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slr001
Hello folks, I have been following Fauzi's thread as I think I was having some "baking" problems also. I thought I would start my own to get some critique on how I am doing. I have had problems with "under roasting" maybe? Hard beans, almost too hard to grind, and sour taste?

Gene Cafe (obviously), no variac, but on a pretty decent voltage I think. Some of my problems occurred when I was trying to roast outside. I think maybe voltage drop on extension cord (maybe), and humidity, were causing some problems, or at least adding variables that making it hard to be consistent. One of my biggest problems is I have pretty bad hearing, and am having a real hard time hearing 1C, really am relying on the time, and seeing cracked beans visibly.

My GC will get to 482 in about 5:50-6:10 empty.

I roasted 2 batches today, I will list them below with a pic of each.

1st roast was an espresso blend from a local roaster that sold me greens. So I dont know what beans were in the actual blend. 108g pre roast, 90g post roast.

Profile was:
300, 5min, preheat
300, 3min dry (3min total)
482, 5min ramp (8min total)
465, 1C+1 (13:20 total)
455, EOR (18min total)
cool in GC 2min
Dump to cookie sheet to finish cooling

I monitored temp during the ramp if it is of interest.
300 @ 3min
392 @ 4min
431 @ 5min
456 @ 6min
476 @ 7 min
482 @ 7:17min

Here is a look at the beans
i.imgur.com/620vT.jpg

2nd roast today was Ethiopian Pulp Natural Process Limu from SM
110g pre roast, 92g post roast.

Profile was:
300, 5min, preheat
300, 3min dry (3min total)
482, 5min ramp (8min total)
475, 2min (10min total) Added this step to get to 1C a little quicker
465, 1C+1 (13:20 total)
455, EOR (16min total)
cool in GC 2min
Dump to cookie sheet to finish cooling

Temp during the ramp
300 @ 3min
402 @ 4min
442 @ 5min
467 @ 6min
474 @ 7 min
482 @ 7:29min Actually... not sure I saw 482... seemed to stick at 480.

Here is a look at the beans
i.imgur.com/FwxlO.jpg

Would love some feedback

Thanks
Edited by ginny on 05/25/2012 2:37 PM
 
John Despres
Interesting. You should be fine with those times; everything seems to be okay despite the extension cord. However, that's the first thing I'd get rid of or go buy a 12 gauge cord of the shortest length necessary.

What was the ambient temperature as you roasted?

Here's something to try. Preheat your drum as per usual and set the temp at 482F and let it roast. Let us know how that goes.

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
atalanta
Have to agree with John on the extension cord. You want a heavy gauge cord, you can't really use a "household" cord that you'd use for a lamp. (found that out the hard way, the smell gave it away LOL)
 
slr001
The roasts above are done in the kitchen with no extension cord. When I was using the cord is when I was roasting outside. I did have a VERY thick cord, but it was very long also.

But I am inside, plugged directly into the outlet until my wife throws me out of the kitchen again. The stove vent only does a marginal job with the roasting smell.
 
fauzi
Slr,

I don't know how much length of wire will matter, but thickness definitely.

One basic question: why do you think you're under roasting? Bad extractions? Possible that it's hardware (read:grinder) related?

Small tip: it's actually surprisingly easy to hear the cracks on the vent side of the chaff collector. If you put you ear above the collector right next to the hot air blowing out you can easily hear them. Remember! The air is hot!!! You will also notice a nice slightly sweet smell start to come out of the exhaust a few seconds before fc.

Also, "decent voltage" may not be decent enough. I found that the minute I put the voltage stabiliser on, the roaster changed into a beast.

Good luck to you in narrowing this down!

Fauzi
 
slr001

Quote

fauzi wrote:

Slr,

I don't know how much length of wire will matter, but thickness definitely.

One basic question: why do you think you're under roasting? Bad extractions? Possible that it's hardware (read:grinder) related?


