HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Judging the Roast by Temperature [was RE: Re[2]: +Judging the roast] (5 msgs / 190 lines)
1) From: Rick Farris
Mark wrote:
Would those be the "naysayers" with about 20 years more experience than you,
Mark?  :-)
Personally, I'm leaning towards temperature.  It took me several weeks to
get my temperature measuring methodology working correctly, but now that I
have, I find it quite a bit more accurate than anything else I've tried.
Like color, all temperature measurements will vary, due to differing
measurement methods and equipment.  It is fairly easy to calibrate, though,
by saying something like this:  "I was roasting some of Tom's Nicaragua
'Sabor de Segovia,' and in my setup I was seeing first crack at about 415,
and second at about 445.  I found that if I roasted it to 440, it had much
body and still quite a bit of varietal character."
If you want to replicate my roast, then you simply run a batch through,
noting where first and second occur, and then interpolate.  For instance, if
you found out that on your setup, (with the same coffee) first crack was at
400 and second at 425, then you could be pretty sure that if you roasted
to 420, you'd have about the same roast.
-- Rick
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2) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Rick Farris" 
Agreed, with the addition of length of time to reach temp/point and length
of time between temp/points. That is exactly what I do now. (Fast to a temp
is different result than slow to same temp...)
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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3) From: R.N.Kyle
good point, Rick, I also roast with temp. and take notes, It is pretty =
easy to duplicate roast that way, I have found that ambient temp and =
humidity will effect the roast in timing but going for a certain temp. =
the roast are consistent enough for my taste.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC

4) From: Rick Farris
Mike said:
Of course, for those of us CSAs.
In fact, now that I'm starting to profile, I want to discuss the topic a
On the Black Bear website (www.blackbedarcoffee.com) they mention seven
phases or "ramps" in their roasting profile.  While I think that seven ramps
might be a bit much for me, here's what I'm currently doing.
   1) Do an "exploratory" roasting batch to find out at
      what temperature will be found the start of first
      crack, the end of first crack, and the beginning
      of second crack.  This initial roast also warms up
      the roaster.
   2) Start a new batch, letting the roaster go full bore
      until a few degrees before 1st crack ("point A").
      I'm using a HIP, so at this point I press the cool
      button, wait for 5 seconds - cooling the roaster
      about 30 degrees - and then press the heat button.
   3) Wait for the roast to return to point A.  Press the
      cool button again, for another 5-second/30
   4) Now let the HIP heat, unimpeded, all the way through
      1st crack.
   5) When the temperature is 5 to 10 before the 2nd-
      crack temperature, cool again for 5-seconds.
   6) Let the roast advance to the desired final roast
This extends the roast (on my HIP) by about three minutes, or some 50% to
According to Black Bear (BB), I should probably take the beans to somewhere
in the 250 range and hold them there for several minutes (the
"stabilization ramp").  Next, I'm thinking, I should run the beans up to
first, and then add a small stall.  BB recommends this because "Driving the
coffee beans to [sic] hard through the first crack will damage the interior
of the beans, and ultimately result in the excessive loss of the desirable
volatiles being produced by the roasting process."
Their next recommendation is to do some stalling between first and second in
what they call the "development ramp."
I think I can do this, although it's a little hard considering all I have to
play with on the HIP is turning the heater on and off.
Is anybody else playing with profiling?  What are you doing now?  What would
you like to be doing?
-- Rick
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5) From: EskWIRED
Turning the heater on and off can produce any temperature you want, if you
do it right.  Not easy, but it can be done.
What I do, and this is coming from a guy who has no real idea what the hell
he's doing, is to load up the bean cup in my modified WEPP until the beans
stop spinning, and are just barely burbling a little at the edges.  Then I
throw the switch and turn on the heat. I either stir the beans or tip the
roaster for 30-60 seconds, until they start turning over by themselves.  I
cut the heat for about one second in five, to slow the ramp-up, and to keep
the color as even as possible.  I then hold them at around 350 or so until
they are all very even in color, which takes a couple of minutes.  I bring
them up to either 375 or 390, depending on my patience and how things seem
to be going, and hold them again.
Once I'm satisfied that the beans are a consistent temp, both compared to
each other and from outside to inside, I lower the fan, which raises the
heat.  First crack commences quickly.  Depending on what beans I'm roasting,
and what I'm trying to accomplish, I either get first crack to be quick and
powerful, or drag it out, by flicking the heat on and off and/or twiddling
the fan dial.
So far I like a fast, powerful crack.  I used to drag out first crack,
keeping the beans just on the cusp of cracking.  But I like a nice, lively
acidity, (I drink drip and press pot) so I rarely do that anymore, unless
I'm roasting something like Monsooned Malabar which will not be bright no
matter what.
I often roast just into second crack, but I'm finding that I prefer a
somewhat lighter roast (somewhere around Chateau Brown in
Sherwin-Williams-Speak :), so I'm cutting things off when I start to see a
significant amount of smoke.
I just read Black Bear's LTR method, and I'm wanting to try to incorporate
some of their ideas into my technique.  I like to keep experimenting and to
keep learning.  Once I'm satisfied that I know what I'm doing, I'll likely
get bored and go on to another hobby.
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