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Where's my blueberry?
Third Crack
This story is mostly for new roasters like myself. It all started when I was fooling around with my Gene Cafe working on profiles for SHB beans. I was getting what I considered good results but nothing knocked my socks off. Then I bought some Ethiopian Amaro Gayo (some may remember an earlier post) DP beans and just did a roast without paying too much attention to what I was doing. It was pure fruit and blueberry from start to finish in the aroma and taste. It almost didn't taste like coffee it was so blueberry. OK...I got an interesting bean. So I saved what I had left and went back to optimizing my profile on "lesser" beans, all SHB. Once I was ready I went back to the Amaro Gayo to do a City, City+ and FC roast for comparison. My first roast went faster than other SHB beans so I made some adjustments and started again. Three more roasts City through FC. Guess what....just some vague hints of fruit and blueberry. Not to say it was bad but the huge fruit bowl was gone totally. So I went back to my notes on that run I made and tried to find the differences. Both had a drying hold at 340F. Both used a preheated Gene (390F). Both dropped the temp just prior to 1C and carried through to dump in a similar fashion. Here's my guess (and I only have one 8oz batch left to roast)....The "optimized" profile that did not give the big blueberry flavor was held at 340F until 25.5 min counted down from 30 minutes. It then ramped up at a lower power ( I have a variac on the heating unit) until yellow and then went full power. At yellow the environmental temp was near 400F I believe. The reason for the lower power to yellow was to stretch out the time to yellow some. The earlier run prior to "optimizing" went to full power at 25.5 minutes which was a minute or so prior to yellow. What I am thinking is that this pushed the environmental temp quite a bit higher when the beans hit yellow meaning that the roasting rate as the beans exited the drying stage was higher...the bean temperature rise was greater. The "optimized" profile likely had a low rate of bean temp rise particularly in the earlier stage of roast after yellow. My next roast will be back to the high energy prior to reaching yellow so the roast rate is high at the transition from drying to roasting. I would appreciate any comments and stay tuned for the result.
Bob
Edited by Third Crack on 05/09/2011 4:06 PM
ginny
Bob:

The Blueberry Story...

it rages forever and is elusive as well. The first Harrer Horse I had way back in 05/06 was NOTHING but blueberry and I wanted more, more and even more.

Has not happened since for me. Clearly palates can change overnight. I am not a professional cupper so god only knows what I taste in these beans I roast; get the fruit, wood, leather, chocolate, some herbs and citrus but I have never found that blueberry again after all these years. This is all not without trying on multiple roasters...

The only other time I had "the blueberry" was in a jar of Harrer Horse a year or so later that I left, forgotten, on the sink for 2/3 weeks plus.

All of the blueberry experiences were using the bean as single origin espresso/cafe crema.

who is the crazy one here?

Bob, great post and if you ever get any beans with tons-o-blueberry let me know or simply send me some.

Not sure what it is about coffee with/and blueberry but it is unforgettable.

ginnyGrin
smatty1
I'm a big fan of the ever elusive blueberry as well. Harrar from a local roaster 10 yrs ago lit me up and havnt had good harrar since. Ethiopian DP Koratie was the best blueberry cobbler coffee I have ever tasted. It's been about 3 yrs or so since that batch and who knows if we'll ever see that again? Do let us know if you stumble on any blueberry bombs!:)
Third Crack
Part of the reason for my post was to demonstrate the big possibility (particularly for newer roasters) that you could have a blueberry bomb on your hands and never unlock the potential. If I had done my supposed profile optimization before getting this bean I would have just observed another pretty good coffee. It was that fateful run early (a couple months ago) that just by lucky chance unlocked the beans promise. Fortunately I have one 8 oz pack left of the great bean and MAY learn some very valuable profile lessons if I again get the great result by going back to the "unoptimized" profile. I should be able to post the results of this last run in a week or so and if I'm successful I would really like to hear from some experts on the two profiles and why the big difference. In particular I think this MAY have some potential to explain part of the mystery of the drying phase, why some have good results and some seem to think the opposite...but then again......!!!
Bob
Edited by Third Crack on 05/10/2011 6:57 AM
JETROASTER
My most blueberriest was a 3 oz, 4 minute, a bit past cinnamon, on a heat gun/funnel . Go figure. -Scott
farmroast

Quote

smatty1 wrote:
Ethiopian DP Koratie was the best blueberry cobbler coffee I have ever tasted. It's been about 3 yrs or so since that batch and who knows if we'll ever see that again? Do let us know if you stumble on any blueberry bombs!:)

I just roasted a batch of the '08 Koratie DP last week. The most famous lot was lot 30 Harrar of early '06. The first IMV lot a Yirga Cheffe of'06 was a clean blueberry bomb and the '08 Koratie a Sidamo was a bold blueberry/dark fruit bomb also.
I have some IMV about to arrive that I'm hoping is back to the quality of the '06 lot.
Blueberry is a a ferment result. It takes a good crop and a lot of luck with the weather during processing. It's pretty rare when all things come together properly. Many attempts become rotten blueberries. When you find one buy extra and either vac in canning jars or vac pack and freeze. The great blueberry bombs are few and far between.
Edited by farmroast on 05/10/2011 9:06 AM
Ed B.
DreamRoast 1kg roaster, Levers, Hand Mills http://coffee-roa...gspot.com/
seedlings
In all honesty, the more closely I've tried to profile, pay attention and tweak roasts . . . the less happy overall I've been with the flavors. On the flip-side... the 'wing it' roasts are almost always refreshingly tasty. Perhaps this is a product of increased expectations, but the phenomenon persists for me.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
smatty1

