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Thread: Having a crack at home roasting

  1. #1
    Junior Member Solstice's Avatar
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    Question Having a crack at home roasting

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

    I've done a little research and ended up getting a small camp gas stove and a rotisserie assembly to try roasting with. I'm completely new at this so any tips would be appreciated. I've already read the sticky threads that apply to my setup so different info would be preferable.

    Also looking for suggestions on beans... Not sure if how much of an effect different beans have on roasting time etc?

    Thanks,
    Sam

  2. #2
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!

    By the sounds of your setup this will be some kind of direct flame heating method right? I have not used anything like that, my concern would be scorching the outer bean whilst leaving the inner mostly untouched (like a steak I guess). Roasting is the process of combining radiation and convection, hopefully someone in here can give you more insight as to the best way to achieve that with your setup.

    As for beans: given your setup (at least how I picture it) I feel you would need to stay away from hard/high grown beans and lean toward something more subtle like a Brazil or Columbian. I have not roasted the BeanBay offerings from Brazil but have found the Columbian and the Peru to be very forgiving for new comers.

    Its all about learning, having fun, and hopefully enjoying some great coffee as the end result!
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  3. #3
    Junior Member Solstice's Avatar
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    Thanks for that! Yeah it is a direct flame setup, I'll post some pictures when I get all the parts.

    How does growth altitude affect roasting though? What makes a high grown bean a worse choice for direct flame opposed to your recommendation?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Usually the higher grown beans will be quite dense, so your challenge with your setup would be penetrating heat evenly (from the outside to the core) else you will scorch the outside of the bean and leave the inside under roasted.

    I have no idea how to do that in a system where convection is minimal? Hence a recommendation for a bean whose mass is not so dense as you will have a greater chance of achieving even roasting throughout the bean mass.

    As I said earlier, however, it is all about having fun and learning. So experiment, take meticulous notes, and re-evaluate depending on what you get in the cup.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solace View Post
    Usually the higher grown beans will be quite dense, so your challenge with your setup would be penetrating heat evenly (from the outside to the core) else you will scorch the outside of the bean and leave the inside under roasted.
    I do not believe this to be true. I am not alone here, this article quotes a coffee merchant, Cesar Magana, as saying the direct opposite.

    His statement makes sense to me from the basic physics but I get into trouble every time I mention the Laws of Physics on this forum.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    I get into trouble every time I mention the Laws of Physics on this forum.
    That’s because the truth never makes as much sense as what people wish to believe and hard science is just too hard....
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  7. #7
    Senior Member solace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyrebird View Post
    I do not believe this to be true. I am not alone here, this article quotes a coffee merchant, Cesar Magana, as saying the direct opposite.

    His statement makes sense to me from the basic physics but I get into trouble every time I mention the Laws of Physics on this forum.
    Cesar Magana’s comments state that roasting with a high temp on a low density bean will likely result in scorching. This is true in a ‘traditional’ roasting environment (where there is an adjustable balance of radiant and convective heat transfer), the OP has indicated they have a direct heat transfer type setup where convection is largely reduced hence my concerns stand true.

    To avoid the powers that be from getting both you and I in trouble (and to save this thread going distinctly off topic) I am willing to engage in private discussion - science wins every time for me and I am always eager to discuss theories from other like-minded people!
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Thanks, and particularly thanks for taking my post in the spirit in which it was intended.

    I have been researching as much as I can find in the public domain about the thermodynamics of roasting and trying to reconcile it with the advice commonly given on fora such as this, but failing.

    I hope to put some of where I think the major disparities lie together as a set of discussion points.

    Since I'm not Robinson Crusoe in questioning the bona fides of the advice given, I think a public discussion of this will be generally beneficial: once I have time (after vintage) I will start a thread for that purpose.
    Dimal, cafelazio, solace and 1 others like this.



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