HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Shelf life of roasted coffee (27 msgs / 1118 lines)
1) From:
On Fri, 9 Aug 2002 20:11:05 -0400 "R.N.Kyle"  wrote:
<Snip>
Congratulations!
<Snip>
I was given some vac sealed like that - home vac sealed, don't know if it was
a Tilla, and the packaging had seriously puffed out.  One package had a hole
it in along the seal, but I don't know if it was from the CO2 pressure
bursting a pre-existing weak spot in the seal, or if the hole came from
something else.  Made the box smell really nice, and the delivery lady was
amused to be dropping off *roasted* beans for a change.  Probably the longer
the stuff was allowed to degas, the less puffing of the packaging would occur.
We coffee snobs may consider the shelf life to be only a few days, but my
experience has been recipients think it tastes great even after a couple of
weeks.  I've given homeroast gifts before, and tasted it three weeks later
when I visited, and it's still good.  My husband and I could tell the
difference between the 3-week old stuff (still in the one-way-valve ziplock
Tom sells) and the 3-day old ... but it was still fine.  The audience didn't
know it should have tasted better.  Compared to their normal fare of Sanka,
Folgers & *$, even month-old homeroast is a major treat.
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2) From: Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX
A few of my friends (PhD's and postdocs) thought that coffee could be
kept for a long time if vacuum sealed. Opinion varies, but still I'd
toss if it's more than a few weeks old if deeply frozen, or a week old
otherwise. But I need to understand that the vacuum sealing make it
look like it can be kept for a long time. It should be given out with
big warning, I guess.
Vacuum sealed roasted beans tend not to degas and bulge out if kept
refrigerated or better frozen immedeately after vacuum sealing. It
also tastes like haven't been degassed if you drink straight out of
frozen bag after several days of storage.
Ryuji
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3) From: R.N.Kyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
That's what I thought . I wonder if you degas first, then vac seal
Ron Kyle
a coffee roaster from South Carolina
rnkyle

