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Thread: New to roasting - Opinions please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    New to roasting - Opinions please

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Posted this in Roasters but it is better here I think...

    I have completed several roasts now with my starter pack using a popper. The starter pack included three ethiopian beans and the PNG Wahgi AA. Im using the sunbeam Cornelious with some minor modifications that have given significant improvements to roasting time.

    The popper had a grill on top of the popper with a cover, lifting the cover exposed the grill upon which one could place a butter holder. Ive removed the cover and cut out most of the grill bars leaving a large hole on top of the cover so a larger volume of air can escape out the top. I was going to cut some extra holes in the base to allow more air to ingress but have found that unscrewing the base and removing it for roasting gives the greatest improvement in airflow but allows one to put the popper back to normal and still roast popcorn. Once the roast is underway I tilt the popper about 20deg to the back - this helps improve the agitation of the beans and also stops the beans from getting ejected out of the main chute as the beans get lighter.

    With these modifications I can comfotably roast a little over a 100g of green beans which suits my scale of consumption at this stage.

    My questions regard timing and roast profile: I have been roasting in north west sydney in the mornings when it is quite cool, I would guess the temp is in the low positive numbers. With this setup the first crack is occuring about the six to seven minute mark. I am not sure if I have actually achieved a second crack yet (very hard to hear over the fan) and quite possibly not because I think my roast still need to be a bit darker, but my darkest roast was finished at a total of 19 minutes. Now is this too long a time between the first crack and finish of the roast? I have read on here most profiles aim for the first crack in the low teens and the second about four or five minutes later - with my setup there is a comparatively long time between the first crack and finish.

    Secondly, how many pops occur during the first crack, with my 100g there doesnt sound like that many (maybe 20 pops...) certainly its nothing like the continuous popping of popcorn.

    Lastly any clues to what I should be listening for on that second crack?

    Thanks in advance for your input.


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

    Re: New to roasting - Opinions please

    In theory there should be one pop per bean (probably doesnt happen though).

    Second crack sounds like crinkling cellophane (a faint sound).
    There will be smoke again at second crack if that helps you pick it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Northen Rivers

    Re: New to roasting - Opinions please

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Quote Originally Posted by 4C4D5A56350 link=1274684683/0#0 date=1274684683
    my darkest roast was finished at a total of 19 minutes. Now is this too long a time between the first crack and finish of the roast?
    I was using a Breville Crazy Popper a few years back with no mods except a chimney.
    I never weighed my loads but they fit in a 1 cup measuring cup.

    I found on hot days that 1st crack would come in around the 5 -7 minute mark with 2nd crack only a couple of minutes later in most cases.

    In cold weather 1st crack came at around the 6-8 minute mark with 2nd crack 2 - 3 minutes after.

    Be careful not to attempt to lengthen the period between 1st and 2nd as you can stall the roast causing it to bake instead.

    The 19 minutes you experienced in my opinion is too long but the taste will tell the story :)

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