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Topic: what's happening with these beans? (19 msgs / 463 lines)
1) From: Kim Phipps
A bit puzzled: I was roasting some Ethiopia Harar Longberry last night in my Nesco roaster. Didn't load it too full, ambient room temp was warm, machine plugged directly into wall outlet. (no power strip or extension cord) I roasted for a full 24 minutes (not on the cooling cycle) to the point where the beans were very dark, and I was starting to get some smoke. (the machine absorbs most of the smoke)  Since I wanted a lighter roast on these, I pulled them and quickly cooled them down in colander. They are quite dark, but not yet oily. The strange part is, I never heard one single crack. The machine is noisy, but I always hear at least *some* of the cracking. I broke a few open, and they seem roasted all the way through. Is it possible that some beans don't crack, or have a quieter crack? Or did I just not let them roast long enough, in spite of the color and smoke level? Will taste tonight after sufficient rest, but I'm not very experienced with the Ethiopians, so I don't totally know what I would be expecting. Any thoughts?
Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast. -- Oscar Wilde
Kim Phipps         kphipps
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2) From: Yakster
I have run across some beans or roasts where the cracks have been much
quieter then usual.  How do the beans look in terms of the crack (still
shut, opened up) and the chaff?  My experience with dry processed Ethiopia
coffee is that you get a lot of chaff from the roast, was there a lot of
chaff blown off the beans?
Could these have been older or drier beans.  It can be hard to get good
cracks from low-moisture beans.
-Chris
On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 11:59 AM, Kim Phipps  wrote:
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3) From: raymanowen
I received my 2-Fivers of Ethiopia Harar Longberry beans on 3 Jun. Having
too much fun with the last pound of CostaRica roast, espresso, pour-over and
Turkish brews to worry the exigencies of a new roast til now.
OK- here's the scoop. I string a 15-ft, 12-ga extension cord out through the
mail slot to the car port where I add two power strips to power the bread
machine, heat gun and the cooling blower is switched by the 2nd power strip.
I just roasted 1 pound of Ethiopia Harar Longberry 2:30 beyond the
completion of 1st Crack. There was no doubt about the onset of 1st Crack, or
its completion.
Actually, I was listening very closely since -Chris described it as "much
quieter than usual." I did hear what I would describe as a "preliminary" 1st
Crack. It started and completed within a minute, 2 minutes before The Real
1st Crack cut loose. I've never been listening that closely before, so never
noticed the very faint snaps. At least 20dB below the normal level of 2nd
Crack sound, which never developed.
I usually ease a little into 2nd Crack and slam on the brakes. Not this
time- 2:30 after the absolute last pop of 1st- it took about 20 sec to make
'em cold to the touch. Quite a warm day. Just cooled into the 80's when I
started roasting.
The deep drawn bread pan of the bread machine is a demi-parabola and aims
all the sound of the beans upward. That's where I am in relation to the
bread machine when I roast, so it's a good set-up. ++Chaff- Yes, ++Smoke-
Yes. Eyes still smarting. Maybe wear my chem goggles next time...
No question about the sound of 1st Crack and its completion. These are the
very same beans and they're not likely to be the problem unless you've
stored them in the dry heat in a cloth bag. That's the way to get rid of
moisture the beans had when they left SM.
With the warm weather, "ambient room temp was warm," as you said, probably
lots of new  electrical load in the form of air conditioners on the grid. I
just measured an unloaded circuit at 119.6vac at the high point. Normal
around here has always been 125vac.
Maybe that makes the heat gun run cooler. The beans don't know from cool- I
hold the HG closer. They're beautiful in the Mason jar.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
Persist in old ways; expect new results - suborn Insanity...
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4) From: sci
Kim,
I just roasted a batch of the Harar Longerry in my QM3 a couple of days ago.