I am not sure if that is the problem. Primarily, I have gotten several batches that were very hard to grind. I have a hand grinder I use for espresso, and I felt as if I was about to break it. The beans were dark enough, and had roasted long enough to be FC or FC+... but they were hard and tasted poorly. Also, opening the container after several days rest, there wasn't that strong pleasant smell of fresh coffee.

Quote

fauzi wrote:
Small tip: it's actually surprisingly easy to hear the cracks on the vent side of the chaff collector. If you put you ear above the collector right next to the hot air blowing out you can easily hear them. Remember! The air is hot!!! You will also notice a nice slightly sweet smell start to come out of the exhaust a few seconds before fc.


Have tried this... still couldn't pick it up... I will keep trying. (I have less than 15% hearing in my left ear, my right side is better, but still not good.

Quote

fauzi wrote:
Also, "decent voltage" may not be decent enough. I found that the minute I put the voltage stabiliser on, the roaster changed into a beast.

Good luck to you in narrowing this down!

Fauzi


I just cant see sinking $150-200 more into this for a voltage stabilizer. I felt like getting from zero to max temp in 6min was a pretty good indicator that I was getting good enough power to get to temp quickly enough. I also posted my ramp temps, was hoping that might also point to the fact that my machine was behaving properly (hopefully) or perhaps it isnt responding through the roasting period properly.

The two batches from this morning looked pretty good to me... the two prior to that seem pretty good also. I really just wanted some eyeballs on my time/temps, and the bean pics to verify I was heading down the correct path.

Thanks for the input.
 
John Despres
HEY, MEMBERS!!! Need some help here -

Isn't there some discussion somewhere here about an app for detecting first and second crack? It seems like it was for an iPhone or related toy.

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
ginny
Yeah John there is an app for that...
generally called and ear.

where did these beans come from? I agree with all on the cord.

I agree that you should simply do a totally automatic roast.

ginnyGrin
 
slr001

Quote

John Despres wrote:
Here's something to try. Preheat your drum as per usual and set the temp at 482F and let it roast. Let us know how that goes.

John


John, I can try this. What am I looking for when I do this?

1C? 2C? Color? Flames?
 
slr001

Quote

ginny wrote:

Yeah John there is an app for that...
generally called and ear.

where did these beans come from? I agree with all on the cord.

I agree that you should simply do a totally automatic roast.

ginnyGrin


The original post has the info on the beans. The cord was only while I was roasting outside, and was a very heavy guage. No extension cord currently being used.
 
John Despres

Quote

John, I can try this. What am I looking for when I do this?

1C? 2C? Color? Flames?


Ah, good question. Run it as best as you can as a normal roast. The goal is to see if the beans are any more roasted than your two batches notes above.

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
fauzi
Sir,

Did you try grinding these beans? Still hard?

Don't know the first thing about grinders, but is it possible that there is something wrong with the grinder that's making it hard to grind, and thus giving you a poor taste?

From all indications, your ramp times / temps seem ok.

Also, from all that I've read and experienced, I don't think you will get that fresh coffee smell until you grind it. I believe the "coffee smell" that you're looking for from the beans themselves is the aroma of coffee losing it's oils and going stale.

Back to grinder... Is it possible to take a sampling of your beans to a friend's / cafe's grinder and try a few doses out there? Would just eliminate a variable.

Oh, and regarding the ability to detect the cracks... with limited hearing, it will likely by difficult. But train yourself to "smell the cracks" (Can't help but giggle a little when I say that!). There is a distinct aroma at a few seconds before FC. Once you recognize that, you will know when to expect it.


Fauzi
 
gene
I have hearing probs also. If you check back thru the history of this subject with the GC you'll discover some interesting stuff on HomeRoasters.com.

