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Thread: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

  1. #1
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    First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    as a newbie I was wondering if there is a particular way we should store the roasted beans in the first 48 hours~ THis seems to be the time people have mentioned as being critical to the flavour development. Initially I just ground them up and they were beaut. I only chuck them into spare plastic containers near the machine... What is best? And what is this dry box I hear about? And where do you get the moisure absorbing stuff- if needed?
    :P

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Im a newbie roaster myself and went thru all those same questions.

    Before discovering the world of home-roasting I was buying my roasted coffee from a couple places including Coffeeco.
    Given that the things that kill fresh roasted coffee are light, moisture, oxygen and heat, I really liked the idea of the black foil lined, press sealed bags with the one way valve.

    I ended up buying a stash of these black bags from site sponsor Coffee Parts, to put my freshly roasted coffee in so it can be stored and de-gas nicely in the cupboard for a day or so away from light, heat, moisture and air.

    These bags are also handy for giving your freshly roasted coffee to freinds family and well wishers... (just ask for the bag back :-) )

    http://coffeeparts.com/coffeebags/bags.html


  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Hi RH,

    Have to second that suggestion from lochness..... the 1-Way Valve bags from CoffeeParts are the ducks nuts for storing roasted coffee,

    Mal.

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Ive noticed that if you leave the fresh roasted beans in an open container they mature faster than if theyre in a sealed container.

    Part of the out-gassing/maturing process is the oxidization of various molecules. If the beans are left in a sealed container this process is slowed down due to the limited availability of oxygen.

    What Ive ended up doing is outside of the really humid months I leave the beans in an open container for the first 24 hours and then seal them into one-way valve containers. During the humid months they go straight into the valved containers which are opened a few times over the first 2 days to allow fresh air in.

    Once the beans have finished out-gassing oxygen becomes their enemy and they need to be stored in sealed containers.

    For purposes of this discussion a container with a one-way valve is considered sealed as it allows no outside air in.

    Java "Off to take a rest" phile

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    I keep my beans uncovered in my dry box. The humidity is controlled, and the temperature is fairly stable. The box is also airtight. I also keep my previously roasted beans in there as well.
    I dont find a necessity to keep coffee in airtight containers, or ones with one-way valves. As the turnaround is quick, theres not a whole lot of danger of having stale beans.

    The drybox was a hand-me-down from the father-in-law. It wasnt working as a drybox, so I sealed it up, and keep a container of silica gel inside.


    NI!!!

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Appreciate what youre saying Java and nunu,

    Ive found the opposite to be true for me.... Ive tried leaving the beans in an open container for the first day or so, then into my airtight daily dispensing containers (cant be blowed opening and closing 1-Way Valve bags every time I want a coffee ;D). Have found though, that the beans retain more of their intensity when stored for a couple to four days in the 1-Way Valve bags before transferring to my daily dispensers.

    I know its just a small thing but it works for me. May have something to do with the really hot and humid spring-autumn season up here where we are, dont know really. The "dry-box" idea might be worth trying though nunu, will have to add to my ever growing list of things to do, phew :-/,

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Part of what will determine which storage method youll use is how long the beans will sit before being used.

    Around here beans rarely last for more than 5 or 6 days after being roasted. Hence leaving them in an open container for the first 24 hours and then putting them in sealed ones works nicely.

    If on the other hand youre not going to be using the beans until 4 or 5 days post roast youd probably be better off sealing them up right away.

    The hotter and more humid it is the shorter the open storage should be if indeed it is used at all.

    My experience has been that if the beans are left in an open container for the first 24 hours and then put into a sealed one they have finished their out-gassing by the end of the 2nd day. If they are put straight into a sealed container from the roaster after being cooled it takes 4 or even 5 days for the beans to complete their out-gassing. How soon after being cooled before being put into the sealed containers makes a big difference. Placing them into the sealed containers immediately upon being cooled will result in a much different out-gassing time than if there is a delay of as little as an hour or two after cooling before they are sealed up.

    Another major factor is how much air there is in the sealed container. At one point I was putting the beans straight into a vacuum pack bag (a Seal-a-Meal type system) where all the air was sucked out and the beans ended up with virtually no air sealed in with them. This resulted in a bean that a week later still hadnt finished out-gassing. This method also resulted in a lot more oils on the surface of the beans a week post roast and they never did seem to reach their full flavor.

    I was not at all happy with the flavor of beans stored in this way and have since foregone the vacuum and now simply pour the beans into the bag and then seal it.

    While I havent done a strict scientific comparison my experience has been that the less air there is in the sealed bag/container the longer the out-gassing/maturing period will be with there being a minimum amount of air needed for the beans to properly mature.

