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Thread: My First Roast

  1. #1
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    Nov 2004
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    My First Roast

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive just completed my first roast of Brazil Cerrado Alto Carmelo with my $34 Ozito heatgun.
    I found it very hard to pick where the first and second crack started but I think all went well (maybe a little dark) but still good. *I think next time Ill only do 200gms instead of 400gms as 400gms is too hard to get a really even roast.

    Took 25 minutes from start to finish.

    Ive been really cheesed off with the amount of crema that I have been getting with all the blends that Ive got from supermarkets and coffee joints - NO WORRIES NOW!!!

    I nearly got a full glass of crema - Im now starting to worry if Ive got too much *;D

    Woohooo!!!

    Mick


  2. #2
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    Re: My First Roast

    Good stuff Mick! ;D

    25 Mins. seems a little long. I generally hit first crack at about 8 mins (with 300g beans). 2nd usually follows at 10-12 mins or so. Usually finished well before 15 mins.

    First crack starts a little slow, builds momentum and is quite noticeable. The pause between 1st and 2nd is fairly brief but is easy to judge.

    1st and 2nd are audibly differrent. 1st is a louder, snapping type of sound. Whereas 2nd is sort of softer but more frequent or as some people say "rolling". Couple of roasts and youll learn to notice.

    Its really important to listen though. Theres nearly always the briefest of pauses between 1st and 2nd.

    Keep the heatgun on the high setting. Ive learnt that the low one (I use XU1 heatgun) is fairly useless. Just vary the distance you hold the gun. Maybe youre either roasting on a lower setting or holding the gun too far away?

    Im on about my 12th batch now and find it fairly simple to pick. Stick with it Mick it only gets easier. :)

    Warren -


  3. #3
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    Re: My First Roast

    Warren,
    How close do you hold the gun to the beans and how many beans do you roast at a time?
    I have done 5 roasts all with 150 grams. I find that with the gun within about 50-70 mm from the beans total time is only 9 min to overdone. I have been experimenting with low heat, holding the gun further away, etc and am getting more confused. I would like to have a time frame more like yours. I think it would be easier to judge and control.
    YT

  4. #4
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    Re: My First Roast

    Quote Originally Posted by yankeetrader link=1102586379/0#2 date=1102638001
    Warren,
    How close do you hold the gun to the beans and how many beans do you roast at a time?
    Yankeetrader,

    I usually roast in lots of 300g. You say youre using 150g at a time? Not enough beans IMO. This would more or less explain why your roasts are of a shorter duration. ??? Theres no scientific reason for 300g. Its more or less based on my consumption. These days I dont like to let my beans age past say 5 days. (Does this mean that Im now a true Coffee Snob? ;D )

    I usually start with the H/G on the highest setting (never use the low one) and hold it about 15cm (roughly) from the beans for about the first 3-5 minutes. Usually when the beans start to change colour and lose their early sheen I start to move the gun in a little closer then about 7cm or so from the beans.

    About 3-5 minutes after that I usually seem to hit frist crack (my first cracks have averaged between 8-9 mins in. Helps to take notes when you first do this). This will obviously vary with ambient temps and bean variety etc.

    I usually hold the H/G with my left hand (Im a right hander) and hold an egg whisk with my right. Every 30 secs or so I whisk the beans around a bit to try and even up the roast.

    When Im not whisking I just rotate the H/G around in little arcs around the beans.

    I dare say theres no hard and fast rules to H/G roasting and every other member of this forum would most likely try something different. Seems to work quite well for me though.

    When the beans are into well into 2nd crack I dump them into a wire collander and hit them with a hairdryer on the cool setting.

    Hope this helps -
    Warren



  5. #5
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    Re: My First Roast

    Thanks Warren,
    Ill try the 300g of beans and keeping the gun a bit further from its victims on tomorrow mornings roast. I have been keeping batches small while I experiment. YT

  6. #6
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    Re: My First Roast

    Thanks for the feedback Warren.

    Do you find that the Heatgun noise makes it hard to hear the cracks?

    What are you using for your bowl? Im using a fairly large colander - maybe I should use a dog bowl?

    Mick

  7. #7
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    Re: My First Roast

    Quote Originally Posted by micstone link=1102586379/0#5 date=1102660074
    Thanks for the feedback Warren.

    Do you find that the Heatgun noise makes it hard to hear the cracks?

    What are you using for your bowl? *Im using a fairly large colander - maybe I should use a dog bowl?

    Mick
    Ive tried a few different methods but have found the colander in a bowl (CIB) the most effective. I posted some details a few months ago about my experiences with this and not much has changed except Im getting sick of the time involved and hope to get a bbq /drum rig going over the holidays.

    I reckon the heatgun CIB is the ideal way to get into roasting as it is not only cheap but also gives you very good feedback on whats going on with the beans at the different stages. Id aslo recommend slightly larger batches 3- 4cups if your colander is big enough to stop losing beans over the edges.

    Id liken it too processing your own negatives which is (was pre digital) the best way of learning about the shots you were taking as opposed to the shots you are consuming ;)

    happy roasting

    Maurice

  8. #8
    admin
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    Re: My First Roast

    I have found the more you stir the more you wife wants to hit you........ opps off topic. *;)

    The more stiring the more even the roast as a rule of thumb but with the Sumatran Mandheling beans there isnt a whole lot you can do about "even" and I believe this adds to the character of this coffee.

    Rich

  9. #9
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    Re: My First Roast

    He he :)

    Ive had another bash and this time I hit second crack in 9 minutes. The only thing I changed is that I put the little round concentrator on the HG. :)

    I have also discovered that my first roast didnt actually reach 2nd crack - I chickened out beforehand - the coffee still tastes okay but very raw and earthy with an overpowering nutty taste.

    The second attempt - this is going of topic isnt it coz this post is about my first roast :) - is much nicer as the roast was deeper and Ill admit that I do prefer the heavy roast to a light one.

    Mick

  10. #10
    admin
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    Re: My First Roast

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    To describe a coffee here at "Nutty" generally traditionally means it tastes like S..t. Re Austin Powers and the "Spy Who Shagged Me". ;)

    But as to desribe a coffee that really does have nutty taste (but the nuttiness is a quality) we may need to use our imaginations :)

    Rich



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