Small vs Big Roaster - Page 3

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

GDM528 wrote:Even at 12-15 minutes, piloting a drum roaster on the fly still sounds very challenging to master. I wonder: do drum roaster pilots drink coffee just before roasting coffee?
Definitely :lol:.

However, it isn't constant attention throughout the roast. In, say, a 5-4-x light to medium roast (no second crack), the five minutes from loading to yellow doesn't require much attention. The four minutes from yellow to 1st crack is slowly lowering heat to gradually reduce the rate of rise, which is terrifying as: from about a minute before first crack through to drop you are an observer if you lowered the heat beforehand just right. Once first crack starts, you just work the trier and concentrate on when to drop. If you didn't get everything just right, then you try to drop during the RoR crash and before the flick and pretend that you wanted to do a "Nordic roast" the whole time :D.

At least, that's how it works on my roaster. (I end up doing "Nordic roasts" pretty often :oops:.)

As for when to drop, I do what Neal Wilson does and pull samples during the first full roast: https://video.typica.us/videos/watch/c9 ... b9077d09fb - although, unlike the video, I just have the phone videoing the whole thing and I figure out times afterwards. What is your approach to coffee profiling?
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Jonk
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#22: Post by Jonk »

Brewzologist wrote:If I were to summarize, you found the KL repeatable. But the process of roasting with the KL (Ikawa too) requires trying a profile and seeing what comes out, vs with a drum roaster where you can manually tweak the roast in real time to get an acceptable result. I get this by way of analogy having used a DE1 and a manual lever for espresso. I learned a lot from DE1's data, but found I could reproduce my favorite shot profiles on a manual lever too, with the manual lever being perhaps a bit more forgiving because I could more easily adjust during a shot pull than with the DE1.
That's a good summary :D and nice analogy!

Last time I checked you couldn't even view graphs in real time with the KL. I think they'll add that feature to the connect version eventually, but the current RoR curve displayed by the software still wouldn't help determine when to end a roast.
Brewzologist wrote:Have you gone back to roasting light on the Quest then? Are you able to get better light roasts on it vs. the KL? (IMO many uber light roasts need a lot of rest regardless of the machine they're roasted on).
Yes. A cheat I like to use is to allow the beans to crash (if they want to :wink:) after FC and just drop before any serious flick. (hah, I see I'm not the only one :lol:). Not uber light, by my standards, but light medium at most?

It happened more than once that greens I* wasn't able to find a nice medium or light profile for turned out tasting just fine first try with the Quest. The key to wasting less greens on the KL for me would be the opposite direction: buy bulk after finding a great profile. That'd outperform the Quest by a mile.

*Not saying it couldn't be done, just that I couldn't.

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drgary
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#23: Post by drgary »

gdm528 wrote:Even at 12-15 minutes, piloting a drum roaster on the fly still sounds very challenging to master. I wonder: do drum roaster pilots drink coffee just before roasting coffee?
After awhile you've pretty much standardized your temperature, fan and maybe other adjustments, so you anticipate them, especially if doing a modified roast for the same green. On the next roast you may decide to decrease power a bit less, and so on. Is it as easy as changing the Ikawa profile for the next batch? NO! That's one of the reasons I really like the Ikawa. But I'm not about to do a holiday roast for friends and family on an Ikawa when I can roast a kilo at a time in my North roaster.
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Capuchin Monk
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#24: Post by Capuchin Monk »

Milligan wrote:I primarily use the Ikawa to roast green samples sent to me by green suppliers. They typically send 250g-1lb of coffee to sample depending on the supplier. I usually do a medium-light roast first and quickly weed out the bad. Then with what is left I'll do another round of roasts where I roast the beans to their intended roast level depending on where I'm wanting to slot the beans in my offerings. When the beans I decided to buy come in I'll do a few roasts on the Cormorant to get to know them, share them with my tasters, and decide on a final roast level. Then they move to the USRC which I've developed a few roast profiles that I tweak depending on what I found on the Cormorant. I also adjust the phases and drop temp as well. I tend to iterate over the next few roasts to make it "perfect."

