HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Noob roaster with a Behmor (36 msgs / 794 lines)
1) From: Gary Foster
Hi I'm a roasting newbie and asking for help! :)  I throw myself on the 
collective wisdom of all of you!
I have a new behmor 1600.  I've roasted a whopping 4 batches in it so 
far, none of which have been *bad* (ok the first one was very nearly 
underroasted because I was paranoid...) but none have been all that 
great either.
My wife is a Peets french roast drinker (don't shoot me, please).  I am 
an espresso drinker myself (I'm pulling black cat right now until I'm 
out then I'll work on roasting my own).  I have a silvia (with PID) and 
a rocky grinder, both about a year and a half old.  My wife uses the 
drip pot in the morning although I do steal the occasional cup from her.
I ordered some of Tom's french roast blend (in the description he 
mentioned something along the lines of "watch out peets!").  I really 
want to be able to roast my wife's coffee for her, I cook, homebrew 
beer, smoke ribs (and anything else I can fit on the smoker), etc... and 
a lot of the enjoyment I get out of doing these things is when my wife 
goes "oooh, that's very nice".  She does a lot for me and I do things 
like this for her because, well... because darnit I love her and she 
deserves good coffee too :)
Anyway, to make a long story longer (sorry, the Irish comes out in me 
all the time) I got some of Tom's FR blend and roasted it up in my new 
behmor on sunday morning.  I ground some today (wednesday) and brewed it 
and while it was nice, it wasn't "wow".  It was very smooth, no off 
flavors, no funkiness, very "inoffensive".  What it lacked was a deep 
richness or body to it.  It wasn't thin and lifeless either, but it 
really lacked depth and character.  Being the total roasting noob that I 
am I'm quite sure it's my fault, so I'm asking for help on getting it 
down.  I will add that we both drink pretty strong (typical west coast) 
coffee... coffee with character as she likes to say.
Here's my notes on the batch: 1/2# of Tom's FR blend, profile p2 and set 
for 1 lb.  I added additional time at the start to get it out to 20 mins 
(just to make sure I had enough leeway).  1st crack was at 9:15 left 
(11:45 into the roast) and the first sounds of 2nd crack were at 3:40 
left.  I stopped it at 3:05 left and it had just started really rolling 
in 2nd crack (sounded like a squirrel with a machine gun in my roaster). 
  I started from a cold roaster in the garage, ambient temp was around 
60 degrees.
The beans were dry, no oil showing.  They were a uniform dark brown and 
as near as I can tell with my inexperience they looked to be around a 
vienna roast level by the color charts I've seen (although I am not 
really sure exactly how to identify final roast levels).  I let them 
rest for 3 days and when I ground some this morning very light oil spots 
were showing on a few of the beans.
So, is there anything egregiously wrong with my roast?  How can I change 
my roast to get some more depth, richness and body out of these 
particular beans?
Thanks!
-- Gary F.
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2) From: Barry Luterman
Let it rest 2 more days then try it again
On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 6:53 AM, Gary Foster  wrote:
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3) From: Coffee
I'm new at this too... and I don't have a Behmor... but I like  
espresso, brew beer and smoke ribs etc.! There's even a bit of Irish  
in me!
My (limited) experience with darker roasts is that they take a few  
more days to develop. I've got some of Tom's French Roast Blend for  
when my parents visit in three weeks, but I haven't roasted it yet.  
I'll roast some up this weekend and see how it goes.
-Peter
On Mar 12, 2008, at 9:53 AM, Gary Foster wrote:
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4) From: Rich
Use P-1 not P-2 and run the time to max either before or after start. 
Use the 1 pound selection and maybe 3/4 pound of beans to start with. 
Using a higher weight selection than the actual weight of the beans used 
serves minimal purpose under mot cases.  You stopped the roast too early 
so use P-1 1lb setting and 3/4 lb beans let it run until the beans are a 
very dark chocolate color at least then hit cool.  Should come out of 
the roaster with a nice shine, Vienna / French.  If you hit cool before 
the end of the available time (which should be what happens) then you 
can go up to the full pound batches.  The ambient temperature will not 
cause you problems with the Behmor but cold beans will.  get beans up to 
room temp before roasting.  The Behmor is not a modified popper, hot air 
roaster, HotTop, or Gene Cafe and it does not have the same operating 
characteristics.  It is somewhat unique.
You can roast in the house with the Behmor unless you can not stand the 
smell of roasting coffee.  In most cases there is no smoke.
