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Thread: How do you roast for filter?

  1. #1
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    How do you roast for filter?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey guys,

    I am about to start roasting for filter coffee. As i understand it a light roast is desirable. So my first question is - how light? Second - how long after FC would you let the roast run? Third - do i need to adjust my ramp for this kind of roast, compared to the 15deg per min in an espresso roast?
    Im going to start with some kenyan Gitwe A and then some yirg.

    Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 45697A66697B7B080 link=1263627212/0#0 date=1263627212
    So my first question is - how light?
    It really comes down to your personal preferences, so some experimenting is worth doing. Start at CS7-8, see how you go and make adjustments from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by 45697A66697B7B080 link=1263627212/0#0 date=1263627212
    Second - how long after FC would you let the roast run?
    Hmmm, how long is a piece of string?

    When I go for lighter than usual (espresso) roasts, I set the thermal gradient after the end of Rolling First Crack(RFC) slightly less than that, which would have arrived at Second Crack within 5-6 minutes so that the desired roast colour is reached in a similar time. This method seems to work well for me (and my Corretto) and the particular beans I roast this way, targeted for use in my Syphon.

    Quote Originally Posted by 45697A66697B7B080 link=1263627212/0#0 date=1263627212
    Third - do i need to adjust my ramp for this kind of roast, compared to the 15deg per min in an espresso roast?
    As described above.... ;)

    Mal.

  3. #3
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    If you go to the SCAA web page, they publish a number of standards and protocols, including a cupping protocol. A cupping roast level should work out quite nicely for filter. Unfortunately, at the time of writing the cupping protocol pdf doesnt seem to be working for me. I seem to remember that the SCAA specify that a cupping roast should take between 8-12 minutes, but I cant remember what other specifications they gave for the roast.

    I had a few Honduras COE samples that I gave a shot with the good old heat gun/dog bowl over the holidays. I tried about five different profiles and all were quite drinkable, but I cant say that any were fantastic. My best roast was probably a 12 minute roast with 1st between 8:30 and 9:30, bean temp held at 150C for the first five minutes until the coffee yellowed a bit, coffee cooled in 2 min, resulting in a little over 15% roasting loss. I have recently read a few doctoral dissertations on coffee roasting that suggest that the increased airflow of fluid bed roasting could be detrimental to complexity; anecdotally, this sounds to me like it could be likely.

    One way to do it would be to scoop out some coffee and cool it at different times as the roast progresses. Then you can taste a bunch of different roast levels and work out what you like most.

    Cheers,
    Luca

  4. #4
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E273133520 link=1263627212/2#2 date=1263637558
    If you go to the SCAA web page, they publish a number of standards and protocols, including a cupping protocol. *A cupping roast level should work out quite nicely for filter. *Unfortunately, at the time of writing the cupping protocol pdf doesnt seem to be working for me. *I seem to remember that the SCAA specify that a cupping roast should take between 8-12 minutes, but I cant remember what other specifications they gave for the roast.
    Off the SCAA cupping protocol:

    Roasting

    The sample should be roasted within 24 hours of cupping and allowed to rest for at least 8 hours.

    Roast profile should be a light to light-medium roast, measured via the M- Basic (Gourmet) Agtron scale of approximately 58 on whole bean and 63 on ground, +/- 1 point (55-60 on the standard scale or Agtron/SCAA Roast tile #55).

    The roast should be completed in no less than 8 minutes and no more than 12 minutes.

    Scorching or tipping should not be apparent.

    Sample should be immediately air-cooled (no water quenching).

    When they reach room temperature (app. 75o F or 20o C), completed samples should then be stored in airtight containers or non-permeable bags until cupping to minimize exposure to air and prevent contamination.
    Samples should be stored in a cool dark place, but not refrigerated or frozen.



  5. #5
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Hmm, please correct me if Im wrong, but I suspect "cupping" according to the SCAA is different to "cupping" as we talk about it here on CS.

