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Thread: Journey into Home Roasting

  1. #1
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Journey into Home Roasting

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

    I thought I might create a thread of my progression into home roasting. Its so surprising to think where I ended up from the start of my coffee experience.

    It all started years ago with Jarrah instant coffee powder - that didnt last long. Then came Nescafe instant coffee, which was all I ever knew. Then came Moccona instant - better. Then came extremely stale coffee through a percolator - lasted even less than the Jarrah powder. Finally came the espresso machine (EM3600). Then came the progression from pre-ground supermarket coffee --> supermarket home beans, using a blade grinder --> then supermarket home beans, using EM0480 grinder. Then I joined CS. Quickly after came freshly roasted Di Bella coffee. And now, before Ive even finished the Di Bella coffee, I want to roast my own.

    So I ordered the starter pack from BeanBay, and try to work out the best way to roast it. Finally settled on a popcorn popper. But the beans arrived today, I pick up the popper on Monday, and I couldnt wait. So, Id read about people using a wok/frying pan to roast. So I thought Id give that a go.

    Oh, Ill just mention now that in the started pack I got the Brazil Yellow Bourbon Especial, the Peru Ceja de Selva Estate, the Vietnam Son La Arabica and the Ethiopia Ghimbi.

    So, I thought I try 50g of the Ethiopian. Unfortunately, it turned out kinda terribly. I ended up with some over and some under roasted. But Im not disheartened!

    What are your thoughts guys?

    PS: the card has just been photoshopped in, best I could do yet. :)


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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    From the look of things, Id say your beans werent in motion enough at the start of the roast.

    The usual advice is to ensure your popper has a chimney, i.e. a tin can shoe-horned down its spout to prevent runaways, and to tip it on a slight angle and/or stir the beans during the first part of the roast until they get a bit of motion going on their own.

    It looks to me like the beans on the bottom were burnt.

    Ive only done a few popper roasts so far, but my results have been quite even.

  3. #3
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 5158485555515F493A0 link=1320406409/1#1 date=1320411046
    From the look of things, Id say your beans werent in motion enough at the start of the roast.

    The usual advice is to ensure your popper has a chimney, i.e. a tin can shoe-horned down its spout to prevent runaways, and to tip it on a slight angle and/or stir the beans during the first part of the roast until they get a bit of motion going on their own.

    It looks to me like the beans on the bottom were burnt.

    Ive only done a few popper roasts so far, but my results have been quite even.
    This was with the frying pan. I thought I kept it quite mobile... Ah well. It was still fun. Are they still worth trying? Or should I just dump them and try again?

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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Hmmm, looks like its not been stirred properly to my eyes...

    of course, Ive not done the "wok" style cooking myself...

    How long did this roast batch take you??

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 785541535C5D5A53754072554051340 link=1320406409/3#3 date=1320412331
    Hmmm, looks like its not been stirred properly to my eyes...

    of course, Ive not done the "wok" style cooking myself...

    How long did this roast batch take you??
    How shocked would you be if I said it almost took an hour? I couldnt believe how long it took. I had it constantly moving, initially by shaking, then stirring with a wooden spoon. I definitely wont be doing the wok style again. :(

    Ah well. Im glad I did a small batch.

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    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 4065726D603C040 link=1320406409/2#2 date=1320411249
    Are they still worth trying?
    Of course!* I would try them and see what they are like (even if they look a bit uneven), this way you can begin to learn what tastes good and what tastes better.* You have nothing to loose, I think its all part of the fun and part of learning.

    Cheers

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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 446176696438000 link=1320406409/4#4 date=1320412461

    How shocked would you be if I said it almost took an hour? I couldnt believe how long it took. I had it constantly moving, initially by shaking, then stirring with a wooden spoon. I definitely wont be doing the wok style again. :(

    Ah well. Im glad I did a small batch.
    Ouch, Yeah, Unless you were doing something horribly wrong, thats a horrendiously long time to roast...

