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How to Develop a Profile?
I apologize for posing a basic question here but...

Are there any guidelines or starting points for developing a profile?
Or is this something that just comes with experience?

I have been roasting with an air crazy popcorn popper for a few months now. I have little ability to control specific temps currently but am looking into upgrading to possibly a Hottop. Before this happens I want to wrap my head around the concept of profiling and trying to discern outcome differences between slow roast to FC and speed it up to SC or go to FC fairly quickly and extend the period between FC and SC (maybe not real profiles, and shows my inexperience, but hopefully gets what I am looking for across)

Are there any good resources anyone could point me to?

Any guidance and/or advice is extremely appreciated.


Before this happens I want to wrap my head around the concept of profiling and trying to discern outcome differences between slow roast to FC and speed it up to SC or go to FC fairly quickly and extend the period between FC and SC (maybe not real profiles,

sorry to bust your bubble of roasting but your taste is different from others and there is no way for anyone to give you an outcome for what the beans will be like/taste like.

we have no idea how you roast, what type of roast you like, what you drink from those roasted beans.

too much missing information for anyone.


I know personal taste is a very large factor here and not really looking for specific guidance to achieve a specific goal, rather looking for generalities for any rhyme or reason to planning a roast profile, a Roasting Profiles 101 type answer.

Maybe if I reword a little. What would be the general purpose of increasing or decreasing temp in certain points of the roast. How does the result of doing one or the other show in the cup?

I know this is going to greatly differ bean to bean and method of roasting.

I ask because I assume there has to be some method to the madness. Well at least I am hoping there is and profiling is not completely random trial and error (of coarse there is some!), as there has to be an infinite number of possible profiles.
Edited by IntrepidQ3 on 03/05/2014 7:32 PM
Just notice this thread:

First half of the thread address the type of information I am after. So I found a portion of the answer I am looking for. But to further clear up the type of information I am after is what was shared in Reply #6. Allenb mentions a fast finish can accentuate fruits and flourals, but also has a chance to over exaggerate acidity. Also mentions this is not the case for all coffees.

Thank you in advance for anyone willing to provide any advice :)
First of all, so hedging: I only have a few months of roasting experience, but I read a lot which is probably the second best way to learn about roasting (the best way is of course roasting).

The basic profile to start with is 4-4-4.

4 minutes of drying (200-300/yellow)
4 minutes of browning (300-FC) this stage has a lot of other names, I see "development" often
4 minutes from FC to SC - not to the end necessarily. If you want a city roast it doesn't make sense to complete the last step in 4 min, because you aren't going far past first crack, therefore 1/2/minutes might be better.

Letting different parts of the roast last longer (or making them sorter) will result in different flavors. I'm sure someone with more experience could say how each part effects the flavors, the best way to figure that though is probably to try different profiles on the same coffee and see what tastes you notice chaining.

So how do you develop a profile? Change the timing to get the flavor you want out of a coffee ("the best flavor" for that particular coffee=highly subjective like Ginny mentioned).
Edited by Airhan on 03/05/2014 9:07 PM
"Grind it like it did you some great injustice!"D.L.Clark
some thoughts - here are tons-o-ways to develop a profile and I do not use the 444 because for me it does not work.

the BEST way for you to begin to develop some sense of profiling is to get some moderate price beans, not garbage because you will drink this stuff - so get a couple of 5 pound packs, or two pounders and start roasting them using different methods that you come upon or that some will mention here; also use the Hot Top profiles and roasting guides.

make sure you pay attention to detail here because if you do not keep track of what you are doing and simply loved the result your screwed.

get some beans, get your new roaster, sit down and start roasting...

keep track and post here.


I'm glad Aaron and Ginny mentioned the 4-4-4 as there probably needs to be more explanation as to how it came about and what purpose it serves.

For an analogy, pick up a charcoal bbq grill and read the instructions which are intended for a newbie with that product. Instructions might say to use approximately 2" of charcoal and a setting of X for rack height for best results. Obviously, this just gives someone a starting point that they've found in general should give you acceptable results and not to be taken as settings that are going to give you the best grilling it can produce.

