How to Profile Article: brain storming session - Page 13

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
Ken Fox

#121: Post by Ken Fox »

This is more an addendum to my posts of yesterday than anything else, but if I edit those posts then it might get missed.

My intention in this and other roasting related posts has not been to tell people not to home roast, or to believe that they need to spend thousands of dollars to get a roaster that can produce acceptable results. Rather, what I want to convey is that your emphasis in being a home roaster should be in understanding what you can and cannot control with whatever you are using, and to learn, yourself, with some very basic information, how to proceed.

With that in mind I've decided to write up a 1-2 page very simple post that will hopefully tell the type of person who seeks advice on a home roasting forum, how to start with roasting and how to learn from their own experience. I will post this as its own free-standing post, not in this thread.

No jargon will be used. The emphasis will be on helping people to think for themselves without the need to read anything or to consult "experts" as they go along.

I'm going out of town today but I'll try to get this up during the weekend.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

germantown rob

#122: Post by germantown rob »

Ken Fox wrote:How can you be sure that this thread contains "great info?" On what do you base that conclusion?
I don't think you are actually looking for an answer or that I can provide you with one that will satisfy you so I will keep it simple, because you have posted in this thread.
Ken Fox wrote:Actually, the equipment talked about here for coffee roasting, other than similarly designed commercial drum roasters, is hugely different, varies enormously as regards the capability of controlling roast parameters, and has such variation in the ways that temperature can be monitored that we could as well be looking for pointers on cooking salmon from a pastry chef.
I could ask 5 chefs who's food I like how to cook salmon there is a good chance I will get five different answers, I will still end up with good results if I just pick one method I can do.

As a carpenter with a shop full of tools that will be different from another carpenter's shop of tools I can trade places and figure out their tools and setup in time. They won't be the same, they will perform differently, I will need time to make it all work but I can figure it out and get very similar results to my tools. How are roasters so different? After all isn't it the bean that is being figured out to get results that suit it? I am a big boy and can handle being wrong, it just helps to be told why I am wrong so that I can learn. Saying machines are just different and therefore there is no similarity I just don't understand. Take beans, add heat, the rest is icing on the cake to coax what you want from the bean. So I still believe that even different machines can get similar results from a set of basic profiles and an operator that knows their machine. I don't mean the finer points that really take experience, hard work and absolute control of the machine.
Ken Fox wrote:Congratulations on your upcoming purchase. Please report back to us in a couple of years. If you really believe that this sort of purchase isn't that important, then why are you contemplating making it? If you really think that people posting here, using the sorts of equipment they have available, are going to be able to teach you very much about how to use completely different equipment, I hope that you will disprove this idea to yourself, from your own experience. Your time would be much better spent visiting the roasting operations of several commercial roasters you admire, and watching them roast coffee in person, asking appropriate questions as the opportunity permits.

Your new roaster, with effort, will offer you the kind of results that only a few here can dream about. This does not mean that it will come without effort. Good luck.

ken
Ken you are a part of my decision to step up to a commercial roaster, it has been on my mind for a long time then this thread came along and pushed me over the edge. I do want to learn as much as I can about roasting and the Hottop has it's limitations in both function and batch size, I feel a 1kg roaster will help in my education and desire to keep my friends and family in high quality fresh beans (notice I didn't refer to the quality of the roast, lol) There are people here and at other sites with commercial equipment that I hope will get me familiar with the equipment and some pointers to keep me moving forward. I have done a lot of hard work to just get to where I am now with roasting and I have a so much more to figure out. I do want to get professional guidance as well and when I have a commercial machine to work with I will seek it out. I also accept that I am lucky individual who can afford to make these decisions and have the time to learn, but I won't forget that I am a home roaster no matter what equipment I am using since that is the roots of my passion.

Thank you Ken for your well wishes and advice on my adventure, I really hope you won't wait 2+ years to offer me any more advice on improving my roasting.

