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First Time Roasting Using a Weber BBQ, Need some guidance please

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  • First Time Roasting Using a Weber BBQ, Need some guidance please


    I have been keen to roast for a while now, but just needed to pull my finger out and get on with it.

    A few months ago, I tried to roast in the wife's popcorn machine after doing a little research.
    The result was one melted popcorn machine lid.

    But I saw potential.

    I have recently made a rotisserie roaster(1st prototype) for my Weber bbq and a cooling bucket similar to the designs on this forum.

    The roasting drum is 130mm diameter and 300mm long. I should be able to do 500g roast in this but if someone can confirm this that would be great.
    I have also just purchased my starter pack+ valve bags and are ready to begin.

    Starter Pack came with:
    500g Colombian Vulcan Galeros Supremo
    500g Brazil Pulped Natural
    500g Peru ceja de selva Eestate
    500g Ethiopian Gambella Sundried

    I just have some questions/doubt that i need clarification on.

    Which Beans Would be the best/easiest to start with?

    What temp should I start roasting at to 1C?
    i understand i can dry out and scorch the beans if i start too high.

    How long on average do I have to wait until I taste the beans?
    I have read 7 - 10 days, but also 3 - 5 days, 2 weeks (arghhhh!)

    Can the beans be stored in the reusable valve bags right after cooling or do i have to wait 48hrs to degas the beans in a container?
    Hopefully i have supplied enough information I am very keen to start roasting and if someone can help us that would be great.

    Many Thanks!

  • #2
    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs!

    Firstly I would suggest reading less and roasting more... serious... you learn so much from doing it and your roaster, setup and environment is unique to you. Anyway...

    I would suggest trying 250g roasts (that will give you 8 to learn on from the 2kg)

    Start with the Preu or the Colombian.

    Rule of thumb, aim for 10 minutes to 1st crack and another 3-5 to second crack. That is only a guide, 8 minutes to 1st or 15 minutes to first might be ok too. (take lots of notes)

    Waiting time?
    1st shot should be when they are cool enough to go in your grinder. (taste and make notes)
    Leave the rest in a valve bag and try it again in 2 days (taste and make notes)
    Try it again in a couple of days (taste and make notes)
    Repeat until you have no coffee!

    take lots of notes!

    Don't look for a "paint by numbers", coffee roasting isnt like that, instead learn as you go and in no time you will have a technique that suits your setup and your taste buds!

    Remember, you are talking about a couple of dollars of beans each time, not a kings ransom and you will learn more by under roasting and over roasting a batch and tasting the result.

    Most of all, enjoy the journey!


    • #3
      Thank you for the info and the effort in getting the post to work,
      i will try the Peru 250g roast and experiment.

      looking forward to roasting!

      How do I add photos to the post?


      • #4
        How do I add photos to the post?
        After you get to 5 posts on the forum you will be able to post links and photos.
        (it's an anti spam setting on the server that sadly we need)


        • #5
          First roast done

          Peru ceja de selva estate
          2 attempts first attempt overdone
          took 27min failed to hear 1C with hood down

          Second Try
          start temp : 220degrees
          final temp : 260degrees
          1C at 11min
          2C at 17min
          off and cooling at 17:30
          Cooling : 3min
          Appearance : Dark with oily coating cs10-cs11
          Would prefer a bit lighter but dont mind the darker roast.
          immediate Taste : no strong flavours smells nice and good amount of crema on espresso

          Two things to mention ;
          1 . The bbq removes nearly all of the chaff
          i did not think this would happen and was trying to design my cooling bucket to do the job.

          2 . Gardening gloves do not do the job of oven mitts , ouch!

          Thanks for your advice Andy
          Wrote down heaps of information , thinking now i will start my own spreadsheet for the roasting of different coffees.

          Will taste again on day 3.

          Does any one knows a good bbq coffee rub recipe for the first batch.


          • #6
            I cant wait to see the pic of the roaster, I have been thinking of this approach but stumbling at the design phase, get posting so we can see your pics


            • #7
              Great effort for your first roasts on a home made rig. Now that you have your first roasts out of the way, you can start to learn how your set up works.

              Try to think ahead of the roast, that way you will be able to get into the cooling tray a tad quicker and stop second crack earlier if you want a lighter roast. Have gloves ready and dump the beans, if your are aiming for second crack, try to have it come on as you are dumping so you don't go too far in.

              Your times sound right in the ball park, are you measuring air temp or bean mass temp? as 260c sounds too high for bean mass.

              As Andy has already said everyones set up and temp probes are different, but a bean mass temp or around 220c + or - a few degrees is about where most beans end up at as a general rule of thumb.

              Remember though, don't get hung up on the numbers, take those notes and if it looks great, smells great and tastes great, the numbers don't even matter.


              • #8
                I have tasted now on day 3.

                I feel the flavours are coming on stronger. (hint of caramel and nuts?)
                Very smooth!

                I am definetly measuring air temp as i am using the Weber thermometer on the rangehood.
                I have been thinking alot about the temperature.
                The higher temp might have to do with not forcing hot air onto the beans, i.e. Heatgun.
                If you use fan force in an oven do you usually cook at a lower temp?
                Because i am not blowing hot air onto the beans i was surprised to see so much chaff had gone into the bottom of the BBQ.
                The drum has 4mm preforated holes, no beans dropped out in the process.

                I will be documenting every batch of beans, i do feel i will have to go on timing and heat as it is very hard to hear the cracking with the rotissere motor going
                and the hood down.

                I am looking into a quieter and faster motor, I have already pulled apart my daughters 6V battery powered car.


                • #9
                  Tasted on day 7,
                  Definetly a flavour of nuts.

                  One thing i noticed is no bitter taste with an espresso like with bought roasted beans.
                  I am going to try with milk next.

                  I am now converted to roasting. Keen to Roast my next batch but will drink what i have first.

                  Photos of my setup to come as soon as i have the time to download.



                  • #10
                    Set up

                    This is my set up,

                    Hope the photos work,
                    i put them in attachments.

                    If this is wrong let us know.

                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Nice work don't think I have the skills to fabricate such a thing


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the Information Everyone!

                        Its been a couple of months now and i am well on my way to having a very enjoyable addiction.

                        Cheers Themurphs


                        • #13
                          Very nice post Glen,