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Thread: First foray into Corretto roasting - fail

  1. #1
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    First foray into Corretto roasting - fail

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Cut the coffee drinking down quite a lot and 250g roasted beans just aren't economical with postage, so thought it's time to get roasting.

    Also wanted to solve the problem I have putting nuts in the oven to roast and forgetting about them. So wanted something that could roast about a kilo of nuts as well.

    Decided to go the Corretto route as I already had a Panasonic SD-253 breadmaker I no longer used, a heat gun and a multimeter w/ themocouple.

    Tested it out with 350g macadamia nuts - excitingly they came out so evenly browned, even biting them in half they were just an solid light brown throughout. It took only about on a bit more than 5 minutes too, about the preheat time of the oven.

    Then 300g green beans - the damn kneading cycle finished just as first crack was starting, which was 15 mins! I thought specifying a extra-large loaf would give me 20 mins as the manual said 15-20min but apparently the BM chooses the length according to outside ambient temperature.

    I tried to restart the cycle but then discovered machine doesn't allow successive cycles without cooling down. Panic time, didn't know if the roast would have been too light to be usable so started the heat again and stirred with a wooden spoon. But I was down to about 160 deg C. By the time I got it back cracking again the beans looked like they'd be charring soon so I pulled the plug. Cooled and bagged the beans but two days have passed now but the bag isn't puffing up. Should it? I'll give them another day and try them.

    Modded the breadmaker to permanently drive the paddle and tried a kilo of almonds today, and again I'm impressed.

    Next step is to read up on green beans and roasting so I've got some idea, and stock up.
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  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Good one Simon...

    The very start of the journey in to coffee nirvana and heaps of fun along the way to getting there. Lots of info re: Corretto Roasting in CS so plenty of reference material available. Won't be long before you're pumping out some delicious brews. Is the DMM and T/couple you have, the CoffeeSnobs one or something else? If the former, you could download and install the latest version of the CS Roast Monitor Software, which will help tremendously with regard to managing your roast batches.

    As is often repeated by many CSer home roasters, the main thing is to keep accurate records of each roast batch you do (good and bad), so that you will end up with a ready reference of what works and what doesn't. If you then attach your "in the cup" impressions to each roast batch, you then have the perfect 'feedback loop' to assist you with future roasts.

    It's a lot of fun and very addictive, quite apart from the caffeine content of the beans you're roasting. Enjoy mate...

    Mal.
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  3. #3
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    Unfortunately it's not a USB DMM but not against buying the CS one should I find I get really into it.

    Thanks for the tips.

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    Just trying the roast now. Nearly choked it to death on the first grind, which surprised me as the grind felt about right. --> Sink. Loosened it right up and got some flow but still the extraction was way too long, but I persisted, praying my vibe pump didn't blow. Poured a ristretto and it was dead, like a normal pour had been left out overnight.

    Too scared to try it straight so I steamed some milk. It was actually drinkable, proving to me how far off you can be with milk drinks. Definitely sour but not too bad, so I'm thinking the underroasting and bean freshness overpowered the overextraction - not sure if I'm on the mark though.

  5. #5
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    We all had to start somewhere Simon...

    My first few roasts gradually evolved from charcoal through to something that did actually resemble roasted coffee, and didn't taste too bad. Really important to keep those records of roast batches mentioned above, otherwise it will become a bit frustrating. Keep going mate, you'll get there...

    Mal.

  6. #6
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Hi Simon
    Second Mal's points above. Home roasting is brilliant fun, and when you get it right it will blow your socks off! But like any skill, there is a learning curve - and the best test of results will be in the cup. So roast, record, taste…

    Not sure if you've seen this before, but before I logged my roasts using a laptop, I just used this attached sheet, a timer and my DMM to mark my time/heat etc. The profile marked on there is one I developed for 350g batches over a number of years, and found it a consistently good 'baseline' for many beans. It may at least give you a useful starting point - feel free to use or discard.

    Cheers Matt

    DBC Roasting Profile Sheet Jun13.pdf
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    Your profile up until first crack looked pretty much what I did actually - I tried to tick up a degree Celsius every 4 - 5 seconds and I see you're about 4.4 seconds. Thanks for that, I'll definitely start with it.

    Tried the coffee today and it was much better - haven't homed in on the grind yet but not as overextracted as yesterday. Borderline acceptable to me actually. Very syrupy though, crema much better but it really couldn't get worse than yesterday.

