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  • My heads

    Firstly, thanks... I've spent many months reading many threads and topics which have certainly gone a long way to getting me hooked on home roasting - so thanks to all those willing to fess up their successes and duds. There's obviously a lot of people out there with a lot of experience and a very generous nature to hand out all their secrets.

    I've bought a behmor and love everything thats come out it so far.... Even the smells that stink out the garage and have half the street thinking I'm doing something dodgey in there.

    I'm currently brewing with a saeco via Venezia, but will upgrade to a VBM junior as soon as I get my next cashie job. I've recently bought a anfim eca grinder which to date has made the biggest single difference to my shots. Will confess though, that as yet I have not changed the setting from what was in the box. It's a million times better than my old grinder and has the old saeco making good coffees, so am too scared to change grind.....yet! The saeco makes about 30mls in about 7-10 seconds, which I guess is way to fast, but there is plenty of crema and flavour is good ( acceptable)

    i should mention here that I love coffee. I can't walk within 1m of the instant coffee tin at work without feeling dirty and everyone there calls me a coffee snob. However I like beer and wine just as much and no one seems to have a problem with it.....

    my roasts so far have been all in the behmor with 350gm green, on a 1lb p2 B setting. I pull the roast on or just into 2nd crack as I like a darker roast and a good strong flavoured brew, which seems to be about 1.35-2mins before end of cycle (copied from a relo with a roaster)

    BTW my BIL opens the door for 1 min during the 2nd crack to slow the roast down a bit wit this size roast? Yay or nay......?

    So far ive donee:
    1. 50/50 Ethiopian Yirg and Indian elephant hills AA - I really like this roast and it seems to be pretty forgiving slightly under or over roasted.
    2. 150gm Ethiopian Yirg, 100 Peru ceja de selva, 50 India elephant hills, 50 png wahgi.
    3. 200 Peru ceja de selva, 100 png wahgi, 50 yirg
    4. 50/50 Yirg and png wahgi (today's attempt)

    I guess on the tasting scale of development, I'm still at the nope, ok, yum, stage of assessment..... I've noticed a grassy, sweet smell (like a good kiwi sav blanc) on the Yirg/png brew I've just done today when I bagged it.....that's about the length and breadth of my tasting sophistication. I leave the roasts for at least 4 days before trying, but don't really hook in till 10-14 days post roast.

    ive just ordered from beanbay, India mullaynagiri geisha, Rwanda nyungwe, Guatemala jacaltenango and java banyuwangi to go with the above beans of which I've still got plenty to blend.

    I pretty much always make a latte, all though will happily drink an espresso of an afternoon when required...

    i guess what I'm after is some starting ideas. I've read the no doubt sound advice on starting with SO's, but am keen to get creative. Like I said, I like coffee ...... And if someone gave me a tooheys red (insert your local base market brew) after mowing the lawns it'd taste good.....same with the coffees I've roasted so far. I just have no idea which are the good base beans and which ones are the kickers, or ones to add for some punch or interest to a brew?

    Is there such a thing as basic blends? I'm talking continents even..... Can anyone enlighten me with some starters from the beans I've mentioned?

    Ive trawled many threads and noted a few which I'll try - eg 50/50 Peru ceja de selva and png wahgi. But any other simple suggestions would be really appreciated.... Especially if they'll work good in milk based brews.

    If you could kick start me with the behmor profile for any blends (if that's what you use) that would be also be great.

    in return, I promise to post any good results and never to write so much in a thread again.....

  • #2
    i know this doesn't really answer your question but i couldn't help but offer advice for your coffee experience. the first thing with your via venezia is to get a non pressurized portafilter. that will slow your extraction time down which will help lots... secondly don't be afraid to change your grinder setting finer and finer until it clogs your portafilter then back it off a bit
    good luck tho! sorry i have a gene roaster not a behmor


    • #3
      G'day Dale...

      Sorry for coming in a bit late in the piece mate.

      What I found very helpful when I was first starting out with home roasting and wanting to experiment with blends, was a visit to this page on Sweet Maria's roasting website. It explains some basics about getting started and offers some hints on how to attempt your first blends.

