HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Espresso Roasting - a call for replications (19 msgs / 481 lines)
1) From: Jim Schulman
I've been wondering if there's a roast profile associated with the 
very creamy mouthfeel of most Italian espresso (since the beans they 
use are rather ordinary, to say the least). In my last five roasting 
sessions I've worked out a technique, which I can repeat consistently 
now, that produces this mouthfeel far more than when the same 
varieties are roasted conventionally.
Basically, the techinique is stalling the roast right after the first 
crack, and lettting the beans get quite dark (a dark full city color) 
without them ever reaching the second, or oiling up.
The roast timing, on my FR+, is as follows (fixed pitch font):
Roast Stage            "Espresso Profile"   Normal FR Profile
--------------------------------------------------------------------
to start of 1st         4 min               2.5 min
1st crack duration      1 min               1.5 min
final stage             4 - 5 min (no 2nd)  1.5 - 2 min (rolling 2nd)
--------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
I do the roast at low air temperature for 4 minutes (400F - 410F), 
then I force the first crack by putting in 500F air for 30 seconds or 
so. The critical point comes now, the heat has to be drastically 
dropped about halfway through the first crack to stall the roast 
after it finishes. My cue is an evening of the bean colors. I then 
drop down to 380 - 400 F. The beans finish the first crack, and 
continue to brown. There are hints of the "first few snaps" of the 
second after four to five minutes.
It took me a bit of time to "catch the turn" (beans going 
exothermic?) of the roast so I could drop the heat on time. But now 
that I have, I'm getting splendid espresso results. The biggest 
difference is mouthfeel. But the espressos are also softer and 
sweeter (more caramelization, less carbonization?), with less 
diminution of the origin flavors than the same roast color on a 
faster, oily roast.
My questions is this. Does this only apply to the FR, or can it be 
replicated with other roasters? So if you're inclined, and have a 
temperature control, I'd be very interested to hear of the results.
Thanks,
Jim
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2) From: Charlie Herlihy
--- Jim Schulman  wrote:
<Snip>
with
<Snip>
  
<Snip>
 Gee, I'd say that great minds think alike, if I had a great
mind. Since the Black Bear roasting profile came to my attention
your espresso profile is pretty much what I've come up with,
using a very different kind of roaster but: letting the beans
warm a little bit slowly, then ramping the heat way up, and,
when first crack is imminent ramping it way down again and
stretching the first crack. Because I'm roasting a few lbs I
even remove the basket from the roaster at that point and shake
it a bit to almost stall the roast, put it back in and make sure
that second crack is delayed for a while. The beans develop so
nicely, getting plump and brown. I always wait till I hear a
couple of snaps of second crack because of bitter memories of
underoasts past and because I use only high grow beans. Smooth
rich and mellow in a city roast is new to me. Always came out
too bright and astringant before when done quick and hot. Creamy
Cafe Cremas. I'd expect the same for espresso shots. The only
thing to be extra care about is not to ramp down the temp a
little too soon and get a baked roast that doesn't go through a
proper first crack at all.  That's worse than ramping down a
little too late and getting a more "normal" quicker roast. Thank
You, Jim
Charlie
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3) From: Jim Schulman
On 29 Aug 2002 at 17:09, Charlie Herlihy wrote:
<Snip>
Very cool. 
You're at the opposite end of the home roasting spectrum, roasting almost 
commercial sized loads. It sounds like you're braking even earlier and 
harder than I am with my tiny (and presumably easier in terms of bean 
temperature change) Freshroast. I'm glad to hear you're getting the same 
results. It makes it much more likely that this is a real roasting 
technique, not just a trick for the Freshroast.
I've been reading reports from people trying this for the last year, with 
very inconsistent results. I always blew it by lowering the temperature 
way too late (after the first crack was done), at that point the beans 
are already so self heating that a fast roast end is unstoppable. Seems 
like the slowdown has to happen good and early, in your case before the 
first crack gets rolling, in mine, as it gets fast.
Thanks,
Jim
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4) From: EuropaChris
Hmmmm, interesting.  I'll have to try this with my heater-controlled Poppery II.  I do remember way back when I started with that particular Poppery, that it would roast to 1st crack fairly quickly, then the temp would flatten out and it would take a long time (3 to 4 min.) to start getting into second crack.  It did indeed make some nice espressos.  After the thermostat started acting up, I bypassed it which made the popper REALLY fast.  That led to the heater controller.  My profile then was a slow ramp up to first, then full bore to second.  Maybe I was going the wrong way?  I did notice my espressos had quite a bit after that.  Hmmm.
