HomeRoast Digest


Topic: New To Roasting this Week (8 msgs / 363 lines)
1) From: Joseph Kent
Thanks to a new friend who introduced me to Sweet
Maria's Website and told me about the pleasures of
Home Roasting! I was an instant convert and had to
quickly order a roaster (iRoast2). I received it this
Monday along with my sample beans.
My first roast, Brazil Coromandel, turned out fair
considering that I have never done this before. I used
the Preset 1 on the machine and sat and watched.
However, I became alarmed when I didn't hear the first
crack (probably cause I didn't know what to listen
for) and my beans continued getting darker and darker.
So I pressed the Cool button when there were still 4
minutest to go. I'm glad I did. I don't know what type
of Roast I got since I can't tell the difference yet
between City and Full City and such. But I will say
that the coffee tasted Excellent!!! Wow, don't think I
will ever go back to the canned stuff!
While the Brazil Coromandel beans were cooling I
decided to attempt loading my first program, using the
help sheet  from Sweet Maria's. I programed the preset
for City/City+, giving a total time of 9:30. I decided
to use a different bean this time and chose Panama
Boquete. Perhaps I should have tried the Brazil
Coromandel again to compare roasts... but will save
that experiment until another time.
But here's my question about this whole process: even
after I set my program and began it, I feel as though
my beans are roasting too fast. I did hear the first
crack in this roast and watched as the beans turned
darker and darker. Once again I became afraid of
burning my beans and pressed Cool with still 3 minutes
remaining on the timer. If I had let the time run out
I am almost sure I would have had to throw out the
batch. Is the quick roast because the machine is new?
Does someone else have the i-Roast2 that could give
this newbie some help?
Also, any reccomendations to a new guy as to what to
try next? I've never heard of these coffee names... I
hate to say it, but the canned stuff is all I have
ever had... I'm in a new world now and feel as lost as
I can be. So any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance to all who reply. And thanks to
Sweet Maria's for such an informative website... I've
learned more about coffee in the past week and a half
than I could ever have imagined! 
Sold on Homeroasting!
joey
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2) From: kevin creason
my ir2 (moved on to b16 & rk) always ran hot. i would pop the top that
held the chaff can in and let it float. this lets heat (& chaff)
escape.
On 3/26/08, Joseph Kent  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
-Kevin
/* Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and
beat you with experience. */
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3) From: Brett Mason
Welcome Joey!
You should read up on your iRoast about the profiles, and find one that is
slower in ramping the temperature...
Also, fewer beans in the load will lengthen the roast, because they will
retain less heat during the process...
Next, coffees are named for the country and region or country and estate.
They grow in the temperate zones between the tropics, and they grow better
at altitude.  You should read up on the various regions on
www.sweetmarias.com.http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.greencoffee.mvc.shtmlFinally, here's a tip.  Read the posts and make note of the coffees that
people rave about.  Then buy some before they run out...
Welcome,
Brett
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 3:04 PM, Joseph Kent  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
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4) From: Bob
Joey,
Best thing is to read the descriptions, pick a couple you think
might be fun and THEN add a sampler pack to your next order.
They are located at the bottom of the green coffee sheet. You
usually get something from most regions in the 8-pack and this
gives you an excellent idea of what you do or don't like without
buying too much of a single origin.
Bob delurking from Denver.

5) From: Rick Copple
Joseph Kent wrote:
<Snip>
Ah, memories!
I stumbled across home roasting in a Google group named that. I thought, 
"What? You can roast coffee at home? How odd!" But it peaked my interest 
and after some googling, found Sweet Marias. After reading, finding that 
I had a popcorn popper that would work, I ordered a couple pounds. One 
being the Costa Rican Dota, because I've always favored CR coffees. Or 
at least, that's what they were called. They never had the name of the 
farm on them before, just "Costa Rican" and that was it.
The day it arrived, I whipped out the popper and following the 
instructions I had printed out from SM, I roasted my first batch of CR 
Dota. I didn't wait for any rest, too excited. Brewed some up. My wife 
can vouch for it. I put the cup to my lips and started sipping. I 
couldn't take the cup from my lips and just kept going "Ohhhh. Ummmmm! 
Wow!" Did that until the cup was finished. And that was the end of 
another Foldger's drinker. :D
I was blown away by how great it tasted, and on my first roast too!
