How much do you roast at a time?
Hey all. I'm having some real trouble with roasting. Everytime I roast, no matter what I do, I get burned flavors. I use a breville b250 and ozito variable gun like lots of other who seem to get better results than me, so im looking for some thoughts. After starting to get burned flavors after a few roasts, this is what I've tried to fix it:
- Roasting lighter. I started listening hard for the first snap of second crack and pull the roast straight away so it doesn't go any further. Still burned taste. Then I started trying to pull just prior to 2nd crack, but then I just get a combination of burned and sour taste.
- Progressively turn up heat. I will slowly turn the heat up on the ozito gun in small incrementd of 0 to 70% of first crack heat every 30 seconds for the first 3-4 minutes, and then turn it up to 100% of the heat I need to get to first crack overthr next few minutes to get 1st crack at around 10-12 minutes. I did this because people say too much heat early can cause tipping. This method didn't seem to help much.
- A lid. This is to try and use less agressive heat and retain heat more to try to not over cook early. I have tried various lid methods from saucepan lid to home made moulded wood with thick foil to oven tray. None seem to make much difference.
- Angle and position of HG. I've tried straight down in the middle of the pan over the paddle. I've tried in one corner straight down. I've tried in the corner and angled in direction of bean movement, both diagonally across pan and straight down one side. No difference.
- Increase agitation. I installed another arm on the paddle to increase movement and reduce the amount of time beans sat in the corner not moving much. I think this may have helped slightly, but it would be somewhere between nil and extremely slight.
- Having the gun closer to the bean mass and the temp lower. Didn't seem to make a difference.
- Having the gun further away from the bean mass and the temp higher. Didn't seem to make any difference.
No matter what I do, I just seem to get beans which appear darker than they should, taste more burned than they should, and have a darker centre than outside when broken in half. I just can't seem to get it and would desperately love some help!
How much do you roast at a time?
Usually roast between 300-500g. Is there a specific weight that works best? I have had similar results from 250, 300, 400, 500 and 600g
I assume you are dropping the temp at the start of first crack. You can get tipping from too fast a ramp to second crack
If you don't already have one, think of getting a Digital Multi Meter to measure the temp at various stages
Ok so it may not be the amount you are putting in if you have tried that and had the same results. However do you use a meter and prob to test the temp you are getting inside the corretto. If you are turning the gun up to 100% i assume you are turning it up to 600 degrees that itselg may be too hot. If you was you i would start the temp a bit hotter earlier and only get the gun to about 500. inside the roast on mine it converts too about 190-210 degrees
Running a temperature probe is a great way of seeing what's going on at the bean... it's very hard on large roasts to know what you are doing wrong unless you can "see" the effects of your changes.
I would also recommend grabbing the Peru Ceja or the Indian Elephant for a really easy bean to roast that works well though a range of roast depths. When you are getting good results with one of those then move onto other beans using your "known good" baseline.
Thanks. When I said 100%, I meant 100% of the temp I need to get it to 1st crack which is about 1/2 to 2/3 of full power.
I don't have a DM and I'm sure that will help, but I was just trying to not spend the $$$ on it if I didn't have to.
Well i will be honest i bought at temp gauge from a place called jaycar, but after awhile I thought i need a easier way to monitor what i do so i purchased the one that Andy has for sale on here and have never looked back. Best investment into this roasting i have made so far.
You're roasting blind without a temperature probe, and the coffeesnob roasting software is so easy to use, you'd be crazy not to get one when roasting such large amounts of beans at a time. The Ozito heat gun is by no means a precision tool, so turning the temperature dial will not always give you the same heat setting.
I use the ozito heat gun, always on "II" (high fan) and on full temp. No lid on coretto. I then adjust temp but adjusting height. I normally start with the tip around 1-2cm above the lip of the breadmaker, then increase to 4-5cm above around 1st crack. I pull at 2nd crack (sometimes leave a minute to get rolling, sometimes when the 1st bean hits 2nd) then I cool quickly from there to stop it dead using a blower vac chamber.
I have done about 15 roasts this way so far, and they taste, well, pretty good to an untrained palate. No tipping. No excessive burnt flavour, definitely a stronger/darker roast though, which we like.
I think that I have a long way to go in improving technique, however, I'm happy as is.
