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Just got it!
troposcuba
Just got my new GC in the mail today! Woo Hoo. I will be running the test on it empty to establish the performance of this particular machine before I roast in it. Will post the results here. Should roast my first batch in it tomorrow. I have on hand about 4lbs of Guatemala CP select Antigua. I also have a small amount of Costa Rica Carlos Urena Ceciliano CoE La Pira. I think it may be too small a quantity for the GC, so it will get roasted in the iRoast. Now some more good news... I just talked to one of my local roasters here in Tucson today. I got the invite to come to his shop while he is roasting on tuesday and check out his operation, better than that, he told me he just got a bunch of fresh new green that he will let me sample and sell me what I like. He even has some Panama Geisha there. so that should be a good connection to have. I will update the specs on my GC tomorrow, and let ya'll know how my first roast goes.
 
ginny
Hi trop:

I am still not sure why people don't sign their posts so all I can call you is hey member or simply trop!

hi trop, you will love your GC. it's a great roaster.

please let us know how it gos for you and do not forget to reach out and roast by smell/looks and feel.

You don't need to have profiles in front of you to get a good roast. it is your taste that matters.

-g

and Welcome
 
troposcuba
Sorry bout the signature thing. I am Sean. I think I updated my profiile to reflect that. As far as roasting by sight/smell/sound, I think i have a pretty good start working on the feel for that. Obviously there is much to learn from those with tons more experience, and also with a new machine. I have been home roasting going on about 10 years now, and I believe I have learned a few things along the way, but am also humble enough to learn there is a ton more to learn every day. so through various methods I have tried and found the limitations of, I anxious to try something new and improved. I have manipulated the roast to the limits of the iRoastII's that I have been using lately. That is a big part of the reason I bought the GC. I can't wait to have a little more control of the process.

I did an empty dry run on the machine tonight. Here are the results:
ambient temp = 69*
max temp (482) acheived in 6:18 on my stopwatch.

anyway, Ginny, thanks for the encouragement. I will post results of the first roast and maybe some pictures of my soon to be built cooler.
Edited by troposcuba on 03/03/2012 9:00 PM
Sean
 
allenb
Sean,

I'll bet you were like a kid on Christmas morning when you saw the Gene had arrived!

From all I've heard so far about the Gene I think you'll be very impressed with the roasts. keep us up to date. We need more Gene critiques.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
troposcuba
Yeah, Allen, the wife kept telling me that I got something. I was making cappucchino and breakfast for her at the time, and could not divert my attention for fear or ruining both of them. When I finally investigated her claims of something having arrived on the porch, I was pretty happy. The topper was going to my local farmer's market today and getting the invite from the local coffee roaster to visit his fullscale operation, and the offer to sample and buy from his stocks of fresh green beans. What's better than getting to try before you buy! So, yes, I am quite happy today. I have already roasted a couple pounds of the Guatemalan Antigua that I have at various roasts using the iRoastII I have, so that gives me an idea of how I like this particular bean. so that gives me a sort of baseline for my results with the GC (which I hope to be even better of course). I will definitely keep everyone posted here.
Sean
 
John Despres
Excellent! Have fun and we're watching for your results!

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.
 
ginny
Sean:

Nice to have you say hello as the real you!

thanks,

-g
 
Army Coffee
Sean;

All I can say is that you will really enjoy it. I got mine about a month ago and I am still a kid in a candy shop. Can't wait to hear how your roasts are going!!!

Drew
NEC ASPERA TERRENT

North TJ-072 2kg Roaster, Hottop 8828B, Gene Cafe Roaster, Baratza Vario Grinder, Breville SmartGrinder, Behmor Brazen, Cona "D", Bialetti Moka Express, Aero-Press, Quick Mill QM67
 
troposcuba
Well Army, I did my first roast today. 75* ambient temp (gotta love Arizona)... Guatemala CP select Antigua. Used the following profile:

preheated to 400 for about 6min. dumped 240g of beans.

300* - 5min
446* - 9:30
465* - 11:00
482* - 13:45
465* - 17:30

Dumped into stainless bowls (3 frozen) and transferred/stirred to cool.

1C @ 13:45
End @ 17:30

Sound familiar? I ended with a nice city+ roast, which is what I was shooting for. I also did a "control" batch with my iRoastII for comparison. I have been through a couple pounds of this same bean on the iRoast, so I thought it would be good to have a control batch to taste against. I am going to let them both breathe for about 24hours before I try them. I typically brew with a french press, and use a couple of good burr grinders to grind for what that is worth. Overall, I am pretty happy with the initial results based on what I saw and smelled during the process. Of course I have not cupped it yet, so that will be the real test. I give this site a lot of credit for all the information I picked up here reading before I jumped in.

