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Thread: Beans getting too dark!!

  1. #1
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    Beans getting too dark!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey fellow CSrs,
    just got a problem/question and needed some advice from those with more experience.

    i am fairly new at roasting (only started in November last) and i have noticed that with some of my lastest roasts the bean colour has been advancing too early. for example, last night i did a batch of the Kenya from the feb Polls and i found that the beans were, at what seemed City Roast before they had even hit first crack! :-?

    am i doing something wrong?? ...or is this just a characteristic of beans from this region? ..i did not have this same problem with the Tiger Mountain from the November polls. and i wanted to get some advice before i pushed things too far and set something on fire trying to get a light Vienna roast going :)

    Any Help/thoughts are much aperciated as i am really not sure what to do,

    Thanks again,

    DD


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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    Depending on which method youre using, with some beans it is possible to actually miss the 1st crack. I noticed that the Kenyan is somewhat quieter in 1st crack than other beans. It might be that they have less moisture inside the seed than other beans.

    If youre noticing that the beans are cityish in colour, and you start hearing cracks, it is more than likely second crack.

  3. #3
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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    Ive had similar issues with peaberries. Id hazard a guess at bean density coming into play as well. I think the Kenyans are generally grown at relatively high altitudes and coffee grown at altitude usually has a high density. This in turn would mean that the outside of the bean is necessarily exposed to either greater levels of heat, or longer periods of heat, either way the outside would be darker than average.


    I think...

  4. #4
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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    The Kenyan I roasted today was about the right colour when they hit 1st crack, around cinnamon.

    I just think it may have been a case of stealth crack. New technology developed by the American military, to have you over roast your coffee. What does over roasted coffee have to do with the military? Beats me, its Pentagon business.

  5. #5
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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    Hi All,

    Its been a long time since Ive roasted some Kenya AA (good stuff that is ;D) and in referring to the notes in my roasting diary, I made a notation that these beans do indeed darken up very quickly after 1st Crack has passed, and generally roast more quickly than Yirgacheffe or Yemens.

    This particular batch (150 grams) I stopped about 20 seconds prior to a rolling 2nd Crack at a roast duration just shy of 8:30 minutes (going to be using it in a couple of blends Ive got in mind), and at that stage of the roast, the beans were very dark, a few even looked almost black but had not reached 2nd Crack. Have got them resting for a couple of days before Ill cup them, but it should be interesting.....

    Mal.

  6. #6
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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    thanks everyone,

    * yeah i am going to have to keep a real eye on the Kenya next time i roast it, see what happens. is it worth lowering the heat a little? i know you should keep a fairly constent heat running into first crack..but does it have to be high??

    DD

    P.s oh and Mal i had the same issue with *a few black-ish beans in my first bach. i argue it adds complexity to ones cup :) ...i tell the guests that anyway. ;)

  7. #7
    JR
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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    I roasted my first batch on Sunday and they did in fact darken very quickly. I didn’t pay that match attention to the colour but the colour of the Kenya AA at the start of the first crack was equivalent of a ‘normal bean’ (what ever that means) post first crack.

    Remember colour is only one of the many indicators of the roast stage and the actual scientific transformation such as the liquids/oils expanding to cause the cracks are more important. Once the roast is underway forget about the colour and focus on the cracks, smells and smoke.

    Dan

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    Hi again,

    I think thats where keeping a Roast Diary comes in handy, although mine is more a combination Roast/Cup Diary. All the important milestones of a roast can then be recorded for future reference, such as relative colour at the start and end of 1st & 2nd Cracks, etc. It doesnt mean that future batches of the same bean variety are going to necessarily behave exactly the same as current batches, but at least you have some kind of reference to use as a guide... thats all I use it for and it has saved me plenty of otherwise, "blind" roasting experiences and attendant pot luck results in the cup.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    i think i am going to start one too mal, its a good idea.

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    Heres a nice little coffee/roasting database that was discovered by 2muchcoffeeman and posted some time back: http://improbablystructuredlayers.net/CoffeeRoastingDB/CRDBHome.htm

    Java "Still using it" phile

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1140953935/0#9 date=1141190350
    Heres a nice little coffee/roasting database that was discovered by 2muchcoffeeman and posted some time back: http://improbablystructuredlayers.net/CoffeeRoastingDB/CRDBHome.htm

    Java "Still using it" phile
    Still using my trusty Steno Pad from Woolies :-[, dont have Office 2000....

    Mal.

  12. #12
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    Re: Beans getting too dark!!

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Ive been using an Iroast for about a month with varied success. It seems to me that the I-Roast is very sensitive to ambient temperature. Here in Brisbane, the presets will produce charcoal in about 5 minutes. The first drinkable roast I produced, was roasted on preset 1, but I turned the machine off and dumped the beans when they looked about right, maybe 3 1/2 minutes!

    Since then Ive been programming a custom profile (if you can call it that) This morning I roasted 130gm of Kenyan @ 174c for 6.5 minutes, which worked ok. Generally I set the temp (no idea what it really is) to 174 for 8 minutes, then hit the cool button when the beans are looking close to what I want. In the last week, the time till I hit the cool button has varied between 3:40 to this mornings 6:30. The only variable has been the ambient temp & humidity.

    I find if useful to stand a couple of metres away from the machine after the beans have gone from green to yellow. For some reson I find in easier to pick up the first crack if Im not right next to the noisy b. I have yet to hear a second crack with the machine on. Usually its been "bugger. look at all that oil" , turn it off, rip the top off to be greeted with a cloud of smoke and a vigorous rolling crack.

    Overall, the I-roast has a clear benefit for me in that it collects the chaff, otherwise I reckon a popper is easier to use. But then again, what would I know? I only started roasting a few months ago when I stumbled across you pack of zealots. Bought a newby starter pack, a $20 popper and the results have changed my life. No longer can I walk into a coffee shop and enjoy a simple cup of coffee!

    cheers

    John



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