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  • Another first roast post :)

    Ok. I got home from work to find my 14 yo son had been checking out my starter pack, and had split and completely spilled one bag and accidentally opened and opened and partially spilled another bag.  This left me to start my roasting hobby with a blend of 65% El Salvador and 35% Brazil beans, instead of the single origin I was planning.  After threatening to blend his Milo and Strawberry Nesquik in the same way, I made him keep track of the times instead....

    So, unmodified Mistral Popper ($17 on special from Target), 80 g of the aforementioned blended beans.  I have no workshop or garage, so had planned to roast on my deck, but its bucketing down here atm so I settled for the kitchen next to the window.  Switched it on, a few gentle shakes to get the beans moving and off we went.  First crack started at 2 mins 14 secs, they kept on cracking away.  I expected the cracking to stop before 2nd crack, but this didnt happen.  At 4 minutes, they were turning very dark, so I switched the popper off and tipped them into a colander, there was some smoke coming off them at this point.   Theyre a fairly even, dark chocolate colour, and they smell roasted, though not very coffeeish. The chaff wasnt as bad as I was expecting, though I certainly had a bit of sweeping and wiping down to do....

    For a first roast Im happy - I have beans that I can grind and try tomorrow (as opposed to charred black beans), but Im not certain whether Ive roasted them for long enough.  Is there meant to be a break between 1st and 2nd crack?  

  • #2
    Re: Another first roast post

    Great to hear Viviane,

    Sounds like you might have just rescued the beans in time, might be touch and go though. Your son sounds like our youngest at that age, just cant leave well enough alone, even with the best of intentions :-[.

    Anyway, back to topic. Its a little bit hit and miss with poppers and until you actually get one home and try it out, one is not all that sure just how its going to turn out :-?. Ive got two Mistral Poppers.... one is capable of roasting close to 200 grams in Winter with roast times out to about 12-14 minutes. The other maxes out at 140 grams in the same conditions. The only mod Ive made to both of these is to use a Heinz Special Soup tin to create a chimney.

    It sounds like your popper is very much on the quick side though so youll have to exercise some care. It will definitely be to your advantage to do the Soup Tin Chimney mod and leave the plastic cover thing in the cupboard. The chimney seems to create a flu-like effect that drags more air through the popper and tames down the heat output to some extent. It also allows you to roast larger bean batches too, courtesy of the better air flow.

    To discover where the comfortable maximum is (once youve got your chimney sorted), is to just keep increasing your bean batch size by 10 grams or so at a time until such time as you have the batch size that youre after, or until the fluid bed starts to collapse (the beans wont circulate or bounce around on their own anymore). Hopefully, this will get your roast times up to around the 6-8 minute mark and a definite separation of time between 1st and 2nd Cracks, and the ability to control your roasts to a much greater degree ;D.

    There are lots of posts about making a chimney for a popper so if you do a search for "popper chimney" over the last 6-12 months or so, Im sure youll find plenty of info. All the best Viviane and Happy Roasting,

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    • #3
      Re: Another first roast post

      Hi Viviane,

      Sounds like my first efforts with a standard B&D Popper.
      Mals got the good advice.
      Definitely go for the soup can chimney, and increase your starting mass to at least 100g and try increments up to around 150g.
      With the bigger loads the beans may not move around much initially, but you can stir them with the handle of a wooden spoon for 30secs or so to help them get moving, once they get some heat into them they will be fine.
      ALSO work out some way to roast outside, I found a definite increase in time just by going outside and the mess, and residual smell, are easier to deal with (before I get shot down by those who like the roasting aromas, Im talking about the smell of the chaff, it stinks inside after you have finished unless you have a very good chaff removal system).

      So by going up in starting mass, adding soup can chimney and roasting outside, possibly at cooler time of day, depending on where you are, you should see a worthwhile increase in roast times, and better tasting beans.
      Also good to think about cooling the roasted beans as quick as possible, fan cooling of the colander is better than air dry if you can, or a alternate between a couple of colanders.

