HomeRoast Digest


Topic: The FreshRoast Plus, Scoops, and Scales (23 msgs / 651 lines)
1) From: Gary P
John writes:
<Snip>
I've been given the go-ahead to order a roaster for my birthday from the 
non-coffee-drinking wife (yea!).  I usually tend to go the 'affordable high 
end' with these sorts of obsessions (meaning the HWP), but probably will 
get the FR+, based on initial reviews seem to be what I like in a roast, QC 
issues with HW, and the price difference(that's a whole lot of green beans!).
FWIW, (if you care to judge this assessment or offer advice), I like deep, 
full flavor, but not overdone to burnt toast (Starbucks kills some of their 
best coffees by overroasting, IMHO), and an occasional lighter city roast 
with interesting beans or for a bright variety; I drink about 80% cone 
auto-drip coffee, 20% espresso, 0% french press (broke that three years 
ago, havent gotten around to replacing it! But really need to!)
What I'm wondering is if it's worth it to get one of the digital 
'diet/mail' scales for roasting with FR+, or will I be happily consistent 
with 'two scoops'?
Also, I'm curious, when grinding coffee, do you measure scoops before or 
after grinding?  If after, what do you do with the remaining grounds, (let 
them atrophy in pain? )?   I usu. measure pre-grind for convenience, 
just wondering if others do too...
-g
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2) From: bart frazee
Gary P wrote:
<Snip>
I weigh the beans instead of using a measuring cup. Weight does not
change when grinding. Grind just as much as your'e going to use. 
<Snip>
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3) From: Jeff Morris
I always weigh beans for roasting and grinding.  "Scoops" are OK if you're
always using the same coffee, but when you homeroast, almost every batch is
different.  Weighing is the only way to be consistent.  Tom sells a 2-gram
accurate scale, but I prefer 1-gram accurate scales - they're only a few
dollars more.  (Tom- hint hint!)   My latest serves as a kitchen scale for
everything from baking flour to diet measuring to weighing the cat.
-jeff

4) From: Dave Huddle
Jeff,
Tell us more about your 1-gram accurate scale.  Brand, where to get it,
capacity, etc??   How much does your cat weigh?
I bought my wife a 2-gram accurrate scale years ago (before I began
homeroasting).   I use it all the time for roasting and grinding.
Dave	Westerville, OH
<Snip>
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5) From: John Wanninger
<Snip>
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I've always obtained most accurate results adding cat by volume :^)
John
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6) From:
I've got my eye on the MyWeigh Palmscale
http://balances.com/myweigh/palmscale/palmscales.html),$59.97 including
sh/hdl to anywhere in the USA (it claims).  Increments of 0.1g; won't weigh
the cat though...  strictly for small amounts of beans (150g max).  But
Tom's Salter Scale will certainly do the trick, and let you buy 3 more lb.s
of beans!

7) From: Jeff Morris
Tom's rules preclude me from describing competitors - I've posted on
alt.coffee or you can email me jeff
-jeff

8) From: Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX
From: 
Subject: RE: +The FreshRoast Plus, Scoops, and Scales
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 16:39:31 -0500
<Snip>
I have the same scale except mine goes up to 250g in 0.1g reading. I
use it for measuring chemicals at home, and occasionally for roasting
coffee. I usually eyeball coffee for roasting, scoop bean for brewing
and have no problem. For coffee measuring, I don't need that
precision. I don't see why 2g precision is not enough for coffee
roasting.
--
Ryuji Suzuki
"I can't believe I'm here.
People always say that I'm a long way from normal."
(Bob Dylan, Normal, Illinois, 13 February 1999)
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9) From: Fulton Martin
I'm not Jeff, but I bought a Tanita KD-160 from Precision Weighing
Balances . 1 gram resolution up
to 500 g, then 2 g to 1 kg. $45, but you have to use PayPal. Won't
weigh my cats, either...
--On Mittwoch, 23. Januar 2002 16:01 -0500 Dave Huddle
 wrote:
<Snip>
Fulton Martin
__=o&o>__
roseview
San Diego, CA
N32 43.956, W117 05.874
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10) From: Dan Sussman
Just as well. If you tried to weigh the cat, it probably would be off by a
whisker.
Sorry. Couldn't resist.
Dan