Gary Foster wrote:
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5) From: gin
Gary:
try tom's MONKEY BLEND
ginny
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6) From: Saundra ONeil
I also have a Behmor, am a newbie and roast primarily for espresso.  Have never used the SM French Roast
but have done several batches of Italian.  The profile i've used is:
212 gr beans (7 1/2 oz)
1/2 # (not a typo)
P3
++ to max time to 15:30
now that i've found an outlet with 120-121 starting voltage, it's never gone to the end of the 
time limit and in fact i see occassional chaff sparks.
it's usually at least FC+ if not Vienna tho never see any oil on the beans for a few days  
Don't know if it's "wow", but we like it.
i was planning to try the P1 & P2 profile next time I roast.  Personally I can't imagine 
using a 1# setting and running it to the end w/ only 1/2# of beans, but that's just me.
I agree the darker roasts need a longer rest period.  Also, i roast outside when roasting
for espresso b/c I do get some smoke when going for darker roasts.
Have fun
Saundra
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7) From: Rich
As I have said repeatedly, you can match the wight of beans to the time 
selection, 1/4lb - 1/2lb - 1lb, as appropriate and achieve a good Vienna 
roast.  With the P-1 and P-2 profile you will not run through all of the 
time if your outlets are up to par.
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8) From: Edward Bourgeois
The Behmor is not designed or built for dark roasts. In the manual it
states.Never roast coffee past 10 secs.into second crack.
If you do I see several issues. First you are voiding warranty. second
you increase chances of a chaff burn greatly. third  you will likely
shorten the life of  the roaster significantly. I will not get into
the specific internal components at greatest risk but am confident
about my warning.
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
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9) From: Gary Foster
Thanks, but be that as it may I've seen dozens and dozens of reports of 
people using it for dark roasts just fine.
I appreciate the warning.  I'll continue to pursue the dark roasts 
though and if I burn up my house I promise I'll absolve you of all 
personal responsibility :)
-- Gary F.
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10) From: Rich
Ten seconds into second crack and then cool will qualify as a 
Vienna-Light French roast.
Further evidence to support your claim please....
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11) From: Les
If you want a good dark roast you should use P2 set to one pound and roast a
half a pound.  You roast way too fast on P1 to develop the character of the
beans.  The beans get too hot on the outside and not hot enough on the
inside.  I roasted some nice Vienna plus roasts using this method.
Les
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12) From: Edward Bourgeois
The evidence is in the design of the roaster, of Joe's profiles and
the recommended cool down between roasts. If you roasting larger
batches you can roast for longer times. Much energy is used by the
beans but as the temp. of the bean rises more is available to be
absored by the roaster. How hot would the roaster get if you didn't
but any beans in the roaster and ran it P1 max. time?
On Wed, Mar 12, 2008 at 8:13 PM, Rich  wrote:
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13) From: Paul Carder
Gary, I purchased a BEHMOR 1600 not long after they came out and love it! It sounds like you and youi wife prefer the darker roasts like I do. I played around with the same bean following the manual, and if you follow the BEHMOR instructions exactly, you'll just come up with a City or City+ at most, no matter what profile you use, or 1/4, 1/2, 1lb setting you use. I found no significant flavor changes from one profile used to the next. So I came up with a roast profile I use for everything. I listen for the 1rst and 2nd cracks, then just hit the cool button when the roast gets very near the level I want to achieve. You want to start the cooling cycle slightly early as the roast will continue a little at the beginning of cooling.  I use the P3 profile exclusively. 3-4 oz of beans for the 1/4lb setting. 6-7 oz of beans for the 1/2lb setting. 12-13 oz for the 1lb setting. I select the weight setting, P3, then hit start. Then I quickly increase the time to the maximum allowed for
  the selected weight and profile. Listen for the cracks, then hit the cooling cycle button. No need to cut a viewing window in the chaff collector either.That's it! You'll be assured of being able to reach FC, FC+, or darker almost every time. No disappointments for me yet. I take a 3.5 L pump pot of my home roast to share with my co workers every friday and it is gone by the end of 1rst break at 8;50 AM, several say its the best coffee they've ever had. Which may be due to most of them never have had fresh roasted coffee before, not neccessarily the roasting method I use. I now have 3 co workers I sell to on a regular basis. The president of the local high school board and his wife are regular customers too! So with a BEHMOR, or an iRoast like I previously used, you can roast some really awesome coffee, whether for espresso, drip, or press pot. Sometimes I think we home roasters try to make our passion more complicated than it needs to be, which can be discouraging and frus
 trating for beginners. But if that's your "cup of tea", that's fine too. But for me, I'm 54 yrs old, and using my simple methods and occasional simple blending, I'm enjoying the best coffee of my life. 
