HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Successful decaf in the iRoast (10 msgs / 773 lines)
1) From: JoAnne Phillips
Mike,
You gave me some very valuable information.  I had no idea about the  
limit of 350 degrees for the first 3 minutes, nor the fact that the  
iRoast stays in high fan mode for any programmed temperature less  
than 390 degrees.  If this is on the SM web page somewhere I sure  
missed it and I've read and re-read everything Tom and Maria write.   
It also isn't in the manual that I received with my iRoast.
Today I tried all of your suggestions.  4 oz rather than 130 g; your  
profile; and, I sat in amazement as I finally got a nice steady  
increase in temp rather than the stair step thing I'd been getting.   
I often wished the high fan lasted longer -- now it does.  Yeah!  The  
fan cut down after 7 minutes just like you said it would (usually it  
does this after 3 minutes - now I know why).  As I moved into the  
next stage I thought I heard a gentle crack (I have a terrible time  
hearing the cracks - I learned on a French Roast 8).  Temperature  
after 7 minutes showed 374 and by 7 1/2 minutes was somewhere around  
385/390 (I didn't push the button quickly enough - too busy trying to  
listen).  By 8 minutes we were at 405, 8 1/2 still 405, 9 minutes 406  
and the color looked good to me and I pushed cool.  Apparently 406 is  
as high as it will go with a 390 setting.
The fan kept cutting in and out to keep the temperature down once the  
machine moved into stage 2.  Your profile has added a couple of  
minutes to my roasting time, given me a nice smooth ramp up in the  
temps and I'm so tickled I can't wait to try this profile on a decaf  
- however, I just roasted decaf yesterday.  I did get several  
suggestions in answer to my October 6 post, but nothing seemed to  
really help.  The roast I did yesterday looked great when I dumped it  
into the colander - nice chestnut color and no oil - but today it is  
covered with oil.
Doing 4 oz of beans makes wonderful sense to me - I kept ending up  
with a partial roast when I order 1# bags to try.  Then I try to mix  
like types and get a full load - sometimes just OK and a couple of  
time very good.  But from now on it's 4 oz for me.  I think this may  
even work with the Tree Ripened beans from India.  They swell so much  
they bog down and won't mix.  Then you get some not roasted and some  
burned - awful.  They are OK until stage 2.  I was going to try and  
drop the load to 100g to see if that would help.
I'm sure there are other iRoasters who will be very happy too if they  
try your suggestions - now if only someone had a cure for the roar.   ;)
JoAnne in Tucson
On Nov 20, 2007, at 3:00 PM, Mike Sieweke wrote:
JoAnne,
I'm way behind in reading the HomeRoast mailing list, so this is a  
bit late...
You have the opposite problem that most people have when roasting  
decaf in
an iRoast.  Decaf coffee produces less chaff, and chaff is usually  
needed
to get the iRoast up to temperature.  It sounds like your iRoast runs  
hot,
like mine.  Since you're roasting too fast/hot, you need to slow it  
down.
Here's what you're doing:
    leave chaff in the lid = hotter, faster
    less beans = slower due to less chaff
    high temperatures = faster
I recommend you try this profile, with 100g and a clean chaff collector.
    385 degrees - 7 minutes
    390 degrees - 5 minutes
    440 degrees - 3 minutes
The iRoast limits itself to 350 degrees for the first 3 minutes, so  
this gives
you a four stage roast.  The transition from 385 to 390 is much  
greater than
it seems, since the iRoast stays in high fan mode for any programmed  
temperature
less than 390 degrees.
Do NOT let it go the full time.  It'll probably be done in less than  
9 minutes.
The extra time/temperature is there in case your iRoast won't get up  
to full
roasting temperature on a lower setting.
I always roast 4 oz of beans because it gives me an even number of  
roasts from
each pound.  And I use this profile for everything:
    385 degrees - 10 minutes
    390 degrees - 5 minutes
I roast indoors at 66-76 degrees. The ambient air temperature makes a  
big
difference in the results, so there's no fixed stopping point.   Most  
non-decaf
beans get close to second crack around 8 to 9 minutes, which is my  
preferred
roast point.  The longest I've gone is 12 minutes for decaf.
I hope this helps.
Mike Sieweke
On Oct 6, 2007, at 1:03 AM, JoAnne Phillips wrote:
<Snip>

