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Which beans to roast?

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  • Which beans to roast?

    Hello,

    I've been on this forum for a while but I think this is the first time I've posted. I've been reading heavily about home roasting and today I went and got a bread maker and heatgun so I could get in to it. I just had a go with some Ethiopian D'Jimmah I already had, it looks good! Just have to wait a couple of days to try it.

    Anyway! I just went on bean bay to see what green beans there are and was overwhelmed with the selection! There's so many.. Are any origins more forgiving or easier to roast than others? What's a good bean to start out with? Or does it not really matter?

    - Rob

  • #2
    Welcome Rob...

    It all comes down to the coffee flavour profiles you prefer, more than anything else. If you can give us an idea of what sorts of flavours you prefer in the cup, then one or more of us will be able to make some suggestions...

    Mal.

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    • #3
      Thanks Mal, I really like the fruity flavours I normally find in the Ethiopians, thinking of going for the yirgacheffe. But I haven't really tried too many from south American or Asia.

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      • #4
        If you enjoy the fruitier side of coffee, then it is definitely worth trying any of the Central American beans that Andy has on offer, as a difference to the East Africans.

        Fruitiness tends to be more on the citrusy side of things, and even granny smith apples for a couple of them. Most of these are not difficult to roast but as a few of them are grown at really high altitudes, usually identified as SHG (Strictly High Grown) or SHB (Strictly Hard Bean), these beans can stand more heat application on the way to 1st-crack but in general, aim for Rolling 1st-Crack occurring within the 13-14:30 minute range and then pull the roast at around 30 seconds before the first scouts of 2nd-Crack and up to the start of the first few snaps; depending on the balance of flavours you end up preferring from these.

        It's all fun experimenting of course but the above guidelines should get you in the ballpark.

        All the best,
        Mal.

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        • #5
          Not sure how many different beans you're thinking of buying, but you won't go too far wrong with the Yirgacheffe Spec. Prep and the Guatemala Jac. (and they make a nice 50/50 blend that works as an Espresso and in milk).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
            Not sure how many different beans you're thinking of buying, but you won't go too far wrong with the Yirgacheffe Spec. Prep and the Guatemala Jac. (and they make a nice 50/50 blend that works as an Espresso and in milk).
            Agree there Barry
            One of my fav blends is a 50/50 Yirg / central - super fruity espresso and amazing through milk - though a little bit quirky compared to what you'd get commercially! Got some in the hopper as we speak
            Matt

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            • #7
              Personally, I think it would be better to stick with single origin beans before trying blends. Learn how to get the best out of each SO for your palate and then afterwards, try a bit of post-roast mix'n'match tasting sessions. A lot of Ethiopian and C.A. beans deserve to be given a good try out, all on their own first...

              Mal.

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              • #8
                Thanks for the replies, I ended up getting some Yirgacheffe Spec Prep and roasted it Saturday night, first crack started around 12:00 and finished at 14:00. I pulled it around 14:30 because I was scared of over roasting, and I'm still not completely sure what second crack sounds like. I pulled a shot Monday morning and was wrapped with the flavour, it was super bright and fruity.

                I roasted a second batch Saturday, but waited a few minutes after FC before I pulled them. I didn't hear a second crack. This batch tasted a lot more bitter and not as bright, but still delicious. Is it possible SC happened and I just didn't hear it? Is there much volume difference between FC and SC? Because I can hear FC quite well.

                Thanks,
                Rob

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                • #9
                  Rob,

                  Firstly, full disclosure, I have no experience with your particular roasting setup. However, I doubt you have reached 2nd crack that quickly (and if you have ease back on the gun once 1C has definitely started). Don't judge the roast on 3-4 day old beans....let them sit for at least 7 days (maybe longer) and see. Second crack is quieter, sounds a bit more like someone crumpling celophane/plastic wrap than the twig-snapping sound of 1C, and is usually preceded/accompanied by an increase in smoke produced.

                  Are there visible drops of oil on your beans?

                  Cheers
                  BOSW

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                  • #10
                    Cut and pasted from:

                    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/home-roast...tml#post526845
                    also check out Matt's post #69

                    "Washed and graded beans are more uniform and tend to have more distinct 1st
                    and 2nd crack events.

                    Dry process or naturals tend to have less distinct events and in some roasting environments
                    1st and 2nd cracks can tend to run into each other.

                    Looking at your pic it would seem that the beans are washed; .... fairly uniform size and colour.

                    As a general rule 1st crack sounds like popcorn and 2nd crack sounds like rice bubbles, when you pour milk
                    on them. Do you have rice bubbles ( a breakfast cereal made of puffed, toasted rice)... or cocoa pops? :-D

                    1st crack is more violent and with fresh green beans can be quite noisy, owing to the moisture content. 2nd crack is more subtle;
                    1st crack is chemically bound water being released from the bean, in a hurry, while 2nd crack is the noise generated by the
                    stretching and expansion of the cellulose matrix within the bean structure. There is some fracturing during 2nd crack as well.

                    With some beans the tail end of first crack can sound a little like second crack but there should be a 2-4 minute gap where there is no noise."

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