Huky Roast and Learn ... Prisoner exchange edition

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
Rickpatbrown
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Joined: 4 years ago

#1: Post by Rickpatbrown »

Updates are in reverse chronological order. Original post is at the bottom (after Jan 3rd update)

May 18th update
We are finally getting around to reporting on our big experiment. Chert starts us off at post #130 Huky Roast and Learn ... Prisoner exchange edition

March 1st update
After a few delays, we finally roasted and shipped beans out. Most roasts were February 25th/26th and shipped Monday/Tuesday the 27th/28th. I received my first package today, March 1st.
We are talking about cupping and stuff on page 12

Shipping $ details:
4 samples priority in a small padded envelope costed about $30, which included 4 x $2.00 for the bubble envelope. The package to Canada was $13 plus a $2 envelope ... not bad. We are still trying to figure out the trip to Europe, but we decided to send all samples to a single US location and repackage and send to/from Netherlands. Had a snag with the incoming package being rejected by DHL do to lack of prior FDA clearance on coffee beans :x But they will be resent with another method.

We have already started to receive each others packages. Domestic mail seems pretty good for this exercise.

January 29th update
Most of participants have received their coffee and had a chance at 1 or 2 sessions. Trying to figure out shipping considerations, since two participants are outside the US.

Hopefully, we can get everything roasted and distributed for tasting before the end of February.


January 12th update
Looks like most orders have been placed. I think most are in the 10lb range. Thanks Flint for reaching out to Showroom!

Our finalized roster looks something like:
Rickpatbrown
Chert
Marcelnl
Chuckcoffee
LBIespresso
Milligan
Shotclock

I'm gonna get a couple sessions under my belt to get the broad strokes of this bean in the coming week. We will finalize a final roast day with shipping samples, but I suspect it will be 3 or 4 weeks from now, depending on everyone's schedules.

January 9th update
Anyone interested to play along ... We are buying this coffee https://showroomcoffee.com/product/koss ... estate-b2/

It's up to you to decide how much effort and weight you want to put into this. A quick estimate of one or two trial sessions with 3 batches each, plus the samples that you want to mail out ... 9 batches total. For 325-350 g a batch, this needs 7lbs. If you want some extra to play with to try and match others' profiles, I suggest 10lbs.

We should order these ASAP so that everyone can get them and prepare to roast final versions by the last week of January.

January 4th Update:

Goal Statement: To evaluate the effect of roast profile on the flavor of beans.

I want to answer the question of why my coffee is not more excellent. Is it the green? Is it the brew? Is it the roast? This experiment will focus on the roast. Minimizing variables to exclude extraneous effects is paramount. This is why I've tried to limit it to Huky users (plus it's self serving since I can directly apply what we learn).

Other questions will fall under guidance of practicability. We can't let this get too complicated, or it won't work.


January 3rd Update:
Ok. Holidays are over! Let's get cracking! I started a Google Doc that might be a little easier to communicate with than the forum. As you may have guessed, I'm going to update in a running blog style here on the first page, where it's easiest to find.

I think most things should be decided by simple majority if practical. I mean, what could go wrong in a democracy, right? :roll:

1) We need commitment from all those who want to participate. I've listed the screennames in the Google Doc for all those who suggested they were interested. Please let me know for the few others who commented in the thread if they intended on participating. If everyone is committed, we already have quite a lot of participants. We will have to think about how to manage this, since each participant adds $ to the shipping costs and affects how much coffee is purchased, distributed and then how much roasted coffee everyone gets in the end. Currently, there are 2 people outside the US who expressed interest. I'd like to include them, but if this makes it too expensive for people, I might leave them off the final roster. I think there is room for people to participate on their own, without receiving the final roasted samples to cup. In other words, anyone who wants to receive the green coffee, I'm happy to distribute it to them at their cost.

2) We need to pick coffee. We can either do a trial run as Chert suggested, where everyone roasts and distributes something that they have on hand ... or we can just go for the full experiment. You will see in the Google Doc spots to vote yes or no. If you want to go straight for the full experiment, vote "no" for trial run.

I put a link for a Crown Jewel in the Google Doc. But, to be honest, I haven't looked very hard.