2) From: MSMB
I also have an I-Roast and mine runs hotter than I wanted. I wanted to work
on lighter roasts. I found that cutting down on the amount of beans that I
roast was very important. The best thing with either decaf or regular for me
is to do under 1/2 cup, more like 1/3.  Even with that, the profile I use is
way under anything I have heard. I do not have a thermometer so mine is just
a matter of experience using the temperature settings of the I-Roast.  4 1/2
minutes at 320, 2 1/2 at 360 and 2 at 440.  I hit first crack at around 6
1/2 to 7 minutes and with this profile it is not uncommon for me to go the
full 9 minutes, though I will stop between 8 and 9. I am open to any
suggestions or comments.
After reading your message I understand why I do not have to change the
profile for decaf or regular.  Since I started roasting with this profile I
have been using a Yirg that is extremely chaff free (not, by the way a great
batch of beans--they did not come from SM--but not at all so horrible that I
could not get through the 15 pounds that I bought).  
Now, if someone writes in and tells me that with these low temperatures I am
really baking the beans, I will have to respond that that is proof that it
is all in the greens; the quality of the greens will no doubt make it better
but I am convinced that even if the beans are of mediocre quality (I have
not tried really bad beans) the fact that you are making coffee out of
recently roasted and rested fresh greens with a good grind and hot enough
water makes all the difference.

3) From: raymanowen
" the fact that you are making coffee out of recently roasted and rested
fresh greens with a good grind and hot enough water makes all the
difference." [Sadly, it's almost intuitively obvious, but the word hasn't
gotten around. It's staggering- the world wastes so much flavor potential.]
"(I have not tried really bad beans)" [I tried some- I happened to get some
Vietnamese Highlands green coffee online before I realized SM was selling
them as 'Ugh- educational.' ]
My initial blind roast of the RVN beans was over 17 minutes long- just in to
2nd Crack, one of my earliest roasts. I had only started making misteaks and
had only started learning. The first Bunn brew, with no rest and a blade
grinder, had a tantalizing floral bouquet.
The beans suffered many insults at my hands, and only got me back after 2
months' storage in a fruit jar post roast. I started reading and following
the list pretty closely only after that first sumptuous brew. Vietnamese
beans were water buffalo dung? What had I done rong?
And espresso brewed coffee was good? I Knew that was garbled in translation
somewhere. I didn't have a clue that I knew nothing about coffee, even
having roasted a couple of pounds decades earlier. But I was lead to fear
the Vietnamese coffee and ignored the roast in the jar.
When I finally popped the seal, the 4oz of roasted beans smelled like
Bandimere dragstrip on a Saturday afternoon during AA top fuel eliminations.
EGAD! They went right to the compost heap after a confusing flavor crunch
test. I could grow some Venus Flytraps maybe?
Subsequently, I've roasted the Vietnamese again with HG/ DB, avoiding the
dumb stunts that wreck coffee. I like to try to bring out the best in
coffee, I don't buy it to see if I can find what's rong with it. Have to do
it again- that power supply went AWOL and incited mutiny among the hard
drives.
I think I stretched the new roast to about 20 minutes, just into a ripping
2nd Crack and stood on the brakes. This time, I'll go for a pound with the
HG/BM and try it in some blends post roast.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Vast Ideas...
On Nov 23, 2007 11:05 PM, MSMB  wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: Mike Sieweke
Many iRoasts come badly calibrated, so the air temperature can be
high by as much as 100 F (as measured on mine).  You won't know
just how far off yours is until you get a thermometer in the roast
chamber.  First crack should hit around 400 F.  If you're hitting
first crack before 7 minutes at a programmed temp of 360, your
iRoast runs at least 40 degrees hot - probably more.
You're not baking the beans with that profile.
If you want to roast more beans at a time, you can use a profile
like I recommended to JoAnne.  Once you get a better idea what
to expect from your roaster, you can try lower/slower profiles.
Mike
On Nov 24, 2007, at 1:05 AM, MSMB wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: MSMB
I work at home a lot so I don't mind doing smaller roasts and letting =
the
roaster cool down, at which point I repeat.  I never tasted anyone =
else's
home roast, so it is hard for me to tell if the roasts come out "right.' =
 It
is like trying to describe color; you can describe as much as you want, =
but
you have to experience it.  But by comparison with, say, Counter Culture
Coffee, which people tell me they like a lot, I know mine tastes pretty
good.  I also know because ever since I began to roast (or at least to =
get
the hang of it) my kid (senior in high school) brings her friends to the
house for coffee and she and the friends hang out here more (I was =
getting a
little worried about her never being at home; coffee keeps kids off the
streets!).  Still, at some point, it would be nice to get involved in an
exchange of our roasted beans.
By the way, I have noticed with my I-Roast that the amount of air that
escapes through the top is a very big factor.  The inert with the screen =
in
it that sits on the chaff collector is broken on mine and I have to keep =
an
iron pan sitting on one edge of it and balanced on the other end on a
plastic container of equal height to keep the thing from blowing off.  A
couple of times the edge across from the one the pan was on raised up so
that more air escaped.  At those times my beans made it to first crack =
but
came out cinnamon colored and I had a nice mélange with some darker =
beans.
Another factor that I have found is time of day.  It seems that there is =
a
greater drain on my electricity resulting in less heat in the I-Roast =
during
the day. 
I am going to go for the thermometer. It is just that I have a real =
talent
for messing up even simple modification jobs; but I guess this one--to =
get
the thermometer into the IR-- is pretty easy.

