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  • Tone vs Time

    hi all,

    after playing around tonight with my frankenpopper ( ill save its story for another thread)
    tonight i focused on dragging out the roast times. they ended up a little uneven in colour compared to my faster batches earlier in the week

    but I have a general question about the colour tone versus the roast times. variables aside, which would be more desirable to produce better tasting coffee?

  • #2
    Not sure what you mean by "colour tone" vs roast times. My experience with modified poppers is that dragging out roast times (beyond about 15 mins for a roast pulled just before 2nd crack) tends to produce a flat result when brewed as espresso. However, there are a lot of variables, one of which is how much airflow you are using. I think you can extend roast times if you keep the airflow to just enough to keep the beans moving to get an even roast.

    Regarding your uneven colour, are you sure you took each roast to the same extent? That is, it might be your faster roasts were more roasted (closer to 2nd crack) and so looked more even.

    What "better tastes" are you looking for? More sweetness? Fruit? Chocolaty? Acidity?

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    • #3
      If I can offer a third option; I tend to go purely on sound. Mind you, that happens to be super-convenient/accurate for me simply because my roasts are generally pulled at noticeable points surrounding second crack (first isolated snaps/start of rolling 2C/rolling 2C well under way)

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      • #4
        Hi CW
        What I've found over time is that both are crucial. This is/was my journey answering the same questions

        http://coffeesnobs.com.au/home-roast...justments.html

        You can take two beans to the same colour, but one in 2mins and one in 25mins - and they will both taste completely different (first likely sour and second baked and dry)

        The cracks and the time to get there are more important. I only very rarely go into 2C - and only with certain beans. By varying the times to get to these 1C & 2C points too, you can completely change the taste

        My advice FWIW - don't fuss too much about colour so much.
        Do a roast to just on the first snaps of 2C in 7mins for example. See how it tastes.

        Taste light & sour as espresso? (must taste a sip of espresso to find that out - latte's won't give you much info!). Stretch it out by 30sec.

        If it gets to the point that it starts to taste bitter or chalky - you've gone too far. Back off again.
        Then you can start playing with different roast zones

        It's all trial and error - and what flavours you prefer and how you like your coffee made.

        Happy roasting!
        Matt

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pete39 View Post
          Not sure what you mean by "colour tone" vs roast times. My experience with modified poppers is that dragging out roast times (beyond about 15 mins for a roast pulled just before 2nd crack) tends to produce a flat result when brewed as espresso. However, there are a lot of variables, one of which is how much airflow you are using. I think you can extend roast times if you keep the airflow to just enough to keep the beans moving to get an even roast.

          Regarding your uneven colour, are you sure you took each roast to the same extent? That is, it might be your faster roasts were more roasted (closer to 2nd crack) and so looked more even.

          What "better tastes" are you looking for? More sweetness? Fruit? Chocolaty? Acidity?
          as an example the roasts i did in my untouched popper went for about 6mins total time. while darker than i like, the colour was fairly even.
          but with the modded popper i got the total roast time up 12ish mins. but with a much less even colour.
          in theory which should taste better? (personally i prefer fruitier taste)

          the few i did last night were cracking at 6-8 mins





          Originally posted by Dragunov21 View Post
          If I can offer a third option; I tend to go purely on sound. Mind you, that happens to be super-convenient/accurate for me simply because my roasts are generally pulled at noticeable points surrounding second crack (first isolated snaps/start of rolling 2C/rolling 2C well under way)
          without a thermometer ive been going with colour as my guide. i think i have only got the first ever batch to 2nd crack. and i think that came out too dark for my liking

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
            Hi CW
            What I've found over time is that both are crucial. This is/was my journey answering the same questions

            http://coffeesnobs.com.au/home-roast...justments.html

            You can take two beans to the same colour, but one in 2mins and one in 25mins - and they will both taste completely different
            that's the clarification i was looking for. thanks



            Originally posted by DesigningByCoffee View Post
            The cracks and the time to get there are more important. I only very rarely go into 2C - and only with certain beans. By varying the times to get to these 1C & 2C points too, you can completely change the taste
            2nd crack definately seems to be too dark with the popper.
            but a with the a thermometer and SCR to control the heat i should get close to being able to control the temperature climb