John, I almost feel like a stalker since I have read so much of the information you have written here. So I thank you for that wealth of knowledge you have imparted to me at no cost! What I did learn is that I need a better system of logging my roast and to be a little more organized in my workspace where I am roasting. I roasted outside on the table in my backyard. I am also going to build a bean cooler like some of the ones I have seen here to make that part of the process a little smoother and uniform. All in all, I can't wait for my cup tomorrow morning! As a side note, my roaster went to 482* in 6:18 on a dry run I did the other day. I have not yet checked the voltage at my outlet.
Sean
 
Army Coffee
Sean;

I always preheat. I have been drying at 350 for 5min and though I have thought about dropping that to 300, I have been keeping it there. After the drying, I let it Rip at 482 until I hear First Crack. Once I hear that, I wait 30sec and then drop it to 456 to expand the time between the 2 cracks. We like coffee on the verge of Second Crack, but I do like to experiment.

A vented Pizza Pan on the back of a fan works GREAT at cooling the beans and I always do a emergency Dump to cool it quickly.

Compared to a Popcorn Popper, I find letting the coffee from the GC rest 48 hours is way better for degassing. 72 is even better...it is hard to wait!!!

Let us know how the iRoast compares!
Drew
NEC ASPERA TERRENT

North TJ-072 2kg Roaster, Hottop 8828B, Gene Cafe Roaster, Baratza Vario Grinder, Breville SmartGrinder, Behmor Brazen, Cona "D", Bialetti Moka Express, Aero-Press, Quick Mill QM67
 
mikepetro
Hi Sean,

I am right with you in learning the GC, I just got mine last Friday.

My machine matched yours in that it heated to 482 in 6:17 at an ambient 70 degrees. This was at 123vac, and the typical batch is consuming .37 Kwh.

I have done several roasts so far and I have been VERY pleased. Once I learn a bit more about the machines capabilities in terms of fully loaded Rate Of Rise I will PID it.

I found that batch size does make a difference, a 50g smaller batch using the same profile yielded a LIGHTER roast. While this seems counter-intuitive it seems it is typical of air roasters. Anyway, I have standardized on 226g batches, a half pound of green, as that makes for nice clean breaks when buying coffee by the pound, no leftover bits.

My typical profile so far has been something like
400* - 5min to preheat
250* - 4min to dry
480* - 12:00 to get the heat up
450* - 17:50(ish) to slow Rate of Rise after 1C
with a first crack somewhere around the 13 minute mark. This is yielding a City+ roast level. Currently cooling in the GC but will experiment with cooling externally soon.

Quote

I almost feel like a stalker

hehhe :eye-popping: me too, I have read just about every single reference to the GC that exists on this site, a lot of reading to be sure. I too am grateful to all who have shared thus far, without any doubt it has helped shorten my learning curve.


Quote

I find letting the coffee from the GC rest 48 hours is way better for degassing. 72 is even better...it is hard to wait!!!

I found the same thing, 3 days was by far the best.

Quote

What I did learn is that I need a better system of logging my roast

I am using an App called RoasterThing http://roasterthi... which is pretty full featured. Its free, no nags in the software, but the website does give a mild plug for a green bean donation. It was designed for tracking roasts on the Behmor but the author expanded it to allow anyone to use it. He has been very responsive to support issues, and even very agreeable to making changes in response to various suggestions.
Mike Petro
Martinsville, VA
--------------------------------
Lady Silvia, Stepless Rocky, Gene Cafe
http://mikepetro.org/coffee/
 
troposcuba
Drew, I followed a profile I got from one of the download pages here. I believe that I saw that same profile in one of your posts. As far as the drying etc. I hit the target of yellow bean right about 5min. So that was encouraging, and 1C came a little later than I expected after reading the roast logs from the profile I downloaded, but pretty close. I also did the Estop and dumped like most people here are saying is the way to go. I was a bit surprised that the beans were smoking pretty good at that point. Not sure if that is normal or not. My method of 3 stainless bowls/collanders/wire screen bowl that I kept in the freezer was not very efficient at cooling the beans. it took a few minutes (I didn't time that step, because I was more interested in tending to my coffee). I would like to have cooled it a bit quicker. The good part is that I expected it to coast a little, which it did, so I ended up right about where I was shooting for with the final roast. as far as the pan on the fan, are you talking about just facing the fan downward with the pan mounted on the back so it pulls through the pan? sounds pretty simple. I have a good shop vac and a pretty good sized stainless mesh bowl, so I think I am going to see if I can find a bucket that it fits and hook that up... simple, cheap, no mess.

