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Topic: More Gene Cafe experiments - speeding up roasts/first crack volume (12 msgs / 453 lines)
1) From: Scott Bukofsky
I know that the Behmor is getting all the attention lately, but I dearly
love my Gene Cafe and continue to experiment with it in various ways. A week
or two ago I mentioned some experiments with pre-heating relative to the
loudness of first crack.  The Gene Cafe has a reputation for having first
crack be very faint.  With my machine vented outside with the extra-large
chaff collector, it can indeed be difficult to hear when used in the
conventional manner.  Of course, there are plenty of other signs of first
crack (smell and sight) which I use, but the sound (and speed to first) is
something I have been playing with.
As I said last time, when beans are added to a cold Gene Cafe, it can take
quite some time for everything to come up to temperature.  When this is the
case, a lot of moisture is removed from the beans, and as a result first
crack is very gentle and hard to hear.  Contrast this with something like a
popper or iRoast which heats everything up very quickly, retaining more
moisture in the bean and leading to a very loud pop at first crack.
The profile I had used in the past was 360 degrees for 5 minutes and then
460 degrees until the end of the roast, all this starting from a
room-temperature machine.  It produces some very good coffee, but a bit more
flat-tasting than I would like.  A couple of weeks ago I started pre-heating
the machine for various amounts (I now do 360 degrees for 5 minutes), then
doing an emergency stop and adding the beans.  In this way, the chamber and
machine is warm, and all the heat goes into the beans.  When doing this, I
am amazed at how much louder the sound of first crack is.  It also shaves
about a minute off of the time to get there.
Yesterday I tried something else.  I pre-heated again at 360 degrees, added
the beans after an emergency stop, and then cranked the heat to the max (482
degrees) until first crack instead of doing the 360 degree dwell I had done
before, then reducing back to 460 degrees until the end of the roast.  With
this profile, I hit first crack *a full 4 minutes* before my normal profile.
I had my target City+ roast at 12 minutes instead of 16 or 17 minutes
previously.  I find the aroma and taste of the coffee considerably better
this way - much more alive and bright compared to my 16 or 17 minute roasts.
Anyway, sorry for the long note, but I thought the Gene Cafe users would be
interested in the methods for increasing the sound of first crack, and
speeding up the roast.  I'll let others comment on the different effects on
the coffee, and I am planning some other comparisons as well.
-Scotto

2) From: Ed Needham
I'm confused.  Are you saying you lower the heat (to extend the roast) so
you can have a brighter cup?  That goes against everything I know about
roasting.  Care to explain?
Your overall drum roast times are fairly short.  What batch size are you
getting 12-14 minute City+ roasts?

3) From: Scott Bukofsky
Hi John.  Indeed, it has been primarily Kenya and Guatemalan beans I have
been playing with, but the loud first crack seems to be quite universal.  On
my roast last night, it sounded like explosions were going off, which is
unusual for the usually very quiet Gene Cafe.  I try to be as consistent as
I can, but I must have 30 different varieties of coffee in my stash, many
still untried. In fact, I just ordered another 12 pounds from Tom....
Anyway, I'll try and pay attention to the temperature drop the next time I
roast.  I don't think it is as much as you reported.  I have my beans
weighted out and ready, and the drum holder right next to the machine so
that I can make the transfer immediately after I stop the drum.  If I am
remembering correctly, I don't think the temperature drops more than 30 or
40 degrees.  I'll report back next time I roast.
-Scotto
On Jan 9, 2008 1:23 PM, John Despres  wrote:
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4) From: miKe mcKoffee
Could be simply referring to lowering the heat approaching first to control
environmental temp so the roast doesn't speed through first going too dark
before being able to complete a lighter roast and hence the brighter cup.
That's how I understood it anyway. And that's also what I've done for a long
time.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">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
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/
<Snip>

5) From: Ed Needham
Well, extending the roast into the darker range does add roasty flavors to 
the taste profile, but that's different than slowing the roast for 
brightness and stopping at City+.  Slowing the roast, according to 
everything I know about roasting  'should' encourage less brightness.
I'm open to Ken's explanation though.  There should always room to learn.
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************

6) From: Ed Needham
So how much are you talking about lowering the roaster heat?  Carl Staub 
says the long and short chained polymers connect in weird ways if the 
temperature 'of the bean' is allowed to decrease in and around that critical 
time.  Basically, they need a constant ramp upward to allow the flavor to 
develop properly.
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************

