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Thread: Roasting Coffee Snobs Caffeine Free Beans in Behmor Roaster

  1. #1
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    Roasting Coffee Snobs Caffeine Free Beans in Behmor Roaster

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I roast my Caffeine Free Green beans in a Behmor Roaster on a C PI setting for a 1/2 pound batch. I find that I have to be very careful with stopping the roast otherwise it tends to burn very quickly and produce smoke. It's not a problem for me as I tend to hover around the roaster when it's doing it's thing anyway. The result is great, I really like the de-caf as do my visitors. I also roast regular beans which don't require the same careful attention as the de-caf ones. I am only guessing here but the de-caf beans are generally smaller than regular beans and therefore reach 1st crack in less time on the same roaster settings. Not a complaint, just an observation.

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    This could be a good conversation topic. Thanks for kicking it off.
    It's my understanding that the decaf WoW that Andy has put together is a blend that best represents the flavor profile of his Espresso WoW! again thanks to Andy for all that he does for us lovers of good coffee.sorry Great Coffee!
    I'm am keen though to better understand why it is that the decaf roasts up so much different than the regular beans?

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    Because the process of removing the caffeine removes the natural moisture from the bean?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketoo View Post
    I find that I have to be very careful with stopping the roast otherwise it tends to burn very quickly and produce smoke.
    Are you referring to going to the cool cycle or just stopping the roaster? You'll find that the decaf beans roast to a much darker colour but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are bad.
    When you roast are you roasting to the cracks you hear or just the colour? If P1 is roasting them too fast then you can try P2.

  5. #5
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Decaf coffee is produced a couple of ways.

    Chemical method -
    Uses a solvent like ethyl acetate (nail polish remover) or methylene chloride (paint stripper) or benzine (once upon a time)

    Swiss Water Process -
    Chemical free, charcoal filtered, similar to reverse osmosis water.

    They take the beans, make a big bean soup to extract everything from the bean then filter off the caffeine before adding the flavour filled soup back to the bean.

    Decaf Wow is produced using the Swiss Water process in Canada because we could never get ourselves to want to sell the (cheaper) chemical process.

    The water processing changes the colour of the bean but the end moisture content is similar to the original green bean. It also roasts a bit differently and seems to get more "fragile" towards the end of the roast which catches a lot of people out.

    Tips:
    1: Roasting by colour is very hard with a decaf and typically you will under roast if you try.
    2: Stop after first crack (which might be subtle) but before second crack starts.
    3: The difference between good and bad can be a fine line so slowing the roast down at first crack makes it more controllable/repeatable.

    Use a known good profile for a "normal bean" and stop the roast a bit earlier is the best starting point.

    On my commercial roaster, with a Heatsnob I'll typically be dropping the decaf roast 4-5 degrees earlier than normal.
    DaveD and skeevs like this.

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    Since the topic has come up, I also have a question around roasting the decaf...
    I've tried your suggestions around roasting approaches, and generally would say I am happy with the outcomes, but I find when drinking as espresso it tastes a bit grassy (it might be something else, but that's how I would describe it). In milk though I can hardly notice this. Is there something you would suggest to try when roasting to avoid the grassiness?
    I've mostly tried P4/P5 and C/D profiles, and roast to somewhere between first crack and second crack (try to stretch it out between them without hitting second crack). For the odd roast where second crack has just started I find that i notice less of the grassiness, but if I took the roast longer it would end up being burnt... I feel I'm missing something but not sure what.

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    Quote Originally Posted by witherz View Post
    Since the topic has come up, I also have a question around roasting the decaf...
    I've tried your suggestions around roasting approaches, and generally would say I am happy with the outcomes, but I find when drinking as espresso it tastes a bit grassy (it might be something else, but that's how I would describe it). In milk though I can hardly notice this. Is there something you would suggest to try when roasting to avoid the grassiness?
    I've mostly tried P4/P5 and C/D profiles, and roast to somewhere between first crack and second crack (try to stretch it out between them without hitting second crack). For the odd roast where second crack has just started I find that i notice less of the grassiness, but if I took the roast longer it would end up being burnt... I feel I'm missing something but not sure what.
    It sounds like you might need more heat at the start. The grassiness sometimes points to under roasted on the inside and what you are describing sounds like it isn’t fully roasted on the inside. Try P2.
    Andy and Dimal like this.

  8. #8
    Member skeevs's Avatar
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    The few times I attempted to roast the decaf wow, it tasted somewhat grassy to me too. Do decaf beans need any longer time to rest?
    Will attempt another roast of decaf wow again soon.

  9. #9
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Yep.

    Grassiness = Under roasted
    Char grilled BBQ = Over roasted

    Aim for somewhere in the middle Goldilocks!

  10. #10
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Quote Originally Posted by dan77 View Post
    It sounds like you might need more heat at the start. The grassiness sometimes points to under roasted on the inside and what you are describing sounds like it isn’t fully roasted on the inside. Try P2.
    Thanks for the recommendation Dan. Gave it a go on Saturday and just tried it as an espresso... grassiness gone!
    Did P2 through to start of FC, P4 for a minute, then P3 till the end. Didn't hear any second crack, but couldn't have been too far off it. I'll see how it develops with a bit more rest time as it feels a bit flat at the moment, but very happy with the flavour now.

    I'm so happy with this outcome - I'd roasted 2.5kg and not been able to crack the grassiness... finally! The advice and suggestions you get in here are so valuable, thanks!
    dan77 and Javaphile like this.



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