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Thread: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

  1. #1
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    New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello everyone,

    This is my first post so excuse me for my questions that may be very obvious to some!

    I just picked up a Gene Cafe and started learning how to roast. *I must say that watching those beans tumble in the chamber is actually very exciting!

    Im not sure if I am doing this right but I set the timer to 20 minutes and temperature to 225 degrees celsius. *After 12 minutes, I think I heard the FC - it just sounds like a twig snapping, very faint but that was the only sound other than the Genes flap bouncing and the beans rattling against the chamber wall. *

    My questions are as follows:

    1. *Do I stop the roast after the second crack or on the verge of the second crack?

    2. *How the heck does the second crack sound like??

    3. *I didnt know when to stop the roast so I compared the beans in the chamber with a few of my already roasted beans purchased off the shelf - that made me stop at around 19 to 20 minutes.

    4. *I stopped it twice for both batches - once I used the Genes cooling function that dropped the temperature down to 60 degrees and it took a whopping 6 minutes to do this. *The second batch (same variables as the first), I emergency stopped it, took the beans out and cooled it using a colander and fan. *I heard that the second method is better but will this wreck my Gene?

    5. *Ive read that some people suggest that I let the beans heat up to 150 degrees for about 6 minutes, then push the temperature up to 240 degrees as per avacuppas tip. *Whats the purpose / benefit to doing this? *Is there much of a difference?


    Any responses would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    1. It totally depends on the style of roast you want. If you want a dark roast, youll go past the second crack. Alternatively, a lighter roast, youll need to settle just before the second crack(?)

    2. Youre right with the first crack, its fairly audible. However, the second crack isnt so audible. Youll need to listen closely, but its more of a snap/crackle/pop like with rice bubbles.. Its not as loud, more like a split ;D

    3. You should have a stop watch/timer and time your roasts, record the time, temperature, etc, and compare the results and tastes. This makes it easier to roast to a certain degree next time, and youll have more consistent results.

    4. It shouldnt wreck it. However, I dont have a Gene Cafe, so Im not sure what the emergency stop involves. If it just stops the machine and allows you to drop the beans, then I cant see a problem..

    5. Not sure, totally depends on the bean and your style of roasting. Cant help you there Im afraid!

  3. #3
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Hi Faddy,

    Welcome to CS--and already you are home roasting. Im sorry to say but you probably have it bad! :D

    Your roast sounds pretty good to me. That is just about what I do for mine, plus or minus (both temp and time) for some beans. Ive tried a number of fancy temperature changes but now just use one, plus possibly a little reduction at first crack to slow the entry into second. I aim for 5 or 6 minutes for this.

    I prefer most of my roasts just on the start of second crack, but it really is your preference. Your preference may also be different for different beans.

    As far as the emergency stop goes, Gene Café says it is for emergencies only, not regular use. Some use it regularly anyway and prefer the flavour. Personally Ive not been able to taste a meaningful difference and just let the machine run its course.

    Greg

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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Thanks everyone for the responses.

    Only time will tell and Ill start drinking the beans from mid week and see how they go.

    Cant wait.

    Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Faddy - I too bought the Gene just this week and thanks for asking qs around the same areas I am just now trying to figure out. I find myslelf in kitchen right now with Gene to my left roasting a blend of Columbian; Sumantran Mandheling and Ethiopian Y - as I read yours and the posts of others...so I can (hopefully) fast track to a decent if not superb roast - ASAP!! Cheers and looking forward to more useful tips. :D

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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Ggrant - awesome! Would love to hear from you on how you go!
    I am roasting in my garage as the gene can give off a bit of smoke (as well as not getting in trouble with the wife by roasting in the kitchen!)

    Its so addictive as I want to roast all weekend but I have so much work piled up.

    Good luck!


  7. #7
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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    I hear you!! Fortunately I managed to convince my wife that the the least offensive (read - least smokey) is under the rangehood - hence kitchen works for me. Youre doidng well hearing the second crack as I am struggling, probably due to the rangehood exhaust fan. Looking forward to trading notes. Good luck

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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Faddy, it sounds like you did very well for your first roast. I have followed Avacuppas Gene tips for my roasts and I am quite happy. When the beans just start SC, thats when I do an emergency stop. Quickly dump the beans in the colander and replace the cylinder in the Gene and let it run through the cooling cycle (as per Avacuppas instruction).

  9. #9
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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    I used to have lots of trouble hearing second crack but now hear it with ease, it just takes time. I believed i would never hear it, but after roasting with my gene for just over a year i can hear very easy. I did find standing back a couple of meters helped when learning.

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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Thanks Ajayro! Well see when I start grinding them up on Wednesday and see if its even actually drinkable!
    Will doing an Emergency Stop regularly wear the Gene down? I see some posts from fellow Gene users that the roaster was not designed to do emergency stops regularly.
    I did two batches - one with and one without the emergency stop. Will sample the beans and compare to see if I can even tell a difference.