as far as resting, I am anxious, so I will taste today when I get home from work which will be about 30 hrs, but will continue to drink the rest of it through the week, so that actually makes for a nice time comparison as far as that goes. The other thing is that, like I mentioned above, I use a french press mostly, so even dosing and consistency is easy to achieve there. I have a small one that is about 1 big cup, so I can taste back to back with various batches, roasts etc. The only difficulty I see here is that I have a hard time translating something as subtle as the nuances of a cup of good coffee into words. So my reviews of the results may be a bit on the lean side.

ps. I am active duty USAF. maybe I should have picked flyboy coffee or something of that nature for a screen name huh?

anyway, thanks for the insight. I will get back with some results tomorrow.
Sean
 
troposcuba
Mike, I have to admit to the same reading frenzy. Not only here, but just about everything I could pull up through internet searches on the GC. I had about 3 weeks from when I paid for it to wait while the whole world seemed to be on backorder, so that got me reading in my anticipation. So the comment about being like a kid on Christmas morning is dead on.

I do have to say that your posts have been a very interesting read here. I think I have read most of them as well. Again, not stalking here, just trying to soak up as much free knowlege as possible. I will never take this to the level of technical precision that you have planned. But nonetheless, it is interesting to see what you are doing. Now, on the other hand, my brother in law is a chemical engineer. He just got a GC last week. I can't wait to get his take on this whole thing. He may be able to give some very technical insight to what is actually going on chemically as well as offer some perspective on the process. That remains to be seen.

Batch size, as you mentioned, does seem to have a counterintuitive effect on the roast. However, I think that the volume of beans may act to contain and distribute the heat among themselves through conduction, so that would explain why that happens if I am correct in that theory.

You mention your "typical roast profile". Are you using that across the board, or adjusting for different types of bean? I have about 4lb of this Guatemalan left, but I am planning a visit to my local roaster tomorrow to see his operation and check out his fresh supply. He told me I can sample and he has some suggestions that he thinks will make me "very happy". So I am looking forward to that. I am also planning to pickup an knowlege I can from him that is applicable to what I am doing.

Finally, thanks for the link. I will check that out when I get home.
Edited by troposcuba on 03/05/2012 11:18 AM
Sean
 
Army Coffee
Sean;

I am in the same boat as you. I am trying to keep this from becoming too scientific and enjoy the roasting using Time, Temperature and Senses.

All the reading is great and some things I do becasue everyone else does. These include:

1. Preheat
2. Dry
3. Dump Cooling

I am convinced that I could cut out the drying part as the GC ramps up nicely on its own, but I refuse to get rid of it. I am sure I could start at 482 until the First Crack and it would still turn out great. I do it because I read it from so many...I am good with it!

Dump Cooling is simple. I have a Fan that I point Downward and place a vented Pizza Pan on the back to allow for air to be sucked through the Beans. Really simple and the ShopVac idea is another method using the same principle.

Great to see and here so many others Loving their GC!!!
Drew
NEC ASPERA TERRENT

North TJ-072 2kg Roaster, Hottop 8828B, Gene Cafe Roaster, Baratza Vario Grinder, Breville SmartGrinder, Behmor Brazen, Cona "D", Bialetti Moka Express, Aero-Press, Quick Mill QM67
 
mikepetro
Sean,

I dont have the experience with different beans yet, this is my first foray into roasting. I have only done Colombian beans up until tonight, so yes I kept that same profile for them. Tonight I did some Costa Rican beans and I made a judgement call on the 480 - 450 turn down. The beans didnt look dark enough at the end of 8 minutes so I let it run at 480 another minute but still ended the roast at 18 minutes.

Preheat at 400 for 5 min
250 - 4min
480 - 9min - reached 480 after 4.5min
450 - 5min
cooldown in GC 10.5min
Never did hear 1C but I didnt have my ear up next to it this time.

