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Topic: A tale of two roasts (8 msgs / 230 lines)
1) From: Seth Grandeau
I did two roasts today and the expereinces could not have been more
different.
First, my setup.  IR2 vented out the window with a dryer hose, it is cold
and snowy and a little windy.  No thermocouple, no fan to power air out the
vent hose, and my personal 5 stage roasting curve (nothing fancy, just a
steady ramp up in temps)
My first roast was Aged Sumatra, 150 grams.  I'm not sure if it was the
hose, the wind, my voltage, or the amount of beans (I've done 150s before),
but the fan was clearly struggling to move the bean mass around.  The
temperature came up slower than usual and seemed to stall at the end of each
stage of my roast.  I could not hear 1st crack real well, but the beans had
clearly expanded, even though the cracks continued to faintly show up.  When
my IR2 went into it's last, highest temperature stage, the fan was clearly
too low.  A few beans popping out here and there.  The color looked C+, but
I was shooting for FC+ and was waiting on the break between cracks, then
second crack to start.  Suddenly I smelled smoke and saw a few oily beans
popping out.  I looked out the window and there was quite a cloud of smoke
exiting my vent hose.  I hit cool down, but felt defeated.  This roast had
fought with me the whole way and I feel like I lost.  When I took it out of
the IR2, it looked very uneven, some dark and oily, some more of a C+.  I
was feeling pretty dejected.  I don't have nearly enough time to roast and
the thought of ruining one was just depressing.
An hour or so later, I went to do my second roast, Greenwell Extra Fancy
Kona, 150 grams.  I started up the beautiful green beans and hoped I didn't
ruin another batch.  Man do I love this bean!  The temperature (on the IR2
readout) ramped up nicely.  The color transitioned smoothly from green to
yellow to cinnamon to light brown.  I had a very clear, audible 1st crack.
Bean circulation was great.  When first ended, I gave it an extra 45 seconds
to brown up nicely and hit cool down.  They look PERFECT!  I could not have
been happier after this roast.  I know Kona is overpriced and overhyped, but
I have enjoyed every roasting (and drinking) experience with this bean!  I'm
glad I ordered 2 more pounds.
I'm done with roasting today and I'm glad I ended on a high note.
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2) From: Bob Hazen
Seth,
FWIW, I found that with my IR1 I could roast 150g... sometimes.  Certain 
beans agitated well, but others didn't.  I often found myself shaking the 
roaster to manually agitate the beans.  Was it was something about the 
various sizes, densities, surface textures; the phases of the moon?  I can't 
say for sure.  I ended up doing all my roasts with 130g loads.  It seemed to 
slow things down and I didn't see the hit-or-miss agitation problem.  Might 
be worth a try.
Bob

3) From: Mike Sieweke
Bob,
I've found that bean movement depends on air flow, which depends on the
amount of chaff.  Low-chaff beans (especially decaf) move a lot more  
than
high-chaff beans (dry process).  Also, peaberries are smaller and  
denser,
so they don't move as much.
Bean quantity is important, too.  Less beans means less chaff, which  
means
more bean movement.  I always roast 4 oz, so this hasn't been a problem.
Plus I get an even number of roasts from each pound of greens.
Mike
On Mar 1, 2008, at 3:03 PM, Bob Hazen wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: Brett Mason
You might count the beans.  Have you noticed that roasts where the numbe of
beans is even are a little more predictable in movement compared to roasts
of an odd number of beans?
Brett
On Sat, Mar 1, 2008 at 4:46 PM, Mike Sieweke  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
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5) From: James C. Hathaway
My IR2 struggles with any more than 125g of Sumatra (especially Lake Tawar).
I just figured it was the size of the bean; in my experience Sumatras expand
a little more than other coffees in the roast.

6) From: Bob Hazen
Brett,
Do you mean before or after the roast?  It >may< be best to count before and 
after, then average the results.  Unfortunately, if you include after-roast 
results you won't know what you should have done until it's too 
ate.  -smirk-
(geez...  my BSD is clanging loudly)
Bob

7) From: Brett Mason
Whenever I count the beans, it is before the roast - you know, there's all
those jumpers, and that messes with my math....
Actually the only counting I have ever heard of was when Les roasted a drum
roast with the exact count of one bean....
Brett
On Sat, Mar 1, 2008 at 7:57 PM, Bob Hazen  wrote:
<Snip>
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Cheers,
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8) From: Dave Kvindlog
On Sat, Mar 1, 2008 at 8:11 PM, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>
I think this follow the theory of the "missing sock in the dryer".  You
always seem to come out with an odd number of beans after roasting, even
when you make sure there was an even number going in...
-- 
Dave Kvindlog
iHomeroast
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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