HomeRoast Digest


Topic: GC Roasting Help and thermometer question (28 msgs / 940 lines)
1) From: Jon Segal
I recently purchased a GC Roaster.  I've roasted 5 batches in my first
week.  First one turned out to be Italian Roast Espresso and set off the
fire alarm.  Not real good.  Since the first batch I've been pretty lucky in
getting roasts between City and FC+.  So...I'm trying to decrease on the
luck factor and improve on planning.  I'm roasting til first crack at top
heat setting of 482 degrees.  I'm not sure how much to decrease the heat to
extend roast time til second crack.  One time I decreased to 450 degrees.  I
think this might have been too much of a decrease.  Had trouble getting all
of the chaff off the beans for a city roast.  Batch still tasted great
though.  The other times, I turned it down to 470 degrees and then turned
down again to 460 degrees.  Does anybody have some advice or tips?
Also,  is there such a thing as a wireless thermometer the size of a small
ball about the size of a coffee bean that can roll around with the
roasting beans to give temperature readings of the coffee bean mix?  That
would be cool and potentially helpful.
Jon
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2) From: John A C Despres
Jon,
I've been using a Gene Cafe for just under a year now and have been
experimenting a bit with the end of roast temps. Depending on the bean, I
set my high temperature lower than 482F. For a higher grown, more dense
bean, I set for 465F and let the roast go from there. 30 seconds into first
crack I drop to 460F. For softer, lower grown beans I set the high temp at
460F.
As long as your environmental temperature is higher than the beans, the bean
temps will continue to rise and reach first crack. Be careful not to set
your high temp too low or there won't be enough heat to bring the beans all
the way to first crack and you'll stall the roast and start baking the
beans. The slightly lower high temp will slow the roast slightly coming out
of first. I hit fist crack at the same time as I do when I set the high temp
at 482F but I don't go roaring into second very quickly.
This is a bit different than what I've been doing for a while and different
from what many here do. It seems to work fairly well. I don't preheat my
roaster anymore, either. Many here do, though. I have a new heater element
that's stronger and faster than the previous, so I'm sort of re-learning the
roaster again. With this new heater box, I may begin profiling the beginning
of the roast again with the lower end numbers.
For more, please check out Eddie
Dove'ssite.
He's a Gene Cafe master and can provide lots of help. He also has many
profiles you may be able to use. Also, once there, back up to Eddie's front
page  and look around his site
- there's lots to read and see.
As to the micro thermometer that can tumble with the beans. No. The theory
has been tossed around here a lot, though.
I hope this is helpful.
John
On Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 10:04 PM, Jon Segal  wrote:
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3) From: Scott Bukofsky
Jon,
I keep track of a lot of Gene Cafe profiles on my blog.  Also, if you search
the list archives you'll find all sorts of stuff as well.
A good starting profile is 360 degrees for 5 minutes and then 460 until
roast end.  It will vary by voltage a bit and Gene Cafe, so you'll have to
experiment.
-Scotto
On Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 10:04 PM, Jon Segal  wrote:
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4) From: Jon Segal
Thanks for the response.  I read quite a bit of your blog..very helpful.
 Instead of just heating the coffee up at the highest setting, by using
lower temps you are able to dry out the coffee before carmelization thereby
reducing bitterness.  Is that right?  I've read from a few sources to heat
up the beans at the highest setting and then turn temp. down at first crack
to extend the time between 1st and 2nd crack.
I'm looking forward to trying out your starting profile.  I'm curious as to
which factors would cause you to make adjustments in the profile.  Cultivar,
altitude of growth, continent, dry process vs wet process........  In a
short time, this has become a great hobby.  I'm having a blast with all of
this.  Fresh roasted coffee is incredible.  Any good books on roasting you'd
recommend?
Thanks,  Jon
On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 7:34 PM, Scott Bukofsky  wrote:
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5) From: Scott Bukofsky
You need to dry the beans out to some extent before they reach
caramelization temperature.  There are competing chemical reactions
depending on water content in the beans.  Under-drying can lead to sour
flavors and other bad things.
I have had some success applying more heat and then turning down at 1st
crack, but on the whole I think the results are less consistent than adding
heat steadily throughout the roast, at least with my particular Gene.