What are we looking for in a coffee here? Do we want just a super delicious coffee? Or do we want one that is versatile and dynamic at different roast profiles? Marcelinl mentioned he is strictly espresso. I LOVE espresso, but this makes the amount needed to distribute higher (how many 16g shots to dial in?). This also affects what kind of green we pick.

I really love naturals and it was a face-full of strawberry/blueberry natural Yirg that inspired me to start this thread. I realize, though that berry bombs are hard to find and that naturals are trickier to roast (maybe good for this experiment? Idk). With that in mind, maybe it's better to start with a washed coffee. I'll be honest, I'm rarely overly impressed with washed coffee. I don't have the most sensitive pallet, so the loud naturals get more focus for me. I do love Kenyas and the roasted George Howell Mamuto AA https://georgehowellcoffee.com/products ... aa-ken-001 is a benchmark of excellence for me. We missed todays roast deadline to order, though.

I suggest looking at Royal Crown's offerings. 22lb Crown Jewels are usually pretty impressive to me. If we need more, their newer size offering Crown Jem comes in 50lb boxes. The tasting notes are more sparse for the Jems. Maybe I can reach out to Royal Crown if we decide on washed vs natural and see if they have any suggestions. Let me know if you have regional suggestion (I prefer African coffee or Colombia as a second vote). But mostly, I want something that is FRESH. I'm shocked when people say greens are good for a year. The first 2-3 months are always the most delicious.

Once these items are finalized, we can talk about timing and execution.
-Guidelines for roasting? If any.
-Cupping/brewing?
-Do we do this live? Zoom, Discord, other? Or do we come up with a scoring rubric?

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Original Post:


So, I'm begining to come to the conclusion that I'm not the greatest roaster out there. I was traveling last month and had some really stellar coffee and can't help but wonder ... Is it the green coffee? The preparation? Or the ROAST??!!

I feel like I'm in a rut, where I roast 6 different beans each session all sort of the same profile. Coffee is good, but I'm sure it could be better.

I'm wondering if a couple other Huky roasters want to combine our experience and see if we can learn something. The plan would go something like this:

1) ~5 of us pick a Crown Jewel and distribute among us.
2) We all roast ours in different ways (Maybe fast, medium and slow roast times ... Or maybe no guidance whatsoever).
3) Pick your 3 favorite roast and send to the other 4 people.
4) Then, we all cup them and discuss, see if there are some standout roasts in the lot.

I worry about the complexity of such an experiment. It would require people to roast, ship and cup on very strict days, so that we can compare. But overall, I think it would be fun.

Let me know what y'all think and if this is something you'd like to try.

Capuchin Monk
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#2: Post by Capuchin Monk »

Rickpatbrown wrote:I feel like I'm in a rut, where I roast 6 different beans each session all sort of the same profile. Coffee is good, but I'm sure it could be better.
Do you have Artisan graph of those that you can share?

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Brewzologist
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#3: Post by Brewzologist »

I'm in a similar state with roasting. But unlike you I haven't found a lot of stellar coffees elsewhere, save the Saka I got recently that is one of the best classic espressos I've tried.

I made a lot of gains in roasting, brewing and storage in the past where I could taste the improvements. In recent years I've plateaued, but that might just reflect that I'm drinking really good coffee most of the time. Leaves me wondering if it's just incremental improvements for me going forward? Or if I should be more aggressively roasting again (like Flint does) to see if I can get to another level?

Marcelnl
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#4: Post by Marcelnl »

Sounds familiar, I'm at a point where I would want to compare 'notes', yet shipping overseas is expensive and takes a while...if this was a EU exercise I'd be all over it.
LMWDP #483

genecounts
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#5: Post by genecounts »

Hey Rick and guys. Used to have roasting competitions years ago on Home Roasters when had my Gene Cafe. It was super helpful but had entries with no restrictions on what machine or method we used. This roasting by the "seat of my pants" was crucial when got my Huky.
Some of you may remember when I organized a group buy of around a dozen Huky machines from Mr. Li in Taiwan. Then suddenly informed everyone group buy was off just when getting ready to pull trigger. Many of you were angry and devastated. Boy did I hear it!!
The story behind the story?: Someone had gotten hold of me with a sob story. I'm a sucker. Poor Mr. Li was already discounting til he was really hurting, etc, sob, sob. Sorry for digressing.
Today would be difficult to roast on Huky without Artisan. I don't have all the bells and whistles with Artisan but to know temps and waypoints sure makes roasting easy and predictable. When first starting to roast on Huky had tons of help. Wish could remember names but young man from Sweden was super helpful. He convinced me to start out low and but have to max out heat by 1 min mark with TP slightly late. Then along comes info re Scott R and the need to control ROR steadily. Maybe that is why feel like I have plateaued in recent years and could use this knowledge.

