Posted Fri Aug 23, 2013, 6:33am Subject: Roasting TIME question help.
Hi all, I have been roasting with a stovetop popcorn popper for a while and just got this one in the picture. (Size of drum: 4" x 7" = 10cm x 19cm) I have a question on drum roasters in general, what is the best heat source for them?
Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 3:21am Subject: Roasting TIME question help.
I use 2 manual roasters: Popcorn Popper, stovetop and a horizontal perforated drum roaster, both used with gas.
Question I have: Is Time Critical? What is acceptable min/max time to FC, in a home over gas roaster type environment?
With the popcorn popper, I get FC in about 9 minutes and SC in 13 min; (low flame because of size of burner)
With the drum roster, I have full flame, and FC comes around 15 minutes and SC about 18 minutes but there seems to be a smoother transition between FC and SC, the roast is very even. (roasting is quiet, because I don't hear the wire whisks of popcorn popper scratching the bottom).
Both roasts done with 8oz/200g batch
What I would like to know: is the TIME of 15 minutes to FC OK? Is it not too long and I start to "BAKE" them? The beans look beautiful, smooth, slightly shiny done to Full City+...
Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 6:54am Subject: Re: Roasting TIME question help.
The answer is, of course, completely dependent on how it tastes.
Personally, I find if I achieve 1st crack before 13 minutes, I'll be fine, but I do generally target 1st crack starting by around 8:00. Middle ground is between 13-16 minutes, and I expect (but am sometimes surprised) flatter profile ("baked") if I don't get 1st crack by 16 minutes. Those tend to be really long 1st crack, with 2nd crack mixing in with the end of 1st crack finish... and ending up 18-20 minutes for the full roast.
1st crack generally lasts a couple to three minutes, the space between 1st and 2nd crack can be 0 to 1 minute - but it all depends on your heating profile and your roaster's capacity. "Baked" isn't ideal, but it certainly isn't undrinkable. Compared to Maxwell House, if your source bean is good, you'll still be miles ahead... :D
Reading your reply, 15-16 minutes is the limit...I do 8-9min. times with Popcorn popper, but after only 2 roasts in drum roaster I still didn't manage to get it down to ~9 minutes, I will experiment with a smaller batch~6 ozs./150g and higher flame...
Aren't "baked" beans (amongst us geeks) considered ruined, even though they beat Maxwell?
Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 8:32am Subject: Re: Roasting TIME question help.
Id say 18min for FC is the limit. 20min regardless of roast temp you are baking the beans. Time between cracks usually isn't much. I would try a smaller load or larger heater. Maybe move the flames closer to the drum. I would try medium heat until you see browning, full heat until you begin to hear 1C and bring the heat back to medium and coast into FC.
Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 2:29pm Subject: Re: Roasting TIME question help.
My experience is that hot-air fluidized roasting seems to be fast and radiant-heat drum roasting seems to be slow.
With my FR+8, (hot-air) roasting 4 oz at a time, roasting times were around 5 minutes. With temperature data-logging and a dimmer I could move it up to 8 minutes.
With my Behmor, (radiant drum) roasting 10 oz at a time, roasting times are around 18 minutes on P1 (hottest profile).
That is not a fair comparison, 4 oz vs 10 oz, but in some ways it is because the coffee tastes good either way.
The purists might argue that there is an 'optimum' roast time when you want to reveal the various fruit flavours and aromas that are available in some beans. They obviously have a better palate than I, because I have never, even by accident, been able to reveal them. If I had, I'm not sure I would 'like' them; I brew coffee because I like the taste of coffee a lot and don't want a beverage that tastes like Gator-Aide or apple-juice.
With either system of roasting I take the beans right to the start of the 2CR, where they are dark brown with just a light sheen of oil, and that's where the coffee taste has the best intensity, not too bright, not too bitter.
I am currently roasting Sumatra Mandheling and Sweet Maria's Monkey Blend, both approaching 19 min (10 oz) and to get that dark brown with a slight oil sheen I am almost 1 min. into the 2CR. I find that confusing. But I don't worry about roasting-time until I get beyond 20 min.
Posted Tue Aug 27, 2013, 8:18am Subject: Re: Roasting TIME question help.
Geeks are different than snobs. Really good foodies and sommeliers don't just taste excellent foods and wines all the time. To know the darkness, you must experience the light, but also the twilight in between. I see coffee as a spectrum, not a right/wrong answer. I sample bad and good coffee, old and fresh coffee... keeps my experience base expanded.
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