I heard very few 1st cracks (maybe only 3 or 4 in a 225g batch), and the Q
is a very quiet machine. You can barely tell it is running (with no beans in
it). So, I'd say don't worry about that. You are correct to think that 1st
cracks vary.  Some beans have lively 1st crack phase, others are lame like
this one. As for the 24 minute roast time, try to get that down. I have
never used that machine, but plenty of others can give advice on it. One tip
may be to use it where the room temperature is higher.
Ivan
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2011 10:59:25 -0700
From: Kim Phipps 
To: homeroast
Subject: [Homeroast] what's happening with these beans?
Message-ID: <680DD226-2E8C-4CC3-B431-802DA91BA63A>
Content-Type: text/plain; CHARSET-ASCII
A bit puzzled: I was roasting some Ethiopia Harar Longberry last night in my
Nesco roaster. Didn't load it too full, ambient room temp was warm, machine
plugged directly into wall outlet. (no power strip or extension cord) I
roasted for a full 24 minutes (not on the cooling cycle) to the point where
the beans were very dark, and I was starting to get some smoke. (the machine
absorbs most of the smoke)  Since I wanted a lighter roast on these, I
pulled them and quickly cooled them down in colander. They are quite dark,
but not yet oily. The strange part is, I never heard one single crack. The
machine is noisy, but I always hear at least *some* of the cracking. I broke
a few open, and they seem roasted all the way through. Is it possible that
some beans don't crack, or have a quieter crack? Or did I just not let them
roast long enough, in spite of the color and smoke level? Will taste tonight
after sufficient rest, but I'm not very experienced with the Ethiopians, so
I don't totally know what I would be expecting. Any thoughts?
Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast. -- Oscar Wilde
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5) From: Michael Mccandless
Humidity is a factor.
I find that many beans show a dramatic 1st crack increase when humidity is
60 - 65.
MMc
On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 10:11 AM, sci  wrote:
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6) From: Joseph Robertson
I don't have the data and research to support this comment but with my
limited scientific mind I would venture to say the moisture content of the
bean/beans in question has a significant bearing on the audible level and
dramatic nature of the 1st. C.
Joe
On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 3:26 PM, Michael Mccandless
wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Joseph Robertson
Sasquatch Coffee Roasters
Craft Coffee Roasting by Design
joe http://www.jolindas.com(360)521-3104     PO Box 451 Stevenson,Washington 98648 USA
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7) From: Michael Mccandless
I have taken wimpy beans form 30% to 65% and the difference was dramatic.
1st went from wimpy to dramatic & made the resulting finished roast
considerably more flavorful.
Seems to be easier to control the roast.
I now monitor moisture as part of the process.
MMc
On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 8:06 PM, Joseph Robertson wrote:
<Snip>
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8) From: Lynne
Wondering - how do you do that?
Lynne
On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 11:38 PM, Michael Mccandless 

9) From: Joseph Robertson
Humidifier?
On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 9:11 PM, Lynne  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Joseph Robertson
Sasquatch Coffee Roasters
Craft Coffee Roasting by Design
joe http://www.jolindas.com(360)521-3104     PO Box 451 Stevenson,Washington 98648 USA
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10) From: Michael Mccandless
I use plastic containers W/slots cut in the side & filled W/florists foam -
RO water.
Monitor w/"little cigar" type digital meter.
MMc
On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 9:11 PM, Lynne  wrote:
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11) From: sci
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 20:38:40 -0700
Michael,
How can we measure the humidity in our beans and alter that humidity if it
is needed?
I live in a very humid climate (NC) so I have not worried with beans drying
out as one might expect in an arid zone. My greens may even be absorbing
some humidity. Most of the time, my 1Cs are clear, but occasionally
something like this Harar comes along.
Ivan
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: Michael Mccandless 
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
       list,   available athttp://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"       
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] what's happening with these beans?
Message-ID:
       
Content-Type: text/plain; charsetO-8859-1
I have taken wimpy beans form 30% to 65% and the difference was dramatic.
1st went from wimpy to dramatic & made the resulting finished roast
considerably more flavorful.
Seems to be easier to control the roast.
I now monitor moisture as part of the process.