Stay tuned!!
chris
"Jim Schulman"  wrote:
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5) From:
Jim said:  "I've been wondering if there's a roast profile associated with
the very creamy mouth feel of most Italian espresso ... Does this only apply
to the FR, or can it be replicated with other roasters? So if you're
inclined, and have a temperature control, I'd be very interested to hear of
the results."
Hey there, as usual your expertise is invaluable.  I can't respond to your
request in relation to espresso, but your method DID solve a problem I'm
having roasting decaf.
I've got an original FreshRoast (due to be retired soon; just trying to
decide whether to get an FR+, or hold out for a HotTop-ish larger-capacity
unit).  It's completely unmodified.  I'm attempting to roast 75g batches
(1/6 pound) of Ethiopian decaf (hotter, quicker finish) and Sumatra decaf
(cooler, slower finish), but they roast WAY too fast and too hot.  Even with
the Variac, I was losing control.
So I tried your profile (modified), and so far I'm getting the following
results:
Roast Stage         Voltage   "Espresso Profile"     Normal FR Profile
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
Warm-up             125v      0.5 min               (no correlation)
to start of 1st     100v      2 - 2.5 min           1.5 min
1st crack duration  95v       1.5 min               0.5 - 1 min
final stage         95-100v   1.5 - 2 min (no 2nd)  1 - 1.5 min (rolling
2nd)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
-
As you can see, my "normal" profile is really fast; my wall outlet measures
122v, which accounts for a good bit of this, as well as the larger batch
size in the unmodified unit.  With the heavier batch and modified profile, I
have to rock the unit fairly constantly for an even roast.  But the
important thing is, it's doable.  I'm still trying to find the balance
between stalling and burning; it really seems like it's that fine a line
with my setup, there's hardly any middle ground.
As you mentioned, the critical moment is to reduce heat, even "stall" the
roast, just after first crack starts.  Once I get a "rolling" first crack, a
rolling 2nd crack isn't far behind; this seems to be unique to my
combination of decaf/FR/voltage, I guess.
I'll keep experimenting, and let you know.  For now, my bean stash only
includes Ethiopian, Yemeni, Sulawesi and Miel (regular); and Ethiopian and
Sumatra (decaf).  I've tried the profile on the decafs, and the Miel, and
will be roasting the other 3 this afternoon.
Tod
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6) From: TFisher511
The profile of choice for the week would indicate to me that the poor cooling 
qualities of the Alp might be a big advantage in letting the roast develop 
after the end of first crack. Maybe that is not the design deficiency that 
everyone seems to think?
Terry F
The Alp basher that can only roast 7 oz. of beans or the heat shuts down 
*before* the end of first crack. 
tarnim writes:
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7) From: Jim Schulman
On 31 Aug 2002 at 14:22, tarnim wrote:
<Snip>
Tod, for 75 grams in an original FR, these are very good roasting times. I could never get 
anything except a "flashburn" when going over 55 grams, and Barry Jarrett uses an orignal FR 
as his sample roaster with 45 gram loads.
The FR+ is a good deal slower unmodified.
Jim
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8) From:
Jim said: "... for 75 grams in an original FR, these are very good roasting
times. I could never get anything except a "flashburn" when going over 55
grams, and Barry Jarrett uses an original FR
as his sample roaster with 45 gram loads.  The FR+ is a good deal slower
unmodified."
Hey, that's good to know.  I kinda felt I was pushing it, and wasn't sure if
I was the only one to get the 'flashburn' syndrome (I like the description,
it really fits).  Looks like an FR+ would be a good investment for me (but I
really crave the HotTop, so I can share my hobby with other people without
it taking 6 batches just to do a pound!).  Thanks for the feedback.  By the
way, "rocking" the FR seems to be critical, since at 95v you get practically
NO bean movement.  If/when I do get another roaster, I'll probably
experiment on the FR by splitting the power line so I can run the fan at
normal, and the heater through the Variac, as has been suggested.
