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Thread: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

  1. #1
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    Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Good day all,

    Well Ive setup my corretto in the garage this arvo, I purchased my first (and only) starter pack, and Ive been reading and researching. So before I get going down what Im sure is going to be a long road I was hoping for a bit of a how-to guide on getting started.

    What Im planning:

    1. Around 300g of beans at a time. Starting with the heat gun on max temp/fan. Aiming for 1st crack at around 200C after 10-15min.
    2. Then backing off the heat temp to hold 200C (is this right?) or raising the gun another 2-3cm. 2nd crack after another 5 minutes?
    3. Get the beans out and fan cool them quickly.

    I spoke to a friend who tried to explain the different taste profiles depending on when you stop the roast. He mentioned anything after 1st crack is drinkable all the way to just after 2nd crack (how far?). He said that the sooner you stop after 1st the more the taste profile of the individual bean sticks out (more acidic?), and the full you roast the more body you get at the expense of the beans individuality?

    Can anyone comment on this and generally where do you stop your roast? And if Im setting up for a fail point me right!

    Thanks


  2. #2
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Your method is pretty much right. Its not an exact science and I would aim not to over do the beans and you should get a very decent roast.

    Is that the roasting position of your gun? I usually have the tip a couple of cms above the top of the pan. This is the way I was doing it for ages prior to getting my data logger, which just makes it easier to see how your roast is progressing and when you will get second crack, but is not essential:

    I keep the gun a couple of cms above the pan pointing vertically down near one of the corners on full heat/fan until first crack (~10-15 mins), then raise the gun another 2 to 3 cm and keep it there until I hear second crack (another ~5-10 mins), then dump and cool beans as quickly as possible. Your cooling sieve doesnt look very "holey" to allow cooling air through (presuming you are using a bucket/fan setup for cooling).

    My first BM looks to be same size as yours, and I used to do around 500 grams green. Smaller batches will probably roast more quickly.

    I have been experimenting on extending slightly into second crack based on what I have read here, but I find I need to be quick to make sure the beans do not get over done.

    Give it a go and I am sure you will get a great tasting roast.

    Its also interesting to try the beans everyday and taste the difference as they develop everyday.

    Have fun!

    Cheers

  3. #3
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    hmmm I reckon that nice clean glass table wont look that same after your roast.. :)

  4. #4
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Paulvin,
    im excited for you and hope it all goes well. As Artman has said you seem to have the idea in your head set right, just start roasting and see how it goes. Like mentioned dont over roast the beans. If i reach 1st crack between 11-14 mins i tend to take my roast another 3-4 mins Max after that. Im not looking for second crack, cause if i hear it i feel i have gone to far.

    About the lowering of temp i use sight to see how dark the beans are at rolling crack. If they are darker i turn it down so i can get a good 3 mins with out it reaching second crack otherwise i leave the temp were it is.
    The only other advice i have is profile your roasts and temps.
    Ohh and make sure you have either a blower or a vacuum, it will be your best friend after about 2 roasts :)

    Good luck and let us know how it goes

    Chris :)


  5. #5
    KiteStyle3
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    I did my first ever batch on the weekend. Will try tomorrow.

    Went well, might have slightly overdone them as my cooling system left a bit to be desired.

    I had first crack around 7m and 2nd around 12 mins. Stopped right on 2nd crack. Moved heat gun up after 1st, and turned it down, then thought the better of it after 2 mins and turned it on full again but still in the higher position.

    Not much aroma to the beans, but hoping that will develop.

  6. #6
    KiteStyle3
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Link to 1 min vid, around 4-5 mins into roast
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrYnihU_m0E

  7. #7
    DavidW1960
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    They will develop an aroma after a few days - you need to rest them. None of my roasts have smelled particulatly like coffee until they were rested a few days.

  8. #8
    KiteStyle3
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Thanks DavidW. I will probably try them tomorrow, that should be 3 days... about all I can force myself to wait!

    Paulvin, I meant to add that I found the actual roasting process was like a good game - easy to learn but hard to master. I think you just have to get in there and give it a go, and be prepared to have a few dodgy batches here and there. Ive pretty much written off my first 2.5kg bag as learning coffee. Hopefully Ill be doing better after that, cos its a lot of bad coffee to drink through otherwise! :D

    Also meant to say for the record I did 250 grams... Im going to stick with minimal batch size until I get better at it!