11) From:
Ryuji said:  "I don't see why 2g precision is not enough for coffee
roasting."
The Palmscale is more for the "toy" factor... it's a darn cute little thing.
;)
Tod
--
Ryuji Suzuki
"I can't believe I'm here.
People always say that I'm a long way from normal."
(Bob Dylan, Normal, Illinois, 13 February 1999)
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12) From: Sanford Levenberg
Hi
In the Fresh Roast which a fairly small cylindrical chamber I believe from my own
experiments that volume of beans is the proper measurement. The more full the
chamber the higher the temperature and the less full the lower the temperature.
Sandy
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13) From: Jeff Morris
For roasting, a HWP is a bit forgiving on the weight - I assume the
thermostat or whatever takes care of that.  Other roasters may not be quite
so forgiving.  However, I've given up trying to get the perfect roast to get
the perfect cup - I figure its more likely to happen randomly than if I try
to chase it.
For Brewing, however, 2 grams can be 5% of my autodrip load which is enough
to make a pot "weak" or "strong."  I've learned that the more precise I am
at brew time the better the results.   If I do a single cup French Press or
Swiss Drip 2 grams out of 12 or 14 is huge!  BTW, I've seen electronic
kitchen scales be off by 5%.  If you're trying to be accurate, not just
repeatable, you should check against standard weights.
-jeff

14) From: Jeff Morris
For roasting, a HWP is a bit forgiving on the weight - I assume the
thermostat or whatever takes care of that.  Other roasters may not be quite
so forgiving.  However, I've given up trying to get the perfect roast to get
the perfect cup - I figure its more likely to happen randomly than if I try
to chase it.
For Brewing, however, 2 grams can be 5% of my autodrip load which is enough
to make a pot "weak" or "strong."  I've learned that the more precise I am
at brew time the better the results.   If I do a single cup French Press or
Swiss Drip 2 grams out of 12 or 14 is huge!  BTW, I've seen electronic
kitchen scales be off by 5%.  If you're trying to be accurate, not just
repeatable, you should check against standard weights.
-jeff

15) From: Steve Shank
The precision is useful for measuring single cups of coffee for drinking.=
 The difference between 8 and 9 grams (or 11 and 12) is noticeable.
*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********
On 01/23/2002 at 5:23 PM Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX wrote:
<Snip>
 including
<Snip>
Steve Shank
Oregon Computer Solutionshttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://www.steveshank.comhomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

16) From: Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX
From: "Jeff Morris" 
Subject: Re: +The FreshRoast Plus, Scoops, and Scales
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 19:25:52 -0500
<Snip>
My popcorn popper is not so sensitive to the load, as long as I don't
overload. My gas oven is not sensitive to the load, at least up to
about a full pound. By insensitive, I mean I can't tell from the
result of coffee. I may be burning noticeably more gas, but I don't
know.
<Snip>
Do you think taste buds are more accurate at intensity discrimination
than eyes and ears?? The intensity difference limen (aka just
noticeable difference) for hearing (for easy single tone case) is
about 6% (0.5dB) for white noise. Of course, difference limen is
experimentally obtained based on two noise segments of slightly
different intensities given back-to-back though a headphone in a
soundproof booth, practically the best condition to do the task. In
daily life, sudden increase of music volume by 6% isn't going to be
reliably noticeable.
In greyscale intensity step (vision) analogue, the difference limen is
smaller by a small factor (sensitive to smaller difference) at rather
ideal conditions. Here, two light panels or reflecting panels are
compared side-by-side.  But when color comes into play, or when the
panels are at some distance, the discrimination task becomes rapidly
more challenging.
I haven't followed taste analogue of these Webber's fraction type
experiments.  But I think the difference limen with even a simple salt
or vinegar solution would be much poorer because humans don't
allocate as much sensory processing resources for taste buds than we
do for vision and audition.  I'm happy to ignore what my sensory
system can't catch.
--
Ryuji Suzuki
"I can't believe I'm here.
People always say that I'm a long way from normal."
(Bob Dylan, Normal, Illinois, 13 February 1999)
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17) From: Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX
It's off topic but please allow me to fix my obvious editing error.
From: Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX 
Subject: Re: +The FreshRoast Plus, Scoops, and Scales
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 18:33:05 -0500 (EST)
<Snip>
Replace "(for easy single tone case)" with "(for simple noise case)."
But the result is about the same with tones, for single tones of
comfortably audible frequencies and levels, 0.5dB to 1 dB is the range.
--
Ryuji Suzuki
"I can't believe I'm here.
People always say that I'm a long way from normal."
(Bob Dylan, Normal, Illinois, 13 February 1999)
homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast

18) From: Jeff Morris
I should clarify my "forgiving" comment.  If you just set the dial on a HWP
and the roast two batches of the same beans but of different size loads,
they will come out to virtually the same roast.  I was surprised that a 65
gram load appeared identical to a 85 gram load (they may have tasted a bit
different, but I just threw them together!)  But if you do this with a HWG,
which is just a timer, you will get a different result.  Thus I claim that a
2 gram accurate scale is certainly good enough for a HWP, or any roast
method that is monitored by a human, and not a timer.  And its probably OK
for a HWG.  And an Alpenrost is too large a load for 1 gram to make a
difference.
I wonder if anyone has done a "limen" analysis for perception for brew
strength.  My claim, with absolutely nothing to back it up, is that a small
difference is noticeable.  I have convinced myself that a 10% "weakness" is
bad enough to almost warrant throwing out the pot, except that I'm too lazy
to brew another.  (Too strong, of course, is easily salvageable.)  But I've
never tried a "strength cupping" to find the limen.  But its very easy to do
this - make a 10 oz cup of coffee however you like it.  Then add 1 oz. of
hot water.  If you're like me, you'll say this tastes something like good
coffee, but its not the same.  I think I'll have to try this tomorrow AM
with 1/2 oz ...
-jeff

19) From: Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX
From: "Jeff Morris" 
Subject: Re: +The FreshRoast Plus, Scoops, and Scales
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 20:33:11 -0500
<Snip>
I should add that I am not saying you should or should not try, but
difference limen experiment as commonly done in science is demanding
in terms of number of repetitions necessary. It takes 30 min even if I
am very familiar with the procedure and keep clicking the subject's
response panel without thinking (in this case, I'm my own guinea pig).
The presentation must be randomized, and the limen must be determined
based on accuracy criterion of the response. For example, if the
subject says "I can tell the difference" for all responses, even when
there is no difference in the given stimuli, the difference limen is
zero even though the accuracy of response is very low. This kind of
situation must be avoided.  I do not think statistically reliable
measurement of limen for such a fuzzy and slow perception like taste
is practical.
Not in the limen measurement context, but this sort of thing was
discussed here in relation to vacuum siphon brewers. In particular,
Yama siphon leaves about 5 fl. oz. of hot water in the bottom flask,
going to the cup without even touching ground coffee, thus diluting
the coffee coming down from the top flask. I think I can tell the
difference if I brew 3 cups (14.5 fl. oz.) but this dilution effect is
unnoticeable at 4 or 5 cups. Some said they don't notice the
difference at 3 cup level. These are very subjective experience report
instead of measurement, so I don't discuss much on it.
Also, adding plain hot water does not necessarily result in the exactly
same effect as decreasing the amount of ground coffee used.
NOTE: Yama's one cup is commonly said to be 4 fl. oz. instead of 5
fl. oz., but my measured volume at 3 cup line was 14.5 fl. oz. And I
am talking in terms of U.S. fluid ounce, not imperial. The dead volume
of 5 fl. oz. is also measured. It looks more like 5.5 fl. oz. but even
5 fl. oz. makes my point clear.
After all, it's just a matter of how I measure coffee, how you measure
coffee, they aren't the same. I'm lazy and scoop method is good enough
for me (and measuring coffee accurately doesn't give me any
psychological value). I sound too serious, I know.
--
Ryuji Suzuki
"I can't believe I'm here.
People always say that I'm a long way from normal."
(Bob Dylan, Normal, Illinois, 13 February 1999)
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20) From: Cuchulain Libby
From: "Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX" 
<Snip>
But that's the essence of the thing, isn't it? In your informality lies
knowledge.
-Hound
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21) From: Carl Thomas
Just wanted to correct one minor error.  At the start of this thread, Gary