4) From: Charlie Herlihy
 >I wonder if you degas first, then vac seal
<Snip>
Ok if you freeze it,then don't even bother to degas it
much, but roasted coffee degases for weeks, even
months. The only roasted coffee you'll see for sale
vac sealed without a valve(brickpacked) has been
thoroughly degased by sitting for over a month in
storage. Otherwise the bags always pop eventually. At
least this is what someone who worked in the industry
told me. Makes sense.
Charlie
=====
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5) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
Ryuji wrote that "...vacuum sealed roasted beans tend not to degas..." Why
do you state that, Ryuji?
It seems to me that the vacuum should help to "suck the CO2 out of the
beans."
We never refrigerate or freeze our vacuum stored coffee. I try to put the
beans into the canister within minutes of roasting and cooling -- and vacuum
by the Tilia machine, and store in dark at room temperature.
We have never tried any scientific experiment, but it seems to me that when
I open a vacuumed canister of coffee after about 12 hours, I can smell a lot
of CO2.
Cheers, Lubos
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6) From: Ryuji Suzuki -- JF7WEX
From: "Irene and Lubos Palounek" 
Subject: +Shelf life of roasted coffee 
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 21:18:48 -0500
<Snip>
I did not say that. You have omitted the part "if frozen" in your quote.
<Snip>
So what I said does not apply to your case.
Ryuji
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7) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
Now I understand, Ryuji.  Originally, I read it as two statements:
"Vacuum sealed roasted beans tend not to degas" and "bulge out if kept
refrigerated or better frozen immediately after vacuum sealing."
Now I understand and agree that:
"Vacuum sealed roasted beans ... if kept refrigerated or frozen immediately
after vacuum sealing .. tend not to degas and bulge out."
Sorry, Lubos
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8) From: Kevin DuPre
The roaster I am working with for my business has
demonstrated to me that the peak flavor resulting from
degassing occurs at around 72 hours. This has been
confirmed by observing the bean chemistry using a gas
chromatograph - I've seen the successive graphs and
have confirmed that stabilization seems to occur at
about this time UNDER THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS:
Immediately following roasting, and after cooling
(uses a highly modified 20 lb SanFranciscan drum
roaster with density-altitude compensation for the
burner) the roasted beans are "stone-vacuumed"
(stones, even a tiny one in your grinder will kill the
burrs, assuming you use a burr grinder)
Following this the beans are vacuum sealed to remove
the AIR (AIR is the enemy of freshness, not CO2)
followed with a nitrogen purge before the heat seal is
applied to the [valve] bag.  The nitrogen assures that
no oxygen is present, thereby arresting oxidation.  I
am told that this is the same technique used by
Lavazza in their commercial roasted [arabica] beans
which they distribute to some of the finest
restaurants in the world.  What I am told is that
coffee packaged this way can last a year or two. I'll
take the conservative route and try to serve my coffee
to my customers within 9 days of the roast.  With the
number of varieties I'll be carrying and have on hand,
I expect a complete inventory turn every 9 days -
maybe sooner.  Since most of my shelf products will be
packaged this way, the clock doesn't start until I
open the bag.
Those of us who aren't as fortunate to do this at
home, can live with about 4-12 hours rest (if you pack
in a valvebag, the CO2 purges the oxygen anyway as it
replaces the oxygen vented from the bag if you squeeze
as much of the air out as possible after closing the
bag.  We get peak somewhere between 4-24 hours
although I have noticed the characteristic "great
smell" somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-6 hours.  I
typically only roast about a half pound at a time and
my wife and I go through this in about 4-5 days so I
don't have an idea for when staling starts to occur
with a home roast.
<Snip>
=====
--
Kevin DuPre
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9) From: Lee XOC
I am really glad this thread came up, as I have been wondering about
the quality of my roasts lately.  I had been having problems with my
roaster a while ago, and I'm now using a brand-new replacement FR+
(thanks Tim!).  My problem now though is that the roasted beans only
seem to stay fresh for a single day, and then they seem to loose
almost all their flavor.  I've been storing them in clear glass
jelly/canning jars, which I cap loosely for the first 2 days, then
tightly.  The first day the jar usually smells great, then ... no
smell, no flavor.  In the past I've capped tightly right away, and the
jar opens with a loud hiss the next day, expelling the trapped carbon
dioxide.  In this case I've also found that trapping the co2 inhibits
the flavor permanently.
I recently got a "pump-n-seal", which is a little hand-operated
plunger-type vacuum gizmo (perfect accompaniment for you Zass
enthusiasts).  It can be used either on bags or on canning jars
themselves, provided you cap them with the typical metal caps with the
spongy layer on the underside which creates a seal when it's screwed
on tightly.  You take a push-pin and puncture the cap, then apply a
little check valve over it, which looks like a tiny band-aid.  Then
you pump the air out and the jar is sealed.  I haven't tried this yet
on a fresh roast; for now I've just sealed the beans I've had already
roasted.
One question that came to mind, though, was the effect of the vacuum
on the degassing beans.  I wonder if it might tend to cause the beans
to degas more forcefully than they do under normal atmospheric
conditions, and if this might not force out more of the flavor along
with the CO2.  After all, when you smell a great aroma, isn't that a
lot flavor molecules wafting off the beans and into the air?  CO2 by
itself doesn't have a smell.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Lee xoC
San Diego,
California
------------------------------
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10) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Lee XOC" 
 One question that came to mind, though, was the effect of the vacuum
<Snip>
Vac'ing and re-vac'ing my roasted beans (FoodSaver in jars) I always get
that wonderful aroma, even 4 or 5 days later. Both when I pop the seal to
pour for a grind and while re-vac'ing. Part of the fun...  Some have
theorized that vac'ing immediately after roasting may speed up inital
degassing (but maintaining vac prolongs peak flavor keeping oxygen out.) So
it can have an added benefit, roasts ready for consumption sooner...
MM;-)
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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11) From: coffenut
Lee,
I've recently been putting the beans into vac-sealed Mason jars right
after roasting and leaving them alone for 2-3 days before unsealing.
Before that, I was using the gold foil bags that Tom sells.  I don't
find that the flavor is diminished at all using either of those methods
with a seal time of several days.  It starts to fall off after about 5-6
days though, but is still tasty enough to be used.  I recall Tom once
saying that it was better to get the beans into an oxygen free container
as soon as the beans have cooled after roasting.  That's what I've been
doing for several years and it seems to be a good method.
However, there's something to these variations in degassing
methods/results (maybe it's just personal taste).  There are people that
feel their coffee is better being left open air for a day then sealed,
those that seal right away and other combinations.  There are roaster
differences, differences in bean behavior (degassing time, best aging
for flavor), etc that also have impact.  I just know what works for me,
but that may not produce the same results for you.
Coffenut  :^)
<Snip>
 
