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Thread: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

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    New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Last week I picked up a new gene cafe (thanks, Chris) and am loving it. Im looking forward to much learning and experimenting over the coming months. But thought Id make a few comments based on only a few roasts.

    First up, Im roasting indoors on the kitchen bench. The roast is so clean with the excellent chaff collector and little or no smoke. If a particular bean produces a bit more smoke or smell than the house can tolerate, I simply turn on the extractor fan above the roaster. Big plus for the gene.

    I love being able to see the beans clearly without getting a nose full of coffee gases. Easy to compare to the CS card, especially in the daytime.

    The gene is very quiet. I havent had any trouble hearing first crack, but do have to listen more closely for second crack. Another sign is the little puff of smoke just before second crack - it just pops out of the chaff collector and, with the colour change and time, its not that hard to spot second crack.

    Ive been setting fairly high temps (235C to 245C) and the roasts taste great. Ive wanted to keep it to around 15 minutes to just on second crack and so far roast times are between 14 and 16 minutes. I notice that most here prefer a longer slower roast, but havent yet seen any taste comparisons between shorter and longer roasts. Ive read elsewhere that the optimal roast time is no shorter than 8 minutes and no longer than 15 minutes, but this is in contrast to the views on home roasting boards. So over the next few weeks Ill probably do a bit of experimenting and see if I prefer longer or shorter times for different beans. (I believe some bean types benefit from slower ramps and others from hotter temps and shorter roasts.)

    Overall I love the gene cafe. Its clean, easy and fun to use and gives consistent results. I kind of miss the ceremony of the popper, with all the setting up of bits and pieces and having to watch every second of the roast. But the coffee tastes a million times better from the gene, with much more depth and complexity even to my untrained palate. And its so easy to use that I find myself with a drawer full of roasted coffee already. Ill soon have to give some away before it goes stale :)

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Hi bogongtiger

    Im glad there wre no tigers when I used to cross country ski the Bogong High plains years ago.

    Anyhow nice that you have a Gene. My temps are generally 228 to 235 C. I didnt find any advantage to 245 and I just use a lower temp to make the roast take a little longer. With a new bean I just set it to 230C and finish at SC. The Gene is just so reproducable.

    However if its the first roast of the day the machine will be cold and so it will start at say 18C but for the second roast it will start about 60C as it wont have cooled from the first. So what I do is before the first roast, while Im weighing my beans to 250 grams, is to turn it on (the temp can be set to say 230 or whatever your going to roast at) and let it run empty. Then when its reached say 150C or 200C just press the cool button and let it do its cooling cycle and stop. Then load that first roast of the day. That way all roasts start at 60C. Better reproducibility I think.

    Mike





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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Hi everyone,

    Its always nice to hear your enthusiasm toward the Gene Roaster. :)

    Regarding the temperature its not a good idea to set at 245 C, try 229 for about 17 minutes and you will get a golden roast. Dont burn your coffee...please :-[, also after each roast it is a smart idea to let cool down your roaster before restarting an other roast... :-/believe me *Im the service man 8-).

    I will keep watching your comments.

    Serge

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Thanks for the comments, Mike and Serge. *Tonight I did some PNG Wahgi and loosely followed Mals suggestion of a slower roast for this particular bean. *I set the gene at 230C and stopped at 18 minutes, around CS9-10, a few minutes after first crack and just at the very start of second. *So a bit longer than before but well see how it tastes in a couple of days. *They look magnificent and hopefully will make a great brew.

    And Serge, I always let it cool down properly. *At this stage Im letting the beans cool in the machine and dont dump them early (as per advice from Chris of Talk Coffee when I bought it). *Ive noticed that the gene loses a lot of heat quickly, getting to 100C in the first 3 or 4 minutes, but then takes a bit longer to get down to 60C (about another 4 or 5 minutes - just under 9 minutes mostly). *I dont want to burn out the roaster so am very wary of stopping it before its cooled.

    No burnt beans yet. *Im more at risk of pulling the beans too soon than of over-roasting and burning them :)

    Quote Originally Posted by speleomike link=1220262945/0#1 date=1220272060
    Im glad there were no tigers when I used to cross country ski the Bogong High plains years ago.
    Mike, you just werent looking! *This bogongtiger barracks for Richmond (from time to time) - and looks up at the mountain when having her morning coffee!

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    When the cool down start open the top lid as it hold some heat and if you want an other roast start after 15 minutes, remember your Gene is made in hard plastic and not IRON ::) and could get some cracks in the long run ;D

    Im sure you will love your PNG its one of the best coffee in the world as a single origin and specially if you roast as you did mate!

    Serge

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Thanks for the tip, Serge, Ill try it with the top open when cooling next time.

    Just to clarify - are you saying to leave the roaster for 15 minutes even after its cooled down? Or is the 15 minutes wait including roaster cool down time?

    Some people are warming up their roasters before the first roast. Is this considered not the best practice? (I havent done that yet.)

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Quote Originally Posted by bogongtiger link=1220262945/0#5 date=1220330636
    Some people are warming up their roasters before the first roast. Is this considered not the best practice? (I havent done that yet.)
    Personally, I dont believe it to be a real issue with most home roasters regardless of type and origin. Much more of an issue though, with any kind of commercial roaster or even BBQ Drum Roaster too perhaps, if the Drum is of substantial proportions. Pre-heating is to ensure that the masses of metal in these roasters are well on the way to normal operating temperature before dumping the batch of beans into them. If you dumped the beans into a cold roaster, it would take a relatively long time to heat up both the beans and the roast-drum, etc and make it very difficult, if not impossible, to produce any kind of a decent roast outcome.