6) From: Frank Awbrey
Hey, I really like your idea of a roasted bean exchange. I am like you. I
have nothing to compare it to locally, except the old folgers thing or *$ o=
r
similar.
On 11/25/07, MSMB  wrote:
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-- 
Frank
"Still the one"

7) From: JoAnne Phillips
--Apple-Mail-4-898301839
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I'm with you Frank, John Brown and I met at the Tucson Mall one day  
and swapped roasts.  We both use the same roaster so it was good to  
compare.  There had been talk of a get-together of those of us in AZ,  =
but John had to go home for illness in the family and I went back to  
PA for my class' 60th reunion.  Now we have the holidays coming up,  
but come January I think we should all plan something.  I think it  
was Gin who suggested we meet someplace in the PHX area, which seemed  =
OK with most.  It would be super to meet some of those on this list  
who have been so helpful to me and also to bring along some roast  
samples to swap.
JoAnne in Tucson
On Nov 26, 2007, at 10:56 AM, Frank Awbrey wrote:
Hey, I really like your idea of a roasted bean exchange. I am like  
you. I have nothing to compare it to locally, except the old folgers  
thing or *$ or similar.
On 11/25/07, MSMB  wrote:
I work at home a lot so I don't mind doing smaller roasts and letting  =
the
roaster cool down, at which point I repeat.  I never tasted anyone  
else's
home roast, so it is hard for me to tell if the roasts come out  
"right.'  It
is like trying to describe color; you can describe as much as you  
want, but
you have to experience it.  But by comparison with, say, Counter Culture
Coffee, which people tell me they like a lot, I know mine tastes pretty
good.  I also know because ever since I began to roast (or at least  
to get
the hang of it) my kid (senior in high school) brings her friends to the
house for coffee and she and the friends hang out here more (I was  
getting a
little worried about her never being at home; coffee keeps kids off the
streets!).  Still, at some point, it would be nice to get involved in an
exchange of our roasted beans.
By the way, I have noticed with my I-Roast that the amount of air that
escapes through the top is a very big factor.  The inert with the  
screen in
it that sits on the chaff collector is broken on mine and I have to  
keep an
iron pan sitting on one edge of it and balanced on the other end on a
plastic container of equal height to keep the thing from blowing off.  A
couple of times the edge across from the one the pan was on raised up so
that more air escaped.  At those times my beans made it to first  
crack but
came out cinnamon colored and I had a nice mélange with some darker  =
beans.
Another factor that I have found is time of day.  It seems that there  =
is a
greater drain on my electricity resulting in less heat in the I-Roast  =
during
the day.
I am going to go for the thermometer. It is just that I have a real  
talent
for messing up even simple modification jobs; but I guess this one-- 
to get
the thermometer into the IR-- is pretty easy.

8) From: raymanowen
You're right- "nothing to compare it to locally, except the old folgers
thing or *$ or similar." It doesn't represent a valid standard for
comparison. Cow pies or a volcanic lava field -great. -ro
On Nov 26, 2007 10:56 AM, Frank Awbrey  wrote:
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-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
y
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

9) From: John Brown
and thermos jugs  to share the brew
JoAnne Phillips wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: Frank Awbrey
JoAnne, I'm in for a meet for the Phx area. It would be great to meet
the wonderful people on this list. January would be fine for me, or Februar=
y
or March or...
On 11/26/07, JoAnne Phillips  wrote:
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to
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-- 
Frank
"Still the one"


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