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Journey into Home Roasting

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  • Journey into Home Roasting

    Hi all,

    I thought I might create a thread of my progression into home roasting. Its so surprising to think where I ended up from the start of my coffee experience.

    It all started years ago with Jarrah instant coffee powder - that didnt last long. Then came Nescafe instant coffee, which was all I ever knew. Then came Moccona instant - better. Then came extremely stale coffee through a percolator - lasted even less than the Jarrah powder. Finally came the espresso machine (EM3600). Then came the progression from pre-ground supermarket coffee --> supermarket home beans, using a blade grinder --> then supermarket home beans, using EM0480 grinder. Then I joined CS. Quickly after came freshly roasted Di Bella coffee. And now, before Ive even finished the Di Bella coffee, I want to roast my own.

    So I ordered the starter pack from BeanBay, and try to work out the best way to roast it. Finally settled on a popcorn popper. But the beans arrived today, I pick up the popper on Monday, and I couldnt wait. So, Id read about people using a wok/frying pan to roast. So I thought Id give that a go.

    Oh, Ill just mention now that in the started pack I got the Brazil Yellow Bourbon Especial, the Peru Ceja de Selva Estate, the Vietnam Son La Arabica and the Ethiopia Ghimbi.

    So, I thought I try 50g of the Ethiopian. Unfortunately, it turned out kinda terribly. I ended up with some over and some under roasted. But Im not disheartened!

    What are your thoughts guys?

    PS: the card has just been photoshopped in, best I could do yet.


  • #2
    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    From the look of things, Id say your beans werent in motion enough at the start of the roast.

    The usual advice is to ensure your popper has a chimney, i.e. a tin can shoe-horned down its spout to prevent runaways, and to tip it on a slight angle and/or stir the beans during the first part of the roast until they get a bit of motion going on their own.

    It looks to me like the beans on the bottom were burnt.

    Ive only done a few popper roasts so far, but my results have been quite even.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Journey into Home Roasting

      Originally posted by 5158485555515F493A0 link=1320406409/1#1 date=1320411046
      From the look of things, Id say your beans werent in motion enough at the start of the roast.

      The usual advice is to ensure your popper has a chimney, i.e. a tin can shoe-horned down its spout to prevent runaways, and to tip it on a slight angle and/or stir the beans during the first part of the roast until they get a bit of motion going on their own.

      It looks to me like the beans on the bottom were burnt.

      Ive only done a few popper roasts so far, but my results have been quite even.
      This was with the frying pan. I thought I kept it quite mobile... Ah well. It was still fun. Are they still worth trying? Or should I just dump them and try again?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Journey into Home Roasting

        Hmmm, looks like its not been stirred properly to my eyes...

        of course, Ive not done the "wok" style cooking myself...

        How long did this roast batch take you??

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Journey into Home Roasting

          Originally posted by 785541535C5D5A53754072554051340 link=1320406409/3#3 date=1320412331
          Hmmm, looks like its not been stirred properly to my eyes...

          of course, Ive not done the "wok" style cooking myself...

          How long did this roast batch take you??
          How shocked would you be if I said it almost took an hour? I couldnt believe how long it took. I had it constantly moving, initially by shaking, then stirring with a wooden spoon. I definitely wont be doing the wok style again.

          Ah well. Im glad I did a small batch.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Journey into Home Roasting

            Originally posted by 4065726D603C040 link=1320406409/2#2 date=1320411249
            Are they still worth trying?
            Of course!  I would try them and see what they are like (even if they look a bit uneven), this way you can begin to learn what tastes good and what tastes better.  You have nothing to loose, I think its all part of the fun and part of learning.

            Cheers

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Journey into Home Roasting

              Originally posted by 446176696438000 link=1320406409/4#4 date=1320412461

              How shocked would you be if I said it almost took an hour? I couldnt believe how long it took. I had it constantly moving, initially by shaking, then stirring with a wooden spoon. I definitely wont be doing the wok style again.

              Ah well. Im glad I did a small batch.
              Ouch, Yeah, Unless you were doing something horribly wrong, thats a horrendiously long time to roast...

              Oh well, Live and learn eh? Try em and see how it is! you never know, itd probably still come out better then those bloody supermarket beans you got started with (not to mention the Jarrah powder and Nescafe)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Journey into Home Roasting

                Hi,
                Wok is not ideal for roasting. Its thin metal transfer heat very quickly and is great for sizzling stir-fry, but not good for roasting which need even and steady heat.
                The cheap cast iron pot from any camping store is so much better than wok. I picked up a 3 liters cast iron sauce pan for $19.95 and it works like a champ. I had also tried the expensive Emile Henry clay pot too, but no matter what I do, I always end up with the uneven roasted beans.
                It took me 15 minutes to roast 200g beans. Not as even roasted compare to Hot Gun, but really close.
                Have Fun.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Journey into Home Roasting

