HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Cast Iron Coffee Roasting (19 msgs / 557 lines)
1) From: Lynne
I was given a terrific new (old) cast iron pot - deep, perfect for roasting
(so I thought - no beans to fly out for Emma to catch!)
Finally decided to try it out this weekend. I fired up my electric burner,
heated up the pot (as I do with my smaller, thinner pot), and threw in a
large amount of Harrar Horse.
Let me back up a bit - for the first time, I showed an interested friend how
I roast the night before (Sat. eve) - well it was good she's interested -
but that distracts me a bit. Gave her that batch as a gift (came out smooth,
but a bit too long roasting, a few seconds into second, I think, for my
tastes.)
O.K., so any new item in the roasting process will require an adjustment -
but I wasn't prepared for the resulting weird roast. Some beans looked close
to finished while others weren't even close to first crack! I finally called
it quits after about 2 or 3 minutes past my usual roasting time, and was
convinced I ruined a huge amt of (my fav) Horse.
Decided to try some right away (never can resist). Mmm - surprisingly good.
When I noticed the color of the water (French Press), I immediately threw in
another half scoop of coffee. Hmmm - smooth, clean flavor, and even though
it had a bit of a bite, it was GOOD.
O.K., today came - so after a day's rest - tried it again. WOW - smooth,
less bite, but just a little is still there, enough to make it interesting.
Clean cup, cleaner than any Horse has been for me. I used more coffee than
usual - all I can say it turned out great.
This is a GREAT hobby!
Now - all that said, I am going to turn (again) and try to master my IR2.
I've been experiencing pain in my hands for awhile now, and the meds my Dr
prescribed aren't doing much. (As much as I love stove-top roasting, I doubt
that the constant stirring is the best thing for me right now.)
I am, however, so afraid of ruining beans (again!) in this machine... wish
me luck!
Lynne

2) From: Bill
Good Luck!Bill
On Jan 7, 2008 10:02 AM, Lynne  wrote:
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3) From: Sandra Andina
--Apple-Mail-87-236233258
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What did you use to stir the beans?
On Jan 7, 2008, at 11:07 AM, Bill wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
--Apple-Mail-87-236233258
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What did you use to stir the =
beans?
On Jan 7, 2008, at 11:07 AM, Bill wrote:
Good = Luck!Bill On Jan 7, 2008 10:02 = AM, Lynne <lynnebiz> = wrote: I was given a = terrific new (old) cast iron pot - deep, perfect for roasting (so I = thought - no beans to fly out for Emma to catch!) Finally decided = to try it out this weekend. I fired up my electric burner, heated up the = pot (as I do with my smaller, thinner pot), and threw in a large amount = of Harrar Horse. Let me back up a bit - for the first time, I = showed an interested friend how I roast the night before (Sat. eve) - = well it was good she's interested - but that distracts me a bit. Gave = her that batch as a gift (came out smooth, but a bit too long roasting, = a few seconds into second, I think, for my tastes.) O.K., so any = new item in the roasting process will require an adjustment - but I = wasn't prepared for the resulting weird roast. Some beans looked close = to finished while others weren't even close to first crack! I finally = called it quits after about 2 or 3 minutes past my usual roasting time, = and was convinced I ruined a huge amt of (my fav) Horse. Decided = to try some right away (never can resist). Mmm - surprisingly good. When = I noticed the color of the water (French Press), I immediately threw in = another half scoop of coffee. Hmmm - smooth, clean flavor, and even = though it had a bit of a bite, it was GOOD. O.K., today came - = so after a day's rest - tried it again. WOW - smooth, less bite, but = just a little is still there, enough to make it interesting. Clean cup, = cleaner than any Horse has been for me. I used more coffee than usual - = all I can say it turned out great. This is a GREAT = hobby! Now - all that said, I am going to turn (again) and try to = master my IR2. I've been experiencing pain in my hands for awhile now, = and the meds my Dr prescribed aren't doing much. (As much as I love = stove-top roasting, I doubt that the constant stirring is the best thing = for me right now.) I am, however, so afraid of ruining beans = (again!) in this machine... wish me luck! Lynne = Sandy Andinawww.myspace.com/sandyandina = --Apple-Mail-87-236233258--

4) From: Lynne
A very worn down wooden spoon - used to be rounded - now it is totally flat
- and mostly black. I have some back-up spoons, but I really like this one.
I'm (too much!) a creature of habit.
Lynne
Sandra Andina wrote:
What did you use to stir the beans?
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5) From: Rick Copple
Lynne wrote:
<Snip>
I use a wooden spoon for my wok roasting too. Eventually I have to 
replace it once it wears down too far, but they seem to work the best.
Yes, the Harrar is often inconstant of a bean to begin with. Throw in 
the usual variations of stovetop roasting method, and you will see beans 
at all different states. But, as you experienced, it can give it a very 
complex and great flavor. I usually shoot for a majority of the beans 
roasting to a certain level, but you'll always have some that look 
pretty dark (especially on the flat sides of beans that tend to spend 
more time in contact with the pan) and others that seem fairly light.
Once, if ever, I have the money for a roaster that will replace my wok, 
I may find I miss that quality of flavor, even as I have some new ones 
to replace it.
-- 
Rick Copple