Regards, 
PAUL CARDER
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14) From: Rich
Paul,
I have used the same method and have experimented with the wight of the 
beans loaded.  I have found that using the 1lb setting and an actual 
load of 1 lb greens I can go to FC+ with several minutes still on the 
clock, reliably (P-3, 1Lb, start, time to max).  If you can not do this 
then check the line voltage while the roaster has progressed 13 or 14 
minutes into the roast with the heaters full on.  You should have 120v 
or slightly more at this point.  If not then there is a problem that 
needs to be addressed.
Paul Carder wrote:
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15) From: Bob Hazen
Gary,
Reading through the answers, I see you have all sorts of input.  And true to 
form no real consensus.  So I say experiment!  Learn how long it takes to 
get to second crack, learn that the Behmor won't stop on a dime, learn to 
anticipate the finish.  Need I say I'm still learning too?  You'll often 
hear me say "It's a good day.  I learned something."
I've played with all the profiles.  I find that P1 is too fast, P2 is too 
tricky due to the timing of the power drop.  Les' plan for roasting a 1/2 lb 
on P2 set to 1lb gave me some fine coffee, although my times ran about 30-45 
seconds faster than his.  Mostly, I have been using P4 set to 1/2 lb for a 
1/2 pound of coffee.  I get a good gap between the end of 1st and the start 
of 2nd.  The Behmor is amazingly consistent from one roast to the next 
(using the same coffee, of course).  So once I roast to the very beginning 
of 2nd and I know what time it occurs after the start of 1st, I am able hit 
the roast I want.  I simply start a clock at first and then hit cool 
somewhere right after the end of 1st or just in advance of 2nd depending I 
what I'm after.  Depending on your line voltage, you ought not to have any 
trouble hitting second with the times available on the roaster.  I confess 
to have accomplished the equivalent of *$ "five-alarm roast."  And yes, the 
Behmor will smoke when you do that.  Good thing I roast under the kitchen 
hood.
One more thought:  If you really want to master P2, then read up on the 
effect of adding/subtracting time before or after you start the roast.  It 
has an effect on the time at which the break points in the profile occur. 
The different roast weight settings do similar things.  That's one reason to 
stick with P1, P3, P4 or P5 to begin.  If you see the thing is going to shut 
off early, then you can add time during the roast.  It won't affect your 
profile once the roast is going; it just adds some time to the end.
Just my 20m$,
Bob

16) From: Alchemist John
10 seconds into 2nd is Vienna-light french?  Certainly not in any 
roaster I have seen.  Full City + maybe.  Then again, those 
designations are difficult without visual comparisons.
Ed, something you mentioned and I have seen mentioned a few times 
that I thought it would not hurt to address.  Taking a roast into 2nd 
and the concern there has nothing to do with chaff 
fires.  none.  Chaff fires are low energy input fires that are more 
show than anything else (and mine have always occurred before 
2nd).  It is a run away roast (bean fire) that is the concern with a 
deep into 2nd roast.  I have had a number of chaff fires during my 
experiments (multiple roasts, no cleanout, on purpose, etc) with the 
Behmor and I don't and have never stopped the roast or roaster for 
them.  10-15 seconds and they are out.
At 17:13 3/12/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
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17) From: Brett Mason
I have had a couple of runaways in my BBQ Drum.  These came from
distraction on a frail roaster's attention span.  The spit doesn't
necessarily glow, but the drum itself looks a lot like Evil Knievel's
rocket engine, with flames flaring out the end.  I often wonder if my
Porsche needs a boost capability - such as a coffee-turbo solution...
Yep, bean there, well done that!
Brett
On 3/13/08, Alchemist John  wrote:
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18) From: Rich
It is now important to point out to the lurking hand wringers that Brett 
pulled this stunt with a BBQ grill capable of 40,000 BTU heat input to 
the roasting drum which contained several pounds of coffee at a high 
temperature.  There is minimal equivalence to most roasting situations.
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19) From: Edward Bourgeois
John  Yes, the chaff issue is not a danger but more of a nuisance from
some additional smoke.
