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Thread: Roasting vs Baking?

  1. #1
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    Roasting vs Baking?

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

    I've just had my 4th go at roasting with a popper (Breville Crazy popper - 1200W). All have been reasonable successful - attached is a photo of todays batch.

    I'm wondering why I'm not hearing any (many) cracks? Today, I definitely heard 2 or 3 first cracks at about 8 mins, but nothing (first or second) after that. The total roast time was 20 mins. These are the Peruvian beans from Beanbag. It's 10 in Melbourne today - I used the popper in a bucket and I have fashioned a chimney out of a tin can. I intermittently covered the chimney to increase the temperature of the circulating air.

    The taste of the previous batches has been ok, but I'm using a basic hand grinder while waiting on a new burr grinder to come, so I don't think I can appreciate the taste potential at this stage.

    Reading around, a few sources seem to say that if you don't hear the beans cracking, you are 'baking' and not 'roasting' them.

    What is the difference and what are your thoughts. Is it normal to not hear many cracks?

    Thanks,
    Paul
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by pgseye; 14th July 2016 at 03:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day Paul...

    What weight of beans are you using per batch mate?

    Mal.

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    Hi Mal,
    I knew there would be a relevant detail that I forgot . 130 grams - the beans seem to spin reasonable well. I have tried 80 grams previously and they were spinning to fast.
    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day mate...

    Yep, 20 minutes in a popper is definitely too long. Given the very cold weather currently, I'd edge the batch size up about five grams at a time until such time as you achieve more 'normal' batch times to 1st-Crack and then 2nd if you intend going that far...

    You should notice much more hectic activity at the start of, and during 1st-Crack, when using the Peruvian beans. Possibly the approach temperature in towards 1st-Crack was so gradual it barely got going and maybe even flattened out. It's all a matter of suck it and see really, to find out where your particular popper operates best. Good thing with poppers though, batch sizes are small enough so as not to be too disheartening when things don't go as planned....

    Keep plugging away Paul...

    Mal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    I suspect that the safety thermostat on your popper is cutting power to the main heater coil, causing the roast to stall - possibly just about the time that first crack is starting. First crack with a small batch of beans can be fairly brief, and if the ramp up is slow, it may be just a few not very loud cracks, so it could be happening just after first crack.

    In cold weather 8mins to first is probably in the ballpark, but if the popper was continuing to heat at full power, second crack should follow within two or three minutes - four at most, especially if you were restricting the airflow. So I'm afaid that this batch will be badly "baked" after 20 mins.

    FWIW, I like the Ceja de Selva best when stopped before even the first snaps of second. At that point they are not very dark - look more like a medium roast. Just last week I tried a darker roast - took them past the first few snaps, almost to the start of rolling second, and I didn't like that batch at all.

    In your situation I would just stop the roast and cool the beans about two to three minutes after you hear first crack. Don't worry if they look a bit light. To me, these beans always look a bit lighter than most others at the same time/temp.

    I think you said in another thread that you know poppers have a safety cut-out, and that you don't have the background to do electrical mods, but if I'm right, and that is what's happening, you will need to find someone who can diasble or by-pass that thermostat.
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    Thanks for your thoughts guys,

    Well I just had another go this morning (5th batch) and I'm excited. This is the first batch that I have been truly able to appreciate first crack. In fact they were popping so much I couldn't tell where first crack ended and second crack started - in fact I think I have burnt them (yes/no)? Also the first batch to have an oily sheen to them. Many of the beans have little holes in them so this is confirmation of crack, right?

    11 here. I used 140g. The only thing that I did differently was cover the entire bucket (with popper and chimney inside) with a tea towel, allowing just a little air flow out. I took this off intermittently to allow the chaff to fly out. first crack definitely at 3:20 and then it kept going and I couldn't tell where second crack started - I ended it at 6:30.

    I obviously need to refine this more but at least I know now what I should be hearing.

    Thanks,

    Paul




    IMG_1747.jpg
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  7. #7
    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    " QUOTE :- In fact I think I have burnt them (yes/no)? Also the first batch to have an oily sheen to them. Many of the beans have little holes in them so this is confirmation of crack, right? "

    Yes, I'm afraid this batch look a bit too dark, especially for this bean. The little divots or craters in the beans indicate that the ramp up was too fast which it would be if you reached first in 3:20.

