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Thread: newbie roasting question

  1. #1
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    newbie roasting question

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    hi coffeesnobs,
    Im sure this question has been asked 1000 times before, but i couldnt find a faq or any posts in my quick search.

    Im looking into getting into coffee roasting and i want to know what my options are?

    I know with anything the more you spend the better quality product youll get? Im looking to go the cheaper option, any ideas on what a passable machine will cost? What are the ranges of machines out there to use?
    I dont really need to roast too much at a time, as long as it can do 100grams im happy!

  2. #2
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Your options are basically to use a heat gun or popcorn maker. For less than $30 youll be doing what most of the roasters here are doing. There are many posts about technique on this site.

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Buy a bread maker 2nd hand, heat gun from Bunnings read Coretto roast threads and you will enter the wonderful world of roasting your own beans.......................

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    Re: newbie roasting question

    what about the greater than 30$ options?

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    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    My Coretto cost me $40 for 2nd hand Breville bread machine, $46 for Ryobi heat gun, $10 for a cooling fan from Bunnings plus some clamps and aluminium fly wire to make a cooling basket. I use the fan for blowing chaff and keeping heat gun cool, then use it over the cooling basket to bring roasted beans back to room temp as quick as possible.
    All up it cost me about $100, and the results are great, nice even roasts.
    cheers
    Greenman

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    Re: newbie roasting question

    and what popcorn machines would people recommend?

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    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Hi Nicholas.

    Check out the threads on poppers.

    Breville Crazy Popper is about the most widely used - $30-40 (although there are others).
    I got one a few weeks back plus a starter pack from Andy, then a multi meter from Andy (very handy - oops, poetry unintentional), and with various other bits and pieces (soup tin chimney, fan, colanders, timer, one-way valve bags from Coffee Parts), Im roasting.

    Had frustrations at first, but now getting good results. Biggest variable I found was air temp (really threw results out - over 20 degrees TOO quick, under 15 too slow). Did my best 100 gms this morning (17.2 degrees) - El Savador AA - very controlled, smooth, even roast. Smells GREAT already.

    Anyway, at minimal outlay,its a good way to get started. (Dreaming of a Gene Cafe one day.)

    Greg.


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    Re: newbie roasting question

    thanks gregjw
    So you are using a crazy popper as well as what other items?
    Im just working out what I need. I think im going to go the popcorn option

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    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Hi Nicholas,

    Check out the Roasters section under Coffee Equipment - HEAPS of advice re setting up and using poppers. Thats where my start came from.

    It is surprisingly simple.

    Briefly, I use an unmodified Breville Crazy Popper ($34 Bing Lee) with an open-ended soup tin in the top for a chimney, an ordinary pedestal fan to blow the chaff away and keep the heat down a bit, a Digitech QM1538 multi meter to monitor the temperature (from Bean Bay), a small digital timer, metal and plastic colanders to tip the beans into and cool, and one-way-valve bags (Coffee Parts) to keep the roasted beans in.

    Oh, and green beans from Bean Bay - Im about half way through Starter Pack. Reckon it wont take long at all before Im saving money.

    Oh, and a growing intuition.

    First 2 or 3 or 4 roasts were rubbish (figuratively and literally), but results and enjoyment are improving.

    Anyway, check out the Coffee Equipment - Roasters section on this site.

    Good luck.


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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Gday Nicholas,

    There are the dedicated coffee roasting machines out there, in order of price starting with the I-roast 2 (around $400), then next is the Gene Cafe then the Hot Top.

    Of course these options are more expensive that the popcorn popper option but thought it was worth a mention in case you were after something "off the shelf".

    Hope this helps a little.

    Steve

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Start here mate and work your way through the first few categories in the "stickies".... cant go wrong,

    Mal.

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    Re: newbie roasting question

    As far as poppers go, Some other good ones are the Kambrook popcorn factory, and the older Mistral popcorn poppers (identical to Chief brand).

    I mainly use the poppers for sample roasters, and my turbo oven roaster for bigger batches. A turbo oven is a great heat source, if you get a pot the right size and use a motor to agitate. Windscreen motors can be had for cheap (got mine for $20), and just require a PC power supply to power. Another option for motors is a sewing machine motor, but I have no experience fiddling with one. Normal rotisserie motors are just too slow.

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    Re: newbie roasting question

    It all depends.

    This is a good guide http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1174699442 that I wrote a while back. I was using a cascade popper from The Warehouse and it is a very good popper. Even though I now have a BM and heat gun, starting with the popper is a very good option to start with and you learn a lot using this method.

    I will still keep my popper for the times when I only want to roast a small quantity of beans so it hasnt been retired yet.

  14. #14
    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Hi again,

    While on poppers, was thrown out a bit by having a gusty wind under the pergola this morning.
    Appeared to add a wind chill factor (?) to the ambient temp.

    Dropped temps, slowed everything up and made it hard(er) to hear second crack.

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    Oh well, just something else to allow for in the inaccurate world of popper roasting.



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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Greg,

    The problem with popper roasting is they are very "environment" sensitive.....

    Ambient temperatures which are high speed the roast up too much, cool temperatures slow it down as do strong breezes which affect the airflow through the popper (and hence the amount of air through the heater and the temperature of the roast).....

    If you can get all those factors under control they produce a good result - but that isnt always easy / possible.

