Learning to roast in the Neapolitan style

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

With all of the innovative roasting styles in recent years, some of us have turned toward enjoying well-done Italian roasts. This has included developing an enthusiastic following for Saka Caffè roasts after Ryan Lee graciously has distributed freshly imported coffees. Yesterday HB member EddyQ expressed interest in learning to roast in this style. His post coincided with my recently trying a roasting method recommended by professional roaster and teacher Neal Wilson, and it came pretty close to Saka, although I'm not attempting their blend of beans. Essentially Neal Wilson approaches roasts to 2nd crack by introducing an increasing rate of rise (ROR) after first crack, a departure from the Scott Rao approach of steadily declining ROR applied to light to medium roasts. This preserves sweetness and nuance while introducing dark roast flavors. Here's his extended quote, which has received many Helpful votes by members:
N3Roaster wrote:I'd start by removing the constraint on declining rate and suggest not being afraid of cranking up the heat moving out of the range between first and second crack. Especially if you're planning to go substantially beyond the start of 2C, taking that part of the roast faster lets you get to the higher temperatures where the chemical changes you want out of a dark roast start while not spending so much time getting there that you completely destroy desirable flavors developed earlier in the roast.

The most popular roasting class I've been teaching lately has been one that explores lots of different profile shapes across a range of roasts, and my experience with that within the dark roast category is that what I've just described is preferred for dark roasts compared with the same coffee roasted to the same ending temperature following a strictly declining rate by almost all students in the class regardless of the coffee used for the exercise. If, after getting to that end point you want to try again to compare with what you've been trying to do, the experience from this different approach should give you a better sense of how much heat you need for that coffee in your machine going in and you can plot out a declining rate plan based on that which should make it easier to avoid premature stalling. Having that plan written down (or loaded into your data logger) will let you see where specifically you're deviating from the plan (if you're still having trouble), which makes it easier to troubleshoot those specific problematic points.
This is a roast where I attempted Neal's method. It's posted as a starting point for this conversation. The method unevenly roasts the beans, preserving some sweetness and acidity inside while developing darker roast characteristics at the surface. I've also dropped the roast 10 seconds into second crack (2C). As I learn this style I won't need the many adjustments to reach my goal, and I can avoid the pre 1C hump that caused a soft crash. Please contribute your attempts at emulating a coffee like Saka Gran Bar or their other coffees. I won't introduce Robusta into my blends because I don't tolerate the stimulants in it, although I believe that a percentage of good quality Robusta improves the taste and mouthfeel.

Gary
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EddyQ

#2: Post by EddyQ »

I am interested in how that turns out Gary. 37.5% DTR!

The last robusta I roasted had the profile below. I kept a moderate dry time and flew through Maillard. Hit FC with 20F/min RoR, which with most coffees I roast would certainly result with a horrid crash. But this robusta didn't crash at all. So I then flew through FC and ended the roast 3min post FC with 28% DTR. Notice the high drop temp!! I thought it was going to catch fire. I never quite heard 2C, but I suspect I was there or flew through it. But the beans did not come out oily. Even after a week they had only a spot or two of oil. And the good caramel sweetness of Saka was not pressent. Clearly, this was not the profile for a Saka (Neopolitan) roast.



I think next roast I may lengthen development time. Speed up dry, stretch the maillard slightly and develop for 4-5min ending with a noticeable 2C. Perhaps the profile would look similar to yours with a longer mallard. However, maybe a short maillard is also a good thing to do. Hmmm . . .
As you can tell, I am a little puzzled where to go next with this.
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drgary (original poster)
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#3: Post by drgary (original poster) »

Ed, it tastes very good, similar to Saka Gran Bar Top Selection but a bit less sweet. My overall goals were to give it adequate time in drying to develop body, achieve 1C with enough momentum to take it to 2C, and follow steadily declining ROR through at least part of 1C. The only flaw seems to be the hump before 1C. In his recent book on roasting best practices, Scott Rao writes that he is not concerned about the length of maillard.
Gary
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happycat

#4: Post by happycat »

Previous threads related to this topic (read them, sharing links)

How to roast darker
Is roasting darker about increased heat or longer time?

I'm following with interest.

I suppose I would be interested to read comparisons with the same bean of the stated method vs. charging hotter and maintaining the Rao style.
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EddyQ

#5: Post by EddyQ »

Looking more closely at your profile, your dry time is a little longer than mine. But your mailard time is almost identical. I mark EOY and you mark 300F, so this caused my first glance to look different. The big difference is the development time. What you say makes perfect sense.
However, I don't see much if any hump on your RoR before FC. Perhaps you could lower heat there a little, but then you risk loosing momentum.

I'm curious, was your beans very oily?
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EddyQ

#6: Post by EddyQ »

happycat wrote:Previous threads related to this topic (read them, sharing links)

How to roast darker
Is roasting darker about increased heat or longer time?
Yup, I followed those threads. A lot of theory and not a lot of roasting/tasting. I'm interested in specifically Neapolitan dark roasts identical to the Saka I have. Saka beans are shiny with oil, powerful lasting flavor, but sweet instead of burnt.

My profile above seems to be close to what roasting dark threads are saying to do. My temps got super high and time during development was rather short. But this did not result with something close to a Neapolitan roast. How come?

So another thought. My roast was 100% robusta. Gary roasted an India arabica. My robusta shot up in temps far faster than an arabica would during development. In fact, I usually hit 2C at 430-435F with arabica beans. This robusta roast came out of FC at 435F. Then it accelerated to 456F and I got no 2C or much oil on my beans. I am wondering if I NEED to pre-blend some arabica with the robusta in order to "manage" temperatures? Is that a wacky thought?? Saka is a blend and likely pre-blended before roasting. And all the Saka beans look identically roasted, with equal amounts of oil on each and the same darkness/color. Could pre-blending ensure the same roasting of different beans?
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happycat

#7: Post by happycat » replying to EddyQ »

Sounds interesting. Some good questions. I've never roasted robusta or with so much heat (except by accident).

I've always roasted separately then blended due to differences in bean size, density, etc. I moved into single origin multi-roast level blending to get the kind of variation in flavour and crema that you guys seem to be going for in a single roast by tweaking heat post FC.

I'm interested in trying both methods and comparing, if I see more from Gary.
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drgary (original poster)
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#8: Post by drgary (original poster) »

My beans are spotted with oil and now frozen. If I remember the Saka before freezing it had a mild sheen but didn't look very oiled. Some more about my roasting this profile, I have a perforated drum and pay more attention to ET for charging temperature. I charged hot and did a long soak to let heat penetrate the beans while giving them some loft, so the original heat is with the fan off and the beans are heated by the air as much as drum contact. Mysore Nuggets are also large beans with some density. They may resemble the Java component of Moka Java.
Gary
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vze26m98
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#9: Post by vze26m98 »

A bit off topic, but as a reference you might want to try a can of Illy's India "arabica selection": a pretty brilliant dark roast that's the basis for their Intenso blend, I believe.

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Almico

#10: Post by Almico »

So what are the goal parameters of this roast?

Total time?
Drop temp?
Time to yellow?
Time to FC?
Temp at FC for calibration purposes?

I plotted a 2C roast in Artisan designer and it seems I can hit 425* (55* over 1C) in 11 minutes and still keep the declining RoR. 2C starts at 418 on my roaster for most coffees.

From my experience, nothing good happens when the RoR goes up after 1C.

This is a screaming roast where 1C starts at 30*/min/min RoR. Might be fun, I'll try one.