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heat gun method failures
noah
I have recently figured out that continuing to roast my beans in my popcorn popper (which reaches rolling 2nd crack in under 3 minutes) is altogether unsuitable for use as espresso. Thus, I am hoping to find a method that will allow me to draw out the roast to have roasts flexible enough to be used for both espresso and press. I bought a heat gun (the cheap-o harbor freight one) and a bread maker (I have since stopped using the BM since it is an Oster, which has variable speeds and stops during the dough cycle, which only lasts for 15 minutes). My first attempt with the heat gun and wooden spoon produced coffee that was completely charred, burned, unueven, and underroasted. I tried again, using the heat gun and a Kitchen-Aid mixer. As I charred the last roast, which was done exclusively on high, I began this roast on the low setting of the heat gun. The beans went more than 10 minutes before any noticeable color change, and after I ramped the heat up to the high setting, the roast seemed to progress more normally, but the beans were still uneven (total roast time of 25 minutes), the roast took too long, the beans smell grassy and look bad.

I have read other peoples methods, who hold the heat gun a few inches above the beans, and given my first failure from charring, I have a difficult time believing this will work for me. I would love to hear any advice that you can give me to help me to not waste any more good beans

BTW, the beans are SM Brazil Ipanema. I would like to get a bread machine that will work properly (I am keeping my eyes peeled at the local thrifts). I could to a modification like adding a thermocouple, but as for electrical mods, they are simply out of my league, at least as they have been presented thus far.

Please help
 
Marshall_S
Hi Noah:

Welcome to the forum.

I used a heat gun/dog bowl for about 6 months until the weather got too cold last year (I live near Boston).

I followed much of the advice from this website and I also watched this vid:

http://homeroaste...atgun.html

http://video.goog...pr=goog-sl

On the vid, my opinion is that the guy roasted a little too long but I like his technique - it's pretty much what I did and had some very good roasts.

Try roasting no more than 8 oz., by hand, and keep stirring. It's a bit of a pain but you really get a hands-on experience like no other this way. After just a few roasts, you should get the hang of it.

BTW, it's important to cool the beans ASAP when you hit your roast level. I used to use a couple of colanders and they worked fine.

Good luck and stay with it-
Edited by John Despres on 03/28/2009 8:05 PM
 
John Despres
Hi, Noah.

Thanks for the post because we're here to help and we want to. Sounds like you're throwing yourself right into this.

Second crack in under 3 minutes??!!!! YIKES!Shock

I don't roast with a HG/BM, but many here do. Our very own seedlings is a HG/BM master as best as I can tell.

Check here for another video made by seedlings. It's a two parter and don't be scared when he points the camera at himself.:trink25:
http://forum.home...ead_id=915

It's fairly easy to bypass all the electronics on a bread machine to make the motor spin constantly. I'm sure you have a coffee drinking friend who would be willing to help in exchange for a small batch of beans.

I hope this helps, and maybe we can coax seedlings to jump in here with some more help.
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.
 
Koffee Kosmo
Hi and welcome Noah
So you are looking for an easy roasting method?
Maybe the Turbo Roaster Method is for you if you are a DIY type

Its just another method but works well without to much user input

As a design my TO roaster can also be used with a heat gun

See if you like this method go to this HR link to the post

http://forum.home...ad_id=1142

Or go to my google PowerPoint presentation link for build instructions

http://docs.googl...amp;size=l


Hope it helps
Regards
KK

I home roast and I like it. Designer of the KKTO
Roaster Build information
https://forum.hom...ad_id=1142

https://docs.goog...lide=id.i0
Blog - http://koffeekosm...gspot.com/

Bezzera Strega, Mazzer Robur Grinder, Pullman Tamper Convex,
(KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster.
 
noah
Yeah, the seedlings videos are great, the only problem is that he is using a large amount of beans. When I still havent had a success yet, I do not want to risk ruining a large amount of beans. What is the smallest amount of beans that I can use and how would this affect the execution of the roast?

Also, I see many BM/HG setups used with the lid off, for observational purposes. Are there any techniques that I would need to use to compensate for the additional heat loss from a removed lid?

John, do you know of any links that provide a walkthrough of rewiring the bread machine?