-Scotto
On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 10:31 PM, Jon Segal  wrote:
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6) From: Brian Kamnetz
The profile I try to follow (attributed to Jim Schulman) calls for
rise from room temp to 265F - initial warm up - through 2 minutes,
then 10 degree rise/minute through 6 minutes (total), then 30 degrees
rise/minute through 8 minutes, then 10 degrees/min to first crack.
The only time I recall people suggesting full power through the roast
has been with air poppers.
Brian
On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 5:23 PM, Scott Bukofsky  wrote:
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7) From: Martin Dobbins
I could be mistaken here (and probably am) but doesn't this profile come fr=
om one of Jim Sculman's experiments to get a Poppery to produce results not=
 unlike a Hot Top roast?

Martin
--- On Tue, 10/14/08, Brian Kamnetz wrote:
The profile I try to follow (attributed to Jim Schulman) calls for
rise from room temp to 265F - initial warm up - through 2 minutes,
then 10 degree rise/minute through 6 minutes (total), then 30 degrees
rise/minute through 8 minutes, then 10 degrees/min to first crack.
The only time I recall people suggesting full power through the roast
has been with air poppers.
Brian
On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 5:23 PM, Scott Bukofsky 
wrote:
<Snip>
adding
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wrote:
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helpful.
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using
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thereby
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to heat
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crack
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curious as to
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been pretty
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decrease on
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first crack at
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decrease the
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450
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trouble getting
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tasted great
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and then
<Snip>
tips?
<Snip>
size of a
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with the
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bean mix?
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8) From: jon morgan
Which one of those numbers is wrong? That would be 565 degrees before first
crack
On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 9:49 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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9) From: Martin Dobbins
I'm sure Brian will clear this up, but I interpreted his numbers this way:

ambient to 265 2 minutes
265 to 305 4 minutes
305 to 365 2 minutes =

Then 10 degrees per minute to first crack.I tookthe word "total" i=
n parentheses to mean total elapsed time since roast start.

I hope I didn't muddy the waters too much?

Martin
--- On Wed, 10/15/08, jon morgan wrote:
Which one of those numbers is wrong? That would be 565 degrees before first
crack
On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 9:49 PM, Brian Kamnetz 
wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>
sour
<Snip>
1st
<Snip>
<Snip>
helpful.
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using
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carmelization
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sources to
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first
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I'm curious as
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 In a
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blast with all
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roasting
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Also, if you
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well.
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then 460
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you'll
<Snip>
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batches in my
<Snip>
Espresso and set off
<Snip>
I've been pretty
<Snip>
trying to decrease on
<Snip>
til first crack
<Snip>
to decrease the
<Snip>
decreased to 450
<Snip>
trouble
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still tasted
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degrees and then
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advice or tips?
<Snip>
the size of a
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around with the
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coffee bean mix?
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10) From: Brian Kamnetz
Martin,
I don't know anything about the profile except that, IIRC, it was
attributed to Jim Schulman. Other than that, it sounds like you know
more than I do. I am assuming that I got the profile on this list, but
even that I don't recall for sure.
Brian
On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 10:09 PM, Martin Dobbins  wrote:
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11) From: Brian Kamnetz
Yes, time is total elapsed time, depicted here on the left:
room temp to 265F - initial warm up - as fast as possible       (2 minutes)
1:00		165F
2:00		265F
265F  to 295F - drying phase - 10 degrees rise per minute.    (3 minutes)
3:00		275
4:00		285
5:00		295
6:00		325
295F to 385F - browning phase to start of first crack - 30 degrees rise
per minute       (2 minutes) 	
7:00		355
8:00		385
385 to 435 - start of first crack to start of second crack (FC). 10
degrees rise per minute
(5 minutes) 	
Hope this clears it up....
Brian
On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 1:20 PM, Martin Dobbins  wrote:
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12) From: raymanowen
"...565 degrees before first crack" That is about 43 F colder than dry i=
ce
(Solid CO2). It would take some industrial refrigeration and extreme
pressure for sure... -ro
On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 6:54 AM, jon morgan  wrote:
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-- =
"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: Karl Schendel
<Snip>
crack
<Snip>
Nothing wrong.  265 at 2 min, add 10/min for 4 min (305 at 6 min),
add 30/min for 2 min (365 at 8 min), then 10/min to first crack
probably about 4 minutes and ~40 degrees later, at around 12 min.
