HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Newbie Introduction and a question.. (18 msgs / 530 lines)
1) From:
Greetings,  I am a new home roaster,.  My first attempt at roasting was with 
a heat gun and a dog bowl appx three weeks ago.  I got my green beans from a 
local coffee shop/roaster who was quite helpful.  I wasn't all that 
impressed with my first attempt, the beans weren't evenly roasted,.. quite 
mottled.  Tasted alright though,.  if I do say so myself,.    I use a 
Baratza Virtuoso Grinder and an Aeropress.
After more reading online,.. I decided to try the Breadmaker/Heatgun 
method,.  with much more sucess.   I've been very happy with my attempts 
except for this one particular roast.
I purchased a sampler from another local roaster and one of the bags was 400 
Grams of Sumatran.  After roasting this to City+ I found that some of the 
beans in the batch were quite a bit lighter than others,..  When I made a 
cup I found that there was a bitter,.. or even an 'off' taste.  Almost like 
laquer?  (Sorry I'm certainly not very experienced at taste descriptions). 
What I was wondering is perhaps I should be inspecting the grean beans 
before I roast them for imperfections.   Is it possible that a bad or moldy 
bean could have ruined my batch?  Is this something that happens often?  I 
have decided that my best chances for getting quality green beans are 
through reputable dealers such as Sweet Marias and in Canada where I'm 
located, Green Beanery.
Anyways,.. just wanted to ask about bad batches,.. because I wasn't able to 
find anything online.
Regards,
Terry Flamand,
Nanaimo, BC Canada
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2) From: R Nepsund
Its not a bad idea to look through the beans after they are roasted
and remove any that are light colored.  I beleve that they are called
quakers.   They were probably not ripe when it was picked.   Some of
the people here inspect their beans under ultraviolet light before
they roast to check for organic contaminants (fungus).  I use a cookie
sheet with a fan blowing over it when cooling my beans.  It make
picking out the off color ones easy.   The dry processed beans have
more of a problem with this than the we processed beans.  The unripe
cherries sink in the water.
On Sat, Nov 14, 2009 at 9:52 PM,   wrote:
....
<Snip>
 a
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like
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s).
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oldy
<Snip>
...
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3) From: Rich
Some people are a bit AR about this.  I like dry processed Ethiopian 
coffee.  I roast the beans and then grind them.  I do not inspect them. 
  It still makes outstanding coffee.
R Nepsund wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: Allon Stern
On Nov 16, 2009, at 9:32 PM, R Nepsund wrote:
<Snip>
Here is a picture from back before Tom learned how to spell ;)http://www.sweetmarias.com/dictionary.php?category=process#quakersHowever, quoting one of his reviews:http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.archive.new.php?country=Ethiopia<Snip>">http://sweetmarias.com/hararroast.jpgand a definition:http://www.sweetmarias.com/dictionary.php?category=process#quakersHowever, quoting one of his reviews:http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.archive.new.php?country=Ethiopia<Snip>
So pick out a few quakers, but don't over do it :)
I usually don't bother. With quality greens from SM, it just isn't an  
issue.
On another note, I have on occasion seen a pebble during the roasting  
(the beans get darker colored, but the pebbles don't :) and tried to  
find it by laying out the beans on a cookie sheet; while this is  
easier than digging through a ziploc bag (how I usually store my  
roasted coffee), the problem of transferring coffee from said cookie  
sheet presents certain difficulties. If I try to tip it up with a  
corner in the bag (or other receptacle), the rim of the cookie sheet  
stacks up the beans, and eventually you get beans falling off the  
sheet and not into the target container.
What do YOU do to avoid this? Do you use a sheet that doesn't have  
raised edges all around?
-
allon
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5) From: Greg Hollrigel
I use a deep dish pizza pan and then funnel the beans with my hands for
canning.
Greg
On Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 6:52 PM, Allon Stern  wrote:
<Snip>
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6) From: Doug Hoople
Hi Terry,
Welcome to homeroasting! It's a long and sometimes frustrating journey, but
most of us who've been here for a while wouldn't think of having our coffee
any other way.
You haven't really told us much about how you're roasting, other than to say
that you started with heat gun/dog bowl (HG/DB) and to say that your next
attempt was with heat gun/breadmaker (do we have an acronym for that?!?).
You didn't tell us how long you roasted, how quickly you brought things up
to temp, what the timing was (in minutes and seconds) at 1st crack, what the
timing was at 2nd crack. You also didn't tell us the capacity of the
breadmaker or the capacity of the dog bowl and the weight or volume of the
beans you were using. All of these factors will make a huge difference in
your roasts, and will very likely play a role in your results.
I'd be likely to believe that the bad taste you're getting off the 2nd batch
has more to do with your roasting procedure than any particular defects in
the raw materials. I've never had a single batch go off because of bad
beans, and the odd quaker in your cup generally won't make much difference
in the flavor.
What will make a big difference is how quickly you got to first crack, and
how quickly you brought the beans up to temp. If you applied a lot of heat
early, for example, it's highly likely that you roasted the outsides of the
beans and left the insides relatively raw. That leads to a bitter, grassy
taste. If you started out very hot and got to first crack in 5 minutes or
so, I'd bet almost anything that this is what you're tasting.