One suggestion, for winter hearing aid, in my case. Exhausting out an exterior window was to cut out metal or cardboard outline to go in front of roasting chamber to reflect sound. I went to high school shop and fabricated a metal one using an H-Ber's measurements.
Another was to obtain a stethoscope type device...I ordered an auto mechanic hearing aid type device used to hear engine internal sounds. Ha ha

Since nothing worked as I wanted have come to rely on smoke out the end of 3" dryer hose at first crack. This is 100% reliable but you need to coincide this incidence of the crack....it varies a tiny bit depending on how hard the bean.

I know about when to start looking since I have charted over 1000 roasts.
 
hazbean
Hello slr001

Some observations (in haste tonight ...)

1. By what you say, and your photos, I think you do have an underdeveloped roast (esp as you say that the beans are hard, difficult to grind and taste sour-- break some open and see what they are like inside, if they are much lighter than outside, that is an indication of underroasting);

2. Your batch size is very small -- 110g IME does not work well, I think because we need to keep a good thermal mass in the beans to get predictable behaviour, the GC exposes a lot of surface area and a small bean mass is influenced much more by environment;

3. This is exacerbated by your profile which builds up heat very slowly: John's suggestion to roast at max all the way through will show what happens with more heat from the beginning;

4. "What am I looking for when I do this?" From my old logs, for 230g, should go something like this: yellow at around 4:30; first crack at 8:30 to 9:00 (probably fairly loud, because you have poured a lot of heat in early); then maybe 3 minutes later into 2C (crackling sound); this will get louder, and you will start to see glistening / drops of oil on the beans -- stop at this point (preferably directly into an external cooler) unless you want to see charcoal. The latter time (3 mins) is as guess on my part as it's a long time since I took beans to 2C. Your figures for 110g will probably be quite different. Also, my times assume preheating at max for a few minutes -- might be longer if you don't.

As for detecting the cracks -- as Fauzi points out there are changes in smell. Chaffy beans will start to throw off a lot of chaff around 1C. The colour of the beans changes, and they swell up. If you roast the same batch size and keep logs, you'll probably also find a I did that 1C turns up at pretty much the same time each roast. Sound is best though.


Let's see how it goes ....
 
slr001
Thanks everyone for the comments so far.

Quote

hazbean wrote:

Hello slr001

Some observations (in haste tonight ...)

1. By what you say, and your photos, I think you do have an underdeveloped roast (esp as you say that the beans are hard, difficult to grind and taste sour-- break some open and see what they are like inside, if they are much lighter than outside, that is an indication of underroasting);


The roasts in the OP and photos were much better than the underroasts I was complaining about from earlier attempts. But I still don't think I am quite there yet.

Quote

hazbean wrote:
2. Your batch size is very small -- 110g IME does not work well, I think because we need to keep a good thermal mass in the beans to get predictable behaviour, the GC exposes a lot of surface area and a small bean mass is influenced much more by environment;


I was wondering about batch size... I know I am at the low end (just dont drink that much, usually about 1/2lb a week. And I figured smaller batches might be less forgiving. Guess I will up the sizes.

Quote

hazbean wrote:
3. This is exacerbated by your profile which builds up heat very slowly: John's suggestion to roast at max all the way through will show what happens with more heat from the beginning;


I will hopefully try Johns suggestion of 482 to start today. But I thought my profile ramped pretty quick.

Quote

hazbean wrote:
4. "What am I looking for when I do this?" From my old logs, for 230g, should go something like this: yellow at around 4:30; first crack at 8:30 to 9:00 (probably fairly loud, because you have poured a lot of heat in early); then maybe 3 minutes later into 2C (crackling sound); this will get louder, and you will start to see glistening / drops of oil on the beans -- stop at this point (preferably directly into an external cooler) unless you want to see charcoal. The latter time (3 mins) is as guess on my part as it's a long time since I took beans to 2C. Your figures for 110g will probably be quite different. Also, my times assume preheating at max for a few minutes -- might be longer if you don't.


I will try this with at least 200g, will preheat first, but all of the above is based on Johns recommendation of 482 start to finish?

