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  • Advice of getting into home roasting

    Hi guys,
    I wanted some advice on whether it was worth my whiel getting into home raosting.

    I tried roasting at home with a popcorn machine about 2 years ago.

    I enjoyed getting to know the beans,a nd all the aspects of the process.
    the problem was that i couldnt get any repeatability at all with the popper. The length of the cord, temp, all made repeatability impossible.

    I was not experienced enough to pick up the second crack over the noise of the popper, so I just got charcoal beans most of the time, or under roasted acid beans!!!!!!!!

    I was hoping to get some advice on the ease of use, and the learning curve required for a Gene Cafe.

    I would love to get back into it, but it need to be able to get repeatability from the amchine, so that each batch can add to my knowledge.

    Any advice welcome.

    Cheers

  • #2
    Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

    Is it worth it? On economic grounds alone, yes. Also tick the yes box for a fulfilling and rewarding hobby.

    I dont use a Gene cafe but I dont see too many complaints from GC users. From what Ive noticed on CoffeeSnobs, for faster cooling of the roast, many prefera cooling method other than the GC cooling cycle.

    Consider volumes as well. You are limited to 200-250g per roast on the GC. If you have a high demand, you might want to go for something larger capacity like a corretto or a KKTO.

    Think also location. If you live in a unit block, a GC or HotTop might be preferable to reduce any nuisance factors.

    The best advice I can offer is, if you are considering it, just work out what you want and get into it. It will take some patience - dont expect brilliant results first up (but dont discount it either)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

      Originally posted by 7C766374747B6F691A0 link=1259285755/1#1 date=1259286677
      Is it worth it? On economic grounds alone, yes. Also tick the yes box for a fulfilling and rewarding hobby.

      I dont use  a Gene cafe but I dont  see too many complaints from GC users. From what Ive noticed on CoffeeSnobs, for faster cooling of the roast, many prefera cooling method other than the GC cooling cycle.

      Consider volumes as well. You are limited to 200-250g per roast on the GC. If you have a high demand,  you might want to go for something larger capacity like a corretto or a KKTO.

      Think also location. If you live in a unit block, a GC or HotTop might be preferable to reduce any nuisance factors.

      The best advice I can offer is, if you are considering it, just work out what you want and get into it.  It will take some patience - dont expect brilliant results first up (but dont discount it either)
      Agree fully..

      Update ya profile with ya location... Could be a CSs home roaster just around teh corner...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

        Hi Apple

        I got a GeneCafe over two years ago and its been used nearly every weekend or 2nd weekend since. A roast in it for a given bean batch IS reproducible and it makes good roasts.

        Repoducibility: Means I can do a 250 gm roast and decide after cupping it or just trying it in my machine whether to reduce/increase the roast time by 1 minute or so. Hence I can tweek how my roasts are without other factors coming into play. I can go back and do another batch 6 months later with the same Gene start temperature and time and the roast will come out the same. (Assuming the room temp is about the same. If it was 15C in Winter and 30C in summer that will make a slight difference.)

        Flexibility: A Gene is less flexible than a Corretto. The later would allow more fiddling with temperature, airflow and other variables, and be able to do bigger batches but with all those variables its probably harder to achieve reproducibility. There is a trade-off there.

        Cost: My Gene paid for itself in less than a year as I was buying green beans at ~$10/kg instead of brown ones at ~$40/kg and I was doing 1/2 kg a week.

        Either a Gene or a Hottop would probably suit you if you want as nice reproducible system. Its a nice step up from a popper. CSers and site sponsors here will help you to decide on a Gene or a Hottop.

        Mike

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

          Thanks guys, but my next question is.......................whats a Corretto, and whats a KKTO????????

          Im located in the inner eastern suburbs of melbourne.

          I know that theres a get together in Abbottsford every so often, so that might be the place to go.

          Also, what difference to flavour does de-gassing have, and how long should you de-gas for?
          Most people seem to nominate 5-7days, but its that just a waste of all that fluffy crema?

          Cheers


          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

            hava a look at the top of the roasters section, there is a sticky for both, tonnes of info, both are great fun! and produce amazing results!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

              Gene is fairly easy to use, and there is now a resource locally of times, temperatures, and techniques to speed up the process of learning. Mind you, I was getting very nice roasts from roast #1.

              Also see Andys latest post on the Behmor--it sounds as though these might be available shortly.

              Greg

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

                Originally posted by 6756564A43260 link=1259285755/4#4 date=1259288570
                and how long should you de-gas for?
                Most people seem to nominate 5-7days, but its that just a waste of all that fluffy crema?
                All that fluffy crema you talk about quickly dissappears if not consumed straight away Apple. It can also be a little bit deceiving as to how long your shot actually is.

