First roast with Hive

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
Posts: 23
Joined: 2 years ago

#1: Post by H175Driver »

Hello all,
After looking at lots of forum posts and many YouTube videos I decided to bite the bullet and try roasting my own beans.
I elected to start cautiously and ordered myself the basic Hive roaster along with a cheap and cheerful camping stove for my local camping shop and an IR temperature gun from Amazon. I also got advice from the roaster that I get the majority of my beans from and ordered 2 kg of El Carmen Colombian green beans to get me going.
The Hive arrived on Friday so I dived straight in not knowing what to expect.
Basically, great fun!
After doing a trial roast to get the hive seasoned I did two batches of 150g using an online coffee roasting timer on my iPhone along with a torch and the IR temperature gun. In preparation, I had already made myself a coffee roasting log on Microsoft Word so that I could note down the timings of the significant phases as well as take a note of the temperature and calculate rate of rise.
It became very clear quite quickly that there was no way I was going to be writing down any temperatures or calculating any rate of rise! I felt like a blind headless chicken trying to constantly shake the beans whilst pointing a temperature gun into the small hole at the top of the Hive!

However, I am pretty happy with the results and both batches were fairly consistent.
I am a novice so had a rough guess when the drying phase was and also waited for several cracks before calling first crack.
I managed to get to 5 minutes for the drying phase and first crack was at 8 minutes 40 seconds and I gave both batches of development Time of 1 minute 30 seconds or roughly 15% which I thought would give me a lighter roast but in actual fact gave me a medium roast which makes me think I was holding the hive too close to the flame during the development phase. Both batches lost about 15.5% in weight when I put them on the scales after cooling.
I put the beans in resealable valved bags and waited a couple of days. So this morning I made a V60 Brew and then later I also pulled an espresso shot with my La Pavoni.
So happy with the results. I know I have a lot to learn but these first two batches are pretty good, no bitterness and there is sweetness in both the V60 and espresso and most importantly they are really nice to drink! I'm glad that I went basic to start off with, I did contemplate buying a more expensive machine but I think I'm going to learn more by doing this method. I am sure that I will experiment with other beans and make mistakes along the way but that is half the fun. All I need to do now is find a way of taking the temperature readings whilst I am roasting! Any advice with that would be very much appreciated.


Posts: 9
Joined: 2 years ago

#2: Post by wilsonywx »

This is a somewhat different question, but when did you order it? How long did it take you to receive?

On their website it seems to be consistently out of stock, and when I use the chat function to inquire, I never got a response. Lately when I check the site, it is still oos, but they now have a banner saying they are "constantly manufacturing" and adding inventory.

H175Driver (original poster)
Posts: 23
Joined: 2 years ago

#3: Post by H175Driver (original poster) »

I ordered mine on 24th May , despatched on 29th and arrived in the UK just over a week later.
When I went on the website it was the only option not sold out. I have been checking their website ever since because I was thinking of adding the Data Dome but nothing seems available. I'm assuming that as they are a small operation it takes a while to build enough units again.
They do have a European reseller that has some stock but they are much more expensive and no longer sell to the UK!
Also, like you I tried to get in touch with them by email but I didn't get a response.

It's a shame as it is good fun to use.
I'm now planning to fit my own thermocouple to the dome so that I can get temperature readings and have a little more control over my roasts.


Posts: 2
Joined: 3 years ago

#4: Post by loveshackdave »

I started learning to roast on the Hive, it can make some excellent coffee. I highly recommend getting the data dome for Artisan support, you will be able to mark events like DE and FC easily. One of the best advantages of the Hive is that it has a low thermal mass and is therefore capable of very nimble temperature changes. This makes it super easy to follow a plotted roast profile in Artisan but that is only possible if you have the data dome, without it you are missing out. Getting your eyes on the beans is next to impossible on the hive so go by smell to determine DE and when to drop. A few tips that I picked up using the hive: Preheat the hive before adding beans and use a metal funnel to add them through the top hole quickly. Airflow is a bit tricky but it is possible to gain some control over it. When first crack hits I like to lay off the delta BT but increase airflow to pull the smoke off of the beans. To do this, you can turn your gas all the way up and raise the hive higher above the gas. This will start to cool it down and the temperature differential will create some airflow. That way you can enter FC with a lower RoR in order to hit the proper development ratio for lighter roasts.

H175Driver (original poster)
Posts: 23
Joined: 2 years ago

#5: Post by H175Driver (original poster) »

Thank you very much for the advice. I think you are right, the data dome is the way to go with the Hive but because they are out of stock at the moment and have been for awhile I have decided to make my own from the standard dome. I have ordered a Phidget thermocouple and M12 mounting nut and in the short term I am going to connect them to a cheap K type thermometer so that I can get more control over my roasts by knowing the temperature.
I am pretty sure that eventually I will change the thermometer and replace it with the Phidgets required to connect to Artisan but as I am only a month into learning to roast I am trying to take it in stages and the thermometer is only $10 if I decide to remove it and upgrade.

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#6: Post by Jonk »

I have the data dome, but I'm not entirely sure how useful it is. This is one of the "prettier" graphs I have gotten with it:

As you can see there's quite a bit of noise and variability inherent to shaking the Hive (I prefer to shake it quite fast - it's a workout!).
Pre-heating sure helps to cut down on overall roast time without having to go overboard with the flame. Some of the fluctuation might actually be due to the stove itself. I prefer to keep the flame 'constant' throughout the roast because even tiny changes can have too much impact. Interesting idea about cranking it way up after FC, I just tend to move the Hive slightly higher. I think having a thermocouple (or better, RTD) helps most of all with determining when to drop the roast.

Overall it's a fun device that quickly and easily can deliver very good roasts. I wouldn't hold my breath about repeating a batch though :D