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Homeroasters.org » THE ART OF ROASTING COFFEE » Storing Roasted Beans
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storing roasted beans
ChicagoJohn
gadget wrote:

I found this patent and it is very specific to coffee beans. It describes their complete process from after the beans are roasted until they are canned...

http://patents.ju...nt/4748030


Thanks for providing a link to the patent. I read the claims and the process they describe is interesting. In order to qualify as infringement, all of the claims of a patent must be utilized. If a process for aging roasted coffee does not utilize every claim cited in this patent, then it would not qualify as infringement. For example, claim 5 specifies periodic measurement. So if a process were to essentially follow the process as outlined and not include periodic measurements, it would not constitute infringement. In my reading of it, it would not apply to flushing with a non-reactive gas in packaging.

Sometimes companies seek patents simply to be able to say in their advertising something like "We use a patented process in aging our roast" but my impression in reading these claims is that they probably did considerable empirical research in developing the process they describe. From my personal experience, and that of others I've read, there are definite changes in the cup which occur upon aging after completion of a roast, and I'm not surprised that changes in ambient temperature, humidity, and composition of the gaseous environment can impact that.

Thanks again for the link.
So many beans; so little time....
 
alext
Update: 7/11
Start date: 5/30

Due to coffee emergency I ended up opening and trying Bag 2 - which was the one stored at room temp and the bag had some inflation. It was not bad but had an obvious loss in quality. I can't be sure if the inflation was due to off-gassing or leakage. Its curious that Bag 1 in similar conditions did not inflate...

Here is the update on the rest:

Bag 1 (room temp): Soft brick, not flowing. No change.
Bag 2 (room temp): n/a
Bag 3 (refrigerator): Brick, just like after vacuum packing. No change.
Bag 4 (refrigerator): Some inflation! Not as much as bag 2 above. No change.

Week 6 will be this weekend and I am curious to see if the refrigerated one is ok or not.
 
HoldTheOnions
I bought these bags https://www.amazo...&psc=1 and I have been using for a while, I can say with certainty that the coffee tastes better to me after being out of the bags and in the hopper for a couple days, no matter how long the beans have rested in the bags. I don't know what that means. I do squeeze the extra air out of them before zipping. Wondered if anyone else experienced the same.
 
ChicagoJohn
HoldTheOnions wrote:

I bought these bags https://www.amazo...&psc=1 and I have been using for a while, I can say with certainty that the coffee tastes better to me after being out of the bags and in the hopper for a couple days, no matter how long the beans have rested in the bags. I don't know what that means. I do squeeze the extra air out of them before zipping. Wondered if anyone else experienced the same.


I took a look at these bags on Amazon just now, and I didn't see anything regarding the materials of construction. Are they foil-lined or do they use some sort of plastic?

Your post suggests that you've experimented with the variable of aging time after roasting and have ruled that out. I think many people notice that resting the roasted beans for several days improves them, but the changes involved should happen regardless of the ambient gas.

Could the bags be imparting some taste and flavor to the beans being stored in them which dissipates upon subsequent storage in your hopper? Or maybe there is something beneficial happening with respect to your preferences by storing the beans in air with oxygen versus an oxygen depleted environment? Maybe you could see if you get the same effect in, say, a plain aluminum foil pouch. If you do, that would favor the second hypothesis, and if not, the first.

I've never tried these particular bags. I am re-using the foil-lined one-way valve bags I obtained from coffee purchases at my local roaster, and I've not experienced what you are reporting with them, only the beneficial effect of resting for several days after roasting.
So many beans; so little time....
 
alext
My scientific rigor may be lacking but I believe I have some results :)

I opened the bag from the fridge that had no inflation and tried it. According to my questionably accurate scale, there was no weight change. The coffee tasted good. I do believe that there was a slight change from fresh roasted, pre-stored but taste memory isn't perfect for sure. No question that is tasted better than bag #2 noted above (inflated bag stored at room temp).

I still need to try the remaining bag to complete my test but within the limits of this experiment I can say refrigeration is better despite vacumn packing. I'll update if I find inconsistent results with the remaining bags.
 
HoldTheOnions
ChicagoJohn wrote:

HoldTheOnions wrote:

I bought these bags https://www.amazo...&psc=1 and I have been using for a while, I can say with certainty that the coffee tastes better to me after being out of the bags and in the hopper for a couple days, no matter how long the beans have rested in the bags. I don't know what that means. I do squeeze the extra air out of them before zipping. Wondered if anyone else experienced the same.


I took a look at these bags on Amazon just now, and I didn't see anything regarding the materials of construction. Are they foil-lined or do they use some sort of plastic?

Your post suggests that you've experimented with the variable of aging time after roasting and have ruled that out. I think many people notice that resting the roasted beans for several days improves them, but the changes involved should happen regardless of the ambient gas.

Could the bags be imparting some taste and flavor to the beans being stored in them which dissipates upon subsequent storage in your hopper? Or maybe there is something beneficial happening with respect to your preferences by storing the beans in air with oxygen versus an oxygen depleted environment? Maybe you could see if you get the same effect in, say, a plain aluminum foil pouch. If you do, that would favor the second hypothesis, and if not, the first.

I've never tried these particular bags. I am re-using the foil-lined one-way valve bags I obtained from coffee purchases at my local roaster, and I've not experienced what you are reporting with them, only the beneficial effect of resting for several days after roasting.