                So by letting your beans degas for a little as 2 days, you get a more stable crema and some of the more suttle taste differences come through.

                Coretto = heavily modded bread maker combined with a heat gun.

                KKTO is a not so crazy invention made by our very own Kosmo in Brisbane ...find his thread and check it out!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

                  Another Jenny fan here...got mine about 3 weeks ago and have been doing batches in it every couple of days (also roasting for some of my workmates / mum, etc).

                  Prior to the Gene, I wok roasted on a BBQ which was great - fairly reasonably reproduceable, but very manual and there was no walking away once you started.

                  I got my Gene second hand for a really great price and its worth every cent I paid for it. At this stage, cant see myself really wanting or needing to go to anything else (famous last words!!! )

                  Size of roast is not an issue - I just do two batches back to back (with about 30 minutes in between for everything to cool down but, unlike the wok, I can take my eyes off it for a minute or two at a time - if Im not mesmerised by those little green beans rolling around changing colour, that is!

                  Cheers
                  Di

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

                    I was adimantly in the "roastings not for me" bracket up until about 3 - 4 months ago, now, there is no going back.

                    I used to buy brown from various local suppliers, all of whom provided nice beans, each with their own flavour characteristics etc, but I would quickly become bored with them. Even rotating suppliers every month or so just didnt cut it in the end.

                    Got some cash for my Bday this year, and indulged in a BM and heatgun and bought a few kgs of green.

                    I now have about 12kgs of green in the cupboard, some Costa Rican SHB, Sumartran Mandheling and Columbian Excelso. Have also tried Yirg, Harrar, Kenyan and Honduras. There is still some beans I have yet to try (Tanzanian Peaberry that sounds interesting) but I cant see myself buyng brown for quite some time to come.

                    Im fortunate enough to not have to worry about neighbours in a block etc, so the corretto solution may not suit everyone, but for an investment under $100, its not a lot of money to part with to "see if Roasting is for you"

                    Sen

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

                      Is it worthwhile?
                      Hell, yes. I would suggest there is a high probability you will never look back.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

                        To many win - win scenarios going for it that its a no contest

                        Home roasting rules [smiley=thumbup.gif] [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]

                        KK

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

                          Endorse all of the above. To answer your question.....a simple DO IT will suffice. I dont know abut the GC, but having the variety of green beans in my cupboard at a quarter of brown price makes my HT purchase worthwhile.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

                            Home roasting allows me to laud my snobbiness over all of my family, friends, the postman, anyone who is dumb enough to listen.... It is surely as much a part of the journey because you can experience first hand the process and the development of the beans, their character, flavours etc from 1 second post roast to ~.

                            The next step in the progression is obviously to grow and process and that is my next challenge..... telling my wife that her days of Vines and Roses is coming to an end! My next post may be much higher pitched!

                            Get into the roasting! Youll save money (not initially) and develop your skills, understanding and pallet. If we werent excited about the journey and higher learning we wouldnt need CoffeeSnobs!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Advice of getting into home roasting

                              I was in the same boat as you Apple; very happy with the pre-roasted stuff Id used before then, tried a corretto but it didnt do it for me due to the wrong type of breadmaker used for the project. I now use a Hottop. Why home roast? (theres a thread on that exact subject by the way...)

                              * its cheaper buying green beans (you can get 1kg of green for about the cost of 250g of good roasted coffee)
                              * greens last a lot longer in storage than roasted coffee (3 years rather than 3 weeks, nominally)
                              * theres no excuse to have stale coffee with a ready supply of roasted fresh
                              * but more than anything it helps you learn more about the whole process and lets you roast coffee to suit your palate

                              As to which roaster, given your experiences with a popper I wouldnt bother with an iRoast as thats basically the same idea. Definitely look at a Corretto or a KKTO and see if youd be interested in those. If you decide to go for a dedicated product as I did, the Behmor, Gene Cafe and Hottop are the three more readily available proper roasters in order of price, and with the bigger dollars normally comes greater control over the roast.

                              Each product has its pros and cons; I did a side by side on the Gene Cafe and the Hottop a couple of years ago when I was still playing around with them (before I even considered selling the Hottops by the way), which is at http://www.coffeetamper.com.au/kb/reviews/gene-hottop/ which Id recommend you read - youll read comments on this forum in support of both products and while theyre valuable for gauging owner satisfaction remember that few of those comments are from people who have actually used both products. If 100 people have a xyz widget and rave about it, does that suddenly make it better than the abc widget?

                              Greg

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