asked about measuring scoops before and after grinding and somebody
commented you don't lose in grinding.  Actually, you do, unless you're
willing to sweep up the grounds that are stuck in the burrs or the powder
compressed onto the burr bushings.  I doubt it's more than a gram, but it
sure makes a mess when I change beans and need to clear the Bodum.  I can't
say I've done a before and after weigh, although I may try it tomorrow just
for kicks (I know, get a life), but I use the Salter I got from Tom and I
suspect the loss would fall within it's tolerance.  I usually weigh only
before I start roasting, having previously settled the weight trail to the
desired pot strength.  I did not do this for all beans, so it's possible
some of the strength differences we notice are due to different weight loss
levels between bean varieties as a result of roasting.  Since I seldom make
the same brand day after day but switch daily for the adventure (again, get
a life?) and now have over a hundred to choose from, I don't think the added
data would be more enjoyable.  When and if we settle on a much smaller
number of beans to play with, maybe I'll run those tests.  But for now,
sampling is more fun.
Enjoy,
Carl T.
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22) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
" ...Do you think taste buds are more accurate at intensity discrimination
than eyes and ears?? " ...  "...about 6% (0.5dB) for hearing..."
I do not understand at all what we should be talking about when comparing
hearing and vision to tasting and smelling. Leves, thresholds? Of what? May
I add few unscientific examples?
Let me dissolve common kitchen salt, NaCl, in water as warm as is the coffee
I am drinking. Let me add 5% of this solution to 95% of my coffee. I can
taste the (5%) difference. My ears cannot tell 5% difference in sound level.
But does that make taste buds better at taste discrimination as compared to
ears for hearing? However, I cannot smell the difference. Does that make
smell so much less important when enjoying cup of coffee?
When I listen to an orchetra in live concert, or on a stereo recording, or
even a good mono recording, I can tell, when let's say a single oboe starts
playing.  What percentage of sound level comes from the oboe as compared to
the rest of the orchestra? I guess that is much less than 5%, isn't it?
Add just 1% of lemon juice to the glass of my wine. I can tell the
difference, both in taste and smell. Or add just few drops of the vanilla
extract....
Add a fraction of a percent of Cayenne Pepper to your scrambled eggs. Most
people can taste a tiny fraction of capsaicin (the source of the heat
sensation when eating a pepper) in a meal.  But the sensitivity to capsaicin
differs from person to person.
When I drink apple juice, I recognize what I am drinking.  Add 5% of orange
juice to 95% of apple juice and I can tell the difference in taste.
How do you tell the difference between the taste and smell of Sumatra coffee
and Mexican coffee? Are we talking about relative levels ... or presence and
absence ... of what? In what concentrations? When comparing taste and smell
to hearing and vision ... what should we compare so that we do not compare
"apples to oranges"?
Oh yes, smell. Open the closed jar of coffee roasted two days ago. You can
smell it at the other end of the room. What is the percentage of the air
volume escaping from the jar as compared to the air in the room?  If I cut
an onion ... you can smell it at the other end of the kitchen.  Bring a rose
to the room...
As I mentioned, I have no idea what we should be talking about when
comparing taste and smell to hearing and seeing.
Cheers, Lubos
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23) From:
[Comment on Lubos' comments]  Some of your examples seem to be
apples-and-oranges, within their "category" (changing the taste of foods):
you talk about adding 1% lemon juice to wine, but I think a more appropriate
analogy would be increasing the amount of lemon juice in lemonade by 1%.
The discussion seems to be about intensity, not differentiation.
Tod
-- off to finishing the LAN party plans (geeks on coffee, oh my)


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