<Snip>
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12) From: R.N.Kyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I really think that at least a 3 days allowed for degassing, and then =
vac-seal, may be the method I will try, I'll post the results . Thanks =
for the suggestions.
Ron Kyle
a coffee roaster from South Carolina
rnkyle

13) From: R.N.Kyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
thanks for the information, I always have thought, that 3 days was about =
right, in my limited experience, I've found that degassing seems to =
really slow down after about 3 days. thanks again
Ron Kyle
a coffee roaster from South Carolina
rnkyle

14) From: R.N.Kyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hey Lee
I use a FR+ and I store roasted beans in a mason jar just after cooling, =
tightly sealed, and crack the seal twice the first day, and then once a =
day after that. I rest my coffee, dependent on the variety roasted, 24 =
to 72 hours, I have not notice the taste declining for up to 5 days, now =
that I have the vac seal, This may extend the shelf life. Just got it =
last Friday, and experimenting now. 
I do not know exactly why your roasted beans seem stale after just one =
day?
Ron Kyle
a coffee roaster from South Carolina
rnkyle

15) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
"...I really think that at least a 3 days allowed for degassing, and then
vac-seal, may be the method I will try..."
Ron, perhaps I have not followed this discussion closely enough and I
apologize. I believe that what "spoils" the roasted coffee is the oxygen in
the air, and that carbon dioxide does not "spoil" the beans. Why would you
add a three-day "spoiling period in the air" before storing the coffee in
vacuum? Some people claim that vacuum accelerates the degassing and consider
that a good feature. I don't remember reading anywhere that storing in
"diluted" (partially vacuumed) carbon dioxide would harm the coffee.
Regards, Lubos
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16) From: Kevin DuPre
I learned my storage technique from the roasters I
received samples from for my upcoming business
venture. They either vac purge and nitro fill or
simple vac purge, or just let the beans naturally
degas into a closed valvebag.
I not only talked with these roasters but also did
some reading and I will tell you that for the little
time I have been roasting (just a little over 2 weeks
and 17 or so batches later through a Fresh Roast), my
roasted coffee AND blends easily beat several of the
roasters' coffees, and Caribou and Starbucks in
quality flavor and character.  Easily!  Of the
roasters that were worth short-listing and selecting
from, ALL used valvebags [typically from Pacific Bag]
to deliver their product in.  All were heat-sealed. 
I received samples from Pacific bag in half and 1 lb.
size valve bags, since I will be repackaging bulk for
my over the counter and over the web customers. I am
looking at vac purge/nitro flush/heat sealing
equipment as well for the business side of things.
My roasts through the fresh roast have been either
city, full-city, and in the case of the components
used for my "espresso blend #1", espresso roast style.
I run the Fresh Roast with closed vents and have just
modified it to use a 550 degree thermometer raised to
the fill line to monitor bean temperature.
Last night I roasted some Columbian MC Decaf to a city
roast, starting the cooldown about 11 seconds beyond
2nd crack which in the FR turned out to be about 450
degrees. I use the default cooldown time built in to
the FR's timer and dump the batch into a pie tin to
finish cooling. 4 batches later gives me enough to
fill a half pound bag.  Before putting in the bag, I
pour the beans between two stainless steel bowls
(unless I'm blending which I do with my hands) until
they are about 80 degrees.  I fold down the top of the
bag on itself twice and squeeze all the air out and
clip with a kitchen clip or binder clip.  About 4
hours later you can go near the bag and experience
"The Smell" - you know which one I'm talking about. 
No Vac or revac - the natural degas purges just fine
on its own. I use the coffee once or twice a day until
its gone, brewing through a filter cone and manual
drip method directly into a karafe.  Each time I close
the bag, I squeeze all the air out.  For the roasts