    The very light roast described above - Ive read somewhere its supposed to end as soon as first crack finishes, so were talking CS 6-7 or something - was intended to be a standardised means of assessing any faults in a coffee. The roast level is essentially as light as possible such that only the beans inherent flaws (and not the roast) is being assessed.

    Again, correct me if Im wrong there.


    Of course, that doesnt mean that a super light roast isnt going to taste good! But the above roast is standardised for defect cupping, not enjoyment!

    Like Mal said, Id be proceeding to first crack as you would in a darker roast, then slowing things down even more than usual (ie. 1-2*C a min rather than 2-3*C/min) so that you finish up the roast 4-5 minutes after first crack, but at a much lower temp than normal.

    So, if you get first crack at 205*C and second crack at 225*C, try 215*C or so for a good filter roast. (These temps are for illustrative purposes only, of course!) Personally, thats as light as Id pull it, but other love the "tang" of super-light roasts! Ive had some very "light-roast" tasting beans where Ive pulled them only 3-4*C shy of second crack - for example, that PNG Guono pulled at around 219-220*C is beautiful in a plunger (and probably filter).

    Hope that helps.
    Cheers
    Stuart.

  6. #6
    hazchem
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D6A6B7F6C6A796C7F706A1E0 link=1263627212/4#4 date=1263677923
    Hmm, please correct me if Im wrong, but I suspect "cupping" according to the SCAA is different to "cupping" as we talk about it here on CS.
    Surely cupping is cupping? A technical process that is pretty much the same anywhere? Thats a can of worms on this site though given that some consider tasting espresso to be cupping ::) , so I should back away slowly from that one ... ;)

    Quote Originally Posted by 537F6C707F6D6D1E0 link=1263627212/0#0 date=1263627212
    how long after first crack would you let the roast run?
    For me, not at all. After speaking to a couple of commercial roasters whos filter coffee I thoroughly enjoy and have great respect for I have pretty much followed their advice and it seems to work for me. So my filter roasts vary from being taken just to the start of FC (Kenya French Mission) to the end of FC (Sidamo Guji) and thats it. So mine are pretty light, but I find that works well for pourover and my palate.

    I guess, I dont want really want to taste any roast characteristics at all, but thats just my preference!



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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B0219000B060E630 link=1263627212/5#5 date=1263679714
    Surely cupping is cupping? A technical process that is pretty much the same anywhere?
    Hey hazchem,

    Yeah, sorry; I was a bit vague there.

    What I meant was that the intention of cupping may be different - and therefore the style of roast will be different. I personally really enjoy cupping as a style of drinking coffee, but when I do it, Im looking to identify great roasts rather than assessing a beans quality.

    HTH
    Stuart.

  8. #8
    endlesscycles
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Every coffee is different. Try a matrix of 3 end temps, 3 durations between yellow and first crack, and 3 durations between first crack and finish for a total of 27 roasts. An ounce of coffee per roast, cupped on three separate occasions for a total of 81 cups evaluated. Determine where to go from there. Again, every coffee is different.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    The SCAA cupping for defects protocol also assumes/is designed for using a sample roaster, which typically gives you a very different profile.


    Java "Unless of course you have a Gothot! ;D"phile

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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2128332A212C24490 link=1263627212/5#5 date=1263679714
    So my filter roasts vary from being taken just to the start of first crack (Kenya French Mission) to the end of first crack (Sidamo Guji) and thats it.
    Id be interested to know how you achieve this on your Gene.

    I tried at first (a year or more ago) by just setting the temp low and waiting for first crack. This took a very long time and was *flat and boring.

    Just pulling a "normal" sort of profile (say 232C for 17 mins to SC) early, at first crack or a little after, I found on cupping to be very "grassy" and undeveloped. Not good.

    So I spent quite a while figuring out how to get a light roast and decent development. Ive ended up with a profile that tries to get a lot of heat in at the beginning (e.g. preheat and roast at 250C) to reach first crack around 8 minutes, then dropping the temp a bit and keeping on for 2 to 4 minutes to roast out the grassiness and get some flavour development. Result is usually around CS8, somewhat lighter inside and weight loss around 15%. Sometimes weight loss is around 14%, which is also fine flavour wise: 14-16% range gives good origin flavours, but if I try to go lighter than that and get a loss of 13% or less, it comes out grassy and not pleasant in cupping, filter or whatever.