It also helps to know that 45g is a better batch size.  I've been saying all
along that smaller seems better in the FR.  My 5'2" wife's been saying that
for years... ;)
Tod
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9) From: Jcpxyz1
Ted - You mentioned plans to modify the FR to allow controlling the heater 
and fan separately. If you have not already checked out the air system, I can 
save you a little time - I have tinkered with it, and it is a direct current 
motor: The 120 volt line voltage is dropped through an approximately 80 ohm 
resistor to about the 12 volt range, then rectified by a bridge rectifier 
soldered directly on the blower motor. The resistor is mounted on the circuit 
board of the roaster and dissipates about 80 watts, accounting for the heat 
in the air stream without the heater operating. Running a separate lead from 
the AC line to the fan only is easy and works well, but to go "first class", 
and eliminate the internal heat in the air stream requires an external 
network to vary the voltage to the blower motor. An external resistor of 80 
ohms, 100 watts is fairly simple, but to vary the motor speed, an 
incandescent dimmer (the Lutron model D-600R is what I used), and a lower 
value resistor will give control above and below the normal speed. If you are 
not electronically based, bear in mind that the external resistor will get 
hot, similar to a small soldering iron, so it must be properly supported. The 
HWP is easier to modify, as the blower motor is line voltage operated, but so 
noisy that old, tired ear geezers can't hear the "cracks" without other 
hearing help, but that's a whole 'nuther story. Enjoy your hacking - best 
saludos - Jim Price
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10) From: Jim Schulman
Thanks to all who gave suggestions and experiences in this thread. I backed off the heat a 
little earlier, and caught a perfect long roast finish on each of the eight lots of my last 
roast session
Even the Mochas and three bean preblends came out a gorgeous even mahogany color.
Jim
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11) From: Jack Berry
Jim,
From the wisdom you gleaned, what is your final profile? I'm experimenting
with my only roaster, the HWP, by hitting the cool switch.
Jack

12) From: Jim Schulman
My current (maybe final?) profile runs as follows:
Roast stage    Approx Time  Heat Setting (not bean temp)
---------------------------------------------------------
Start          0 - 4        120V down to 100 after 1 min
Triggering     4 - 4 1/2    120V
1st Crack      4 1/2 - 6    110V down to 95 after 1/2 min
Finish         6 - 10 1/2   95V ramping up to 105V 
---------------------------------------------------------
If your using an HWP with cooling shots, my guess is you'll want to put in a longer 
cooling shot early in the first crack, and perhaps a short one when the beans get to 
a city roast stage. But I haven't got a clue what long or shot means, or the exact 
timing of the first shot. I wouldn't mess with the warmup ramp to the first crack, 
since the HWP does a splendid job there.
I noticed on my HWP that the fan went to a permanent higher setting, attempting to 
cool the beans towards the end of the first crack. You certainly want your cooling 
shot before that point, since the permanent high fan indicates that the beans have 
gathered too much momentum.
Jim
On 1 Sep 2002 at 19:02, Jack Berry wrote:
<Snip>
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13) From: Rick Farris
I managed to extend a normally 5 min roast to about 9.5 min on my HIP by
cooling 5s out of each 45s with the cool button.  Once it hit first crack I
let it complete, and then went back to 5s out of each 45s.  I'll be back in
a few days to let you know how it came out.  :-)
-- Rick
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14) From: Jack Berry
Thanks a bunch Jim!
I've been working with Kenyan AA and watching the TI. These temps are
relative of course. I'm using a type K thermocouple in the beans about
midway between the center and wall.
As the beans hit ~230C I hit the cool button till I see ~200C. This goes on
till first crack. Then I've aimed to bump 240C & 210C. The results are
better than original non-augmented roasts with this bean. I think there is
room to develop a feel for the lag in what I see on the TI and the reaction
of the switch in mode.
The resulting coffee (36 hrs rest) brewed in a drip machine retained the
spicy aroma, lost the grassy taste and had nice roast flavors. First crack
was around 4:30 and total roast was 8:20. Normally these times were 3:45 and
6:45.
Jack

15) From: Jim Schulman
Glad it worked out so well. Jim
On 4 Sep 2002 at 21:21, Jack Berry wrote:
<Snip>
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16) From: EskWIRED
<Snip>
<Snip>
How do you control the heater on your popper?
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17) From: EuropaChris
Come take a look at my wesite: http://www.execpc.com/~n9zes/homeroast/roast.htmlChris
"EskWIRED"  wrote:
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18) From: EskWIRED
<Snip>
<Snip>
I've seen your page, but never studied it properly WRT the control box.  I
was gleaning lots of other info from it, and never focused.  I always
thought your box incorporated the standard transformer/triac setup.
I found your heater control for sale at $182.  Ouch!
Is ther any way I can salvage a dial from an electric stove or oven?
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19) From: Dan Bollinger
Chris,  Quite a 'line-up'  All you need now are horizontal marks on the
walls every inch apart and little number cards around the necks of the
poppers.  I roast in my basement shop.  I put a sound absorbing foam panel
behin the roaster leaning against the wall.  I can hear the cracks better
now.


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