HomeRoast Digest


Topic: first few roasts (26 msgs / 618 lines)
1) From: carolyn giroux
hi
 almost hate to post b/c everyone here is sooo past all the initial stuff.
anyway i did a few roasts,,,, decaf in the popcorn popper, it looked done dark i could not hear any popping i tried but nothing..the color looked good and dark...but .....after a day it tasted sour...yuk.
then i tried the hg with a bowl... well one i baked out side it was windy and 40 and after 30 min. gave up .. threw that out .
then i did 2 more batches on the stove top .... i am having a very hard time figuring out when it is first crack and when it is done  ,,,,  not alot of cracking going on so not sure when it ends ... i just stop when it looks brown enough.... i do not like it bitter so i do not want to go to long.
 one of the coffees smells good [ like coffee] and tastes pretty good..... but a little like it is missing something  that was Kenya aa  thika-gethumbwini pearberry. 
 The other batch i did smells HORRIBLE i almost did not try it ,,,,but made myself.... and actually it was pretty good,,, smells nasty whole bean ...but  made a pretty good cup... that was Ethiopia organic dry process golocha.... and from the description tom gave i would have NEVER tried it.
i am having a hard time with knowing when to stop the roast. I am going to have a bit of a problem too... b/c i tend to not care about details ,,,, you know this much time to this point..I just want to roast till it is done... keeping within a time frame.
anyway i do think it is fun ,,, and i really like the hands on of hg.
any suggestions would be appreciated.... also i read someplace you could use stone ware bowls ... which i do have a lot of [ mostly antique ones has anyone used stoneware for the bowl.
thanks.
carolyn
Dean De Crisce  wrote: Just roasted 1/2 lb of Anokhi in the Behmor. P3 at 1/2 pound with 90 second added at the end. First crack started with about 2 min remaining and that is why I added the extra 90 second. First crack was slow and prolonged. Right as it finished, I heard additional cracking that I'm not sure if it was more first crack or second crack. I thought it was difficult to tell. Smelled like an odd blueberry.
Any input about how it roasted would be appreciated. I hope I didn't blow it and take it into second crack.
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo.
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2) From: Kris McN
Carolyn,
I would take one batch through all the way to charred.  That way, you'll
know that you've passed both 1st and 2nd crack and will have a chance to
hear, see, and smell both.  Once you've done that, you'll be less likely to
misinterpret where you are in a roast.  It's really the key to victory for a
newbie.
While keeping track of the details will help you improve your roasts, work
on the nuances, and develop consistency, you can turn out great coffee by
just paying attention and stopping when you hit the roast level you want,
without much rigmarole.
Good luck and keep us in the loop!
Kris McN
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3) From: Bill
Carolyn
hi and welcome to the list! and welcome to roasting, too!!!  Try the HG
method again, on a calm day!!!  I live in Cheyenne, WY and we get TONS of
wind, lots of the time.  I wait for a calm day, and i have started roasting
in the early morning.  If you're gonna roast in the wind, they say use a
tall box to shield the roast.  Put the bowl and HG inside the box.  I've
never done it, but it's been recommended.
I was gonna recommend the same thing that Kris did.  Just roast a batch
until its totally gone.  way past done.  THen you'll see what it's gonna
look like.  I kinda suspect that you're afraid that it's gonna go too dark
and so you're not letting it get into first crack at all, which is why
you're not hearing anything...  but just a thought.
anyway, keep asking the questions, it's the only way any of us learn!!!
 You'll get the hang of it really quick!
Oh, and you might want to try a couple of "easy" beans, by which I mean
maybe a central or south american.  Ethiopians and Kenyans and Indonesians
and such are great and I drink them almost exclusively, but they are more
"different" than regular ol' centrals...  referring to the kenyan that
seemed strange... might just have been exotic!
Hope that helps.  welcome, again!
happy roastin
bill
On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 7:03 AM, carolyn giroux 
wrote:
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4) From: Brian Kamnetz
Carolyn,
I had an awful time when I first started roasting, almost quit, but I
kept asking questions on this list, people were patient and kept
giving me their best guesses as to what were the causes of my problems
 and how I might fix the problems, and all of a sudden one piece of
advice in particular solved the worst of my problems, and I have never
looked back. Keep asking questions!
Brian
On 4/14/08, Bill  wrote:
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5) From: Jim Gundlach
Carolyn,
See my thoughts below each paragraph.
      pecan jim
On Apr 14, 2008, at 8:03 AM, carolyn giroux wrote:
<Snip>
    My guess is that the popcorn popper is too hot and burning the  
outside of the beans without roasting them.  Sour can be a brewing  
problem but in roasting it is a sign of under roasting.  First  
question, did the beans expand in size?  If not, this is almost  
certainly the problem.
<Snip>
       In addition to looking at the color of the beans, notice the  
color of the bit of chaff caught in the beans' seams. after the  
expansion at first crack, this chaff will be lighter than the beans.   
