WARNING: VERY LONG POST
Per the request of John Despres, I agreed to roast some coffee in my
Gene Café and ship it back to him for comparison. This always makes
me nervous, especially when people send the coffee to me ... "what if
screw up and waste their coffee?" As circumstances would have it, the
subject coffee received for this experiment: Yemen Mokha Sana'ani.
Great! Last time I roasted a Yemen, I screwed it up!
Since the beginning of the year, life has been frenetic, especially
with respect to work. As such, I did not get a chance to roast for
John on the weekend before last and sent him an apology to that
extent, promising to get to it this past weekend. I used the time in
the interim to read up on the coffee, do some research and decide how
I was going to roast the coffee in the Gene Café with respect to
profile; determine the goal and work backwards.
I had not touched the Gene Café since last July when I did two roasts
for someone else that wanted to compare the Gene Café to their SC/TO.
As such, I decided it would be a good idea to dig the Gene Café out
from under all the tools and such and give it a few practice runs to
refresh my memory. Cleaned it up including intake and exhaust, ran it
empty at 482ºF to test and sure enough it heated up to 482ºF in 5
minutes flat. Good. A couple batches of coffee were roasted and they
came out quite good. I did notice though, that with the beans in the
roaster, the Gene Café was topping out at about 471ºF. Hmmmm. I only
need it to do one more roast …
Saturday, whilst getting ready to roast in the RK Drum the phone
rings. I answer and a voice asks, "So what do you think of the
Behmor?" It was Doug Boutell! A home roasting veteran who has shared
a lot of his roasting experiences and insights; I always enjoy
learning from a veteran and a call from Doug is always welcome!
Through the course of conversation, we discussed the Behmor, RK Drum
roasting, Gene Café roasting, moisture content, drying phase, maillard
reactions, profiles, etc and even laughed a lot. Since I had to roast
about 30 pounds of coffee on Saturday, I decided to extrapolate on
some of Doug's information, applied it immediately and achieved some
very good results. The point of all this is that I was constantly
thinking about how I was going to roast that Yemen Mokha Sana'ani for
John. I wanted it to be perfect!
Sunday, after church and Popeye's chicken, the moment of truth
arrives; it is time to roast the Yemen Mokha Sana'ani. Further
procrastination ensued; print labels, printing roasting sheet, read
emails from this list, etc. At the moment I sat down in front of the
roaster, I changed my mind about the profile again. Dumped the beans
in and started the roast with the following predetermined profile:
300ºF for 5 minutes
442ºF for 4 minutes
482ºF until 1st crack
456ºF until City+
Pull and cool externally.
All is progressing nicely; initiate the phase for 482ºF. I hear the
thermostat kick the switch and look up to see that the roaster has
topped out at 465ºF. NO! Mustering all of my technical prowess, I
gave the roaster a good, "Whack!" Huh, that didn't help; maybe it
will hang on and I can get a decent roast. Monitoring by aroma, I was
reminded of why I so thoroughly enjoyed roasting with the Gene Café
and why it was such a valuable learning tool. Right as 1st crack
arrived, the aroma turned intensely fruited with berry, peach,
apricot; candy-like and almost overwhelming. I waited for it to
sharpen just a bit, as it does right at the turn to City+ and pulled
the roast and cooled externally. Bean munch was intense and confirmed
the aroma. I think I nailed this roast! I hope John's cupping
This coffee was also roasted in the RK Drum. I think it came out just
a tad darker, although still City+, with the results I expected, but I
would slow the roast a bit the next time. All of the berry, peach and
apricot were there in the bean munch, but as expected to be different
in the drum roasts. The coffee has been shipped, but I did keep some
of the roast from the RK Drum and it is resting comfortably.
This morning, I called Tim Skaling about the Gene Café, but also took
the time to chat with him a bit too; he is such a nice guy and ever
helpful. After some discussion, it was decided that the temperature
probe on the inlet side was the problem. That piece can itself be
replaced, but it is a bit of a pain. Tim asked me if I could wait a
couple of days and I said sure. He is awaiting the arrival of some
brand new heater-side assemblies that will make the repair a much
simpler task and is going to ship one to me as soon as they arrive.
I learned a lot this weekend and just wanted to share!
Thank you, Tim Skaling!
Thank you, Doug Boutell!
Thank you, John Despres!
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/