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Borrowed a friend's Hottop - 1st roasting experiences.

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  • Borrowed a friend's Hottop - 1st roasting experiences.

    My friend Charlie Oan (name dropping as he's placed in previous Golden Bean comps), lent me his Hottop model B. I bought 2.5 kg of Bolivian Caranavi and Ethiopia Bifu Gesha.

    The Bolivian is a simple bean to roast, I had success with every batch, taking it from around a CS 4-7 over 4 batches. I'm drinking it now and my initial gut feeling was correct, this bean suits a "full city plus" roast - beautiful nutty backbone and subtle acid make it perfect with milk as a "long mac" (for want of a better label).

    The Ethiopia Gesha I found difficult to get a consistent roast, I was aiming for about a CS 5. Quite a few green beans slipped by and jammed my grinder... So I hand picked them out of the batch, and brewed as espresso, drank as a long black and a long mac. Both really nice, soft grass and floral notes on the black, sour creamy head and ending with a flush of acid. Many of the subtle flavors were muted by the milk but still very good.

    I also did a post roast blend of the two beans, which I found quite nice, but they're probably a bit more enjoyable as singles.

    I roasted everything on the 15th to 17th, when I was interrupted by the birth of my first child (a week early cheeky girl). I'm hooked to roasting, I've been brainstorming bbq roasting drums, also have a bread maker and little toaster oven lying around, I like to tinker so unlikely to buy my own Hottop.

    Can anyone recommend a "fundamentals" type text book? I feel like I could save myself some failed experiments by learning from others.

    Cheers for reading, Joseph.

  • #2
    Hi jj,

    Firstly, congrats on the birth of your daughter.

    There are not many books about roasting, full stop.

    There have been a couple recently, namely Scott Rao's book and another by Rob Hoos; Modulating the Flavour Profile of Coffee.

    Neither are worth reading, in my opinion, unless you can score a free read.

    Kenneth Davids' book 'Home Coffee Roasting-Romance and Revival' has a revised edition but I have never read it.

    You will learn far more by reading as much as you can on this forum and by taking the bit between the teeth and learning by trial and error.

    Read Matt's thread about Corretto roasting, for instance.

    There simply is no better way.

    p.s. You have an interesting take on what nice coffee is..... grassy, sour, acidic??!! Try roasting at least to the end

    of first crack (CS7??) and then try progressively more developed roasts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by jjdoom View Post
      My friend Charlie Oan (name dropping as he's placed in previous Golden Bean comps), lent me his Hottop model B. I bought 2.5 kg of Bolivian Caranavi and Ethiopia Bifu Gesha.

      The Bolivian is a simple bean to roast, I had success with every batch, taking it from around a CS 4-7 over 4 batches. I'm drinking it now and my initial gut feeling was correct, this bean suits a "full city plus" roast - beautiful nutty backbone and subtle acid make it perfect with milk as a "long mac" (for want of a better label).

      The Ethiopia Gesha I found difficult to get a consistent roast, I was aiming for about a CS 5. Quite a few green beans slipped by and jammed my grinder... So I hand picked them out of the batch, and brewed as espresso, drank as a long black and a long mac. Both really nice, soft grass and floral notes on the black, sour creamy head and ending with a flush of acid. Many of the subtle flavors were muted by the milk but still very good.

      I also did a post roast blend of the two beans, which I found quite nice, but they're probably a bit more enjoyable as singles.

      I roasted everything on the 15th to 17th, when I was interrupted by the birth of my first child (a week early cheeky girl). I'm hooked to roasting, I've been brainstorming bbq roasting drums, also have a bread maker and little toaster oven lying around, I like to tinker so unlikely to buy my own Hottop.

      Can anyone recommend a "fundamentals" type text book? I feel like I could save myself some failed experiments by learning from others.

      Cheers for reading, Joseph.


      Hi Joseph

      I also have a Hottop 'B' and am half way through a batch of Ethiopia Biftu Gesha.