      Mostly, it's up to you after that and you have to keep good records of each and every roast you do, along with tasting impressions, otherwise you won't know how to progress along the 'good' path to coffee nirvana with your very own roastery. Best advice I could give though, is to roast single origin beans for a while, until you get to know which roast profile suits which bean for 'your' palate. We're all different and what might ring my bell, you mightn't like much at all; it really is that personal and idiosyncratic.

      Anyway, see how you go with the hints from the page linked to above and let us know what you find out.

      All the best and Happy Roasting...



      • #4
        Great site you linked there, thanks!

        the trusty via Venezia is getting retired on Tuesday to make way for a new vbm junior I've just sold my soul for. It's been a great machine, and I've enjoyed many great brews from it.... Sad to see it go, but I reckon I'll get over it! I did watch some clips on removing the pressurised portafila, and if I was keeping it, that would be my next move for sure.

        I can see the sense in sticking with the single origins for a while..... I guess learning the ropes and flavours one bean at a time is good practice. I've noted already getting consistency is tricky regardless.... Although I'm yet to be disappointed with a roast when it's fresh, unique and you've done it yourself.

        I've found opening the behmor door for a minute once the 1st crack is under way seems to extend the time to 2nd crack by about a good mintute also..... As without doing this I've been finding with a blend of diff beans they often go from 1st to 2nd with no real gap....hence I've smoked a couple of batches. I've been doing 350gm roasts on 1lb p2b mostly. Seems most people with a behmor roast a bit under a pound....... (?)

        I've made it back to about 2009 in the blending room and roasting tips and tricks, and noted lots of ideas and advice. My notebook looks like the memoirs or a madman.

        couple of things I have discovered.....
        Ive switched to roasting 200gm batches, so I can roast more often and try more beans.....
        PNG wahgi is my fav bean.
        Them beans are busy in the bag....flavour changes on a daily basis after a roast. I had one at 4 days the other day and loved it..... and not as good a week later.

        Thanks for your input.


        • #5
          Hi again Dale...

          Sounds like you're well on the way to getting things sorted out properly mate . So long as the records you keep make sense to you, it doesn't matter what someone else makes of 'em. The most important thing is, that you are keeping records. There's a wealth of nicely structured information to be found on the Sweet Maria's site, I still drop in there from time to time. There are a couple of other sites well worth visiting to glean information too, mostly aimed at professional roasters but it never hurts to gather some additional technical know-how. These are the ones I head to, in no particular order of preference...

          Anyway, hope you find some of this useful. All the best,



          • #6
            To get an idea of what a good blend tastes like, I'd suggest trying a few small batches of site sponsor Di Bella's blends. This will give you an idea of what a good roaster/blender can achieve. After trying a few others, we only buy from them now if we're wanting a change from our home SO roasts. They seem to be very consistent in both roast quality and the blends. Would be nice to see a monthly special for CS members though - what do you reckon Di Bella!

            My Di Bella Coffee

            Site sponsor link:



            • #7

              Given your current stock of beans, and the fact that you largely make lattes, I'd try the following approach. Base bean(s) 50-60%; Split the remainder between African and Indo bean. The 2 obvious base beans in your pile are the India Elephant and the Peru. I personally like the India. So, you could try India 50%, Rwanda 25% Java 25%. Alternately split the base between India and Peru. India 30% Peru 30% Rwanda 20% Java 20%.

              The Guatemala Jac you've got is a fantastic bean by itself, but you could work that into the above schema (I've got one going presently which is India 45% African 20% Guat 20% Indo 15% or's unreal).

              When brewing a blend that contains a lot of the India, it's easy to think it is pouring too quickly....because it is a crema monster. It will settle.

              Good luck


              • #8
                Thanks Barry.....awesome advice. I did just put down a Africa/ Indo 60/40 ratio the other day made up Yirg/Rwanda & Java/PNG, and it looks and smells great. I'll get back to the Indians for a base, as I've been neglecting them for a bit. I agree the elephant hills as a base - the mullayangiri geisha smell (green) to be a somewhat different and interesting character.....I wasnt sure if this was condusive as a base. I guess they would make a good addition to another blend maybe or a single origin?
                But, like I said, they're great ideas thanks and gives me something else to go and play with. Loving this stuff!!!!