They are totally plastic. I might think the valves didn't work, but the bags don't blow up and air comes out if I squeeze them, so seem ok. I'm kinda rethinking this now, maybe I just like aged beans better, so they are tasting better to me after I first drink them regardless of where they are, and a few days in hopper isn't enough for noticeable oxidation to set in? Thinking now prolly more like that then the bags themselves. Also thinking maybe I should try longer rest periods, e.g. 14 days and see how I like that. Hmmm.
 
HoldTheOnions
alext wrote:

My scientific rigor may be lacking but I believe I have some results :)

I opened the bag from the fridge that had no inflation and tried it. According to my questionably accurate scale, there was no weight change. The coffee tasted good. I do believe that there was a slight change from fresh roasted, pre-stored but taste memory isn't perfect for sure. No question that is tasted better than bag #2 noted above (inflated bag stored at room temp).

I still need to try the remaining bag to complete my test but within the limits of this experiment I can say refrigeration is better despite vacumn packing. I'll update if I find inconsistent results with the remaining bags.


My only thought is the effect on moisture may be different for different people depending on where you live?
 
ChicagoJohn

They are totally plastic. I might think the valves didn't work, but the bags don't blow up and air comes out if I squeeze them, so seem ok. I'm kinda rethinking this now, maybe I just like aged beans better, so they are tasting better to me after I first drink them regardless of where they are, and a few days in hopper isn't enough for noticeable oxidation to set in? Thinking now prolly more like that then the bags themselves. Also thinking maybe I should try longer rest periods, e.g. 14 days and see how I like that. Hmmm.


You're doing basically what I've been doing -- trying different things to see what the effects are. There are so many potential intervening variables (like Hold the Onions alluded to in mentioning moisture, for example or other parameters with values unique to ones own situation) that it's probably best to start out with advice from others and then try things from there. Sort of like in cooking where you might start with a recipe given to you but then experiment with variations. And what works for one person may not be the best thing for someone else.

Although I've only been doing this for a short time, I will say that I've pretty much succeeded in my original goal of having a good cup of coffee each morning that is repeatable; beans, roasting profile, and preparation. So we'll see if the storage thing works for me this coming winter.

The negative part is that I can no longer tolerate a cup from places I used to go when traveling. The times I've tried, I wind up dumping it after a few sips. The only exception was once on the toll road I stopped at a Starbucks and discovered they had a light roast pour-over. I found I was able to drink that. But everything else I've tried is just disgusting. Luckily I don't travel that much anymore since I retired.

Good luck and please continue to report your experiments and results with storage methods.
So many beans; so little time....
 
RA5040
Very interesting post ... thanks!

I'm new to roasting and have only just started trying vacuum bags for short-term storage (a few weeks).

I came across this PhD thesis which is really worth looking at:

https://atrium.li...e=2#page68

It has to do with the effect of temperature and humidity on CO2 outgassing. Here are some useful snippets of information:
- 1gm of roasted coffee will eventually release a total of about 10mg C02 (about 5ml at 25C, or 3ml at 3C)
- temperature has a significant effect on outgassing rate: total degassing goes from 800 hours at 25C to 1600 hours at 15C. There is no figure for total degassing at 4C, but extrapolating roughly it's probably in the order of 3000 hours, or 4 months.
- Relative humidity has a much greater effect. At 81% and 25C, degassing is complete within 100hours, whereas at 58% the beans are still degassing after 1200 hours.

There are no figures for freezer temperatures unfortunately.

I would welcome some scientific input here, but in the meantime, here is what I think/hope/guess:
- outgassing is a feature of staling, so slowing it down should help
- If the pressure in the bag is 0.5atm, say, then the RH should be half of what it is at atmospheric pressure (with no temperature change): so vacuum-sealing should in itself help to slow down outgassing (and so possibly staling).
- If the temperature is decreased then the relative humidity will go up. So it may not be a good idea to store the bag in the fridge, whereas it may be fine in the freezer as the water vapour should crystallize out. This would also make me think that it might be a good idea to warm up the beans fairly quickly, at room temperature and with the bag opened rather than in the fridge with a closed bag.
- If what I'm saying here is true (I would be so lucky!) then outgassing in the freezer should be very slow - however it won't be zero, so it would be important to make sure that there is some elbow room in the bag.
- Storing the beans vacuum-packed at room temperature should be better than not vacuum-packed ... however, a bag with plenty of spare space would need to be used if the beans are to be stored for any length of time.
- Putting a bag of food grade silica gel should make things a lot better ... and might make room temperature storage in vacuum bags a viable option.
- filling the bag before sealing with carbon dioxide or nitrogen should also be very effective (I'm thinking of a tyre inflator with C02 cartridges as a cheap and compact solution).
- It may be a good idea to vacuum pack the beans soon after roasting to reduce the intake of moisture.

So plenty of things to try out -:)

In my VERY limited trials so far I've found that out of 8 vacuum-packed bags, one appeared to have degassed while the others had not (after a few days). I put the bag under water and by squeezing it as well as I could I found that there was a very small hole at one seam ... so nice intake of oxygen and humidity there!

Cheers

Robert
Edited by JackH on 06-29-2018 10:36
 
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