      Youve just begun a journey that is challenging, interesting, rewarding

      Regards
      Bullitt

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Another first roast post

        VIVIANE- Yeah- thats the trick outside in a colder temperature... kill two birds with one stone- no mess and longer times. You will note a distinct 2nd crack, but it may be muted like a softer crackling- although if you roast decaff anything goes- OSmeof my batches didnt seem to crack at all.
        Also you noted that the smell wasnt much of a coffee smell that you had been looking forward to obviously and that was something that surprised me too initially :-?
        What you find is that often the wonderful coffee aroma develops over the next few days.
        By all means sample a brew the next day but you should find that the brew gets better and better as the days go by until day 10 to a couple of weeks! ;D
        Follow the links to do with degassing your beans and youll be set.
        And by the way- I posted a great photo a month or so back of my kids roasting for me- perhaps you could get your son roasting with a heat gun instead of spilling the beans :
        See ya
        RH

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        • #5
          Re: Another first roast post

          Thanks for the feedback everyone

          I bought a tin of Special soup to make a chimney, but I was too impatient to empty it and play around last night.  Ill definitely get it organised before I try again.  Ill also be roasting outside next time, I live in the Southern Highlands, NSW (one of the colder parts of the country) and I can see that that will make a difference to the times, as long as it isnt raining - electrocution isnt part of the gameplan....  Ill also go for a larger roasting size, not sure how that makes a difference but Ill happily take the advice given.

          Ive just tried the beans out - they do smell a bit more like coffee 24 hours later, tasted reasonable and I can see that the smell and flavour will develop some more yet.

          Razurhed, Ive seen the photo of your kids with the heat gun, nothing wrong with a bit of child slavery.  My son can make a pretty good coffee given that he doesnt drink it himself.  The trick with him is not to ask him to make it too often

          Again, thanks for the advice - its appreciated

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Another first roast post

            Wow, that was fast!
            I ordered the beans on Friday night, they arrived on Tuesday at Lunchtime! selected the Brazilian Beans, I’ve never been a fan of excess hair but that’s another story. weighed the sample size for empirical fidelity 40 grams. began the roast at 3.30pm used two thermocouples, each coming into contact with the rotating bean mass as it was heated tried to keep the temp as even as possible The first crack was heard after only 3 min The second crack was heard just before the 5 min mark The sweet aroma filled the kitchen transferred the beans to a colander. Tossed them for a while weighed the cooled beans 32 grams. They were then ground, too fine as it turns out 8pm made my first full Brazilian! Viva La PRESSO! WAAAAY too late for espresso, the kids complained about me reading their story too quickly, the dishes were done way too fast and Im attempting to load images of the event onto my blog and Im still not tired and I need someone to talk to NOW!
            http://artspeak.blogspot.com/

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            • #7
              Re: Another first roast post

              Note to Andy - no matter how often Presso orders 5kg of green beans, make sure you only send him 5kg every second month - you really will have turned into a "pusher" otherwise ;-)

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              • #8
                Re: Another first roast post

                Originally posted by poundy link=1153737520/0#6 date=1153833495
                Note to Andy - no matter how often Presso orders 5kg of green beans, make sure you only send him 5kg every second month - you really will have turned into a "pusher" otherwise ;-)
                Ha Ha
                Its OK, I worked it off in the garden, weeding under spotlights, the neighbours dogs loved it!
                The images havent loaded to my Blog in sequence and some of them failed to load at all, Ill give it another go tonight.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Another first roast post

                  Yes, we really know what "weeding" under spotlights meant
                  Sorry Viviane for stealing your post ! Keep us updated on your drinking of your first roast (if its not already all gone !)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Another first roast post

                    Im going to hijack this thread as well, but as a fellow first time roaster i hope you dont mind. Ive just finished my first batch of home roasted panama beans (and loved them) from the starters pack and am going to roast again soon (had planned to get that done last week, but my wife has just given birth to a junior coffee snob, so roasting has taken a back seat). I am wondering about the Temperature monitoring presso, did you do it for interests sake, to see how hot they got, or did you try to controll the temp by turning the popper on and off. Wondering if anyone else has tried this? Maybe you could use some kind of power attenuator to controll the heater?

