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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > So, what did I...  
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 3:38pm
Subject: So, what did I do wrong? [roasting]
 

What you see in these images is the result of an 8.5 minute roast (in a west bend hot air popper) of a Sumatra Mandheling. The green is only about 1 month old from my supplier, presumably less than 6 months old from the farm. From this coffee I have successfully roasted two batches to just past second crack with almost professional results, this batch is another story...

You can see it is very uneven, many beans look spotted, burnt on one side, and raw on the other. There is a good amount of chaff still on the beans, and overall I would say it doesn't look as dark as it should for 8.5minutes. In the past I have only needed 7.5 minutes to be well into second crack, this batch waited until about then to start.

Opinions?

I'm rather new to this and I really would like to see where I can improve. In a couple of days I will give this batch a grind and see how it tastes, that is after all the deciding measure of quality in my book. But from the looks of things I cant say I have high hopes.

The past few weeks have seen large variations in ambient temperature and humidity, could this have been a cause?

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,070
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 4:33pm
Subject: Re: So, what did I do wrong? [roasting]
 

acasabia Said:

................
The past few weeks have seen large variations in ambient temperature and humidity, could this have been a cause?

Posted June 20, 2012 link

Yes, Ambient temps do have a significant effect on air roasters.

From the pictures, they appear to be about half way through first crack.

A temp probe in the beans will help to guide here, and help to diagnose what happened when.
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,454
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 4:38pm
Subject: Re: So, what did I do wrong? [roasting]
 

acasabia Said:

What you see in these images is the result of an 8.5 minute roast (in a west bend hot air popper) of a Sumatra Mandheling. The green is only about 1 month old from my supplier, presumably less than 6 months old from the farm. From this coffee I have successfully roasted two batches to just past second crack with almost professional results, this batch is another story...

You can see it is very uneven, many beans look spotted, burnt on one side, and raw on the other. There is a good amount of chaff still on the beans, and overall I would say it doesn't look as dark as it should for 8.5minutes. In the past I have only needed 7.5 minutes to be well into second crack, this batch waited until about then to start.

Opinions?

I'm rather new to this and I really would like to see where I can improve. In a couple of days I will give this batch a grind and see how it tastes, that is after all the deciding measure of quality in my book. But from the looks of things I cant say I have high hopes.

The past few weeks have seen large variations in ambient temperature and humidity, could this have been a cause?

Posted June 20, 2012 link

So it is taking longer for a roast?  How well are the heating elements in the popper working?

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

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Snaxx
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 172
Location: Northeast Michigan, LP
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity burr
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster
Roaster: I Roast2
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 8:01pm
Subject: Re: So, what did I do wrong? [roasting]
 

I'm not familiar with the popcorn poppers, but since my I-Roast roasts in a similar manner, I'd consider the bean load to start.  If you overload the popper and reduce circulation, that could be a cause for such an uneven roast.  Another possibility is low voltage when the machine is on.  That heating element takes a lot of watts and if the circuit has too much voltage drop, the fan won't be able to provide enough circulation because it's running too slow.  The last thing that comes to mind is heat loss from the bean mass during roasting.  If too much heat escapes out the top of the popper, then your beans won't reach crack point at the same approximate time.  If you've covered the top of the popper too tightly to reduce heat loss, that could also be an issue.  The I-Roast uses a fine mesh screen to reduce exhaust particles.  If the screen isn't kept clean, pressure builds up in the roast chamber and bean don't circulate as well as they should, so consider that effect with your popper.

About how many pre-roasted grams or ounces are we looking at in your images?

Ken
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 10:22pm
Subject: Re: So, what did I do wrong? [roasting]
 

CoffeeRoastersClub Said:

So it is taking longer for a roast?  How well are the heating elements in the popper working?

Len

Posted June 20, 2012 link

I wouldnt say its taking longer to roast, since some beans are charred.


Frost Said:

Yes, Ambient temps do have a significant effect on air roasters.

From the pictures, they appear to be about half way through first crack.

A temp probe in the beans will help to guide here, and help to diagnose what happened when.

Posted June 20, 2012 link

How would I best shield myself from this ambient temperature effect in the future?