6) From: Lynne
I know I need to adjust the heat level for this cast iron pan. Any new item
in coffee roasting (including the time I roasted on a different electric
stove -
ugh, it was a horrible one with no control of the heat - went from
practically
no heat to burning hot, no in between) requires some adjustment.
The only time I've ever had a roast that ended up as varied as this (even my
son noticed it - thought it was an 'artistic' looking roast, lol) was once,
when
I had just returned from bringing my dog Emma to the vet hospital after she
had (what we now know was) her first seizure. I was beside myself with
worry,
ended up with the strangest roast that was both burnt, raw, baked - I don't
know
what else. The first cup that night was great - after that it was so bad I
had to toss
it.
I was afraid I would have to end up doing the same with this one, but
instead, it
was more mellow today, and delicious.
Rick Copple wrote:
Yes, the Harrar is often inconstant of a bean to begin with. Throw in
<Snip>
The great thing about this is we don't have to limit ourselves to one
roasting
technique, or brewing method.
Once, if ever, I have the money for a roaster that will replace my wok,
<Snip>
Lynne

7) From: raymanowen
"Cast Iron Coffee Roasting"
Wow! She really did say that. How to stay on topic...
Does Tom know about this? In the foundry environment, Green castings exist.
Their furnaces are called "Helluvahot," while a Probat might find use in th=
e
cool down/ annealing and stress relief profile if it didn't burn up first.
I'm still trying to get a handle on "baking" coffee beans. One might accuse
me of trying to bake them (PCE 1800m +) yesterday morning, But No. Never
happened, even 36m HG/BM in a 15F breeze. The roast got off to a real sl=
ow
start, because the Dunce was wearing leather welding gloves and had only
switched the HG to LO at first!
Aging = 0, the initial Steinway mug was a monster. The second one, for me=
,
was equal to it. #3, an hour or so ago with 30 hours' rest was easily their
equal, ground at 50, brewed 1.5:1 for 4 minutes.
I think "baking" occurs, not during the heating stage, but during Cooling.
That's not the time to worry about chaff removal. A laissez-faire cooling
regimen is the baking culprit, IMO. With laissez-faire cooling, the risk is
an Eveready Energizer roast...
Note the cooling tray on Probat and Diedrich shop roasters- there's a blowe=
r
underneath to pull cool air through the tray full of hot beans just out of
the roaster. On the scale, I would be using a blower ~10 ft in diameter wit=
h
a 25hp motor.
A profile is not ended just because you quit adding heat. Cooling is the
other half of roasting and equally as important as the fancy heating
profiles.
It is alleged that the heat of a poor grinder can wreck coffee. When did we
start caring about a little heat on one hand, but ignoring a lot of it on
the other?
Forget about heat. The roast is done- [Don't you wish?]
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Most "coolers" are ineffective outside of Siberia.
On Jan 7, 2008 10:02 AM, Lynne < lynnebiz> wrote:
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8) From: Bill
If only Steve McQueen could help with that.  He knows lots about coolers.
Bill
On Jan 7, 2008 6:26 PM,  wrote:
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9) From: Lynne
ah - King of Cool?
On Jan 7, 2008 8:42 PM, Bill  wrote:
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10) From: Steven Dover
Hey Lynne. When using an electric burner with cast iron be sure to start
the heat slowly and gradually crank up the heat. Electric heat doesn't heat
evenly and if you get one spot too hot too quickly cast iron can and will
crack. Of course this ruins the cast iron skillet/pot. This is in the
directions with many new cast iron items. Ftr, I do have *several* cast
iron pots/skillets/dutch ovens etc. and have been using cast iron for many
years. I do love my cast iron cookware! I'll admit I am yet to roast in
cast iron. - Steve D.  
At 01:30 PM 1/7/08 -0600, you wrote:
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11) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
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Cast iron is tricky for coffee ... pure conduction roasting. I think 
the old Royal roasters were cast iron drums, with no air flow 
(convection). It's just extremely hard to avoid scorching coffee, 
although it certainly can be done with skillful manual agitation or 
some motor agitation of some kind. My problem with tests in this area 
was a very bitter roast taste in the coffee, a lack of sweetness. But 
I would not at all discourage testing this, since I admit I am fairly 
inept with the pots and pans. I had slightly better luck with a Wok 
and a wooden spoon... Tom
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george_at_sweetmarias.com
     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - tom_at_sweetmarias.com