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Chert
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#6: Post by Chert »

I'm also game.

I love the roast and swap.

The detail of goal is a question.

I suggest round one be : roast a coffee you like and how you like it. Repeat. And ship to the others next day. In US less than 13 oz in small padded envelope was ~$7 a few weeks ago.

Maybe a google meet up taste and chat could be fun after we all have the roasted coffee.

If there is one single person over seas, I'd be happy to ship a portion of my received roasts.
LMWDP #198

Rickpatbrown (original poster)
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#7: Post by Rickpatbrown (original poster) replying to Chert »

Does anyone know of a less expensive way to ship?
I'm totally willing to pay (4 x $7) + (4 x $7) to ship green and then roasted ... But it's getting a little on the expensive side. I'd also be open to looking into shipping one internationally, depending on the details ... But maybe he could be just a taster.

Flint's suggestion of sharing something we already have is a less expensive ( only one (4 x $7)) and much simpler. But I don't know if I'd learn as much. It might illustrate that my water sucks or I can't taste anything except the loudest of naturals, lol.

Marcelnl
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#8: Post by Marcelnl »

Just found the new postal tariffs, turns out that anything up tp 500grams will cost like 10 euro, so unless we are doing this in a huge group I'll swing it (I thought that cost of shipping would be twice as high)
I bet it's well worth that sort of investment!

Only challenge I see is that my typical batches are 400g green, my grinder is usually good to go without any adjustment so I would likely be able to work with something like 50g but that would require some prior knowledge of ideal brew temp as it leaves little room to investigate. Perhaps it is best to do a couple of identical roasts and mix these to enlarge batch size while ensuring homogenity.

One minor hurdle is that I'm in the middle of moving to our new house, I can cope with roasting the coffee we need but doing anything larger will have to wait until end of Jan.
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Rickpatbrown (original poster)
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#9: Post by Rickpatbrown (original poster) »

Marcelnl wrote: Only challenge I see is that my typical batches are 400g green, my grinder is usually good to go without any adjustment so I would likely be able to work with something like 50g but that would require some prior knowledge of ideal brew temp as it leaves little room to investigate. Perhaps it is best to do a couple of identical roasts and mix these to enlarge batch size while ensuring homogenity.

One minor hurdle is that I'm in the middle of moving to our new house, I can cope with roasting the coffee we need but doing anything larger will have to wait until end of Jan.
If we order a Crown Jewel, it will be a couple weeks to get everything redistributed. Plus, I'm not going to have time until after the holidays. If we do a round of Flint's idea (random coffees that we all have already), that could happen quicker. I suspect we are talking about late Jan, early February time frame here.

I envision 5 participants. I roast at 350g so that 5lbs get any even batch number. After roasting, I'm down to about 300g. Split 5 ways is 60g each.

I'd take 60g from each of my batches and send them to the other participants. 3-5 x 60 gram samples. I thought we'd cup (standard cupping protocol) them using 10g's of coffee. In this way, grind doesn't matter so much. It's an immersion technique that is super simple and easy to compare 3-5 x 5 cups at once. Coming up with 15 -25 cups to do this will be the hard part, lol.

But with 60 g of each batch, you could easily split cupping sessions or even have enough for a full brew (smallest I do is 25g in a smaller V60 with 250 grams of water).

Marcelnl
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#10: Post by Marcelnl »

I guess we should do both if we want to maximize the learning experience; we all roast a green we have in stock and compare notes and then order a crown jewel and roast that and compare notes.
The first rounds sort of sets expectations of what everyone thinks is a good bean and roast but given the diversity in beans conclusions can not be drawn, the second round compares the same bean and should allow conclusions to be drawn and lessons to be learned (both in roasting and about taste), we probably need a fair amount of that crown jewel to tune in the roast...
LMWDP #483