      My method for this bean ( and most others) is quite simple and works for me. Roast max 250g. Start off with the auto mode, and let it do it's thing until it hits first crack. Ramp the heat down to the second notch. Let it coast through first crack on this low heat setting. As soon as first crack is over ramp the heat back up to 2 notches under full heat. Let it go for another 60 to 90 seconds and then dump it.

      Give it a go and let me know what you think.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by chokkidog View Post
        Kenneth Davids' book 'Home Coffee Roasting-Romance and Revival' has a revised edition but I have never read it.
        I used the above book to kick-off my roasting 6 years ago (also with a Hottop), and found it a useful reference at the time for a basic objective reference & understanding of terminology without having to decipher some of the emotive posts you sometimes get on forums. But then agree with CDs reply above.

        GrahamK

        Comment


        • #5
          Chokkidog: Thanks for the prompt and in depth reply, I'll seek out that Coretto thread!

          Originally posted by chokkidog View Post

          p.s. You have an interesting take on what nice coffee is..... grassy, sour, acidic??!! Try roasting at least to the end

          of first crack (CS7??) and then try progressively more developed roasts.
          I certainly don't have a developed palette nor a developed coffee dialect, but I think I enjoy a balanced amount of acid, sour and grassy/floral/fruit tones. That is of course providing there is ample sweetness, earthiness etc to balance it out. But I think the essence of what you're saying is correct I am under roasting. I will take a test batch past second crack next time just so I have an ear for the whole process.

          Gaviscon: excellent, I'll give that method a go if I can borrow the Hottop again. Thank you

          Graham: Thanks for making the point about deciphering forums, I think I'll suss out one of those books never the less if I can find them in a library.

          Comment


          • #6
            I couldn't see where to edit, but I realized I got the CS roast scale confused. I thought it was 0-10 but it's 0-12. So for anyone reading this thread, adjust my above numbers accordingly.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have four roasters :Baby FZR-700,BM Corretto with Steinel HG,KKTO-HG modded to fit Steinel HG photos posted and Hottop B. In order of learning to roast by senses sight,sound and smell use a Baby and you will master roasting. In order of ease of use, Baby first,Corretto second,my modded KKTO for larger batches 500-1000grm is by far my favorite.HottopB with probe fitted has to be the least user friendly and if you like your beans to reach CS9 or darker you have to be next to a genius . This is MHOP and I have mastered 400grm roasts to just at 1st crack

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bcspark View Post
                I have four roasters :Baby FZR-700,BM Corretto with Steinel HG,KKTO-HG modded to fit Steinel HG photos posted and Hottop B. In order of learning to roast by senses sight,sound and smell use a Baby and you will master roasting. In order of ease of use, Baby first,Corretto second,my modded KKTO for larger batches 500-1000grm is by far my favorite.HottopB with probe fitted has to be the least user friendly and if you like your beans to reach CS9 or darker you have to be next to a genius . This is MHOP and I have mastered 400grm roasts to just at 1st crack
                annyeonghaseyo! (assuming your sir name is Park? )

                I was looking at those Baby FZRs, very nice looking minimal design, great kitchen porn and possibly something I'll get down the track.

                I am going down the Corretto path though, I picked up a "Cascade" breadmaker off gumtree, I have a Victor 86B in the mail and yet to buy a heat gun. Just deliberating between a Makita or Bosch, both for $99 mark... With the BM, probe, HG and fireblanket, my costs will be around $210. Now, to read more, talk less

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jjdoom View Post
                  annyeonghaseyo! (assuming your sir name is Park? )
                  I am going down the Corretto path though, I picked up a "Cascade" breadmaker off gumtree, I have a Victor 86B in the mail and yet to buy a heat gun. Just deliberating between a Makita or Bosch, both for $99 mark... With the BM, probe, HG and fireblanket, my costs will be around $210. Now, to read more, talk less
                  I'd be going for the Bosch as it's got the digital temperature input/display. I'm able to repeat a roast profile (given the ambient conditions are similar) to a very fine degree with the Bosch by copying my previous temperature inputs. I doubt it'd be so easy on an analogue gun.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dan110024 View Post
                    I'd be going for the Bosch as it's got the digital temperature input/display. I'm able to repeat a roast profile (given the ambient conditions are similar) to a very fine degree with the Bosch by copying my previous temperature inputs. I doubt it'd be so easy on an analogue gun.
                    G'day Dan....

