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Topic: Need Jim's FreshRoast Variac Roasting Profile (5 msgs / 150 lines)
1) From:
Well, my Pelouze thermometer should be arriving in a day or two with my
Sweet Maria's order, so I'll finally be ready to try the donated Variac.
Had hoped to do it last weekend, but forgot I needed a thermometer for
proper roast profiling...
Mike M. was kind enough to post his Caffe' Rosto roast profile; I've got
several notes from Jim about his Fresh Roast mods, but don't actually have a
variac profile.  Any chance that can be posted?  Anyone else have roast
profiles for the Fresh Roast, using a variac or otherwise?
And any suggestions for mounting the thermometer?  I have the original Fresh
Roast, and it looks like I can poke a hole through the screen in one of the
vent holes on the top of the chaff collector, then maneuver it through one
of the vertical interior vent slots; if the tip isn't near the center of the
roast chamber, I guess I'll have to anchor the thermometer some how at the
proper angle and distance.
   Of course, this means I'll be measuring 'bean mass temp.', like Mike does
currently; I too am thinking about a cheap multimeter and K-probe, which
could probably be mounted to measure the heat source, perhaps underneath the
roast chamber?  Ideas, anyone?
Tod -- also in S.Carolina, like Ron K. (hi Ron; nice tips on the popper
thermo mod!)
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2) From: Mike McGinness
Here's a cut & paste of a previous msg. Jim sent (obviously I saved it ;-):
I've settled on a really slow start for body - 5.5 min - 95 volts - 375F
air, fast
through the first crack (got rough tastes with 2 tests each of Yemen and CR
at slow speeds) - 1.5 to 2 min - 125 volts - 510F air, and a medium paced
finish for a balance of acidity and sweetness - 1 to 2 minutes - 112 volts -
455F air,. I generally roast from a few cracks to the start of the  rolling
- sorry no decent bean temp readings. Total roast times 8 to 9.5 minutes.
Jim - who won't roast without a variac or some other temp control - Schulman
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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3) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Tod,
That's what I get for being asleep at the switch, Mike put up my profile before I 
Some added notes: 
* I've still had no luck using a thermocouple for bean temp monitoring (I'll need 
to buy a few special purpose probes sometime). So I go by the cracks to give 
me my roast stages.
* For the first 45 seconds of the roast I go at 125 Volts (510F), to get the 
beans hot, and to lighten them so they'll agitate at the next stage's lower 
* Then I run at 95 volts (380F) until the timer almost runs out (til 4 1/2 - 5 
minutes into the roast). (This is my "away from the roaster" time while 
roasting - I weigh the next lot, clean chaff off the previous lot, drink coffee, 
etc.). This long (for the FR) ramp up time gives me a litle more body, better 
chocolate and caramel roast flavors (I have no clue why) and a much more 
even roast color. 
*All roasters seem to agree about this initial rampup profile
* Then up to 125 volts for 45 seconds for the first crack's start. At this point, I 
start backing off again, down to 110 - 120 volts for 45 seconds to the end of 
the first crack (see below).
* This part of the profile is more controversial. I personally think, based on my 
own tastings, that bad things happen if the first crack takes too long. My 
findings agree with Sivetz's adage, but others don't think that "hot and fast 
through the first" is important.
* I finish the roast at 100 to 120 volts, depending on the bean. I usually want 
to get 1 to 2 minutes  from the end of the first until the first snaps of the 
second, but prefer a slow 2 to 3 minutes for Brazils, Indonesians, and 
Robustas (all of which I want at a no oil full city and sweet in my espresso). 
* The basic rule here is that a fast finish preserves acidity while a slower finish 
reduces acidity without having to use oily "far into the 2nd crack" roasts. I 
think most roasters agree with this assessment.
I find that Central Americans and Red Sea beans (especially Yrg and Hirazi) 
take more heat, while South American and other Africans get to the second 
way too fast unless one really backs off the heat as the first crack winds 
down. Indonesians also take a lot of time from 1st to 2nd, but since I prefer 
them that way (syrupy and sweet) I don't raise the heat on them, and go to 
105 -110V. If you like your PNGs bright, stay up at 115 - 120 volts for the 
roast finish.
The detailed voltage settings are based on my setup. In order to get the same 
time/temperature profile (which is the important part), you may need to use 
different settings on your variac.
Hoping your roasts have you dancing with joy,
On 13 Jul 2002 at 11:56, tarnim wrote:
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4) From:
< Tod, Here's a cut & paste of a previous msg. Jim sent (obviously I saved
it ;-):
Thanks Mike!
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5) From:
< Hi Tod ...  Mike put up my profile before I could! ... Hoping your roasts
have you dancing with joy, Jim >
Thanks Jim!  My order didn't arrive yet :( , but I'll be experimenting this
week.  Will post my results ... I only have Sulawesi Toraja and Yemen Mokha
Ismaili right now (for regular MJ blend), plus I'll be getting two decafs
for friends, the Ethiopian Ghimbi and Sumatra Mandheling (for a decaf MJ
blend).  I like the idea of developing more body, while not losing the high
notes.  Since I only have a French Press and Swiss one-cup for brewing (and
the lonely Mr. Coffee drip, which gets lonelier every day), I won't be
profiling for espresso just yet.
I'll be especially keen on improving the decaf flavor.  While the decaf is
good, it's not as good/strong/etc. as the regular bean.  Bet I can improve
Tod -- MPIT (Mad Profiler In Training)
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