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Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Thinking about...  
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katit
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 8:07am
Subject: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

One year ago I bought espresso machine and got spoiled :)

Since than I tried different kind of mail order beans and local places. One local place was OK but now they won't sell me fresh beans if they had older ones on a shelf. Well.. I guess I'm not buying there anymore. I tried high-end blends bought locally. It's light roast and not really what I like. Price goes from $15/lb (if I drive) to $20+lb if I mail order.

Basically, I got tired of all this and decided to see if it's too bad to roast myself. After reading this forum seems like it's not bad at all. All I want is always fresh coffee (1/2 lb at a time), I drink espresso mostly with milk, I can tell when coffee goes old. I'm not guru at all but I do know what I like and don't like. Coffee has to be fresh for me even that I don't drink it straight..

Ideally I want setup where I can buy lot's of the same bean and just spend couple minutes to set it up and roast. If I can save some money - it will be even better :) But mainly I want to get away from driving and being pissed because there was no fresh roast or something like this :)

From what I see - Behmor 1600 is _the_ roaster. Is it possible to pre-set it so I don't do anything and just push button?

How do you store green beans and for how long I can store them? Is there any place where I can buy them in bulk cheaper? Some friends might be interested in my coffee as well. Right now I use about 2lb per month. So, if I do it for friends I think I might need 5-8lb of green per month.

Please educate me on this subject. I'm not tinkerer type of person. I like to spend time and learn how to do something but then I like to set it and forget it...
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
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Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
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Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 8:18am
Subject: Re: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

After you decide what roaster to get you would just roast 1/2 pound at a time, then let rest a couple days to let flavors develop and the beans to release after roast gases.  There will be some trial and error and a learning curve involved, but after you get the hang of it (in short time) you will never want to go back to purchasing already roasted beans.  A few good raw bean suppliers are:

Sweet Marias  
http://www.sweetmarias.com

Coffee Bean Direct  
http://www.CoffeeBeanDirect.com

and for Kona Beans my favorite is Hula Daddy
http://www.HulaDaddy.com  (direct from farm)

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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katit
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 8:38am
Subject: Re: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

Thank you. What about storage? How do I store beans and for how long I can store them?

Right now I'm set on Behmor from SM with esspresso sample. Unless someone suggest better machine.
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
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Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 9:25am
Subject: Re: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

I store my fresh roasted beans in a food safe quart container that has a push on lid, and keep it in a dark cool cupboard in my kitchen.  The first 24 hours after roast I keep the lid ajar to allow the beans to degas, then I secure the lid.  If I happen roast alot (which is usual), I put the excess roasted beans (prior to degas) in the same type of container and put them in my freezer.  You will find that some people don't mind freezing already roasted beans, and some do not care to do such.  I have had good luck freezing.

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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katit
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 9:29am
Subject: Re: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

Len,

Thanks! I guess I wasn't specific. I know how to store roated beans (used to keep 1/2 pound in a grinder and put another 1/2 into freezer). Since I'm going to roast 1/2lb which will make it even less - I have no issue storing it.

I was asking about green beans. If I buy in bulk - how do I store them? I want to find what I like, buy as much as possible and forget about it..
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JKalpin
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JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
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Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600+
Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 9:30am
Subject: Re: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

I buy all my greens from Sweet Maria's.  They provide a lot of data about their beans;  they are reliable;  they are quick to ship.

I buy 2 lb samples.  I get 3 10 oz roasts out of 2 lbs (with a bit left over) and each 10 oz roast nets out around 8.3 oz.  I let it rest for 3 days and by the time the 'best use' window of 14 days is over I have used it up and the next batch is 3 days rested.  So I roast every 10 days +/- for myself.

I roast for my son who drinks espresso, mostly lattes.  He prefers Sweet Maria's Monkey Blend.  I would recommend that for you because it is easy to roast.  I usually roast dark for him (say 1 min into the 2CR).  They also have Donkey Blend for those who need decaf.  

I order 12 lbs at a time, say, 5 + 5 + 2, and they arrive in a USPS small flat-rate shipper.  Each is sealed in a ziplock poly bag.  That's where they stay, in the bags ...in the box ...on the floor of my clothes-closet, until they are used up.  Greens can survive a year or more under those conditions.  In the kitchen, I have the top shelf of a cupboard for a small collection of plastic containers for greens and roasts for immediate roasting and consumption.

The Behmor 1600 is a decent roaster at the right price-point made by a company with an excellent service record.  Of course you have to learn the 'ins and outs' of roasting;  after that it is almost automatic.  I recommend you buy a Kill-A-Watt meter so you know about your voltage and power.  I recommend you buy a small ...car vac ...120V ...with a short hose ...to help keep the chaff from getting loose in your kitchen.  If you have a range-hood with a fan you can roast on top of the stove.

 
Jerry
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katit
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 9:37am
Subject: Re: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

JKalpin Said:

I recommend you buy a Kill-A-Watt meter so you know about your voltage and power.  I recommend you buy a small ...car vac ...120V ...with a short hose ...to help keep the chaff from getting loose in your kitchen.  If you have a range-hood with a fan you can roast on top of the stove.

Posted July 30, 2013 link

I have kill-a-watt, thats good. Shop vac is just around a corner from a kitchen (garage) so it's OK too. Cook top is good advice.

What about smell? I hoped it smelll like a coffee? I like this smell and don't mind if it smells like so in a house.

So, storage is simply keep them in a closet in bags? If so - easy..
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Burner0000
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Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
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Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 9:49am
Subject: Re: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

Roaster - Behmor is great!  I love mine. :)  To start I think it's perfect!  

Buying greens - Usually if you buy 10 lb+ you get it at wholesale pricing.  Sweetmaria's is the place to start.  I would get one or two sample packages and see what you like.  Once you find a few I would buy in 10-20 lb bags.  

Storage - I store my coffee in Rubbermaid bins Good for a full bag to dump in or to throw a bunch of ziplock bags full of coffee in.  Rubbermaid bins don't give the coffee ANY plastic or rubber taste to the coffee, great for temp varying climate room.  Can block out humidity great!  I have kept green for 6 months in one of these bins and the green looked, smelled and tasted like I just bought it.  I store my 130 lb bags in the 150 L bins.

The Behmor roaster as well as others can get stinky depending on the bean but most like the smell.  Roasting under a range hood or near a window with a fan pointing out will help greatly.  

Bottom line.. If your willing to roast you save a ton of money on coffee and have fun doing it.
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katit
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 10:48am
Subject: Re: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

JKalpin Said:

I roast for my son who drinks espresso, mostly lattes.  He prefers Sweet Maria's Monkey Blend.  I would recommend that for you because it is easy to roast.  I usually roast dark for him (say 1 min into the 2CR).  

Posted July 30, 2013 link

That sounds like what I need. Thanks for advice.

Just out of curiosity:
What machine (let's not worry about price) is better than Behmor for HOME use to roast 1/2lb at a time? And why?
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katit
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jul 30, 2013, 11:04am
Subject: Re: Thinking about making step-up and roast myself
 

Another thing. I know I like darker roasted beans. SM review on Behmor says it is more difficult to achieve darker roast. Is that real issue? I don't like starbucks coffee but I don't like lite roast either. As I said it is mostly for espresso and latte drinks.
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