When (after roasting date) do you freeze your coffee?

Beginner or pro barista, all are invited to share.
werbin
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Postby werbin » Tue Dec 28, 2010 2:45 pm

I think that early testing showed that beans frozen right after roasting, in air tight containers, retained their quality well after defrosting.

This past year, many people suggest that most blends peak in quality about 7 - 10 days after roasting.

When do you freeze your mail order beans?
Is it immediately after receiving them?
Or, do you wait X days post-roast date before freezing?

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Postby cannonfodder » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:56 pm

When they arrive. While freezing will prolong their shelf life, they still age. The degassing still continues even when frozen, just at a much slower rate. Take a bag, tape over the one way valve and put it in your freezer. Check on it a month later. The bag will have puffed from the slow degassing.
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Postby jasonmolinari » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:57 pm

i pack my beans in a mason jar and vacuum pack it, and put it in my upright freezer.
A month later, they still have a vacuum, so if they are outgassing it's VERY VERY slow in my freezer.

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Postby barry » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:31 pm

cannonfodder wrote:When they arrive. While freezing will prolong their shelf life, they still age. The degassing still continues even when frozen, just at a much slower rate. Take a bag, tape over the one way valve and put it in your freezer. Check on it a month later. The bag will have puffed from the slow degassing.



not if you freeze it at -40 ! ;)

The degassing rate is pretty slow when you get below 10F. I've also found that if the beans are a little warm when the bag is put in the freezer, then we get a little vac-pac action going on, too, as the beans freeze.

FWIW, I convinced one of my wholesale accounts (a grocery) to sell coffee out of the freezer. I would freeze it out of the roaster and transport with a cooler, then the bags would go in their deep freeze until time to go in the display freezer.

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Postby cannonfodder » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:41 pm

Evening Barry. I keep them in my upright freezer, around -10 or -15. I have noticed that some beans will puff in the freezer more than others. I have a Sumatran that was roasted on the same day as a Ethiopian. The Ethiopian has had very little change while the Sumatran is noticeably puffed. Could be a difference in origin or roast level but I have not put much thought into it. Just a casual observation.

Interesting that you got your grocer to sell them out of the freezer. Did he put a freezer case by the normal coffee or a sign noting that it was in the freezer case? Just curious how having coffee out of the normal coffee aria would change sales.
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Postby AndyS » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:31 am

cannonfodder wrote:Just curious how having coffee out of the normal coffee aria would change sales.


Well it's just one data point, but when Pavarotti did his famous singing commercial "O Segafredo Mio," sales of that brand went up dramatically.
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Postby Compass Coffee » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:09 pm

cannonfodder wrote:Evening Barry. I keep them in my upright freezer, around -10 or -15. I have noticed that some beans will puff in the freezer more than others. I have a Sumatran that was roasted on the same day as a Ethiopian. The Ethiopian has had very little change while the Sumatran is noticeably puffed. Could be a difference in origin or roast level but I have not put much thought into it. Just a casual observation.

Interesting that you got your grocer to sell them out of the freezer. Did he put a freezer case by the normal coffee or a sign noting that it was in the freezer case? Just curious how having coffee out of the normal coffee aria would change sales.

The darker the roast the faster/greater the amount of out gassing no question.
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Postby barry » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:13 pm

cannonfodder wrote:Interesting that you got your grocer to sell them out of the freezer. Did he put a freezer case by the normal coffee or a sign noting that it was in the freezer case? Just curious how having coffee out of the normal coffee aria would change sales.



I tried to get them to put a freezer in the coffee bar area, but they didn't have the budget, so the coffee was in the freezer bank next to the ice cream. As far as I can tell (order volume), they were selling more out of the freezer than when they had the coffee bulk in glass jars on the coffee bar. There was some skepticism at first, but I have to say that exposing the customer to the degassing aroma on the drive home and while they're putting groceries away is a really powerful marketing tool.

It also helped that my coffee was the only coffee in the store. ;)

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Postby Bob_McBob » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:22 pm

I used to wait until the coffee was about ready to use before freezing, with the idea that I just needed to take it out the night before and I'd have perfect ready to use coffee the next day. In practice I found that while it was ready to use right out of the freezer, it staled a lot faster. Has anyone else had this experience?

I generally freeze anything I'm not going to use in the next week or two within a couple days of roasting, then make sure I time my coffee usage so I can give it a few days to mature after removing it from the freezer. For one pound bags, I usually remove the next bag from the freezer right after opening the previous bag.

cannonfodder wrote:When they arrive. While freezing will prolong their shelf life, they still age. The degassing still continues even when frozen, just at a much slower rate. Take a bag, tape over the one way valve and put it in your freezer. Check on it a month later. The bag will have puffed from the slow degassing.


This hasn't been my experience. I use a regular upright freezer, which isn't really ideal, but the bags don't puff up after only a month. They do puff up as soon as they're removed, through. The only puffed up bag in the freezer is a pound of sadly neglected decaf Epic Espresso roasted last April, which looks like it's about to burst. I was actually going to post a photo of it to show how well sealing valved bags with tape works.
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Postby werbin » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:41 pm

Bob_McBob,
You said:
In practice I found that while it was ready to use right out of the freezer


Did you open it directly out of the freezer?
Or, did you let it come to room temperature in an air tight container (glass) before opening it?
If you opened it directly out of the freezer, it would pick up moisture and that might make it get stale quickly.

I have been putting beans in 4 oz. freezer proof bell jars. I take it out of the freezer the night before I use them and wait until morning to open the jars.