HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Moisture content and drying phase,test (11 msgs / 335 lines)
1) From: Edward Bourgeois
Out of a discussion on HB on the length and temps. of the drying phase
and moisture content during roasting I've been testing a simple way to
home measure moisture content of green beans. I put 20.0g of greens in
a whirly blade mill and then put in an espresso basket in a toaster
oven at 250-275f. The weight drop leveled out after about 1 1/2hrs. On
my first try, using a 0.1 resolution gram scale and 2 samples of the
new Bali, both samples lost 2.3g or about 11.5%. I'm wondering if
someone has a moisture meter for green coffee that I could compare to
with some future tests.
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list">http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/ Co-President- Ma. Agriculture in the Classroomhttp://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list
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2) From: james McDougal
Hi Ed,
Clever ! I'll have to try that! your reading is pretty much in line with the
one Tom posts:http://www.sweetmarias.com/moisturecontents.htmlMac
On Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 10:11 AM, Edward Bourgeois wrote:
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3) From: Edward Bourgeois
Several homeroasters had noticed that the first lot of Brazil Ipanema
tree dried seemed to have a very quiet first crack and we were
wondering if the moisture content was on the low side. I'm going to do
a test of this lot tonight as well as the new lot of the Ipanema
On Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 12:41 PM, james McDougal  w=
rote:
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-- =
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list">http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/ Co-President- Ma. Agriculture in the Classroomhttp://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list
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4) From: peterz
Hi Ed,
A short while ago I thought all my beans had gone bad from drying out 
(Testing showed them at 35% humidity).
I purchased an Acurite humidity sensor from K-Mart, with a remote 
sending unit, for less than $30.00.
In the mean time I was trying to humidify my beans by bringing the whole 
storage area up to 55% humidity, and I also ordered a sample pack from 
our hosts.
The beans came from SM came  and I measured the humidity in the bags 
with the remote sensor.
All the bags registered between 65% and 70%.
The 'whole area' thing got old quick!
No way was I going to take the room up to 65%!
So I put some water in the bottom of a SS bowl, put 250 Gr of beans on 
top of a screen to separate it from the water, and covered the bowl with 
clear plastic. The humidity sensor inside.
In a few days the domain in the bowl measured 65%, and the beans had 
increased in weight to 272 Gr.
I roasted them, the taste was good over the days that they lasted, and 
the only difference was that in the humidified beans first crack was 
much louder than 250 Gr of the 35% humidity variety.
I proved, to me anyway, that you CAN rehumidify beans, this does not 
hurt them, but why bother because the rehumidified beans taste the same 
as the ones that had dried to 35% humidity.
Only rehumidify if you want to hear a really loud first crack, or if you 
really care what the weight is per unit of volume.
Hope this helps,
PeterZ
Edward Bourgeois wrote:
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5) From: Joseph Robertson
Nice work Peter.
JoeR
On Thu, Mar 26, 2009 at 11:06 AM, peterz  wrote:
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ee.com
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Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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6) From: Edward Bourgeois
The SCAA standard for moisture content of greens is from 9-13%.
Generally knowing whether the beans are in the middle or more towards
wetter or dryer will help to determine a profile the drying phase.
Faster and hotter if dryer and slower and cooler if wetter.
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list">http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/ Co-President- Ma. Agriculture in the Classroomhttp://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list
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7) From: Edward Bourgeois
The drying phase can be important because under-drying can lead to
grassiness and over-drying can limit flavor development.
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list">http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/ Co-President- Ma. Agriculture in the Classroomhttp://www.aginclassroom.org/Homeroast mailing list
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8) From: Doug Hoople
Interesting stuff.
Makes one wonder:
1) how much variation in moisture content we're getting from bean to bean,
and
2) how much that moisture content changes based on our storage environments
3) if we could get more consistent results from simply ensuring a consistent
moisture level in all beans.
I mean, if this really does make a difference (hard to say without hard
data), then it's a fairly significant element in the roasting cycle.
