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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2019
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    6

    So I did something a little crazy...

    And purchased all of the assets of a local coffee shop in my neighborhood. We have a lot of pastries and things, but this is a coffee forum, so I'll stick to that topic. Among the items purchased was an old 1980 Probat GN12 roaster, a Cecilware Venezia espresso machine, a Super Jolly Mazzer grinder, a Grindmaster 875 grinder, three old Hobart grinders (too bad I can't find burrs for these, they're pretty cool looking), and some crappy old plain Bunn drip coffee brewers.

    One of the awesome local coffee people came in and convinced me to buy a La Marzocco Linea EE. Also got a fancy Bunn grinder, but I can't recall the model, unfortunately. Also got a new Bunn ICB-TWIN brewer and both this and the La Marzocco are hooked up to a brand new filter. So that's good.

    Got new burrs for the Super Jolly. So that's good. Only issue with that is that some of the coffee I roasted ended up slightly dark and the oil from the beans seems to gum it up pretty quickly. I was advised not to put the darker, oilier beans through the SJ, and to leave those for the Grindmaster, which can power through those beans.

    Which comes to the roaster. Oh man, there are so many things to know and it's a bit overwhelming. The previous owner of this unit owned it for about 14 years. It's a 12kg machine, so I guess it made sense for him to throw 24 pounds in it? From what I've read, that's a big no no. I should be running it at about maybe 60-70% capacity, so, 16-18 pound batches, right?

    So my first roast went like this. The PO told me, "get it up to 400 degrees. Let it preheat for 10-15 minutes at 400. Drop the beans in, and as soon as it hits 435, dump it." That's what he's called a medium roast for 14 years. From what I could tell, it came out a little bit past medium. It was a little darker, but I don't think it was all dark. Some beans had a little oil, some beans did not. And now that I Google it, 435 is about where second crack starts, and this could be called a Full City roast. Whateva.

    There's no...adjusting the temperature or airflow at all in the way the guy did his roasting. It was drop it at 400, and as soon as it got to whatever temperature, he'd dump the beans. It seems ridiculously oversimplified and...maybe the word I'm looking for is "careless"?

    The PO also said that he had the exhaust cleaned every few months, yet when I disassembled it, there was about 3" of chaff clogging up the exhaust. His roasting practices weren't just careless, they were very dangerous. Exhaust is scheduled to be cleaned tomorrow morning at 8am.

    Anybody have some quick advice on roasting? It sounds a bit insane, but this coffee shop is probably going to open in two weeks or less. I have about 700 pounds of coffee to roast between now and then. Going to be interesting. And stressful.

    I know, it's a bit ridiculous to make this kind of a purchase without knowing anything about the industry, but this is my wife's dream, so...why not?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Boca Raton
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    3,429
    Welcome to the wonderful world of coffee! Where are you located? You said the exhaust is being cleaned tomorrow....by whom? If you have someone coming out..watch them. It is not a fun job but pretty simple. You can save some money doing it yourself.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    6
    Thanks! I'm in Richmond, Va. We had a chimney sweep company come out. It's not a difficult process, and normally, I DO do a lot of my own things, but I'd have to lug around a 40ft ladder to get on the roof. For $250 every couple months, I'm fine with paying somebody.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,134
    Take a look at the Mill City Roasters 'Roaster School' video's on youtube... Steve & Joe have done an excellent job creating free content. It sounds like you are roasting pretty dark... just for reference on my roaster I hit the first crack around 385 / second crack at 435. I drop most of my 'medium' roast coffees in the range of 410-420 degrees. Keep in mind everyone's machines and thermocouples are diff and you will see diff temp #'s.. but that should give you a good range.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
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    6
    I have watched either four or five of them, I can't remember if I finished episode 4 or if I'm in the middle of the fifth. I'm going to watch as many as I can before we start roasting this weekend.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,471
    Call me 'crazy', but I honestly think it's a bit crazy to try roasting 700 lbs. within a 2 week (especially having never roasted) or less time frame as that's A LOT of coffee to get rid of before it goes south in flavor/body.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    6
    Possibly, but there is going to be a good bit of trial and error in there. One of the guys who roasted for the previous owner over the past year or so has volunteered his help getting it going, so maybe I won't waste all of the beans.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Kansas City
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    1,134
    Why do you need so much if you are just opening - is that your anticipated volume?

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    6
    This is about what the previous guy goes through every six weeks. The shop has been closed for renovations for about two months and the opening is going to be a little nuts. It's going to be that way for at least the first couple of months before it slows down to regular business.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,134
    Roast 100lbs every week ... coffee is freshest within 15 days of roast. This will give you time to cup/taste each week and make adjustments. Just my advice... I would never roast for 1.5 months of supply.

 

 
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