    One of the things Im planning on doing now that I have the Gothot up and running is to do some comparison roasts using different storage methods to see what effects the storage method will have on the flavor profile of the beans. I suspect that there will be some subtle yet noticable differences between beans stored openly for the first 24 hours vs those that are immediately put into sealed containers and then allowed to rest while staying sealed for 4 or 5 days.

    Dont hold your breath awaiting the results though as it will be some time before I get around to it what with everything else thats going on around here currently. :D

    Java "Always experimenting" phile

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Seriously, you dont really need a specially designed drybox. A bar fridge will accomplish the same task. Disconnect it from the mains (better yet, find a broken one on council cleanup), toss in a box full of silica gel/dehumidifier beads (silica gel is reusable, just pop it in a warm oven to leech the moisture out of it, whereas the Hippo brand ones arent). The fridge (henceforth known as coffee storage cabinet, CSC) is naturally air tight, unless the seal is broken. Instant storage cabinet for beans to degas at their leisure. No need to use vaccuum bags, or one way valves. The only air that gets in is when you open the door. That air is then dehumidified. If you keep it in an area with fairly constant temperature, it should stay fairly stable inside the CSC.

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Thanx Guys :),

    Mal.

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    I do appreciate all the comments from everyone. ::)
    Ive now completed 6 roasts and now will stop sealing them away immediately after.
    Im gunna purchase some of those foil bags to store the degassed beans.
    This whole process is great! NO MORE BOUGHT ROASTED BEANS FOR ME! ;D

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Just an FYI but if you put your beans into an old fridge (or anything else) with lots of empty space in an unsealed container the oxidization of the beans will proceed just as fast as if you left them out on the counter.

    Having a desiccant in the fridge will bring the humidity down from ambient only if the fridge is left sealed for long periods of time and the desiccant is baked regularly to remove the absorbed moisture. Using a desiccant will not slow down the oxidization of the beans, only their moisture absorption.

    Roasted beans are hygroscopic and are in essence a desiccant themselves. Roasted beans love water and will absorb moisture from the atmosphere almost as fast as many commercially produced desiccants will.

    Some years back I tested a variety of different commercial desiccants for a project I was working on with some fairly predictable but none the less informative results.

    Some of the more applicable results were:

    High humidity levels were more affected by the desiccants than mid and low levels were.

    Accross the board and in all situations we found that high humidity levels were reduced much faster than low to moderate humidity levels. The lower the RH (Relative Humidity) inside the container, the longer it took to reduce the RH by a given level.

    In containers with lots of air spaces the desiccants were ineffective except with-in a very narrowly defined and strictly adhered to set of environmental conditions.

    When dealing with containers with lots of air in them (from smaller in size than a bar fridge on up) passive desiccant systems were extremely poor performers and were virtually worthless except in cases of long term storage where the container would be kept airtight and the seal not broken for long periods (weeks or more) of time.

    In environments were the container was being opened more than once a week passive desiccants were only effective when they were used in extremely large amounts spread out over a large area and baked on a *very regular basis or a fan is used to move the air over the spread out desiccant or even better through a container of the desiccant. If you have enough desiccant this can be an effective way to bring down the humidity providing you bake the desiccant regularly and frequently. The exact timing will vary depending on the exact usage and the local environmental conditions.

    Many commercial desiccants can only be dried out a limited number of times.

    Most of the desiccants we tested lost effectiveness with repeated bakings. Some could only take 10 cycles before their efficiency was reduced to 50% while others with-stood over 50 cycles before hitting 50% efficiency.

    The more moisture the desiccant has trapped the less effective it is at removing more humidity.

    Most of the desiccants were very aggressive at removing humidity when fresh from the oven. However, as they absorbed more moisture they became less efficient. On average when the desiccant had reached 50% of its moisture retention capacity it was taking 4 times as long to reduce the RH by a given amount over a given range than when it was freshly dried out.


    So in general if youre storing your roasted beans in a dry box using a desiccant to reduce the humidity and you live in a medium to high humidity environment you need to be using large amounts of desiccant with it spread out with as much of its surface area as possible in direct contact with the air. Additionally you will have to be baking the desiccant on a regular basis (potentially every couple of days depending on your exact environment and setup). You sould also dry the desiccant out at or before it absorbs 50% of its capacity for best efficiency.