For what it's worth I don't think the adjustment does much on the ozito heat gun, setting "I" isn't hot at all, and turning the dial on "II" does change the temp but as others have said, it's hit and miss.
Do you try your best to ensure all the chaff blows out of your coretto? Chaff burns very easily since its like paper and this can easily taint your roast. You need to at the very least ensure the chaff keeps moving around or else they easily ignite/burn if kept dorectly under the heat gun for too long. This could explain why agitation helped.
Wifey said I can get a DMM so I'll grab one and let you all know if that makes a difference. I really hope it does!
The data logger will show the temp increase rate. If that is too high, it will lead to the burning/tipping you described. You'll find plenty of posts in the Tips, Tricks, Ideas that include charts of roasts they have done. These are only a starting point but you should be guided and not ruled by them. The thermodynamics of your roaster and your tastes are likely to be different so the roasting journey is about finding what works for you.
Then download the software into a laptop and you're on your way to great tasting roasts!
I have found and learnt that consistancy is one important key roasting, purchasing and using a data logger can only help you acheive consistancy with your roasting. I orignally bought a probe and temp gauge from an outside source, then finally bought the data logger from beanbay here, wishing I had have done that in the first place. It can only help you get better.
Hi James, I'm a newby roaster using a corretto and the $10 temp probe from Jaycar. I was having exactly the same problem with basically burning the beans. It has taken about 8 roasts to realise this, and I ended up changing the corretto to have a custom lid with 2 holes. One for in and one for out. It fits snuggly over the top so no other heat loss. This made it necessary for me to reduce the heat from the Ozito HG right from the start, and the temp control then is much better if you keep a close eye on it. I'm following Peter Forster's excel guide, but just a little (1-second crack) under his profile. Last batch I did with my new set-up was the Indian Longberry and it's pretty close to spot on I'd say. No charcoal/burnt flavours. I'd recommend re-trying the cover over the BM, and also the DMM would be great but I don't think it is essential. Although after a few more batches I'll prob get one too! Good luck
Hey all. So got my DMM and done 4 roasts. I still seem to have the same problem of quite bad burnt flavours in the roast. I have included 2 graphs, one is Brazil Yellow Bourbon, the other is Harrar. The Brazil tasted a bit better than non-DMM roasts, did 2 Harrar's (one the probe fell out and the other was - no real improvement). I also did a gambella, which on the other hand was shocking. Horrible burnt taste - worse than without the DMM. I don't understand, it's really annoying me.
I pulled it out about 20 seconds after 2nd crack (was trying for on the first few snaps but couldnt hear it). the smell after roasting was beautiful, smelled nutty, caramelly and smooth. Left it to rest for 1 week and just opened the bag again. Instead of being hit with nutty caramelly smells I was hit with charcoal. After running a shot through my machine and splitting the shot into 3rds, the dominant taste in all 3 sections of the espresso was ash. This is driving me insane and I'm seriously thinking about chucking in the corretto.
20120909-Brazil Yellow Bourbon.csv by jamespbeasley, on Flickr[/img]
20120915-Harrar by jamespbeasley, on Flickr[/img]
If it tasted dark then you roasted too long and/or cooled too slow. Easy as that!
Your 2 graphs are very similar so getting similar results is what you should expect. You need to make a change.
Try a slower ramp up to 1st crack (aim for 10-11minutes) and stop the heat earlier (4 minutes after first crack).
You are close.. just a little tweaking and the results should be great.
Exactly. You need to play around with the roast and adjust accordingly to your taste. Any chance of posting some photos of these roasts that taste like ash? I'm wondering how dark you're roasting. I tend to stop just before 2nd crack or immediately after. I assume you're using the one way valve bags to store after roasting? Also, why wait a full week? I tend to like to taste each day after the roast. Some beans I find are perfect within 1 week of roasting, others needs up to 2 weeks to settle (like some Indonesian beans I have).
Thanks guys - I'll keep trying, i'm just gettin really frustrated.
I had been aiming for about 9-10 for first crack and then 2-3 degrees per minute after that. I'll try a slower ramp to first and maybe 3-4 or 4-5 degrees per minute to second crack and pull a bit earlier and see how I got.
But just also wanted to ask - could it have anything to do with position and angle of gun into bread pan? I position the gun in one corner just below the top of the bread pan and angle slightly (like 10 degrees) towards the diagonally opposite corner.