    Looking forward to tomorrow's coffee. I don't think I wrecked the beans.

    Ordered India E hills, PNG and a Brazilian to experiment with.

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    Beans arrived today, thanks Andy.

    Did a 50/50 blend of India hills and PNG - 150g of each gave 240g. Had the heat gun a bit close I think as its heat adjustment knob started melting off

    Took this just to the start of second crack. It's been resting now a few hours and really is smelling nice.

    Meanwhile with every day that passes I'm enjoying the first roast which I thought failed.

    I am thinking of two more mods to the breadmaker though:

    1. cutting up one of those silicon placemats and laying it across the top of the breadmaker so the chaff falls down in the air gap enclosing the bread pan.

    2. Slowing down the paddle. Although coffee beans are tough, it's a bit harsh for nuts and is given me about a teaspoon a beautiful macadamia nut butter after I remove the nuts.

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonko View Post
    2. Slowing down the paddle. Although coffee beans are tough, it's a bit harsh for nuts and is given me about a teaspoon a beautiful macadamia nut butter after I remove the nuts.
    Maybe all that's needed is to grind off a little from the end of the Kneading Paddle, so as to prevent beans/nuts being crushed between the end of the paddle and the pan. I know of a few people who have done this and it seems to work Ok...

    Mal.
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    Ah yeah, I see, there is only about 3/4 of a macadamia nut distance between the paddle and the wall.

    I bought the the USB Multimeter the other day (thanks Andy, super speed). It looks like Roast Monitor can control roast temperature (or is the slider just for recording roaster settings?). If it can control, I think PC controlling the heat gun is next which I see there's a thread on. Also like to be able to turn heat completely off but keep the fan going so I can use the same setup for cooling. Maybe a chaff catcher in there mechanism too like the lint collector in a washing machine.

    The India Hills / PNG 50/50 roast came out really nice. Then I tried a single origin someone gave me for Christmas - Peru Grace Estate, felt like the roast went a lot better but can't say I enjoyed it that much.
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  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day Simon...

    Yeah, it would be great if Heatguns came with a USB interface (and some other smarts), which would then increase the possibility of being able to control roasts to particular profiles. If you know someone who is very au fait with electronics in a practical sense, he/she might be able to come up with a small "black-box" that could facilitate all of this for you. Until then though, roast control is very much a hands-on process and yes, the slider is basically a recording addition to the other parameters being charted....

    Mal.

  12. #12
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    No problem with the black box, I'm an electrical engineer. The bigger issue is no longer being able to return the heat gun under warranty - it's already been returned once.

  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonko View Post
    No problem with the black box, I'm an electrical engineer. The bigger issue is no longer being able to return the heat gun under warranty - it's already been returned once.
    Yep, me too...

    What type of heatgun do you have mate?

    Mal.

  14. #14
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    Sorry Mal for the late response. Just a Bunning's $40 Ozito thing. I've read that the variability is quite coarsely stepped, but I'm actually finding it quite responsive.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonko View Post
    I've read that the variability is quite coarsely stepped, but I'm actually finding it quite responsive.
    I find fine adjustment not necessary, if adjustment is needed I change the Bosch in approx 50C steps, finer adjustments take too long to have any affect.
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  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    That's my experience too Yelta...

    I don't use a Bosch but have a Tradie Makita that does a good job. Step changes are in the range of 40-50C which works well...

    Mal.

  17. #17
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Most of my main adjustment steps are in 30 - 40 steps too however the 10 increments I do find vital

    They allow me to either A) adjust for ambient temperatures (adjusting each step by 10 up or down) will pretty much make up for for a 5 change in ambient temps or B) shorten or stretch out roast length - 10 up or down through the range of adjustment equates to about 1 minute total time overall if I want a faster or slower roast to deal with various origins.

    Just the way we like to roll round here
    I love my Bosch!

  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Forgot about the "end" of a roast micro-adjustments Matt...

    Yes, that section between 1st and 2nd Cracks requires somewhat more finesse, no doubt about it...
    I don't worry too much about a degree or two one way or the other prior to 1st-Crack though (due to ambient conditions, etc), concentrate mainly on the "rate of rise" which I have found to be far more important and consequential with regard to "in the cup" results.

    Mal.
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