HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Hello to the list... (16 msgs / 528 lines)
1) From: Ken B
I have no idea if it is common for new members to introduce themselves,
so if I am breaking a rule, please forgive me.
Hello, I am Ken B, and I am an addict.  (oops, wrong list)  Wait, what?
It IS the right list. ;-)
I am new to the list, and to home roasting. in general.  Whenever I take
up new things, I try to be quiet and learn as much as I can from people
who went before me, and hence, I subscribed to the list.  I am not new
to coffee, being a 50-something year old programmer, but I am new to
different coffees, and I enjoyed them so much I decided to take up home
roasting last October.
I have already sent the Fresh Roast Plus back for repair. (it cracked a
glass chamber, then the top of the base unit)  I used this as an excuse
to buy an I-Roast 2, since it is programmable. (sic) I just finished my
first profile, and if it is not too much of a problem, I have a
question.  I used Tom's profile in the pdf, 350 for 2 min, 400 for 3
min, and 460 for 4:30, roasting an El Salvidor Siberia.  He says this
produces a City to City+ roast.  I stopped the roast at 3:35 in the last
stage, and the coffee looks like a perfect Full City to my (admittedly
untrained) eyes.  With the I-Roast, I cannot hear the cracks like I
could in the Fresh Roast, so it is hard for me to say where the crack
stages were.  It may be that I have a higher line voltage?  It is
~116-120 volts most of the time.  I found with the fresh roast I also
needed less time than the documents said.  I only roasted one batch with
the I-Roast before buying a dryer vent to run the exhaust outside.
Running around the house trying to unset 4 fire alarms was no fun. :-)
Using the preset-2 on the I-Roast, it produces what I would call a
Vienna roast...dark, but not like a French roast.  With India Malliali,
preset-2 roasted darker than 6:30 (the most I ever roasted it) in the
Fresh Roast, and produced quite a bit more of the French Roasty
smell...not burnt, but has been hot.  I used it for espresso and
cappuccino and it was quite good! It also produced the same type of
roast for a Brazil Fazenda Jacaranda.  Again, since this is a good
espresso coffee, I used it for espresso.
Then I wanted to brew some for the drip coffee maker. (Yeah, I know, but
I hate thinking, standing and waiting in the morning) I do not have a
scale, so I used 2 level 1/2 cups of beans for all my roasts.  I tried
Tom's profile, and as I said, cut it at 3:35 in stage 3.  (see picture)
Temperature was 70 degrees.  Humidity was ~40%.  Does this look like
Full City to anyone?  I am still trying to calibrate my eyes, but it
looks like it to me.  coffee-1.jpg was shot with natural light on bright
white paper.  coffee-2.jpg was shot with flash.  Neither have been
edited for brightness/contrast from the original exposure on the
Canon-XTi.  If anyone could give me some guidance, I would appreciate it.http://www.onlymysite.net/images/misc/coffee-1.jpghttp://www.onlymysite.net/images/misc/coffee-2.jpg
Has anyone else had these issues with the I-Roast?  Are they issues?
Does anyone have some profiles they could share?
Ok, I will shut up now and go back to reading like a good newbie. :-)
Best Regards,

2) From: Michael Wascher
On Jan 5, 2008 6:28 PM, Ken B  wrote:
Welcome!  --MikeW
"About the time we think we can make ends meet, somebody moves the ends."
--Herbert Hoover

3) From: Rich M
Hey Ken-- Welcome!
I've been using the I-roast for a while and if there's one thing I've  
learned, it's that most of them run a bit hotter than the setting.  
There doesn't seem to be a lot of consistency between them,  
unfortunately, so while I'm more than willing to share profiles with  
you, I'm afraid you'll still have to tweak it for a good result. In  
fact, if you go into the archives of this list you should be able to  
find all sorts of shared profiles for the IR. If not, let me know and  
I'll be happy to get my profiles to you.
Couple of little things:  Color certainly gives some indication of  
level of roast, but the kind of bean you're roasting also has an  
effect. So, the darker the color does not necessarily mean a greater  
degree of roast. I try to use sound more than anything with smell not  
far behind. A little trick I use to better hear the cracks is to get  
my ear right next to (NOT ABOVE!) the screens in the top. Also,  
different beans will require you to roast different volumes,  
depending on bean density, processing, etc. All this is going to  
require a lot of trial and error on your part. One great way to go is  
to get the Sweet Marias sample pack. That allows you to try different  
types of coffees and do some experimenting to see what works for you.  
While doing so, only change one variable at a time so you can dial in  
your machine.
Ultimately, your tastes will determine how and what you roast. My  
guess is that even your "mistakes" will end up tasting better than  
most of what's out there. The big payoff, though, is when you really  
nail that perfect roast, and then can repeat it because of your  
scrupulous note-taking. There are so many on this list with way more  
experience and knowledge than me, so don't be afraid to ask for help.  
Good luck, and enjoy!
Rich M
On Jan 5, 2008, at 5:28 PM, Ken B wrote:

