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Thread: When does first crack end?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Smile When does first crack end?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi.

    I'm after some experienced input on what to look out for re end of first crack.

    depending on bean/profile I'm often unsure if I'm hearing the last pops of first crack, or the start of second.

    i guess I'll learn more through roasting, however right now I'm trying to anticipate start of second crack, but I'm hearing pops often drawing out after rolling first crack has ended.

    one scorched roast has made me nervous about letting things just play out too far.

    any tips out there for this new roaster?

    havnt found much in the searching I've done on this..

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    When does first crack end?

    What apparatus are you using for roasting? There are many things that will influence how first and second crack evolve. The type of coffee you're roasting and what you're roasting with play a big part. In a very general sense you want to make sure you have enough heat to encourage a very distinct if not robust first crack. Rolling first crack should ideally last at least 60secs even for small batches on domestic roasters, and have a definitive end point. There will almost always be a few straggly cracks at the end of first crack which isn't too much of a drama.

    The idea is to reduce the heat around the start of first crack to allow a proper amount of development time. If you're not doing this it is definitely possible that you're rolling straight from first crack into second crack. It's a delicate balance as you don't want to reduce heat too much as you risk 'stalling' the roast, but carrying so much heat through first crack that you go straight into second crack means you won't have developed that roast to its full potential. I hope that all makes sense. Let us know what coffees you're roasting and in what and we might be able to give more specific feedback.

  3. #3
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    Cheers. Appreciate the time.

    im using a behmor and have roasted Ethiopian yirgs and some Peru.

    the profile I've mainly used is p1 (full blast) till first crack develops. Then hit p2, which drops the heat to 25%. This is an approach I've seen andy recommend a few times.

    Then I'm looking for end of first crack, into start of second.

    one of the last Peru roasts I did I pulled 1:30 after first crack started going properly. Not sure if first crack had finished completely or not.

    i cupped it today and it was bright, sweet, but mellow to finish, so maybe it wasn't too bad. Tasted fine as espresso, maybe a bit bright.
    Last edited by Beandrinkin; 30th March 2017 at 02:33 PM.

  4. #4
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    Hi,
    I usually let the first crack get up to rolling - lots of cracks - before hitting P2 or P3. For 350 grams more like 3:30 or even 4:00 from first crack - push C and then usually + or ++. Let one get into 2nd crack before you press cool, then maybe take 15 seconds off that time. Peru has a loud crack and a noticeable 2nd crack.
    Darker roasts a bit less bright tasting...
    Cheers,
    Dan

  5. #5
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    You'll be nowhere near second crack. The Peru should be fairly easy to distinguish, but some Ethiopians can have a bit of a low key first crack so this could be what's confusing you. If you want to know for sure I'd do as recommended above - let a roast go all the way into second crack, add time if you need to to get there just so you know what it sounds like. Stopping 90 seconds after the start of first crack is very Nordic of you. (If you don't know what that means yet don't worry, you will at some stage. ;-P).
    Dimal likes this.

  6. #6
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    Sounds good.

    thanks heaps for the insight. Will take the advice and take my roast post Nordic...let you know how I go.

    i notice though, if I understand it properly ?? the Rosetta Stone is supposed to be used after first crack, and for 200 grams, it gives you 2:10 additional time, which isn't that far from 90seconds...though in the land of roasting maybe it is...!!
    xtreme9621 likes this.

  7. #7
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    The Rosetta Stone was designed to put you right about second crack using the main behmor profiles with the weight of coffee prescribed. With p1-3, those are all pushing 100% power at first crack and beyond. If you've cut the power at first crack (as you described above), it will stretch out the first crack to second crack interval quite a bit, which is a good thing.

    I decrease the power at rolling first crack on my behmor, and aim for about 3:00 between FC and end of roast and am not quite hitting second. The roasts have been very tasty but I'm still learning and refining! Fwiw, I'm brewing with an aero press.

    Also, I have better luck with the gentler P3C profile for Africans. Good luck!

    Best,
    Christopher
    xtreme9621 likes this.



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