12) From: Lynne
Next time I'm going to try less coffee - this pot is larger than my other.
My intention
was to have something in which to roast a larger amount (I didn't weigh it,
but it was a
bit more than a full mason jar - the most I usually can roast is about 2/3
full).
I quickly saw that this was very different, and I forgot my original reason
for preheating
my other pot (been doing this for so long, now) - it was to compensate for
the electric stove,
which turns on & off. But with a cast iron pot - this is overkill, to say
the least, since the cast
iron retains heat.
However, despite all of this, this resulting coffee came out amazingly good.
From the looks of
it - it shouldn't taste as good (especially since I've roasted Harrar
before, so I had good - but
different results before).
Lynne
On Jan 7, 2008 10:18 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <
sweetmarias> wrote:
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13) From: Lynne
Good suggestions - I also love all my cast iron - but once (almost forgot),
years ago,
I did have one, very favorite, well worn frying pan that split in half!
Never heard of any
thing like that - maybe this was the reason.
Lynne
On Jan 7, 2008 9:52 PM, Steven Dover  wrote:
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14) From: john
all,
i know i'm getting in late on this thread, and my appologies to those who 
have seen these pics at least a couple of times before.  but, i too had the 
scorching problem when using only my skillet and a wooden spoon.  so, i 
built this rig to improve agitation as well as keep the heat in on windy 
days.http://www.flickr.com/photos/drakejohn/sets/72157594276185269/the handle and paddle are wooden spoons.  maybe these will encourage other 
ideas.  as for myself, this setup has worked well enough to keep me away 
from the design table for a while.
-john

15) From: Bill
No, Hilts, the "cooler king" from the movie, "The Great Escape."  Ray's
comment about Siberia and coolers got me thinking...
Bill
On Jan 7, 2008 9:12 PM, john  wrote:
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16) From: raymanowen
Ah, metallurgy-
"if you get one spot too hot too quickly cast iron can and will
crack. Of course this ruins the cast iron skillet/pot. This is in the
directions with many new cast iron items."
[Get it welded and roast on. Talk about hot spot, very quickly..] I digress=
,
throw it away and buy new.
Cast iron- hundreds of millions of automotive engines used cast iron pieces
of all sizes and shapes in areas of mechanical and thermal stress.
Every time an engine is started and run, the combustion chamber walls have
cool water on one side and a blue flame on the other. The web between
adjacent exhaust and intake valves has 1,500 F exhaust gases on one side=
,
and intake air temperature on the other side.
This problem was exacerbated in the horsepower race years, with bigger
valves and less space between, with higher temperatures and pressures.
Brain Donors with high performance engines, who would gas up at the regular
gas pump, were likely ignorant of the detonation sound as the fuel/ air
mixture exploded in the cylinders, delivering hammer blows and thermal
spikes to the components. They were successful in burning up spark plugs,
breaking their engines or blowing gaskets, at the least.
"Ftr, I do have *several* cast iron pots/skillets/dutch ovens etc..."
FTR- Where were they made? Curious minds want to know...
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
On Jan 7, 2008 7:52 PM, Steven Dover  wrote:
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-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
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Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

17) From: Rick Copple
My first roast attempts were in our cast iron skillet. I had problems 
with it, but I think it was because I had used it too often to cook in, 
and cast iron tends to retain the flavors. If I had started with a fresh 
pan, the results might have been different. And, I scorched my beans the 
first time I used it too, but that was due to too few beans in a too hot 
pan (going by instructions for roasting a pound instead of adjusting for 
a half).
I did decent with the roasting in it, but it had off flavors that I 
attributed to the previous cooking. That's when I pulled out a 
heavy-duty wok we had laying around and been roasting in it ever since.
I usually turn my electric stove nob to 6.5 while I measure the beans 
out (I usually roast a pound at a time)and right before I pour in the 
beans, I'll kick it down to 5. Once it is well into first crack, I'll 
usually turn it down to 4 to help stretch out the time between first and 
second crack. That routine usually takes me between 15 to 20 minutes for 
a full city roast, most often around 17 minutes. Closer to 20 for a 
full-city plus or Vienna.
I really intended to roast today, but stayed too busy, so maybe first 
thing in the morning. I still have enough roasted Batak (which I nailed 
the roast on this one) to Areopress me a cup to wake up. :)
-- 
Rick Copple

18) From: Steven Dover
Yep...and those cylinders in the car block got heated all the way around,
"evenly" - not just on one side. Also, the fire in the cylinder only lasts
a split second. Then the next cylinder fires and so on, and so on...
"Overall", the car block is heated more evenly than one would think.
Besides, we're not roasting in a car block. - Stevd D.
At 09:35 PM 1/7/08 -0700, you wrote:
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19) From: Brett Mason
But we could roast 8 separate single origins, if we roasted in a car block.=
...
I wonder what other controls I would need to add...
Brett
On Jan 8, 2008 3:38 AM, Steven Dover  wrote:
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-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com


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