BTW, While each particular forum has its own characteristics, strengths,weaknesses (e.g., home-barista seems to have some of the most knowledgeable folks in regards to espresso, full of ultra technical knowledge), this forum has got to be one of the most friendly. One of the most admirable purposes of a public forum is to allow those who know nothing to interact with those who do in a positive manner to the end of increasing their own knowledge and enjoyment. Since everyone's goal is to increase their enjoyment of coffee, it only makes sense that the journey ought to pleasant as well. From the posts that I have read on this forum, you guys seem to have the market cornered in this area! Thanks!
 
noah
KK, I long considered a SC/CO combo, but convection ovens are hard to come by cheaply. As far as DIYing, I am afraid I can only take things one SMALL step at a time, as I am not particularly mechanically inclined. (but not hopeless)
 
Koffee Kosmo
Noah
You can roast beans in a cast iron pot if you want

The result is still better coffee than most cafes

Have a look at this Home roasters post

http://forum.home...rowstart=0

KK
I home roast and I like it. Designer of the KKTO
Roaster Build information
https://forum.hom...ad_id=1142

https://docs.goog...lide=id.i0
Blog - http://koffeekosm...gspot.com/

Bezzera Strega, Mazzer Robur Grinder, Pullman Tamper Convex,
(KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster.
 
noah
I have a friend who is also a home roaster who made me a soup can/drill roaster a la Tim Eggers. Tried it out this morning. The roast was totally even, smells great, took about 12 minutes to the start of 2nd crack, and is completely controllable. It looks like a madman's contraption, as far as the utility goes, I think this may satisfy my needs.

I will let it rest for two days and then pull a shot with it to see if it will be sufficient.
 
Koffee Kosmo
Seedlings aka CHAD can also help with this method
I have found some old pictures of his Heat gun & can roaster
Powered with a variable drill
Posted way back in 2007

coffeesnobs.com.au/attachments/Homemade_Drum_Attached_small_001.JPG

coffeesnobs.com.au/attachments/Homemade_Drum_Inside_small_001.JPG

Hope it helps you get to that coffee nirvana we all seek ThumbsUp

KK
I home roast and I like it. Designer of the KKTO
Roaster Build information
https://forum.hom...ad_id=1142

https://docs.goog...lide=id.i0
Blog - http://koffeekosm...gspot.com/

Bezzera Strega, Mazzer Robur Grinder, Pullman Tamper Convex,
(KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster.
 
noah
I never thought of using it with a heat gun. I had mine over a propane fired burner! I wonder if there is a way to use a thermocouple with this method?
 
David

Quote

noah wrote:John, do you know of any links that provide a walkthrough of rewiring the bread machine?

Here is the link for rewiring a bread machine to have constant stirring. I have rewired Osters, so if you have any specific questions, just let me know.

If you want to expand the chamber out to use a Turbo Oven, take a peek at BM/TO.

The huge advantage of bread machines is that the agitation is vigorous and constant. This allows having the heatgun tip so close to the beans without scorching.

Good Luck and keep us informed of your progress.

David
 
noah
Wow, that is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you.
 
seedlings
Shoot! How'd I miss this thread?

I feel your pain, noah!

So, to get this straight, you're looking to do a small batch initially to get the hang of it... but then you will go on to do 1.5 pounders, right? Cool.

First, your Brazil beans may be a softer bean, which means you will be able to get a char taste if they're heated too quickly (popper!). So, take it easy, and use the first five minutes to get an even tan color.

The technique is to use the heatgun on high and keep the end of the nozzle about 8" away from the bean mass. Stir the beans and move the nozzle. If after 4 minutes you're not seeing color change, get the heatgun closer to the beans.

First Crack should start around 10 minutes on a smallish batch if you're trying to take it easy on the Brazillian. If First Crack comes fast with rapid pops in succession (like it does in your popper), then bring the heat down by moving the gun back.

Next, maintain. You're not wanting to push them fast into Second Crack right away, but instead, you want 2 to 5 minutes between the end of First Crack and the onset of Second Crack.

If you need any further pointers beyond David's awesome article, ask away!

CAHD
Edited by seedlings on 03/29/2009 1:54 PM
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
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