                    Oh and with the chimney, I used a big tomato juice tin from coles. Even longer than the soup tins, fits straight on top of popper, and has doubled my roast time. The bloody gaffa tape melted to the top of the popper though, it may not have been necsessary.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Another first roast post

                      Originally posted by Topher link=1153737520/0#9 date=1154089504
                      Im going to hijack this thread as well, but as a fellow first time roaster i hope you dont mind. Ive just finished my first batch of home roasted panama beans (and loved them) from the starters pack and am going to roast again soon (had planned to get that done last week, but my wife has just given birth to a junior coffee snob, so roasting has taken a back seat). I am wondering about the Temperature monitoring presso, did you do it for interests sake, to see how hot they got, or did you try to controll the temp by turning the popper on and off. Wondering if anyone else has tried this? Maybe you could use some kind of power attenuator to controll the heater?

                      Oh and with the chimney, I used a big tomato juice tin from coles. Even longer than the soup tins, fits straight on top of popper, and has doubled my roast time. The bloody gaffa tape melted to the top of the popper though, it may not have been necsessary.
                      Ill trade you..... my thermocouple info for a pic of your chimney. ;D

                      I opened and closed the lid to lower the temp. The thermocouple from evilbay was touching the beans as they rolled past. I guestimated that the beans would have been cooler than the freshly licked surface so I "took off" about ten degrees.

                      My most recent batch, this evening was some colombian, the first crack came after less than 3 minutes, the second nearly seven minutes later. I stopped it straight away by rolling onto a collander that had been frozen in the chest freezer, I didnt use the thermo couple, just waited for the crack, shone a torch down the centre of the whirlpool of beans until I was happy with the colour.

                      My better half coffee snob suggested I try a lighter roast for the next batch(how diplomatic). Well see in the morning!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Another first roast post

                        Originally posted by Presso link=1153737520/0#10 date=1154090558
                        My better half coffee snob suggested I try a lighter roast for the next batch(how diplomatic). Well see in the morning!!
                        I would recommend a lighter roast as well. Most Columbians are best pulled well before 2nd crack in my experience. They are the lightest roast I do, generally being pulled *well before 2nd crack is reached.

                        Java "Well and truely cracked" phile
                        Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Another first roast post

                          Welcome to the thread, guys - the more the merrier

                          Ive since roasted another batch, this time outside with the soup can chimney and 100g of beans.  First crack was at 2 mins 34, stopped at 4 mins 20.  I dont know whether i reached 2nd crack or not, the cracking still didnt stop once  1st crack started.  These beans werent as well done as the first batch though - they were a little lighter, and the first batch were a little oily, these definitely arent.  With drinking the 2nd batch though, I get a slight grassy taste, which seems to mean they arent done enough.

                          Im having problems with the speed of the process with the popcorn machine, especially since I really have no idea what Im supposed to finish with.  I bought a heat gun today to try slow the whole thing down a bit, so i can get a feel for whats happening.

                          Ill have another go in the morning, but whats the minimum size for a heat gun batch?  Im thinking that for now the more practice I get at this the better, but Im the only one in the house who drinks coffee, so I really only want to roast a few days worth at a time for now.  

                          Congratulations on your baby, Topher - only 10 years or so before you can start bribing the little one to make you a coffee

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Another first roast post

                            Originally posted by Viviane link=1153737520/0#12 date=1154091218
                            Welcome to the thread, guys - the more the merrier



                            Congratulations on your baby, Topher - only 10 years or so before you can start bribing the little one to make you a coffee
                            Only seven years mate!

                            check this out!

                            http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/218/432/1600/DSCN6461.jpg
                            This weekend Im searching for a rotisserie addtion to the bbq, I want to try drum roasting under the hood!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Another first roast post

                              Presso- if you want to run off some excess caffiene- get into heatgun roasting and do some stirring. ;D
                              Heatgun is my hobby horse at the moment.
                              I love it because of the control you can get and extend out the time of the roast so that 1st and 2nd crack become distinctive. :
                              MMMMM and the coffee is more mellow - or is that just me.
                              Once youve roasted enough to last you a few days- begin to allow a couple of days for the beans to develop in style and mellownisity!
                              RH

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