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Thread: Roast Times - Advice Please

  1. #1
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    Roast Times - Advice Please

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have been roasting with a popper for about eight months, and have been quite happy with the results, especially over the last few months as I learned more,
    and the results improved.

    Recently I have been trying to help a new convert to roasting & he has done a couple of roasts where first crack was at about 6 to 7 minutes, and second crack at about 14 to 15 minutes. (see "Target $16 popper" thread)

    This morning, while the weather was cool, I tried to replicate this and managed to get a first crack from 5:40 to about 7:20 and I pulled it before second crack at 15 minutes because I think it may have stalled at that point.

    I know that a lot emphasis is put on extending the time after first crack, but all the profiles I have seen show a longer first stage, and a second stage that is at least a little shorter than the first. I don't think I have ever seen one that was the other way round.

    So, after all that preamble, my questions are :- Is there an "ideal" ratio between the two stages that we should aim for, and what do you think will be the result of a roast where the second stage is longer than the first ??.

    Thanks, Leo.

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Don't get too caught up with stretching between 1st and 2nd crack...especially in a popper which is unmodified it is a little difficult to control. In some instances I found stretching can actually detract from the roast taste and can in fact bake the beans so that you've lost much of the desired characteristics of the beans. My only recommendation would be to do two or three roasts on the same day, one where you just let the popper run its course, and the next where you stretch it a little and the last where you do what you've been doing with your 15 mins roast. label each roast and after each passing day, smell, taste and note down the differences. From there you will know what profile you like for that particular bean.

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    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    In fact, take it from the Golden Bean winner! Andy!

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/cup-tastin...tml#post482628

    Some good tips in this, and I think the main point to take away from the comments is that there are no hard fast rule that covers ALL beans. A 10 minute roast that is at a constant ramp up and it's a commercial roast! Makes me rethink my own preconceptions and want to experiment more with my roasts.

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    Junior Member BSmyth's Avatar
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    Thanks saoye and Leo

    Ill review the link and see what Andy has to say

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    Thanks Saoye, Very interesting graph there, especially for those of us who use poppers.

    And yes - I agree with you about baking the beans - I've been there, done that, a couple of times. Probably went close to it again this morning

    However, just to clarify a little, my own poppers do have some mods (mostly cooling), but despite this, my recent roasts seldom exceed 10 - 12 minutes.
    Lately, I have been trying to extend the time to first crack more so than the time from first to second.
    After first crack, I usually shut off the external fan, and slightly restrict the popper's airflow to ensure that it reaches second crack without stalling.

    This mornings trial was an attempt to replicate the roast times of one our newest home roaster converts. I thought his second stage might be a bit too long, but I didn't want to tell him to speed it up, because I was not really sure myself.

    I decided to try a similar time frame to his, but where he reached second crack, I probably stalled mine, so I pulled it at 15 minutes.

    Then I woke up and realised that I could probably get the answers much faster by simply asking the experts here on the forum.

    Cheers, Leo.
    Last edited by leograyson; 24th October 2012 at 01:30 PM. Reason: Typo

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    What are ways you can slow a roast in a popper ? and what does an external fan do ? Very curious as all most of roasts ( Syd) are around 9 min mark ...although I'm happy with the results

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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Quote Originally Posted by grapsta View Post
    What are ways you can slow a roast in a popper ? and what does an external fan do ? Very curious as all most of roasts ( Syd) are around 9 min mark ...although I'm happy with the results
    G'day grapsta, If you can take your roasts out to about 9 mins overall time, you probably wont extend them a lot more with these mods, but this pic shows a couple of things that I use to help slow things down.

    WARNING :- Some of them could be unsafe on some popper makes/models and should be only done with care. If in doubt - - DON'T do it.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/Attachments/popper_setup.jpg ( This is not my popper but it illustrates it well )

    The popper is run topless with a fairly powerful desk fan blowing on it. This extracts some of the heat of the chamber.
    The air intake holes underneath have been enlarged, and the unit sits on a small box fan which forces air into the intake area.
    On mine I have also enlarged the air vents around the bottom of the roasting chamber to further increase the airflow.

    Note that the chimney shown in the pic is quite tall and will tend to retain heat. A shorter chimney should be used in warm/hot weather.

    Some makes/models cannot be run topless, but the upper section of the outer case may be drilled or 'skeletonised", provided it's done safely.

    However, roasting during the coolest part of the day, and keeping the the size of roast down is probably more important than any of the mods.

    Depending on the popper wattage & ambient temps it may be necessary to switch off one or both fans after first crack so as to reach second crack without stalling.

    Cheers, Leo.
    Last edited by leograyson; 24th October 2012 at 03:25 PM. Reason: more detail



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