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cloudwarrior View Post
              2nd crack definately seems to be too dark with the popper.
              Second crack is really a zone - that begins when the beans hit around 218° and continues until about 230°. And I agree - too much into 2C does in most beans from what I've found, unless you really enjoy 'black, bitter, smokey coffee!"
              I would work on slowly stretching out the total roast time from the poppers standard 3.5mins a bit at a time, and try dropping the beans each time at the same spot, just as you get to the first little cracks of second (sometimes sounds like matchsticks breaking). You should see some smoke too just as this is about to start. This will be a pretty safe starting point taste wise.
              And don't worry too much about mottled colour - this can be caused by bean types too

              Comment


              • #8
                If you haven't got a thermometer, then you've got your work cut out for you! The modded popper will vary quite a bit due to ambient conditions. Also, you won't see much smoke with the popper (unless you've gone well into 2nd crack really fast) because it gets blown away much faster than in ex-breadmakers etc.

                Its always a good exercise to experiment with extremes, but if you're short for time and don't want to re-invent wheels, then I reackon a good place to start with a modified popper is as follows: Total roast time about 13 mins (sounds like you're pretty close to that already). As DBC suggests, aim to cool on the first snaps of second (eventually for you a bit before might be perfect, but that's hard to judge at first, also depends on the bean). Aim to finish "drying" at around 4 minutes. You can judge this by colour (all the beans should be yellow, a few might be starting to go tan) and smell (while drying it smells grassy, after that things start smelling roasty). Within the first minute you should have plenty of chaff coming off, if not its too cool. This will stop after about 2.5 minutes. At the end of drying, increase the heat and aim for 1st crack to start at about 8 minutes. You'll know you're close to first because you'll start get chaff again (with most beans). Once first crack is underway, reduce the heat a bit. First crack will usually last about 2.5 mins. Hopefully if you've got the heat about right, second will start around 13 mins. This should produce a nice roast and then you can adjust to your taste.

                Note the above will vary a bit depending on what beans you have. It will take quite a bit of practice without a thermometer. There are some very good threads on HB describing fluid-bed roasting. Well worth a read.

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                • #9
                  thanks Pete, descriptions confirm what i have been noticing
                  will have all i need in a few weeks.and can start logging and tracking. but for now just learning by 60g at a time. been noticing something different each time i do a roast

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                  • #10
                    cloudw, you said you like fruitier taste in your coffee, can I ask what beans you are using because some will be fruitier than others, some will develop fruitiness later some earlier, some need a deeper roast and some don't. Knowing what bean you are using may help us a bit here too.

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                    • #11
                      hey smokey,
                      im using the Colombian Volcan Galeras Supremo from the Beanbay.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cloudwarrior View Post
                        hey smokey,
                        im using the Colombian Volcan Galeras Supremo from the Beanbay.
                        Thats a beautiful bean but it is not very fruity, full bodied and dense at times, but fruit, not very, I would be looking to the Ethiopians if you like fruitiness, they are loaded. I just finished drinking a blend of Ethiopian Gambella (fruity) and Peru cds (not fruity), the fruitiness just got stronger and stronger the older it got, beautiful.

                        The depth of roast will change the descriptions below to some degree, and all I can suggest at this stage is just keep doing, it takes lots and lots of trial and error to feel comfortable with your roasting and brewing technique (I know that I am still a rank beginner), and every roast will be different, so enjoy, they all taste awesome when you roast your own.

                        Just one more thought, uneven roasts can be the result of not stirring your beans from the start to when they are rolling perfectly well by themselves. The beans at the bottom begin to roast while the beans at the top don't, no matter how well they roll towards the end of the roast those ones that didn't get stirred down to the bottom of the popper at the beginning will remain relatively unroasted.

                        You have some awesome advice already cloudwarrior, I am sure your roasts will just get better and better

                        Description of the Columbian from beanbay:

                        Roasted:
                        "It produces a medium/heavy bodied coffee with great aroma and a slight caramel sweetness in the after-taste."

                        Green:
                        "Colombian Volcan Galeras Supremo - Well graded beans, clean and well sorted. This is a really easy bean to roast and works well through a range of roast depths. In the cup it produces a bold, slightly spicy espresso that stands-up well in milk based drinks. When someone is looking for "strong coffee" often it's the flavour profile of a good Colombian like this they are looking for."
                        Last edited by smokey; 8 May 2014, 08:09 PM. Reason: spelling

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