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I wonder...
I've been roasting some very very good stuff that tastes EXCELLENT except of late I've noticed a burnt taste... very sad I cooked up several batches all the same way... about half of those batches came out horrible, the taste is burnt... chalky... bizarre.

So I wonder.. could the beans I'm cooking be picking up residue from the previous cooks, and wrecking the whole thing? I cook on a thick stainless sheet agitating .... on a grill with pretty good temp control.

Trying to upload an image... system doesn't seem to want to take it.
One possibility might be that heating is sometimes too rapid. While stainless steel has low thermal conductivity among metals, it's a lot higher than that of the coffee beans. So if you're cooking on a grill, it's possible that the temperature of the surface is hot enough for the outsides of individual beans to heat up so fast that there isn't enough time for that heat to transfer into the inside causing the surfaces to burn and uneven roasting within each individual bean.

If I were using your method, I think I'd shoot for maybe 8 - 10 minutes of stirring before I hear first cracks and keep the heating slow enough to achieve that interval or longer. I'd keep the grill turned down as low as possible and experiment with how much to preheat the thick sheet of stainless steel.

Another think you might try to slow things down a bit might be to put a large stainless steel bowl on top of the sheet and stirring the beans inside that bowl -- I'm thinking that might give you better uniformity in the stirring process.
So many beans; so little time....
Good thought. The reason I like to start 'hotter' is I don't want to get caught 'baking' the things... but I'll experiment too and start at a slower temp and 'rise' up - it would all make sense if all the batches turned out crappy - but I've had many that were heavenly.

For grins I'm going to scrub the pan in case my oil-transfer theory holds water.

Would love to upload the image of my 'sheet' thing, it's only like 160k but it never uploads.
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