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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Noobie dying...  
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msmi
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 8
Location: my
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Dec 11, 2012, 4:37pm
Subject: Noobie dying here. Help Greatly Appreciated!!
 

Brief background.

Noobie in humid Malaysia. Store beans in temperature controlled environment between 20-22 degrees. Trying to keep relative humidity circa 60% as air-conditioning brings it down to about 30%.

Using iRoast2 (European version) for a couple of months. About 20 roasts. 4 different beans. El Salvador, Brazil, Ethiopia & Tanzania. 2 different suppliers. Some were vacuum packed, some not. The only consistent theme thus far is not even half a decent cuppa between them.

Have tried numerous profiles. Have fine tuned to 160C (320F) @ 7mins, 196C (384F) @ 3mins, 224C (435F) @ 4mins. Inserted thermocouple probe to measure against on-board . Temperature readings synchronise between 180-200. Then diverge again.

Losing my mind.

Average roasting process as follows:

150 grams. Ambient temp approx 27C (80F). Slow ramp and all looks good early on.

I have never seen any steam or evidence of water evaporation & have only had the "grassy" smell on a couple of occasions.

Goes through early yellow stage evenly. That's where bean colour/development and supposed temperature levels diverge.

It hits yellow tan, light brown and brown within a short space of time and at approx 180C (356F), Beans look very brown. By the time thermocouple reading is 200C (392F), beans are dark brown. No idea of whether it hits first crack due to the i-Roar. And there is virtually no smoke whatsoever.

I have tasted coffee within 24 hours and intermittently within 7 days to see if the flavour develops. All cups taste deep but flat, no flavor development. Not to the extent that it tastes burnt though.

One of Tom's articles at SM state that older beans roast faster due to loss of moisture and I suspect that this is the case. How do I compensate for this?

Almost everything I have read tells me to ignore temperatures and go with sight, smell & sound. Problem is as I mentioned, beans are getting very brown even before I get to 200C (392F). Can the beans chemically hit first crack circa 190C? If I follow what I see, I would hit the cool button at 200C. Are all my roasts stalling?

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Dec 11, 2012, 7:19pm
Subject: .
 

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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:32am
Subject: Re: Noobie dying here. Help Greatly Appreciated!!
 

I only see evidence of water vapor/steam from my Gene Cafe's outlet in cool damp weather when the vapor can condense in the outside air.  It's quite possible you won't see it in typical tropical conditions (do you see much steam from a pan of boiling water or similar?  There's a lot less vapor than that coming off your beans), or in a dry air conditioned space.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:46pm
Subject: Re: Noobie dying here. Help Greatly Appreciated!!
 

I would test your voltage to make sure your Iroast is getting the juice it needs.  Without your beans hitting 1C you’re baking the beans.  I would also try to pre heat the roaster .  Lastly check the recommended amount of beans and try dropping the amount a bit to see if it helps. I think the Iroast is 200g max dose but 100g (half) should not be a problem.  

PS I don't own an Iroast I am speaking from experience with a Behmor, popper and pan roasting.
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Snaxx
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 176
Location: Northeast Michigan, LP
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity burr
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster
Roaster: I Roast2
Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012, 1:11pm
Subject: Re: Noobie dying here. Help Greatly Appreciated!!
 

150 grams should be a fine amount, unless you have beans that produce heavy chaff.   Then I'd cut back the amount about 30 grams or so to keep the chaff from packing the collector and slowing circulation from pressure buildup.  About the only sense you have to work with on an I-Roast is sight.  Cracks are impossible to hear distinctly and smell never helped me determine ending a roast.  I used to roast just into oil appearing on some of the beans and then go into cool, but have cut that back a bit to just before oil stage begins and the beans are dry and medium brown,  usually at 450-460 degrees at this point.  I'll hit the cool button, then let the beans circulate for about 30 seconds so they stabilize, then dump them to cool using air pulled through the beans in a mesh colander for a minute or two.

Ken
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msmi
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Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 8
Location: my
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012, 5:42pm
Subject: Re: Noobie dying here. Help Greatly Appreciated!!
 

A big Thank You to everyone for the feedback. Much appreciated!!

I did get a voltage regulator and line voltage is good and relatively stable. And it's true that whenever voltage was reduced, the iRoast could not generate enough heat so the beans were well & truly baked.