    Oh well, Live and learn eh? Try em and see how it is! you never know, itd probably still come out better then those bloody supermarket beans you got started with (not to mention the Jarrah powder and Nescafe)

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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Hi,
    Wok is not ideal for roasting. Its thin metal transfer heat very quickly and is great for sizzling stir-fry, but not good for roasting which need even and steady heat.
    The cheap cast iron pot from any camping store is so much better than wok. I picked up a 3 liters cast iron sauce pan for $19.95 and it works like a champ. I had also tried the expensive Emile Henry clay pot too, but no matter what I do, I always end up with the uneven roasted beans.
    It took me 15 minutes to roast 200g beans. Not as even roasted compare to Hot Gun, but really close.
    Have Fun. :D

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 7361717D74747777617C7D7061120 link=1320406409/7#7 date=1320449805
    Hi,
    Wok is not ideal for roasting. Its thin metal transfer heat very quickly and is great for sizzling stir-fry, but not good for roasting which need even and steady heat.
    The cheap cast iron pot from any camping store is so much better than wok. I picked up a 3 liters cast iron sauce pan for $19.95 and it works like a champ. I had also tried the expensive Emile Henry clay pot too, but no matter what I do, I always end up with the uneven roasted beans.
    It took me 15 minutes to roast 200g beans. Not as even roasted compare to Hot Gun, but really close.
    Have Fun.* :D
    My mistake. It was the "wok technique" using frying pans. Initially it was a small teflon pan. Then i changed half way through to a heavier bottomed stainless one. But i think the damage was already done.

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    First double shot from the freshly roasted beans. Day after roasting. Im definitely a milk-coffee drinker. There was something to the taste of the coffee that I couldnt identify. Maybe another cup tomorrow will tell. Anyway, I thought Id take a photo of it for you guys. Thoughts are most welcome.


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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    My roasting interest started about a year ago with a Crazy Popper I bought brand new for the job. I only put in about 83g at a time and was blown away by the way something so simple could produce such perfect coffee flavours. After a couple of months it wasnt enough, and I invested in a Behmor just before christmas last year. Its a great little machine, and I can do 400g at a time. After the initial disasters, most turn out good, although I still have trouble with matching the right bean to te right profile. I dont have the techno-gadgets to get the temperature correct at the right time, I have to rely purely on mainly sight, smell and sound to guage the roast. Sometimes when Ive been a bit hasty in finishing a roast and it;s a bit grassy, I finish it off in the popper and it works a treat-even if the beans have been roasted a week. Ive still got a lot to learn but its very addictive and fun trying. :) Im tying to roast my way around the world to see what the flavour range is.

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Hi David,

    I thought of this idea for you.

    A popper is great for beginners.
    Another alternative is to get a heatgun and dog bowl or your wok with a whisk.

    Hold the heatgun and apply a nice serve of heat, then stir your batch constantly.
    Wear a mitten on your stirring hand.

    When you hear first popping noises, raise the heatgun an inch or two. Keep agitating and stirring those beans.
    Have a look at the beans with the colour card next to the wok or bowl. Keep roasting til the colour you want.

    When its roasted, cool the beans straight away between two colanders.

    This should give you a more even roast due to hot air surrounding the beans rather than the heat being conducted through the wok.

    Give that a try if you want. :)

    Gary at G

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 332924253721393333400 link=1320406409/11#11 date=1320905255
    Hi David,

    I thought of this idea for you.

    A popper is great for beginners.
    Another alternative is to get a heatgun and dog bowl or your wok with a whisk.

    Hold the heatgun and apply a nice serve of heat, then stir your batch constantly.
    Wear a mitten on your stirring hand.

    When you hear first popping noises, raise the heatgun an inch or two. Keep agitating and stirring those beans.
    Have a look at the beans with the colour card next to the wok or bowl. Keep roasting til the colour you want.

    When its roasted, cool the beans straight away between two colanders.

    This should give you a more even roast due to hot air surrounding the beans rather than the heat being conducted through the wok.

    Give that a try if you want.* :)

    Gary at G

    Hi Gary! Thanks for your idea. I bought myself a heat gun yesterday, and I actually got a free bread maker that - so far - seems suitable. So Im looking to give that a go once my current roasted beans supply diminishes a little more. No point in it going stale... :)

    David

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    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Great move David.

    The breadmaker and heat gun set up is where im at too.
    Plenty of info in this forum about it.

