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End of first crack signs!

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  • End of first crack signs!

    Just curious how you guys define the end of first crack? What is your defining measurement point or hallmark that you go by to know that first crack is finished? May very well differ for everyone I'm sure! I only ask as some beans have very different sounds or frequencies of pops happening then, some will have the odd pop still going while others really just stop popping more abruptly. I sort of go by if the time between singular pops was 5 seconds or more then I considered first crack to be finished, but curious what everyone else considers it as having ended? Looking forward to your thoughts, and also hoping everyone is well and safe

  • #2
    That's a good measure to use Simon, I use a similar one and has served me well for many years now...

    Mal.

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    • #3
      Agree with this method . It is my approach that has some practical sense to me .
      I find some of my beans have this distinct separation between first crack and approaching second crack , very few I have don’t have this break .
      I find the following beans have very very light sound at first crack and very few first cracks at all . Decaf and my Yemen 2019 batch are hard to track through first crack and beyond .

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      • #4
        Interesting question. I think the answer will be very machine/roaster/bean/technique specific.

        The "crack" is intrinsic to the bean, it's a great marker because near all Arabica beans will crack at 196C.
        This means that if your machine/roaster/bean/technique is perfect all the cracks will happen in the same second with no trailing cracks after.

        Of course, this never happens and the longer the first crack period runs, the more uneven your machine/roaster/bean/technique probably is.

        The bulk of the cracks are in a bunch, when they spread out somewhat you would call that "the end of most of first crack" and yeah, a few seconds gap is probably right unless you want to count the amount of beans in the roast and then count the cracks.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dimal View Post
          That's a good measure to use Simon, I use a similar one and has served me well for many years now... Mal.
          Originally posted by NJD View Post
          Agree with this method . It is my approach that has some practical sense to me . I find some of my beans have this distinct separation between first crack and approaching second crack , very few I have don’t have this break . I find the following beans have very very light sound at first crack and very few first cracks at all . Decaf and my Yemen 2019 batch are hard to track through first crack and beyond .
          Awesome, thanks guys. I also ask as I had a roast in which I totally misjudged the end of first crack and the roast ended up being much darker than I aimed for, as I aim for either certain degrees above or a certain time after end of first crack. And yeah very true NJD, some beans have a different "type" of FC, or rather they respond differently in your roaster than others. Great thoughts!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Andy View Post
            Interesting question. I think the answer will be very machine/roaster/bean/technique specific. The "crack" is intrinsic to the bean, it's a great marker because near all Arabica beans will crack at 196C. This means that if your machine/roaster/bean/technique is perfect all the cracks will happen in the same second with no trailing cracks after. Of course, this never happens and the longer the first crack period runs, the more uneven your machine/roaster/bean/technique probably is. The bulk of the cracks are in a bunch, when they spread out somewhat you would call that "the end of most of first crack" and yeah, a few seconds gap is probably right unless you want to count the amount of beans in the roast and then count the cracks.
            Ahhh... never really thought of it like that! Didn't really think that it's basically one "crack" per bean... but of COURSE... that makes sense... The geek in me now reeeeally wants to count all the cracks haha. And say 75% of the cracks we can call first crack being over ;D. But some great thoughts, appreciate that. Yeah in a perfectly ideal roaster they would all crack all at the same time, wouldn't that be awesome haha.. It's so hard to judge the end sometimes... when I'm listening super carefully, and just when I think it's definitely the end within that 5s range, I hear a sneaky crack! Hard to know when to definitively say it is over haha.

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            • #7
              I've joked before about modifying the HeatSnob to use a microphone that would plot the noise of first crack. Then you would see how closely grouped your roast was.

              Don't get too hung up on the timing of the "end of first crack", like most things coffee roasting, best results are about consistency and repeatability more than an exact scientific point.

              Full first crack should be fireworks, if you can identify single cracks then first crack is over, other beans were just late for the bus.

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              • #8
                Yep, ignore the stragglers. And don’t worry too much about the time that first crack ends, worry more about the time and temp that it starts and trying to get the overall time it’s lasts as short as possible within reason.

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                • #9
                  Great info here thanks! I'm still a novice roasting with a bread maker and heat gun but still getting decent results

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