom has the 4:30 third
stage to allow for adjustments, rather than shutting down too early. I
have never let the program go all the way through. My usual time goes to
about the 2:00 left mark, and then I am hitting cool; this gives a full
city roast. When I want a lighter roast, I go by color and smell (and
sound, except some beans have a hard to hear 1st crack). My voltage runs
pretty consistently at 116v. See if stopping early like this helps. I do
leave the screen on, and have not had problems with a loose cover.
Just as a side note, when storing the IR2 I do not tighten the chaff
collector or the "pot" to the base, following some old advice I
once read about my food processor. By not keeping the unit under
pressure, I hope to have it last longer - I'll update my findings a year
from now!
Hope this helps -
Robert (RG)
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10) From: Kevin Creason
Subject:
+new home roaster has iRoast2 woes
From:
Robert Kaye 
Date:
Wed, 10 Oct 2007 14:54:58 -0500
<Snip>
Yes, you got it. You didn't say but that must be one of the chaffier 
beans. Either way... with a pair of gloves so you don't burn yourself 
(or if you have a lot of callouses already you might be ok) turn the 
screen-part of the lid and let it float in the air about seven minutes 
in. The temps will drop off as much as a hundred degrees if it is that 
clogged, but usually for me only about 40 by the on-board read-out, and 
the roast will coast into the end much easier. You still might just want 
to hit cool though when they look almost like charbucks beans... just 
depends on your flavor preference.
If it gets too much heat built up in there the blower shuts off. Bean 
there.... took forever and bunch of bases from HW to figure out it was 
just the clogged up lid. They do have great warranty support.
I drilled out the holes around the screen a little bit bigger and added 
three of the same size to the screen, but I still end up making the lid 
part float. Another roaster has entirely removed the screen.
Oh, BTW, it gets chaff everywhere when you do any of these mods, 
especially the floating or removing of the screen, so you might want to 
do it outside if you aren't already.
Enjoy your i-Roar. They do good-- I love the programming feature and for 
the price it is a great roaster/feature unit. It may be easier for you 
to hear the cracks if you step back a step or two from the roaster. I 
find it depends on the bean and the ambient temperature on how the 
cracks sound best. I go by smoke/aroma and bean size to help me learn 
what to listen for.
Welcome aboard!
-Kevin

11) From: Phil Bergman Jungle Music
Mike,
I've been using an IR2 for about 10 months and your comments are right on.
Robert, learn to look at the beans, watch for smells, and watch temps that
you get during each cycle.  If you push the right lower button during the
roast, the temp at that moment appears on the screen.  The IR2 sometimes
seems to do its own thing regardless of your exact settings and seems to be
determined by it's three fan speeds.  After a while, you get to "know" your
machine and things go easier.  Be patient and you'll see what I mean.
Phil

12) From: Les
Robert,
Welcome aboard.  First let us pause and shed a small tear for the Pacamara
one of my all time favorite beans.  First off you have heard good advice on
the difficulty of roasting peaberrries.  Now for some advice on the
Pacamara.  The Pacamara beans have a very narrow sweet spot.  So, for
someone learning, it is a difficult bean to start out with.  So one the one
hand, don't feel too bad about crashing and burning with this bean.  The
Pacamara Peaberries are Big Heavy peaberries.  This makes them much harder
to roast in an air roaster.  I would recommend you cut your volume in half
when you try them again.  Next, I would highly recommend that you do a half
dozen roasts with a regular wet processed bean before trying the Pacamara
again.  It will give you some much needed experience.  Last off, the
Pacamara is a must 3 day rest.  This is one bean that explodes with flavor
at day three.  Don't get discouraged.  We have all had our "burnt
offerings."
Les (24 years into the adventure and still learning)
On 10/10/07, Phil Bergman Jungle Music  wrote:
<Snip>

13) From: Ross
Robert,
You have received good advice about roast size ect.  The best way not to 
burn a roast with the IR2 is the advice you got about using the COOL button. 
99% of my IR2 roasts are terminated with the COOL button, the nice thing 
about the IR2 is you can see and smell what's going on.  Make all your 
programs long enough to get the job done and plan on using the COOL button 
when it looks like what you want.  My roaster will char the beans if I use 
one of the built in programs.  I got a Variac and put a temp probe in, those 
two mods and keeping program and roast records helped me achieve 
repeatability when I got lucky.  But the COOL button is still the way to 
stop a roast at the correct point with the IR2.  The chance of getting a 
perfect roast based on program alone is next to nil, just too many variables 
that effect that little hummer.  Having said all that the IR2 is a nice 
little roaster, I would prefer one that just had a temp rheostat, a good 
probe, and a cool cycle button.
Good Luck,
Ross

14) From: raymanowen
Just like a hair dryer or heat gun- (Magnum Hair Dryer) anything that
restricts the air flow causes a reduction of its velocity and more time
spent in the vicinity of the nichrome heater. The longer the air spends nea=
r
the 800 F surface of the heater, the more heat is absorbed and the close=
r
it approaches the 800 source temperature.
If you have just one bean basking in the breeze on the outskirts of Hell, i=
t
will quickly be what a thousand beans would be- Hot as Hell itself.
It stands to reason that a larger mass of beans would retain more heat than
a smaller mass. It just takes a larger heat sink, or cold air flow to
extract the heat. More beans = more restriction, so the passing air has
gained more heat and is as hot as, but not hotter than, Hell itself.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
On 10/10/07, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>
ttings
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
y
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

15) From: Robert Pearce
100% of my roasts end with the cool button...

16) From: Robert Pearce
1)  Buy some scales for measuring your beans, you'll find that it will help
you achieve consistent results.  Personally I use 120g for my roasts.
2)  As said before, count on using the cool button.  Listen closely, you can
hear first crack so not long after that you'll most likely be hitting that
button.  Personally I also use the onboard temperature...
I also use Tom's profile but find that I'm usually hitting the cool button
around 1 min less into 3rd phase...
Hope that helps.

17) From: Larry Williams
Robert - I have been roasting since Nov 06 with the IR2 and use 
preprogram #2 almost exclusively and hit the cool anywhere from 3:30 to 
2:00 left on the program.  I have never been able to hear the first 
crack so I rely on time and visual.  I used to watch for the slightest 
amount of oil to appear on the beans and hit cool, but I found the 
roasts were too (French Roast Like-Charbucks).  Lately I am cooling 
earlier looking for C+ w/ no oil.  The roasts do have a few disks 
(sometimes) indicating too fast heating - don't know if I believe that 
(more like the second crack according to info in S.M. wed page.  The 
roasts always turn out beautiful after 3 to 5 days rest
I don't use a scale or thermometer.  I measure with the 1/2 cup provided 
with the IR2.  Roast amount is one 1 cup.  I use time and visual, and I 
am happy.  Every person that has tasted my coffee was pleased.
Leave the lid on.  Don't worry about the chaff (clean every use).  Use 
your eyes.  Once the beans have cracks in them you have the first 
crack.  According to Tom they're pretty much done - just watch for your 
color.  Relax and enjoy the art. 
I know a lot of people will disagree with my method, but it will works.  
I may not have the consistency, but variability is interesting if you 
are careful. 
Larry Williams
Robert Pearce wrote:
<Snip>
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