My roasts with heat gun generally take about 8-11 minutes to get to 1st
crack, and I deliberately start at a fairly low temperature to bring them up
slowly so that the whole bean is in a consistent state for 1st crack. I had
to work to get that kind of gradual initial ramp. I started with an iRoast2,
a machine that is very hard to slow down, and I had a number of roasts that
had artifacts from moving too fast through the phases.
Let us know a little about your procedure, and you can expect a lot of
really good responses from this list.
And let us know how it's going as you make your way! We've all been newbies
ourselves.
Doug
On Sat, Nov 14, 2009 at 9:52 PM,  wrote:
<Snip>
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7) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
As Terry mentions, high initial heat, or the coffee suddenly 
contacting a really hot surface, will lead to scorching and some bad 
roast taste. Another way you can easily find out if you are 
thoroughly roasting you coffee from the exterior to interior is to 
compare a sample of whole bean and their surface color with a ground 
sample from the same batch, and do it under a good strong white 
light. If you quint to blur your vision a bit it can help. If the 
ground coffee is appreciably lighter then you are under-roasting the 
interior, or vice versa. Just another thought... -Tom
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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8) From:

9) From:
Good tip as well, Thank-you! From now on I'll check that.
cheers,
Terry

10) From: R Nepsund
<Snip>
Of course   HG/BM.   We have acronyms for everything. :-)
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11) From:
Thank-you for your reply.  I had a hard time finding anything about coffee 
defects.   I appreciate the links.  (Especially the dictionary link,.. might 
even cut down on some of my questions if I hit the dictionary first...)
I also found a pebble in one of the bags of roasted beans I bought from a 
local roaster/coffee house.  It stopped my virtuoso grinder dead!  Not good 
for the burrs, I'm sure.  ;)
As far as pouring beans off a cookie sheet goes,.. I would suggest using a 
piece of paper curled up as a funnel,.. not quite as fancy as a canning 
funnel,.. but much easier to find and cheaper too.  I suppose you could also 
cut the corner off one of your cookie sheets, but I definately think my wife 
is too big and mean for me to consider that as a viable option..   ;)
Cheers,
Terry
<Snip>
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12) From: Yakster
I do mostly pre-roast culling of beans, but I'll cull shells and rocks
before and after the roast.  Being a geek, I did read with interest
about using UV light to spot mold and picked up a UV flashlight.
Works great to spot pet stains, unclean bathrooms, and provides
additional contract to cull the beans and does spot mold, but it
hasn't really proved all that useful.  I also cull beans that are too
small for the small Behmor drum.  I pour my beans out into two
disposable aluminum pans to cull and weight the beans with fairly high
sides.
<Snip>
I have a high tech solution to this, I use a canning funnel or the
AeroPress funnel on my Behmor drum or canning jar (where I keep my
beans) and cradle the corner with my hands to keep the beans from
spilling over, my hands form a higher wall to keep the beans from
going over the edge.
-Chris
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13) From: Yakster
On Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 10:06 PM,   wrote:
<Snip>
ast was at 10:08pm on a stormy windy night.  I also opened the garage doo=
r to help some of the smoke.  I used 425grams of green and didn't prewarm=
 the breadmaker at all before starting.
Ah, that reminds me of my popcorn popper roasts.  I'd roast under the
open garage door to keep the smoke out of the garage... it was kind of
fun roasting during the rain with just the door keeping me dry.  Last
winter it seemed like it would only rain the days when I was roasting
for weeks on end.
<Snip>
ard a second crack.  At 49, I can't really claim to have the best of hear=
ing,. but with the BM paddle turning and the HG on, I can't really hear any=
 fine nuances of what I've read that second crack sounds like.  I conside=
red stopping the hg/bm and listening,.. but I didn't want to risk stalling =
the roast,.
<Snip>
Sometimes first crack will roll right into second crack and it can be
hard to hear the difference.  Other times, second crack can just be
plain hard to hear, and the volume and character can change with the
beans.
Another way to tell when you've hit second crack is by the character
of the smoke coming out of the roaster.  I've thought about using my
daughter's stethoscope on the side of the Behmor, but never gone that
far.  One one of the coffee forums, I even heard rumors that someone
is working on a crack detection system for a coffee roaster, but it's
all very hush-hush.
-Chris
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14) From: Sam49
16 plus to 1st crack is likely to be too slow.  Tom has chimed in 
several times to remind people that the times which are good roasting 
parameters for drum roasting are not the same time parameters that are 
best for fluid bed and other roasting methods.  HG/BM is much more like 
fluid bed than drum roasting.
5 minutes to get to first crack is not necessarily too fast - it happens 
in fluid bed setups with excellent results all the time.  3 minutes is a 
problematic time frame, but not necessarily 5 - but then you are far 
away from that.  Read Tom's posts on this.
Early in my reading about home roasting I found a web page or posting 
that gave what proved to be some good ideas for beginning roasters.
Use small batches of beans so your possible and perhaps inevitable 
mistakes won't be so costly.