which have made it to over a week, they still smell
fresh as the day they were roasted.  Since the beans
are in some state of degas for up to 72 hours,
roasting enough for 5 days gives me coffee that is or
seems to be for my experienced (and my friends tell
me, somewhat snobby) palate.
Get valve bags for storage if you don't already use
them.  Hundreds of professional roasters can't be
wrong.
And one more thing -- IMHO -- don't freeze them!! Any
pro roaster will tell you that freezing will allow
beans to condense moisture which kills the aromatics
and delicate oils - your coffee will also compete with
that box of Arm & Hammer in absorbing freezer odors.
I store my roasted beans in a cupboard at around room
temp in the [opaque] valve bags and even the
commercially roasted stuff stays fresh until I use it
up.
<Snip>
=====
--
Kevin DuPre
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17) From: Rick Farris
Ron wrote:
<Snip>
Ron, I think you're making a mistake there.  The vac-seal will help the
beans degas, and it will do so without exposing them to oxygen.  In my
experience (as well as Mike McG), vac-sealing the beans speeds up the
resting process, and then *holds it there*, so that the beans are at the
perfectly rested point for several days.
-- Rick
P.S.  Where were you during the HTML wars?
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18) From: Mike McGinness
Kevin, I respectfully disagree:
From: "Kevin DuPre" 
To: 
Sent: Saturday, August 10, 2002 6:51 PM
Subject: Re: +Shelf life of roasted coffee
You said:
<Snip>
I use valve bags for my gift giving roasts. They are a compromise to vacuum
sealing for personal use in my opinion.
<Snip>
<Snip>
The same roasters who you yourself say you roast better tasting coffee than
are the last word in the ultimate method for storing coffee for ultimate
flavor?  I think not...
<Snip>
"Any pro roaster"? Not true. Continue your reseach. Sivetz immediately comes
to mind... But basically me thinks you misundstand the point and method.
First, vacuum sealing before freezing prevents moisture condensation.
Moisture removal is part of vacuum sealing. Second, when vacuum sealed odors
cannot enter, nothing can enter. Sure, if you put roasted beans in an open
container (or even say zip lock bag or tupperware or the like) and then in
the freezer they are susceptible to all the freezer ills you mentioned. Not
in canning jars or Tilia's triple ply food grade vac bags.
<Snip>
If it works for you great.  (Some of the methods used by some home roasting
flavor extremists would never be cost effective commerically.)
MM;-)
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
Grindin' & Brewin' with Solis Maestro & Miss Silvia
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19) From: R.N.Kyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Irene and Lubos, I was under the assumption that the co2 gas pushed the =
oxygen out and just figured it needed to be released to relieve the =
pressure it creates. I was going to then vacuum seal the beans in a bag =
of shelf storage. My thinking may be totally wrong, but have heard =
people on the list say that the bags loose their seal because of the Co2 =
gas release. I also thought that the release of co2 was part of the =
process that creates the wonderful aroma and body in Coffee, at least up =
to a certain point before staleness sets in??
Ron Kyle
a coffee roaster from South Carolina
rnkyle

20) From: R.N.Kyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hey Rick I did chime in there on the HTML war, at least a couple of =
times, I really like a good discussion, and have learned a lot about =
degassing and vacuum sealing, during this discussion.
I believe you are correct about the degassing, 
Irene & Lobos wrote 
<Snip>
in a vacuum
After reading that I got to thinking, after popping the lids the co2 is =
released, but the space is filled back up with O2 ,not a good thing. but =
I was wondering if you had a one way valve in the lid of a Mason jar and =
vacuum sealed the jar, would it just degas from there and no let any o2 =
in. vacuum sealing the jar first just to get the initial O2 out of the =
jar?
thanks Rick, Irene, and Lobos. and again to all that have contributed to =
this discussion. I continue to learn, and find the people on this list =
to be most helpful.
a coffee roaster from South Carolina
rnkyle