  9. #9
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Thanks for all the tips guys. I attempted a roast last night and got as far as turning the breadmaker on.

    Unfortuantely the beans were getting caught between the paddle and side, the paddle and the floor of the pan, and the paddle and a pop rivet I installed to hold the thermocouple. During the process of finding and correcting each of these hang ups the strain managed to snap the rather flimsy drive chain between the motor and the paddle which means I am now sans a breadmaker and am on the hunt for a replacement.

    Anyone else have a similiar problem before? Also can anyone recommend suitable breadmakers that dont require modding to run continiously or an idiots guide on how to make one run continously.

    I feel like a kid whose had his christmas put on hold.... :(

  10. #10
    KiteStyle3
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    As far as the breadmaker goes I got the absolute cheapest off gumtree - a bargain at $20. I was prepared to mod it but happy to find it had 2 cycles for dough. One is no good but the other is 2 mins intermittent then 20+ mins constant. Perfect!

    I had no paddle/bean issues with it so I guess that was just luck! The rectangular shape does mean that some beans are stuck in the corners and not moving enough. I picked out the 20-30 most underdone and threw away. Next roast (this weekend) Ill stir more continuously with a wooden spoon.

    Loving the coffee by the way, some room for flavour improvement, but its full of flavour and pours beautifully - so thick and treacley.* 8-)


  11. #11
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Sounds like your paddle has too much clearance between the bottom of it and the base of the pan, causing the beans to jam. Have not had this issue with the 2 BMs I have used.

    There is a bit of info on the net on how to make them run continually (ie bypass all the electronic control), but be mindful its 240v so can zap you and should only be done by a sparky etc.

    The disadvantage of keeping the electronics is if you want to do one roast after another, the BM normally throws an error code as it senses its hot when it shouldnt be. There is also info on the net on moving the temp probe to avoid this. If you ony do one roast at a time its not an issue.

    The thromocouple probe on mine just goes into the pan without a bracket, held by friction going horizontally through the body of the BM and then the pan.

    Dont give up, seek out another cheapie on gumtree or even bulk rubbish.

    Cheers

  12. #12
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Thanks artman,

    Sourced a bbm290 off gumtree for another $50. Probably get it this evening.

    Will tone down the engineering to one lil hole for the T-couple and a steel baking tray in the freezer to dump the beans on for instant cooling.

  13. #13
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Good work. Not sure if the steel baking tray will work effectively?

    While on gumtree you could grab an old blower vac and make a monster cooler, here is mine, cost me next to nothing for the setup, post number 117, cools the beans in no time!:

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1274757802/117

    A bit further down post number 124 there is a pic of my BM lid that blows chaff onto the floor.

    Have fun!

    Cheers

  14. #14
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Well here are the results of my first attempt:

    If there is a world record for time to first crack I think I may have gotten close. Not sure why the roast went so quick but i wasnt prepared for how quickly rolling second crack came around, and yeah artman, you were right; the ice cold baking tray plus fan didnt do so great.

    The first picture is Ethiopian Gambi - 250g - 4:45 roast time. First crack was at around 2:00. Taken to rolling second crack. woops. very oily bean and probably burnt as its splinters when pressure is applied with inbetween the fingers.

    The second is also Gambi* - 200g - but this time i moved the heat gun about an inch further away. Didnt help much as the roast took 4:20. I pulled it at the first hint of second crack.

    Dropped the beans into a glass oven bake tray floating in cold water and fanned them.

    Guess I have to back the heat gun setting way off.


    Edited to reduce file sizes in deference to our bandwidth challenged users.




  15. #15
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Hi paulvin,
    Good to hear of your roasting journey.

    Many of us are using colanders or sieves plus fan to cool. You need to dissipate the heat away from the bean not heat the container the beans are in or you just replace one roasting chamber for another. Ice cold water would help but IMHO is potentially disasterous for your roasts. Hot beans are awkward to handle.

    I shuffle hot beans from one colander to another in front of a pedestal fan if I decide to external cool. Falling beans cool faster than ones just dumped from container to container. The airtime help winnow the chaff too. While short of a dedicated ext cooler its pretty fast and simple.
    d.