That was 2004, and now I still get to go "Ohhhh, ahhhh!" on a regular 
basis. And occasionally, usually at church, I may grab a cup of stale, 
tar-noted coffee from the urn, just to remind myself how good I have it.
I don't have an I-roast, much less a 2. But keep playing with the 
settings. But do stay with it and hit the cool button when it is done. 
The more you do it, the more you get a feel for it and know where you 
like it.
On the coffees, well, a couple of suggestions. One, study Tom's notes. 
He gives very detailed notes of what you can expect to find in each 
coffee. It is one of the reasons why I buy from him (there are other 
reasons) because what he lists I can usually taste. Occasionally I 
couldn't match it exactly, but I have through experience learned what I 
like and know what to look for in his notes that will indicate I will 
especially like that bean.
Two, explore and try new things. I'm not a bright coffee person, but 
I've had some Kenyas that blew my socks off none-the-less. You may find 
you really love certain things. For instance, I tend to not care for 
citrus in my coffee. But one bean recently indicated it had "lemon" 
notes in it. I bought some anyway, just a pound. And discovered I really 
loved the flavor that it had. A very fun drink! That's one of the great 
things about this, experiencing a great broad range of coffees that 
you'll never find in a million years on the shelf of your store.
After all, when's the last time "blueberry" flavors were noted in a 
non-flavored coffee at your local grocery store? So part of the fun of 
this is to explore, experience new flavors, go beyond your comfort 
level. While we all have our favorites, no one can really tell you what 
you will enjoy and like. As you go, you'll learn.
And by all means, enjoy the journey. :D
-- 
Rick Copple
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6) From: Dennis & Marjorie True
Very Well said Rick!
 and welcome to the madness Joseph you have entered upon a quest that 
will last a lifetime if you let it (we think you should let it!) 
*don't tell the group but just ignore any OT topics that may arise and 
take differing views with a grain of salt we are a big family here and 
some times some of us (not naming names) will get just a little bit 
carried away.  let those just slide off your back like rain water on a 
duck and be watching for the next great coffee, idea or revelation.  
DON'T EVER BE AFRAID TO ASK!!!! Trust me WE ALL have had to ask (and 
most still do)
Glad to have you aboard the wild ride!
Dennis
just my .02 and YMMV!
Rick Copple wrote:
<Snip>
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7) From: Larry Williams
Hi Joseph
I have been roasting almost a year and half on my IR2.  First off I have 
never been able to hear the beans crack during the roast.  Some can.  I 
am 60 so I thought it may be attributed to some hearing loss, but the 
machine is just noisy.  I have relied on visual in all my roasts.  My 
preference is City + to FC.  That is what we like.  I have used the 
preset #2  setting 98% of the time and have always hit the cool with 
anywhere from 3 min to 1 min remaining on the roast.  Always watching 
the beans to get the right color for me.  I have seen little correlation 
between the roast temp and what it is supposed to be, but it seems to 
work.  I use a cheap Salter scale and will soon get a digital scale from 
SM and probably a digital temp device also.  Bean weight is very 
important - I usually roast 150 gm. 
I recently input a program starting w/ 320 deg for 5 min, then 2 min @ 
370, 2 min @ 390, 2 min @ 405, and 2 min @ 435.  I am trying to give the 
beans time to heat prior to the first crack.  I am still refining the 
program so I don't have much history.
My suggestion to you is to try Preset #2 and get used to the machine.  
Record your roasting time and be consistent with the weight.
Many people have modified their IR2s - mostly by installing a temp probe 
in the roasting chamber.  I plan to do that in the near future.
If you have other questions, please feel free to contact me.
Have fun and relax.  The people on this list are great.
Larry Williams
Joseph Kent wrote:
<Snip>
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8) From: Joseph Kent
Thanks Bob! I have ordered the sample pack of 8, twice. The first came with the roaster and I ordered another sampler pack besides! I am enjoying the experience of roasting my own coffee! Right now all I do is use my drip, but I may soon try some of the other brewing techniques I am reading about here on the list. Again, thanks for the input!
Joey
Bob Wrote:
Best thing is to read the descriptions, pick a couple you think
might be fun and THEN add a sampler pack to your next order.
They are located at the bottom of the green coffee sheet. You
usually get something from most regions in the 8-pack and this
gives you an excellent idea of what you do or don't like without
buying too much of a single origin.
Bob delurking from Denver.
---------------------------------
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