    Since moving to a Corretto style roaster - I havent looked back! You have far more control, the heatgun has more than enough capacity in the heating department to make up for environmental changes.... and the fan blowing over the top of the Corretto during roasting (generally) takes care of the wind and also blows away the chaff......

    After some experimenting with a popper, Id certainly recommend trying a Corretto... it really is so much easier and the results are always repeatable!

  16. #16
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Thanks for the great tips and ideas. We have a popcorn popper sitting in the bottom of the pantry somewhere so I may drag it out this weekend and try my hand at roasting my own.

  17. #17
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    You will be amazed :o at the difference b.b....

    Mal.

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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Whats a corretto? I keep thinking its cornetto - the icecream

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Its a Breadmaker with a heatgun for roasting the beans.

    Named after Coffee Snob "Corretto" who first brought the idea to our attention.

  20. #20
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question


    A roasting method named after the local CS inventor of the method...

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?action=viewprofile;username=Corretto

    Using an old bread maker and heat gun you can roast great coffee.


    Also try:

    http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=%2Bsite%3Acoffeesnobs.com.au+%2Bcor retto&meta=


  21. #21
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Snap Thundergod

    The only thing you missed was a nag to try the search engine on the site or google

    ;)

  22. #22
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    it is the name given to the method of roasting coffee beans using a heat-gun, and the agitating action of the paddle in the bottom of a breadmaker-bin on the "dough" cycle.
    the lady who so brilliantly conceived the idea had "Corretto" as her forum handle, and hence the name of the method was christened "Corretto, in honour of her ingenuity
    use the search engine to gather more info, it is a fantastic way of roasting 300gm or more in one hit, with excellent results!
    good luck, and enjoy!!
    ;)
    L

    Edit: Snap!!

  23. #23
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Corretto?

    A coffee roaster named in honour of one of our members (of the same name) who invented the idea....

    Take one unloved bread machine...... used to agitate the beans during roasting....

    Take one heatgun and aim nozzle at the beans being stirred inside the bread makers bowl..... and roast away......

    See: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1154442377/0


  24. #24
    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Seem to have lost a post I made back there - oh well. Also having trouble attaching a jpg photo (probably linked problems?). Any suggestions?

    Anyway,

    I had a think about setting up a Corretto before just getting a popper. Its still definitely on the cards down the track, when the time is right (one step at a time for loved ones trying to comprehend this descent into espresso insanity).

    I have marvelled at Correttos ingenuity - brilliant!

    Doing alright in this world at present, getting better (some very good) results with the popper (climatic irregularities and all). Have a pretty picture of yesterdays El Salvador AA roast if I can work out how. Gotta be easy (slow learner at the wheel).


    Nup, not there. Help!

  25. #25
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    can the bread machine still be used for making bread after being used for roasting beans?

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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Quote Originally Posted by amberosw link=1192605296/15#24 date=1192700459
    can the bread machine still be used for making bread after being used for roasting beans?

    Well if it is the correct type (one which agitates the dough / beans for about 20 minutes....) no problem....

    If it needs to be modded to agitate for that long without pausing .... it might be a problem (depending how the mod was done)...

    But who wants to bake bread in a coffee roaster.... after all thats what it does best ::) ::) ;)

  27. #27
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    if you an find a unit with a 25 min dough cycle, you can easily use it for baking bread, as it does not have to be modded.
    but, make sure the "pulley", the bit under the bin which moves the paddle, is made from steel, not from plastic.
    roasting coffee happens at much higher temps and the plastic wont handle it, as i found out :(

    i bought a second bread bin from a small appliance repair guy, specifically for roasting.
    that way i had bread-tasting bread and coffee-tasting coffee ;)

    L

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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Quote Originally Posted by amberosw link=1192605296/15#17 date=1192694570
    Whats a corretto? I keep thinking its cornetto - the icecream
    & apart from the ingenuity of Corretto who chose to venture out of da box, & revolutionise home roasting, the name refers to a correction of espresso with a bit-a-booze.

    Maybe that helped with identifying a BM as a great vessel to roast!

  29. #29
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    no need for the booze Grinder, women can think when they are sober... ;)

    L

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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Booze just makes the roast look better.

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    Re: newbie roasting question

    (cheeky rabbit) ;)

    As it happens the very same CS Corretto is also a home brewer so maybe the lines did cross somewhere?

    :)


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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Quote Originally Posted by nunu link=1192605296/15#29 date=1192714977
    Booze just makes the roast look better.
    And the women? ;D

    Running back to my corner now ;)

  33. #33
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeman link=1192605296/30#30 date=1192716228
    (cheeky rabbit) *;)

    As it happens the very same CS Corretto is also a home brewer so maybe the lines did cross somewhere?

    :)

    shut up, Rabbit...

    L *


    (says she, who takes homebrewing a tad further... into the clear cool spirit of the Russians, the essence of Londons Dry, the smooth lifeblood of Tennesee...)


  34. #34
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    buy green bean ?

    where can i buy good green beans in sydney for home roasting ?

  35. #35
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Welcome chrisleroi!

    Every month, 100s and 100s of kilos of green beans can be purchased right here on a poll (see left of screen buy green) and shipped all around AU. Take a look and see what you missed out on this month!

    You will also see a starter pack available - premium beans at great prices, shipped to your door in days.

    Enjoy!

  36. #36
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: newbie roasting question

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Welcome.

    Do you have something yet with which to roast them?



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