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Thread: Storage problems

  1. #1
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    Storage problems

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I roasted some beans last week which at about 3 days tasted really good. I could taste some caramel and they werent very bitter at all. The next day they started tasting bitter and now about 7 days later there is no caramel taste at all. The beans just taste bitter & burnt. Ive been storing the beans in those one way valve bags.

    Any ideas/suggestions why this might be happening? I wonder if moisture may cause this?

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Storage problems

    Hi Steve,

    What sort of beans are they mate? And what sort of roast profile did you use.... time to 1st Crack, to 2nd Crack and then time to completion?

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Storage problems

    Hi Mal,

    Costa Rica Santa Elena. Roasted 250g using a heatgun. First crack was at 7 minutes. Stopped at 11 minutes just as I heard second crack. I tried the last of them today and they were ok, just nowhere near as good as at 3 days.

    I made some for three other people yesterday and they all drank it so maybe Im just getting picky now :-)

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by steve link=1162007818/0#2 date=1162094313
    I tried the last of them today and they were ok, just nowhere near as good as at 3 days.

    I made some for three other people yesterday and they all drank it so maybe Im just getting picky now :-)
    Ive found that most beans are at their peak flavor 3-5 days post roast with flavors decreasing every day after that until by 7 days their flavor profile has flattened enough for me to call them stale and no longer suitable for use. There are a few beans that dont hit peak flavor until 5 or even as many as 7 days post-roast, but not too many.

    The storage method used and ambient conditions greatly affect when beans hit their peak and how long that peak flavor will last.

    A commonly seen trend is that the more/longer you roast the more trained your palate becomes and the shorter the time becomes that you consider beans fresh.

    Welcome to the path of the coffee snob! ;D


    Java "Its all about the taste!" phile

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Storage problems

    Well said Java 8-),

    Mal.

  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by steve link=1162007818/0#0 date=1162007818
    Ive been storing the beans in those one way valve bags.
    Hi again Steve,

    Just on this point, having stored your beans in the 1-Way Valve bag, where abouts do your then store the bag? In a dark, cool place?

    I basically only use the 1-Way Valve bags to store my beans while they are degassing after a roast... for 2-3 days maybe.... then transfer them to an airtight Click-Clack storage container that then gets stored in a cupboard away from direct light and in a cool location. Have found that the beans keep pretty well like this, mind you, from one roast to the next is only about 7 days and by that time the last roast batch is nearly gone ;).

    Mal.

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    Re: Storage problems

    Hi Steve,

    I had the exact same problem with the CRSE, roasting it, as you did, with a heat gun and coming up with times similar to yours. I found much better results pulling the HG away from the beans a bit (mine doesnt have heat settings) and moving to 1st crack around 8 or 9 min and second around 13-14 min, followed by rapid cooling. Still have heaps and heaps of learning to do with the HG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1162007818/0#3 date=1162101169
    A commonly seen trend is that the more/longer you roast the more trained your palate becomes and the shorter the time becomes that you consider beans fresh.
    Ive gone the opposite direction, but I have been using lighter roasted beans recently.

    One interesting cultural difference is that it seems like people in the US and the netherlands prefer more acidic espresso than Australians seem to, which might go some way towards explaining the prevalence of waiting only a day or two on international forums.

    Mind you, we are starting to see some espresso blends that are just plain sour positioned as boutique down here in Melbourne ...

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Storage problems

    Ive been pushing the light roast envelope too.

    I am an old skool heavy roast kinda guy.

    The tasting notes on some of the the SOs roasted with more finesse have been tempting. Ive roasted batches myself to test, the peaberry is a case in point, 60/40 light and heavy roast is a dream! Another that benefits is the Grace estate, that one is definately a crema killer!

    Shame about the predeliction of the Melbournians to "sourness", Im planning a trip before Xmas and would be devistated if St Ali had jumped the "sour train"!

