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Thread: Beans too dry/Lost moisture?

  1. #1
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    Beans too dry/Lost moisture?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello everyone
    Have had my first attempt at roasting with BM+HG this weekend. Unforunately was quite late in the day and couldn't see my beans outdoors, but was moderately successful considering it was my first roast.
    I got 1st crack at around 8.5 minutes and second crack around 16 min, after which I promptly dumped the beans and fan cooled
    Once I came inside I noted the beans were probably a medium roast, maybe a CS8 based on photos from the forums (don't actually have a card as they were sold out).

    I let the beans rest in a CS bag until today when I attempted my first espresso. I kept my grinder on the usual grind setting I have for my usual beans. The first thing I noticed during my grind is that the grounds don't clump like my usual locally roasted coffee, which indicates to me that the moisture content is less on the beans I roasted. The coffee pour came out incredibly fast, pouring out a double shot in 10 seconds. I adjusted to a finer grind and tamped hard, but still a fast pour, probably 15 seconds or so, with a very froathy crema. Coffee taste was a bit sour and less full bodied.

    It seems to me that the problem is low moisture content of the roasted beans - as evidenced by lack of clumping during grind and by faster pour with same grind setting (drier ground product = more space between particles = faster pour). I'm using Peruvian Ceja de Salva AAA beans

    Is this something I can address by modifying the roast, or is it a problem inherent to beans or am I missing something?
    If you need pics I can provide

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Hard to say exactly what's going on, I'm not familiar with HG+BM setups, but having a development time of ~50% of your roast is too long, start off by aiming for 20-25% of your total roast time.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    8 minutes for 1st crack is good.
    8 minutes between 1st and 2nd crack is a bit long. I'd be raising the temperature and trying for 3-5 minutes.

    Freshly roasted beans DO grind much more easily in the first week or two, and they will extract at a different rate. The extraction rate will change as they age and may very well be different for every bean type.
    Fresh beans DO create much more crema (although it usually settles pretty rapidly).
    Fresh beans give off CO2 for about a week and this can make them taste more "acidic". See how they go as they mature.

    It doesn't actually sound like there is anything seriously wrong with your roast.

    Roasting is as complex as grinding and extracting and it takes a while to get everything the way YOU want it. The advantage, of course, is that you get fresh coffee your way each time.

    Have fun.

    Greg
    Last edited by GregWormald; 8th June 2016 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Spelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald View Post
    trying for 3-5 minutes
    According to Rao this is still a bit too long. If FC is at 8:30, 3 minute development time is 26%, maybe a bit too long, 5 minutes is 37%, too long. I'd probably be aiming more for 2:30 which is 23%

    Roast Development Time and the Prerequisite for Any Successful Roast | Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine

  5. #5
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danyboy View Post
    ...The coffee pour came out incredibly fast, pouring out a double shot in 10 seconds. I adjusted to a finer grind and tamped hard, but still a fast pour, probably 15 seconds or so,
    Adjust your grind again! If it pours fast your grind is still too coarse.


    with a very froathy crema.
    Your coffee is only a few days old, so you can't really call that until its settled in about a week.

    I got 1st crack at around 8.5 minutes and second crack around 16 min, after which I promptly dumped the beans and fan cooled
    Once I came inside I noted the beans were probably a medium roast, maybe a CS8
    CS8 is pretty light and "sour" as your taste descriptor would agree with that. I think you are trying to roast too high a weight of beans or your heat-gun (HG) is not hot enough/close enough to the beans. At that roast level I would guess you were either still getting some first cracks or it was a little uneven and only some beans were second cracking. Second crack at CS8 won't happen.

    Try the same roast with less beans, roast a little darker and the sour should disappear too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Agrajag View Post
    but having a development time of ~50% of your roast is too long
    Says who? With what beans? With what roasting device?
    You need to be really careful re-quoting something read somewhere as often it might only be true for a specific setup and its contents and will only complicate what can be a simple process.

    The best home roasts are learnt by making one change at a time and tasting. There are no absolute correct rules or methods and some of the best roasts in the country have been the result of an "oops" that broke the rules.


    (added later) this was posted in answer to post #1 and #2 while I was roasting, by the time I hit "post" there were other replies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Says who? With what beans? With what roasting device?
    You need to be really careful re-quoting something read somewhere as often it might only be true for a specific setup and its contents and will only complicate what can be a simple process.

