Coffee Roaster's Corner

petalraindream

New member
Feb 28, 2004
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:) All right, so I looked through these forums a bit and couldn't find a Coffee Roaster's Thread, so I would like to start one. I have roasted coffee for about two years and am in love with the craft. I prefer City Roasts over Dark Roasts and enjoy indonesian coffee the best with the Americas as a second. Thoughts, comments, all roasters post in this thread.
 

ksmccul

New member
Mar 2, 2004
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petalraindream said:
:) All right, so I looked through these forums a bit and couldn't find a Coffee Roaster's Thread, so I would like to start one. I have roasted coffee for about two years and am in love with the craft. I prefer City Roasts over Dark Roasts and enjoy indonesian coffee the best with the Americas as a second. Thoughts, comments, all roasters post in this thread.

hello
I too am an aid roaster, big time agreement on city roasts over dark...
I mostly drink centrals and south amer. coffee's so city is about perfect most of the time...I do love PNG [though not sure its classified as a indonesian] ...sumatrians are always nice...

What machine do you roast with?
I use a stir crazy popper with a galloping gourmet convection oven placed on top of it. get about 1.5lb batches out of it. I used to use a hearthenware gourmet, and a popper and a fresh roast. but moved to this setup.

not much here for roasting..I check here every so often.
coffeegeek has a great roasting forum.

just thought i'd chime in...
kel
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
yeah petalraindream what roaster are you using...do are you home or comercial? I roast on a 25 kilo probat right now but I am going to start a new job on a 30 kilo and in 6months we are getting a 60 kilo...wee haw!!! roasts depend on what I am trying to acheive from the coffee in hand.
:grin:
 

Quink

New member
Feb 11, 2004
80
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Bristol UK
What about us home roasters? can we post her as well? :) I use an imex (or cafe rosto) depending on where you are in the world. I do like a medium to a dark roast for brewing, but try for a french roast for espresso.
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
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Seattle,Washington USA
Hello...hello...hello. I'm a roaster as well. Commercially we use a Diedrich IR 24 which is a 24 kilo roaster. Does well for now. And like topher, it depends on what we are roasting, and what our customers like in a roast. I more or less like whatever is left over from our customers roast :lol: , rather is be a city, full city, or dark. Heck I like it all! And truely it depends on the origin of the bean as well. Some take better to the darker roasts than others. Example: I tend to roast the Hawaiians and Jamacians lighter than the South Americans or the Africans.
 

Dave

New member
Mar 27, 2004
2
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Scholls, Oregon
Hi,
I started home roasting with a Hottop drum roaster. It does a great job but only makes ~1/2 lb batches :roll: . That is not bad for home, but I made the mistake of bringing my experiments to work.

Now I need to decide if it is worthwhile to evangalize the fresh roasted coffee experience into a part-time roasting business. The key to sucess is good supliers of green beans and a bigger roaster. Anyone have any ideas?

I have questions:
How important is it to be able to adjust the roasting profile?
Is water quenching better than air cooling?
Is there a prefered heat source?
I am very interested in your experienced opinons! :wink:

Have a Great Day!
Dave
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
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Seattle,Washington USA
Hey Dave be careful what you wish for :D you might find yourself a full time roaster :) Roasting becomes a way of life...Get up in the morning before the average human being, and go to bed long after...What am I talking about? Roasters don't sleep, we drink too much coffee, besides sleeping is for whimps once you become a roaster :twisted: Now let's see if I can offer my opinion on some of your questions:

How important is it to be able to adjust the roasting profile?
Is water quenching better than air cooling?
Is there a prefered heat source?


Adjusting roast profiles are very important, because you can totally change the taste of single origins just by slightly increasing or decreasing roast times.

Actually they are two different things. Water quenching is sort of cheating, i.e., by squirting water you are more or less adding more weight to the roasted product while cooling it down depending on how dark you are roasting your product. One has to be careful though, because too much water can cause your roast to go raniset (did I spell that right?) Whereas air cooling in the cooling bin is in my opinion better for the overall natural cool down period. I use propane, some use natural gas. I guess it all depends on the type of roaster you use.

