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Acidic beans

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  • Acidic beans

    I've got a batch of beans that roasts up quite (as in too) acidic. I've been roasting for about 6 months and haven't come across such a bean before. I've been blending it as a minor component (~10%) but I'll never get through it if that's all I use it for! When I first started roasting I came across a website that showed the generalised effect of different roast profiles, but I can't remember the magic combination of keywords that derived that link. I think it said that at full city + you start to lose some acidity... Is that correct? And to what degree in people's experience? Or is this bean doomed to forever be a minor component to my blends, adding pineapple and passionfruit and an acidic middle palate?

  • #2
    Hi LM

    Roasting darker reduces acidity. The trick is finding the degree of roast that tames the acidity (to your palate) while also maintaining some of the beans origin/characteristic flavors. By this I mean that if you roast too dark, you might reduce the acidity and end up with more of the darker roast flavors as opposed to the origin flavors that make each bean origin unique.

    How are you preparing your coffee, espresso or other brew methods? For espresso, lowering the dose and grinding finer can help tame the acidity. Just keep lowering the dose until you notice the effect on acidity.



    • #3
      bean origin and name would be helpful but usually the further you take a bean into second crack it will mute the acidity and develop chocolatey notes until you get to a point where the roast characteristics will take over and eventually end up with a black and oily mess.


      • #4
        Thanks for the fast response guys! It's an El Salvador pacamara from the farm Finca Lorena (~1200m altitude). I drink americanos from my ap at work and use my home EM6910 for lattes and the occasional ristretto. I thought it'd be a great ap SO, but I was wrong... It's complex alright, but not particularly pleasant. I'll take some into 2nd crack and see how they go...


        • #5
          I've had experience with roasting pacamara at my previous work and it is a real pain. It's a natural hybrid of pacas and maragogipe and it's a massive bean. Because of this it is particularly hard to get an even roast degree between the inside and outside of the bean. The outside tends to be much darker than the inside, so once you start to take the roast degree further the inside remain comparatively light and acidic, resulting in both muddled roast character from the darker outside and brightness from the inner.
          To try and get around this rather than taking it further you need to try to develop the roast colour more slowly. Getting the beans to a similar roast degree but taking an extra minute or two should result in a more even colour between the inner and the outer.
          With out knowing your roast setup I would suggest that you try dropping the beans into the roaster at a lower temp, or tapering of the heat earlier approaching first crack.

          Saying all this we also found similar character that you described, complex but not particularly pleasant.
          So good luck!


          • #6
            It certainly is an enormous bean! Your tips make a lot of sense. I roast with a popper, but I switch it on and off and shake it around to slow it down to mimic more of a coretto-type roast. Hardly scientific, but it usually does a great job...

            I roasted some up yesterday, hitting first crack at around 6:30 and 2nd at about 9:30. I let about 1/4 of the beans hit 2nd and the others seem to be on the verge after dumping and cooling. They're smelling good through the valve and I'm looking forward to seeing if it did the job next weekend... Still, I won't be in a hurry to buy these again... As I mentioned in my OP, I'm still pretty new to roasting and appreciate the good advice. I have much to learn!