Learning my Huky 500

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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bean2friends
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#1: Post by bean2friends »

I've been working hard to understand how to roast on my new Huky 500. I learned roasting mostly on an RK drum in a Weber gas grill. I had a K type thermocouple rigged to give me pretty consistent bean temperatures and roasted 2 pounds at a time. I got very quick responses to changes in gas input.
Now, I have lots more information with my Huky 500. I have ET and BT thermocouples giving me responses on my Roastmaster app. I have a the infrared stove - lpg powered and a powerful fan and I've been roasting 8 oz and 12 oz batches. Lot's going on and lots to learn. Also, thankfully there are many people here on HB that have shared their experiences so I've been spared some of the agony of the early users.
Anyhow, I've been struggling with roasts that took too long. Finally, I remembered Kfir had some advice on getting started and I went back to find it. Here's what he said:

"Batch size 250g, use single origin beans and not blends for start.
Preheat the roaster to 200c ET.
Heat power around 50%.
Drop the beans and start your timer.
Fan is closed for the drying phase until 150c.

When drying phase ends (should be around 4 minutes for this batch size), increase the power to 75% and turn the fan on for 6-7 seconds.

From now I suggest to turn the fan on for a 6-7 seconds every minute until the first crack and increase the heat power every minute up 10% till you reach the maximum power.

Around 185c BT start to lower the heat power to 75% and continue the fan routine up to first crack i.e. 6-7 seconds pulse every minute.

When you hear the first crack lower the heat to 25% for about a minute and open the fan for at least 30 seconds to slow the roast, pay attention to the speed of the cracks (too fast, too slow, loud etc.) and the bean temperature.
In this phase you should try achieve slow temperature increase in a way that you will get to 2'nd crack in 3-3.5 minutes or so, turn on the fan more frequently to remove chaff and draw smoke out (consider getting a fan speed controller) and the heat back to 50% until the end of the roast."

I took his advice today and had very good results. It gave me a little bit of a jagged ET curve when I bumped the fan and I don't like the looks of that, but, I'll work on it.

FWIW, I agree the design of the roaster is a little kludged. Still, since it's mine, I'm determined to like it and I'm convinced I can get good roasts from it.

I'm trying to get ready for September and October Roast & Learn and I've got some stellar Yemens from BoldJava in my stash that I want to get the most out of. So, I'd love to have any advice on different approaches.
Thanks,
DickC

Kfir
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#2: Post by Kfir »

Happy that the profile worked nicely for you, let's make 2 profiles for different batch sizes: 300g and 400-450g

300g

Preheat the roaster to 220-230c (ET), no airflow.
Turn around point usually at 1:35.
Drop the beans, keep the heat at 50% until BT=150c, no airflow (you can leave the "chimney" open).
At 150c BT (~3.5-4 minutes), increase the heat to 75% and use very low airflow or 6-7 sec of high airflow every minute.
at the start of FC (~198c BT, ~8-9 minutes) give a strong pulse of airflow for few seconds and reduce the heat to 50% till the end.

400-450g

Preheat the roaster to 270-280c (ET), no airflow.
Drop the beans, keep the heat at 70-75% until BT=150c, no airflow (you can leave the "chimney" open).
Turn around point usually at 1:35.
At 150c BT (~4.5-5 minutes), increase the heat to 95-100% and use very low airflow or 6-7 sec of high airflow every minute.
at the start of FC (~198c BT, ~10-11 minutes) give a strong pulse of airflow for few seconds and reduce the heat to 70-75% till the end.

For espresso roast I suggest to drop the roast near full city or full city+ usually about 3 minutes development time (drop temp for FC ~224c, FC+ ~228c).
For pour over roast I suggest to drop the roast near city+ usually about 1.5-2 minutes development time (drop temp ~215c).

Give the coffee at least 5-6 days rest and sometimes it tastes even better after 8-9 days.

kludged or not this roaster makes fantastic coffee, I really recommend trying the perforated drum as well.

Enjoy!
Kfir.

EDIT:
bean2friends wrote:It gave me a little bit of a jagged ET curve when I bumped the fan and I don't like the looks of that, but, I'll work on it.
The strong airflow pulses increase the ET so your curve doesn't look nice but they work.
If you get a fan speed controller and use constant low airflow from 150c till the end of the roast your ET curve will look normal - try it.