Hope I've shed a little light to your questions. :mrgreen:
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
what is raniset? Rancid? I second that about air cooling....but if you get into larger batch roasting they have to quench....
 
Hey Dave most of what coffeeguy said reflects my views to-

How important is it to be able to adjust the roasting profile?
Is water quenching better than air cooling?
Is there a prefered heat source
?

Being able to adjust the roast profile is probably paramount to any roast process. My goodness... where to start with this one? I have books and books full of notes from test roasts each page showing different temperature ramps, pre-roast heat times etc.

I only air cool...water cooling is sometimes used by (perhaps) less ethical roast companies as it adds weight to the roasted bean. I certainly would not recommend it. Some people I have talked to in the business do spray a fine mist of water over beans as they are dumped into the cooling bin of their roaster.

Likewise agree- Gas is the best source for a commercial setup. You get better control over temperature as well as it is (where I am anyway) a cheaper form of energy.
 

Dave

New member
Mar 27, 2004
2
0
Scholls, Oregon
Hi All,
Thanks for the info. I thought water was a bad idea and it is good to hear the confirmation. I am planning on attending the show in either Las Vegas or Seattle to check out available roasters. If any of you have attended shows past, can you speak about available small batch roasters, e.g. < 10lb? I was hoping to get some recommendations on roaster MFG/Models.

I understand that gas may be the preferred heat source. I have some data on the Diedrich roasters. Any opinions?

Most of the gas roasters come with propane options, but you don't get the same BTU's that you get with natural. Is propane still better than electric? I don't mean to belabor the point, I'm just trying to figure out if the open flame produces a different reaction (flavor) than an alternate heat source [like grilling a steak vs broiling) or is it just a matter of figuring out the profile that works for a given source?

It is a little off topic, but what about beans? Wholesale suppliers or do you go to commodity auctions? One of the best sites I found for small orders is sweetmarias.com but their niche is the home roaster. If I am to expand, I'll need better bulk supply. The great thing about sweet marias is that they test cup each lot and let you know what they believe the bean can handle. It would be really great to find that kind of data from a wholesaler.

Thanks! I appreciate your time.
-Dave

BTW Coffee Guy :twisted: , there is a little freeware plug-in available for IE at http://www.iespell.com/ that can help with that spelling thing. :D
 

Coffee Guy

New member
Oct 19, 2003
874
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Seattle,Washington USA
Thanks for the spell check info. :oops: As for the roaster, you can't go wrong with a Diedrich. I use an IR 24 with a propane heat source. And their support and tech staff is 2nd to none. These guys bend over backwards to make sure you are always taken care of. Another great thing is the roasting class they hold. Wealth of valuable information. Look into them you'll be glad you did.
 

topher

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Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
coffee guy...you say you are using propane...I am getting a loaner 25 lbs roaster till my 30 is ready...I am going to go with natural gas when the 30 kilo gets in...but the 25 and 2 kilos are set up for propane...how much propane are you going through a week? I have called a few local propane people and they want a contract...which I do not want to commit to...lowes sells 100lbs tanks for around 80 bucks...how long do you think it would last?
Thanks,
chrisTopher
 

Coffee Guy

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Oct 19, 2003
874
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Seattle,Washington USA
Hey topher:

Actually it's pretty efficient. It all depends on how much we roast during the week. My partner is the one that keeps track on our usage. But I know we have a 450 gal tank and I think we do about a tank every 3-4 weeks. Propane companies can be pretty competitive. I wouldn't suggest going on a contract unless they lock in a price and put it in writing. With that being said, you know how gas prices are NOW :!: It sucks because it's costing more and our hands are tied because we don't want to raise our pricing due to the huge increase on the cost of gas :evil:
 

topher

Super Moderator
Staff member
Aug 14, 2003
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Boca Raton
well we are going through about 6,000 lbs a week...I guess I should buy 2 100 lbs tanks and just keep reifilling them till I get set up on natural...thanks
 
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