    How long does the mixing cycle go for on your bread machine.

    If yours can mix continuously for 20 minutes (not including the incorporation cycle) or more, then its ok.

    Gary at G

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B616C6D7F69717B7B080 link=1320406409/13#13 date=1320925551
    Great move David.

    The breadmaker and heat gun set up is where im at too.
    Plenty of info in this forum about it.

    How long does the mixing cycle go for on your bread machine.

    If yours can mix continuously for 20 minutes (not including the incorporation cycle) or more, then its ok.

    Gary at G
    I havent played around with all the cycles, but the best I have found so far is:
    [list bull-blackball][*]5 minutes of nothing[*]15 minutes of pulsating[*]20 minutes of continuous mixing[/list]

    Looking to give it a go next week. Im just a little worried about what setting to use on the Ozito... But Ive found a thread that states the different temperatures for each heat gun setting. So I have some idea. :)

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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Remember that you need to cool them relatively fast after roasting otherwise they will continue past the stage of when you initially stop the roast. A decent sized bucket with an exhaust fan mounted in it and a sieve on top is a really good way to cool the beans. Can get to touch cool in about 1 min. plus will only cost you about $40 to make. I made mine last week after about a year of cooling them with a fan.... dont understand why I hadnt made it earlier! So so so much better! Good luck and have fun with it all!

    How are the single floor baskets going with your machine now?

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 383A293A213E3E3E5B0 link=1320406409/15#15 date=1321079867
    Remember that you need to cool them relatively fast after roasting otherwise they will continue past the stage of when you initially stop the roast. A decent sized bucket with an exhaust fan mounted in it and a sieve on top is a really good way to cool the beans. Can get to touch cool in about 1 min. plus will only cost you about $40 to make. I made mine last week after about a year of cooling them with a fan.... dont understand why I hadnt made it earlier! So so so much better! Good luck and have fun with it all!

    How are the single floor baskets going with your machine now?
    Not well. Check out the last few poats in this thread: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1319415620

    Any help would be appreciated. =)

  18. #18
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Hi all. Its been a while. But now Ive finished exams! Ive been acquiring my correto setup. Breville BB300 BM, Ozito HG. I did a dry run without beans a few weeks ago, and Im sure I found a setting where the BM ran on the continuous mix for 20 minutes. However, 15 minutes into the roast today, it decided to stop. So, my roast is a little lighter than I had hoped, but it still looks good (I think). First crack was at 7 minutes. Bit early, but considering I only had a 15 minute roast, Im kinda glad. :)

    I shall sort out which setting gets me the 20 minute mix for the next batch.

    My biggest concern with the roast was that the pan seems to be quite long, rather than the optimal square. Thus, the beans seemed to get caught at the ends of the pan. So I was stirring with a wooden spoon the entire time. Im wondering if I could extend the paddle to reach the sides?






  19. #19
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B6E79666B370F0 link=1320406409/17#17 date=1321442318
    My biggest concern with the roast was that the pan seems to be quite long, rather than the optimal square.
    Doesnt look too long; close enough to square to do the job I reckon.

    How large was that batch in the picture?
    Looked a bit small to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4B6E79666B370F0 link=1320406409/17#17 date=1321442318
    the beans seemed to get caught at the ends of the pan.
    I used to aim my HG towards the further corner (the top right one in your pic) making sure it was blowing the air in the same direction that the beans were travelling.
    This gave them a bit more of a push into that corner and helped them around it.


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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 370B160D070611040C07630 link=1320406409/18#18 date=1321445164
    Doesnt look too long; close enough to square to do the job I reckon.

    How large was that batch in the picture?
    Looked a bit small to me.
    It was 200g. What would you suggest? Is there some golden rule? So, more greens will force them to spin more, is that correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by 370B160D070611040C07630 link=1320406409/18#18 date=1321445164
    I used to aim my HG towards the further corner (the top right one in your pic) making sure it was blowing the air in the same direction that the beans were travelling.
    This gave them a bit more of a push into that corner and helped them around it.
    Yeah, that was my goal also, maybe I could aim the HG further into that corner.