    The best home roasts are learnt by making one change at a time and tasting. There are no absolute correct rules or methods and some of the best roasts in the country have been the result of an "oops" that broke the rules
    I agree but you need a starting point, which is why I said "start off by aiming...". There seems to be a lot of unknowns even among roasting professionals, but if you at least start off at a point where people generally get good results then you have a good point to start changing things one at a time.

  7. #7
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    ...and if you quote as fact someone who's coffee you have never tasted you don't really know what they call good.

    Scott Rao is a renowned barista and author, he writes about his opinions and thoughts and if everyone followed them to the letter they would all roast like Scott which might be good but might not be if his roasting style doesn't suit your tastes.

    To roast well at home you need to take-in lots of information and then ignore at least half of it. Which half you have to decide with trial and error and tasting!
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    Thanks a lot for all the replies. Wasn't overly concerned about the crema since when I buy my beans from the local roaster same phenomenon with the crema occurs until the beans age a few extra days...
    I grind pretty fine so not sure how much smaller I can go considering I usually buy freshly roasted and grind fine...
    Unfortunately my monitor software closed prior to saving the profile so just going by memory for the times. Will try again with 20% less beans and a darker roast.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Hi Danyboy
    Can I ask what weight of beans you were using?

    From my personal experience with a BM & HG setup, I wouldn't consider a 16mins roast time to be too far off for a 300-350g roast size. But the 50/50 breakdown of 8mins to first crack would seem a little fast, then a little too slow, even stalling towards second crack, which would seem to account for the sour taste (the development time to first crack) yet powdery/fine grind (post first crack development - well from my corretto experiements anyway!).

    FWIW, this was my early hardcopy 'baseline' for a 350g size roast… might be of some use

    Happy roasting!

    Cheers Matt

    DBC Roasting Profile Sheet Jun13.pdf
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  10. #10
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    ...and if you quote as fact someone who's coffee you have never tasted you don't really know what they call good.

    Scott Rao is a renowned barista and author, he writes about his opinions and thoughts and if everyone followed them to the letter they would all roast like Scott which might be good but might not be if his roasting style doesn't suit your tastes.

    To roast well at home you need to take-in lots of information and then ignore at least half of it. Which half you have to decide with trial and error and tasting!
    Well said mate...

    Mal.
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  11. #11
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    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for the profile!
    I was using the Peruvian AAA beans
    I used a 500g in a breville BM (290? if I recall correctly)

    Was just reading that they may need another 4-6 days to rest to develop flavours (don't know if that will eliminate the sourness).
    I'll pick up a tripod tomorrow so I can have some better fine tuning of the temperature applied to the beans.

    Thanks again everyone, will try some modifications (unfortunately if ideal time from roast to cup is 9 days, the feedback loop is...longish)

    Danyboy

  12. #12
    sjh
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    Hi Danyboy,
    I use a Breville 290 with Bosch HG and Matt's roasting profile with great results although with 400g of beans.

    Steve.
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    Hello again

    Had a second attempt at roasting, this time 300g of green beans (same Peruvian ones)
    I may have been mistaken about reaching 2nd crack on the last roast now that I roasted a bit darker, I am definitely sure I reached beginning of 2nd crack.
    The beans look oil-ier and darker. However, I seem to have reached the beginning of 1st crack quickly 6:23 minutes, and it extended until 8:19 at which point the last few 1st cracks were heard (is this a normal span of 1st cracking?). Second crack was 3 minutes later at 11:23. Roast was over by 12 minutes at which point I dumped.

    I've attached a graph showing the above points (except dumping is recorded a little late) and temperature profile. I am surprised to see that I start first crack at 180C (whereas I have been reading it should occur at ~200C) - is the 200C people refer to as the bean temp or the environment temp? I am measuring bean temp as I didn't see much of a point in measuring ET. I've got two probes in the bean mass (both colored lines). Note that I moved the HG away from the bean mass at some point before the 6 minute mark as it seemed my temp was climbing too quick (not sure if this was appropriate)
    Obviously I won't be able to tell what these taste like for another week+, and I know that there is no "ideal profile" for every person/bean/cupping. However, can anyone comment as to whether there is anything to improve here?