    This isnt the case with "most" home-roasters though because they are much more lightly built and the ratio of bean batch weight to roaster weight is much smaller. If you were going to do a series of identical roast batches, back to back, then making sure the roaster is up to temperature for the first roast batch is probably not a bad idea. As to what this temperature should be? Probably that temperature of the roast chamber in between batches just before youre ready to start again.

    Cheers tiger, :)
    Mal.

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1220262945/0#6 date=1220339144
    Personally, I dont believe it to be a real issue with most home roasters regardless of type and origin. Much more of an issue though, with any kind of commercial roaster or even BBQ Drum Roaster too perhaps, if the Drum is of substantial proportions. Pre-heating is to ensure that the masses of metal in these roasters are well on the way to normal operating temperature before dumping the batch of beans into them. If you dumped the beans into a cold roaster, it would take a relatively long time to heat up both the beans and the roast-drum, etc and make it very difficult, if not impossible, to produce any kind of a decent roast outcome.

    Mal.
    The Hottop is one home roaster which does preheat the drum and the internals prior to the introduction of the beans. The "add beans" signal occurs at an indicated "environmental temperature" of 75C.... but the drum at this point (being far closer to the element as it rotates) is at about 150C...... and after the introduction of cold beans..... returns quite quickly to about 80C and roasts from that temperature.

    No dumping beans into a cold Hottop! ;)

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Thats why I said "most" home-roasters JB.... ;)

    I guess of all the factory made home-roasters, the HotTop comes the closest to replicating what goes on in a commercial roaster, and stands apart as a result 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Hi Tiger,

    Yes, the best way is to let cooled down the roaster and start an other roast after 15 minutes.

    With Gene you do not need to warm up your roaster, simply start with a cool drum.
    Just take it as very simple as possible and you will enjoy it for years to come.

    Also dont listen the big boys with their HotTop mania, believe me your Gene is simply the best ;D

    Serge

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Quote Originally Posted by Go Barista link=1220262945/0#9 date=1220351863
    Hi Tiger,

    Yes, the best way is to let cooled down the roaster and start an other roast after 15 minutes.
    Okay. That suits me as most of the time I dont roast more than one or two batches.

    Also dont listen the big boys with their HotTop mania, believe me your Gene is simply the best ;D
    Serge
    Thats for sure ;D

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Tsk tsk, one thing I think any informed CSer will tell you is theres no such thing as the perfect espresso machine, roaster, grinder, tamper etc because a certain amount comes down to personal preference which is impossible to quantify. Having used both and been given a choice between the two, I chose the Hottop and definitely prefer this myself, but Im not about to bag the opinion of someone who prefers something else or say any one unit is universally the best or the worst, because such comments are both inaccurate and inflammatory.

    Each to their own, and respect of others opinions, goes an awful long way.

    Greg

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Sorry Greg, didnt mean to upset anyone or start a flame war. I took Serges comment to be gentle ribbing given the smilies (and directed to me), and my comment was certainly no more than that. I read Mals comment as just a factual comment on the basic roaster design (standard drum vs drum-style sort of hybrid) rather than saying one is better than the other.

    As you say, everyone has to decide for themselves what suits them.

    (but I still love the gene :D)

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    No hassles. Its always possible for an unknown audience to misinterpret comments so thanks for clarifying that. Enjoy the Gene, it does a great job.

    (but I still love the hottop :D)

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Sorry guys if I painted an impression that the Gene was in any way inferior to other roasters :-[...

    That wasnt my intention and it is NOT what I believe. In fact, I support what Greg has said above, wholeheartedly. The question was asked about the need for pre-heating a roaster before commencing a roast and that is all I was attempting to explain, and why some roasters and not others.

    I apologise if I have offended any Gene Cafe owners...

    Mal.

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1220262945/0#14 date=1220427333
    I apologise if I have offended any Gene Cafe owners...
    Im not offended Mal. I love my GC...and I am a proud owner of it too.

    -Linda

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Believe us guys no one owner of GC will be offended, we are all friends here.

    But I still love .. .... ;D ;D) I love the spring and the wonderful aroma of roasted coffee around my factory in Ashmore. :P

    Serge


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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Quote Originally Posted by Go Barista link=1220262945/0#16 date=1220439287
    Believe us guys no one owner of GC will be offended, we are all friends here.

    But I still love .. .... ;D ;D) I love the spring and the wonderful aroma of roasted coffee around my factory in Ashmore. :P

    Serge
    Youve certainly got the Passion on the boil Serge... Good on you mate [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Mal.

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Just found the site, and love it. I too am a new Gene owner and have always warmed up the machine first. The roasts have so far been fine. I think Ill try my next batch from a cold start and see how it goes. If what Serge says is right, it will make the machine last longer. My roast profile goes like this......

    preheat 10 minutes at 482F

    5 minutes at 300F

    4 minutes at 446F

    4 minutes at 465F

    1st crack has been starting around the 13 minute mark.

    after 1st crack I ramp up the temp to 482F [as high as it goes]

    at around 19 minutes I hit cool and after 5 minutes of that I hit stop and cool the beans some more with a fan.


    So far so good but always looking for something different.

    Don

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    I thought only the US was still in F?

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Maybe he IS in the US.

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    Re: New gene cafe - first thoughts and roast temps

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Im afraid old habits are hard to break.

    Don



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