Quote

hazbean wrote:
As for detecting the cracks -- as Fauzi points out there are changes in smell. Chaffy beans will start to throw off a lot of chaff around 1C. The colour of the beans changes, and they swell up. If you roast the same batch size and keep logs, you'll probably also find a I did that 1C turns up at pretty much the same time each roast. Sound is best though.

Let's see how it goes ....


Yeah, I am visually able to figure out 1C, just isnt as precise as hearing it I guess.

Again, thanks for all of the help from everyone in this thread.

By the way, the two roasts above are at 48hours, tried both today. The Ethiopian as a pour over, and the espresso as a Cap... both ground much easier, and both tasted pretty good. I guess I am getting there.
 
slr001
Ok,

So I have run a test roast at max temp as requsted.

This was Brazil Mogiana Dry-Process Peaberry from Sweet Marias. (200g) pre roast weight

Here is a pic of the finished roast (165g) post roast weight.

http://i.imgur.com/e0Tmd.jpg?1

The beans are darker in real life than they appear in this pic.

So I started with a pre heat at 300f for 5 min
then I dropped the beans in and cranked to 482

Started monitoring temps at 3min mark. The below are actual temps measured on the GC display, set temp was 482 the whole time

406 - 3min
426 - 4min
440 - 5min
453 - 6min
465 - 7min
476 - 8min
482 - 8:53min

Yellowing started about 4:30-4:45
1c and chaffing seems to have started about 9:00min, maybe 9:30

I finally pulled at 13:30 based on oil sheen and color. Dumped immediately. When they came out there was significant smoke, and loud cracks going on (assuming this was second crack)
Edited by John Despres on 05/21/2012 8:43 PM
 
slr001
hmmm... pic doesnt seem to be showing
 
hazbean
Looks good. (The pic shows if you cut and paste the URL.)

To me, this shows that your GC is working very well, and that you have good power margins within which to construct useful profiles.

One way to do this is to reduce the setpoint around 1C so that after 3:30 to 4 mins you are just at the beginning of 2C rather than well into it. This requires experimentation, I ended up dropping back to temps around 240C, but YMMV. John and others have posted quite a few alternatives here on HRO.

By the way, I'm not saying it is impossible to use small batches, just that I found it more difficult. I tried small batches in the hope of reducing overall roast time, but what I found was that it was actually longer (the time between yellow and 1C in particular was longer, which I didn't want). If you find a way to do it, would be interested to know.
 
John Despres
I fixed your link. The picture looks fine. There are a few lighter ones, so this may be a good tasting cup!

Now let them rest a couple days and brew as you normally do. Lets us know.

Yes, smaller batches take longer as there is less bean mass to help heat the bean mass. Counter intuitive, I know, but it's true.

I suggest you eliminate the size vartiable and always roast the same size batches. If you're changing size on a regular basis, you cannot get a handle on things.

With each roast, change only one thing. If the change works, keep it. But if you change two things, and the roast is compost fodder, which change ruined it?

Have fun! Experiment, keep extensive longs and have more fun!

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
fauzi

Quote

John Despres wrote:

I fixed your link. The picture looks fine. There are a few lighter ones, so this may be a good tasting cup!

Now let them rest a couple days and brew as you normally do. Lets us know.

Yes, smaller batches take longer as there is less bean mass to help heat the bean mass. Counter intuitive, I know, but it's true.

I suggest you eliminate the size vartiable and always roast the same size batches. If you're changing size on a regular basis, you cannot get a handle on things.

With each roast, change only one thing. If the change works, keep it. But if you change two things, and the roast is compost fodder, which change ruined it?

Have fun! Experiment, keep extensive longs and have more fun!

John


Been a few days since I posted, but hope that things are moving along nicely.

If not, one more small suggestion I had which really helped me is to eliminate the bean variable also... since difference origins roast differently, it may be wise to roast one type of bean until you have an underlying profile perfected. After that you can make minor adjustments as per the bean's requirement.

Good luck. when you get a moment, do post on how the progress is going. Very curious.

Fauzi
 
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