  21. #21
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A3F28373A665E0 link=1320406409/19#19 date=1321445433
    It was 200g. What would you suggest? Is there some golden rule? So, more greens will force them to spin more, is that correct?
    When I was using a corretto I started with 300g batches and progressed to 600g.
    Now 300g is trickier for me because Im used to the dynamics of the larger batch size.

    If you look at your picture theres a lot of space in that pan.
    If you had more beans the paddle would push some beans and they would push the beans in front.

    Put some beans in without using the heat gun and just watch how they travel around the pan.
    Then add a few more and see how it changes.
    Put 1 or 2 roasted beans in too make it easier to follow the way the beans flow.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1A3F28373A665E0 link=1320406409/19#19 date=1321445433
    maybe I could aim the HG further into that corner.
    Exactly what I was thinking.

  22. #22
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 7945584349485F4A42492D0 link=1320406409/20#20 date=1321445811
    If you look at your picture theres a lot of space in that pan.
    If you had more beans the paddle would push some beans and they would push the beans in front.

    Put some beans in without using the heat gun and just watch how they travel around the pan.
    Then add a few more and see how it changes.
    Put 1 or 2 roasted beans in too make it easier to follow the way the beans flow.
    Sounds good. The only reason Im using such small batches is that I bought the CS starter pack, I only have half a kilo of each bean type. And Id hate to screw up over an entire batch.

    David

  23. #23
    Member mtee's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 4663746B663A020 link=1320406409/17#17 date=1321442318
    Im wondering if I could extend the paddle to reach the sides?
    Extending the paddle may create a new problem. A BM I was using had very little clearance between the end of the paddle and the narrow side of the pan. This would cause the beans to pinch and either fly out or actually jam and stall the motor. I had to grind it down.

    Thundergods suggestion of increasing the batch size seems to be a good one. Its Beanbay night tonight! [smiley=wink.gif]

    Also, Im using the the same HG as you, I just run it flat out and adjust the height as the roast progresses. Not too sure if thats the best way, but I decided not to make any adjustments on the gun while its hot. I imagine theyre fairly flimsy inside.

    Mark

  24. #24
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 2E372626430 link=1320406409/22#22 date=1321480627
    [
    Extending the paddle may create a new problem. A BM I was using had very little clearance between the end of the paddle and the narrow side of the pan. This would cause the beans to pinch and either fly out or actually jam and stall the motor. I had to grind it down.

    Thundergods suggestion of increasing the batch size seems to be a good one. Its Beanbay night tonight!

    Also, Im using the the same HG as you, I just run it flat out and adjust the height as the roast progresses. Not too sure if thats the best way, but I decided not to make any adjustments on the gun while its hot. I imagine theyre fairly flimsy inside.

    Mark
    Thanks for that. Looks like I wont be extending the paddle then. :) Thanks for your help!

  25. #25
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Hi D8
    Im using a BM with the same pan and with 350g there is no worries about beans getting trapped in the corners - the mixing is pretty consistent. It is also a better roast size for controlling - I used to do 150g batches and it was really hard to get consistency.
    Also, the gun down into the corner (I use the front right) does help blow the beans around.
    Im suprised you had the machine stall at 15mins - were you using the dough cycle? In my Breville that goes for 30mins. I use the first 2mins of eratic mixing for a gentle preheat, then into it - takes about 20mins.
    Great fun though, isnt it :)

    Matt

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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 0025322D207C440 link=1320406409/17#17 date=1321442318
    Im sure I found a setting where the BM ran on the continuous mix for 20 minutes. However, 15 minutes into the roast today, it decided to stop.
    Try running the BM again on the same cycle with-out any beans or heat and see what it does. Its possible its temperature protection kicked in and stopped it. Per the manual for your machine (http://www.breville.com.au/media/mediaappearance/11579/BBM300_LORES.pdf) there are any number of settings that will give you a 20 minute knead cycle.

    On a quick glance through the manual I saw no setting that had a 15 minute knead cycle which is why the suspicion that it may have been an over-temp protection issue. If so the BM will require some modding, which is addressed in any number of threads on here.


