Freezing green beans

baysidebrewing

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Jan 14, 2010
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Hello,

First time at this site, nice site by the way! I've been roasting my own beans on and off for the last year. I just got 10 lbs of green beans in yesterday in two 5 lb bags. I automatically threw the unopened pack in the freezer and the took some out of the other one and vacuum packed the rest and threw them in the freezer. This morning I was checking things out on the internets about freezing green beans and it seems that most are of the opinion that it is bad. I searched the site and didn't find too much on the subject or even on the google, though I did see one supplier that says that all of his beans are vacuum packed and "deep" frozen. Now, my beans are in a deep freezer (the home kind of chest freezer). Should I not be storing them this way? I didn't seem to notice ill effects the last times I was doing this, but now I am a little concerned. If I shouldn't be storing them this way, since they are already frozen should I leave these ones as they are or should I remove them from the freezer as soon as possible? I guess I was just of the opinion that if I vacuum packed and froze them it would be better than leaving them out to oxidize before I got to roasting them all. What are the negative effects of freezing them?

Thank you all for your opinions on the subject.

Cheers!

Jon
 

jlyon10

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Feb 16, 2007
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Clemmons, NC
Green beans don't need to be frozen and the kind of deep freeze they talk about is not what you could do in your freezer. Green Beans can be stored in a dry place that doesn't get direct sunlight for about 2 years so why would you need to freeze them anyway?
 
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baysidebrewing

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Yeah, that's pretty much what I read. Hope that freezing them and then letting them thaw and keeping at room temp is fine then.

Cheers!
 
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baysidebrewing

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I must say though, that in our house next to the Chesapeake bay, dry isn't that easy to come by... no basement, washer/dryer in the garage, and we don't have central air yet (window units only in primary rooms). The freezer seemed like a good temperature controlled area without fluctuation in temperature, but I suppose that considering where coffee comes from it's probably just fine... just never thought about it. Also, I am an avid homebrewer (beer) and hope are stored vacuum packed and in the freezer, so some reason I guess I am just used to it.

Cheers!
 

ElPugDiablo

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The person who pioneered deep freezing (zero degree F) is George Howell at Terroir Coffee. It retains green beans freshness much longer than store them in room temperature. I think I read someone compared roasting frozen green beans vs not frozen beans and concluded in roasted beans, in the first few days they were comparable, but after a few days, those from frozen beans degraded noticeably more than none frozen beans. Either way if you are buying for home use and you are going through your stock in less than 3 months I am not sure it will make much of a difference.
 
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baysidebrewing

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Thanks for that information, usually when I roast them, they are around only two to three days and I roast again. My roasting "profile" on the iRoast2 was set for roasting them from frozen, so unfrozen I eyeball it a little more. In any case, the next time I buy some I won't freeze them, and also I will probably get 25 lbs since my wife and I are both very pleased with the Costa Rica Tarrazu.

We have been using a coffee press since moving to the states, from Germany where I was stationed (and she is from) where we had a fully automatic espresso machine (we miss it sooo much, but they are just so expensive here!). A coworker and I were talking the other day and she was given a Starbucks barista machine a few years ago that she has only used once (she uses a tassimo pod machine or something like that), so we are gonna give her $100 and some oysters that I grow for it.

Indeed Terrior coffee was were I read about freezing beans, but that site was about the only information I read in favor of it. I just noticed in my previous post that I said "hope" and meant "hops". They lose their aroma and bittering qualities, but vacuum sealing and freezing preserves them a lot longer.

Cheers!

Jon
 
I would probably just reiterate what has been already mentioned. However I could perhaps add a quick note from experience. 4 years ago my roasting apprentice at the time froze some greens kind of by accident (its a long story and very indo-estique so I wont go there). After reacting a bit sharply I thought we may as well at least see the result. Granted we had them stored way colder than 0 (minus 28 celcius actually in a commercial freezer). My results reflect what Terrior says> if roasted directly after thawing there was little measurable difference in the results vs fresh greens. However after 1 day of being thawed the results were markedly different> in a negative way. As we are at origin there is no need for us to even think about storage such as this anyway, but thought my experiment may at least in part answer your question
 

ElPugDiablo

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baysidebrewing said:
Indeed Terrior coffee was were I read about freezing beans, but that site was about the only information I read in favor of it.
Other than Terroir, Barismo also freeze their beans. To get a gigantic freezer to freeze beans is pretty darn expensive, I believe both of these guys did extensive tests before going down this route.
 
I dont know EPD, you would think research etc was done but to be frank, I cant really see the point. Look at it this way- a frozen vege company freezes product such as peas straight after picking to preserve freshness. I understand this as the product is perishable and it is the only way to get it to markets overseas or even interstate. Coffee is picked and dried- a process that can take up to 3 weeks. 3 weeks off the plant means certain characters have already changed. The preservation method used in itself is drying, reducing the moisture content down to 11-13%... the coffee then spends 5 weeks in a sweaty container (temperatures inside a shipping container aften are over 100 degrees f) until it reaches market. I personallyh reckon, my own freezer research aside, that freezing the coffee at this stage is pretty much a pointless exercise.
 

ElPugDiablo

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Alun, if the beans are used in less than 3 to 5 months I agree it is not a necessary. Longer time period, however, will caused green to lose moisture and lose flavors. Plus in the jute bag too long, they will be baggy. So if I come across an incredible lot of coffee and want to buy more than what I can use in 3 to 5 months, freezing to prevent degradation is an attractive alternative.
 
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