I've been following the list action for a couple of days, and appreciate the great info. I'm pretty new to home roasting, having started a couple days ago armed with a Poppery II, some SM espresso monkey, SM classic italian, and Josuma Malabar gold premium espresso greens. I've done the thermostat mod (b/c you're really not serious if you're UL listed), and have enjoyed much faster roast times.
I'm able to roast the monkey and the classic italian in about 6-8 minutes, and am pretty satisfied with the taste (although I'm sure it'll improve). My problem is with the Malabar gold: now, I'm not really asking this in regards to this particular blend, but to roasting in general...
How do you roast a blend that contains wildly different beans? Perhaps it's my PopperyII, but I've noticed that it's much harder to determine the 2nd crack with the malabar gold, compared to monkey and classic italian. It seems that some of the beans reach 2nd crack (but I can tell by looking that the blend as a whole is far too light to pull the plug), a few minutes pass, a few more reach, and so on. It takes about 15 minutes for me to roast malabar gold, and I'm going by color here (I'm trying to hit a lighter, low-oil full city). Is it possible that I should be using much less of the Malabar gold than I have been? The biggest difference I note is that the other two blends "fly" around the chamber much more. It's as if there's a really large type of bean in the malabar gold that keeps it from roasting as quickly. I'm going crazy with this! If anyone feels it's helpful, I'll put some pictures up on my web site for visual confirmation.
Also, I must admit that I find the list/digest format a little inconvenient (but certainly not any less useful). Is there any interest in an actual forum, with search capabilities, etc? I ask b/c I'm sure that a lot of questions I've asked have been answered already, and it seems that a good forum would facilitate communication. There are quite a few good free (open source) forum tools out there. Of course, please disregard the newbie if there are historical reasons for keeping a list!
Finally, is SM based in Ohio, or California? My beans seem to come from CA, but others have mentioned Columbus as SM's home. If they're in OH, do they have any kind of store that people can walk into?
Thanks a lot!
ps: hopefully i didn't send this twice: i apologize if so.