On Thu, Mar 13, 2008 at 7:57 AM, Alchemist John
 wrote:
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20) From: Alchemist John
Correct - not a "oh, this is a fire, I need to unplug the roaster and 
take it outside" situation as is the procedure for a real bean fire.
At 06:47 3/13/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
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21) From: Brett Mason
THANK YOU RICH.
Yes, folks, this is a BRETT-BBQ-DRUM problem, torching 4lb of beans in
a home-made drum.
Rich is exactly right, this is not a Behmor, and the Behmor doesn't
offer the jet propulsion 42000BTU feature set.
Clarification helps A TON - thanks Rich!
Brett
On 3/13/08, Rich  wrote:
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22) From: miKe mcKoffee
Disagree. It's important to point out that while Brett's illuminating
episode was while being inattentive Q/Drum roasting virtually ANY roasting
method is capable of a run away bean fire. It doesn't take 40,000 BTU to
take beans hot enough to ignite. The real lesson for the noob AND
experienced roaster is pay attention to the roast especially towards the
end! Remember even Tom had a fire recently not paying attention...
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
www.mcKonaKoffee.com
URL 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
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23) From: Alchemist John
It might get closer if you re-wire those two elements in parallel 
instead of series :O.  Then again, it would take a 40 amp circuit 
;)  And if they just don't burn out.  And if they don't burn up the 
control board.  Oh, never mind - LOL.
At 07:15 3/13/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
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24) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
10 CSA groaner points!
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.
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25) From: Brett Mason
Whew....
By the way - I would vote Ohana in 2008 too...
Brett
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26) From: Rich
I did not intentionally take it off list.  It came in with a return to 
you and that takes it off with T-Bird.  I did not check the return until 
just now.  I will try and get this no list as you are correct that this 
needs to be on list.  It is even On Topic....
The way I get to the #13 is to roast a full pound and figure on the 
additional roasting that occurs after starting the cooling cycle.  In 
other words maintain power on until 10 seconds of 2nd and then cool.
I will agree that it is a matter of definition and interpretation on how 
far into 2nd you can get on the coast after cool.  There are many 
variables that will determine this coast time in each case.
Rich
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27) From: Gary Foster
I'd just like to say "thank you" to everyone for all the thoughtful (and 
varied) responses to my initial questions.  I'm still about as confused 
as a termite in a yoyo but I at least have lots more information on what 
to try and what to watch out for.  You've all given me a tremendous 
amount to think on.
I will be roasting some more batches this weekend, putting into practice 
many of the suggestions here as well as the stuff I've read on HB and CG 
and also Tom's tip sheets.  I suspect I'll be ordering more beans soon :)
And additionally, thanks again for the warnings about roasting dark.  I 
understand it's "not recommended" in the Behmor but I also understand 
that lots of people do it just fine.  I also understand that my wife 
likes what she likes, so while I'll promise to try not to burn my house 
down the simple fact of the matter is that I *will* be doing dark roasts 
in it.  Period.  I'm comforted in the fact that I'm not the only one.
Finally, thanks also for the "keep things simple" approach several of 
you mentioned.  I have a LOT of complexity in my life and I crave 
simplicity, quiet and dare I say it... comfort.  It's important 
sometimes to remember that not everything has to be complex and I'm 
grateful for that reminder.  I really don't want to go into business 
roasting or be the world's greatest roaster... what I want is the 
ability to provide well-roasted good tasting coffee for me and my wife 
on a repeatable basis without breaking the bank.  I have the tendency 
sometimes to geek out and make things too complex... I'm appreciative 
for the reminder to "keep it simple" because, in reality, that's 
probably the best advice I've ever gotten.  Thank you :)
-- Gary F.
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28) From: Rich
Gary,
If you check the Behmor instructions where Joe gives you the approximate 
times to 2nd crack in Part IV of the instructions.  Those times are 
marked from the first crack of 1st crack.  With the Behmor and some bean 
varieties you may only get  a couple of cracks.  If you wait for an 
avalanche of cracks you will be in trouble.
You may have noticed that thee is a small amount of difference of 
opinion on "how to roast a bean".  Almost as much as thee is concerning 
politics and religion.
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29) From: Gary Foster
I just wanted to follow up and mention that I roasted tonight and I
tried very hard to wrap my head around all the advice you all gave me.
 Here's the result of tonight's roast.
I've stopped worrying about whether I hit the 1 lb, 1/2 lb, 1/4 lb or
whatever setting.  I've also stopped worrying about the A/B/C/D
buttons.  All I worry about is the profile and the time settings.