If you have not reached first crack, the seam will not have opened up  
to expose the chaff.   As a starting point, look for quitting when  
about half of the beans have seam chaff that has turned as dark as the  
beans.  Later you can try more or less but this should give you a  
starting point that is generally acceptable.
<Snip>
     I don't have enough information to say anything here.
<Snip>
    Have you let the beans rest for a minimum of three days?
<Snip>
    Never used stoneware, I would be afraid it would break.  I learned  
the most about what to look for in beans by roasting in a wok on a  
stove.  The smoke from stovetop roasting is a problem in most houses,  
I have an almost detached kitchen so I only have to move the one smoke  
detector and let the kitchen air out after roasting.
     Hope this helps.
       pecan jim
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6) From: Paul Helbert
Hi Carolyn,
All have given good advise. Be sure to take notes as you go along. Often you
will be able to discover answers on your own, or help others guide you,
based on what is in those notes.
-- 
Paul Helbert
Prepackaged, roasted & ground coffee,,,
Some of the worst ideas since sliced bread.
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7) From: Dennis & Marjorie True
Good Advice Kris!
Kris McN wrote:
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8) From: Lynne
Carolyn - welcome to the group! It's a wonderful hobby - and a wonderful
group, too.
You've had lots of great advice.
I'll add:
Any Kenyan tends to be more acidic than some others. I'm not crazy about
them - HOWEVER, when I did nail that one (only once) it tasted wonderful!
I roast on the stove. Took awhile to figure out - I also have an IR2 that
was gifted to me, but between the two, stove top roasting is my preference
because I feel I have more control (lately my roasts have been hit or miss -
and more miss than hit, so I've been questioning my technique!).
I started with a Whirly Pop I got at a yard sale, with one of the
thermometers Tom sells. But after it broke (few months worth of many
roasts), I just bought a little pot & wooden spoon. I keep the roast
basically at 12 minutes - sometimes, depending on the beans, it might be
less, or a bit longer, but usually it's around that time.
I have a good stove - even though it's electric, it's one of those flat top
ones, and it's terrific - I was in a different apartment for 5 months last
year, and that apartment had The-Stove-That-Should-Have-Been-Thrown-Away.
The range of control was: Hot, Very Hot and almost off.
Took awhile to adjust to that burner, but I did. But here, with this stove,
I know the exact number (between 6 & 7 on my stove) that's right (increased
if I open the window & it's cold). Experience is a wise teacher...
Take a batch all the way to charcoal, for the experience, like Kris
suggested.
I don't care about details, either. Part of my personality. Could be a
fault, but I also am strong on my intuition & feeling - so that's what I use
when I roast.
Wish I had taken notes these two yrs I've been roasting. Paul is right -
good suggestion. I told myself I was going to start - but who am I fooling -
I won't.
above all - have fun!
Lynne
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9) From: Eddie Dove
Carolyn wrote, "almost hate to post b/c everyone here is sooo past all
the initial stuff."
Carolyn,
Don't bet on that being true!  Please do feel free to ask any question
on your mind with respect to roasting and brewing the precursors to
exquisite elixir!  With a single post, and all of the great responses
thus far, you have likely helped many other beginners that will be
reading your post and the responses.
Welcome to the list, please keep us informed and ask more questions.
Eddie
-- 
Docendo Discimus
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 8:03 AM, carolyn giroux
 wrote:
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10) From: Alex Fitch
I am new (3 months) and I will tell you the first time you have a cup  
where everything has worked, and you experience things you never knew  
coffee could be makes all the start up problems worth it! Keep trying  
you will get there.
------------------------------
Alex Fitch
Alex
On Apr 14, 2008, at 4:25 PM, Brian Kamnetz wrote:
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11) From: R Nepsund
I use a digital multimeter that can measure temperatures.   I find it simple
and easy to just put the end of the temperature probe into the beans and
rost it to a certain temperature.   You can get what temperature to use from
sweetmarias
On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 5:22 PM, Eddie Dove <
southcoastcoffeeroaster> wrote:
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12) From: raymanowen
"...everyone here is sooo past all the initial stuff."
I'm not, but if I ever sound like I think I am [past all the initial stuff]
please hurl something heavy at me- like 5 lbs of the Ethiopian!
I hit 30 minutes on 900g of an Ethiopian Sidamo in a cold weather roast on
the back porch. Too much for the combination of the roast size, the heat gun
and the cool day, but it was a good roast. A pound for a friend and the rest
for me- amazed us all.
I was worried about the dire warnings re: baking the beans. Not true, or
maybe baked coffee tastes good to me. I actually did drink some C-Rations
coffee (Taster's Choice?), sugar and the powdered Elmer's Glue that passes
for non-dairy creamer. Probably Salt Peter. Gak
My recommendation would be that you should roast, grind and brew whatever
tastes good to you and yours.
