Advice for a wannabe roaster?

cAPSLOCK

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Sep 22, 2013
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We own a Behmor and it works quite well. It is best for lighter roasts, or smaller batches though. If you use it to capacity its hard to get a dark roast.
 

cAPSLOCK

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Sep 22, 2013
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thanks for all the replies. I might just go ahead and get a dedicated roaster. My thought process behind roasting on a stovetop was "If I don't like doing this, all I've bought was a 5 pound bag of beans"

I'll bet you some beans you like it.

We also used until we nearly killed it, a Fresh Roast... one of the little ones. It was great... lasted a couple years.
 

cAPSLOCK

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Sep 22, 2013
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One last thing... Perhaps my greatest preference for the roaster is the ability to roast on my porch instead of inside. :)
 

PinkRose

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Feb 28, 2008
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Hi cAPSLOCK,

Have you been roasting on your porch (using the Fresh Roast and the Behmor)? Is it an enclosed porch?

The biggest deterent for me, about getting a home roaster, is the possibilitty of smoke in the house.
I totally hate the sound of beeping smoke detectors!


Rose
 

JumpinJakJava

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Dec 12, 2011
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Thomaston, CT
A lot of good advice here. I started with a cast iron skillet to hot air popper to hot air popper modified to electric roaster to a 10k gas fired drum roaster.
Learned a lot about coffee and am still learning. I would suggest upon your seriousness of a roasting business, to enroll in coffee roasting classes or go to a school/lab
that teaches from green to packaging. There are a variety of options and costs too. The Coffee Lab in Waterbury, Vermont is an awesome school. Spent
5 days of intense schooling. You will learn every aspect. Attended after many years of roasting. But got a greater education there.
You mentioned the HotTop roaster. Good choice amongst home roasters or learning to roast(beginnings). In the future it will make an excellent
sample roaster. Save expense of firing up the big boy for sampling. Research is key. Keep inquiring. Best of success!

Bob
 
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jaredgibson87

jaredgibson87

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Sep 19, 2012
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Decatur, Alabama
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I wont be doing any roasting commercially for a while. I'd like to spend at least a year learning the craft of roasting before thinking too much about selling anything. But it is a goal I'd like to work up to in the next couple of years, if everything goes my way; I don't have much in the way of debt, but I'd like to have my finances taken care of and any health-related issues worked out for the long-term before jumping in to something as expensive and time consuming as commercial roasting. Until then, I'll just focus on making the best coffee I can with what equipment I have.
 

douglycett

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Sep 30, 2013
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That is a really great thought jaredgibson87. I am in a similar situation, my question is if that is my goal as well, to just make the best roast I can from home, which machine is the best to get that gives me enough control to learn advance roasting techniques and does not do all the work for me BUT isnt so complicated that I can even make a decent roast without extensive experience.
 

cAPSLOCK

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Sep 22, 2013
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Hi cAPSLOCK,

Have you been roasting on your porch (using the Fresh Roast and the Behmor)? Is it an enclosed porch?

The biggest deterent for me, about getting a home roaster, is the possibilitty of smoke in the house.
I totally hate the sound of beeping smoke detectors!


Rose

We have a couple porches... both covered but not enclosed. That said, the Behmor *can* be used inside especially with a vent hood. Its a personal thing... some will be ok, some will find it too "aromatic". But the Behmor puts out a small amount of smoke. Way less than the little fresh roast did.
 

cestrin

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Jul 19, 2013
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Tempe, AZ
I run my Behmor inside with no vent and it's never been an issue. I have been roasting 8 ounces and not any darker than Full City, the apartment smells like popcorn but I haven't had issue with the smoke alarm.
 
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jaredgibson87

jaredgibson87

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Sep 19, 2012
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Decatur, Alabama
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ok, so, dumb question time: when someone is first learning to roast coffee, is there a specific coffee that's easiest to learn to roast? or is it just a matter of "I like Columbian coffee because of this reason or Sumatran coffee because of that reason, so that's what I'm going with"? I'm not sure I have the experience yet to say "this coffee is my favorite" because I feel like I've got so much more to learn before making statements like that. At this point, I think I can, though, go to a coffee shop other than Starbucks, try a coffee or two, and appreciate the differences between a Kenyan or a Sumatran or whatever they have brewing
 

namballe

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Aug 24, 2012
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Lima, Peru
when roasting coffee for the 1st. time, you are bound to make mistakes, therefore, it may be advised to use the cheapest beans available for this.
 

Redswing

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May 30, 2013
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Northern California
i'd suggest a classic drinking coffee, like a costa rican, and just start playing. guatemala also has some great coffee right now. the central america's are in general an easier drinking, and (imo) easier to get something pleasant out of through your roast. my bet is you'll love whatever you roast if you get something along the lines of a hottop and follow the instructions. i'd advise staying away from the behmore, just way too much trade off in control for the $$$ compared to the hottop. and don't forget about sweet marias! perfect for choosing a good green coffee.
 
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jaredgibson87

jaredgibson87

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Decatur, Alabama
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i'd suggest a classic drinking coffee, like a costa rican, and just start playing. guatemala also has some great coffee right now. the central america's are in general an easier drinking, and (imo) easier to get something pleasant out of through your roast. my bet is you'll love whatever you roast if you get something along the lines of a hottop and follow the instructions. i'd advise staying away from the behmore, just way too much trade off in control for the $$$ compared to the hottop. and don't forget about sweet marias! perfect for choosing a good green coffee.
I've been looking through Sweet Maria's coffees, and I'm thinking about starting off with a Brazilian coffee because they seem to be the least expensive, and I'm thinking I might want to buy the most affordable beans I can get first since I don't know how many bad batches I'm going to get before I get something drinkable :)
 

PinkRose

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Feb 28, 2008
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Near Philadelphia, PA
Do you have a local roaster who can sell you some green beans? You may be able to get a better price and not have to pay shipping.

One suggestion: Buy one kind of beans and stay with it.

As you experiment with roasting, you'll begin to tweak your roast method (keep good notes) and eventually get it where you like it. If you keep switching the kind of bean that you use, you'll get confused, because each bean needs it's own style of tender loving care when you roast it.

Have fun!
 

CoffeeJunky

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Dec 7, 2012
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Michigan, US
I've been looking through Sweet Maria's coffees, and I'm thinking about starting off with a Brazilian coffee because they seem to be the least expensive, and I'm thinking I might want to buy the most affordable beans I can get first since I don't know how many bad batches I'm going to get before I get something drinkable :)


Brazilians are very mild coffee(normally) I would suggest you to purchase maybe three different kind region. 1 South American 2. Asian (sumatra) 3. African (Ethiopian)
That way you can see the differences in each region. Even size and color of the beans are different.
If you are careful, you won't be messing up much of coffee. You just need to make sure you get the proper color charts and don't get discouraged if you ever mess up one batch.

Good Luck
 

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