HomeRoast Digest


Topic: First Roast Ever (8 msgs / 345 lines)
1) From: Ryan M. Ward
Hey everyone,
I received my green beans today and roasted my first batch of home roasted =
coffee beans today(I decided to try a popcorn maker first, I plan to try ot=
her low tech methods tomorrow). I roasted two batches, the first I brewed s=
hortly after with my French press, I liked the result even for an acidic La=
tin American bean(I bought them from a local guy, I bought the cheapest bea=
ns he had as experimental beans- they are from Mexico). The second batch is=
 sitting next to me, I plan to try it tomorrow after it has outgased overni=
ght. I can already tell that I am hooked and will be shopping for some Suma=
tra beans after I finish this email.
Thanks for all of your valuable advice. I look forward to ordering a roasti=
ng machine in a few months and catching up with all of you(My other half ev=
en gave me the ok to buy the HotTop).
Ryan M. Ward
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2) From: Ray
For roasting coffee beans I use a bread machine from the good will (used to
mix the beans only no heat) it cost $5.00 and a head gun (from harbor
fright) was $10.00 now a little more.  It will roast a pound of beans easy!
To cool the beans I use a stainless steel bowl with 1/8" (about 100+)holes
drilled in the bottom and set in the top of a 5 gallon plastic pail through
the side of the pail about 5" up from the bottom I hooked a shop vacuum to
it, it will cool the beans in about a minute.  The same shop vacuum I use to
clean up chaff from bread machine and around the area of the roast.  This
method works well and you can see and here the beans roasting so you can
pull them when you reach the point you want in your roast. 
AS for the Sumatra beans, I would not buy more than a pound to start until
you know for sure you like them?  To me they have a musty basement taste
some call earthy I call yuck-key.  You may love them that's what makes the
world go around we all like different things.
PS: keep notes of what you like an dislike or you will be roasting the same
beans you hate again...........

3) From: John and Emma
Ray gave some good advice Ryan.
When I started home roasting I didn't take notes on the beans in my first
order. I received a Kenyan that I loved but can't remember which one it was.
Since then I have tried some other Kenyans but can't find the same one that
I liked before. I made up a spreadsheet that has every coffee I have every
ordered since. The columns are coffee (so I have name region etc), Roast
Level, Processing Type, and Result (simply OK, Excellent, one of our
favourites, No). Now when I reorder I can cross reference with the coffee
(so I don't reorder something I didn't like), regions (personally
Guatamela's don't work for me), roast level (maybe for one bean or region I
liked it roasted to C+ but not FC+) and Processing Type (A surprise to me
was we prefer Dry Process beans).
Hope this helps you in your new journey. Enjoy.
John H.

4) From: Ryan M. Ward
"PS: keep notes of what you like an dislike or you will be roasting the same beans you hate again...........   "
Good advice, I had not thought of this. Starbucks employees have to do something similar to this. 
Ryan M. Ward
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5) From: Yakster
Ryan,
Enjoy the roasting. I think there's a lot to be learned by full manual
methods to start like poppers, heat guns, etc so don't be too quick to
upgrade.
A thermometer or digital thermometer/thermocouple can be really
helpful.  I added a glass hurricane lamp globe and a sieve to catch
the chaff to the top of my hot air popper. A variac can adjust temps,
but you can use an extension cord to drop the voltage if your roasts
are too quick.
I'm using a Behmor now and enjoy it with larger batch size and
programmability for reproducible roasts, but you give up control
during the roast.  I'm glad I started with a popper firat (well really
I started on a perf pizza tray in a convection oven, but smoke chased
me out of the house).
-Chris
On 1/9/10, Ryan M. Ward  wrote:
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6) From: Doug Hoople
Hi Ryan,
Congratulations on your first. The real journey has just begun. Enjoy.
btw, if you think that Sumatra is appealing, then consider all the
archipelago origins as well, especially Sulawesi, but also Bali, East Timor,
Java, Flores, etc. They share a lot in common with Sumatra, and most are not
quite as earthy.
Happy roasting, and keep posting your results!
Doug
On Sat, Jan 9, 2010 at 12:40 PM, Ryan M. Ward
wrote:
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7) From: peterz
You just reminded me... when I was back in MA over Christmas and new 
years, I saw a young mom wearing a t-shirt that said "Friends don't let 
friends drink Starbucks!"
It was a DD shirt, but she said she worked at *$. I said to her that *$ 
coffee all tastes burnt, and she replied that that was because they 
roast it so dark.... hmmmmmmmm
cant' argue with that...
Ryan M. Ward wrote:
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8) From: Martin Maney
On Sat, Jan 09, 2010 at 01:20:49PM -0800, Yakster wrote:
<Snip>
Truer words, etc.  I had planned to get a roaster with sampler, but I
reached that decision just about the time SM ran out of the old
Freshroasts.  Then Thanksgiving and the usual "so what's on your Xmas
list?" and I saw the solution to two problems come together.  Somehow,
though, I wound up with 8 assorted pounds of greens and no roaster.
I doubt that I'll continue dog-bowling for long, but it has been an
interesting learning experience.  The more so since the temperature on
the porch hasn't been the same yet for any two batches...  Even the
batches that came out uneven (one slightly scorched in spots) were
interesting, and quite drinkable, at least by me.  And that one that
came out smelling of toll house cookies when freshly ground...  gotta
try to do that again.  ;-)
<Snip>
...
<Snip>
A man after my own heart.  I just noticed that Tom has some videos up
featuring the new Freshroast models, so I guess I'll be making a first
choice pretty soon now.  The Behmor would be possible with the Xmas
gift certificate.  Not being able to do *$-dark roasts isn't a
problem, and as I've had really fresh beans around I find I'm drinking
more than the traditional one mug to wake me up in the morning, so its
preference for 1/2 lb lots doesn't seem so much of a drawback.  But I
can't see any way to measure anything more useful than the chanmber
temperature, and that from a good distance away from the beans...
(I lean towards wanting to measure (and, eventually, automate)
processes anyway, but it's really been bugging me since we stopped by
Second Chance Coffee (online athttp://ihaveabean.com/);saw their
upscaled homebuilt roaster in action and chatted about the monitoring &
control a bit with Pete.  and the result of their roasting has gotten
me through a week when I didn't wish to battle the cold on the porch
again very nicely...)
-- 
If a physicist met a colleague from 100 years ago,
he could teach him some new things; 
if a psychologist met a colleague from 100 years ago,
they'd just get into an ideological argument.  -- Paul Graham
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