Fresh Roast SR540 guide

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

#1: Post by chockfullofbutts »

Does anyone have a good link to roasting using the SR540?
I've had some success with Colombian beans but sometimes I'll switch over to something African and it seems like I'm just slow cooking the beans and not sure what I'm doing wrong.

synergicity

#2: Post by synergicity »

David Tatum, the owner of The Captain's Coffee, has made a number of videos with the Freshroast units. He uses only the built in capabilities of the units, no extra thermocouples or software. He covers different roast levels too. Highly recommend.

kennelcoffee

#3: Post by kennelcoffee »

As mentioned, you can google for YouTube videos of roasting with the SR800 and SR540 as they basically have the same approach, just vary in what they can handle as a charge weight.

I have an SR800 with the factory extension. The extension really allows for more bean movement and I often have to reduce fan settings early in the roast as it will really move the beans. I have roasted Brazils, Centrals, Indonesian and African coffee on this thing and even when I don't get it just right the results are always pretty good. I have done quite a bit of dark roasts with a focus on espresso but I'm now playing with doing some lighter roasts.

In any event, if you use Facebook at all, there is a FreshRoast group that is valuable, as well as The Captain's Coffee group where many of the members there use the SR540 and 800.

Besides making sure your power outlet is able to provide a full 120-121V to power your roaster fully I find it's better to start with high heat and high fan, F9 H9 and then lower the fan as necessary to keep the beans circulating. You don't want them bouncing up and down if you can help it, just circulating well. Watch your color changes. As it moves into the yellow phase you've reached Dry End. It should start to brown and watch your time. Even the temperature from the base unit is valuable here. As the base unit starts to get around 450F you should be starting or very near First Crack. Listen closely for it and then watch your time. If you want to reduce the heat a bit as you enter FC you can, or just let it go and as soon as you get about 15 seconds with no cracks hit cool. That should give you a starting point for an African light roast and with the high heat you won't be baking anything.

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TigerStripes

#4: Post by TigerStripes »

kennelcoffee wrote: Besides making sure your power outlet is able to provide a full 120-121V to power your roaster fully I find it's better to start with high heat and high fan, F9 H9 and then lower the fan as necessary to keep the beans circulating. You don't want them bouncing up and down if you can help it, just circulating well. Watch your color changes. As it moves into the yellow phase you've reached Dry End. It should start to brown and watch your time. Even the temperature from the base unit is valuable here. As the base unit starts to get around 450F you should be starting or very near First Crack. Listen closely for it and then watch your time. If you want to reduce the heat a bit as you enter FC you can, or just let it go and as soon as you get about 15 seconds with no cracks hit cool. That should give you a starting point for an African light roast and with the high heat you won't be baking anything.
I just wanted to second this method. I have a FR540 with an extension tube and this is basically exactly what I do.

I leave at heat 9 the entire roast.

Fan 9 - start
Fan 8 - 3 minutes
Fan 7 - 5 minutes
Fan 6 - 6 minutes (optional, depends on the coffee)

I usually hit first crack around 6 minutes and drop a minute or a minute and a half after first crack really begins.

I stick a knife inside the extension tube while roasting, and this prevents the beans from "jumping" in big clumps. The knife facilitates a more even rolling of the beans during roast.

Hope this helps - good luck!
LMWDP #715