You may have mis-read the time points as durations, which does
indeed take you right to combustion.
Karl
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14) From: John A C Despres
Hmmm. If the drum temperature is higher than the beans, the beans will climb
in temperature as well. Isn't the Gene Cafe just a sort of hybrid popper? I
find I'm getting absolutely delicious roasts by concentrating more on the
end of roast temps. If I set my final high temp at 482F or 465F, the rise
will be exactly the same. By setting 482F it doesn't get hotter sooner, it
keeps heating longer. I have a graph built into my log sheet that helps me
see the roast profiles better than looking at just the clock.
That said, I'm not sure steady manual increases in temperature do anything
in a Gene Cafe. I'll probably get a call from Eddie soon to discuss this
heresy, but since it's a lower BTU roaster I don't know... Now, in an RK or
Les's USRC, I certainly see the need for profiling all the stages of the
roast.
I'll go try two roasts of the same bean profiling for the bean through 4-5
stages and profiling for the end of roast only and see what happens.
On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 9:49 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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15) From: jon morgan
I understand now. Thank You
On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 6:10 PM,  wrote:
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16) From: Jon Segal
It's in the customized instruction sheet from SM's when I received the unit
last month.  I think it was from Tom.  Full tilt til first crack and
decrease heat til finish roast.  Now that I have had a few responses from
some helpful people like yourself, I've learned there are all sorts of
technics and philosophies about the best roast.  So...it's time to
experiment and compare tasting and roasting profiles.  Appreciate everyone's
help.
On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 8:49 PM, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
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17) From: John A C Despres
Jon,
Let us know how it's going for you. This discussion has given me a couple
new things to think about, so keep us in the loop!
Have fun.
John
On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 3:18 PM, Jon Segal  wrote:
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18) From: Jon Segal
I did two separate batches of Guatemala Oriente DP.  4 oz each batch.  One
482 til 1st crack then turned down to 460 til full city.  The other an hour
later I did 360 for 5 minutes and 460 til full city (unfortuneately I was
probably 20 to 30 seconds short).  I think this ended up as City +.  I
tasted side by side and liked both cups.  I think I liked the full city
better.  I think because the roast level was better.  I'm going to continue
doing some other comparisons on the same coffee.  Any suggestions?
On Thu, Oct 16, 2008 at 4:30 PM, John A C Despres wrote:
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19) From: Eddie Dove
Reviving an older thread ... I am a bit behind ...
John Despres wrote, "That said, I'm not sure steady manual increases
in temperature do anything in a Gene Cafe. I'll probably get a call
from Eddie soon to discuss this heresy, but since it's a lower BTU
roaster I don't know..."
Not at all John, as Scott mentioned earlier, "It will vary by voltage
a bit and Gene Cafe, so you'll have to experiment."
Today, I finally got around to replacing the fan in my Gene Cafe,
which took less than 15 minutes start to finish with only a phillips
head screwdriver.  It was not a product failure that lead to the fan
replacement.  I broke the fan doing something one should not do while
I was taking pictures for Gene Cafe "How To" instructions.  (if
interested, the first set of instructions are on my blog at:http://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/) Also, my Gene Cafe has
a "new" heater assembly.  It was replace some time ago, but not used
much since then because I use the RK Drum most of the time.  The
original heater assembly roasted 221 pounds of coffee over 424
individual roasts in about 7 months and that was with me punishing it;
batch after batch without a break for up to 18 batches straight.  This
is certainly not recommended.
Comparably speaking, the Gene Cafe taking up residence here has always
been toward the faster end of the spectrum for climbing to maximum
temperature.  The voltage available where it gets used averages about
120 volts; today, it was 122 volts and about 120.5 while the Gene Cafe
was running.  As such, without any beans in the roasting chamber and
an ambient temperature of 72F, the Gene Cafe reached maximum
temperature of 482F in 4 minutes 45 seconds; sometimes the display
registered 483F.  Once reaching maximum (or set) temperature, the
heater kicks off.  On average, the temperature would drop to 474F and
then climb back to maximum temperature within about 20 seconds.  This
temperature is measured by a temperature probe that is placed just
outside the heater box and before the heated air enters the roasting
chamber; this is the temperature that shows on the display.  Roasting
chamber temperature should remain fairly constant and the bean
temperature will continue to rise.  There is another temperature probe
just after the heated air exits the roasting chamber that is for
safety.  If it reads too high of a temperature, it will shut the
roaster down.
