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Homeroasters.org » THE ART OF ROASTING COFFEE » Roasting Coffee
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Fresh Roast SR500 first impressions
8675309
After a long wait (ground UPS free shipping + 4 free pounds of coffee ) from Burman my SR500 arrived. Having toyed with a very crude process of over-the-grill cooking with great and not-so-great results I put the machine to a test today.

The machine appears to be well built and I thought the components fit well. The toppling over I have read about is a bit overblown unless you pick it up and dance with the machine.

I started with the recommended level of green beans and started on low heat high fan leaving off the chaff collector for the first 45 seconds~1 minute and used a chopstick to help move the beans about a bit - seemed to help a lot.

After putting on the chaff collector I left it on low with a heat dial of about 7 for another minute. Beans danced nicely all about the chamber.

Then moved to medium heat with fan dial at about the 6 o'clock mark for another minute.

Then I moved to high heat increasing the fan to about an 8 for 1 minute.
Then moved the fan to about a 5 for about 45 seconds.

At this point first crack was well underway and beans were a nice even brown and flowing about the chamber with ease.

As soon as I heard second crack ( shortly after ) I hit cool and maxed out the fan.
The machine shut off and I removed the Chaff collector ( HOT!!! ) and dumped the beans onto a tray to be moved inside for further cooling.

The result of this El Salvador bean was a very nice dark brown very even...

Chaff collector performed admirably and was HOT as was the glass chamber so do use gloves when removing.

I bought a little table thing for the patio and suggest doing this outside or in the garage I'm not convinced a stove-vent-hood would dispense the aroma.

Beans are bagged in 1/2 pound vented bags and I created a nifty label that I printed up because I'm goofy that way... and after a few hours the smell in the bag is heavenly.

I think the only thing I'll experiment with next is trying to extend the initial cook to first crack, which in my lowly opinion happened rather quickly. To do this I'll extend the Low cook time and increase the fan for another minute.

Think I'll go to bed early so I can wake up and have a cup.
 
ChicagoJohn
Nice account of your first trials. I think you're going to find this new roaster enables you to better explore variation in the roasting profile versus your other method. As an experiment, you could try shooting for the start of 1st crack at around 8 minutes or longer with start of 2nd crack around 4 minutes after that.

Down the road, you might want to consider adding a K thermoucouple to give you temperature information. I've picked up a thin wire mini connector thermocouple and LCD display device for around $15. You'd have to figure a way to get the tip through the chaff collector down into the beans. I think there are some internet discussions on ways people have done this for the SR500. As you get into this further, I think you'd find that data of use.
So many beans; so little time....
 
8675309
Exactly - the ability to control the roasts in a more even manner is apparent. I do have a device I could use for internal temp -

First roast looked good, smelled heavenly, tasted awful... underdeveloped... although the instructions on that bean advised of not roasting too dark.

Since I have 2 pounds of this (free) I'll cook another batch up a bit darker and then another batch darker still.

I am familiar with a particular Columbian Supremo bean from another source and that will actually be my yardstick as it can produce what I am looking for. It's just a matter of dialing it in.

Question: Moving to first crack in a short period of time vs a longer period of time, can that affect the final outcome that much?... I suspect the answer is yes.
 
snwcmpr
Underdeveloped??
I would suggest, because of what I like, not going darker, but to extend the time to 1C as said above. That would allow the heat to continue into the inner part of the bean and not have the outer bean over cooked.

Can you add the times when you do things? It is hard to add all of the seconds that you mention.

And it is awesome that you are doing this. We strivce to improve coffee, one roaster at a time. :)
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."
 
8675309
Yea the beans turned out very nicely colored - a true Picasso in even color - deep brown - the smell was out of this world, and when I ground it the results looked and smelled great but after pouring over and tasting I was like YIKES...

So yes, the ability to extend initial start up to first crack can be obtained by leaving the heat setting at low for longer periods of time. (Low/Med/High)

I followed a 'profile' that someone wrote up for another bean for general testing, mind you this was the first run.

I can keep the heat on 'Low' and keep the fan 'High' for 2 minutes instead of 1 and then drop the fan speed for another minute and then go to a 'Med' heat for a minute with fan on high and drop it to a lower value - this should extend the time from initial charge to FC ... I think I'll shoot for a 4-5 minute run to FC and then apply a little more heat (High) to round it all off.

I'll do a second run where I try to extend initial charge to FC to upwards of 6-8 minutes too and see if it makes a difference.

The only saving grace is I got 5 pounds of free beans with this order so I don't feel horrible about test-waste.

I love doing this - and am willing to guinea pig any scenarios anyone has in mind.

And lastly - THANK GAWD for this site and replies - very helpful
 
ChicagoJohn
Experimenting, as you are doing, is a lot of fun, and the batch sizes are small enough that it doesn't cost all that much to try things and see what happens, and when you learn something, it's worth it. I've found too that controlling the brewing process is very important to understand roasting effects since brewing variation can have dramatic effects on flavor profile that could incorrectly be attributed to roasting. So what I do is to stir a weighed quantity of grinds in a weighed quantity of water at a specific temperature for a specific time and then filter it. For me this is a more controllable brewing process than a continuous pour-over. I stir 30 gm of fairly fine grounds in 200 gm of 195°F water for 45 seconds and then filter. After filtering I dilute with another 300 gm of hot water before drinking. (You might try that with the batch that was like YIKES and see if it could have been over-extracted).
So many beans; so little time....
 
8675309
Took advice and extended the drop-to-first-crack time by 2 minutes and another batch by 3 minutes... no change... I can smell it and it smells like... like someone poured a bunch of vanilla flavoring into a bag and let it set in the sun .. (Guatamala Bean)

Could the beans have 'soured' in shipping to Phoenix in hot weather?

