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What To Do FIRST with NEW Beans
So you just got home and there's the box you've been waiting 5 days for on your front porch! The kickin new greens you ordered!

And you have this down to a science! First, you
a) dump 4 pounds into your BBQ drum and wing it... trying to get just into 2C, then brew some every morning for a week to see if you hit a sweeet spot.

b) roast multiple small batches (in one of your sample roasters) to various darknesses, then wait a day and cup them all to decide which roast the bean prefers, THEN dump 4 pounds into your BBQ drum and try to match your sample roaster.

Edited by seedlings on 10/16/2007 3:27 PM
I favor the choice of use less until you find the sweet spot. I don't have a a "sample roaster", but typically do my undiscovered beans in a 1# batch for testing. I typically buy in 5-10# lots, 1# doesn't use up much and allows me to sample over a period of days (rest).

Speaking of "sweet spots". I read an article 'while back in Roast Magazine that suggested lightening up on the roasts. The article suggested that too many roasters (written toward people in the biz) were roasting great coffees too dark. At that time, I typically took most roasts a few secs into 2nd and some further than that. Anyway, your idea of playing with the profiles is a good way to taste the various roast effects upon a bean. I have found that when I roast lighter (before 1st C ends) that I need to allow a longer rest period to dissipate some of the grassy flavors that sometimes arise from lighter roasts. I may be able to overcome some of that with changes to the profile during the roast, but so far that's been my experience with light roasts.

So, wha'd ya get that's new? c:2

Rick, I got coffee bean direct's Colombian Supremo. I LOVED the Pitalito Estates Colombio Supremo from, but liked the $3 price at coffee bean direct better... however, I'm still on the fence between air and drum roasting, but I don't like this colombian yet. It's been 4 days. I took it well into the second crack "just to see." Me no likey.

I chose option A. I think from now on it'll be option B.

Coffeenut, Did I understand you correctly? You regularly roast to Cinnamon or lighter?

Thanks for asking because it triggers me to expand a bit more and to clarify. I don't regularly roast to cinnamon or lighter. I had gotten used to roasting darker (at least to the 1st few snaps of 2nd) because most beans tasted great that way (to me). But, I was intrigued by the concept that I may not be getting the best from "some" coffees. The concept of varying the roast level depending upon the bean is certainly not new and one that Sweet Marias offers to home-roasters by way of commentary with various beans they sell.

The article in Roast Magazine gave me some incentive to consider lightening up on "some" of my roasts. I did try some roasts that were lighter as in stopping just before 1stC ends (but at the very tail end of 1st C) and before 2nd got a chance to start. Depending upon the bean, I have between 30-60 secs (on my drum roaster) between the last snap of 1st and the 1st snap of 2nd. I still have a lot to learn (by way of experiment) with lighter roasts and may not ever be great at it. I also have a lot to learn to know which beans would be best for lighter roasts and how light is just right for those beans.

Here's a link to the Roast Magazine article if anyone is interested:

Here'a a link to the Roast Magazine Archives where you can read past articles for free:

Rick, With such a short time between 1st and 2nd on your roaster, your roast could be anywhere in the early roast temperatures. If you haven't checked it out already, look at the Degree of Roast Pictorial on the HR home page:

I'm not sure I'm following what you mean about "anywhere in early roast temperatures". That brief time I mentioned is only the time between the last snap of 1st and the first snap of 2nd.

That's what I'm saying, with your time being so short, by the time you dump and cool your roasts they could be any of these pre-2nd roasts: Cinnamon, New England, American, City. Do you have an idea which you are wanting? It's not like there's just one! When I roast, I often have as much as 8 minutes between cracks.
Nope I have no idea what I want, roast aimlessly and never considered there was more than one way...


Kaffee Bitte
In roasting lighter (which is something I am aiming for more often lately) I try to go for city roasts most often. On my grill I have now got my times between 1st and 2nd crack to be pretty reliable from between 4-6 minutes. I am getting these longer times by roasting in a longer time frame overall at lower gas settings on my grill. My roasts now tend to run about 24 minutes. Mind you that my load is larger than probably most of you would want to try (at least 5 pounds). The longer times are due in part to having to get 3 or 4 pounds more coffee heated from the get go, but also that I am trying to slow the roast. I have been finding that lighter roasts come out more even with these slow roasts and are a bit easier to near the degree I am wanting them at.
Even last Friday when the ambient temps were in the high thirties I never turned the flames up past 1/3 power. With these low ambient temps I didn't get any added lenght to my roasts.

"Some days it's spice, other days it's bitter dirt."
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