    Many thanks again!

    Danyboy
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Looks pretty good to me, the timings sound better than your first one (to me ) The beans wouldn't be reaching FC at 180, it's normally closer to 200, so probably something to do with your setup/TC calibration/placement, but I wouldn't worry about it too much if what you have is consistent. The numbers could be anything, as long as they are consistent then you have something to go against. If you always get FC at 180 then that's ok.

    If they are already oily and very dark, that's probably a bit further than most people take them, but as Andy said, it's trial and error. You might want to try dropping your next batch earlier and compare.

    Measuring ET as well as BT can be useful depending on your setup. Traditionally the difference between ET and BT will tell you what your RoR will be (greater the difference, greater RoR), but this really depends on your setup, you may find it useful, you may not.

    By the way I normally start trying my beans 3-4 days after roasting, they often peak a bit later than that but are definitely good at that time, so you may want to try them earlier than a week and see how they go as they age.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    Adjust your grind again! If it pours fast your grind is still too coarse.
    Andy you ended up being right Ground much finer (didn't even know it goes that fine) and tamped a little harder than normal... and pour adjusted nicely.
    I guess I didn't think of going that fine since ALL the fresh beans I had traditionally bought from various local roasters ground at nearly the same setting on the grinder, so I assumed my own roast would be the same.

    Cheers!
    Danyboy
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  16. #16
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    That's the biggest pain with trying new beans, the hassle setting up the grinder every time you switch.
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  17. #17
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trentski View Post
    That's the biggest pain with trying new beans, the hassle setting up the grinder every time you switch.
    Shouldn't happen too much with home roasts though, once you get your profiles sorted out.
    I rarely have to change my grinder setting more than a couple of notches from one roast to another and has been this way for years...

    Mal.

  18. #18
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Shouldn't happen too much with home roasts though, once you get your profiles sorted out.
    I rarely have to change my grinder setting more than a couple of notches from one roast to another and has been this way for years...

    Mal.
    Second this …

  19. #19
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Was talking from a third party roaster scenario. I home roast and have the same experience as you Mal
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  20. #20
    By6
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    G'day mate,

    Just a quick one as most things have been covered well. To beat the sourness, ramp up your brew temp setting. I have beans that have a sweet spot at 91 and other varieties as high as 97. I degree off can result in either bitter or sour unplesant flavours coming through - becomming more prominent as you move further from the sweet spot. I've never been a big fan of letting beans rest - yes their flavour settles over time, but I never want to miss out on all that's on offer during the flavour development days (commonly called settling time). This period just presents a little more of challenge with grind and brew temp settings - but is worth it. I've had beans that taste amazing on day 1 and 2 and then settle down to tasting pretty good for the rest of their life cycle. If I wasn't actively tasting these, I would never have known...

    The only caveat to this is if you under roast a bean and its centre is still perceivably raw - there's no fixing this with brew temp unfortunately...

    I hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Ben.
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  21. #21
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    So a little update
    I figured out one of the reasons why I had such a fast pour prior to adjusting my grind settings. It's the higher content of coffee husk in the roasted beans. I'm not sure if it was a byproduct of incomplete/insufficient roasting, but it became apparent to me when I ground much coarser for an American coffee maker and all the husk floated to the top of the ground mass. My wife who brewed the coffee says it came out very quickly and unconcentrated...
    The second batch I roasted (a different bean however) had virtually no husk left attached, and I had to re-adjust my grinder back to its original setting as the setting for the first batch of ground beans was too fine...

    Either way, finished the batch of beans from the first roast. Despite all adjustments, remained very sour, even with added resting. I would like to say hints of green apples, but truly it was more like overt unripe green apple with hints of sour raspberries I had a laugh. Did not marry well with milk in a FW
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Shouldn't happen too much with home roasts though, once you get your profiles sorted out.
    I rarely have to change my grinder setting more than a couple of notches from one roast to another and has been this way for years...

    Mal.
    My experience as well Mal, been home roasting for over 10 years.
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  23. #23
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Hi danyboy
    The retention of lots of husk is a sign that you haven't roast far enough towards second crack - which then makes sense of your sour taste. Just before second crack a lot of the husk should be thrown off… and by second crack there should be almost none left…
    Cheers Matt
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