Ran 2 more batches of a Nicaragua bean extending the time and it appears to be much better.

If anyone wants those 2 batches of Guat and the remaining green beans let me know... shipping is free LOL
 
ChicagoJohn
I can smell it and it smells like... like someone poured a bunch of vanilla flavoring into a bag and let it set in the sun .. (Guatamala Bean)



Wow... I've never encountered anything remotely like this but I've never done much from Central America. I think you said you got these SO's from Berman'? You could try shooting them an e-mail and ask them what they think. Maybe others have had a similar result with it. Do you know if it's a natural, honey, or washed process?
So many beans; so little time....
 
8675309
Oooops... my apologies to Guatemala - the bean is:
El Salvador Pacamara Santa Leticia Honey

I did shoot the guy an Email not to whine or complain I mean I got 5 free pounds of various beans with the order, just wondered if he had any ideas or roasting profiles I could follow for this bean.

I ordered up some Columbian Supremo and a Hawaiian bean from Coffee Corral - have tried these before with excellent results - if I could reproduce those results on a regular basis I'd die a happy man.

Oh my offer still stands... 2 quarter pound bags of roasted yuk and about 2.5 ounces of the green to anyone who wants it - last call ... going once, going twice... Sold to the garbage can.
 
JackH
I find that the "Honeyed" or "Natural" process can sometimes cause a bad flavor and smell. I prefer the washed types. The beans sit drying in their juices too long and ferment. Everyone thinks this adds a "fruity" qualtiy but it is just fermented coffee bean juice.
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
renatoa
Some think the same for dry aged beef... what a feast... Grin
 
ChicagoJohn
JackH wrote:

I find that the "Honeyed" or "Natural" process can sometimes cause a bad flavor and smell. I prefer the washed types. The beans sit drying in their juices too long and ferment. Everyone thinks this adds a "fruity" qualtiy but it is just fermented coffee bean juice.


I've also read about this although not personally encountered it in the Yirg naturals I've tried. But it's my understanding they have paid a lot of attention to using raised drying beds etc. From the latest description, it sounds like it is the "honey" process which I would think could be even more prone to the effect you've described.
So many beans; so little time....
 
chaff
Green beans into the garbage: tears in the rain. 80gms is the sweet spot for the my Nesco, I'd be inclined to at least roast the remainder as differently as is reasonable from the 'yikes' batches and keep them all for a week or so just to see if they change any.
Great aroma and lousy taste seems common to your experience, JackH's notes on varying the brewing have been very helpful for me.

Edit: beg pardon, Chicago John's brewing notes.
2mins to FC is Caterham Country. If you can intercept the dumpster SM's hints for the SR500 suggest reducing charge size to extend roasting time. Cutting one of those roast bens with a blade might confirm the inside temperature is not keeping up at what, 100C degrees per minut.
Edited by chaff on 09-19-2018 05:23
 
8675309
Thanks for the responses appreciate the interest. Fermented... that describes the taste.

When I cooked over my grill I noticed that first crack occurred around the 8 - 9 minute mark. With this machine it can occur real fast, like at the 2 minute mark. I try to extend this out but it is difficult - and I think therein lies the problem.

I swear my over-the-grill cooking results produced 10 times better stuff, albeit uneven...

I need a way I think to really draw out the first crack event... my other 2 batches ( after the pacamara disasters ) are not much better at all.

The wife is losing faith...
 
8675309
For the record I tried to slow the process as follows:
1 minute on low
1/2 minute on cool
1/2 minute on low
1/2 minute on cool
etc etc etc
extending the time to first crack to 7 minutes...
Then at first crack I left on low for a minute then medium for a minute and finally on high for about 1/2 minute.

Today's bean was an Ethiopian Pea Berry... seems to taste ok I bit into a bean and the flavor was like.... coffee ... ( go figure )

It is setting up now.

I figure this first 5 pounds of free stuff will be 'play-material' and when the good stuff arrives hopefully I can produce something the wife will agree with.
 
JackH
ChicagoJohn wrote:

I've also read about this although not personally encountered it in the Yirg naturals I've tried. But it's my understanding they have paid a lot of attention to using raised drying beds etc. From the latest description, it sounds like it is the "honey" process which I would think could be even more prone to the effect you've described.


It may have been the batch I received. Strong hard cider smell from the greens to the brewed cup. I do think the process is a good idea since it saves water.
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
8675309
JackH wrote:

ChicagoJohn wrote:

I've also read about this although not personally encountered it in the Yirg naturals I've tried. But it's my understanding they have paid a lot of attention to using raised drying beds etc. From the latest description, it sounds like it is the "honey" process which I would think could be even more prone to the effect you've described.


It may have been the batch I received. Strong hard cider smell from the greens to the brewed cup. I do think the process is a good idea since it saves water.


Good description - hard cider smell from the green to the cup... just awful LOL I can't imagine anyone wanting it. The other beans I received are a hodge-podge as well I'm just burning through them to learn the ins and outs of the machine. Waiting on some good Columbian and Hawaiian to arrive but meanwhile looks like I'm gonna have to make a run to ( dare I say it ) and buy something in the meanwhile.
 
snwcmpr
When Waking Life was here in Asheville, he recommended the Natural Process coffees. He thought there was more flavor.
George Howell on the other hand never uses Natural Process. His shop contends that the process is too inconsistent.

The Monk Of Mokha references the dry process in Yemen and the need for the detailed screening and sorting.
[I have to add that I was disappointed in the book]
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."
 
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