                  Originally posted by 7361717D74747777617C7D7061120 link=1320406409/7#7 date=1320449805
                  Hi,
                  Wok is not ideal for roasting. Its thin metal transfer heat very quickly and is great for sizzling stir-fry, but not good for roasting which need even and steady heat.
                  The cheap cast iron pot from any camping store is so much better than wok. I picked up a 3 liters cast iron sauce pan for $19.95 and it works like a champ. I had also tried the expensive Emile Henry clay pot too, but no matter what I do, I always end up with the uneven roasted beans.
                  It took me 15 minutes to roast 200g beans. Not as even roasted compare to Hot Gun, but really close.
                  Have Fun. 
                  My mistake. It was the "wok technique" using frying pans. Initially it was a small teflon pan. Then i changed half way through to a heavier bottomed stainless one. But i think the damage was already done.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

                    First double shot from the freshly roasted beans. Day after roasting. Im definitely a milk-coffee drinker. There was something to the taste of the coffee that I couldnt identify. Maybe another cup tomorrow will tell. Anyway, I thought Id take a photo of it for you guys. Thoughts are most welcome.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Journey into Home Roasting

                      My roasting interest started about a year ago with a Crazy Popper I bought brand new for the job. I only put in about 83g at a time and was blown away by the way something so simple could produce such perfect coffee flavours. After a couple of months it wasnt enough, and I invested in a Behmor just before christmas last year. Its a great little machine, and I can do 400g at a time. After the initial disasters, most turn out good, although I still have trouble with matching the right bean to te right profile. I dont have the techno-gadgets to get the temperature correct at the right time, I have to rely purely on mainly sight, smell and sound to guage the roast. Sometimes when Ive been a bit hasty in finishing a roast and it;s a bit grassy, I finish it off in the popper and it works a treat-even if the beans have been roasted a week. Ive still got a lot to learn but its very addictive and fun trying. Im tying to roast my way around the world to see what the flavour range is.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Journey into Home Roasting

                        Hi David,

                        I thought of this idea for you.

                        A popper is great for beginners.
                        Another alternative is to get a heatgun and dog bowl or your wok with a whisk.

                        Hold the heatgun and apply a nice serve of heat, then stir your batch constantly.
                        Wear a mitten on your stirring hand.

                        When you hear first popping noises, raise the heatgun an inch or two. Keep agitating and stirring those beans.
                        Have a look at the beans with the colour card next to the wok or bowl. Keep roasting til the colour you want.

                        When its roasted, cool the beans straight away between two colanders.

                        This should give you a more even roast due to hot air surrounding the beans rather than the heat being conducted through the wok.

                        Give that a try if you want.

                        Gary at G

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Journey into Home Roasting

                          Originally posted by 332924253721393333400 link=1320406409/11#11 date=1320905255
                          Hi David,

                          I thought of this idea for you.

                          A popper is great for beginners.
                          Another alternative is to get a heatgun and dog bowl or your wok with a whisk.

                          Hold the heatgun and apply a nice serve of heat, then stir your batch constantly.
                          Wear a mitten on your stirring hand.

                          When you hear first popping noises, raise the heatgun an inch or two. Keep agitating and stirring those beans.
                          Have a look at the beans with the colour card next to the wok or bowl. Keep roasting til the colour you want.

                          When its roasted, cool the beans straight away between two colanders.

                          This should give you a more even roast due to hot air surrounding the beans rather than the heat being conducted through the wok.

                          Give that a try if you want. 

                          Gary at G

                          Hi Gary! Thanks for your idea. I bought myself a heat gun yesterday, and I actually got a free bread maker that - so far - seems suitable. So Im looking to give that a go once my current roasted beans supply diminishes a little more. No point in it going stale...

                          David

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Journey into Home Roasting

                            Great move David.

                            The breadmaker and heat gun set up is where im at too.
                            Plenty of info in this forum about it.

                            How long does the mixing cycle go for on your bread machine.

                            If yours can mix continuously for 20 minutes (not including the incorporation cycle) or more, then its ok.

                            Gary at G

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Journey into Home Roasting

                              Originally posted by 7B616C6D7F69717B7B080 link=1320406409/13#13 date=1320925551
                              Great move David.

                              The breadmaker and heat gun set up is where im at too.
                              Plenty of info in this forum about it.

                              How long does the mixing cycle go for on your bread machine.

                              If yours can mix continuously for 20 minutes (not including the incorporation cycle) or more, then its ok.

                              Gary at G
                              I havent played around with all the cycles, but the best I have found so far is:[list bull-blackball][*]5 minutes of nothing[*]15 minutes of pulsating[*]20 minutes of continuous mixing[/list]

                              Looking to give it a go next week. Im just a little worried about what setting to use on the Ozito... But Ive found a thread that states the different temperatures for each heat gun setting. So I have some idea.

                              Comment

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