HomeRoast Digest

Topic: roasting, fresh roast (9 msgs / 193 lines)
1) From: ginny powell
Hello all,
I am new, new, new to home roasting.
Love my expresso, have a saeco auperauto at home and plan to get a Solis 90
to experiemnt with and take up and down the coast with so I can drink good
stuff in crummy motels.
Some one just gave me a Fresh Roast, looks like I have a start with
Any ideas or hint?
thanks in advance,
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2) From: David Westebbe
Sweet Maria's web site has a lot of good hints.  Not only that, but Google
on the particular subject you wonder about, and you'll get lots and lots of
archived wisdom.
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3) From: sschlang
I love my Fresh Roast.  I have a French Roast Plus and have not yet purchased 
the newer model.  
I generally fill it up to just BELOW the bottom of the silver band.  I try to 
stretch out the roasts -sometimes I switch the dial back and forth between the 
cooling cycle and the heat cycle to allow for a longer roasting time.  I've also 
experimented with the "Shulman Technique" in which the humble acolyte switches 
the unit to "off" after first crack and sometimes during second crack.  I'm sure 
our esteemed colleague, Jim Shulman, can write with more particularity on that 
subject.  Some people use Variacs and thermo-couples to get more exactitude in 
their heat build up and roasting times...I don't go there.  For me, the most 
important thing are getting to know the sounds and smells of the first and 
second crack.
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4) From: jim gundlach
You can go to Sweetmaria's web site and find the archive version of 
this list.  It is not searchable but you can sort it by topics and with 
a little work you can find about anything you want about home roasting, 
brewing, and a lot of other things.
Jim Gundlach
roasting over pecan wood fires
in La Place, Alabama
On Tuesday, February 4, 2003, at 08:55 AM, ginny powell wrote:
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5) From: John Abbott
Umm - Isn't the FR+ the newest model?  Have I missed something important?
John - FR, FR+, HotTop, WOK, working on Homebuilt drum

6) From: sschlang
I thought that there was a "new" FR+ that had a bit of a larger deeper chamber 
and even shorter roast times - if left to its own devices.  It's the latter that 
has steered me away from purchasing it at this point.  But it could be that I 
misunderstood some threads myself.
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7) From: steve_w
Quoting ginny powell :
Do a batch in a wok to get acquainted with the sounds, sight and smell
of coffee roasting without the noise of air roasting.  
If wok roasting works for you, stick with it and put the Fresh Roast on a
shelf.  Some people really like the brightness you get with fast air
roasting but a majority find it a bit harsh, and espresso brewing tends to
accentuate the harshness.  Various air roaster manipulations/modifications
are commonly used to get an air roaster to slow down, while with a stovetop
method you can do slow roasting without all the fuss.  But some folks
can't deal with the smoke.  And some folks really like to fuss with their
air roasters. 
Steve Wall
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8) From: John Abbott
I'm pretty sure that the Fresh Roast Plus is the last model out. It has a
larger capacity than the original.  I have mine hacked and am using it with
a laptop to control the roasting profile. Nothing exotic, but it works.  I
stil do 80% of my roasting with my HotTop -but am always looking around to
see what's available.
John - in Deep Southern Texas where it was 92 degrees yesterday! (freezing

9) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Ginny,
Congrats, I think the FR is a great little 
roaster. But there's a few things to look out for:
The FR+ is a straightforward roaster to use if you 
want to roast into the second crack (just listen 
for the rapid crackling, shortly after the low 
loud popping of the first crack, and switch the 
roaster to cooling). Stopping at the first few 
crackles will get you a light full city roast; 
going a little further will get you a darker roast 
variously named, usually Vienna Roast. Going to 
the point where the crackles die down gets you a 
very dark French roast.
Getting a city roast (no second crack) on an 
unmodified FR is pretty thankless, generally the 
coffee will come out very sour and thin (see 
The major problems with the FRs are that it roasts 
somewhat too fast, is sometime uneven, and that it 
can scorch beans early in the roast: 
To avoid early scorching: fill the roaster so you 
get a steady "bubbling" of at the the stat of the 
roast. If you use more beans, they'll scorch. 
To avoid uneven roasts: if some beans are brown, 
and some beans are still tan when you hear the 
early first cracks, turn the roaster off for 30 
seconds, that will even out the colors a bit and 
improve roast quality.
To slow the roast down (slower roasts are heavier 
bodied and sweeter, but have somewhat diminished 
flavors): turn the roaster off for a minute when 
the first crack winds down, then restart. Turn it 
off again as the second crack starts. Go to cool 
when the beans are the color you want. 
Alternatively, you can set the roaster to cool for 
10 seconds every minute after the first crack 
starts. I prefer the switch off method myself, 
since it's gentler on the beans. If you want a 
lighter roast (prior to the second crack), I 
definitely recommend doing this.
Jim Schulman
On 4 Feb 2003 at 6:55, ginny powell wrote:
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