Taming a fruit bomb roasting lighter?

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

#1: Post by Aguirre »

As I keep re-learning how to roast after moving from a Huky to a Loring, this week I was totally surprised by an unexpected result.

One of the most interesting coffees I currently have is a Costa Rica Alma Negra process, from Las Lajas Micromill - Central Valley region. I sourced this coffee from Cafe Imports and they had the following cupping notes in their listing:
Intense cooked blackberry and jammy raspberry with toffee and spices flavors. Strong boozy acidity and candy-like sweetness.
I found these descriptors to be very accurate, and the profile I had been using for this coffee was a light to light-medium roast, which was producing probably one of the most intense berry-flavored coffees I've ever roasted, to a point that was sometimes even a bit overwhelming, when brewed as pour-over (Hario V60).

That was leading me to think I should probably go a little darker to tame the boozy acidity and control the fruit power, but at the same time I was very curious to see how it would taste as an even lighter roast. And that's what I tried first.

To my surprise, what I experienced was a delicious, balanced, still very fruity but exceptionally enjoyable cup. The acidity is still there, but for some reason it's significantly less boozy, or I'd say not boozy at all. Tastes like a completely different coffee. In terms of drop temperature it was a mere -8F difference, (410F drop vs 418F on the old profile), but I have also significantly changed my approach, going for a much faster roast time - 8m28s total.

Here's my test curve, and I'm seriously thinking I'll keep this one moving forward.

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#2: Post by ShotClock »

That looks seriously light - are you able to consistently avoid under development at that roast level? Could you have done that on the huky?

Impressive stuff...

Aguirre (original poster)

#3: Post by Aguirre (original poster) »

Could I have done that on the Huky? Excellent question...

I could - and I would, as chasing light roasts has always been my thing - have gone very light on the Huky as well, but I don't think the end result would be comparable.

Also - I forgot to mention I have incorrectly logged FC and forgot to fix it in Artisan. The development should be more like 11% in this case.

And to your other question - I'm still new with the Loring to validate that statement with my own experience, but there seems to be a general agreement that Lorings (and fluid bed roasters in general) do a good job avoiding underdevelopment in light roasts. It has been the case for me so far.


#4: Post by Marcelnl »

ShotClock wrote:That looks seriously light - are you able to consistently avoid under development at that roast level? Could you have done that on the huky?

Impressive stuff...
Initially I thought this was a Huky graph but for the batch weight, I frequently do profiles like this, but typically drop a tad higher (207-208 'C = 406F)
LMWDP #483

Aguirre (original poster)

#5: Post by Aguirre (original poster) »

Yes, back in my Huky days, dropping at 406F was not unusual. I want to note the temperatures are really not comparable. For instance, in my Huky I would usually log FC at 392F, while in the Loring it's around 400F.

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#6: Post by Milligan »

How do you determine FC on the Loring? I've read and heard they were too loud to hear first crack but that there are various other ways to determine it. It is interesting to see the charge temps and RoR ramp up on a Loring compared to a gas drum.

Aguirre (original poster)

#7: Post by Aguirre (original poster) replying to Milligan »

Incredibly hard to hear indeed. On bigger batches it's easier to notice a small BT dip which with the coffees I have consistently happens around 400F so that's what I'm using as my "assumed" FC.

As for charge temps - the way I've been playing with it is first loading my baseline recipe, then the roaster gives me a recommended charge temp that varies depending on the batch size. If I want to replicate the baseline, I go with the recommendation, otherwise I'll adjust it higher or lower depending on my game plan.