HomeRoast Digest

Topic: To quench or not to quench--that is the question (7 msgs / 164 lines)
1) From: Matt Henry
Does anyone actually do the "water quench" thing utilizing a spray
bottle to stop the roast?  If so, have you actually been able to tell
the difference in taste and/or aroma after the roast between the same
bean quenched and unquenched?  Immediately after the roast (in a
Hearthware Gourmet), I dump the beans in a metal collander with a wide
spaced screen and swish them around in that for a few minutes (an "air
quench" I suppose).  After the swish, the outside bean temperature feels
barely warm in my hand; actually quite tepid, almost room temperature.
I then place them in an airtight jar.  I've never done a water quench
and don't know if not doing it is affecting the roast.  However, what I
get is real nice ; )
Comments anyone?
Matt Henry
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2) From: Mike McGinness
If it works don't fix it! Although I must admit it's always fun to try for even better... I haven't
tried water cooling myself.
Home Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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3) From: Michael Allen Smith
On Thu, 06 Dec 2001 17:56:42 -0800, Matt Henry wrote:
I do in 2 situations:
1 - oven roasting
2 - popper roasting when temps are high (85+)
In both cases I'm trying to accelerate the cooling process and 
prevent the coffee from continuing to cook.  Can I tell a difference? 
 It's been a long time since I air cooled on a hot day, but I do 
remember a slight improvement when I made the change.  
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4) From: Larry Palletti

5) From: Steven Tock
I have never used water to cool the beans in fear that I 
would ruin them. I roast only in my garage, and have a 
large fan on the workbench that is used for cooling the 
beans. In the fall/winter/spring the fan cools the beans
in less than 30 seconds (the beans are dumped into a metal
collander after roasting). In the summer it takes a little
On Thu, 06 Dec 2001 17:56:42  
 Matt Henry wrote:
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6) From: Gary Zimmerman
I do what Steve does.  I started out this hobby (obsession?) with water 
quenching, per Kenneth Davids' book, but I was never sure if I was using 
too much water, or otherwise not doing it "right."  Then I stopped the 
water, and just tossed the beans back and forth between metal mesh 
collander to metal strainer outside my front door.  That worked okay in 
cooler weather.  Finally, I tried just putting a room fan (oscillating, set 
to NOT oscillate) on its back in my driveway, and moving the collander of 
hot beans over it to cool the beans.  I've never gone back to either the 
water quench or the pure tossing methods.  Just suspending and agitating 
the beans over the fan is great, but I don't know what I'll do in the rain!
My palate isn't trained enough to have noticed any difference in the 
flavors though, since I've not done any side-by-side experiments with the 
same batch of beans.
-- garyZ
Steven Tock wrote:
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7) From: Ed Needham
The water quenching is for beans that are at full roast temperature and
need to be cooled quickly to extinguish the roast.  It is not for beans
that have been already cooled, or partially cooled with an air roaster.
The super-hot beans evaporate the water immediately and it does not soak
into the beans.  The sprayed water is not supposed to drench the beans,
but rather mist, slightly above the beans to allow for evaporative
cooling.  Most roasters have found other, less invasive ways to quickly
cool their beans.  They also remove beans from the heat slightly before
they are finished to allow for extra roasting.  When using a popper or
other non-air cooling method, water quenching might cool the beans
quickly, but air cooling with agitation is probably the best since it
doesn't change any qualities of the bean.  Water quenching is
unnecessary and probably damaging when used with a HWP or HWG.
Ed Needham

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