The 4-4-4 is a safe place to start so you aren't wasting 20+ lbs of great greens trying 3 minute and 20 minute roasts and a year later coming to the conclusion that something closer to 5-4-2 or 4.5-3.5-3 is giving you a great cup of coffee.

Happy Roasting! BBQ grill

Edited by allenb on 03/06/2014 8:26 AM
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
This is the "Ringo" speech, I have given this advice many times because its what helped me. When you have time too learn do two roast of the same coffee and change one thing. Maybe one roast do 3 early stage to 300 degs on the other one do 3.5 min. Try them and note the differences, also have your friends try them. Pick the one you like, next time do two roast and change one thing. This process takes a long time but to me if the fun of this hobby. I like to buy beans from sweet marias preroasted and green so I can compare my roasting to a pro. If mine is not as sweet as his I ask myself why. A couple of guidelines I go buy is Higher grown beans are harder and denser so they make great flavors with extra heat. But if you take a Brazil or island coffee that is low grown high heat will hurt it. Also as you develop your profiles wet processed or dry processed beans will act different.
All you need in life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. Mark Twain
Thank you everyone for the advice!

I am very excited to do some experimenting and I love the idea of doing two roasts of the same bean and changing one thing. I can not wait to get a roaster with more control. But in the mean time I will see what I can do with my popcorn popper.
You probably want something like this:

There has been a lot of work by many pros over the years. Dig a bit more and if the above doesn't get you most of the way there then let me know and I can find some more.


Viridian wrote:

You probably want something like this:

... if the above doesn't get you most of the way there then let me know...

Viridian, thanks for posting the link to the article about "Stretching Out The Roast". It provides valuable pointers that should be helpful to both experienced and budding roasters.
Ciel... seeking Heaven in my cup with ................................................................................................................. EXPOBAR Brewtus II - MAZZER Mini E - MAHLK´┐ŻNIG Vario - GeneCafe - RAF-1 Extreme (Modified B-2 HOTTOP) - BellaTaiwan XJ-101
Glad to help. Here's something I picked up a while back, I can't remember where exactly. Maybe Jim Schulman. Anyhow, it holds true in my experience.

"A basic profile would tell people how long each of these phases should be for their roaster. I would advise people to set up their basic profile so it produces a really good light roast, pulled just after the first crack ends. The acid test is to get some green and roasted (for brewing) beans from Terroir (the best light roasters in the country) and see how your equally light roast stacks up.
-- It should have no grassy flavors (too short a drying phase), or dusty, leathery, or choking ones (too long a drying phase),
-- it should not taste bready or like cheerios (too long a first ramp), or have no toasty flavors at all (too short a first ramp),
-- it should not taste overly acidic (too short a finishing ramp), nor should it taste flat and caramelly (too long a finishing ramp)

I would advise people to keep the length of all three roast phases mostly the same for any degree of roast (light or dark), but to add a minute or two to the finishing ramp when going from brewing to espresso roasts, since you want the flavor balance to have more caramel and less acids."

A few more clues to how time and temp affect the cup.

With an unmodified popper you likely won't be able to control a roast well enough to do much for changes. And being full convection, and the nature of the beast, tend to roast too fast without significant modifications.
A hottop will be a quite different animal, being a drum roaster. Even with a hottop you may find yourself wanting to do a few of the well documented modifications. And may want to add one of the monitoring programs to it. Going with a manual model vs one of the programmable ones. Other threads explain hottops in depth.
Monitoring along with cupping/taste notes will give a decent record of what happen on the last roast to try changes on the next. Gaining control with your roaster over time will make adjustments easier.
There isn't a really complete roasting 101 guidelines single writing on roast profiling out there yet. And it certainly can't be done simply in a thread like this. But there may be a book coming out possibly within a year that will attempt this. There are a lot of threads on here and other sites that have most of the pieces to get a general understanding of doing what when with tend to cause what sort of change.
Once you get a roaster with more control you will be able to connect with those with experience on the same roaster to work out adjustments from your results for you to be able to key in on personal preferences.
Ed B.
DreamRoast 1kg roaster, Levers, Hand Mills
Ed, I'll bite. What book are you alluding to?
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