                    I have the Makita HG that uses a rotary dial to select the output temperature, and I can assure you that it is simplicity itself to use and very, very repeatable. It also uses a closed loop control system to maintain the output temperature at what ever the setting is, regardless of ambient conditions. It is also built like the proverbial brick %!*thouse, being aimed at trade use, and will probably outlast me...

                    Mal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dimal View Post
                      G'day Dan....

                      I have the Makita HG that uses a rotary dial to select the output temperature, and I can assure you that it is simplicity itself to use and very, very repeatable. It also uses a closed loop control system to maintain the output temperature at what ever the setting is, regardless of ambient conditions. It is also built like the proverbial brick %!*thouse, being aimed at trade use, and will probably outlast me...

                      Mal.

                      Ah right. Good to know. Maybe I've used a few too many cheap rotary dial heat guns to know they can actually be good

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hey Dan and Mal, I went with the Bosch on account of it being available down the road... Also, the digital display looks good. I'd be quite interested to see some of your temperature notes Dan, given that our ambient temps should be fairly similar (obviously set up is going to differ).

                        I also picked up a strip of heavy duty aluminum screen mesh that I was planning to cover the HG nozzle with.. Aluminum melts at 660.3 °C, so it wondering people's thoughts on that idea? Or does the HG fan pretty much prevent chaff flying up the nozzle?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hey Mal, which HG do you have? Is it one with the variable air output?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jjdoom View Post
                            Hey Dan and Mal, I went with the Bosch on account of it being available down the road... Also, the digital display looks good. I'd be quite interested to see some of your temperature notes Dan, given that our ambient temps should be fairly similar (obviously set up is going to differ).

                            I also picked up a strip of heavy duty aluminum screen mesh that I was planning to cover the HG nozzle with.. Aluminum melts at 660.3 °C, so it wondering people's thoughts on that idea? Or does the HG fan pretty much prevent chaff flying up the nozzle?
                            Happy to share some of my notes and profiles. Keeping in mind that no corretto is the same. Will throw some up in this thread tomorrow.

                            I can't see how chaff could enter the gun through the nozzle. Some does sometimes get stuck to the intake grill, but that's only when I'm blowing out the corretto and chaff is going everywhere (I've got a lid with an exhaust which prevents chaff coming anywhere near the gun when roasting). It easily comes off when you turn the heatgun off.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Good point about the nozzle... For some reason I just assumed it would need protecting. I went ahead with a few roasts to test the set up, unfortunately minus a DMM at the moment, so I roasted by eye.

                              1st up, an under roasted, charred Bolivian... I had the gun up at full temp and the fan at max speed. I also was uneasy about taking it too far, didn't want to over roast it, that's the one on the left. I then read about not drying out the bean with too much fan, and watched Designed by Coffee's Corretto Roast Youtube video using the Bosch, and took note of his temperature and process, I tried to replicate his technique and the result is on the right. It was in second crack as I dumped it into the cooling bowl, it's good to know what a real second crack looks and smells like now
                              Click image for larger version

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                              Here is my third roast, Ethiopian Bifu Geesha again. I basically did as I did with my second Bolivian batch, but wanted to eject before second crack, in the end it was probably 90 seconds after 1C. Overall my best roast of the Ethiopian so far.
                              Click image for larger version

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                              But look at these little pebbles! Unroasted, undersized beans that will jam up my grinder, I picked over the full batch to weed these out.
                              Click image for larger version

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                              Looking at the first picture of the Ethiopian, I can see some scorching so next time I'll try and slow things down even more, and hopefully no small beans will be left behind.

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