  9. #9
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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Presso link=1162007818/0#7 date=1162117041
    Shame about the predeliction of the Melbournians to "sourness", Im planning a trip before Xmas and would be devistated if St Ali had jumped the "sour train"!
    Not a predeliction - just some of the bigger players offering a new blend as a point of difference. When all of your offerings are stale, low-grade crap that tastes ashy, the only way that you can really differentiate your "premium" offering is to create something that tastes like lemon juice. There are many Melbourne cafes and clientele that will shut up and drink what they are told is good by concerted advertising campaigns, so its easy for the big boys to get away with this sort of thing.

    Mark would be the first to admit that he has learnt a lot about roasting since opening St A, so Im sure that he wont mind if I recall that he started, before opening, with a tendency towards roasts that were too light and worked away from it! Tasting the progression of his house blend has been very rewarding.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1162007818/0#6 date=1162112916
    Hi Steve,

    I had the exact same problem with the CRSE, roasting it, as you did, with a heat gun and coming up with times similar to yours. I found much better results pulling the HG away from the beans a bit (mine doesnt have heat settings) and moving to 1st crack around 8 or 9 min and second around 13-14 min, followed by rapid cooling. Still have heaps and heaps of learning to do with the HG!
    Thanks Luca. Ill try making the roast a bit longer. This time Ill make sure I drink it all in the first few days :P

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1162007818/0#6 date=1162112916
    One interesting cultural difference is that it seems like people in the US and the netherlands prefer more acidic espresso than Australians seem to, which might go some way towards explaining the prevalence of waiting only a day or two on international forums.

    Mind you, we are starting to see some espresso blends that are just plain sour positioned as boutique down here in Melbourne ...
    That is indeed a difference and at least in the US I think is closely tied to the type of drinks sold at cafes. Not that I frequent them much anymore but in decades of frequenting such places I have never heard an order for an espresso in the US. Never. Every order is for a milk based drink. Latte and cappuccino seem to be the only drinks known to people over here outside of a cup of brewed coffee.

    There is a small but growing number of people who are conscious of the crud served at the chains and frequent a local coffee house instead where you are more likely to find a lighter roast, not to mention one that actually uses good beans! :) Even at these places though you have to look hard to find a cafe that doesnt use a dark roast bean. And even at the small local coffee houses its all lattes and cappuccinos, not an espresso in sight.

    Unfortunately most Americans are used to a very strong cup of coffee and because thats all their palates know when presented with a cup made from a high quality bean it tastes flavorless and flat to them. Maybe 10% can really recognize and appreciate a cup of truly high quality coffee. While half would label it as a bad cup because it was so weak in flavor. Yet an espresso is far too powerful for them. Not to mention far too highly priced for such a tiny amount. Go figure.

    Personally I have long been a fan of the lighter roasts to bring out a beans innate flavors. I much prefere tasting the beans rather than the roast. :) :) I think Ive even opened some eyes here over the benefits of a lighter roast. :D

    Even with my lighter roasts Ive found the previously given freshness times to hold. I try to time my roasts so that Im using beans that are in that 3 to 5 day post roast period and to have them all used up before I can notice any decrease in their flavor.


    Java "Lighter is usually better" phile

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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by steve link=1162007818/0#0 date=1162007818
    I roasted some beans last week which at about 3 days tasted really good. I could taste some caramel and they werent very bitter at all. The next day they started tasting bitter and now about 7 days later there is no caramel taste at all. The beans just taste bitter & burnt. Ive been storing the beans in those one way valve bags. *
    I dont believe your problem is the one-way valve bags. *Ive tried out plastic containers, vacuum containers, and valve bags. The consistent finding was that coffee remained fresh within 3-5 days post roast if the containers were opened daily. You may want to experiment with multiple one-way valve bags, consuming them within a few day window of opening (see below).