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bean2friends (original poster)
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#3: Post by bean2friends (original poster) »

Most excellent Kfir. This is what I was hoping for. Actually, I do have a Variac and thus the ability to maintain even air flow and on a second roast I did just that, but I had turned the heat to low as possible to cool the beast down and forgot to turn it back up. So I kept playing catch up the rest of the roast. Still, it came out ok.
Kfir wrote: kludged or not this roaster makes fantastic coffee, I really recommend trying the perforated drum as well.
And, my roasting has all been on the perforated drum so far with the perforations closed. I'm enjoying a cup of Kenya Murang'a Kayu peaberry roasted on the Huky as I write this.

Thanks Kfir.

DickC

Kfir
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#4: Post by Kfir »

Open the lower shutter, allow the heat to radiate inside.

Maybe you have a higher gas pressure than I do since I don't use a gas tank, If you feel the roast is advancing too fast try reducing 10-15% of the heat from my suggested profile to all stages of the roast.
I am sure that by fine tuning the heat and air you will find the balance point.

I advise you to roast as much as you can to get a feel for the roaster, pay attention to the BT, color/smell of the beans, use your senses and ditch the graphs and the computer until you'll get comfortable with the roaster.

Kfir.

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bean2friends (original poster)
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#5: Post by bean2friends (original poster) »

Kfir wrote:
I advise you to roast as much as you can to get a feel for the roaster, pay attention to the BT, color/smell of the beans, use your senses and ditch the graphs and the computer until you'll get comfortable with the roaster.

Kfir.

Good advice.

Thanks,
DickC

SJM
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#6: Post by SJM »

Hey, guys, can you translate those "heat percentages" for me?

My IR stove has three primary settings: one flame, two flames, three flames.
The needle valve allows me to adjust within those by increasing or decreasing the pressure.
I've been keeping it at 2.5.

I'm not sure what 50% heat or 25% heat relates to in those settings.

Also, I haven't been able to ascertain any significant difference between the output of the stove at 2 and at 3 flames. Can anyone enlighten me on whether I'm just missing the difference or whether maybe there isn't one?
I have speculated that perhaps 1 flame is the inner coil, 2 flames is the outer coil, and 3 flames is both, but....???

Kfir
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#7: Post by Kfir »

I was reffering to the needle valve, I always keep the settings on max and only adjust the needle valve to control the heat.

When I say 50% I mean that if your gas pressure gauge shows 2.5 at max pressure (when the needle valve is fully open) then 50% = 1.25

Kfir.

SJM
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#8: Post by SJM »

Excellent. Thank you.

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bean2friends (original poster)
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#9: Post by bean2friends (original poster) »

Yeah, that's what I do. I go to about 2.7 max so, I try for 1/2 that for 50%.

GregR
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#10: Post by GregR »

This is an espresso profile that's been working very well the last dozen or so roasts- slightly different from Kfir's approach in that the air is always moving right from the start. I've got a dimmer on the fan so there's percentages for that, solid drum, fast motor, stock IR stove, one pound loads.
With the fan at 20% charge at 425F/218, stove at 2.5kpa. Turn is always right about 1:40 and dry at about 4:00/290/143. At that point I raise the fan to 50% for 20 seconds, stove still at 2.5kpa. At 325/163C stove is raised to 3.25kpa, fan still at 20%. At 365/185 stove drops to .66kpa, fan still at 20%. When first crack starts, usually a minute later, I drop the heat down even more- maybe .25kpa, fan still at 20%. As soon as first crack is over raise the fan to 100% and then coast. The roast ends with 4 minutes of development- so I keep an eye on the BT and if it's rising too fast I'll kill the heat altogether but usually it's pretty steady between 5-10F/min. End up around 420/216-425/218.
A note on the development stage-- I have the vented fan duct hose ran right to the intake area of a pretty strong range hood. I turn the range fan on at the beginning of first crack and I think that extra pull has an effect on ET in the roaster- so my temps and times may be significantly different than what others get.
For Sumatras I adjust a little bit and start at 405F, give it a little more fan after the dry end, raise the power at 345F, kill the heat altogether 30 seconds after first crack is over and drop with 4:30 development time. I've tried several other approaches for Sumatras and this has given me by far the best results.