HomeRoast Digest

Topic: St Helena and the Popcorn machine (8 msgs / 216 lines)
1) From: David Sheldon
Hello from Australia,
Ive just received a 250g packet of Napoleon Estate Green Peaberry from
St Helena - as it was really expensive (a treat for my upcoming 50th
birthday and I think I neglected to tell my wife exactly how much I paid
for it - whimp!) I would appreciate advice on the best roast for this
I roasted a tiny amount last night to about 30 seconds after the 1st
crack, and ground the beans after 2 hours - it seems a little light - I
did notice the grinder needed to work harder to grind these beans than
others - is this the case with Peaberry?
I'm pretty new to this hobby and only use a popcorn machine which I
think gets too hot too quickly for accurate roasting - therefore I now
preheat the beans for about a minute with a hairdryer in a dogbowl and
then into the popcorn maker for about 4 minutes?
Thanks for all the great ideas and stories,
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2) From: Sean Cary
Four minutes is way to fast to finish a roast...  I take my roasts to just
past first/early second in a modified Poppery 1 in 13-16 minutes...
On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 4:36 PM, David Sheldon  wrote:
Sean M. Cary
Major USMC
Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori
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3) From: Bill
Yeah, but I do my roasts in the freshroast in 4 minutes... I've never had
problems.  Granted, it's not ideal, but I maintain that you can get
good-tasting coffee in 4 minutes.
Brian Kamnetz on the list had issues with a popper going too fast, and
roasting the outsides of the beans and not getting all the way inside, so he
liked to stretch out the roasts.  He (and others) recommend a good, long
extension cord, like 50 ft., which will lower the power to the popper, thus
stretching the roast.
Here's Tom's review of the 2003 St. Helena, which was the last time he
carried the coffee:http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.islands.sthelena.htmlyou might find
that helpful.
On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 5:05 PM, Sean Cary  wrote:
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4) From: Dan Audette
I use a popper to roast and took someone's advice on using a long lead cord
(mine's 100ft!) and my roast's have gone from 4+minutes (max of just under
6min) to an average of 6 minutes (up to 8+).....and the coffee is great!
On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 6:29 PM, Bill  wrote:
Dan Audette
Corporate Event Management
All The Details, Inc.
6955 Harvest Rd.
Boulder, CO 80301
303-544-0359 (P)
303-449-7133 (F)
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5) From: miKe mcKoffee
I highly advise you vacuum seal and freeze those ISH greens until you get
more experience roasting. Even if it means you don't roast them until a year
or more from now. Dead serious! They are potentially far to great a bean to
waste. Good ISH is still my all time favorite coffee and Napoleon Estate was
my favorite of the four ISH Estates last time I bought some from all four
way back when.
Alternately seek out an experienced roaster down under and have them roast
them for you and split the spoils or whatever.
AND when you do roast them wait and let them rest at least 3 days before you
grind and brew. 
How to roast them. Personally I'd roast them around a 11 to 13 minute time
(depending on roaster), 3 to 3&1/2 minutes (again depending on roaster)
start of 1st to end of roast City+ to Light Full City at the darkest. 
Please do not "learn to roast" with such a precious coffee! It's just too
painful to hear about.
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/
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6) From: Frank Awbrey
David, Hi, from the states. I also use a hot air popper. I agree with the
others that using a long extension cord does help to extend the roasting
time in the popper. A couple of other things you can try is to tilt the
popper (I let it rest against a metal colander) from 30 to 45* and to cut
back on the size of the roast slightly.
I have also read/tried running my cooling fan at the same time as I roast
the beans (using the same outlet). This supposedly will draw some of the
power and help extend the roast. One other thing that I have done is to turn
the popper off and then back on after a few (15-30, normally) seconds. This
will definitely extend the roast time. Be careful if/when doing this so you
don't "bake" the beans. I never had a problem doing that. But I use a
temperature probe and watch the temperature very closely, so that it does
not drop. (Since I have been roasting in very cold temps the last couple of
months, I have quit that practice for now).
Good luck, Frank
On 2/27/08, David Sheldon  wrote:
"Still the one"
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7) From: Les
I must agree with Mike.  After 18 years of Popper Roasting you have about a
20 second window to get the ISH right.  I would also suggest getting some
good Panama coffee to practice city-full city profiles on.  Once you get
excellent profile control with the Panama you can roast a good tasting ISH.
It is my number one too!
On Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 6:56 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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8) From: Warren and Carolyn
I have been trying to answer this for a day now, and the message keeps 
bouncing back to me. Hope this one makes it. Mike is right, St. Helena 
is not a good place to try to learn to roast. It was my favorite 
all-time coffee until the last awful batch I got last month (some of it 
was from the Napoleon Tomb Estate), But even the great batches were 
always a tricky roast, as it tended to roast slower than other beans and 
I had to watch and listen closely.
A bit of history: I got two batches from Tom when he still carried it, 
and then I would get two lbs as a treat once a year directly from the 
island, and every one until the last one was phenomenal. That said, it 
was  always a tricky roast, as it tended to roast slower than other 
beans and I had to listen closely and trust what I heard, not what the 
timer told me I should be hearing. 
I would also say 4 minutes is way too fast for a popcorn popper- closer 
to 12 would be better. And the hairdryer will not generate enough heat 
to make much a difference. (you need a heatgun if you really want to do 
the whole dogbowl thing).
 St.Helena is best (in my opinion) at a full city roast, although it 
does well with a variety of roasts. But a light city seems a bad idea, 
as the flavors mature nicely at a darker roast.
Please let me know if the batch of St. Helena you got was good, although 
I would recommend you ask an experienced roaster to help you to make 
sure we are getting an evaluation based on the real quality of the 
bean.   In reality, if you have to do it yourself, if you have a 
FreshRoast, you are better off using that than the popcorn popper. It 
roasts fast, but less can go wrong with the roast. (even so, 4 minutes 
seems mighty fast!). I love this coffee and was very upset that I got a 
bum batch, and at $55 a lb. I had sworn off risking money on it again. 
But if you got phenomenal beans (here's hoping!) I might change my mind.
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