Since the letter buttons and the weight buttons seem to only really
change the default/max times I just manipulate them to get the roast
time I want.
So, tonight I roasted 8 oz of the SM french roast blend.  I used
profile P2, and adjusted the time settings to give me 17 mins before I
hit start.  First crack was at 10:30, second crack was at 16:00 and I
pushed stop at 16:15 when 2C was really rolling.  I probably should've
given it 10 or 15 more secs, in retrospect but I don't think I could
get away with letting it run completely to 17 mins although I might
try it (with extinguisher handy).
It looks to me (If I compare them to the pictures on SM) to be a FC++
maybe just barely a vienna.
Oh and as an update, the previous batch (that I said had no depth)
tastes WONDERFUL in the french press.  Lacks the body in the drip
machine but it's REALLY good in the french press.
So do those above numbers look about right?  With this profile, it
drops power at 70%, which would be about at 12 mins, which is right
about the time first crack died down.
Did I do ok this time?  Of course the answer is in my cup, but that's
still a few days away :)
-- Gary F.
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30) From: Rich
That sounds like you have got the right idea.  Remember, you have 
another 20 to 30 seconds of roasting after you hi cool with a 1/2 lb 
batch.  let it rest and it will be a good Vienna and probably a light 
French.  Best guess is 3 to 4 days of impatient finger tapping....  P-2 
is a very difficult profile to work with.  P-3 might prove to be easier 
but it sounds like you got the desired result out of P-2 anyway.
Vacuum out the roaster and use the included brush to sweep off the lamps 
and reflector after every roast and every 5 the roast run the clean 
cycle.  keep the right hand area where the three small screws are clean 
also.
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31) From: Les
Gary,
When you hit the cool button, your roast continues for 20 to 30 seconds.
The cool button turns off the heat, turns up the rotation of the drum, but
there is a delay before the blower goes on to let the heating elements cool
a bit before getting blasted with cool air.  Another example of Joe's
thoughtful engineering.  The elements should last a lot longer with this
setup.
Les
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32) From: David Rossell
Because of that momentum, I find myself relying on smell with darker roasts
in the Behmor.  After first crack, I pay really close attention to the roast
and start listening for outlier second cracks.  But more importantly, I'm
"listening to" how a roast smells.  I wish I could describe it better; each
stage of roast has its own smell to it, and the smell is a great way to know
where you're at.  I'll be doing something in the kitchen during the roast and
think to myself, "hmm, the first crack should be starting soon," then hear
the first pops of the first crack a few seconds later.  I don't know if
anyone actually has a description of the different scent stages of a coffee
roast.  Scent is so primal of a sense, it's really hard to describe.
David
David Rossell
Administrator of Network Services and Planning
Norwood School
8821 River Rd.
Bethesda, MD 20817
(301) 841-2178
drossell

33) From: miKe mcKoffee
Agree smell a great indicator of roast progression. Which is one of the
things I love about having a tryer, being able to pull out and hold the
beans right under my nose to really smell 'em. Cool to be able to
(frantically;-) pull out a couple tryers worth a various stages for roast
level cup comparsions too.
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.
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34) From: Edward Bourgeois
I have been trying to understand better the whole smell and flavor
developpement thing. There's a bunch of Maillard reactions going on
between 1st and 2nd each adding and then sometimes subtracting or
layering certain flavors at increasing temps. Various amino acids and
sugars are being triggered at different temps. For example with a bean
that has the potential for nuttiness at what temp. does that specific
reaction occur. Knowing so can isolate certain flavors in the degree
of roast. In general most fruited notes occur early though some occur
later and chocolate notes tend to come from reactions later in the
roast. By 2nd crack most of the Maillard reactions have occurred and
the advancement of the carmelization seem to dominate. So much to
understand and obviously I'm just starting.
On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 1:03 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
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35) From: Allon Stern
On Mar 14, 2008, at 1:39 PM, Edward Bourgeois wrote:
<Snip>
If only we had a chemistry grad student on the list. Alas I do Knott  
know; such knowledge is beyond my Ken.
Too bad, 'cuz then we could really sling some java.
-
allon
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36) From: Les
We do!  Alchemist John is a professional Chemist.  He does chemical anaylsis
every day at work.  He has some of the coolest instruments I have ever seen.
Les
On Fri, Mar 14, 2008 at 7:51 PM, Allon Stern  wrote:
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