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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > New to roasting...  
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JohnLyn
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JohnLyn
Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 243
Location: Golden, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Toastess popper
Posted Sat Oct 13, 2012, 6:46pm
Subject: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

Living rurally, fresh beans aren't possible. I can get them mailed in on day 4-6 post roast. Plus, i'm really interested in getting to know beans a lot better. This is what brought me to wanting to roast. I figured I would go reasonable and start with the Popcorn Popper to see if I really do enjoy this as a hobby. Later I may very well look at other roasting equipment, but for now, I am fascinated with the Popper!

So I got a two for one sale: two Toastess TCP713 for 30$. Happy camper so far. I live in the mountains of Golden BC. it's fall, it's getting cool like -2 to 5 C. I roast in the garage. I ordered beans from Sweet Maria's, even with the high shipping coast it is equivalent to buying in canada cost wise, and I love the information they have to offer. If there is a better deal in canada for quality beans, please let me know.

I am learning about my power supply. my first roast was by the house on one outlet on a warm day. everything functioned as the directions say. Now  in the garage I am a hundred feet from the power supply, so probably lower voltage. Then I discovered that other things plugged into the same outlet would take power away from the popper. The result of that was longer roast time (10-12 mins), and a lot less cracking (once there were only two cracks exactly).

Then I used a box and pumped in some ambient heat. Dedicated plug for the popper so full power and next thing you know I had great cracking and a vienna roast (I believe) on my hands. So I improved the visibility in the box and got what I believe was a full city roast.

so the questions:

If there is no popping is that a Stalled roast process? if so, what is the consequence? I have yet to taste it.

What is the distinction between the cracks? 1st crack goes on for 1.5 to 2 mins? Is there an end to 1st crack? does it blend into 2nd Crack and if so, how do you know?

I have also attached a photo below. I don't know if it is possible to determine from a photo but I believe it ranges from  Vienna to FC+ to FC. or is each one a step up from that? the Vienna has a bit of oil on the beans (not intended), is that vienna or when oil comes out is it then french?

So.... I got questions. If someone has patience for me it would be appreciated.

Cheers,

JohnLyn: roasts.jpg
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jliedeka
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jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,566
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Sun Oct 14, 2012, 7:10am
Subject: Re: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

I can't comment on the stalled roast issue.  I haven't had one.

It's possible for first and second cracks to run together.  With some beans, you don't always get much of a 1st crack.  I think the first crack is caused by cell walls rupturing as their water is turned to steam.  It sound to me like the crackling of wood in a fire only not as loud.  Second crack sounds more like the sound Rice Crispies make in milk.  It's a quieter and faster crack.  There's a distinct difference in the smell of the beans which may also help.  During first crack, you may get a more grainy smell.  Ideally you would like to stretch the roast between first and second crack to 3-5 minutes.  That's assuming you are going all the way to second crack.  Full City is just a little before 2nd starts so you have to anticipate.  That's where learning the smells really helps.

As for the photo, the first looks like a Viennese roast to me, could be French.  The other two look similar to me in the picture.  You can get some oil from Viennese.  I don't really worry about exact levels anymore.  I just worry about whether I like the resulting brew.

    Jim

 
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JohnLyn
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JohnLyn
Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 243
Location: Golden, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Toastess popper
Posted Sun Oct 14, 2012, 4:38pm
Subject: Re: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

Thanks for the comments Jim.

I guess roasting is about picking up on those distinctions of all the senses. for now I can distinguish colour and appearance of the bean. distinguishing the cracks is difficult as I am trying to stick to under second crack. although on the vienna one, there may have been continuous cracking and I did not pick up on the difference. the beans were still cracking in the slightly in the colander. Smell I can't distinguish yet but will now pay attention to differences. for now it constantly smells grainy/coffeish to me...