    Christopher - I hope youre right! I THINK I hear it - its a lot fainter "snap" then FC. Well see how we go over time.

  11. #11
    hazchem
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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Hey faddy, I too have only recently started roasting with a Gene Cafe. Personally, I have found a combination of the Avacuppa Wiki approach, reading here and my own intuition to decide how I roast anything.

    From what I understand about the profile suggestions from Avacuppa, the first 5 minutes or so around 150 are like a drying cycle for the beans, TBH honest I havent actually tried a roast without doing it so have no meaningful comparison. I will say I have found their information about suggested temperature settings to be very helpful as a guide but Im personally not treating them as hard and fast rules.

    Much like everything to do with coffee, how others do it is a great guide but ultimately its about what is good in the cup to you.

    In terms of using the emergency stop, I am the 3rd person to own my Gene and I know that the previous owner used the emergency stop cooling process all the time and possibly the original owner did too. Neither have reported any problems and I havent noticed anything odd about the operation of my Gene given its history of being used this way.

    Again, I havent done 2 identical roasts and then tried the different cooling processes though to see if I can notice a difference in the cup. Generally though, I assume there is a reason for commercial roasters to dump and cool their beans as quickly as possible and see no reason not to try and replicate this at home.

    It took me a few roasts to find/work out 2nd crack (SC) too. I sometimes notice an increase in or return of smoke when SC is about to start.

    I too have become instantly mesmerised, caught up and taken by roasting. Watching those little green buggers go round and round while i embrownen them.

    Its freakin awesome. ;D ;D

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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Hi Hazchem. I will see if I can taste or see a noticeable difference on my samples of the two different cooling methods.

    My friends think I am crazy sitting in front of the roaster in my garage freezing my arse off watching the beans rotate around the chamber for 20 minutes.

    It was the best part of the weekend! ;D



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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by 322F22292E392F2E277279400 link=1248526081/5#5 date=1248576930
    Ggrant - awesome! *Would love to hear from you on how you go!
    I am roasting in my garage as the gene can give off a bit of smoke (as well as not getting in trouble with the wife by roasting in the kitchen!)

    Its so addictive as I want to roast all weekend but I have so much work piled up.

    Good luck!
    This is the simplest solution that Ive come across - large chaff collector and aluminium tubing from Bunnings.

    My apartment only ends up smelling a little bit of coffee and definitely no smoke. :)


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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    I like the idea of geting some of that tubing and redirecting the smoke into my ceiling , might just get rid of those possems .. ::)

  15. #15
    A_M
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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by 4F4B4149131648434A220 link=1248526081/13#13 date=1249189616
    I like the idea of geting some of that tubing and redirecting the smoke into my ceiling , might just get rid of those possems .. ::)

    Either that or they will invite their mates over and with all that caffeine.. It will be a RAVE party in teh roof...

  16. #16
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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Quote Originally Posted by 113E3735221D313E3137353D353E24500 link=1248526081/14#14 date=1249192793
    Either that or they will invite their mates over and with all that caffeine..It will be a RAVE party in teh roof...
    Beat me to it.

  17. #17
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    Re: New to roasting with a Gene Cafe

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Faddy, not sure how youre progressing with the Gene. *I am 3 weeks into it and getting closer to cracking the code. *I thought Id share a few recent inisights. Its still early days for me. Keen to hear your insights (and those of others BTW).

    I found (finally) recognising the 2nd crack and adopting the Avacuppa profile real breakthroughs. *Earlier, most of my roasts were underdone as I found myself mistakedly shutting down mid / latter way through the 1st crack. *Results were average. Now (as I have learned to ID SC) I am stopping at start of 2nd crack and getting much better results. *

    Another breakthrough was finding a good storage solution. Early roasts were stored for 4-7 days in plastic zip locks...but with (as it happened) very poor results. Lately heat sealed bags with one way valves are producing far better results.

    The guy who sold me the Gene swore by freezing a very fresh (cooled to roon temp) roast as a means to delay the maturing process - if needed. I followed this on the w/e and am yet to try the results.

    Another simple innovation was using the vacuum with a funnel and a basic (large) strainer attached (fitting neatly into) - in which I empty a new roast directly - I can cool a new roast in a minute or two. From what I have read, this helps get better results, but I have no real comparison due to the poor quality of the early roasts and poor storage.

    Oh, an early personal favorite blend (thus far) is:
    25% Sumatran Mandheling and the balance an even split of Ethiopian Yirg / Kenyan Peaberry.

    Still very much a good way to spend an early sat /sunday morning before kids and wife awake. The passion continues to grow... :o



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