I guarontee I've never roasted any coffee beans to the Starbucks oblivion
level. There is a stigma against doing that to any coffee beans, and Sweet
Maria's, especially.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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13) From: carolyn giroux
hi
just want to thank everyone for you input, it is very helpful... hmmmm burn a batch..... might be a battle to make myself do that, but i can definitely see the wisdom....so i will try that next time [ out side].thanks for all the ideas ...i have to wait till this roasted coffee is gone, but looking forward to roasting again.
thanks carolyn
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14) From: OLIVER
Carolyn
first crack sounds like rice crispies: "snap, crackle and pop"
you can stop there, ...i wait until the first few beans get shiny, then cut the heat 
i think that gives me what they call the "city roast"
you can wait until they are all shiny for a slightly deeper roast
RossO
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15) From: miKe mcKoffee
If surface oils appearing during roast, well beyond city roast. See Tom's
roast pictorial:http://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVI.htmKona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://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">http://www.sweetmarias.com/roasting-VisualGuideV2.htmlPacific Northwest Gathering VIhttp://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVI.htmKona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://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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16) From: Jim Gundlach
I have to disagree with this.  First crack sounds like weak popcorn,  
second crack sounds like rice crispies.
        pecan jim
On Apr 15, 2008, at 9:30 AM, OLIVER wrote:
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17) From: Sheila Quinn
If it sounds like Rice Krispies and you're getting some shine on the 
beans, you've gone into second crack. That is waaay beyond city roast. 
Somehow, you're missing first crack. FWIW, I rarely roast anything so 
that the beans look shiny. When I go that far, they taste burnt.
OLIVER wrote:
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18) From: Sandy Andina
Yup--I've also thought of first crack as muffled twigs snapping and  
second as a sizzle, or the sound of freezing drizzle hitting the  
pavement.  Usually first cracks are distinct and separate and second  
ones more "rolling" or "aggregated," but with Idido Misty Valley I get  
a rolling FIRST crack, almost a fusillade like microwave popcorn in  
mid-cycle.
On Apr 15, 2008, at 9:36 AM, Jim Gundlach wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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19) From: Bill
how's this stuff tasting, carolyn?  if it's good, then try to do the same
thing!!!bill
On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 6:16 AM, carolyn giroux 
wrote:
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20) From: Dean De Crisce
Further...shiny beans come after second crack. After first they are dry and the surface is wrinkly.
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo.

21) From: Dean De Crisce
Further...shiny beans come after second crack. After first they are dry and the surface is wrinkly.
Dean De Crisce
Sent from a Treo.

22) From: Morris Nelson
Hi everyone. I'm a rookie too.  I have enjoyed "listening" to everyone and
the great advice everyone has been giving.  Thank you everyone!!!!
I just received my SM order of Yemen coffees and am not quite prepared to
experiment on it yet.  The time will come soon and when I ready, it's
waiting.  I have been using the air popper with the heat from the bottom.  I
certainly understand why the heat on the side would be better.  But you
learn to use the tool you have, even if it is an exhaust pipe.
I live in a western Minneapolis suburb so if there is anyone on the list in
the area, I'd love the opportunity to meet you!
I think I roasted a few "extreme" Turkish roasts.  Then gradually shortened
the roast time on the successive roasts.  You know, when you're roasting 2
oz at a time, you can fail more often.  That's when you learn.
On 5 Apr, I roasted several 2 oz. batches of Flores Island.  It smelled
horrible. Gradually shortening the time, learning to listen to the first
crack and the second crack.  Whatching the smoke bellow out, etc.  I set it
aside. Well, this past Monday, I roasted some and shared with my Monday
morning breakfast buddies.  They absolutely loved it!  I took a Thermos of
it to my Tuesday evening meeting.  Again, they loved it.  These guys would
not tell me that if they didn't mean it.
You just need to remember how many times Edison failed making the light bulb
and how many time Michael Jordan missed a shot and take these lessons to the
roaster, exhaust pipe, or whatever tool you decided to use.  So, don't get
too hasty to throw out your "failures", they may be some of your successes!
And, keep track of what you're doing and make only one adjustment at a time.
Happy roasting everyone!
Morris

23) From: Bill
Hey Morris, thanks for the post!  and welcome to the list!!!  bill
On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 9:14 PM, Morris Nelson 
wrote:
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24) From: Paul Helbert
Great post. Thanks for sharing. Reminds me of a story...Ah, but you knew
that.
-- 
Paul Helbert
Prepackaged, roasted & ground coffee,,,
Some of the worst ideas since sliced bread.
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25) From: Michael Dhabolt
Morris,
Love the attitude!
Mike (just plain)
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26) From: Eddie Dove
Morris,
Great post and welcome to the list!
Eddie
-- 
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Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 10:14 PM, Morris Nelson
 wrote:
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