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Roasting Sumatra
I ordered up some Sumatra Mandheling Grade 1 beans because the wife has been gravitating towards that bean recently and I wanted to cook some up for her.

Via my SR500 I can't seem to get anything out of it. I find it gets past the drying and early brown stage rather quickly and 1C takes forever and is very intermittent - waiting and waiting and waiting for more 1C it finally moves to 2C but the result is an obvious 1C stall ( the taste is sour ).

Should I skip the low/med settings and start at medium and move to high pretty quick? Should I just start at high?

I don't know what to do with this bean.

My other cooks ( El Salvador, Nicaragua etc ) come out great.
It's bad luck to be superstitious
I?m no expert but it sounds like old beans (soft FC).
The sour taste could be because heat is too high at the start. beans end up looking charred or mottled instead of uniform browning
Actually it was my roasting method. The taste was a result of the dreaded first-crack-stall.

After modifying the SR500 and adding a good temp gauge I made the following changes to roasting habits and this has greatly improved all of my roasts:

1. Warm the thing up for 15 seconds before applying beans
2. Leave it on Low until First Crack is underway (not just the outlier)
3. Switch to Medium until First Crack has finished
4. Switch to High and push the roast into Second Crack for a good 10-15 seconds

Other notes: Generally I leave the fan speed on high and in the beginning tip the SR500 carefully to really get the beans moving around.
It's bad luck to be superstitious
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