Also, are you supposed air out the gun after use to try to get out coffee smells? Like let it run on a low heat just in the open air for a few minutes after roasting?
Have you thought that it may not be the beans your roasting but the process and way you are using to make the coffee? Have you tried some good quality roasted beans say from Beanbay? As Saeyo said if you can post a pic on here so we can have a look at them
Your graphs don't look to much unlike mine, Like what Andy said is aim for first crack around 10-11 and drop around 4 mins after.
Looking at your profile, I think that the tastes you are getting would be solved by following Andy's advice.
If the input temp is too high, the sour would be likely come from the inside of the bean being un-roasted - the burnt from the outside being charred (think cooking a thick sausage with the BBQ plate too hot). A longer, gentler roast would cook into the bean, while preventing charring on the outside. Try either reducing the gun temp (if adjustable) or lifting it 2-3 cms higher (slightly above the lip of the pan). keep these two flavour tips in mind, and adjust to suit. When the taste gets thick & muddy - the roast is too gentle/long.
BTW The position of your gun - front corner / slight angle - sounds about right :-)
Look forward to hearing about the progress!
Hi again James
The other thing I noticed is your very quick/strong/high power ramp technique.
My general technique is to start at around 1/2 power (350 deg on a 650 deg gun) then increase to 400 deg at 130deg measured on the DMM, then 450 deg at 160deg on the DMM, which is still only 2/3 power. Then I drop back to 400 just before second crack (195) then drop back aging to to 350 at the end of rolling second crack (210deg). I have in the past played around with continuing to increase the temp ramp (up to 450-500deg on the gun) heading towards first crack - but this can give a dry/brittle/burnt flavour to the final roast, even when pulled early, ie well before second crack. While this doesn't vary the profile hugely to look at on paper (might only be by a minute at this late stage) I think the higher late temps must combust the inside of the bean a lot and break down the goodness locked inside :-)
So maybe go a bit more gently - start with a gentler start temp, then give it a healthy time to warm the beans (half way or so to second crack -120-130 dge) then gently ramp - but not too much. Shouldn't need to go to full power.
Your accurate tasting descriptions are really helpful though - you'll be amazed at the difference in taste with slight adjustments like these! I can almost taste your pain - I've been there before!!
Thanks Matt - I appreciate the advice! I have watched your video of your roast and sort of tried to follow what you do a bit, but would you mind posting a photo or even data of one of your roasts for me to have a look at?
I tend to concentrate most on the temp increase rate when i roast, and aim for roughly the following - comments appreciated:
20-50 degrees: 13-15 degrees per minute
50-150 degrees: 25 degrees PM
150-180 degrees: 17-20 degrees PM
180-195: 20-25 degrees PM
200+: 3 degrees PM
I try to adjust the temp input gradually up and down to achieve this, taking it up half a notch at a time on the ozito (it has about 13 notches - I don't usually go higher than about notch 8 at the most).
Interesting Matt what you said about burned on the outside and not as well cooked on the inside - I actually usually find is the other way around - at least it looks that way when I crack a bean in half to have a look. Looks dark brown/ black-ish in the middle and lighter brown on the outside. Does anyone know what that means?
I did a brazil roast yesterday - when I cracked a couple of beans in half this is what I saw. I'll try to take a photo.
Like you, I used to try and surf temps rise rates - but found it terribly frustrating! The gun/beans don't respond that quickly - an 'ideal' profile curve doesn't necessarily look anything like what you do with the gun.
If you want a bit of an idea about my technique (which is actually more important that the output profile IMHO), here is a recent thread I posted on inlet temp profiling - it sounds complex, but when you get down to it is really simple - and has been a real 'aha!' moment for me. In reality now - I only adjust my gun a couple of times in th roast to get consistent great results - and let the curve/temp rise do its thing. In that thread is a table of what I do when in the roast - and a PDF spreadsheet i use you might find interesting which has a blank sheet I fill in, and one that has a graph of my inlet temps - and when I increase and decrease them.
As to the 'burnt on the inside' thing - I suspect too much heat early on could account for this - kind of like too-hot an oven will dry out the inside of a pavlova, rather than making it nice and mushy - but still might not burn the outside. Just a guess.
But i've certainly found from experience that if a roast is too hot and too fast - you can get that overdone/underdone taste happening.