7) From: Phil Bergman Jungle Music
I've used the IR2 for about a year.  Although it has its quirks, it does
give a very nice, bright coffee.  I've had the Gene Cafe for about six weeks
and interestingly enough, the resulting coffees have different
characteristics.  I agree the Gene Cafe is not as bright.  Since I missed
the brightness, I actually combined a roast of the two from both roasters.
I'm just coming to find that the drum roaster gives a different taste with
the finished product; not better or worse, just different.  Re preheating, I
definitely improved hearing first crack with preheating.  (described here
about a month ago). I run 482 for about 5 minutes and get it near 375 empty.
But, by the time I do the emrgency stop and quickly fill/restart, I'd say
the average temp on restarting is at best 300.  But, first has become much
easier to hear and the roast times have shortened by about a minute or two.
Phil

8) From: Eddie Dove
The amount of heat applied during the roasting process is decreased,
but not to the extent that the bean temperature drops; the temperature
of the beans continues to climb.  This is a method I learned well on
the Gene Cafe.
While the Gene Cafe has it own positives and negatives, I will be
forever grateful that I bought that roaster; it was an invaluable
training tool.  While it can be used to simply roast coffee without
much fuss, you can also become obsessive about endlessly adjusting and
tweaking.  It also made me consider the rate of application of the
heat versus the rate of temperature rise of the bean and the effect
that that had on each variety of bean with respect to what would be
present in the cup.
One experiment that taught me quite a bit was when I roasted four
separate batches of the Ethiopia Organic Idido Misty Valley DP with
four different profiles.  The batches were roasted in succession then
cupped each and every day thereafter.  The differences between the
batches was quite notable and I still have those notes.  One of the
more striking comparisons was the fact that there was one batch at 11
1/2 days rest that equaled another batch at only 7.5 days rest.
Easter Sunday 2007, after 422 batches totaling 221.5 pounds in about 7
months, my Gene Cafe broke and I needed to roast about 12 pounds of
coffee for other people.  The RK Drum, all parts and pieces already in
hand, was assembled in about 30 minutes and fired up.  After two test
batches to learn the dynamics of the RK Drum, roasting began and all
of the roasts, including the decaf turned out well.  I credit this to
the fact that the Gene Cafe enabled me to learn about roasting.  When
I switched to the RK Drum, I simply had to learn the new tool.  I knew
ahead of time what I wanted to do with the bean and I still had most
of the sensory inputs available to me: sound, smoke, time and aroma.
The fact that the beans were hidden was irrelevant.
The learning continues ...
Eddie
-- 
Vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Jan 9, 2008 6:44 PM, Ed Needham  wrote:
<Snip>

9) From: miKe mcKoffee
Not talking about ramp going in reverse. Talking about lowering
environmental temp, "slowing" the bean mass profile ramp approaching 1st. I
do this of course while monitoring bean mass temp as well as environmental
temp. The how much to lower environmental heat depends entirely on what the
bean is and what the bean mass temp is doing ramp wise prior to "hitting the
environmental temp brakes." Agree should never actually have the bean mass
temp dropping temp until cooling.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">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
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/
<Snip>

10) From: Ed Needham
I cut the heat back as the bean temps heat up and get closer to the roaster 
temperature.  At that point, less heat is needed to keep the bean 
temperature climbing.  On my roaster, the highest temp I ever want is 470F, 
any higher and the taste profile tends toward tasting more harsh.  The temp 
measurements I get are relative only to my roaster.  Another thermometer, in 
another grill, in another mounting location will vary, so don't go ga ga 
over that temp more than for a reference point.  I usually preheat the 
roaster (not the drum) to 350-375F before putting the drum/beans in and 
starting the roast.  The heatsink properties of the room temp beans, in 
addition to the heat lost when I open the grill lid drop the temp to around 
275F.  I run the heat full blast until it rebounds to 375F and then turn the 
control knobs about 1/8 of a turn lower.  That usually sets it on course for 
hitting 400F at around first crack, and 470F at or near second.  If it hits 
470F before I'm ready to pull the beans, then I level off the heat so it 
remains at 470F and no higher.  It works for most of my five pound batches. 
It's a whole 'nuther ballgame with smaller batches.
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"http://www.homeroaster.com*********************