Given the performance of my Gene Cafe, I have found that 300F for 5
minutes and then incremental adjustments to a predetermined maximum
with a final drop in temperature setting usually works best.  With a
Gene Cafe that heats up to maximum temperature at more of a moderate
rate, incremental bumps in temperature may not be worth the effort as
John indicated.  What is worth the effort, is learning how your Gene
Cafe operates and adapting the heat settings (profile) to produce the
best results when it comes to the roasted coffee.  That is goal.
The 300F for 5 minutes at the beginning of my roasts in the Gene Cafe
does drive off a bit of moisture, but more importantly it gets some
heat into the beans and makes them more receptive to the heat that is
about to be applied.  It is important to not drive of too much
moisture because the moisture is essential to the maillard reactions,
which produce the flavors later in the roast.  Maximum temperature and
rate of ascent is dependent upon the bean origin and desired level of
roast.  For an Ethiopian that may excel at a City to City+ roast
because of its characteristic bright notes, a steep ramp up to 482F
after 5 minutes at 300F would be preferable for me and I may dial the
temperature back to 460F after 30 second into 1st crack, which
usually lasts about 2 minutes.  For a Brazil or Java, a maximum
temperature of 470F with a more moderate ramp would be preferred with
a temperature reduction to 456F about 30 seconds before 1st crack; I
have never played with dialing back to a lower temperature than 456F
because the results didn't warrant such.  Dialing back to 456-460
always generated a consistent 4 minutes between the beginning of first
crack and the beginning of 2nd crack allowing me to consistently roast
to City (end of 1st crack), City+, Full City and Full City+.  At the
1st or second snaps of 2nd crack, hit the "Cool" button and you will
have a perfect Full City+ roast.
Suggestions?  Sure.
1)  Buy Sweet Maria's coffee
2)  Roast the same coffee using different profiles
3)  Take notes
4)  Taste the coffee
5)  Take notes and tell us
6)  Refer to step # 1
I hope this is helpful, Jon.
Respectfully,
Eddie
-- =
Docendo Discimus
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Wed, Oct 22, 2008 at 12:50 PM, Jon Segal  wrote:
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ur
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ue
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20) From: MikeG
Wow
Cool post.  It's mind boggling how much I have to learn about this
hobby.  Only thing I have going for me is a desire to work towards a
better cuppa.
Thanks
Mike
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21) From: Frank Parth
This is good stuff, Eddie. Thanks.
When you mention a temperature, is that the =
temperature on the GC dial setting? I'm asking =
because when I'm in the middle of a roast and I =
hit the drum with an IR temperature gun, the temp =
I'm seeing is about 50 degrees cooler than what =
the dial setting is. I realize that what I'm =
seeing is on the outside of the drum and not the =
inside. Still I wonder what the "real" =
temperature of the beans is.
Frank Parth
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22) From: raymanowen
Advance token to Boardwalk and pay more than the usual attention to what
Eddie said:
"1)  Buy Sweet Maria's coffee
2)  Roast the same coffee using different profiles
3)  Take notes
4)  Taste the coffee
5)  Take notes and tell us
6)  Refer to step # 1"
I think the IR Temperature probe is probably the best way to measure the
temperature of a process like coffee roasting. So, what's rong with knowing
the drum temperature?
Any temperature that has a relationship to the roasting bean temperature, is
easy to measure and repeatable is the reading you want. Those numbers are
the Mile Markers, not the reason for the trip. (Refer to step # 4, above.)
Cheers, Mabuhay and Magandang Umaga -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
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23) From: Eddie Dove
Thank you, Frank.
You asked, "When you mention a temperature, is that the temperature on
the GC dial setting?"
Yes.  When I reference temperatures, it is the temperatures that shows
on the display of the Gene Cafe.  After pondering different ways of
knowing the bean temperature inside the roasting chamber, I figured it
would be easier to learn based on the numbers readily available on the
Gene Cafe display.  I have Open Office Writer (Microsoft Word
equivalent) log sheets that I used to track the temps on 30 second
intervals and take notes, etc.  The front side includes the entire
"table" of information available on the Sweet Maria's website for that
particular coffee and the back includes all of the information about
the roast and the brewed coffee.
