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Best roasting equipment or method
gene
Rambling questions and rambling thoughts.

Comment by Jim Schulman the other day that the BM/HG combo was on a par with very high dollar commercial roasters that set me to thinking.
And the analysis by Sherman of the recent roasting contest(Sorry Sherman don't know how to attach quote marks):

What is more impressive than anything else is that the overall quality of roasts was very high, regardless of roasting device. No tipping, scorching or other roast defects were visible upon visual inspection, and the shots were all good. While the shots in the bottom half (including mine!) were all OK (I wouldn't have a problem paying for them at a cafe), the top 3 truly stood out.

Participating in the judging, as well as continuing to roast on my HG/BM setup, reaffirms my belief that there are only 2 only requirements for producing high quality roasts:

1) a roasting device whose heat inputs are responsive and can be directly controlled, and

2) an individual who understands both the idiosyncrasies of their chosen device and has a good working knowledge of the roast process, bean selection and influencing factors.

Again we had equipment from all corners: farmroast's super-customized SC/TO, Hottop, HG/BM, a few Quest M3s, and even a pro-style Mini 500. Just goes to show that you gotta know how to use the equipment.

If you want to get better as a roaster and get better results in the cup, you've got to put yourself out there for criticism and be willing to accept criticism. These types of events give us just such an opportunity(end[/b][/i] quote).

Now I still have questions as to whether I have the best equipment. People seem to really like my roasts from the Gene Cafe. Have mailed examples around the country. Waiting anxiously for the next Homeroasters competition. Hurry Jim, et al.
Perhaps head-to-head competition is only way will ever PERSONALLY know.
Maybe the true answer is individual driven rather than equipment driven. Or is it?

Hey, can you folks help me out here? I'm struggling. After studying the Correto history and its evolvement I get excited. There's Farmroast and his SC/TO and the KK Turbo that excites me. And Jim Shulman uses the Quest?
And Bill Welch has done so much to keep us straight with practical advice. After reading Sherman's comments it really makes you think. Don't ya just love Homeroasters.org and people like John Despres and Ginny and all the other fantastic buds on here?
Appreciate your thoughts. Remember, the goal is to be the very best roaster we can be. Please chime in. Help!
allenb
Gene, I think you'e asking the million dollar question many here have or have had, what's the best method of roasting?

I can say I've had coffee from every known roaster type I know of and have had equally excellent coffee from all when roasted by people who have figured out the magic to get it done.

I've had the same green coffee roasted in a fluidbed and a drum roaster that had almost the same cup character. On the other hand I've also experienced the usual differences of brighter cup from the fluidbed and less bright from the drum roaster at the same degree of roast level due to the operator of the drum roaster using a reduced air flow.

I think with all else being equal and with capable operators roasting top notch green coffee that there will only be subtle differences between roaster types as Jim experienced with the malty notes from his M3 versus his popper.

I think an important consideration is the differences in learning curve between the different roaster types. Some are much more difficult to get your hands around than others. To me, learning to fly the drum roaster was the most difficult of all.

Allen
Edited by allenb on 07/10/2011 11:56 AM
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
gene
Allen:
Had left the homeroaster scene for the past two years and feel like the world has passed me by. What a difference. Fluidbed roasters, dataloggers, computer profiles, BM/HG's, Turbo KK.
Even two short years ago with Bill, Randy and the guys modifieng circuit boards. It was sort of refreshing a few days ago with Jim Shulman commenting some of the best roasters out there was Bread Machine/Heat Guns. Basically back to the skillet of yore.

Guess Eddie Dove spoiled me a few years ago with our fast and furious dialog shortly before he went to a barbecue grill. He let me in on all the intracasies of the Gene Cafe. Then John Despres helped me with a lot of tweaking. I had it too easy!
But I do think about them every day yet and their contributions.

Now I feel like going back to a wood stove and skillet and really learning the bean by the seat of my pants, by trial and error. I envy the BM/HG folks for this very reason.

