Smoky/Roasty notes on all of my coffee

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

#1: Post by Kojaraty »

I have an issue where all of my roasts using Giesen W6A (6KG) tastes smokey/roasty even after ten days of roasting. Its making all of my coffee masked with these notes and making the cup feeling unclean and takes over the good notes of coffee. I can taste these notes the first thing when taking a sip of the coffee then I can taste the true notes of the coffee origins.

All of my roast batch size are 2KG with roast duration of 10+ minutes. Could the small batch size and 10+ minutes duration of roasting cause this issue? Or am I using low air pressure? Or am I tasting the coffee too soon? I am confused :?

I hope someone can help me with this because I tried everything.

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#2: Post by Almico »

First thing I would think is airflow. When you pull the trier, is air being sucked in to the roaster? Hold a flame to the opening and see if it bends in.

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Kojaraty (original poster)

#3: Post by Kojaraty (original poster) » replying to Almico »

Yes air is being sucked even at the lowest air settings. I am usually putting 110pa air pressure which is the recommended default setting by the manufacturer

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#4: Post by bicktrav »

I'm not aware of any roast particular that causes smokiness apart from smoke. I know you've got the air set to the manufacturer's recommendation, but if you're getting smoky coffee, that setting can't be adequate. I would increase your air to maximize smoke abatement. The other possibility is that you're mistaking smoke for another tone, e.g., roasty, which would likely tether to a development/total roast time issue. Your curve went flat starting in Maillard and into Development. That might also be causing off flavors that you're confusing for smokiness, although the most likely flavor outcome there would be baked, which is pretty different than smoky.

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#5: Post by Kojaraty (original poster) » replying to bicktrav »

Most of my batches are 2kg and my machine capacity is 6KG . Should the roast duration be shorter since I am using small batch size? Does longer roast time means more roasty notes?

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#6: Post by TomC »

Have you tried closer to 6 kilos?

2 Kilos in a 6 kilo roaster of that size means more bean contact to the drum, longer than if it were closer to normal batch size. It might be this, paired with insufficient airflow giving you that smoky note, since the surface of the bean is getting more conductive heat transfer at the lower batch size.

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#7: Post by bicktrav »

Kojaraty wrote:Most of my batches are 2kg and my machine capacity is 6KG . Should the roast duration be shorter since I am using small batch size? Does longer roast time means more roasty notes?
That's a good question. I've performed minimal batch roasts on my San Franciscan with short and long total roast times -- the former being a total of 8-9 minutes, the latter a total of 11-12 minutes. Both can produce great coffee; neither have produced smoky roasts. Unless you're roasting an extremely rustic bean (Yemen can have notes that flirt with smoky), smokiness only comes from one thing: too much smoke in the drum. And too much smoke in the drum only comes from one thing: inadequate airflow. Total roast time doesn't affect smokiness, but it can affect things like acid vs. sweetness. I only bring it up because I wonder whether it's possible that you're mistaking certain flavor notes for smoky, when they are something different.

If you perform a lighter test, and the air sucks the flame into the trier at an angle of somewhere between 45 and 90 degrees, it's unlikely you have excess smoke in your drum. Another way to check is to pull the trier during development and see whether any threads waft out from the hole (not from the beans in the trier, which can puff smoke smoke, but from the trier hole itself). If your airflow passes a lighter test and you're not getting any smoke coming out of the hole during development, I don't think it's really possible that you're smoking out your coffee. In that case, I would question whether you're experiencing a different roast defect as smokiness.

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#8: Post by mkane »

Could be along the lines of scorched beans from to hot a drum and long bean contact as Tom C thought.

If I use a charge temp even close to 400°with a small load the beans tip and scorch.
I have yet to figure out if it's cost effective just to stick to 70% of maximum load or take a chance and keep trying 50% of max.

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#9: Post by Almico »

IIRC, Geisen does weird things with airflow. The machine runs on pressure rather than the volume of air. With less beans, the roaster might "see" more airflow and turn down the pressure. Turn it up and see what happens.


#10: Post by pcofftenyo »

Since we're throwing out thoughts, I'm wondering if your temps are actually different than what you think?

When I roast loads that are 250 grams or less on my 500 gram Huky my temp readings are flat incorrect. Its bad at 200g and 150g is nearly impossible, which is 30%

There is less bean mass around the probes and I have to do it old school - timer and tryer. Its more wing and prayer actually. I know this probably says more about me than anything, but I can't use the same feedback system as with a fuller charge, 60% seems to be the solid minimum. Someone else alluded to it.