Snaxx Said:

I'm not familiar with the popcorn poppers, but since my I-Roast roasts in a similar manner, I'd consider the bean load to start.  If you overload the popper and reduce circulation, that could be a cause for such an uneven roast.  Another possibility is low voltage when the machine is on.  That heating element takes a lot of watts and if the circuit has too much voltage drop, the fan won't be able to provide enough circulation because it's running too slow.  The last thing that comes to mind is heat loss from the bean mass during roasting.  If too much heat escapes out the top of the popper, then your beans won't reach crack point at the same approximate time.  If you've covered the top of the popper too tightly to reduce heat loss, that could also be an issue.  The I-Roast uses a fine mesh screen to reduce exhaust particles.  If the screen isn't kept clean, pressure builds up in the roast chamber and bean don't circulate as well as they should, so consider that effect with your popper.

About how many pre-roasted grams or ounces are we looking at in your images?

Ken

Posted June 20, 2012 link

I have been roasting 100g from the beginning, but I did notice less than normal circulation in the first 3 minutes. Would you say the iRoast is a worthy investment over a popcorn popper? Or should I just hold out until Im more comfortable investing in a small drum?


Thanks everyone!

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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Ian
Moderator
Ian
Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1,465
Location: England

Espresso: Euro2000,Rancilio
Grinder: Mazzer,La Cimbali
Vac Pot: Cona-->CraigA
Drip: Belgique for emergencies
Roaster: Primas with variac
Posted Thu Jun 21, 2012, 1:17am
Subject: Re: So, what did I do wrong? [roasting]
 

If you're not getting much bean movement (which is borne out by the unevenness of the roast) you could try using fewer beans or stirring them with a wooden stick until they dry out sufficiently so that they can move on their own. It sounds odd, but using a smaller batch can also extend the roasting time.

Most people split the fan and heater circuits. It's not hard to do if you're comfortable with electrics and gives you greater flexibility.



Cheers

Ian

 
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Netphilosopher
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jun 21, 2012, 4:29am
Subject: .
 

.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 612
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012, 6:25pm
Subject: Re: So, what did I do wrong? [roasting]
 

Ian Said:

If you're not getting much bean movement (which is borne out by the unevenness of the roast) you could try using fewer beans or stirring them with a wooden stick until they dry out sufficiently so that they can move on their own. It sounds odd, but using a smaller batch can also extend the roasting time.

Most people split the fan and heater circuits. It's not hard to do if you're comfortable with electrics and gives you greater flexibility.



Cheers

Ian

Posted June 21, 2012 link

Netphilosopher Said:

I'd agree with the comments about bean agitation.  They look similar to when I overload my BMHG and I get stratified agitation (heat the top layer of the beans, the bottom only gets conduction heat, like too many jeans in a topload washer).

Posted June 21, 2012 link

I think I will try this next, I'm not to savvy with a soldering iron yet, but we'll see what I can come up with. In the mean time I will reduce the roast from 100g to 85g and see if that helps.


Thank you everyone, I love how I can always count on this forum for solid answers and real support.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Dallis Bro's (NYC): New York Espresso

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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dtsuther
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2010
Posts: 65
Location: Jackson
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus III
Grinder: Anfim Best; Compak K10 Pro...
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Sun Jun 24, 2012, 12:38pm
Subject: Re: So, what did I do wrong? [roasting]
 

I am no professional roaster by any stretch of the imagination but I have had wonderful results using a BMHG.  Total investment was about $40.00 and I roast 455 gram loads.  Just my two cents but I would try this method before buying an iRoast.

Good Luck
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AndyPanda
Senior Member
AndyPanda
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 769
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Sun Jun 24, 2012, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: So, what did I do wrong? [roasting]
 

+1 about the Bread Machine/Heat Gun.

I started with a FreshRoast ... built a StirCrazy/Turbo Oven and was really disappointed in that (just didn't move the beans evenly enough)

I may have gotten lucky with the particular Bread Machine I used - but it easily does 500grams and probably more - I am getting fantastic roasts with it and it is so easy to control the profile.  My roasts are always even --- and no more divots in my beans.  I couldn't ask for a better system. (well .. it would be nice if I could pull a lever and eject the beans - but otherwise, it's pretty near perfect for my needs)
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