But keep at it - you're really close - and when you nail a good one - you'll know it!
My roast profile goes something like this. Starts off at 30C/min, by 150C it's down to 10C/min and stays there to 200C (first crack).
After clearing first crack I back off the heat input a bit, and try for 5C/min up to my arbitrary end point, lately been 221C.
The description of your rate of rise from 150-200 sounds way too fast.
I tied another roast yesterday, doing a few things differently. I added another "arm" to the paddle so that then beans would agitate more, and went up from 330gm to 400gm to see if that would make a difference.
I started off really gentle - a rise of about 5-10 degrees pm for the first minute, then gently up after that and didn't get a rise of 25 degrees pm until about the 4 minute mark at around 70 degrees. maintained that rise until about 150 degrees where I let the rise ease off again so it gradually went down to about 10-15 degrees PM by 190, and about 5 degrees pm by the time 1st crack hit. After that the rise was around 3-4 degrees PM up to second crack. I pulled it out just it was getting a few snaps of 2nd crack here and there in the cooler.
20121004-Brazil Yellow Bourbon by jamespbeasley, on Flickr
I felt like it smelled better than previous roasts so had good hopes for it, but tried one pull this morning and still the same thing - burnt taste.
I have a few photos below of the roast. As you can see the colour is good and they dont look burnt - until you crack one in half and look at the middle. It's like a reverse steak where the centre is dark and the outside isn't - and there's a big burnt tip on the end.
_MG_2733 by jamespbeasley, on Flickr
_MG_2751 by jamespbeasley, on Flickr
On the photo, the inside of the bean doesn't look quite as dark as the real bean - the contrast between the dark centre and lighter outer is a bit more so.
I seriously don't understand what I'm doing wrong - I don't feel like I can be any more gentle with the heat casue first crack would be too late then, but how do I stop the tipping/burning? Next thing I'm going to try is to have the HG a bit further away from the bean mass, cause maybe the heat i hitting the beans to directly... I don't know.
The annoying this is when I first out the corretto together I wasn't having these issues. No DMM, not much practice, and I was cranking out good tasting roasts (albeit not perfect - but definitely better than now). Is there a chance that maybe my HG has gone funny?
It doesn't seem like others are having this much trouble... i must be doing something wrong.
They certainly look nice in the pics.
I suppose all you can do is go by the taste - not the 'ideal' times. I'd put aside the 11mins - and try some longer roasts :-)
Here is a copy of my latest profile - but you'll notice I'm hitting 14mins to first crack, & 18mins all up. Similar shape to your curve just longer. From multiple runs, I've found if I go much shorter it gets sour with less body - and obviously requires a lot more heat to do it, running the risk of charring. You'll also notice to that it never goes over a rise of 20deg/min. But this particular roast (a mocha java blend) I'm currently drinking is spectacular! Very rich, dark choc.
To get that result, you can see on the profile where I increased the temps. Down the bottom are my gun settings - but you can covert these to generic inlet temps on the LHS table - this temp would be gun independent. But this is basically a gentle warm, then slow consistent climb (which requires increasing temp input to achieve) all the way to first crack.
I guess all you can do is keep experimenting :-) - but if your tasting burnt, I'd go longer in time - and see what happens!
I dont want to keep pushing it but are you sure its not your process when making a coffee? Quote me if im wrong too but maybe your take on burnt maybe different to my take on burnt and thsi may differ to others aswell? From those photos and the graph it looks pretty good to me. just wanting to help the best i can.
Thanks Matt and Chris, I really appreciate your advice!
Chris, yes the brew process could well be having an impact. I got some commercially roasted coffee this morning to try it for comparison. The brewed coffee perfect, there were still some elements of taste and mouthfeel I picked up that weren't great, telling me that either method or machine aren't performing at best, but the taste was definitely better than my home roast. Big difference was the big reduction in the burnt taste I've been experiencing. So that tells me I do need to look at my technique and machinery a bit, but that more than likely the roasting is the main contributor.
Matt, thanks for your diagram and thoughts. I was getting worried about going over the 11 mints mark for first crack, but I'll give a longer and slower profile a go. I'll aim for the 14 mins with temp rise not going over 20/min and see how I go - and post my findings!