    Also note that darker roasts tend to stale faster than lighter roasts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1162007818/0#3 date=1162101169
    Ive found that most beans are at their peak flavor 3-5 days post roast with flavors decreasing every day after that until by 7 days their flavor profile has flattened enough for me to call them stale and no longer suitable for use.
    Many cafes claim they dont touch their beans until 7-14 days. I had always found that after 5 days the flavour profile flattened as Javaphile found. *An interesting observation was that coffee typically tasted best at about 3 days post roast and lasted about 5-7 days with containers that I opened daily (with 7 days being noticably stale). *However, with some experimentation with 1-way valve bags, I have found flavour to last past 7 days and up to 11 days if the bags are left unopened and consumed within 2 days of first opening the bag. *For the last few weeks I have been testing the use of 4 one-way valve bags. *I wait to drink the first at 5 days, the second at 7 days, the third at 9 days, and the final bag at 11 days. *The 5 day bag tends to be a bit fresh, but definately drinkable. The 7 day bag seems to be the peak date, the 9 days is starting to move past peak, and the 11 days is tending toward stale.

  13. #13
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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewG link=1162007818/0#11 date=1162123477
    An interesting observation was that coffee typically tasted best at about 3 days post roast and lasted about 5-7 days with containers that I opened daily (with 7 days being noticably stale). However, with some experimentation with 1-way valve bags, I have found flavour to last past 7 days and up to 11 days if the bags are left unopened and consumed within 2 days of first opening the bag. For the last few weeks I have been testing the use of 4 one-way valve bags. I wait to drink the first at 5 days, the second at 7 days, the third at 9 days, and the final bag at 11 days. The 5 day bag tends to be a bit fresh, but definately drinkable. The 7 day bag seems to be the peak date, the 9 days is starting to move past peak, and the 11 days is tending toward stale.
    An excellent summary that matches my experience. I would add that on the bags left unopened for 7-11 days before use the flavor profile of the bean tended to flatten out about 24 hours after the first opening if opened multiple times that first day. If it was only opened a couple of times a day you could get up too 48 hours before the flavor flattens out. The amount of dead air space in the container will also affect this time.


    Java "Get it while its fresh!" phile

  14. #14
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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1162007818/0#10 date=1162122860
    I think Ive even opened some eyes here over the benefits of a lighter roast. :D
    You bet ;D,

    Mal.

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    Re: Storage problems

    I wanted to mention the dead air space in aitight containers such as the Click-Clack ones.

    I store my beans in the one-way valve bags because I can minimise the air in them before ziplocking shut.

    I havent tried the multiple bag storage idea but I like it and will give it a go.

    For the moment though my uneducated palate has been using a blend from Hazel which I find improves, to my taste, from about day 7 post roast.
    It is still good for me up to day 14 and Ive even stretch another week, but the last few days I started to notice the difference.

    Ive been buying with these dates in mind.
    If I want something to drink straight away I ask Hazel for some of the blend close to a week post roast and then get another batch as fresh as possible to use in week 2.

    Last week I actually watched her roast a batch that my puchase came out of, so it was as fresh as I could get.

  16. #16
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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1162007818/0#14 date=1162129697
    I store my beans in the one-way valve bags because I can minimise the air in them before ziplocking shut.
    Yep, IMHO thats the best method...

    You can zip them shut and then squeeze as much air out as possible (roll up really tight from the bottom where the beans are and the air is expelled through the one way).

    I find you can get the space in the bag above the beans almost totally flat so the only air in the "container" is in the space between the beans ;)

  17. #17
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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by JavaB link=1162007818/15#15 date=1162130126
    You can zip them shut and then squeeze as much air out as possible (roll up really tight from the bottom where the beans are and the air is expelled through the one way).

    I find you can get the space in the bag above the beans almost totally flat so the only air in the "container" is in the space between the beans ;)
    Yeah I used to do it this way,

    But after comparing beans stored this way and in the Click-Clack containers, I could detect no difference in the cup at all.... Mind you, I only roast enough beans to last a maximum of a week at best, so maybe this shorter period isnt enough to determine the difference in flavour based on storage methods :-?. So based on this comparison, I went the way of the Click-Clack more for convenience of access as well as storage.

    Mal.

