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  • Finally

    Hi All,

    I have been roasting my own coffee for just over two months now and have done about 20 roasts, I just brewed up my arvo doppio and BAM like a punch in the face I get all these berries and fruit flavours that I have heard everyone talking about but never really tasted before. The beans are Ethiopian Harrar Longberry and up until now I thought I had been doing something wrong, I've enjoyed the flavour but they have just been a little bland or flat. I wasn't getting all the acidity that everyone talks about, and what I have tasted from professional roasters, with Ethiopian beans.

    Anyway, despite all the berries I got, the rest of the flavour I could only describe as a "roast" flavour. Not quite burnt or really that bitter, just roast, not very bright or acidic. When I look at others beans they always seem to have a lighter section on the bit down the middle (not sure what it is called) but my beans mostly seem to be a uniform colour all around (I'll attach a pic). They are only roasted light, I don't have a CS card but I would guestimate maybe a CS 7 or 8 and I took them to 223deg which is before 2C using my corretto.

    So to sum up I am just looking for some advice or suggestions of things I can try with my roast ie faster start, slower start, longer/shorter roast ? Ill attach the Roast Profile file to give you some idea of what I am doing.


    Attached Files

  • #2
    If you found the berries then you are getting close to right... well done!

    Great looking roast curve and if I had to guess from the picture I would say your roast appears to be more CS9-10 but coffee is a bugger to photograph.

    Looking at Roast Monitor it appears you made a correction at 4.5 mintes into the roast when the curve dipped. Your C/min spiked at that point and I would suspect that you added some of the roast flavour there by drying the bean too fast and then later in the roast those dry spots on the beans burnt a little.

    Suggestion... try adding a little more heat at the start of the roast and don't adjust it until you get to 180C... at that point start slowing the roast down a little. From 1st crack to 2nd crack do whatever you did this time as that looks nice and controlled.

    Of course this is just opinion and observation from the details I have, I might be right, I might be wrong but it gives you something to try on the next roast.


    • #3
      Thanks heaps Andy, I didn't realise that the little blip could affect the flavour so much. You've given me some ideas and I am going to try two roasts this afternoon, the first one I will keep similar to this roast but smooth out that blip and then the second one give it some more temp early on like you suggest and then start to slow things out at 180C. I can then compare the two and see which I like the most.

      When you say add more heat at the start, do you still suggest giving it 2-3 minutes of low temp to warm the beans up first and then push the temperature right up or would you just hit it as soon as you dump the beans ?


      • #4
        Sully, looks like you are having lots of fun! what a great bean too, love that fruit!

        Something I like to do with most african coffee's that I'm roasting for espresso is to pull them prior to 2nd crack. If you are paying attention, the roast will let off a significant plume of smoke not too far before 2nd crack. This is a nice visual indicator to pull a coffee like this out of the pan and cool it down.

        A little lighter than usual for espresso on the Ethiopian beans and they really sing. I actually roast mine almost strictly for filter drinking these days as it's the way I prefer to enjoy such a lovely coffee. I only roast mine around 30-60 sec in to rolling first crack. Everyone is different and you should go with whatever you discover is ideal for your taste.

        I think Andy's advice is brilliant, regarding peaks and dips and the change to flavour. Profiling your roasts and beans is the fun part, repeating your successes makes it all worth while. Get your lab coat on and take notes or screen cap your wins!


        • #5
          Thanks for the tips James. Your right, i'm having lots of fun, it feels really good when your coffee's are as good if not better than what you get at most cafe's. The frustrating thing is having to wait until the next roast to try the new things that you want to change after doing a roast, otherwise you end up with too many browns...or you just drink alot more coffee.

          I had noticed that puff of smoke you mentioned and generally I would pull the beans a little bit after that. I just did those two roasts and decided to pull them right when I saw the smoke and it ended up being at 221C so not too much lighter than what I was having them at.

          Here are the profiles of the two roasts. I've smoothed out the profile curve on the first one but ramping up the heat early on the second roast makes the profile look quite odd..i'd imagine that if a small blip on my original roast profile caused the coffee to taste a bit "roasty" then this would also have the same affect ?
          Attached Files


          • #6
            I suppose the great thing about a popper, or a small sampler (hottop, etc) is you can do smaller roasts/batch sizes and enjoy a variety of coffee's more regularly.

            I find my corretto hates under 400gm size batches, so end up in the same situation as you, especially as I'm the only coffee drinker in my house. I share almost all my roasts with a crew every Fri for a cupping session

            Your graphs look pretty good. First crack timing is pretty good.. around 10-11min. You can stretch out that 2nd crack by backing the power off a little just before you hit 1st crack, but really it looks ok! Taste is a good indicator!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sully View Post
              Here are the profiles of the two roasts. I've smoothed out the profile curve on the first one but ramping up the heat early on the second roast makes the profile look quite odd..i'd imagine that if a small blip on my original roast profile caused the coffee to taste a bit "roasty" then this would also have the same affect ?
              Looking good Sully!
              Those profiles are great. I'll be interested to see how you rate the differences between the two flavourwise - it really is amazing how little 'blips' as Andy put it can have a huge impact on the taste!



              • #8
                Doing great Sully!
                Always be ruled by the result in the cup.
                I'll endorse Andy's comments (what else could I do?!!!8-D but also from experience) above about deviating from a smooth, early ramp and the effect of early heat spikes.
                With your latest two profiles the first is the better, tho' you pretty much know that, going by your comments.
                My observations are that your time between 1st and 2nd crack is getting a little stretched and you may find 'decay' in the sugars, leading to molasses or bitter, burnt characters.
                I found a marked difference in sweetness when I brought the time down below 4 mins, preserving the sugars.

                The other observation I'd like to make concerns the shape of the first profile. It's a good profile.
                It's a fairly straight, even profile during the first part of the roast before becoming more curved (@ 160*) before the onset of 1st crack.
                This could be your point of variation to work on, to see what effects different 'good' profiles have 'in the cup'.

                Something you might try is to reverse the shape of that profile; to have a slight curve early, say up to 150* pulling back to about 7*-8*/min temp increase and then a straighter, more even ramp from 170*-180* up to 1st crack.
                Compare the difference, the things that might be affected are the chocolate versus fruit notes and what the time and heat dynamics
                through the Maillard Effect zone, (150*-170*) do to the finished roast.

                Don't consider my comments to be hard and fast rules! Make your own rules, according to your taste and your equipment!

                Happy roasting. 8-D
                Last edited by chokkidog; 14 December 2012, 03:39 PM. Reason: I have layout problems