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Thread: Roasting times/temp

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Roasting times/temp

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    My coffee drinking friend told me the other day about his conversation with a pro roaster. One comment in the conversation took my interest.

    "The trick to roasting is roast the inside of the bean to the same level of the outside of the bean"

    Just like you dont put a chicken in the oven for 5 mins at 240C, you would crisp the outside of the chicken, the middle raw.
    You wouldnt roast a chicken a chicken for 24 hours at 65C.
    Probably a bad example!

    This got me thinking that maybe this is why roast time/temps are fairly ubiquitous.

    If you ramp up to FC too slowly or ramp too slowly from FC to SC you might be roasting the inside of the bean too much and/or roasting the outside to little.

    If you ramp to FC too quickly or ramp from FC to SC to quickly you could be roasting the outside of the bean too much and/or roasting the inside of the bean too little.

    This makes logical sense to me!
    Maybe another way to look at things,
    Or maybe its just a delusional myth? *:o

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Re: Roasting times/temp

    To me it seems to be a logical objective but how easy it is to achieve is another matter.

    You used chicken, let me use steak.
    I saw a poster yesterday at a butcher shop showing the inside of cooked steaks of varying states from rare through to well done.
    It also described how to cook the steak to achieve the desired result.

    Its obvious from the steaks that a high degree of heat is used and that depending on how long you cook each side, the middle catches up.

    Coffee beans arent steaks and would transfer heat into the middle at a different rate to steak, but the principle is demonstrated by the steaks; getting the heat right so as to cook evenly throughout, rather than like the steaks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Re: Roasting times/temp

    generally its a good concept to start with. You want to roast not bake or broil the beans.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Re: Roasting times/temp

    very good idea for the coffee roasting. But, there are so many different types of beans, such as wet/dry, and soft/hard beans, you will need to find out which method is good for which beans.

    for me I will divided those in 4 major types of roasting, which are

    Wet Process Soft Bean
    Wet Process Hard Bean
    Dry Process Soft bean
    Dry Process Hard Bean

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Re: Roasting times/temp

    OK, so explain the difference.....go harder on the hard beans and soft on the softer ones?? does hard mean higher altitude??

  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Warwick, QLD

    Re: Roasting times/temp

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B3C383B3C383B3C38373C2B590 link=1232054875/4#4 date=1233576287
    OK, so explain the difference.....go harder on the hard beans and soft on the softer ones?? does hard mean higher altitude??
    I spose you could try this as a method to get you started but in the end, it comes down to how it tastes in the cup and you can refine your roast profile to suit particular beans based upon your cupping impressions.

    The hardware used for roasting has a huge impact on the final result too. I know of several highly regarded roasters of international renown (from research) who recommend pushing SHB/SHG beans quite hard on the way towards Rolling First Crack(RFC) then easing off as most of us do to avoid rushing into Second Crack(SC). A minimum gap of around three minutes between the end of RFC and the begining of SC seems to be a commonly mentioned "Rule of Thumb" but a longer period, closer to 5-6 minutes is more common.

    Most of these guys use pretty large Solid Drum roasters though and what they recommend doesnt always work as well when applied to different roasting methods and apparatus. For example, with using a Popper and then the Corretto, using this approach nearly always resulted in batches that werent roasted evenly all the way through the beans, with lots of indications of "tipping". I have found, for my current rig, that a continually rising gradient that starts off quite gently and becomes ever more steep as the roast progresses towards RFC, produces the best results in the cup, for me. As it happens, my friends and relos seem to enjoy my coffee roasted this way so it does work. With lower altitude grown beans, the temperature is lowered slightly, while keeping within the same overall profile gradient, but the milestones still occur at more or less the same time.

    Its really a matter of trial and error while keeping good explanatory notes to record each roast batch and then later on, include your cupping impression notes as well. Otherwise, the entire process will end up being for nought, as you wont know what works (or doesnt work) for each particular bean type/crop that you roast. I spose it all comes down to just how much effort youre prepared to expend in order to extract the best you can from each bean variety you roast. For me, all the effort is very worthwhile as the results in the cup tend to confirm.

    All I can really suggest is that you do as much research as you can for each bean varietal you manage to acquire, roast small batches (in a Popper for example) so as to reduce the potential for wastage (when the end results are not so great), be very observant, record your observations, try to become more discriminating with your cupping and only use cupping descriptions that have a simple, clear and as concise a description that actually means something to you for future reference. Dont get too hung up on producing elaborate "fuzzy" types of cupping notes as a couple of years from now, youll probably forget what meaning you were trying to convey. Sweet Marias probably has some of the best and most practical information for assisting with a starting point for roasting a wide range of bean types and is a resource that I still use quite regularly, especially when confronted with a new bean varietal or new crop of an old bean varietal. It all helps in trying to get the best out of the bean, in the cup, as we mere amateurs can hope for ;)


  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: Roasting times/temp

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    I like the logic/delusional myth as a novice roaster. Makes sense to me.

    Just starting on my cupping notes though - somewhat limited to "order more" and "yuck" at present ;D, and the sacks are divided into three piles: top notes (not much body), coffee with body, and only-ever-blend-in-small-quantities. Highly definitive. ::)

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