  18. #18
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    Re: Storage problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1162007818/15#16 date=1162179209
    Yeah I used to do it this way,

    But after comparing beans stored this way and in the Click-Clack containers, I could detect no difference in the cup at all.... Mind you, I only roast enough beans to last a maximum of a week at best, so maybe this shorter period isnt enough to determine the difference in flavour based on storage methods :-?.
    Yup, yup! The only time the valved bags are really needed is when you plan on using coffee that is more than a week old (5-7 days if you open the container many times a day). Use of them with coffee that will be used up before that time is a matter of convienence and personal choice.

    Personally I find the bags are a PITA to clean and as coffee doesnt last beyond 5 days here there is no gain in using them and putting up with that hassle. Bags left uncleaned will contaminate following batches from the oil in them. Left uncleaned the oil residue will turn rancid, giving the beans stored in them that flavor. :P

    My solution has been a set of stainless steel tins with acrylic lids that clamp on airtight and have a one-way valve built into them. Durable long-lasting items that are easy to clean between batches with no on-going replacement cost as bags have.

    The use of klick-klack containers is an even cheaper option that works perfectly fine. Just leave a corner unsealed for the first 12-24 hours for out-gassing. Then seal it up. :)


    Java "Always fresh beans!" phile

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    Re: Storage problems

    Steve mentioned that he tried vacuum containers that allow air to be pumped out of the bag/container? I often wondered about them but I am not sure if they are just one of those gadgets that then end up taking space in the cupboard and eventually get thrown out ot if they actually work.

    Steve, you didnt elaborate on what your experience with these particular containers was. Did they not give you any improvement over the one-way valve bags?

    Thanks.

  20. #20
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    Re: Storage problems

    I use the Coffee Saver and I have no complaints....

  21. #21
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    Re: Storage problems

    Never have to worry about storing the coffee for long periods. The roasting regime I have only leaves me with small quantities of fresh coffee on hand. If Im expecting company, then Ill roast more and have a larger quantity on hand, but at the moment, theres no more than about 75-100g of roasted coffee for consumption.

    Just roasted about 600g for a batch of CP. Kept a few handfuls for tasting.

    For storage, I use tight lid plastic containers (originally used as containers for NZ whitebait). Theyre not completely airtight, but combined with my drybox, the coffee can last for quite a long time. Besides, the containers are easily washed in the dishwasher.

    And NO the coffee doesnt taste/smell like fish.

  22. #22
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    Re: Storage problems

    Well I got an ECM Giotto from Chris two weeks ago and Ive been through about 5kg of coffee since then. If I keep the pace up I wont ever have storage problems again :-) But Im sure Ill have a heap of other questions...

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    Re: Storage problems


    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile link=1162007818/15#17 date=1162186218
    Personally I find the bags are a PITA to clean and as coffee doesnt last beyond 5 days here there is no gain in using them and putting up with that hassle. Bags left uncleaned will contaminate following batches from the oil in them. Left uncleaned the oil residue will turn rancid, giving the beans stored in them that flavor. :P
    Java "Always fresh beans!" phile

    Speaking of this what is the best way to clean the one way valves??

    I find that normal washing detergent does not do the job properly. You can still smell the previous coffee.

    I tried using automatic dishwashing powder in a bucket today and soaking them. Looks good so far, any other ways?


    Belinda

  24. #24
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    Re: Storage problems

    Hi Guys,

    Yeah, thought about the idea of using a detergent or other methods that involved using water as a solvent.... Then I realised that because of the design of the bags, getting all of the water out afterwards is nigh on impossible and not really worth the effort.

    In the end, I just got some straight Ethanol alcohol from the local pharmacy, soak a paper towel in it and then wipe the bags out very thoroughly with this, turn the bags upside down to let any trapped alcohol drain out, turn the bags right way up again and leave open to allow the alcohol to evaporate away. So far, this seems to work pretty well as the alcohol dissolves all the coffee oils and after wiping away, seem to be left very clean inside with no rancid coffee oil smell developing at all. The alcohol is very cheap to buy from the pharmacy in 2 - 4 Litre bottles and last a long time.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Storage problems


    Oh yes, forgot, Ive used alcohol wipes, the ones used for cleaning office equipment, keyboards etc. Theyve worked okay too. Same idea as Mal really.


    Belinda



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