I do use the Ikawa sometimes to play with personal higher end greens that I only get small amounts of. I wouldn't want to send the only pound of $30 Geisha through the Cormorant hoping for the best so I divide it into smaller roasts on the Ikawa. For example, I had Hacea's Cherry Madness on the shelf for a couple of months that I was looking forward to and finally had time to roast it. I decided to put it through the Cormorant and use a nice light-medium profile that I thought would work. I dumped the beans in and started roasting. Instantly the TP was too low and it was struggling to take off. I applied more heat and it still wasn't recovering well. Finally around dry end I realized Hacea changed their small bag portions from 454g to 500g. I had 10% more beans in the machine than I realized. Totally threw the roast off. I should have used the Ikawa! Even if I had made a dumb mistake on the Ikawa and ruined a roast then I would have had several more to try :oops:

I wouldn't say I use the Cormorant to dial-in the USRC to a fine degree. It helps me be informed about how a certain coffee may react, what roast level to target, how much gas it may need, etc. It gives me some base line idea of the coffee that I can translate to my USRC. As I've said, the USRC is more forgiving than the Cormorant so I find a lot of times I don't have any trouble areas like I may have had with the Cormorant.
As for sample roasting, I thought this video mentions an interesting concept that they roast all incoming beans the same way and see how they taste, then they can judge on whether it would be good as light, medium or dark roast.

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drgary
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#25: Post by drgary »

Milligan wrote:I usually do a medium-light roast first and quickly weed out the bad.
Isn't he saying the same thing? What follows is profile sample roasting.
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Milligan
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#26: Post by Milligan »

Yes, that is what I do. All get roasted a medium-light, weeded out, and then roasted to their intended target to further taste.

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LBIespresso
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#27: Post by LBIespresso »

So would it be correct to say that the Ikawa and the like are good at finding where you might want to take a coffee and what flavors to try to get out of it at certain roast levels but don't really give you a map to get there. And that the small barrel roaster can give you a map that still needs translating to a larger roaster?

This all makes sense to me but I only have real experience on a Cormorant.
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mikelipino
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#28: Post by mikelipino »

For my coffee consumption, I prefer to go with a medium sized roaster. My primary is an SR800 with the 12-in Razzo extension. This has a batch size of 280 g, so I roast once every 3 weeks or so. This means that I am consuming a previous roast while allowing the last roast to rest. This is a good cadence for espresso. Any more than this batch size, and I'd have beans sitting on the counter past their optimal freshness.

With this SR setup, the Razzo tube has a port for a thermocouple and I have it fully kitted out to roast with Artisan. So I have the repeatability of temperature logging while maintaining control over the roast. While I see the appeal of a more automated setup with an Ikawa or KL, it's not really for me. Also I can't justify the 5x+ price tag paired with the capacity limitations.

Before the SR, I was roasting on the Popper with its 100 g (actually 90 g worked best for me) capacity, doing 3 batches at a sitting. It was still less time (<30 min) than it would take to roast the same amount on a drum, accounting for heat up time, but I much prefer roasting one batch in under 10 min. I do like having the Popper around though to do comparative cupping roasts at 90 g to waste less coffee, or to finish up the ends of the bag under the 280 g optimal batch of the SR.

Both produce coffee that I'm quite pleased with, and to my taste stands up to all but the fanciest coffees (and most expensive, so I don't do these often) I've had from online roasters. Unless my needs change and I need to roast a bunch more coffee in a single batch, I don't see myself switching to a drum roaster.

Milligan
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#29: Post by Milligan »

LBIespresso wrote:So would it be correct to say that the Ikawa and the like are good at finding where you might want to take a coffee and what flavors to try to get out of it at certain roast levels but don't really give you a map to get there. And that the small barrel roaster can give you a map that still needs translating to a larger roaster?

This all makes sense to me but I only have real experience on a Cormorant.
I'd say, for me, the Ikawa is best at weeding out coffees. I can line up 8 samples and be done roasting with very little attention given to them in a bit over an hour. Have them rest overnight or so and cup. I'm mostly looking for baggy, paper, vegetal, musty, bland, woody, and other off-notes. Some get special attention, like Sumatra which tastes like green peppers unless roasted to 2nd crack...

That gives me a solid idea on the coffees for the most part. Then I'll do one more to taste where I'd slot it into the line up. For example, a natural brazil would be taken to a medium, Sumatra medium-dark to dark, Costa Rican washed light to medium-light, etc.

But to answer your question, the Ikawa can represent a coffee at a certain roast level but it doesn't help at all to spend time profiling it on the Ikawa to try to dial in my other roasters. It can only tell me if it has potential enough to buy.

I have thought that it would be nice if Ikawa came out with a 1kg, 5kg, and 20kg roaster that translated from their sample roaster. That would be such an efficient process! Dial in an 80g sample and then be able to dump 8lbs in the shop roaster, off to the races. I think Roest is eventually going in that direction from what I have read.

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#30: Post by Jimmy_The_Saint »

Milligan wrote: I have thought that it would be nice if Ikawa came out with a 1kg, 5kg, and 20kg roaster that translated from their sample roaster.
Possibly something in the works although seems like very early stages:

https://dailycoffeenews.com/2023/08/16/ ... velopment/