How close are you holding the heat gun to the beans?
Are you stirring constantly?
Is the smokey smell and flavour typical of the HG roast?
Ive found that even stopping the roast well before 2nd crack that there is a distinct smokey aroma and taste in my roast.
Im currently achieving 1st crack at around 7mins with 300gms of beans at which time I back off and coast to 2nd crack at around 9mins.
Maybe Im so used to drinking supermarket coffee that Im ruined :(
How close are you holding the heat gun to the beans?
Are you stirring constantly?
Pretty close - otherwise I dont get things happening quickly (3-5cm)
Ive tried stirring constantly and stirring every 10 seconds or so??
Im using the HG on the 500C setting.
The coffee tastes okay its just I feel that theres always a smokey undertone?
Your Heat Gun is an XU1?
try roasting a bit darker and see what happens.
Ive got the Ozito.
I dont know - it may just be me. Ive got a hypersensitive nose and can smell things that most people cant and I think that ties in with my taste too.
I still havent made charcoal yet - I think that will be my next step to see (and hear and smell) the complete range of the roast.
let us know how you get on. It will be interesting.
Ive only tried a couple of HG roasts myself. The first one I overcooked, the second I stopped just after second crack. I also get a smokey sort of sensation from my beans. I also used 300g batches and had similar times to you. From the little Ive read, 500C sounds fairly hot, but Im guessing without a thermocouple device, the temp of the gun and the temp the beans are being roasted at can be worlds apart...?
My line of thought for my next roast, in an effort to avoid the smokey flavour was to back the temp off a bit and slow down the roast. Ill try it and see if I notice a difference.
Best of luck with the next batch.
I do not have any experience using a heat gun however my knowledge of conventional roasting agrees with the last reposndent and that is that 500 degrees coming from the heat gun is probably too hot for the batch size you are attempting to roast. Id back it off. I will also agree you may be holding the heat gun too close.
Your smokey characteristics might also be due to the type of beans you are roasting suggest beginners use heavy/dense beans rather than the lighter types at first as they (the heavier beans) proceed more slowly and dont tend to to rush away so much with you at the last minute.
Best suggestion if you know any one from this list personally is to arrange a private Sat arvo roasting session with someone thats got the tecnique down pat and that you can learn from.
Could be using too much heat and holding the gun too close. ??? On my XU1 I use the high setting and bring the gun in closer as the roast advances.Originally Posted by micstone link=1102934891/0#2 date=1102936060
Ive never picked up smokiness (phenolics). Another thing thats possible. Are you leaving the beans uncovered for a little while after roasting? They need to degas a little. Think this also allows a few volatiles to dissipate as well. I give them a good 4-6 hours with the lid loosely on the jar. Then I seal.
Another question ... How are you cooling your beans? Rapid cooling (fast as possible) is best. Ive found that for my 300g-400g batches the wifes spare hairdryer on the cool setting works really well in getting the temps down quickly.
Hope this helps -
Lets get one thing perfectly clear...there should be NO smokey tones or undertones, unless the roaster puts them there or wants them there on purpose.
Warren, good point about cooling, obvious, and I forgot to mention...If not cooled properly at the end of the roast, the beans could be proceeding to "cook" in their own mass... this is a real no no and in exceptional circumstances can result in spontaneous combustion. Now thats really smokey!
Thanks for all the feedback everyone.
Ill not get chance to do another roast until the weekend so I wont be able to let you all know how Ive gone until then.
Im fairly sure I have the cooling down part fine - my beans are cool in less than 1 minute - probably closer to 30 seconds.
Ill back the HG out to reduce the heat on the beans and see if I can extend the roast - in theory this increases the body if Ive got that bit right - but will take extra care not to singe any beans on the way there.
Ill also keep the beans moving more.
I bet you assumed your HG is running at 500c because it says so on the side. Mine is the same, but I stuck a thermocouple in front of it, and guess what. 300c. I read somewhere that the ideal roasting temp. is 400c, so Im not sure how Im going to achieve that, but my HG still seems to do the trick, just a little slower than most.
Ive finally done a roast that Ive been happy with :)
13 minutes from start to rolling 2nd crack by thinking about where I when wrong last time.
I backed off with the HG - about 7 - 8cm off the beans and kept moving the gun and the whisk the whole time.
No hint of smokiness this time - mind you I think I may build me a rig like Kopi-Os turbo wok so that my arms dont end up out of proportion with the rest of me :)
Thanks everyone - Im not an expert but Im a lot more comfortable with what Im doing.
Ive done several roasts now that have come out well.
Ive switched to a 2Ltr SS Saucepan instead of the colander and have found that the copper bottom + no holes makes the job easier as it tends to concentrate the heat better.
