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Topic: first time roasting with fresh roast 8 (3 msgs / 102 lines)
1) From: Ranger Tomcat
Hi all:
I was a sweet marias lister for 6 months about a year ago, fumbling around
with a thrift store popcorn pumper and poppery. I had poor results. Then I
decided to use a wok, then a cast iron frying pan. Worse results, and I set
off every smoke detector in the house- even ones I thought were disconnected
long ago.
Recently I came across a Fresh Roast 8 on ebay that was cheap enough. and it
came with about 2 lbs of 4-5 diffeent beans to play with. Not sure how old
they are, but I'm guessing they are less than 6 months old. Not that I can
tell form looking or feeling or smelling.
I followed the directions that came with the unit and got a lightly roasted,
but somewhat burnt tasting first batch of beans. I can't remember the exact
type of beans- I'm at work.
For the second batch a few days later, I followed the tips ont he SM website
and increased the batch size slightly (2 heaping scoops instead of 2 flat
measured scoops of beans), and increased  the time to 7 minutes, and let the
beans sit through the entire cooling cycle. Its much darker and more
aromatic, but the beans still taste a little burnt, in my opinion.
What should my next direction be- another minute of roasting time? still
more beans? Another bean, but this time a fresher batch?
Advice please- my last foray in this forum was quite exciting and very
helpful with the thrift store level equipment I was using.
Tom martin
Annapolis MD
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2) From: MJR
Hello...
Been roasting with FR8+ for almost 8 months now.
Use 2 slightly rounded scoops. That's about 2.25 oz (even better if you
can weigh out the raw beans, more consistent). Watch the beans roast and
LISTEN. Train your ear. You should hear "first crack" pretty clearly. For
most beans that can start in as little as 3.5 minutes, and almost always
has started by 4 mins into the roast. Second crack is harder to hear. A
light crispy clicking a little like rice-crispies when you add milk.  It
takes time to train your ear to hear this one. With most coffees this has
begun at 5 minutes into the roast, some take as long as 6, but some very
small beans like a recent Yemeni Mokha is at second crack at 4.5 mins.
When the beans go from a medium brown toward black and begin to get shiny
with oil, you are moving into the darker (but still pre-burnt) roasts.
Anything after first crack ends (4.5 -- 5.0 minuts for most coffees, you
have a "roasted bean". The lighter roasts come off between first and
second crack, medium roasts just after second crack starts, and the darker
roasts when the bean gets oily looking...
When the roast ends (and you MUST let the beans go through the cooling
cycle) I dump the beans quickly into a metal colandar (make sure it's
dry), and stir them around to cool them as quickly as possible. I find
that once I know the "roast profile" for any particular bean I can control
its roast consistently with the FR8.
The FR8 suggests that you wait at least 20 mins between roasts. It's the
heater that needs the rest. Another poster here suggests you just run 2
cooling cycles, but I'm not sure that's enough. I found that letting the
machine rest 20+ mins does help to make the roasts more consistent.
Hope this helps.
Matthew quine Rapaport
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3) From: raymanowen
My FreshRoast original was a refurbished machine. Runs fine with its higher
capacity blower and 1/3 cup roast size.
I typically roast on a 90% (apx) duty cycle for 18 - 20 minutes and use a
completely different method for cooling the roast. Run two complete cooling
cycles  If you save money on the purchase price, save some time on the
roast, and save more time by cutting short the cooling, it sounds like a
formula for trashing some perfectly good coffee beans.
If you want different results, start by following directions exactly. Change
only one facet at a time as you determine the necessity.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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