    It now seems I may be wrong about your cut-out switch and the problem with the previous batch was the cold weather., which you overcame by upping the batch size and covering the bucket.

    Now you just need to find a happy medium somewhere between those last two batches. I'd suggest that you try to reach first crack with just a little more covering than you used in #4 but a fair bit less than #5. When you reach first crack ( hopefully at about 5/6/7 min) then you can reduce the airlow a bit more to push on toward second. Try to stop before second crack or at the very first snaps, because the beans will keep going for a while after you cut the power.
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    Great - thanks deegee.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Even if the roasts are not ideal, it's an educational experience as part of your coffee journey to taste them and keep the memories as a reference.
    Taste them each day and note the differences as the beans age when they are roasted dark, or light.
    You may look back some time from the future and then see how far you have progressed.
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  10. #10
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    This is Goldilocks roasting at it's best.

    Too slow then too hot (and too long) you now have the "bookends" of the roasting spectrum and now when you nail one in the middle it will be just right.

    As mentioned above, take lots of notes, make one change at a time, taste the differences over the coming days and in no time you will be roasting great stuff nearly every time.

    Enjoy the journey ahead, the results can be amazing (even in a popper!)
    sidewayss, chokkidog and TC like this.

  11. #11
    TC
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    A popper roasts via convection rather than conduction.

    Aim for a 9-12 minute roast or you will dry the beans out too much. 2 1/2- 3 minutes between first and the beginning of 2nd crack should be sufficient to deliver good results in the cup. You then get to play from there!
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  12. #12
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    I don't know how the poppers work, but would that 9-12 minute target be similar for air gun heating which I assume is very drying?

    And with larger batches, does that 9-12 minute increase, or should one increase the temperature to still keep around that range.

  13. #13
    TC
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    In general, the greater the convective component of the roast, the shorter the roast.

    I haven't roasted with a heat gun but no doubt those who do have recommend a sweetish spot. Naturally the roast depth will influence total time.

  14. #14
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonko View Post
    I don't know how the poppers work, but would that 9-12 minute target be similar for air gun heating which I assume is very drying?

    And with larger batches, does that 9-12 minute increase, or should one increase the temperature to still keep around that range.
    Depends on your setup. I've found the sweet spot for my 350g batch BM/heatgun (corretto) roasts is around 17-18mins, while 750g roasts around 22-23 mins. The Bosch heatgun I use has a pretty gentle fan even on full, plus the insulated & lidded pan is by no means overly 'drying' compared to the play I've had with poppers.
    Again - taste and see

    If you fancy some more detailed reading on this topic, esp with correttos …

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/home-roast...justments.html
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  15. #15
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, If you are maintaining a rate of rise in the bean temp are you still roasting or is there a point where you start baking?

    If you get to (or just shy) of second crack in 25 mins or so with the bean temp rising at all times (and obviously ROR decreasing after first crack, would that be considered OK?

    Cheers

  16. #16
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Depends on the batch size … and the bean … and the roaster …
    I've done some nice, slow Brasil roasts of 750g batch size of around 25 minutes which have been fabulous. But push out a harrar longberry that slowly and it will be powdery to grind, lifeless in flavour and with no berries within a mile!
    So really depends on the bean, batch size, roaster dynamics … let the taste be your guide!

    There are many different perspectives on what is baking - but generally I reckon it is a bean roasted too slowly overall, or possibly stalling the roast post first crack (which in effect, increases the ideal roast time anyway!)

  17. #17
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!

    Looks like I might need to perform some changes to my roast and taste the differences and see if they get better or worse.

    My profiles have always been "normal" and the results taste great (to me) so I haven't ventures far off experimenting. I might be doing ok or I might be missing another level of taste.

    Cheers
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  18. #18
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Do you drink espresso? It can be harder to gauge some of the more subtle impacts of roasting through milk. But black coffee provides a lot more clarity when seeing if a roast is sour/baked/overly acidic …

    But you are right - taste, change, make notes…
    Dimal likes this.

  19. #19
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Yes mainly espresso and pour over. Must start making detailed notes on the tastes I am getting.

    Cheers



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