It can get really frustrating when you know something is wrong but don't know how to fix it........... I speak from experience!
I have only used a Gene and now a commercial 5kg but looking at your graphs and pics would like to offer some thoughts.
1. Don't get caught up with fixed ideas from what you read or what others with different gear/setups experience. Every roast situation is unique, find what works for you. Be more flexible and experiment.
2. If you look at your last profile and the one supplied by Matt there are a couple of obvious differences. Both profiles are measuring from a cold start but if you take 50* as an actual start point for the roast then your profile is running approx 8 minutes to 1st C and Matt's 11.
Even though your third profile looks better than the first two the approach is still quite aggressive. The tipping obvious in your photo will be coming from this aggressive early ramping where the germ end of the bean dries out faster than the rest and then over roasts towards the end of the cycle. The other factor involved with tipping will be the rate of agitation; if the beans are in the heat stream or contacting hot parts of your roaster for too long, tipping will occur. Scorching (different from tipping) later in the roast may also happen. The other difference is ratios; your time to 1st crack is approx half your total roast time (from50*) Matt's is more like two thirds to three quarters.
3. Try and achieve a roast profile that is more radically different than the three you have posted to give you some broader parameters to tweak. Everything is a bit too same same at the moment. Try to shorten the time between 1st and 2nd crack as mentioned by Andy previously. Currently it's about 8 minutes, bring it back to 4 (6 at the most).
4. A bit hard to tell from your pics so I might be wrong but if you remove some beans after first crack and well before second look for centreline charring. This comes from too much applied heat between bean drying (about 150*) and 1st C.
5. Don't give up! I have thrown out a mountain of beans and with perseverance and sage advice from the grand poo-bah I'm almost there.
6. You are really close to achieving great results.
Just needed to duck out for a minute but wanted to say something about your internal / external unevenness.
As far as I know this is NOT a roasting fault but will certainly show up in the cup and possibly lead to confusion and doubt.
To the best of my knowledge this is caused by incorrect bean processing and or storage.
Over time moisture will migrate from the inside to the outside of the bean causing uneven moisture concentration.
If the moisture is uneven there is no way the roast will be even.
How old are your beans? How are you storing them?
Frankly, this 3 year thing for green bean age doesn't sit comfortably with me.
If you're not buying beans from Andy then I'd be using them within 6 months.
I learnt a lot from that too! I like to know the whys (not just the try this - it worked for me) - and some of your points really clarified a few things! :-)
Thanks there were some really good ideas and reasoning there - I will definitely try extending the time first crack out and reducing the time up to second crack and see how I go.
All my greenies have been bought from Andy, and have been roasting harrar, gambella and brazil yellow bourbon all bought withinin the last 3 months with similar results. So unless all those greenies are duds - which if they're from Andy I would hope not - must be me. I'll try extending the roast time and if over the same results then we'll see.
Thanks for your tips though - love some good sound advice!
No worries Matt 'n James
Roasting is an awesome adventure, the learning curve very much like a roast profile!!
Got some great advice myself as recently as yesterday............ learning never stops.
Last edited by chokkidog; 5th October 2012 at 06:50 PM.
I've never had problems with beans from Andy, so I would categorically say that is not the source of the issue.
So let's hypothesise about the uneven roasting inside to out.
I'm sure you're storing the beans away from heat or excessive air movement. If mine aren't in grain pro then they're kept in airtight foodgrade buckets.
Given that the unevenness is moisture related is it possible that the aggressive ramping is causing an imbalance in the drying out of the beans during the early stage of the roast?
Hopefully that issue will resolve when you try some different profiles.
Keep us posted, we're all learning.
I was just giving my pasta sauce a stir and recalled you saying you had added another arm to your agitation paddle.
Are the beans in constant motion, tumbling over and over repeatedly or do they pretty much stay same side up, moving in a wave?
Constant agitation is important throughout the whole roast and if the heat source is from above but the beans aren't being turned over regularly then uneven drying will occur. This may be happening early in the roast when the green beans are heavier and more reluctant to agitate fully.
Better go stir the sauce again............
Thanks Chokkidog - very helpful!
I'll try to get a good look at how the beans are moving and also try a slower ramp and let you know how i go!
