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Thread: What to do with "Shells" in roast

  1. #1
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    What to do with "Shells" in roast

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Just roasted Peru Ceja in a Behmor and noticed quite a few empty "shells" in the roast (see attached) which I've removed.
    I've not noticed them in previous roasts. Is it normal to have them in a roast? Should they be removed or just leave them in the roast?
    Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    On the KKTO I roast 600g of this bean, I don’t usually get anywhere near as many shells as you have pictured in a single roast. I do remove them, however, as (IMO) they are a defect in that they would not have roasted in the same way as the rest of the batch. You could always grind what you have taken out and give us some feedback?

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    I never worry about trying to separate them from the rest of the batch.
    If I come across any that look particularly burnt (like a couple in the photo above), I'd toss them for sure but in the overall scheme of things, they won't do much to effect the outcome in the cup...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    I never worry about trying to separate them from the rest of the batch.
    If I come across any that look particularly burnt (like a couple in the photo above), I'd toss them for sure but in the overall scheme of things, they won't do much to effect the outcome in the cup...

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal. I haven't tossed the lot out. Seemed a waste, so I'll do what you suggested. I'll certainly pay more attention to my roasts in future looking for burnt pieces. Could explain over developed bitter taste I sometimes get in a brew.
    Dimal likes this.

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    Thanks Solace. Mine was a 350g roast. Good to know I'm not the only one with the problem(?).

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dxpress View Post
    Just roasted Peru Ceja in a Behmor and noticed quite a few empty "shells" in the roast (see attached) which I've removed.
    I've not noticed them in previous roasts. Is it normal to have them in a roast? Should they be removed or just leave them in the roast?
    Thanks.
    Perhaps the particular bean batch, cant say I've ever had a similar problem, maybe the odd shell, certainly not enough to be of concern.

    Do other varieties do the same?

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    I am nearing the end of a 2.5kg batch of the Peru Ceja, also roasting on a Behmor. Experiencing many more shells than I experienced on the other 5-6.

    Still makes an excellent flat white. I have mostly done a medium style roast with this bean (in an espresso there are strong hints of a very dark roast).

    I have 250g left, will try the next batch by picking out the shells.

    I also think I have seen more of the small "un-puffed" beans at the end of the roast. I have been tossing these as they are very bitter when I bite down on them.

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    Taste test - 2 espressos with and without shells

    Thanks all for your comments. I did a little taste test with my 9 day old roast by doing 2 espresso shots. Thought I'd share the results.
    1) 14.8g (ground 15.5g) without shells --> 60g yield in 26 seconds
    2) 15.5g (ground 11.6g beans + 4g shells) --> 62g yield in 23 seconds. The slightly faster extraction time for around the same yield presumably due to the presence of the ~25% shells?

    Tasted shot 1 then shot 2 cleansing my palate in between. I thought shot 2 had a little less body, so I repeated with a 2nd tasting. For what it's worth my overall impression: no discernable difference in aroma, taste and after taste. So in future I'm just going to leave any shells in the roast and only picking out any obvious burnt ones.
    Brewster, Dimal, greenman and 1 others like this.

  9. #9
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Thanks for doing a little bit of science there dxpress, interesting results and not what I would have thought the outcome!

  10. #10
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Yeah very interesting... I've gotten a few here or there but never that many...

    But that's the thing, it may depend on exactly what stage of roasting they became 'shells'. If midway, I'd imagine they may heat/develop unevenly, but if they pop open like that just as you hit cool, it may be just as developed as the others. Just unsure if they would grind up the same, you would think they would..



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