The point is its so fun, the entire experience! That is why I treasure the replies on this forum. Without hearing from others experiences as they manipulate the bean roasting would or could be a drag.

And thanks-some great observations in your and others posts.
g
Koffee Kosmo
You may have read that I wanted to build a HG/BM roaster and my wife said NO because of to much chaff

The KKTO at the outset was designed to operate with both heat sources
1) Turbo Oven (2) Heat gun

It was also designed to roast 3 times more green bean volume than most of the off the shelf products

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.
seedlings

Quote

gene wrote:
Now I feel like going back to a wood stove and skillet and really learning the bean by the seat of my pants, by trial and error. I envy the BM/HG folks for this very reason.

The point is its so fun, the entire experience! That is why I treasure the replies on this forum. Without hearing from others experiences as they manipulate the bean roasting would or could be a drag.

And thanks-some great observations in your and others posts.
g


There's the guy using a beat-up 12' john boat and 15hp pull-start motor, then the guy sponsored with uber-gear and 75mph bass boat. Which guy would say he has more fun fishing? Which is more satisfied? Hard to say.

Use what you have, do it wrong often enough to learn what not to do, and be content to enjoy the results!

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
JETROASTER
N.A.S.A spent years and millions developing a pen that could write in zero gravity. The Soviets brought a pencil.
-Scott
ginny
This is a very interesting conversation and one that I have had many personal talks about...

My bottom line here is that 98% of people have NO idea how there coffee is roasted, period.

I would be willing to bet that the majority here, given random samples could not tell how the beans were roasted. Did I just say that? Yes, I did and it was not meant to make light of what we each do.

I do not think I could tell how a bean was roasted; honestly more then likely I would guess. Shame on me? No because I love fresh roasted do not mean my palate is as well developed as the rest of my fellow roasters.

IDEA:

if anyone wants to run a test send me a couple of samples of your roasted coffee. Mark them 1 and 2. I will repackage them in bags I have here, make a list and renumber them as well and send them to those who sign up for the test of the month here on HRO.

Thoughts about the above are that no one who gets a sample will know who roasted the beans so there is no chance of knowledge about how they may have been roasted. A master list will be made and the number of each bag will be sent to the roaster so they can participate in the finals and post who got what.

Any interest.

ginny
come on it's Monday let's make the best out of i!!Roflmao

This can be an August tasting and all beans shipped to me by the 1st or on the 1st of August.

I will post a sign up for those sending me beans and those who want to taste.
farmroast
Gene
Jim Schulman offers a service to assess your roast. http://www.home-b...16329.html
Ed B.
DreamRoast 1kg roaster, Levers, Hand Mills http://coffee-roa...gspot.com/
Sherman

Quote

allenb wrote:
I can say I've had coffee from every known roaster type I know of and have had equally excellent coffee from all when roasted by people who have figured out the magic to get it done.


Well said.

Quote

gene wroteNow I still have questions as to whether I have the best equipment.


IMHO it comes down to your goals. Do you want to compare your roasts to professionals and see how you stack up? Buy both green and roasted from a well-regarded roaster. Terrior, Paradise, PT's and Klatch all sell both. Taste them against your own roasts of their beans, and you'll gain more knowledge about where you stand than any other sampling or trading.

Do you want to see where you stack up against other amateurs? HRO and GCBC do bean swaps on a regular basis. HB runs a yearly homeroaster's competition. There are lots of outlets for this kind of activity, which is pretty neat.

John Despres and several others from HRO have participated in the past contests; I've been fortunate enough to taste their roasts, and am confident in my assertion that it's the roaster, not the device. I've had some mighty fine cups come across my palate, and am glad to know that we amateurs can, on any given day when the angels are on sitting on our shoulders, play with the big boys.

If your GC works well, be happy. If you're curious, spend $40 and hack together a HG/BM just to see how the other half lives :).
jammin
I believe roasting gear quality is based on two things:

1.) Ability to control application of heat.

2.) Method(s) of heat application.