I am trying to roast a Guatemala Huehuetenango bean with a Behmor 1600 and having some issues. I'm new at this so this will likely play a huge role but considering the variation between individual beans and the way the beans seem to be charred inside I am trying to understand if this is related to the beans themselves or if I am doing something wrong - what do you guys think? I am getting very sour notes, intense bitterness and a dull baked & woody flavour.
Form the pictures provided they look a little under done. How many roast have you tried? I don't have a Behmor, however if you post some info on times it may help. Im only guess but they appear to be a little after first crack?
can you crack a couple of beans open and take a photo of the inside of the bean that seems to be charred?
As others have said, they do look a little light.
Not that I'm an expert by any means, but are you using P2 by chance? I had that happen to the Hue part of a KJM blend once (don't really know why I tried to roast a pre-blend on P2): Notes of sour, sour, a bit more sour with a long lingering grass finish. The follow-up roast on P3 was much better.
I've found that particularly for smaller roasts P2 can be a bit tricky if you're trying to hit first crack at / near the power drop and on occasion will give a rather uneven roast - maybe some beans just don't like it. P3 or even P4 can produce a more even result.
For roasts I'm intending for espresso, these days I usually use 350g on 1P3C, and crack the door open at rolling first crack (brush handle in door) to slow progression towards second crack a bit. The slower ramp of that profile seems to produce a more even roast too, and I use it for some pre-blends (also P4). The same approach will work with larger roasts too, maybe B or A program to get to full power sooner and add time if needed. For smaller roasts, I think the smallest I did was ~100g on 1/4P3C, turned out pretty well.
I still use P2 from time to time, just depends on what I'm roasting and previous experiences with the bean or region.
Can you please decipher the "P" acronyms your using?
Is this a Behmor thing, or are you on the original topic?
WiredArabica thanks for sharing this, it's invaluable & I think it will help me a lot as I have a long road ahead. Yes I was using P2.
Chris the roast was stopped at the beginning of the second crack. Or shall I say, at the beginning of the second crack of those beans that reached that point Which doesn't really make sense to me just yet, but I'll try a different profile and see how it goes. While I have no experience with roasting, the unevenness and the way the beans are on the inside make me instinctively wonder if this is an old dry bean that got some recent superficial humidity in the Auckland weather, or whether it's just how this particular bean behaves. Do you get this unevenness in your corretto process around the 1st crack?
Finally I have re-roasted the batch as it was quite unusable and took it far into 2nd crack. I noticed that the result was a bit more even (is the one day difference playing any part here in terms of water distribution or is this standard behaviour?), but the beans look like are scorched inside and show the burnt tips in Bames' shots:
Does anyone know what causes a bean to be unevenly roasted - in the single bean itself? Eg the ones that become darker and more roasted in the middle of the bean and less roasted on the outside?
As in - Is it too much heat at the start, or not enough? Is it too long up to 1st crack, or not long enough? Is it not enough bean agitation, or too much? Not enough air flow? Etc etc? Something else?
I wonder if the 'plumbers crack' allows heat (if its set too high) into the softer middle part of the bean, while the outer layers have a bit more structural integrity (stronger skin) that protects it more?
Just a guess :-)
I'd try less heat - longer roast… see what happens!
Just some info for all based on my experiences. I had practically all my roasts in my corretto having a burnt kind of overtone, to vayting degrees. Basically the same problem as Bames originally. I thought I'd solved it with placing a lid on the corretto and better temp control, but I hadn't. It did help, but not eliminate. Eventually I tried a much higher ramp up in temp, with first crack rolling around the 8-10min mark (instead of 10-12min) and removing after 12-14min. This has made a big defference and has gotten rid of the burnt tastes/overtones. The whole flavour profile now seems much more controllable. This is after many many roasts, and I can't believe I didn't try it earlier, but I kept going longer and slower - the wrong way! I don't know why, but it works and I just love the coffee I'm roasting now.
Also all coffees behave differently and sometimes slight changes have to be made during a roast, less or time / heat.
Overall though i find that the length of time and heat applied to get to FC have to most significant impact on the end results in the cup.
My process, each roast is a little different needing minor time/temp adjustments.
725 grams green beans.
Start roast @ room temp, HG set on 500 to 550c depending on weather.
FC around 14 mins @ approx 200c.
SC, when it happens.
I usually stop my roasts @ 225 to 230c @ about 19 minutes.
Have never had problems with burning or tipping.