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  • Heat gun techniques

    I just lashed out and bought on ebay (for $18) a variable-heat Ryobi heat-gun. And I wont be preparing walls for painting with it....
    Can someone with heat-gun coffee roasting experience give me a brief rundown of techniques .. eg the best sort of container to use for the beans, whether you stick the heat-gun nozzle down into the beans and stir, or hold above and shake .... just a few basic rules to get me on my way.
    Cheers and thanks

  • #2
    Re: Heat gun techniques

    There are dozens of sites out there that explain the process in detail. Check http://www.homeroaster.com/heatgun.html or do a search for more.

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    • #3
      Re: Heat gun techniques

      Thanks for the liink ... Ill go study!

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      • #4
        Re: Heat gun techniques

        Gday Anthony,
        I would consider my experience with a heat gun for roasting as well grounded...Ive used a heat gun to roast in a pot using a spatula - down side is you cant do much else until you complete the process. From there I moved to a set up where I used some 32mm copper tube to pipe the hot air into the center of a seive that sat in a pan. This allows the air to heat from below and provided better results than the first method, plus I had a spare hand as the HG was secured. The current method involves ducting the hot air to the bottom of a rotary flour sifter. The sifter handle has been modified to take a hex drive socket and is powered by a battery drill. Its now a completely hands off operation. I pour the beans in, hose clamp the drill trigger, power up the HG and watch it while I do other things. My HG is electronically adjustable, so I can adjust the heat as required. Max capacity is 300gm green. I think its a three cup sifter. This produces the most even roast out of all the methods Ive trialled.

        When youre starting off, hold the HG fairly close, about 5-7 cm away and keep the beans moving. In about 3-5 minutes chaff should start to come off, 8-10 minuntes youll see they have changed colour to a yellowy tan peanut colour. Youre on the right track. Next they go a mottely brown. Its about now (13-15 minutes) youll hear the distinctive first crack, similar to popcorn and see and smell the smoke. It will drag on for a bit, then itll die down a bit and the bean colour should darken. If you keep going theyll go into their second crack (15-17 minutes), this is where I generally roast to, and then rapid cool. Stop roasting when ever youre ready. If you slow air cool I would suggest yo stop just as the first few beans start their second crak as theyll continue to roast for a bit.

        What the beans look like, when they change colour, the amount off chaff, when they get to their first and second crack depend on the type of bean and how consistently you can replicate your roast profile. Take timings you see as a rough guide only.

        Cheers

        Boris

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        • #5
          Re: Heat gun techniques

          I use a steamer saucepan sitting in a larger saucepan, constantly stirring with a long-handled stainless steel whisk. This makes for an even roast using about 350g of beans. Its not one of those huge steamer pots, just the size that comes in your standard arcosteel box set of pots & pans. I bring it to 1st crack on the high setting in about 8 minutes and then switch to low, reaching 2nd crack at about the 12-15 minute mark. The nozzle is usually around 10cm from the beans. You really have to keep those beans rotating, Ive found. Its a bit tough on the stirring arm, especially if you go up to larger batches.

          Cheers,

          Rob

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          • #6
            Re: Heat gun techniques

            Off topic, but does anyone using their heat gun for tempering chocolate?

            Ive found this method (coupled with a glass bowl and microwave) is much easier than the old fashioned style of double boiler/marble top.

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            • #7
              Re: Heat gun techniques

              I came across the following post on coffeegeek a while ago. it has a number of videos on HG roasts. the ones i had watched were quite detailed, although some go for about 15 minutes.


              http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/homeroast/216595

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              • #8
                Re: Heat gun techniques

                Originally posted by rice link=1144730708/0#5 date=1144890766
                Off topic, but does anyone using their heat gun for tempering chocolate?

                Ive found this method (coupled with a glass bowl and microwave) is much easier than the old fashioned style of double boiler/marble top.
                I would say most people dont buy couverture. Why would you when compound is cheaper and easier? How the heat is applied doesnt make much difference in the flavour/texture of the finished product, it is the cooling method that has the largest impact (unless of course you scorch the chocolate).

                Even pulsing in the microwave will sometimes heat the couverture too much.



                Back to heat guns, youll fins that the vast majority of people use the manual method of bean agitation. This may lead to RSI, especially if you drink a lot of coffee.

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                • #9
                  Re: Heat gun techniques

                  Goatherders Heat Gun Tip #1:

                  Holding the heat gun steady using a vice leaves one hand free to hold beer.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Heat gun techniques

                    Another tip...If you fashion an automatic stirring mechanism, you then have both hands free to hold two beers!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Heat gun techniques

                      Originally posted by nunu link=1144730708/0#9 date=1145851403
                      Another tip...If you fashion an automatic stirring mechanism, you then have both hands free to hold two beers!
                      You sir, are an ideas man.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Heat gun techniques

                        Alternatively, you can buy yourself one of those camelbak bladder backpacks, and fill it with beer, then still have both hands free to roast coffee.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Heat gun techniques

                          Originally posted by nunu link=1144730708/0#11 date=1145854481
                          Alternatively, you can buy yourself one of those camelbak bladder backpacks, and fill it with beer, then still have both hands free to roast coffee.
                          Thats lateral drinking thinking for you!

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