The color came out beautiful. I am estimating City+ to Full City. I need to get one of those cards like I saw on the Australian Coffee Snobs site. They are about the size of a business card and have examples of all the roast colors on them, the idea being that you place in the batch of beans and match it up. I am not great at judging shades without a reference. Anyone here know where I can find such a thing?
Mike Petro
Martinsville, VA
--------------------------------
Lady Silvia, Stepless Rocky, Gene Cafe
http://mikepetro.org/coffee/
 
troposcuba
Drew, you and I seem to have absorbed the same basic principles from this site. Mike, from what I have read here, color alone does not tell the whole story. it seems that different varieties can have different coloration at the same level of roast. I am by no means any kind of expert at this, but I try to go by smell/smoke, sound, color, and what seems to be an accurate description from the sweetmarias site about the actual appearance of the surface of the bean as far as texture, swelling, cracking etc. I am pretty happy with the results I have acheived so far. I, like you have only put one variety of bean through the GC at this point. Once I am confident that I can get the roast I am aiming for somewhat consistantly (or when I run out of these) I will move on to other varieties.

Thanks for the responses fellas. Keep em coming.
Sean
 
Army Coffee
Sean;

I have roasted coffee from 10 different countries and 11 different regions (2 from Ethiopia). You are spot on with the fact that every one is different in color. I will say that all are identical in terms of progressing through the levels of roast but do it at different times. The sight, smells and time allow me to know when things are about to happen, but I know they will yellow, will brown, will achieve First Crack, etc...

Every coffee I have roasted has come out exceptionally well. We may not like the specific coffee, but that is becasue of the flavors and not becasue of a bad roast. We just keep drinking our way around the world!!!

Drew
NEC ASPERA TERRENT

North TJ-072 2kg Roaster, Hottop 8828B, Gene Cafe Roaster, Baratza Vario Grinder, Breville SmartGrinder, Behmor Brazen, Cona "D", Bialetti Moka Express, Aero-Press, Quick Mill QM67
 
troposcuba
Drew, I hear ya. I have been doing this for about 10 years, so I have been around the world as well. I have also traveled to a lot of the countries that produce coffee (Haven't made any African countries other than Egypt yet though). Of course I make a point to absorb as much of the culture, food and coffee in each of those places while I am there. Now, of course, you are taking the control of the roasting process out of the picture doing that, but you still get a pretty good idea of local coffee that way. Like you said, let the adventure continue. My only regret is that I can't drink it all day long. I would never sleep if I did that.

On a side note, I just got back from a visit to the local coffee roaster. It is a business that sells at the local farmer's market and has a contract supplying one of the high end spa's here in Tucson. He and his father are the whole business. He told me he does about 2 TONS of coffee per month! I didn't get any pictures this time, but just missed him roasting today, so will be back friday to try to catch him while he is roasting. He had lots of sacks of good stuff. Unfortunately I just missed the Panama Geisha. He ran out of that today. I did manage to pick up an assortment of 1 or 2 lb bags of Bali, Sumatra, Peru, Timor, and Ethiopia Harar. So the plan is to roast a few more batches of the Guatemala that I have to be sure I have my process down, and then start in on the others. I may play with blending some of them after they are roasted as well. that is pretty easy for me to do since I mostly brew french press and can, therefore, blend/brew small quantities at a time.

For what it is worth, using the iRoast that I have been using up to now, I tend toward African and Tropical Island varieties, and have just started playing with the Central American varieties.

So, the adventure continues.
Sean
 
troposcuba
For those of you who were curious about my comparison between the batch I roasted on the CG compared to the iRoast, here is my best description. I am by no means an educated taster, and my descriptive skills are weak at best, but here is what I did notice. The GC batch seems to have all the same flavors/aromas that are in the iRoast batch. The difference (which was quite noticeable actually) was that the GC batch has a much fuller body, and seems linger on your tongue longer. It taste "rounder" if that makes any sense. I would also say that the flavor was more "dense", meaning it felt like a more compact tasting version of the other roast. As they cooled, you could taste some more subtle changes in the GC batch as well. Both were good, but there was no contest which was better. Both roasts looked nearly identical (although times were quite different. The iRoast being several minutes quicker to finish). Both were rested about 30 hours. I will taste again tomorrow to see what more time does to differentiate them. Overall, I would have to say I think it was a successful first attempt. I think that other than the cooling portion of my process, I am not going to change anything at this point. I do plan to have a better cooling system (bucket, wire bowl, shop vac) setup today before I roast again, with the hopes of being able to pinpoint my end of roast a little more accurately. I believe I had a little bit of coasting, but expected that from my reading here, so got lucky and hit the roast I was shooting for anyway. It will be interesting to see what effect it has on the result if I am able to pinpoint my EOR and stop it more quickly next time.

So there you have it... my first amateur attempt at a roasting review.