Any chance that the flavors will develop differently... I'm thinking that a
stir-fried dish turns out very differently if the pan is dry as opposed to
if there's significant liquid. In the first case, all the great tidbits from
browning develop, and in the second case, there are no brown bits at all and
everything winds up steamed.
Is this taking the parallel too far, or is there merit in this avenue of
exploration?
Doug
2009/3/26 Edward Bourgeois 
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9) From: raymanowen
You measured it directly, the very best way, Ed. 2.3g/ 20.0g = 0.115, or
11.5% lost (The 11.5% is a little spurious, since you really have a
significant 11% ± 1% ) When you document your measuring devices, you can't
give greater confidence to the results than the worst measuring device.
If your H-P 35 gave a 9 digit answer, it hurt a little to record only two,
rounding with the third digit- for $406.85 in 1973, and I had to wait 11
weeks for the calculator from Cupertino. Then the '45 came out for the same
price and the '35 dropped $100.
If you use a moisture meter, how much confidence can you have in the numbers
that shine out of a box? It's a derived number that may well depend on the
battery potential or the ambient temperature. Others using the same meter
might have dead batteries or be in a hot jungle.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
It's already white, but it's getting whiter and deeper outside...
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10) From: Benjamin VerHage
That's very interesting. I've noticed my apartment is SUPER dry (San Diego =
in wintertime). So much so that my coffee plants are all developing black t=
ips. We ended up getting a humidifier in our bedroom because we kept waking=
 up feeling dried out and awful.
I posted earlier regarding some issues I've been having with roasting some =
of my beans. Quiet 1st cracks and not a lot of them. Weird flavor developme=
nt that resulted in undrinkable cups. I wonder if humidity is my problem? I=
 used to keep all my beans in a cardboard box with the lid closed in the pl=
astic, sealed bags. Now I keep them in the same box, lid open, in cotton =
bags. With a dry apartment and an open box and bags that no longer seal in =
moisture, I may have found the losing combo! Very interesting. In moving aw=
ay from the plastic bags to the suggested cotton bags, I may have done more=
 harm than good where the moisture lost is more damaging than sitting in a =
plastic bag for a period of time. I will have to experiment further, possib=
ly with the aformentioned humidity sensor.
I did roast some Koratie the other day and it came out perfectly. I'll defi=
nitely have to compare hard beans to soft and roast each of them and note t=
he results.
Thanks for the post!
Ben
From: peterz 
To: homeroast
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 11:06:55 AM
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Moisture content and drying phase,test
Hi Ed,
A short while ago I thought all my beans had gone bad from drying out (Test=
ing showed them at 35% humidity).
I purchased an Acurite humidity sensor from K-Mart, with a remote sending u=
nit, for less than $30.00.
In the mean time I was trying to humidify my beans by bringing the whole st=
orage area up to 55% humidity, and I also ordered a sample pack from our ho=
sts.
The beans came from SM came  and I measured the humidity in the bags with=
 the remote sensor.
All the bags registered between 65% and 70%.
The 'whole area' thing got old quick!
No way was I going to take the room up to 65%!
So I put some water in the bottom of a SS bowl, put 250 Gr of beans on top =
of a screen to separate it from the water, and covered the bowl with clear =
plastic. The humidity sensor inside.
In a few days the domain in the bowl measured 65%, and the beans had increa=
sed in weight to 272 Gr.
I roasted them, the taste was good over the days that they lasted, and the =
only difference was that in the humidified beans first crack was much loude=
r than 250 Gr of the 35% humidity variety.
I proved, to me anyway, that you CAN rehumidify beans, this does not hurt t=
hem, but why bother because the rehumidified beans taste the same as the on=
es that had dried to 35% humidity.
Only rehumidify if you want to hear a really loud first crack, or if you re=
ally care what the weight is per unit of volume.
Hope this helps,
PeterZ
Edward Bourgeois wrote:
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11) From: Mike Koenig
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