4) From: Mike Koenig
Welcome to the list!
What you describe on your IR2 seems fairly typical.  Preset 2 will
produce char, unless you manually stop it.
Using less than the two scoops of beans will slow it down (less mass
to block the airflow).  Using slightly less than what the IR manual
recommends will probably be the most important tweak you can do.
As far as hearing the cracks,  try standing a few feet back.  It was
my experience that my first few roasts, I was overwhelmed by the roar
of the motor, and couldn't hear the cracks,  but after a while, I
became somewhat attuned to the sound of it, and was able to hear them.
 (either that or I became tone deaf at the pitch of the motor..)
Lately, I've taken to popping the chaff collector lid (the small one
on top) if I think the roast is running too hot, to let out some
chaff.  I also pop this lid and let the metal chaff collector just
float during the cool cycle,  gives a faster cooldown.  (just don't
grab it with your bare hands..I have some big lab gloves I use).
On Jan 5, 2008 6:28 PM, Ken B  wrote:

5) From: Ken B
Mike, Michael amd Rich,
Thanks to all for the welcome.  I look forward to reading the 
information on the list, and yes, I did go back through the archives 
some.  There is a LOT of data out there!  I will continue to work my way 
through it.
I take it you do not use the exhaust Mike?  The dryer hose covers the 
little lid, and if you popped that loose, you would have no venting.  
Somewhere down the road, I will figure out a way to roast somewhere 
where I do not need to vent, but right now, I roast in the kitchen, and 
my hood fan does not vent outside.  Hence, the dryer hose out the 
window. I will try your suggestion of standing back from the unit.  I 
tried standing close, and could not tell the difference between the 
crack and the beans bouncing off of the little metal turret thing, when 
I could hear anything over the roar of the motor.  With the Fresh Roast, 
the crack was very easily distinguished.
Rich, since yours also runs hot, I would appreciate the profile 
information.  It will give me a good starting point for further 
experimentation.  If you use a profile from one of the "cool" ones, I 
assume that would be frustrating. I will also try raising my head up.  I 
tried to put my ear fairly close to the roast chamber, and that just 
made the motor noise worse.
Anyway, thanks to all for the welcome and the suggestions. All in all, I 
think that this will be a lot of fun to resolve, because at least my 
experiments have still been drinkable so far. :-)
Best Regards,
Mike Koenig wrote:

6) From: Eddie Dove
Ken B,
Welcome to the list and thank you for the post.  We love posts about
home coffee roasting ...
The El Salvidor Siberia [sic] should be excellent!  (  ;-)  I couldn't
resist!).  El Salvador coffees are some of my favorites and I have
four different varieties in the stash.
When we are new to roasting, color can be very deceptive because the
color can vary so much from bean to bean for the same level of roast.
 Granted, if you finish the roast and the bean is still green or
yellow, it is probably a generally good indicator of a very light
roast.  After roasting any particular bean and resting it the amount
of time your desire, brew it with your chosen method.  If you decide
that it is indeed an exquisite elixir, go get the beans and study them
noting the color, and general appearance as this will be a good future
reference.  In the interim, it would be most beneficial to make note
of time, smell & smoke (if possible with that hose) and definitely the
behavior and timing of 1st and 2nd cracks (if roasted that far).
For the pictures you referenced, the amount of oil and sheen on the
surface of the bean, and to some extent the color as well, is a fairly
good indicator of the level of roast achieved with that batch when
compared to the examples on Tom's document titled "An Updated
Pictorial Guide to the Roast Process."  (This can be found at the
following URL:  <http://www.sweetmarias.com/roasting-VisualGuideV2.html>)  Comparing
your pictures to those in Tom's document, the roast appears to be past
Full City, perhaps Vienna or a bit more.
Please continue to let us know of your home-roasting experiences and
again, welcome to the list!
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Jan 5, 2008 5:28 PM, Ken B  wrote:

7) From: Robert Gulley
Hi Ken
Let me add my welcome to the list, and assure you you'll find a lot 
of good info from the good folks here (as you already know).
I am relatively new to roasting (started in August or Sept.) with the 
IR2 and my voltage runs the same as yours. I routinely stop the roast 
several minutes before the end. I use Tom's profile, slightly 
modified to lengthen time to first crack by about :30, so my 
programmed roast time is 10:00 rather than Tom's 9:30.
Several people have already mentioned good suggestions, so I'll not 
repeat them; but I will add one more observation of my own. I find 
the amount of chaff produced to be an important factor in determining 
roast levels. Of course, you have to get to know a coffee to 
anticipate the amount of chaff, but I would encourage you to make 
note of it with your various roasts and you will begin to see a 
correlation in your roast times. I realized this after roasting 
several decafs for my wife, and the different times needed for them. 
More heat is generated by more chaff blocking the collector, so some 
roasts go faster than others.
Perhaps this may help a bit -
Happy roasting! And again, welcome!
At 08:01 PM 1/5/2008, you wrote:
"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons."  ~T.S. Eliot  