By the way, the temperature setting displays as a "normal" number
"482" and the current internal temperature reading is displayed with
"dots" for differentiation, "4.8.2."
Eddie
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Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 3:44 AM, Frank Parth  wrote:
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24) From: Jon Segal
Thanks Eddie, great message.
Jon
On 10/31/08, Eddie Dove  wrote:
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25) From: Jeff Holder
Eddie,
Since you spoke about changing out your fan on the Gene Cafe, I was
wondering if you had any advice about the digital light display.  I've had
my GC for about 3 months now and during the sixth week the digital readout
on the on/off button malfunctioned.  One of the vertical lines that make up
the digital display does not illuminate making it annoying to have to
interpret the temperature readout.  I have not wanted to send it back in for
fear of losing it for a few weeks.  Any advice on how I might correct the
problem?
Also, I have roasted 2 separate batches of Guatemala Oriente and both times
it appears that the chaff has difficulty exiting the roasting chamber
(gathers in mass around the the drum exit port making for a dense smoke
prior to the first crack.  Does anyone know if this is common for this
particular bean or should I reduce the size of the roast?  The first roast
was 250g and the second was 240G.  I haven't experienced this with other
beans before.
Thanks,
Jeff
On Sat, Nov 1, 2008 at 8:43 AM, Eddie Dove <
southcoastcoffeeroaster> wrote:
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26) From: Eddie Dove
Jeff,
Dry-process beans characteristically shed a lot of chaff.  That is why
the Gene Cafe manual advises roasting no more than 227 grams per batch
of dry-process coffees.
If you are comfortable fixing the Gene Cafe yourself, give Tim Skaling
a call and ask him if he would be willing to send you a new part, and
you send back the defective part.  It is best to call him in the
morning before the frenetic pace of his day ensues.  He is a very nice
gentleman and his contact information is below.
Once the Gene Cafe is open:
1.  Pull straight up on both knobs to remove them
2.  Unplug the two plugs that are connected to the top; they are
connected to the board you will replace
3.  Remove the six screws holding the board in place
4.  Replace defective part with new
5.  Reinstall six screws making them snug - do not over tighten
6.  Reconnect the two plugs - they are different so they cannot be confused
7.  Align "D" shape of knob inset with "D" shape of stem and push
straight down to install for both knobs
8.  Put the roaster back together and roast more Sweet Maria's coffee
Fresh Beans, Inc. (http://www.freshbeansinc.com) - U.S Warranty Repairs
Tim Skaling
Phone: 435-940-1616
Fax: 435-940-1964
alternate #s: 435-940-1616, (888) 757-2326
Fresh Beans Inc.
6436 Business Park Loop Unit G
Park City, Utah 84098
Ship to address:
Fresh Beans Inc.
PO Box 982410
Park City, Utah 84098
Hope this helps ...
Eddie
-- 
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Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 10:20 AM, Jeff Holder  wrote:
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27) From: Jeff Holder
Eddie,
Thanks very much for the helpful information.  I may give Tim a call and go
at it myself.
Jeff
On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 10:51 AM, Eddie Dove <
southcoastcoffeeroaster> wrote:
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28) From: John A C Despres
Here's a more recent understanding of my machine. I've gone back to using a
warming/drying phase of 300F for 5 minutes. From there I set the high at
460F or 465F up to first. From there I listen, smell and look. Depending on
my desired roast level, I'll drop the temp by 5 degrees during
or immediately after first crack. I find I get a nicer, more even roast this
way and it doesn't barrel into second too soon. What I've discovered for
certain is if I set at 482F, the momentum is too great to slow it down
nicely between first and second crack.
It also seems no matter where I set the temp, I hit first at 12:30 give or
take 15 seconds either way every time. I haven't tried setting it at 455F
and see what happens. I think it may hit first at about the same time, but
it could be a slow, sluggish first. Dunno. I think I'll try it in the
morning. But I don't have any sacrificial beans to waste in case it doesn't
work.
I've lso gone back to cooling in the colandr/vacuum set up. Takes about 90
seconds, and doesn't cool too fast.
Keep taking notes and keep telling us.
Tomorrow in the cup, Rwanda Gkongoro Nyarusiza. First taste this batch after
roasting Sunday. MMMM
John
On Sun, Nov 2, 2008 at 2:34 AM, Jon Segal  wrote:
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