    Hence Im curious as to your technique.

  11. #11
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Just the type of info i was looking for guys. I think i will give all suggestions a go and see what works.
    Im excited...bring on the corretto!!

  12. #12
    hazchem
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 626B70686F6B640A0 link=1263627212/9#9 date=1263816222
    Hence Im curious as to your technique.
    Well, I guess the only thing that I really do differently to my normal approach to roasting for espresso is that I never roast for filter first up in a session. Usually itll be the last one I do so there is plenty of heat in the roaster already.

    I should say, I dont rate my palate very highly so am quite possibly stuffing it right up. I havent noticed any grassiness though. The other thing that im doing in my general roasting approach is trying to baseline everything. So every roast i do is identical in terms of the temperature I set to begin with - 230C. I usually reach first crack in 11-12 minutes, but would like to get there a bit faster for filter.

    I guess, Im still learning and have been roasting less than a year. Im trying to gather as much data and tasting notes as I can, so that when I do try to change my approach for each different coffee, I have a very clear idea of a starting point, and what the impact of different times and temps will be.

    Probably overkill but im having lots of fun, my filter roasts are far from perfect, Im sure of it, but im sure the baseline data im gathering will help me out in the long run.

  13. #13
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    hazchem, thanks for your response.

    It certainly makes a difference if youve done a few batches consecutively -- I dont do that very often but have noticed the difference when I do.

    Interesting that you dont notice any grassiness, but now that I think about it my observation comes from before I started pre-heating, ie starting from cold, which would change things.

    If you want to reach first crack more quickly, try setting your target temp higher. With both of the beans you mentioned earlier, I would use 250C. *This will typically give first crack in the 8:30 range and a total roast time around 11:30. For example, a recent roast of Kenya Gethumbwini (230g) was 250C to first crack at 8:45, drop to 244, stop at 11:10 (before SC, no snaps heard). I was very pleased with this roast, in both Chemex filter and syphon it showed superb typical Kenya fruity characteristics with pleasant acidity and stunning dry aroma (both before and after grinding). Much better with this profile than previous roasts of the same bean (now sadly nearly all gone).

    Keeping records and notes is essential for improvement, no chance of overkill there. I do regret that my tasting notes arent up top scratch -- I do the cupping / tatsting etc then often forget to write it down! Must fix that ...

  14. #14
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Bringing up an old thread, Im interested in coretto roasters and their profiles for filter.
    Ive been using suggestions from this thread + hints from a few roasters. Without actually knowing what variations work with what beans, Ive been using a usual 11 minute roast finishing at EFC. My question is, are people continuing the temperature gradient right through to EFC? (ie still ~15deg/min) Or do you slow to a usual espresso gradient of ~4deg/min?

    Hazchem, what dictates (apart from experience) whether you will choose to roast to the start or end of FC?

    Thanks for the help!
    Ben

  15. #15
    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Ive been playing around with lighter roasts recently after taking delivery of my Aeropress.

    Ive found that African and south American coffees work very well as a lighter roast in the Aeropress. I have also found that Indonesian and Indian coffees dont cup so well as lighter roasts.

    Using a Hottop ill roast it 2 different ways....

    75c preheat finishing at around 218c @ 15 minutes
    125c preheat finishing at around 212 @ 13:30 minutes

    Both profiles are ejected well before the onset of second crack. I attempt to even bean color out by adjusting the fan to 50% and heat to 50% as first crack starts.

    Obviously your Coretto will be a lot different in temps and time due to batch size and thermocouple and so on....

  16. #16
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 172E303E041C5B0 link=1263627212/14#14 date=1270625231
    Ive found that African and south American coffees work very well as a lighter roast in the Aeropress. I have also found that Indonesian and Indian coffees dont cup so well as lighter roasts.
    Agreed.

