Brewing on the water (and roasting) - Page 5

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#41: Post by Jonk »

Never had that issue. Some people seem to find it finicky but it was the easiest steamer I've ever used. Heats up slow on an electric stove though so eventually I changed it out for a more convenient pstat-controlled boiler.

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#42: Post by EbenBruyns (original poster) »

After a couple of hectic days on the main land, we're finally back at the boat.

The remainder of the last batch made a decent coffee the morning of our departure. The sealed container has made a huge improvement.

I've roasted another batch this morning, different blend again, and while I'm not a fan of the blend, there's nothing wrong with the roast or the shots it produced. I think I might be grinding a bit too fine so I'll adjust that over the next few days and hopefully I've arrived at a reasonably stable situation for now.

As for the greens, well they are still all from the same order. Considering that the roast is fine and the shots are fine, I'm gaining confidence that storing my coffee in green form is the right call!

I've put the bellman to use again, I might push it too hard, but there's a lot of air in it, so steam is a bit of an issue. I'll drill some holes in the basket when I get a chance and hopefully I learn to like it. It's not a huge concern for me as I'm not a milk drinker, but it would be nice to produce top notch coffee in a primitive way. It certainly will make for memorable moments when guests are served coffee...

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#43: Post by yakster »

Good news that the sealed container is making a difference. I've been following this thread with interest.

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#44: Post by jpender »

Yes, it is very interesting. All of the coffee storage issues put into a crucible.

I suggest you don't leave your greens in a bowl.

EbenBruyns (original poster)

#45: Post by EbenBruyns (original poster) » replying to jpender »

The greens are in paper bags inside a zip lock. That seems to be ok for the time being. If that changes I'll consider investing in a vacuum sealer. The current thinking is that if I have to vacuum seal them I can do it in 1kg batches without issues considering the current trend, possibly 2kg batches.

I'm glad my experiment is interesting to you guys, it's surely "brewing at the extreme"

EbenBruyns (original poster)

#46: Post by EbenBruyns (original poster) »

Day 2 on the fresh batch. I had to increase the grind size a lot today (there was too many fines in the shots yesterday). I've noticed some serious clumping in the grinds due to the increased humidity. It doesn't seem to affect the taste in the cup too much so it's not a concern yet.

I'm starting to get the hang of the bellman, I don't need to heat it up nearly as much as I thought. Still too much air in it so I will definitely make the mod when I'm in the right headspace.

The freshness of the beans seems to have stabilized since I dumped them in the airtight container as soon as they were cool enough. Tomorrow or the following day (assuming they are not consumed by then), will be the real test.

The powdered milk seems to be a reasonable solution. I'm sure fresh whole milk will be much better, but it's honestly a very palatable drink, I am sure that most milk drinkers would prefer it over no milk. Obviously there will be exceptions to this rule, but hey, nothing like the ability to enjoy an espresso based drink in the middle of nowhere.

Another subjective observation is that it seems I'm getting better quality shots now that I'm controlling more variables (i.e. roasting), while it's still early days and I'll have to do another comparison to pre-roasted beans once I've been roasting for a while, it's certainly looking good!

It seems the old adage: "where there's a will, there's a way" is in full force here. I am concerned about humidity through the winter and what that would do to the brew, hopefully it doesn't become a serious issue because there's not a lot I'd be able to do about it. I suppose I could wait until the last second to take the beans from the container to load into the grinder. That might help reduce the effect a bit. Might give that a try on the next round of coffees...

EbenBruyns (original poster)

#47: Post by EbenBruyns (original poster) »

Subjective observation:

waited longer before I took the beans out of the container, but humidity has also dropped from 98% this morning. So who knows if it made a difference. Beans are still holding up well, will update again in the morning.

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#48: Post by EbenBruyns (original poster) »

Finished the last batch this morning. The beans seem to stay fresh long enough in the container. I'll have to try and roast a second batch to leap frog it to see how long I can get out of a roasted batch.

This could become critical as the admiral likes a different blend to me (well I say like, she tolerates it better over the others - still not a coffee drinker but wants caffeine).

I roasted up another batch, different blend, seemed to roast very quickly compared to the other blends. Will see how this goes. This is the last of the 4 blends I purchased. I have found my favorite already, but will continue to get samples of other beans along side it to vary it and maybe discover something awesome along the way. It could be nice to carry a selection of single origin beans that would combine to make great blends or great on their own... Just a silly pipe dream though.

I'll be able to report on how the greens are holding up in the next post.

EbenBruyns (original poster)

#49: Post by EbenBruyns (original poster) »

Brewed 3 shots, even served one to a guest. They were blown away by what can be achieved on the water, so I guess that's something.

This last batch is not a blend I particularly care for. It's a rather in your face blend and I should probably roast the beans a bit darker. It's way too acidic for my liking. Nothing wrong with the greens as the shots look good to me visually, even if the taste isn't to my liking. I put this down to the blend more than anything else.

The admiral is just drinking a milky version of it and her assessment was "it's not terrible", which is high praise from someone who has not liked coffee her entire life...

The bellman is growing on me, I haven't made the mod yet and I'm starting to wonder if I need to....

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#50: Post by Marcelnl »

You may want to rest your roasts a day or 5 anyway, some greens just are in your face immediately after roasting and mellow down after a couple of days (takes longer the lighter your roast is).
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