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  1. #1
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    Great roasting tips from Roast mag, but...

    As a roaster, I found the latest Roast magazine issue valuable. Particularly the article that provided roasting tips. Like many fellow roasters, I have had to teach myself everything about roasting from trial and error. I just haven't had the funds for formal training, and there aren't any roasters locally who are willing to teach me anything. That's understandable. Who wants to create competition?!Here's the limited information I extracted from said article:Roasting techniques to avoid:1. Starting with low/no heat.2. Speeding roast, too much heat too fast.3. Slow to 1c then immediate high heat to finish.4. Scolding start. Dropped heat. Half heat to 1c. Then full heat.Based on this info, and personal experience, I presume that it's best to drop the heat near or at first crack for (x-time?) then bring up the heat again to finish the roast to (y-profile). Is there a standard based on experience/science/preference/anything for...- ideal heat at the beginning of a roast- time/length until 1C- time/length of 1C- too hot or too cold after 1C?I understand that each bean is different, and that consistent/constant cuppings are the best way to judge quality/preference of roast/profile.Surely, though, there's a standard?E.g., don't let the roast go too long (what's too long?) or too short (what's too short?), hit 1C between x and y time, and let it last for at least x time, but y time isn't preferable...?I know that I could test/sample roast for days, and go through at least 20Lbs before I deduce, from personal experience alone, the ideal roast for just one type of bean.I don't yet have the resources to do such experimentation. But I wish I did!I'd appreciate whatever advice anyone would be willing to offer.Feel free to message me if you'd prefer.Thanks!

  2. #2
    HHB
    HHB is offline
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    I'd like the same advice please!

  3. #3
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    I'm still going thru the magazine, and it's good reading for sure. As a home roaster it's really out of my league to join the pro crowd but highly recommended if your selling coffee. I've got a friend who belongs to the guild, go's to retreats, and has been to the Boot roasting school. This is something you really need to consider; inventing in yourself. Try reading Gene Simmons from Kiss who covers the subject very well. Sure you can self teach coffee roasting; but seeking outside education is a good idea.

    What machine are you roasting on? Lloyds hand cranked roaster?

    Hank

  4. #4
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    Devin; some of your questions are really equipment dependent. What kind of controls do you have and temperature measurement? If I tell you I drop in at 150c, 1c is 194c and finish espresso at 218c with a 4 minute roast development; I've still left out a lot of details on the roast. How does that translate to your gear? How are you keeping track of roasting?

    Hank
    Last edited by Hankua; 07-05-2012 at 10:26 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hankua View Post
    Devin; some of your questions are really equipment dependent. What kind of controls do you have and temperature measurement? If I tell you I drop in at 150c, 1c is 194c and finish espresso at 218c with a 4 minute roast development; I've still left out a lot of details on the roast. How does that translate to your gear? How are you keeping track of roasting?Hank
    Thanks for the response, Hank! I'm using Lloyddster's 1K machine. Fully manual. Came as a hand crank, but I rigged up a belt system motor at 60 RPM. I'm still using the 2 thermometers he installed--One for machine temp, on for bean/drum temp. The latter thermometer is rigged into the bottom of the drop tube (the metal pipe that leads from the top/hopper loader to the drum; it's as close to the drum as Lloyd could get.) That temp is definitely off. Even at a full load (2.5 to 3 Lbs) the thermometer never reads above 330F░/176C░, even well ino 2C. So I know I need a better way to read drum/bean temp. As for logging roasts, I use the Roastmaster iPad app. I have to manually log heat nodes. It's not ideal, but it does the trick for now--until I can afford an automated program. Does this info help?

  6. #6
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    OK Devin; now we're getting somewhere. I've emailed Lloyd numerous times to share info, etc. I use a paper log as well; nothing wrong with that, old school way and easy to look back on roasting history. I can pdf my logging forms if necessary. I have BT and exhaust air temp; one digital the other analogue. I think you need a digital bean probe inside the drum level with the bearing; in the general area. For location ideas, Lloyd is the best person to advise. Then drill and tap for the hole, if no good plug with a screw and start again. There should be some area where the thermocouple is clear of the rotating vanes. In the meantime you can roast by smell and color. Maybe dropping in by the exhaust air temp. might be helpful. Ballpark roasting times: end of drying stage 5-6 minutes, 1c 9-10 minutes, drip roast 3 minutes RD-stretching out 1c (time between 1c and end of roast), espresso 4-5 min RD.

    Some other mods to consider: put a needle valve and gas pressure gauge on the inlet of the machine so you can record the settings. Install some kind of air fan on the bean drop pipe with a butterfly valve to control air flow or variable speed air fan. Chaff collector connected with the air fan would be great as well. Hopefully you are handy, this can be done in a home workshop although some welding or spot welding would be necessary.

    So how do the roasts taste? Lloyd claims to have some customers that roast up pretty well.

    Hank

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hankua View Post
    OK Devin; now we're getting somewhere. I've emailed Lloyd numerous times to share info, etc. I use a paper log as well; nothing wrong with that, old school way and easy to look back on roasting history. I can pdf my logging forms if necessary. I have BT and exhaust air temp; one digital the other analogue. I think you need a digital bean probe inside the drum level with the bearing; in the general area. For location ideas, Lloyd is the best person to advise. Then drill and tap for the hole, if no good plug with a screw and start again. There should be some area where the thermocouple is clear of the rotating vanes. In the meantime you can roast by smell and color. Maybe dropping in by the exhaust air temp. might be helpful. Ballpark roasting times: end of drying stage 5-6 minutes, 1c 9-10 minutes, drip roast 3 minutes RD-stretching out 1c (time between 1c and end of roast), espresso 4-5 min RD. Some other mods to consider: put a needle valve and gas pressure gauge on the inlet of the machine so you can record the settings. Install some kind of air fan on the bean drop pipe with a butterfly valve to control air flow or variable speed air fan. Chaff collector connected with the air fan would be great as well. Hopefully you are handy, this can be done in a home workshop although some welding or spot welding would be necessary. So how do the roasts taste? Lloyd claims to have some customers that roast up pretty well.Hank
    Hank,I've been loving this machine! Roasts taste great. I'd say the machine has the ability to produce roasts that are comparable to modern, commercial grade, name brand machines. Perhaps I'm biased (most likely), but, between mine and other roasters' that ive tried, I'll drink my coffee. My customers have also been really pleased. There can't be any greater compliment to a roaster than to have someone tell them, "This is the best coffee i've ever had!" or, "I've tried others and it's just not as good as yours!" but my favorite is, "I've never had straight black coffee that I've liked, and this is amazing!" All that to say, the machine is great. I don't think I'm doing anything special. If I am, I don't know it. (Which would suck.) *I'm going to be playing with new thermometers soon. I'll post more when I do. Ideally, I'd like an electric one with logging capabilities, that has the long, flimsy (thermocouple?) cables. Finding one that can withstand the heat is the challenge. *- Devin

  8. #8
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    Have you tried ebay for thermocouples? I've got a spare from the manufacturer that looks similar to the one's from china (small threaded end). I can post a photo if that helps. The amprobe tmd56 meter is popular with home roasters, and can chart two thermocouples. Mine came from Amazon, and has software included, also works with artisan. Great to hear your customers like the coffee; Lloyd told me the same about the LA roaster using his machine at the market. Maybe the secret is the heavy carbon steel drum and cabinet?

 

 

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