8) From: miKe mcKoffee
Welcome to the List, enjoy the Journey! Right List? See:-)http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL 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">http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/csa12steps.htmKona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL 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/

9) From: raymanowen
There is no single correct, or even best way to roast, age, grind or brew
coffee. I, for one, could never remember it anyway. -ro
On Jan 5, 2008 4:28 PM, Ken B < coffee> wrote:
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

10) From: Ken B
Thanks again to all the folks who said hello and offered suggestions.  I 
appreciate the welcome and the suggestions.
Eddie, you are correct.  When I ground the roasts from yesterday, they 
were definitely well beyond where I want them to be.  More French Roast 
than anything.  Thanks for the reference to the pictures Tom put out.  
This should help me get a little closer anyway.  I used 325 for 3 min, 
400 for 2 min and 460 for 3:30 for these, so that would appear to be way 
too hot.  I will try today with 325 for 3, 390 for 2 min and 455 for 
4:30 min, and reduce the amount of the beans, as has been suggested in 
the archives and here.
The hose does not stop you from smelling the roast, nor does it do away 
with every bit of the smoke, but it does help keep the fire alarms from 
going off.  I will try the suggestions for listening and see if I can 
distinguish the cracks.  I think that would help more than anything.  
With the Fresh Roast it was easy to distinguish the cracks, and I got 
some very drinkable coffee from it.  I read in the archives about noise 
canceling headphones, and I may try those too.  I think I will use some 
of my stash that is not my favorite for testing though.  I am getting 
low on the ones I really like, and would like the iRoast to produce 
usable results with what I have left of them. :-)
Heh, and yes, I caught the spelling error just as I hit send.  A 
programmer who does not use spell check...very, very sad. :-D
Best Regards,
Eddie Dove wrote:

11) From: Ken B
Rich...I just wanted to let you know that your technique for hearing the 
crack worked perfectly for me.  I roasted my first batch today, and 
clearly and distinctly heard the first crack.  It said 373 on the 
internal thermometer and happened right at the end of stage 2.  I used a 
profile of 325 for 3 min, 390 for 2 min and 450 for 4:30 min. on 6 oz by 
volume of beans (three level 1/4 cup measuring cups) I wanted to see if 
what I heard correlated to what is in the pictures Tom posted, so I cut 
the roast at 15 seconds after first crack, or about 10 sec into stage 
3.  The beans I took out matched Tom's pictures perfectly for #8, first 
crack underway.  But from this, it looks like the roast is still going 
too fast.
So, my next batch (in an hour) will be the same profile, but I will 
listen for the second crack and cut it 10 seconds after I hear it.  I 
HOPE it works as well, because then I will have a clue as to how to get 
decent roasts out of this beastie, at least for one coffee. :-)
Thanks for the tip!
Best Regards,
Rich M wrote:

12) From: ray
All well and good Ken but use your eyes and nose and ears and watch for the
smoke all tell you something.  The next batch of beans you get may roast way
different than this batch and your temps will go right out the window for
time seems no 2 beans roast the same way is what I have found out, learn to
trust your instincts lot depends on how hard the bean is how much moisture
is in the bean and the bean temp when you start to roast and roaster temp
all play a part in your roasting so its part science and art to roasting
that keeps it interesting........

13) From: Bob Hazen
Hi Ken,
Welcome to the list!  My name is Bob and I'm a...., uh..., Homeroaster.
I have an IR1 that has since been retired in favor of a Behmor.  Here's my 
20m$ on the IRoast:
Buy a scale.  I always run 130g loads.  Anything heavier didn't agitate well 
and the roast went too quickly.  I also use the scale for brewing rather 
than a scoop.  There's a good one on this page: http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.roastkits.shtmlYour line voltage is actually normal to somewhat low.  120Vac is nominal.  I 
wouldn't worry.
Slowing down the roast helped me significantly.  I don't recall who pointed 
it out, but adding some time to the intial stage brought out a lot of flavor 
and body.  I played around quite a bit and finally settled on the following 
320deg for 5min
380deg for 6min
405deg for 4min
The key was adding 2min to the often-seen 3min first stage.  It almost never 
gets into the 3rd stage very far before I start the cool cycle.
Good luck,

14) From: Dave Kvindlog
Hi Ken...
Hello, my name is Dave, and I too am a coffee addict (though many of us call
ourselves coffee "snobs" on this list -- don't ask why).  Glad to meet you.
Hope you get as much info and pleasure from the friendships you'll form on
this list.  Some truly great folks here.
Dave Kvindlog
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
On 1/5/08, Ken B  wrote:

15) From: John Despres
Hi, Ken B.
Welcome to the list! Let us know how your further roasts turn out. As 
you pointed out, the best part is the variety!
I'm due to share some results as well very soon...
Ken B wrote:
John A C Despres
Hug your kids
Scene It All Productions 
JDs Coffee Provoked Ramblings

16) From: Ken Schillinger
Hi Ken, 
Welcome to the list and to homeroasting. 
There are lots of interesting and helpful folk on this list.
Ken S...

HomeRoast Digest