HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Freshroast+ for a beginner (7 msgs / 161 lines)
1) From: Dave Smith
Greetings,
I'm new to the world of coffee, but one of the things that I'd like to
try doing is roasting at home (I suppose I've come to the right
place...:)). I like the idea of not having to run to the store every
week for new coffee and roasting sounds reasonably (hopefully)
straightforward. I was contemplating getting a FreshRoast+ for the
job, but am having a hard time sorting out if it will generate enough
coffee for 7-10 days. It seems to me that I should be able to just
make two batches (of course waiting between batches for the machine to
cool) and store them together in a airtight jar, or something. Does
the list have any wisdom on how best to handle this?
Additionally, I'm would like to roast for espresso -- will the
FreshRoast do a good job at this? I've read on a couple of boards that
some people feel a n00b will not be able to roast decent espresso at
home -- am I delusional? :)
Thanks,
D.
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2) From: Vicki Smith
Hi Dave, Welcome to the list and to homeroasting. We were all new at it 
at one time.
I don't use a Freshroast, so I can't speak to anything about it from 
personal knowledge. I do know that there are folks on the list roasting 
with them and that there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to roast 
for espresso. The roasting is not really any different, though many 
people like to create blends of their own, and it can take a lot of 
patience and a lot if experience to know how to do that well. Of course, 
the SM espresso roasts are wonderful and many of the single origin beans 
are wonderful as espresso.
I roast using a bread machine/heat gun set up. If you have trouble 
getting enough beans from a FR, you may want to give that a whirl. I go 
through a couple of pounds a week. A FR would drive me nuts.
vicki
Dave Smith wrote:
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3) From: raymanowen
"I've read on a couple of boards that some people feel a n00b will not be
able to roast decent espresso at home "
There is no button marked "*Espresso*," but that does not prevent or disable
any roast you want to accomplish with the FreshRoast.
The Rule Makers may state that you can't espresso brew any bean you want.
Feel free to ignore the RM's- the beans sure do.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Did Khaldi or his goats violate any rules? Those bad, bad guys.
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4) From: Coffee Willard
I've been using a FreshRoast for the last couple months. It is small - each
roast is enough for approx 8-10 cups of coffee, but for a new roaster like
me, I think this is a good thing. By only roasting a small amount of beans
at a time I've been able to roast more often and thereby have more
opportunity to watch and smell and hear the process. Also, If I make a
mistake I'm only out a few ounces of beans.
I can now anticipate what will be happening in  the roast, and I'm becoming
more familiar with the different degrees of roast. I think this would take
much longer if I were only roasting a batch or two each week. I set aside a
couple hours every weekend to roast enough coffee for the coming week.
Another benefit for newbies is that I can taste more varieties  of coffee
each week by only roasting a pot or two of each of them. I've never tasted
most of the different coffees, and this allows me to sample them and even
easily try them at different roasts.
On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 3:56 AM,  wrote:
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5) From: French Lewis
Hi,
I'll chime in with my $0.02 :)
The FreshRoast + was my first roaster.    It served me well as the only coffee drinker in my house, but I would need to either roast 2 batches in order to roast enough for a week, or I would need to roast every 3-4 days.    All in all, not a big deal at about 20 minutes/roast (including picking the bean to roast, going to the garage to set up, roasting, clean up etc).     I believe you will quickly find that you want to add a thermocouple to the machine and then play with the control dial during roasting to profile the roasts.     I would normally stretch a roast out to 8 or 9 minutes by switching the machine to the cool cycle and watching the temp on the thermocouple.
That being said, I used to roast espresso for home and I was very satisfied with my results.     I think I liked the FreshRoast roasted beans for espresso better than the beans roasted with the analog Hot Top, which replaced the Fresh Roast about 2.5 years ago.     I've heard from one other member (off list) that she felt the same way.
I hope this helped, even a little.
French
--- On Sun, 6/29/08, Dave Smith  wrote:
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6) From: Gregg Talton
I've purcahsed two FreshRoast roasters and taught family members to use
them  - straight forward and easy.  You might also consider a visit to the
thrift store for a hot air popper to use.  Look around the SM site to see
the correct popper (West Bend poppery seems to be the standard).  That's how
I started and now I have a Gene Cafe, Behmor and IRoast 2 but  mostly use
the Behmor.
Just remember, even if the roast isn't perfect it's far superior to ANYTHING
you'll buy.  And, it will get better and better the more you roast.  I roast
a lot of coffee (church and etc.) and see improvements all the time.  Most
all of the improvements come from the wisdom of this list.
Gregg
On Sun, Jun 29, 2008 at 2:46 PM, Dave Smith  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
They say such nice things about people at their funerals that it makes me
sad to realize that I'm going to miss mine by just a few days. - Garrison
Keillor
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7) From: Dave Smith
Thanks to everyone who took the time to provide some feedback on the
FreshRoast. It sounds like the FP+8 is a good place to start and
hopefully SM will get them back in stock soon so I can start in on my
roasting. :)
Thanks again. Amazing community. :)
D.
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