  16. #16
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    That is a super quick roast, you must have a hot gun!!??

    It could be the relatively small quantity of beans, but even then it seems to be very quick. How high is the gun compared to the top of the pan, if its as per your pick above, its way to low. I would start with the gun nozzle about 2 or 3 cm above the top of the pan.

    The second pic beans dont look too bad.

    You need to resize your pics prior to uploading, or use image shack and it does it for you and you can paste the forum link.

    Dont give up!

    Cheers

  17. #17
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Thanks Artman,

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B585E474B442A0 link=1332582767/15#15 date=1333028921
    I would start with the gun nozzle about 2 or 3 cm above the top of the pan.
    So the nozzle musnt protrude into the bread pan....? ahh that would make a world of difference. For info Ive replaced the BBM100 with the 290 which has a much deeper pan. The first roast had the nozzle around 2-3 inches from the beans and the second was around 4 inches.

    Interestingly this morning the dark roast has off-gased quite a bit and is starting to smell like coffee, while the lighter roast seems to be waiting for an invitation.

    Any advice on what effect roasting/ramp up time has on the bean? Are fast roasts sharper/more acidic than a longer roast which is more mellow? Im guessing there is a cut-off point otherwise we would just pop them in the oven at 220 for 15mins.

    Need that thermocouple to arrive today....


  18. #18
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Yep, have the nozzle a couple of cms above the top of the pan, it should slow things down considerably. Then at first crack, raise it another 2cm or so, keeping the gun at full heat & fan.

    Try the beans regardless, even ones that I thought I have stuffed up have ended up tasting nice, and certainly in a different leage to stale stuff you get at supermakets etc.

    And dont worry about the smell of the beans, just try them everyday and see how the flavours change/develop.

    Cheers

  19. #19
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Well the oily dark roast had the lingering aftertaste of "burnt", and the lighter roast very "in-the-face", almost pungent, sharp and a very sweet spicy after taste.

    Interestly the burnt was almost enjoyable as an espresso but horrible with milk, and the lighter roast too much alone but great with milk.

    On day two the lighter roast has "softened" a bit but I am noticing a lack of body. Would roasting longer improve this?

    ...my two year old is dragging me away to Horton Hears a Hoo....

  20. #20
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Different profiles and end points give a different result in the cup. Theres plenty of threads that discuss this.

    But waiting a week or more will also give a different in the cup result. Brown beans have to peak before they start to degrade. Its hard to wait I know but once you start a routine to suit your consumption rate its gets easier because you always have browns on hand.

    Roasting on demand ... not for me.

    By all means sample each day. It helps you decide which roast profile and depth for any given bean/blend best suits your coffee style preference.

  21. #21
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Just put 220g PNG Wahgi through the Coretto. Used a copy of the spreadsheet, and a Thermocouple to plot the results. While I did ramp up a little quickly in the first 2 minutes I managed to stabilize the graph and keep it within a 5% variance when compared to the ideal profile.

    Strangely I got First crack at 8:00, with RFC at 8:30. Second crack was 10:00, RSC 10:20 with the beans starting to smoke shortly thereafter.

    There didnt seem to be much of a pause between first and second crack, they kind of just rolled into each other. I wondered if the thermocouple might be inaccurate and underreading so I tested it against the oven and its seems to operate within a 6-14% underread variance.

    The beans are CS10.

    Anyone have an idea how to slow the roast or is it more a matter of increasing the roast mass.

    Thanks.

  22. #22
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A2B3F263C23244A0 link=1332582767/20#20 date=1333524112
    Anyone have an idea how to slow the roast or is it more a matter of increasing the roast mass.

    Thanks.
    Turn the heatgun temperature down, if you can. This is what i prefer to do. Or you can lift the heat gun higher from the bread maker.

    David

  23. #23
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Re: Any tips, pointers or suggestions for a newbie

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Yep, as above. Also if you roast more beans it will slow the whole thing down generally.

    Dont worry about your absolute temp readings, just aim to make them repeatable. Ie if you always get first crack at 150deg on your setup, it doesnt matter if it measures 200 on mine, as long as the results are consistent.

    Cheers



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