    My hottop routine is a little different.. I do the same as for a darker roast with that bean but pull around 4 min after fc or about 1 min before the previous darker roast that reached early sc.
    Always drop at 75 and vary the heat in the mid section according to density. Also I reduce heat & give full fan a few degrees before anticipated fc with the idea of ramping to sc at around 2deg/min. With my darker roasts sc is usually around 5 min later and 208-215 deg.

    I also enjoy roasts that reached sc in the aeropress, they still often end up more distinctive than as espresso (...in my hands anyway).

  17. #17
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Thanks for the input guys.

    Is everyone else roasting this dark for filter??

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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Syphon or Filter before second crack fairly much always, as far as my Hottop lets me at this stage 1-2 minutes short. Sometimes I slip up and the roast gets to the first snaps of SC but thats it. Also not all beans work well for Syphon or Filter IMO so playing around is the name of the game.

    I have had some brews from roasts done by Toshi at St Ali that I reckon looked more like FC plus just a touch but from talking to him it was still a good duration of roasting after FC but just a very slow ramp to keep it well below SC.

  19. #19
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    Re: How do you roast for filter?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2522233724223124373822560 link=1263627212/4#4 date=1263677923
    Hmm, please correct me if Im wrong, but I suspect "cupping" according to the SCAA is different to "cupping" as we talk about it here on CS.

    The very light roast described above - Ive read somewhere its supposed to end as soon as first crack finishes, so were talking CS 6-7 or something - was intended to be a standardised means of assessing any faults in a coffee. The roast level is essentially as light as possible such that only the beans inherent flaws (and not the roast) is being assessed.

    Again, correct me if Im wrong there.
    Hi Stuart,

    Sorry to take so long to get back to this.

    You are quite correct in pointing out that cupping is an activity undertaken with a purpose and that the roast level will be determined by that purpose. The SCAA cupping roast level that I describe there isnt to assess faults, it is to assess the quality of the coffee on the SCAA cupping form. It is not a roast pulled right at first crack; the roast level is set out on the SCAA web page. The very light roasts that you are talking about are more likely to be used at origin for defect cupping, and by defect cupping I am talking about weeding out pretty extreme defects like mouldiness.

    Im just looking back at my cupping sheets from the recent Cup of Excellence workshop that I did. In one flight, we cupped the same coffee at different roast levels (blind - ie we didnt know that it was the same coffee at different roast levels). The COE roast was the best of the lot at 10 minutes 40 seconds, with first at 8 minutes. Reference roasts included a 6 minute roast (not too bad, actually), a 9 minute roast with some scorching (they actually had difficulty getting it to scorch well, so it was also fairly good), a double roast (awful) and a baked roast (awful).

    Cheers,
    Luca

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazbean View Post
    Id be interested to know how you achieve this on your Gene.

    I tried at first (a year or more ago) by just setting the temp low and waiting for first crack. This took a very long time and was *flat and boring.

    Just pulling a "normal" sort of profile (say 232C for 17 mins to SC) early, at first crack or a little after, I found on cupping to be very "grassy" and undeveloped. Not good.

    So I spent quite a while figuring out how to get a light roast and decent development. Ive ended up with a profile that tries to get a lot of heat in at the beginning (e.g. preheat and roast at 250C) to reach first crack around 8 minutes, then dropping the temp a bit and keeping on for 2 to 4 minutes to roast out the grassiness and get some flavour development. Result is usually around CS8, somewhat lighter inside and weight loss around 15%. Sometimes weight loss is around 14%, which is also fine flavour wise: 14-16% range gives good origin flavours, but if I try to go lighter than that and get a loss of 13% or less, it comes out grassy and not pleasant in cupping, filter or whatever.

    Hence Im curious as to your technique.
    What does CS8 etc stand for ?

  21. #21
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steiner87 View Post
    What does CS8 etc stand for ?
    It’s a roast level guide based on colour:

    51E14BDE-9F52-4EA4-B4EB-0B712324C97C.jpeg



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