With a popper I have little control, although I have found some funny ways to gain some almost akin to doing a dance. how do you stretch the time between 1st and 2nd crack? With proper equipment is that done with temperature?
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oldgearhead
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oldgearhead
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 396
Location: Go Colts!
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso by Baratza
Drip: Chemex,Dilongi DCM900
Roaster: 1/2K Fluid-bed
Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012, 5:20am
Subject: Re: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

Stretching the time between 'cracks', I believe is easier with fluid-bed roasters than with drum roasters.
Because in the case of fluid-bed roasters, the bean mass temperature can be lowered very quickly by doing two or three things:
1) Increase air flow to the roasting chamber.
2) Dial down the heat
3) Stop recycling roasting chamber air.

However, care must be taken to keep the BMT advancing so the roast doesn't stall.

Yesterday's one-pound roast of Columbian Condor Linares went like this:
1) Drying - 4 minutes at 1000 watts + 20% recycled hot air.
2) ramp to first crack - 4 minutes at 1305 watts + 40% recycled hot air.
3) Finish - 3 minutes at 1130 watts + 20% recycled hot air.

I usually do not increase the air flow to stretch the first crack. With my roaster, 'dumping' the hot air from the 'mixing box' and lowering the heating element wattage works best. But I know other fluid-bed roasters who use the 'blower' control to lower the BMT.

oldgearhead: DSC_0113.jpg
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
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Location: Northern California
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Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012, 5:40am
Subject: Re: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

oldgearhead Said:

Stretching the time between 'cracks', I believe is easier with fluid-bed roasters than with drum roasters...

Posted October 15, 2012 link

???

I accidentally got a 3+ min interim time a couple of roasts ago with an electric drum roaster.
A "belief" is not very scientific and "easier" is a relative term that does not seem terribly useful as applied here since it is easy to control a roast in a drum roaster if you know what you are doing and have learned how to control the roaster, which, to be fair, can be said of virtually any coffee roasting appliance.

 
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CraigA
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CraigA
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Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012, 7:15am
Subject: Re: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

frcn Said:

I accidentally got a 3+ min interim time a couple of roasts ago with an electric drum roaster.

Posted October 15, 2012 link

I regularly do edit (2 - 3 minute) stretchs after 1st crack to 2nd crack all the time with my Behmor.. {;-)

 
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,437
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012, 10:18am
Subject: Re: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

CraigA Said:

I regularly do 3 - 4 minute stretchs after 1st crack to 2nd crack all the time with my Behmor.. {;-)

Posted October 15, 2012 link

That one that stalled on me could have gone on for a day or two! I usually try for about two minutes.

 
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CraigA
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CraigA
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Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012, 11:25am
Subject: Re: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

Re-edited my above post after re-reading my roasting notes, with the odd roast extending 2nd crack up to 3 - 4 minutes.

 
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JohnLyn
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JohnLyn
Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 243
Location: Golden, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Toastess popper
Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012, 8:36pm
Subject: Re: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

What needs to be done on the Behemore to extend between 1st and 2nd crack? and what is the consequence of a "stalled" roast? Guess I'll find out tomorrow when I use the roast that had few cracks at all.
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MoJoeCoffeeRoaster
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Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012, 10:47pm
Subject: Re: New to roasting and I've got questions
 

A stalled roast gets a baked flavor instead of a roasted flavor.  Now what does that mean, i cant be sure, i am almost tempted to stall a roast on purpose to try it.

As for second crack it is faster once it gets rolling than rolling first crack.  A tell tale sign is a big increase in grey bitter burnt smelling smoke especialy compared to the toasty and grassy smells you get earlier in the roast.  When the smoke comes you are on the verge of second crack, a full city or full city + roast.

Also 1st crack sounds a little like popcorn popping where 2nd sound just like a fire cracking to me.  

Check out sweet marias library section, they have recorded cracking sounds and a section on using you senses to tell the where you are at in the roast.

Also look at you beans after the roast, if you see little divot chunks busted off the beans you were in 2nd crack.  Color is not the most reliable way to tell.
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