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another_jim
Team HB

#123: Post by another_jim »

As an FYI, I collected the recommended roasting times from a smattering of commercial sources:

Cupping Roasts: (58 to 62 Agtron, just out of the first crack, no roast flavors)
  • SCAA recommendation: 8 to 12 minutes
  • Paul Katzeff, The Cupper's Manifesto: 8 to 10 minutes
  • Willem Boot, Roast Magazine Articles: 10 to 12 minutes


Drinking Roasts, Light to Dark, at full load, manufacturers specifications
  • Sivetz Airroasters: 6 to 9 minutes
  • Neuhaus Neotech Airroasters:
    • Hight Temperature/High Speed Profile: 3 to 6 minutes
    • Low Temperature/Low Speed Profile: 8 to 12 minutes
  • Probat Werke:
    • Centrifugal Roasters, low grade coffee profile: 3 to 5 minutes
    • Centrifugal Roasters, specialty coffee profile: 8 to 12 minutes
    • Shop roasters, specialty coffee: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Ambex, Loring, & Toper Shop Roasters:
    • Gas fired models: 10 to 15 minutes
    • Table top electric models: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Diedrich Shop Roasters: 15 to 20 minutes
Jim Schulman

pallen

#124: Post by pallen »

Well, I would assume what ever article was being compiled has been done by now. This thread seems to get at the crux of what every home roaster comes to a forum for.

Unfortunately, I have little in the way of answers, but I do believe there is more control over these home appliances that one might think. I roast with a Behmor. I too am frustrated by the lack of control throughout the roasting process. I frequently dont get the optimal results I am shooting for because of that. On the other hand, the Behmor was built to roast coffee. Its not a designed to bake a souffle or milk a cow. I dont really need to completely defeat what its trying to do in order to get satisfactory results.

The kind of learning I come here for is more of a diagnostic of what went wrong when I have a roast or a particular bean that I think I am not getting the best from. Even though I cant read bean temp, or manually regulate the power to the heating elements, if I understand that my problem is likely too slow of a ramp up to 1C, then I may know how to ramp to 1C faster with the Behmor by chosing P1 instead of P3, then perhaps opening the door after I get into 1C to slow things to 2C. The good thing about the microprocessor control is that if I do find a way to improve my roast "profile", I can repeat it fairly easily.

No, I dont expect to be the greatest roaster ever with my humble Behmor, but if I can learn what causes what I detect as a deficiency in the cup, I can adjust what I do with my machine to address the issue to the best of my equipment's capability. I fully expect that there will be scenarios where my machine just cant do what needs to be done for the optimal profile. That's ok, I only have $300 in this. The point is, knowing when I need a faster drying phase, or a longer stretch to the 2nd crack or when the best time to stop a roast for a particular bean is, then I can make changes and improve. Ideally, I would want a coffee expert with many years of roasting experience come by and taste my coffee every month or so and tell me what they think is going on with my roasts, but I dont know any such experts. I do know where I can talk to other folks doing the same thing I'm doing. Sometimes they might steer me wrong, but sometimes i might learn something helpful. So far, every time, I have a lot of fun and get to drink some pretty good coffee.

pngboy

#125: Post by pngboy »

Was that article ever published anywhere? I almost felt like this forum was starting 2 head somewhere. Germantown Rob its been a couple years now how is the learning process on your beautiful roaster going?

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yakster
Supporter ♡

#126: Post by yakster »

pallen wrote:Unfortunately, I have little in the way of answers, but I do believe there is more control over these home appliances that one might think... Even though I cant read bean temp, or manually regulate the power to the heating elements, if I understand that my problem is likely too slow of a ramp up to 1C, then I may know how to ramp to 1C faster with the Behmor by chosing P1 instead of P3, then perhaps opening the door after I get into 1C to slow things to 2C. The good thing about the microprocessor control is that if I do find a way to improve my roast "profile", I can repeat it fairly easily.
I agree with this and just want to add that with the Behmor, and pretty much with a lot of roasters with fixed profiles one of the easiest ways to control the profile, especially with regard to the drying phase and ramp up to first crack is to change the load size so that it fits the ramp. This has helped me quite a bit with the Behmor.
-Chris

LMWDP # 272