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  • High altitude, low humidity roasting?

    Morning all
    Just wondering if anyone has any experience with high altitude, low humidity roasting?
    Were at almost 1000m, and being country NSW have fairly low humidity on average (around 65%). I noticed a small point on the Sweet Marias roasting guide (linked from another post) that this can produce different results to the coast, and suggested maybe taking it into higher temps.
    Using the DMM Ive been slowly working my way up from dropping my 350g corretto roasts starting at 214 and Im now up to 219 (which seems to be the usual range of figures I see floating around on various threads to bring it in just before 2C) but the results so far seem quite light and taste a bit thin with not much body - looks around CS7-8ish.
    Times have been around 12-13 mins to FC then 4-6cmins to drop. Leaving to rest normally at least 5-7 days, and they are improving with good aroma, but still look and taste under-roasted? The obvious is to push it longer - but well into the 220s seems pretty high when a lot of stuff Ive read says the ideal for espresso is 210-216?

    Any ideas, fellow high-country home roasters? :-/

    Matt

  • #2
    Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

    Hi Matt,

    You have kind of answered your own questions and you are on the right track.

    Numbers are nothing more than that, just numbers on website and will have no relationship to your setup.

    To give you an example, I roast on a 5kg roaster and my dump temps depending on blend or origin can be as low as 209c.

    Am I under roasting? I certainly hope not!, this is simply a result of where MY temp probe is located in MY roaster.

    The dump temp could be 230c if it was in another spot. While we want to be close to exact temps in the real world that wont happen, correttos by nature will all read different.

    The main thing to concentrate on is repeatability. Find what works and try to replicate it.

    Go with what you taste buds are telling you. You say that your roasts taste underdone and look light, then roast darker and try it till you find what works best for you.

    Back your own judgement and dont get hung up on the numbers, you are in a unique location anyway by the sound of it.

    Enjoy the roasting and let us know how your future roasts go.

    Dean

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    • #3
      Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

      Were not as high up as you Matt, about 500Mts....

      I hate to use generalisations but very few beans Ive roasted here at home, are pulled before 223-225deg.C... Thats usually just before, just on or just after 2nd-Crack begins.

      Anything pulled under 220deg.C just does not work well in an espresso for me and most of my fellow imbibers up here. I guess the name of the game is to experiment, keep notes and go with small-ish batches until you find the sweet spot. Thats all I do with any new beans, new crops, etc...

      Mal.

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      • #4
        Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

        Thanks all
        All good advice! Seat of the pants, I thought I needed to roast longer, and those temps sound much more realistic Mal. I understand that each roaster reads differently, but as Ive been getting 1C bang on 200 degrees for 15-20 roasts (which seems pretty consistent with the profiles Ive seen) Ill try take up the temperature higher. Im doing a batch in the morning, so guess well see how it shapes up.

        Matt

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        • #5
          Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

          Well, the wise ones have said work with one variable at a time. Should have listened!
          Needed to roast a bit more this weekend as were away next weekend, so thought Id up it to 600g, using the same KJM blend variation Ive used for the last couple of under-roasted batches. Roasting really well, good curve, but almost instantaneous rolling 2C hit like a B-double out of nowhere at about 216 - leaving me picking out what I think were charred Eth. Blue Horse out of my blend.
          Back to 350g… :-[

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          • #6
            Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

            Well, another attempt today - much greater success! 300g (125g Bolivian, 175g Ethiopian Blue Horse). 1C at 10 mins (199 deg) and stretched out to 16mins - pulled at 221 deg - just a pop or two into 2C. Very controllable & even - well see how we go in the cup!
            Just an aside - the last disaster batch is actually quite good in the cup - much more flavour cutting through the soy were drinking, well see how it shapes up in the doppio ristretto in the morning…

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            • #7
              Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

              Originally posted by 19382E343A3334333A1F241E323B3B38385D0 link=1316214617/5#5 date=1317019528
              Just an aside - the last disaster batch is actually quite good in the cup - much more flavour cutting through the soy were drinking, well see how it shapes up in the doppio ristretto in the morning…
              Just goes to show; never throw away any roast batch until youve had a chance to taste it in a brew... You just never know.

              Will be interesting to hear your thoughts on the new batch too Matt.... 8-)

              Mal.

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              • #8
                Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

                Originally posted by 15383C303D510 link=1316214617/6#6 date=1317045247
                You just never know
                Too true! The ristretto this morning was smooth and had removed some of the acidity - much easier to bear

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                • #9
                  Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

                  Originally posted by 6A47434F422E0 link=1316214617/6#6 date=1317045247
                  Will be interesting to hear your thoughts on the new batch too Matt....
                  Well - into the new batch. Its amazing the difference a few degrees make!
                  Ive taken the last couple of 350g roasts to 221-222 degrees (in my Corretto the probe comes about 25mm into the back left corner, opposite the gun entry, about 5mm off the bottom of the pan) and it has removed all hint of sourness, but fortunately doesnt have the overdone really dark roast taste you can get.
                  My blending now needs some work - the blends Ive done are a bit non-eventful - but all cups as both ristretto & in milk are very smooth and tasty.
                  At least now that Im in the general espresso roasting sweet spot I can start playing with the best temps for the different beans.
                  Thanks for all your help folks

                  Matt

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

                    Great to hear that Matt.... 8-)

                    Time to play now, eh?

                    Mal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: High altitude, low humidity roasting?

                      Originally posted by 567B7F737E120 link=1316214617/9#9 date=1317976892
                      Time to play now, eh?
                      Too true - shame I cant drink as much as Id like to roast!

                      Matt

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