HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Cooling larger roasts(long) (52 lines)
1) From: Oaxaca Charlie
 Cooling a couple of cups of hot beans quickly is a simple
enough matter using a colinder and a small fan or natural
breezes, but for the larger amounts that some of us are roasting
with barbeque, wok or brickoven roasting it can be more
challenging.  I've been pouring my 4 lb. loads from one large
steel bowl into another, in front of a good box fan on a table.
The chaff blows away and the beans cool within 2 minutes or so.
The downside to this is that the bowls remain hot enough to
nessecatate using mitts (clumsy).I have to keep pouring without
a break the first minute, at least, or the beans can bake in the
bowl. Some beans blow away along with the chaff (wastefull!),
and it's definately a strain on my back. I've been doing it like
this for years, though, because it does cool the beans well. No
more! I learned a better way while helping some friends with
their low tech home roasting business in Mexico. They roast up
to 10 lbs at a time on a tortilla plate over a gas flame ,"wok
style", and when it's ready just dump it all on a big jute
coffee sack on the floor with a fan blowing air over the shallow
pile, raking it a little.
 I spread a coffee sack over my table, fan blowing from one
side, and dumped my hot beans on it and smoothed it to a single
layer of beans which cooled to air temp in one minute or less
and without loosing any. The jute has some very fine "hairs" of
fiber, a few of which stuck to a few beans in a darker roast, so
I switched to a new straw mat(petate) instead and now I'm set up
nice. The shallow layer of beans cools right away and a little
stirring lets any chaff blow away. I can also see any roasting
defect (burnt peaberry etc.) and remove right away. I roll the
mat a little to pick it up and pour the cooled beans into a bowl
in front of the fan for any last bits of chaff and easier
carrying to the storage bin.  This mat cooling system not only
works great, but it looks downright cool. I suppose that sooner
or later oil buildup on the mat will have me switching to
cardboard or something cheap and easilly available, but a thin
flat layer of hot beans cools the fastest and easiest.(duh,
seems pretty obvious now) I'm glad I figured this out before my
new 6 lb batch drum/basket is ready to use.  Happy new year to
you all
Charlie
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