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Roasting in cast iron skillet-HELP!
gene
I'm in SC this week. Ran in to someone that wants to try her first coffee roast. She is determined to begin in a cast iron skillet.

I know that Milknmycoffee and Bob? in Montana would be able to give me advice. Also BV has done a little bit of everything.

Would appreciate if everyone would chime in. I have only roasted in a GC and don't have a clue.
Thanks all!

gene
 
milknmycoffee
Gene - I will defer to Opus since he is the expert! I have not really experimented with skillet roasting..probably because I have access to Opus's wonderful roasts.

My only advice is keep the beans in motion to avoid scorching the exterior of the beans. Cast iron is slow to heat up..but once it does, it retains the heat very well. When cooking food in cast iron, I always end up using a slightly lower flame than when cooking with a non stick pan(a rare occasion).

Sorry for the lack of advice....hopefully Opus or some one else more knowledgeable will weigh in!

Good luck and let us know how it turns out! I only wish that I could get some of my family and friends to try roasting their own beans!
 
seedlings
Gene! It's as easy as making pasta.

Preheat cast iron to ~400F as if you were making pancakes. A drop of water should sizzle and move around a little (if it vaporizes = too hot).

Add coffee to cover the bottom of the pan and start stirring. Gradually up the heat little bits at a time, especially after the coffee starts to yellow.

Stir.
Stir.
Stir.

Watch, listen and smell.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
opus
I have been thinking how to put this simply, not sure I will be able but I will try.

Preheat or not: depends on the bean and what taste you are going for and the ambient temp. 400 is way to hot [sorry Chad]. You'll end up with charcoal.

Remember this: anything you learned about roasting temps and times, throw them away, it doest work this way.

Roughly, it will take you close to 20 mins for a roast. If you want, preheat to 250is and let them sit for 30 secs, stir, 30 secs, stir.....until they start to take a little bit of color. Then you can turn the heat up some. Its all trial and error. I've been doing this for 5 yrs now and finally this year have got real consistant. Get the beans into first crack slowly, then you can turn it up a little more. If the beans feel funny, its too hot. Once you are to the color you want to be, forget it, they will not be roasted enough. Go darker and you will get a nice roast, again, depending on the bean. If you get into the oil stage, you are good. Then again, you want about 15-20% of the bean with some black to them, no more.

Maybe you should just watch this and interpret....lol! These roasts will be a little grassy still. You will want to go darker.

[Someone figure out how to embed this. This forum platform is sad.]
[video]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97wcPKc8XAQ[/video]

I might be able to help you more if there were specific questions asked. :/
Edited by John Despres on 07/22/2010 1:49 PM
 
www.castironcoffee.com
bvwelch
Hi Opus! Great video but the hornets video was even better!
 
Koffee Kosmo
I have roasted in this fashion for years
My tips
1] use an adjustable gas flame
2] use a 2 lt pot with high sides for a 450 gr of green beans batch
3] use a wire whisk to stir
4] have a hair drier on hand to use at the first crack stage to blow away the chaff as this stifles the roast

KK
I home roast and I like it
Blog - http://koffeekosm...gspot.com/
Bezzera Strega: Mazzer Robur Grinder: 5 Box hand grinders: Pullman Tamper Convex: (KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster: CONA Glass Rod Syphon: Pyrex Brewer:
 
http://koffeekosmo.com.au
opus
bvwelch wrote:
Hi Opus! Great video but the hornets video was even better!


Hahaha....silly people!
 
www.castironcoffee.com
John Despres
Is the music for keeping a rhythm? Grin
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
opus
You know us music types.........
 
www.castironcoffee.com
seedlings
Like I said, "preheat to 250ish if you want to."

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
opus
Pfffft!
 
www.castironcoffee.com
John Despres
...starting to feel like a family reunion in here. I like it!

John
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
qajariaq
So here's my technique:

I use a stainless steel pot with heavy bottom over an 18,000 BTU propane burner and stir with a whisk. I roast in the garage with the door UP, set up just far enough inside the door to get out of the wind. This method creates a significant amount of smoke, and I would not recommend it being done indoors unless you have a serious/commercial-style vent hood that is ducted outdoors.

Pre-heat to ~300 deg. F. (this is the surface temp of the pot's bottom, near the center) At 350 F or higher you'll see scorching very quickly, and I find that at 250 F the roast time is too long.

Drop in 2 cups of green beans, start stirring - burner is on highest setting

Stir, stir, stir...

When you start hearing the snaps of first crack (ignore the early outliers) throttle down to "medium" setting on burner. Once first crack is really under way, turn the burner down to the lowest setting. First crack is usually under way in 7-8 minutes with my set up.

Keep stirring until you reach the desired level of roast. I usually end the roast around 11-12 minutes when I begin to hear the snaps of second crack. I go by sound and smell more than anything, and the times are only a "ball park" figure for reference. If you are not using a blower/vacuum bean cooler or other method to bring the temp down quickly, stop a bit earlier.

The roast will be somewhat uneven to wildly uneven, but look at it like a blend of roast levels rather than a defect to avoid (because it will always be uneven to some degree). You may find that the uneven roast gives the coffee a fuller/wider range of flavor compared to a very precise roast level, but this may also obscure more subtle and complex flavors that can be highlighted in more precise roasts.

Using a smaller amount of green beans (say, 1.5 to 1.75 cups) will help you roast a little more evenly and roast faster (just remember to throttle the burner down much more quickly), while more beans (say, 2.25 cups) will slow things down but increase the range of roast levels. I find that 2.5 cups is too much for my set up, extending roast times to more than 20 minutes and leaving a significant amount of beans under-roasted.

The beans will probably look darker than you expect, the outsides being more roasted than the inside. It is a good idea to roast a bit darker than your intended roast level because there will be a number of beans that both roast faster and lag behind the rest; often second crack is beginning before first crack has completely stopped.

You will likely notice that there is a lot of burnt chaff - I prefer to use a vacuum-and-colander bean cooler to help remove the chaff since it will impart a burnt taste to the brewed coffee. The idea to use a hair dryer/heat gun to blow the chaff out during roasting is a neat idea, but I don't like chasing the stuff around the garage floor...
 
Koffee Kosmo
This is photo of a roast that I did in the pot roast method some time ago

KK
Koffee Kosmo attached the following image:
img_panroast_1.jpg

Edited by Koffee Kosmo on 07/26/2010 3:37 AM
I home roast and I like it
Blog - http://koffeekosm...gspot.com/
Bezzera Strega: Mazzer Robur Grinder: 5 Box hand grinders: Pullman Tamper Convex: (KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster: CONA Glass Rod Syphon: Pyrex Brewer:
 
http://koffeekosmo.com.au
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