Critiques? Applause? Bombardment with rotten fruit? Let me have it!
Edited by troposcuba on 03/06/2012 2:14 PM
Sean
 
Army Coffee
Sean:Clap:

I have read that the GC combines the best of both kinds of roasting, but I have not seen any direct comparison anywhere I have read (and I read a lot since beginning this journey!). For what it is worth, my Wife has been convinced that the GC just makes a better roasted coffee then my Popcorn Popper. I am not as convinced. We had a few coffees from the popcorn popper that we did not like but I attribute that to the coffee and not the roast. I will say that I completely agree with you about the body as the GC roasts longer allowing for richer development.

Great comparison and thanks for your toughts...WELL DONE!

Drew
NEC ASPERA TERRENT

North TJ-072 2kg Roaster, Hottop 8828B, Gene Cafe Roaster, Baratza Vario Grinder, Breville SmartGrinder, Behmor Brazen, Cona "D", Bialetti Moka Express, Aero-Press, Quick Mill QM67
 
troposcuba
Drew, believe me, I have had the same thoughts on having some varieties that I liked less than others. That can be expected. In fact that is the beauty of this sickness. Funny part is that I could tell you that bean XX or YY or whatever is the best cup I ever tasted and you might completely disagree when you tasted the same coffee. That holds true for a lot of things in life. For what it is worth, I plan to repeat the experiment (GC vs. iRoast) on more varieties as I go just to verify my findings. I figure it will also be a good education toward becoming better at this process. Anyway, thanks for the kind words. It is nice to know someone is listening sometimes. Funny thing is that you mentioned your wife as a "sounding board" for your roasts. My wife likes a different taste than I do, so I find myself roasting "his and hers" batches sometimes. The good thing about that is it allows me the freedom to blend different varieties and experiment there too.
Sean
 
Army Coffee
Sean;

I forgot to mention that I did a little blending because my wife really liked the Guatemalan I roasted and I reallly liked the Berry Notes in a Ethiopian Natural I had so we decided to make a Guatelopian 50/50 Blend. We both loved it!!!

What a great hobby we have!!!
DRew
NEC ASPERA TERRENT

North TJ-072 2kg Roaster, Hottop 8828B, Gene Cafe Roaster, Baratza Vario Grinder, Breville SmartGrinder, Behmor Brazen, Cona "D", Bialetti Moka Express, Aero-Press, Quick Mill QM67
 
John Despres
Excellent, Sean!

Yep, the Gene Cafe is a great roaster. Congratulations on your succeses!

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.
 
troposcuba
Thank you John. Now I just have to work on consistency and repeatability. I just built my cooler. Quick trip to Ace Hardware provided all I needed for about $6. Bucket, a couple PVC fittings and I already had the shop vac and wire collander. Think I will try it out today if I get a chance.
Sean
 
troposcuba
So, roast #2 is in the books. I did 226G of Guatemala CP select Antigua again. I am aiming for repeatability. I think I have a handle on it so far. I was shooting for city+ again. I ended up tweaking this roast a little on the fly due to lower ambient temp, and I used my new external cooling bucket. The roast went as follows:

Preheat to 400 for 7:00 (was shooting for 6:00, but something came up)
300 for 5:26
446 to 7:25
456 to 9:30
465 to 11:00
482 to 11:45
465 to 17:35 (EOR)

1C started about 12:10
rolling 1C @ 13:10
end [email protected]:45
EOR @ 17:35

dumped and cooled in the bucket
down to 100* @ 20:53 (75* a few seconds later)

I ended up bumping the temp up from 446 to 456 @ 7:25 (previous roast stayed @ 456 to 9:30. I did this because things were progressing more slowly, presumably due to 10* lower ambient temp)

end of roast looks almost identical to the first batch which was not cooled nearly as quickly and coasted to the same roast as intended. So now I wait and let it rest at least 24 hours and start tasting from there, which is where the real results can be determined. I will post back here and let ya'll know the result. Here are a couple pics. I did not get into 2C (as I intended not to) I am thinking I got about city+ based on the description of the swelled edges etc more than color, and also the fact there was no signs or sounds (or smoke) evidencing 2C. Here are a few pics of the beans and my cooler setup. Further results will be posted when I get a taste. Unfortunately I drank all of the first batch, so I will not get to do a direct taste comparison, just from memory.

here's my cooler bucket with shop vac and wire mesh collander
http://spotted.st...size=large
http://spotted.st...size=large
Here's my resulting batch
http://spotted.st...size=large
Edited by troposcuba on 03/11/2012 12:39 AM
Sean
 
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