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Uneven Ethiopian Roasts- This normal?
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dorkroast
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dorkroast
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Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 9:19pm
Subject: Uneven Ethiopian Roasts- This normal?
 

I've been experimenting with roasts using my Popcorn Pumper and have been having some pretty good luck. I'm trying to replicate a blend from a local roaster using 75% Brazilian/25% Ethiopian beans.

Whenever I roast the Brazilian beans they come out even and beautiful just how I would expect them to come out. I pour them out right at 2nd crack or just slightly before. Everything looks great.

However, when I roast the Ethiopian beans in exactly the same manner they come out very uneven. Some beans are very light, some are very dark. It's hard to tell when they go into second crack because I'm thinking some of the beans are still in first when second stops.

I've noticed the Ethiopian beans have a very different appearance than the Brazilian beans- very small and dense.

I've blended them like this before and the final product was very good- just wondering if there was something I'm missing with the Ethiopian beans.

Suggestions welcome (and yes I'm well on the path to buying a "real" roaster).
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tom957
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Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 9:31pm
Subject: Re: Uneven Ethiopian Roasts- This normal?
 

Most likely you're roasting a dry processed Ethiopian. They tend to be uneven due to the way they're processed.

IMO they can be the most exciting roasts because they are the most "wild" in flavor. If you want to bring that out as much as you can, don't get too close to 2nd crack and cull out the lightest beans after your batch is done. I just roasted a pound of a dry-processed Ethiopian today and got it just past first crack for maximum fruitiness.
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Frost
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Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 9:59pm
Subject: Re: Uneven Ethiopian Roasts- This normal?
 

Varied lots of Dry Process Ethiopian can be uneven in quality as well. These are 'hand sorted' (if sorted at all) and all over the map in quality and defect count.  A wide variety of bean size and ripeness adds to the problem.
A good clean lot will roast evenly, (and taste heavenly)  but it is rare to get that quality from Ethiopia today, and there is usually a premium price when you find it.

A Popper that roasts fast won't help as it will tend to over-roast the smaller beans and under-roast the larger.
Slowing down the roast helps, but you will still get 'quakers'; beans that come out very light regardless of how long they are roasted. These are under-ripe green beans and should be picked out after roasting or they can add an astringent bite to the brew.  Pick out the funky bits as well.  If in doubt, bite into one for a taste; if it tastes funky, continue picking. If it tastes like wild strawberry, stop, you've gone too far.

As Tom said, You want to keep the roast on the lighter side here to get the most fruit from these beans. Just out of first crack or a little farther.  Not near second crack.
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dorkroast
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dorkroast
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Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 7:05pm
Subject: Re: Uneven Ethiopian Roasts- This normal?
 

Thanks for info....just past first crack it is then!

That's what I was aiming for the first time but some of the beans were just SOOO light (white appearing actually) that I wasn't sure what was going on and let it go a little longer. Now I know just to pick out the weird ones.
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IMAWriter
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Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 10:42pm
Subject: Re: Uneven Ethiopian Roasts- This normal?
 

All correct from previous posters.
IMO, without modifying your popper (a separate control for the thermostat) roasting beans such as Ethiopians will be a bit more troublesome as regards evenness. As was said, beans from this region are a bit less carefully sorted.
Coffees like Guatemalans, Colombians, Costa Rican, etc will roast more evenly.
Also, might I suggest you be consistent with roast amount. Measure by Volume, 2/3 cup. Have a small stick to stir in the direction of airflow to get things going, and also to prevent the bottom beans from burning, or roasting too fast.

 
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coffee_wine_ismylife
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Posted Sat Nov 17, 2012, 4:56pm
Subject: Re: Uneven Ethiopian Roasts- This normal?
 

"Varied lots of Dry Process Ethiopian can be uneven in quality as well."

I can testify to this.  I experience the same lately with coffee from that region.

 
Travel, Coffee, Wine, & Hockey is my life!
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