    To determine what the absorption capacity of your desiccant is bake it according to the manufacturers instructions or even a bit longer just to be sure all the moisture has been driven off and then immediately weigh it (ideally on a scale accurate to tenths of a gram) while it is still warm from the oven. Then place it in a high humidity environment such as in a tupperware or covered pan with a cup of boiling water. Depending on how much desiccant youre using you may need to replace the cup of hot water several times. If you are using a lot of desiccant stir the container of it to make sure all of it is being exposed to the air. Do not let the desiccant sit in any water. Weigh the desiccant (making sure theres no actual water on it from condensation) and continue to replace the cup of hot water until the desiccant stops showing a weight gain.

    Take the weight of the desiccant straight from the oven and subtract it from the ending weight. The result is the maximum amount of moisture your desiccant can hold.

    For an easy way to figure out when its time to dry it out again divide that number in half and add it to the starting/dry weight of the desiccant. Then weigh your desiccant daily (or every time you open the box if youre not in there daily) and when it reaches that weight pop it in the oven for another drying cycle. If you want to maintain it at higher efficiency bake it when it reaches the starting dry weight plus 25 or 30 percent (instead of 50%) of its holding capacity weight.

    Another way to cheaply increase the efficiency of the system is to fill the box/fridge with sealed airtight containers that will fill up the empty air spaces, thus reducing the volume of air the desiccant has to dry.

    Java "I think I covered it all" phile

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    I follow the final method you speak about Java. My box is nearly completely full of containers, all sealed up. I wish the electicals of the drybox still worked, but they dont, sadly.

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    This is a techie aside, but Im curious nonetheless:

    would it be possible to reduce the outgassing time by immediately vacuum-packing the roasted beans? (eg, say you want your cuppa in 1 hour instead of waiting 24 as is usual)

    Conversely, if you could store your beans in a can of pressurised CO2, would that increase their shelf life after roasting? (at least until you broke the seal)

    Am I thinking too much?

    Why is the sky blue?

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    As Java stated above, vaccuum packing immediately after roasting will extend the degassing period.

    Theres nothing wrong with trying your roast immediately. However, you often get straw off-tastes with beans that havent rested enough.

    Bigger companies use nitrogen injected into containers to extend shelf-life. Whether it is a good or bad process remains to be seen.

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Carbon dioxide is used as preservative for some food because bacteria which needs oxygen wont thrive in it.

    In any case, carbon dioxide is an undesirable gas which adversely affects coffee flavour -- the objective is to remove it, not add it.

    But curiously, how do you propose to have pressurised cans of coffee beans?

    Robusto


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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    When the beans are packed with nitrogen the containers are not pressurized with it. The nitrogen is just used to displace/replace the air in the package, not to pressurize it. :)

    Java "Airheads R Us" phile

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1142038777/0#14 date=1142390818
    In any case, carbon dioxide is an undesirable gas which adversely affects coffee flavour -- the objective is to remove it, not add it.
    I thought the objective was to remove a certain amount of it (resting after roast), but definitely not all of it (stale)?
    But curiously, how do you propose to have pressurised cans of coffee beans?
    Hey, I never said it was practical or that I intended to... but if necessary, a soda syphon could do it.

    You would of course have to vent the gas for some period before consumption. I was just pondering that if CO2 outgassing is a defining characteristic of freshly roasted coffee, then some way of retaining the entrapped CO2 should prolong its shelf life...

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    I thought the objective was to remove a certain amount of it (resting after roast), but definitely not all of it (stale)?
    Not 100% sure, but I think that whilst ever CO2 is exiting the bean, air cannot enter and oxidise ie stale the bean.

    The CO2 is a temporary barrier.

    Could be mistaken, others may confirm or dismiss.

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    Re: First 48 hours critical?? how to store

    Im going off what Ive heard listening to the CoffeeGeek Podcast over the last few months.

    They talk about CO2 being important in fresh coffee as a flavour transporter.

    From what I remember, the flavour oils, armomatics and lipids in the coffee are not directly soluble in water.

    But they are soluble in CO2, which IS soluble in water.

    So the reasoning goes that you need CO2 in the ground coffee to allow transfer of the flavours from grounds to water (and your drink).

    Also they mention why grind-to-use is important.
    Upon grinding, approx 80% of the CO2 left in roasted, rested coffee is released and gone to the atmosphere in the first minute.

    To paraphrase Mark the host of CGPC "When you smell those amazing aromas from freshly ground coffee, thats what you want to get into your cup before all the CO2 is gone and the flavour is trapped in the coffee or lost to the atmosphere"

    Thats about all I can remeber from the top of my head at this early hour on a Friday. I might be able to find some link later.

    But as well as being a flavour transporter in the brewing process, the CO2 will also (as mentioned) slow the "stale-ing" of properly stored roasted coffee by excluding oxygen. The same way some prepacked coffee is nitrogen flushed, and sealed when packed.

    Enough talk... time for my morning brew :)



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