Roaster training

pinheadmann

New member
Jan 29, 2008
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Brantford, Ontario
I am waiting to receive a new roaster (Ambex YM-2) and have a question about training. I could fly to Florida, and take a 3 day course on how to run it, but when I look at the agenda, I think it is a a stretch to spend 3 days there.

Does anyone have an opinion on how to get trained on roasting? Is it absolutely mandatory to go on a course, or can you pick it by ruining a few batches. I am going to buy the software with the machine, so why can''t I just download some profiles from the internet and adjust from there?

Any thoughts or experiences would be appreciated.
Craig
Blue Dog Coffee Roasters
 

KnappCap

New member
Oct 28, 2007
15
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Chicago, IL
Craig,

Hey, my advice is that you will definitely need to seek out training if you are looking to put out high quality freshly roasted coffee. I have not personally gone to the ambex training in Florida, but from what I have heard they only touch on the basics. So even if you do decide to do that you will still need to seek out guidance and direction to roast a good consistant coffee. My suggestion would be to find someone that roasts that you can maybe shadow some and will mentor you through the early stages. Also spend lots of time reading and learning, it is definitely a learning process.
 

Davec

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Oct 18, 2006
314
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Old England (UK)
Also be prepared to roast and try a lot of different coffees to various levels. It's a skill that you caannot learn overnight, or even in a few weeks. Some people do have a natural aptitude for it, but you still need the experience. I would recommend limiting yourself to selling a few single origin coffees and a couple of simple blends until you understand what your doing.

Whilst your making money from those, you can have purchase 20 or so different ccoffees tto learn your "art" on and appreciate the tastes of each roasted to different levels/profiles and from there gradually begin to understand what would blend well with what....and why. I would think that would take the best part of a year to cover the basics, but as you learn the different coffees, you can gradually expand your portfolio.
 

rgs2rchs

New member
Mar 12, 2007
17
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Graig,

My wife and I just completed the Ambex course on 1/26 and found it very informative. By the way the class is now 4 days vs. 5. There are things you will learn other then roasting such as cupping, roaster maintenance, safety, etc…We found the cupping class very valuable… not so much the act of cupping but the exercise that followed which was a “guess what scent” activity where we smelled different sample scents and had to map them back to a chart. This actually made you think about some of the things you were smelling/tasting during the cupping session. We also had the opportunity to me with and talk to 2 separate bean brokers and visit a syrup manufacturer.

As for actual roasting time, this may very by size of class. I was able to do three roast and my wife did one (her choice). It was great to use the equipment and get familiar with it. IMHO the best way to use you roasting time is to watch what other do, listen to the directions the instructor provides (this gives you a baseline for time/temp etc…), then go back to a table and think about what you want to do based on what you’ve learned about roasting profiles and how they effect the bean.

Just my .02

P.S. We’re awaiting our YM-5 (April)

Sean
 
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pinheadmann

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Jan 29, 2008
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Brantford, Ontario
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Thanks.

That's great info people!!! Thanks. I found someone about 1 hour away from me (I am in Brantford Ontario Canada) who roasts and is going to allow me to watch them roast for a day, then I will try and figure out if I need training from there. I really like the suggestion of just getting a few different types of beans to begin with.......I am hoping that I like what the nearby roaster has and I can rely on him for a wider variety of beans to sell but have him roast them.
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
If you do decide to go with a few simple beans to start with, some easy coffees to roast are;

Brazilian Yellow Bourbon
Brazilian Saantos (but get a decent one)
Guatemalan Finca Isabel or similar
Colombian Supremo
Sumatran (Mandheling, Lintong etc..)
Yirgacheffe (if you don't overdo it)

http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/green-coffees (some more info here on 2 out of our 3 greens club purchases)

Our online roast log and coffee database, even though it's predominantly Gene Cafe roasters, we roast in such a way that a lot of the information will be useful to you, such as ballpark timings for 1st, 2nd etc. Where the specifics will change is in the drop temp and max roaster temps you will need to set for the Ambex YM2.

You also have a few simple blends and notes on the different coffees, in addition to help on roast levels people have tried. It could help...maybe not.

http://creator.zoho.com/davec_coffeetim ... og/form/9/

http://creator.zoho.com/davec_coffeetim ... og/form/9/
 

LinaC

New member
Feb 14, 2008
1
0
Importing Ambex Roaster

Hi there,

Can I ask if you have purchased your roaster yet? Just to let you know the Ambex roaster isn''t CSA approved. Some times they won''t let non CSA machinery through customs. Then if they do you have to make modifications according to their specificatons then have them come inspect it and approve the roaster. That process is thousands of dollars. You might be better of purchasing a pre CSA aproved roaster This is why I didn''t purchase one from Ambex, and stuck to a Canadian distributor.

Will you be using the roaster in a retail store or Cafe?

Lina
 
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pinheadmann

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Jan 29, 2008
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Brantford, Ontario
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CSA approval.

I actually contacted Ambex a week ago to ask this same question, and was very concerned to hear that they are NOT csa approved. I don't undestand this, because there are other Ambex roasters in our area....so I never thought about this until my HVAC contractor asked me about it because he says he is not allowed to hook up the gas unless it is approved. I am just not sure of the approvals he needs, so I have to ask him this week about the specific things it needs.

Do you know what modifications need to be done?
 
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