MMc
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12) From: Archeobob
Ivan,
Usually an inexpensive hygrometer will give you a fair indicator 
of the humidity in your storage bag/area.
Here in Parker CO we hover around 15-20% and drop below that in 
the Fall & Winter. Once upon I time I played with a humidor made 
from a beer cooler to keep the beans hydrated, but gave it up 
when my stash got too big.
For those in arid areas, humidor instructions here: http://www.igtc.com/~pmm/tupperdor.html ... hardest thing to 
find was the propylene glycol, until I thought of the cigar 
shop!
Bob
--------------------------------------------------
From: "sci" 
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2011 11:41 AM
To: 
Subject: [Homeroast] what's happening with these beans?
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 20:38:40 -0700
Michael,
How can we measure the humidity in our beans and alter that 
humidity if it
is needed?
I live in a very humid climate (NC) so I have not worried with 
beans drying
out as one might expect in an arid zone. My greens may even be 
absorbing
some humidity. Most of the time, my 1Cs are clear, but 
occasionally
something like this Harar comes along.
Ivan
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
From: Michael Mccandless 
To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for 
this
       list,   available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"       
Subject: Re: [Homeroast] what's happening with these beans?
Message-ID:
       
Content-Type: text/plain; charsetO-8859-1
I have taken wimpy beans form 30% to 65% and the difference was 
dramatic.
1st went from wimpy to dramatic & made the resulting finished 
roast
considerably more flavorful.
Seems to be easier to control the roast.
I now monitor moisture as part of the process.
MMc
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13) From: Michael Mccandless
I use tube type Hygrometers like "Little Havana".
Accurate and inexpensive.
SM beans delivered to AZ are usually 35% - 45%.
Too  high humidity runs the risk of an environment conducive to mold growth.
Too dry and I believe the beans roast a little faster.
IIRC 1st crack is caused by H2O expanding.
I use RO water to hydrate.
Store in warm - dry area to dehydrate.
MMc
On Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 10:41 AM, sci  wrote:
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14) From: Rich
Propylene Glycol = Sierra 100% antifreeze
On 07/22/2011 04:28 PM, Archeobob wrote:
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15) From: miKe mcKoffee
Your "Little Havana" may be "accurate" for atmospheric humidity but not for
coffee greens. FWIW greens moisture content is Not 35-45%. The target greens
moisture content is 10% + - a couple %. Mold becomes an issue greens above
12%. And think about it. IF your greens moisture content was say 40%, you'd
experience a corresponding close to 40% weight loss during roasting. Quite
certain ya ain't seeing that.
Here's an H-B discussion on how to actuall measure greens moisture content:http://www.home-barista.com/home-roasting/measuring-moisture-content-of-green-coffee-t13613.html
Slave to the Bean  miKe mcKoffee
www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
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16) From: Michael Mccandless
Semantics.
MMc
On Sun, Jul 24, 2011 at 7:10 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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17) From: miKe mcKoffee
Stating "SM beans delivered to AZ are usually 35% - 45%" isn't a matter of
semantics, it's flat inaccurate.
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18) From: Michael Mccandless
OK  "35% - 45% atmospheric"
MMc
On Sun, Jul 24, 2011 at 8:35 PM, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
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19) From: Martin Maney
On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 10:59:25AM -0700, Kim Phipps wrote:
<Snip>
  ...
<Snip>
Like everyone has been saying, it varies.  I don't doubt that the
beans' moisture content matters, but I also know that different beans
that are sitting right next to each other in cloth bags (for half a
year!) in a pretty stable indoor environment can nonetheless have quite
different sound levels.
One of the most useful tricks I've learned about roasting with the
Nesco is to take advantage of something it makes visible that few if
any others do: the overall volume of the bean mass.  The notes in the
forum posting are a bit sketchy, the image is blurry, and it's all a
bit of an early, sloppy take, but apparently I haven't updated this:http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f%&tÉ5#p4724-- 
To be alive, is that not to be
again and again surprised?  -- Nicholas van Rijn
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