11) From: raymanowen
"[early slow ramping causes] a lot of moisture is removed from the beans,
and as a result first crack is very gentle and hard to hear."
During one of my misteaks, I tried to roast in 15 F ambient with a 5mph
breeze, HG/BM. I was wearing leather welding gloves, and had only switched
the HG to low blow!
After 20min, my timer started chirping- something was rong, it ran out of
minutes. The beans looked like sick cinnamon. At 30 minutes, the bread
machine thought I should be finished with kneading, and quit.
Well, phooey. Nothing to do but hit the  button again! I did- I kneaded
to need more, and it did. As I was composing colorful epithets, I very
deliberately switched the HG Off, and Click-click- back up to High. Duh- no=
w
it's really cranking, and I can see reflections of the red glow on the
beans. That's normal, but I had forgotten about it in the Sunday morning
Chill. Serves me right!
Weather liar said we were supposed to have afternoon snow after warmer
forenoon. No, no! I had to shield it from pea gravel snow flurries several
times in the morning, and I thought that might be stunting the roast. The
FCC should prohibit the broadcast of such Lies. If I did it, I'd lose my
license and need a cell phone!
The Roast, the roast- Passed chaff, all of 1st Crack, smoke and definitely
started 2nd crack when I stood on the brakes after about 38 minutes total
spent under the electric torch.
From all I've read, it should have been a total Baked Beans debacle. That's
the furthest from the truth I've ever experienced. Either I've never
experienced a "baked" roast, or they've *ALL* been baked. The latter is
false.
This morning, day 5, I flash froze 14g, ground at 20, packed a skosh
tighter, surfed a little lower brew temperature, pre-infused normally and
pumped another double shot of the PCE 1800mtrs + . Karen, my Celtic Critic
honey, said it had a much longer lasting and better aftertaste than the sho=
t
right after roasting.
Trust the Woman- I liked the early shot's smooth caramelly depth and flavor
announced like the BSO building up to a crescendo. If I say "Sforzando,"
that would describe the first blush this morning. But did it ever linger-
much more than the first brew. And I did it again...
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Someday, I'll learn and remember all this stuff. An endless adventure now.
On Jan 9, 2008 8:20 AM, Scott Bukofsky  wrote:
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12) From: raymanowen
"[early slow ramping causes] a lot of moisture is removed from the beans,
and as a result first crack is very gentle and hard to hear."
During one of my misteaks, I tried to roast in 15 F ambient with a 5mph
breeze, HG/BM. I was wearing leather welding gloves, and had only switched
the HG to low blow!
After 20min, my timer started chirping- something was rong, it ran out of
minutes. The beans looked like sick cinnamon. At 30 minutes, the bread
machine thought I should be finished with kneading, and quit.
Well, phooey. Nothing to do but hit the  button again! I did- I kneaded
to need more, and it did. As I was composing colorful epithets, I very
deliberately switched the HG Off, and Click-click- back up to High. Duh- no=
w
it's really cranking, and I can see reflections of the red glow on the
beans. That's normal, but I had forgotten about it in the Sunday morning
Chill. Serves me right!
Weather liar said we were supposed to have afternoon snow after warmer
forenoon. No, no! I had to shield it from pea gravel snow flurries several
times in the morning, and I thought that might be stunting the roast. The
FCC should prohibit the broadcast of such Lies. If I did it, I'd lose my
license and need a cell phone!
The Roast, the roast- Passed chaff, all of 1st Crack, smoke and definitely
started 2nd crack when I stood on the brakes after about 38 minutes total
spent under the electric torch.
From all I've read, it should have been a total Baked Beans debacle. That's
the furthest from the truth I've ever experienced. Either I've never
experienced a "baked" roast, or they've *ALL* been baked. The latter is
false.
This morning, day 5, I flash froze 14g, ground at 20, packed a skosh
tighter, surfed a little lower brew temperature, pre-infused normally and
pumped another double shot of the PCE 1800mtrs + . Karen, my Celtic Critic
honey, said it had a much longer lasting and better aftertaste than the sho=
t
right after roasting.
Trust the Woman- I liked the early shot's smooth caramelly depth and flavor
announced like the BSO building up to a crescendo. If I say "Sforzando,"
that would describe the first blush this morning. But did it ever linger-
much more than the first brew. And I did it again...
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Someday, I'll learn and remember all this stuff. An endless adventure now.-
Show quoted text -
On Jan 11, 2008 4:14 AM, Ken Mary  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


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