Print Thread
Hi, I'm new here and to roasting coffee...sour coffee
newarcher
Hi, first post and I'm looking for help.

I decided life wasn't complicated enough and so I decided to roast coffee. I bought four types of coffee from Sweet Maria's (Sumatran, Columbian, Popua new Guinea and one other) along with a nostalgia popcorn air popper. I read all the requisite information and pretty well had my techniques down. My coffee was actually pretty good, despite roasting really fast. When that ran out, I bought some costa rican la minita from happy mug that said it was the next best thing to Jamaican green mountain.

So far the Costa rican tastes very bitter and exceptionally sour. The bitterness/sour taste is immediate when first sipping and the finish is flat and still very sour. If I didn't pay so much for the beans, I would pour it out. Instead, I suffer through 3/4 of the cup before dumping it.

I'm not sure what's up with my roast. I've used everything from two extension cords (100' of cord) to power strips and I am still achieving first crack at the 1:30 to 2:00 MAX. The first crack is lasting maybe 20 seconds. Second crack is beginning right at the 3:00 to 3:15 time. The beans are a nice medium to deep brown color with just a hint of sheen to them.

I even bought a behmor 1600 plus and roasted the beans on all of the pre-set modes and same result. The behmor was reaching first crack in the 8 minute range or so. After trying each of the pre-sent modes, I returned the behmor thinking that it was not a very good roaster (I think that was a mistake now).

I'm beginning to lean towards the fact that the beans are just bad. I've roasted them very fast and very slow with the same result. Sour coffee...not acidic, not bitter....sour. The only way I can describe it is that if you were to put a mouth full of sweet tarts in and then take a sip...that's it. Nearly nauseating sour.

I'm just frustrated and considering abandoning the roasting process. What was fun originally is now aggravation.
Edited by newarcher on 10/01/2017 8:10 AM
 
turtle
First, Welcome to HRO.

Try another bean.

There is such a thing as bad coffee. Coffee can go bad for a number of reasons from weather at the growing source, to processing, to storage, to cross contamination in shipping and handling.

I've had killer avocados and I've had ones I had to throw out after the first taste (or bury it in salsa as a dip)

.
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
allenb
Another welcome to HRO!
I agree with Turtles assessment. But, in addition, you need to be aware that 99% of coffees will taste like sour boiled hay if rushed to first crack in 2 minutes. Most coffee other than a very small % will need at least 4 minutes to yellow and at least another 4 to first crack in order to bring out their potential taste qualities. The problem with rushing a coffee through the drying portion of the roast is you are browning the exterior of a still green interior.

Don't give up on home coffee roasting yet! Get some more varieties and find a way to roast them using devices that you are in control of the profile from start to finish and you will never look back.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
 
newarcher
Thanks folks, for the welcome and the advice.

Perhaps this bean is just sensitive to a fast cook. It was time to roast some new coffee, so I tried something new today. I grabbed the wife's skillet and took it out on the grill and used the side burner to roast up a fairly large batch.

The first crack took about 15 minutes thanks to some winds and I ended up getting a really nice medium brown roast. I did two batches, one lasted 22 minutes and the other lasted 25 minutes (it was a much larger batch) to get the color I wanted.

Even though it hasn't rested for 24 hours, I ground some up to give it a try. Most of the sour taste (most) was out of it. I contacted the seller and they offered to send me some of their roasted coffee as a comparison.

I really don't know about this bean.
 
chaff
Hi, I have some of the same beans from that vendor and also roast with an SM Nostalgia popper, modified. Yesterday I roasted some to Allenb's timings, above, about four minutes to yellow then five to crack, ending at nearly 15min at 214C. I don't know that I can tell tart from sour and all Central Americans seem that way inclined to me but this bean is as good as any CR I've done, espresso only.

There's a nice 'Espresso Blending' article at SM and I usually keep a small variety to mix at the grinder, I'm amazed how blending can save some disasters !