21) From: Gary Zimmerman
R.N.Kyle wrote:
<Snip>
Interesting description "lose their seal".  I've heard it before too.  I 
understand that what's meant is that the bags lose the vacuum, however I 
expect they're still "sealed" against the intrusion of oxygen, which is, I 
think, what vacuum sealing is supposed to prevent.  Now if the beans 
outgassed O2, it would be a different story.
<Snip>
It may be a byproduct of the process.  That doesn't say anything about 
whether it's necessary for the process or whether its more-rapid removal 
(via negative pressure, equilibrium, etc) speeds, helps, or hurts the 
process.  Does keeping the evacuated CO2 in contact with the beans slow the 
process (once equilibrium is reached) and prolong the flavor viability of 
the beans?  I don't know.
I'd question whether protecting the beans from O2 is desirable, because 
I've come to the mental model that "staling" is just the later part of the 
chemical oxidation process that produces the wonderful coffee flavors in 
the first place; it seems a continuum.  If you prevent all O2 from reaching 
the roasted beans, you may prevent full development of the flavors we all 
love.  I expect it depends on how long you wait before vacuum sealing, how 
strong the vacuum is, and how good the seal is.
Having pontificated pedantically, I hasten to add... I have no idea what 
I'm talking about, as I've never vacuum sealed my beans.
Having said that, I'm having a really excellent blend of Kenya AAAution Lot 
82, Yemen Raimy, and monsooned Malabar.  Incredible.  My mouth is vacuuming 
it from the cup!
-- garyZ
Whirley-drip(paper)-black
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22) From: coffenut
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Ron,
 
You can go back into the List archives and find discussion about
customizing Mason lids with one-way valves.  I don't remember who
thought of it, but basically the person took a valve from one of the
bags Tom sells and put it into the jar lid.  I recall there was
discussion/tips about cutting the hole in the lid and what sealant was
best to use around the valve.
 
Coffenut   :^)

23) From: R.N.Kyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Very interesting Gary, I was wondering (along the same lines) is the O2 =
was needed to properly age the beans, for the wonderful aroma and flavor =
that we are trying to achieve by home roasting? I guess a number of test =
and blind cupping is the only way to form a educated opinion. Lots of =
notes, and a considerable amount of time. 
Has any on the list tested this theory?
Ron Kyle
a coffee roaster from South Carolina
rnkyle

24) From: Lee XOC
< On Behalf Of coffenut
< Sent: Saturday, August 10, 2002 10:45 AM
<
< I've recently been putting the beans into vac-sealed Mason
< jars right after roasting
I just roasted a batch of Karumandi and jarred and vac'd it right
after it cooled.  If it doesn't come out spectacular, I'll know
something is really wrong elsewhere in my overall process.  I hit the
roast just right where I wanted it, couple snaps into 2nd crack.  I'm
going to keep an eye on the jar lid and if I see it bulge I'll re-vac
it.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Lee xoC
San Diego,
California
------------------------------
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25) From: Lee XOC
On Behalf Of R.N.Kyle
Sent: Saturday, August 10, 2002 2:44 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Shelf life of roasted coffee
Hey Lee
I use a FR+ and I store roasted beans in a mason jar just after
cooling, tightly sealed, and crack the seal twice the first day, and
then once a day after that. I rest my coffee, dependent on the variety
roasted, 24 to 72 hours, I have not notice the taste declining for up
to 5 days, now that I have the vac seal, This may extend the shelf
life. Just got it last Friday, and experimenting now.
I do not know exactly why your roasted beans seem stale after just one
day?
I've been wondering in the back of my mind if it might have anything
to do with the ambient temperature at which the green and/or roasted
beans are stored.  I don't have a/c since it's never humid here
(except in the Winter and at night - when it's cool), but it does get
up into the 80s and sometimes low to mid 90s during the heat of the
day.  In the kitchen, it might get up to the high 80s at most.  I
wonder if that's too hot to store coffee beans, roasted or otherwise.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Lee xoC
San Diego,
California
------------------------------
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26) From: EskWIRED

27) From: R.N.Kyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Ron Kyle
a coffee roaster from South Carolina
rnkyle


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