All beans inherently have a specific heat capacity, a sweet spot if you will for absorbing thermal energy. Origin, altitude, varietal and processing method all conrtibute to this. Your roaster's "quality" can have a big influence on how difficult it will be to roast the bean properly.

A quality roaster can gracefully apply the 3 major mechanisms of heat transfer; conduction, convection and radiation. This is why Probat style (ventilated drum) roasters are so popular amongst professionals. The venitlated drum takes advantage of all the 3 methods and has the agility to change any one of them quickly to alter the roast.

~j
seedlings
For me roaster gear quality is based on the satisfaction in the cup.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
gene
My goals. Hmmm food for thought. Have a burning desire to get better as a roaster. Ed suggested a great idea.
And Sherman makes one really think. A few years ago we exchanged roasts.
It was good to cup John Despres, et al's roasts and have mine blind cupped.
Learned a lot from the experience.
I'll just bide my time and we'll have another sharing experience this winter.

In the meantime all of the suggestions and ideas you folks came up with will keep me busy this Fall.

Have to agree with Ginny. Prob 98% of people have no idea how their coffee was roasted. On the occasions when I have cupped others samples that question always runs thru my head. "Thats good stuff. wonder how it was roasted and via what equipment".
C'mon Ginny is right, majority here could not tell but we would love to know.

And Sherman is so so practical. Last month Zazzy Z's in Abington, VA, sold me green beans that they offfer roasted. I'm on cloud nine after roasting and comparing.

Keep it coming folks, without Homeroasters.org I would be an empty shell!
"Construct my own BM/HG and see how the other half lives"!!!!hahahahaha.....Jammin, thats exactly what I hope to do, and thanks
gene

PS: Sherman. I was amazed to see your cupping bud John's address the other day 10 blocks from 4936. For ten years I was a resident of 4936 Sheridan Road(since razed) just up the street from Wrigley Field
jammin

Quote

ginny wrote:
My bottom line here is that 98% of people have NO idea how there coffee is roasted, period.

I would be willing to bet that the majority here, given random samples could not tell how the beans were roasted. Did I just say that? Yes, I did and it was not meant to make light of what we each do.


This is certainly true. I think a more telling perspective would be to taste the same bean roasted on two different roasters. Do you think you could tell a difference between the two? I believe the answer to this question correlates with the quality of the roaster.

~j
Ringo
When I was getting the bugs out of my drum roaster, I did side by side roast on the behmor and the drum. I could always tell the difference between the two. Just a roast by its self I would not know which roaster it was roasted in. As I got better control over the drum the difference was smaller. Early on in the process the behmor always was the better roast now the drum usually wins, but I do not test roast on the behmor any more. I still will do a roast on my IR2 sometimes it gives me a brighter coffee.

Ringo
All you need in life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. Mark Twain
danw2002
totally true AFAICT..as far as i can tell...that is why we love to make our roasters(for me also, i am cheep....er thrifty), we 'know' we can make our machine do the roast just a bit better, meaning control the variables. the Key for me is making a roaster where I can control and mix at random all three mechanisms of heat, and mix it all with time to get the most out of a bean, ah but is that not the 'Holy Grail' of coffee roasting, but of course it still ends up coming down to the 'nut' behind the knob....the roaster(person).

Quote

jammin wrote:
I believe roasting gear quality is based on two things:

1.) Ability to control application of heat.

2.) Method(s) of heat application.

All beans inherently have a specific heat capacity, a sweet spot if you will for absorbing thermal energy. Origin, altitude, varietal and processing method all conrtibute to this. Your roaster's "quality" can have a big influence on how difficult it will be to roast the bean properly.

A quality roaster can gracefully apply the 3 major mechanisms of heat transfer; conduction, convection and radiation. This is why Probat style (ventilated drum) roasters are so popular amongst professionals. The venitlated drum takes advantage of all the 3 methods and has the agility to change any one of them quickly to alter the roast.

~j

Dan Williams...WHAAAT!?!?!? I have NOT had enough coffee.....
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