Early on, or first, do a small batch in which you really put the heat to 
it, going trough 1st crack, continuing on until 2nd crack, through 2nd 
crack and to the beginning of when you think you are going to burn the 
beans - a dark dark Turkish / Spanish type of roast.  This will allow 
you to hear the beans progress through all the stages of roasting so you 
won't be wondering what they are like.
Repeat if necessary if 2nd crack isn't clear.  You don't have to do this 
at absolutely full heat with a HG or with the nozzle extremely close to 
the beans, but with the heat intense enough that stalling the beans is 
not a question.  You can switch the HG off for a few seconds or just 
move it arms length away to decrease competing noise.  Once 2nd crack, 
which is endothermic, is rolling, it will sustain itself so turning the 
HG off for a few seconds won't damage the roast.
Then do a roast just until the 1st few 1st cracks, the bottom edge of 
drinkability for some, undrinkable for others.  Find out what very 
lightly roasted or underroasted, depending on your taste bud genetic 
biology, looks like and tastes like.
Next, do one until 1st crack has ended.  Don't worry about going too slowly.
You could do these roasts in different order but I think going on 
through 2nd crack for the 1st one is best.
After these 3 roasts you will have a better idea of the sounds of 
roasting on your setup.
Your temp readings are way low.  First crack takes approximately 405-425 
so keeping track of data during these three runs and coupling that with 
what you have will give you an idea of how to interpret the data you are 
getting or motivate you to reposition the probe to get data closer to 
the real bean temps.  Read and look at Tom's guide on the stages of 
roasting for more info in this. 
Unless you have a known hearing deficiency, I doubt that being 49 is 
hampering your hearing significantly.  I'm 60.  It can be difficult to 
hear 2nd over the roar of a HG, but once you know what it sounds like, 
you'll be OK.  I doubt that you ever got to 2nd roast with the temps you 
reported (even making an adjustment based on your 1st crack report) - 
2nd is likely to begin around 440 and continue on from there for about 
20 degrees.  Again look at Tom's roasting stages guide.
There are often a few beans the go into 1st or 2nd crack early because 
those individual beans are hotter than the average bean in your bean 
mass.  Don't get misled by outliers.
Sam
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15) From: Brian Kamnetz
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16) From: raymanowen
I could name a supplier of green coffee and coffee supplies with whom you
will have a much better experience than a mixture of variety crop beans that
mottle or won't roast evenly.
If you have found a local supplier of green coffee that sells you the dregs
from his garbage dumpster, I suggest you "Go Fishing." I have roasted some
old beans from an origin near the South Chinese sea.
Maintained in a dark, cool, constant humidity, they have never given an
unpleasant Paisley roast. Even after 4 years, they yield a floral, fragrant
roast because they've all had identical constant storage conditions.
Phooey on a whole bunch of "look bad." Could even look like a 4-letter word-
The Cup trumps Looks!
Cheers, Mabuhay, Iechyd da -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
Persist in old ways; expect different results - suborn Insanity...
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17) From: Joseph Robertson
As it should and I hope always will.....
Cup on...
On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 7:10 PM,  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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18) From: raymanowen
Just fixxed the born-in-China Wagner HT-1000 again (3rd time)- Thermal fuse,
broken end of the Nichrome heater and this time, a bad splice coupling at
the heater tap for a voltage divider to the motor through its ballast.
Beware the Hammer Mechanic- Have 'scope, will travel!
But it wurkt. I "lost" the safety/ flow restrictor plate from the heat
chimney nose first time I opened it up, so maybe the new one would be
hotter, with reduced air flow. Sarah wanted to supply some fresh roasted
coffee for her employees, so she dropped for a new heat gun- "Third time's a
charm, pop."
"Save your money, kiddo- lemme fix it up."
I checked online. The HT-1000's are $19.99 at Lowe's right now. There was
just one of the older, black bodied HT-1000's like mine on the shelf with a
mess of Glorious People's Yellow HT-1000's on the shelf. For $19.99, I'll
look around and see if I can snag another black model.
This probably helps offset the cost of the recall of the Digital Heat Guns.
Now I have a Fixxer-Upper, Upper, Upper and a NIB model, both with herkin'
intake filters added. I, too, have a digital model. It's how I hold it
With the Oldie but Goodie, I got a 57/43 blend of Bolivia FTO
 Caranavi/ Costa Rica Naranjo Caracol PB to about a C# roast. (2nd just
started, then slam on the brakes) Filled most of a 1qt Mason jar, plus half
of a McCutcheon's Black Raspberry preserves jar.
The citric acid in the preserves must be the gateway to the permeability- ?
of the glass by the fruit aroma. I recommend it highly. Pending the cup
flavor, these gorgeous, aromatic beans might make a 63/37 ratio of Bolivia/
C/R next time, perchance my favorite solder metallurgy.
I used to be unable to wait while fresh roasted beans rested. I know better.
They're gaining momentum. I've loosened the lid on the McCutcheon's jar a
couple of times. How nice is that? 's wonderful!
Cheers, Mabuhay, Iechyd da -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
Persist in old ways; expect different results - suborn Insanity...
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