The only drawback Ive found is that it gets pretty hot on your hands as the heat comes back at you more.
Did some Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (250gms) just until rolling 2nd crack 2 days ago and Ive already drank it all (damn). I think that at the moment the Yirg is my current favourite :)
Sounds great Mick.
I have been using a collander sitting in a stainless mixing bowl. Im hoping this provides insulation of sorts and perhaps the hot air is radiating back from the bowl, therefore heating the beans from underneath.
Are you setting your gun and leaving at the same temp for the entire roast? I am at the moment. My heatgun allows me to set a temp, very roughly mind you, but I usually set it at approx 350C guessing that the temp at the beans surface will be lower.
Another thing I do that doesnt seem to be a bad thing so far... is to attach a heat spreader (kind of vacuum cleaner triangle head thingy) which extends maybe 3cm from the heatguns nosel. During the roast I ocassionally use the heat spreader to stir the beans. It doesnt seem to be a bad thing thus far but time, and many many roasts, will tell.
Anybody else dipping their nosel into the beans... ::)
Im fairly sure Ive licked the roasting thing now. I reckon Ive done about 8 roasts in succession and each has come out just fine - I feel that I was actually in control the whole time. I can easily pick 1st and 2nd crack and am achieving 12 - 13 minute roasts with 300gms.
The smokey flavour that I was picking up appears to be one of the characteristics of the Brazillian Cerrado (maybe smokey isnt one of the descriptions one would use when cupping coffee but it describes how it tickles my tastebuds ;D maybe I should say it tastes like nuts to me ;D
I think that Ill try a darker roast on the Brazillian Cerrado and if the taste still doesnt sit with me - I just wont get any more :) I find its okay in milk but really dislike it as an espresso. Still got 4kg left :D
The Cerrado is very nice blended with Kenyan. Puts a bit more bite in the cup.
re Brazilian Cerrado
Im still on my first bag of Cerrado which was purchased months ago and was I think the alto caramelo or similar. This is a very mild bean, quite sweet and used as a base for espresso.
Im surprised to hear your cerrado described as smokey. Is this the yellow bourbon variety and has anybody else who has tried this noted differences to the first variety received?
Im on hols and only took a small stash of beans so I cant do any trials!
The "nutty" description is excellent, especially when very freshly roasted. "Smokey" it isnt. A lovely, mellow, sweet coffee. I wouldnt put milk up to it if it is unblended as the milk will tend to overpower it. Enjoy as is, for what it is!
well ive just done my first heat gun roast 8).
i think i was too rar away with the end of the nozel because i deliberately took my very first roast to charcoal to experience the whole shebang & it took 18mins!
Anyway I have done one since then using brazilian cerrado alto caramelo, thanks to mick, & got 1st crack in 8 mins, backed off a little & got 2nd crack in 11 mins. I did experience a slight amount of smoke but as they have been sitting/airing for 1/2 hour or so now, they smell brilliant! I cant wait to grind them up in the morning & go nuts ;) .
I used my bosch heat gun on full blast approx 8 - 10cm off the beans & stirred like crazy. I am very surprised that I managed a good roast first up, i just hope i can manage to do it consistantly. im building a variation on the turbo bean cooler using a blower/vac so ill post some pics of it soon if it all works out.
thanks everyone for your inspiration & thanks again mick for the beans :) i can see what you mean about the smokey after-smell on your clothes, ive now gotta hit the shower or i have to sleep outside :D
one more thing....
how long after cooling should i let the beans sit before jarring them? for my first lot ill just leave them out over night since its getting late, & grind them up in the morning.
ideally, how many hours should you leave fresh roasted beans before grinding them? ???
that is entirely up to you.
the Sumatran is realy good after about 2.5 hours but the Bali the flavour seems to develope over a few days.
Try it as soon as the beans are cool and compare the taste after a 2, 3 or more days. You will be surprised as we were.
Dont seal the beans for at least 4 hours as they give off CO2 and may pop whatever you put them into.
I use moccona jars and find that even after a day the lids will pop on their own accord sometimes.
Glad that everything went okay :)
Indulge yourself witha tin of Illy Coffee beans and then once consumed the tins have a one way valve in them... perfect for coffee
I use recycled moccona jars and the jam jars that have the big rubber seal and lock down clip (after they have degassed for a bit). With the last bean purchase, I also picked up some of the foil vacumm seal bags that come with a one way valve.
Anything to keep light, moisture, oxygen and odours away.
I have spied some jam jar style containers made out of ceramic, which would work. That way I wont have to hide the beans in the cupboard. ;D