Max for iRoast is 150gms, which is what I am using. So far, no particularly heavy chaff.

Interesting point Burner about pre-heating the roaster. Is that possible? Anyone had any experience doing that with the iRoast 2?

If Malliard starts at 300F, and I might not necessarily see steam in humid conditions and voltage is good, I will try as Ken suggests to work purely with sight and hope that at some point I can get a good roast consistently.

As a side note, I read about the resistor mod and I have not checked but I think the later European versions had the resistors changed by the manufacturer. Just a feeling I have as it takes about 5-6 minutes to get the temp to the 170C (338F) range.

Finally, thanks again for the advice and if anyone has any more suggestions or possible profiles, I gladly welcome them.

Cheers.
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 5:29am
Subject: .
 

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Breeze
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Breeze
Joined: 3 Dec 2006
Posts: 765
Location: St. Croix, V.I.
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: TechniVorm/Krups MB
Roaster: Toper 1 kilo
Posted Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:22pm
Subject: Re: Noobie dying here. Help Greatly Appreciated!!
 

Humidity of storage:

First off let me congratulate you for being able to be air conditioned.  Our KWH rate here is over .51 per each so that is not an option.  I store my beans at an average temp of 80 degrees F. and an average humidity of 70%.  They are stored in Grain Pro bags, with a twist on the neck.  If you truly think lack of humidity is the problem, it shouldn't be hard to find in Malaysia?  

I'd be doubtful that storing beans for reasonably short periods of time at humidity of less than 50% would be your problem.

Roast:

You said: "It hits yellow tan, light brown and brown within a short space of time".  My advice, while not having the faintest idea about the characteristics of an iRoast2, is to focus on time as much as you focus on temp.  Try to stretch it out; nothing likes to be rushed.
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msmi
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Sep 2012
Posts: 8
Location: my
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 6:30pm
Subject: Re: Noobie dying here. Help Greatly Appreciated!!
 

still getting very average cups. i can smell and sense the potential in the beans but have been unable to unlock its best flavors.

the presets call for temps of 196C in 3 minutes. wishful thinking.

i have tried playing with different temperature and time settings but somehow it takes the iRoast about 8-10 mins before it reaches 190-200C and i think by that time the beans are more baked than roasted.
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Snaxx
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 176
Location: Northeast Michigan, LP
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity burr
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster
Roaster: I Roast2
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:01pm
Subject: Re: Noobie dying here. Help Greatly Appreciated!!
 

Have tried numerous profiles. Have fine tuned to 160C (320F) @ 7mins, 196C (384F) @ 3mins, 224C (435F) @ 4mins. Inserted thermocouple probe to measure against on-board . Temperature readings synchronise between 180-200. Then diverge again.

Holding 160C/320F for 7 minutes is likely one problem with this profile, since I get excellent coffee from most any variety with a total roast time of 8:15 to Cool mode.  Occasionally I'll go up or down on the time, depending on visual appearance of the beans by about 15 seconds.   I only run 320F for 3 minutes then increase to 420 for 3 minutes, then 460 to Cool mode.  I'll let the beans circulate in the roaster for 30 seconds during cooling, then shut off the roaster by pulling the plug, dumping the beans into a mesh colander, and cool them by pulling air through the beans for a minute or so, and also restarting the roaster and go back into Cool mode to allow the roaster to finish cooling down.

Do you have any way to check your actual voltage at the receptacle such as with a Kill A Watt or even just a multi-meter?  In the U.S., these roasters are 120 volt, so normal voltage during roast will be likely no less than 117 for efficiency here.  Since yours is European 230-240v/50 cycle, you should be seeing a minimum of 234 volts when the roaster is in heat mode, but just above that for best results.  But, your voltage standard in Malaysia is 230/240 volts/50 cycle.  A possible issue here is the 50 cycle current.  A motor will run 17% slower on 50 cycle than 60 cycle current.  What does the nameplate say on the bottom of your roaster?  Does it say 50/60Hz after the listed voltage, or just 50Hz.  If it shows that split frequency, it's possible the motor isn't turning fast enough to circulate and roast if the initial voltage at the receptacle is too low.  If your voltage it not as high as it should be, then the fan speed will be even lower and then the roast efficiency will suffer.

Is the Malaysian power grid modern and up to date or is it somewhat erratic and unstable, depending on time of day or day of week?

Ken
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