Quote

farmroast wrote:

Quote

smatty1 wrote:
Ethiopian DP Koratie was the best blueberry cobbler coffee I have ever tasted. It's been about 3 yrs or so since that batch and who knows if we'll ever see that again? Do let us know if you stumble on any blueberry bombs!:)

I just roasted a batch of the '08 Koratie DP last week. The most famous lot was lot 30 Harrar of early '06. The first IMV lot a Yirga Cheffe of'06 was a clean blueberry bomb and the '08 Koratie a Sidamo was a bold blueberry/dark fruit bomb also.
I have some IMV about to arrive that I'm hoping is back to the quality of the '06 lot.
Blueberry is a a ferment result. It takes a good crop and a lot of luck with the weather during processing. It's pretty rare when all things come together properly. Many attempts become rotten blueberries. When you find one buy extra and either vac in canning jars or vac pack and freeze. The great blueberry bombs are few and far between.

If I knew then....I woulda bought all they had!!:(
Third Crack
Well the last Amaro Gayo run using the roasting profile notes from the original run and from the same lot of beans that was the blueberry bomb....gave minimal blueberry notes. Although I am far from an expert roaster I am almost convinced that I did nothing wrong in the roasts...the blueberry component is simply gone. This may explain the fleeting nature and rarity of this huge blueberry characteristic. The ester, alcohol or whatever combination of organic compounds may be volatile, semi-volatle or unstable. There may be a window in the aging of the bean where these compounds exist. I stored the beans in individual 8 oz vacuum packs at room temp for just a couple months. I know for sure if I ever hit on such an extreme bean again I will freeze it immediately and then see what happens.
My other theory is that I'm just full of...coffee grounds.
I think I will take a nap and see if I can dream of that one roast.
farmroast
My guess is a little too much drying before 300f BT. It could be accentuated if your ramp to first was a little longer too. Much past c+ and the blueberry starts to meld as more of a dark fruit towards grape skins blend
Edited by farmroast on 05/11/2011 7:35 PM
Ed B.
DreamRoast 1kg roaster, Levers, Hand Mills http://coffee-roa...gspot.com/
Gregman
Ah yes the elusive blueberry from Ethiopian Amaro Gayo, I remember it well.
However that particular coffee flavor (in my limited experience) is gone in less than 3 days.

Don't worry their season should be coming soon......Maybe June? We'll get to try again.
Well now........ that's not suppose to happen!
jammin

Quote

seedlings wrote:
In all honesty, the more closely I've tried to profile, pay attention and tweak roasts . . . the less happy overall I've been with the flavors.


I can relate to this as well. I think it's not only more fun to not bother with the minutiae, but it let's one focus on the actual roasting better. Helps you get your roasting 'zen' on if you will.

~j
JETROASTER

Quote

jammin wrote:

Quote

seedlings wrote:
In all honesty, the more closely I've tried to profile, pay attention and tweak roasts . . . the less happy overall I've been with the flavors.


I can relate to this as well. I think it's not only more fun to not bother with the minutiae, but it let's one focus on the actual roasting better. Helps you get your roasting 'zen' on if you will.

~j


+ Another vote for 'naked' roasting. ....Not to diminish those that use it, or enjoy trying to solve the great riddle, but for myself, having been a foodie for a long time......I've never profiled a steak. -Scott
Third Crack
Sorry...zen roasting is not for me! I guess it's the chemical engineer in me. I have fun with the details whether they mean anything or not. Something about the pursuit that intrigues me. Different strokes...!!Thanks for all who weighed in.
Bob
farmroast
zen roasting is bunk
Ed B.
DreamRoast 1kg roaster, Levers, Hand Mills http://coffee-roa...gspot.com/
seedlings

Quote

farmroast wrote:
zen roasting is bunk


Perhaps. :|

"On a recent visit to the Ethiopian countryside I was treated almost daily to servings of coffee that had been roasted on the spot in shallow pans over coals, and that coffee, despite what appeared to be a scattering of black, over-roasted beans, invariably tasted superb." -Ken Davids

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
JimH
Are we defining zen roasting as being without instrumentation, without automation or without in depth profiling?
seedlings

Quote

JimH wrote:
Are we defining zen roasting as being without instrumentation, without automation or without in depth profiling?


I understood it as 'not having a profile plan of attack' for the bean going in the roaster.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
JETROASTER
For me , the cut-off line would be automation. Even if it's only thermometers, we all profile to some degree, based on previous roast experience.
With all the variables involved, is it reasonable to think that an automated process can out-perform an experienced roaster?
.....Isn't that the underlying question? -Scott
farmroast

Quote

seedlings wrote:

Quote

farmroast wrote:
zen roasting is bunk


Perhaps. :|

"On a recent visit to the Ethiopian countryside I was treated almost daily to servings of coffee that had been roasted on the spot in shallow pans over coals, and that coffee, despite what appeared to be a scattering of black, over-roasted beans, invariably tasted superb." -Ken Davids

CHAD
I'll bet if Ken really watched and measured those crude but tasty roasts he'd find a darn good profile.
Ed B.
DreamRoast 1kg roaster, Levers, Hand Mills http://coffee-roa...gspot.com/
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