    Java "Search engines are your friends" phile

  27. #27
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B7067706179787D74110 link=1320406409/25#25 date=1321505912

    Try running the BM again on the same cycle with-out any beans or heat and see what it does. Its possible its temperature protection kicked in and stopped it. Per the manual for your machine (http://www.breville.com.au/media/mediaappearance/11579/BBM300_LORES.pdf) there are any number of settings that will give you a 20 minute knead cycle.

    On a quick glance through the manual I saw no setting that had a 15 minute knead cycle which is why the suspicion that it may have been an over-temp protection issue. If so the BM will require some modding, which is addressed in any number of threads on here.


    Java "Search engines are your friends" phile
    Bread makers have a temperature sensor? Well thats annoying. Although id imagine it would be quite a simple mod, yes?

    David

  28. #28
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 0722352A277B430 link=1320406409/26#26 date=1321508492
    Quote Originally Posted by 5B7067706179787D74110 link=1320406409/25#25 date=1321505912

    Try running the BM again on the same cycle with-out any beans or heat and see what it does. Its possible its temperature protection kicked in and stopped it. Per the manual for your machine (http://www.breville.com.au/media/mediaappearance/11579/BBM300_LORES.pdf) there are any number of settings that will give you a 20 minute knead cycle.

    On a quick glance through the manual I saw no setting that had a 15 minute knead cycle which is why the suspicion that it may have been an over-temp protection issue. If so the BM will require some modding, which is addressed in any number of threads on here.


    Java "Search engines are your friends" phile
    Bread makers have a temperature sensor? Well thats annoying. Although id imagine it would be quite a simple mod, yes?

    David
    Yes, you can usually relocate the temp sensor. I did it recently, it helps for back-to-back roasts

  29. #29
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 45647268666F686F664378426E67676464010 link=1320406409/24#24 date=1321501336
    Hi D8
    Im using a BM with the same pan and with 350g there is no worries about beans getting trapped in the corners - the mixing is pretty consistent. It is also a better roast size for controlling - I used to do 150g batches and it was really hard to get consistency.
    Also, the gun down into the corner (I use the front right) does help blow the beans around.
    Im suprised you had the machine stall at 15mins - were you using the dough cycle? In my Breville that goes for 30mins. I use the first 2mins of eratic mixing for a gentle preheat, then into it - takes about 20mins.
    Great fun though, isnt it* :)

    Matt
    Hi matt! Thanks for your reply. I was using the pizza dough setting. But i will check out the dough setting soon.

    David.

  30. #30
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Alrighty. Its been a while. So I thought it was time to make an update.

    So I ran 500g of the the Peru Ceja de Selva Estate through the coretto today. I used the Dough cycle this time, 5 minutes of intermittent mixing, then 20 minutes of continuous mixing. I had the HG on the lowest setting during the intermittent cycle, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Cranked the heat up slowly over the first 8 minutes of the continuous cycle, think first crack occured around 12 minutes (including the intermittent 5 minutes), then second crack at 18, when I began cooling.

    Quite happy with how they turned out. Shall let you know how they taste over the next few days!


  31. #31
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Looking good!
    Let us know how it cups :)

    Matt

  32. #32
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Journey into Home Roasting

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Sorry it took
    Quote Originally Posted by 1233253F31383F3831142F153930303333560 link=1320406409/30#30 date=1323386676
    Looking good!
    Let us know how it cups* :)

    Matt

    Sorry I took so long to reply, but the Peru was fantastic. Almost as good as the Brazil Yellow Bourbon I did after the Peru.

    Anyway, more recently was the PNG Wahgi.

    For background, I have the Ozito HG, I also labelled a scale of 1-20 on the HG, to give some kind of numerical representation of the heat level.

    So to the graph below, thanks to pcf1978 for this template. The red xs are my approximate temperatures.

    And here is a description of my temperature levels along the way

    0min to 2:30 - Level 18
    2:30 to 4:30 - 17
    4:30 to 7:30 - 18
    7:30 to 8:30 - 19
    8:30 to 12:30 - 20
    12:30 onwards: 18

    And I reckon they turned out pretty well. Sorry for the bad lighting in the photo though... Ill let you know how they cup once Ive let them rest for a few days. :)

    David






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