If you are able, it is a fairly simple job to take the connections from the side-mounted thermal cutout and bring them out to a switch; the cutout interrupts current to the main heater coil so it's possible to control heating by switching seconds-on / seconds-off during roast to vary heating power. I load with 120gram green and stir continuously with a wooden paint paddle ( previously unused ! )

i hope you're not discouraged.
 
newarcher
Hi folks!

Just wanted to update this thread. The seller did, in fact, send me a very nice bag of the la minita they roasted and it was a wonderful coffee. They claim that the beans were from the same batch as mine--which I have zero reason to doubt.

It's really odd, I've hand roasted fast with a popcorn popper......extremely slowly in a skillet....and using all four presets on the behmor.

I'm beginning to wonder if the beans didn't spoil in the heat during transport? I could understand if I only hand roasted but the behmor should have been able to make a drinkable cup with the presets.
 
turtle
In your 1600 plus

select the bean weight
select P2
start the roaster

When you hear first crack press the "C" button

This should give you a good city to city + level roast.

.
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
newarcher

Quote

turtle wrote:

In your 1600 plus

select the bean weight
select P2
start the roaster

When you hear first crack press the "C" button

This should give you a good city to city + level roast.

.


Yep, that's exactly what I did but I even used all of the four presets p1, p2, p3 and p4 thinking that a different profile might heat it up differently and stop being so sour. No dice.
 
newarcher

Quote

chaff wrote:

Hi, I have some of the same beans from that vendor and also roast with an SM Nostalgia popper, modified. Yesterday I roasted some to Allenb's timings, above, about four minutes to yellow then five to crack, ending at nearly 15min at 214C. I don't know that I can tell tart from sour and all Central Americans seem that way inclined to me but this bean is as good as any CR I've done, espresso only.

There's a nice 'Espresso Blending' article at SM and I usually keep a small variety to mix at the grinder, I'm amazed how blending can save some disasters !

If you are able, it is a fairly simple job to take the connections from the side-mounted thermal cutout and bring them out to a switch; the cutout interrupts current to the main heater coil so it's possible to control heating by switching seconds-on / seconds-off during roast to vary heating power. I load with 120gram green and stir continuously with a wooden paint paddle ( previously unused ! )

i hope you're not discouraged.


Thanks for this information.

You actually gave me an idea and this morning I did two batches of coffee. In order to extend the cook time I just used the on/off switch to turn the popper on and off. I did it two ways:

1). On/off on a 30 second cycle, stirring well when the machine is off so the beans on bottom do not burn. I reached first crack at 5 minutes and stopped at 8 minutes when I started hearing what sounds like second crack. Nice medium brown consistent color with a very light sheen of oil.

2). On/off on a 15 second cycle. First crack was slightly faster (began around 4:15) and I gave it a little extra time and stopped around 10 minutes. Coincidentally, it ended up being about the same color.

So I will let it rest until tomorrow and try it.

I bought these beans in late July so I'm wondering if they weren't left in a hit UPS van nd ruined.

Thanks again, this idea seems to help and I didn't have to mod the popper.
 
JackH
When I started roasting, I had a lot of trouble with the Costa Rica beans and sour flavors. Nothing wrong with the beans. Too quick a roast was my problem using a Turbo Oven roaster.

I found that the Costa Rica beans needed 8-9 minutes to first crack and a total roast time of about 13 minutes.

I could control the roast once I removed the turbo oven thermostat and went with manual heat control.

I did find that roasting African beans was much easier for me at the beginning. For some reason, they seemed to roast easier for me.
Edited by JackH on 10/16/2017 8:26 AM
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
newarcher
Well ladies and gentlemen, I think I cracked the code.

I'm still experimenting but I've just been turning the popper on and off at different intervals and solved my issues.

I did one batch by turning the popper on for 15 seconds and then off for 45. That put the first crack at 11 minutes or so and was great.

I did another batch with 20 seconds on and 40 seconds off. It was great as well and I pulled it around 9 minutes.

Yes, it's a pain but at least I can use my beans and enjoy them!
 
mkane
There's got to be some failures along the way in anyone's hobby's. IMO thats keeps it interesting.
 
Jump to Forum: