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Effects on Coffee if Roasting Outside During Winter (-10C to -25C)
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kmg
Senior Member
kmg
Joined: 21 Nov 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Drip: AeroPress, V60
Roaster: CoffeeTech FZ-RR-700
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 9:03pm
Subject: Effects on Coffee if Roasting Outside During Winter (-10C to -25C)
 

I am soon acquiring the Coffee-Tech FZ-RR-700 manual roaster and I am excited to start roasting sample batches. However, due to limited indoor space and ventilation, I will be forced to take my roasting equipment outside. My question is what effect will the cold Canadian winters have on my coffee during the roasting phase. I am aware that I will have to likely pre-heat the roaster slightly higher to compensate for the very cold exterior temperature, but I am afraid of what effect the very cold and dry effect it will have on my green coffee.

Thank you for all comments and recommendations.
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OregonCityMan
Senior Member
OregonCityMan
Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Portland, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES Semi
Grinder: Ascaso I-2 mini
Roaster: Torrefattore 1KG, DIY 1/2lb
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 10:01pm
Subject: Re: Effects on Coffee if Roasting Outside During Winter (-10C to -25C)
 

I think you will like your new roaster. I bought one last year, but sold it as I manufactured a slightly larger stainless steel version of the FZ-RR-700 myself. I believe you meant 700, unless they have a new product out.

I will tell you that I roasted out in my garage today and it was 30F. That is the coldest temperature I have ever roasted at outdoors. I use a Coleman camp stove rated at 10,000 BTU's. Three days ago I roasted when it was 52F, using the same amount of greens, and the exact same heat profile as today. It took an additional two minutes (16 total) to roast today.

The beans are resting now, but I doubt the additional time to roast will have much effect on the taste of the brew. The beans are a nice even color and exhibit the Full City + markings I am use to seeing.

I live in Portland, Oregon, and I will let you know what the roast is like at 18F, as I here we are going to see those temps by Thursday. I can't tell you what -10C will be like though. At freezing temps, I never use the camp stove beyond medium heat. As with any outdoor stove, your main enemy is wind. I suspect you can overcome the cold with a decent amount of heat.

The FZ-RR-700 will do it's best work if you can roast in 12-14 minutes. I roasted my first batch with the roaster in 7 minutes, and had to toss the beans out.

OregonCityMan: DSC03183.JPG
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OregonCityMan
Senior Member
OregonCityMan
Joined: 30 Oct 2013
Posts: 32
Location: Portland, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES Semi
Grinder: Ascaso I-2 mini
Roaster: Torrefattore 1KG, DIY 1/2lb
Posted Tue Dec 3, 2013, 10:13pm
Subject: Re: Effects on Coffee if Roasting Outside During Winter (-10C to -25C)
 

Please let me know when you start roasting, as I would love to hear how it works out for you up there. The FZ-RR-700 is small enough that your propane/butane flame will envelop the entire roaster during the roast, so I expect you will have enough heat no matter what the outside temp is. The dry air is another matter though. We are usually around 50-75% humidity around here.
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jliedeka
Moderator
jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,548
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Wed Dec 4, 2013, 10:37am
Subject: Re: Effects on Coffee if Roasting Outside During Winter (-10C to -25C)
 

I used to roast outside with a heat gun.  When the temps dropped below 20F (~-7C), I used the opportunity to support my local roasters.  My roasts tended to start stretching out to the point of baking below 20.

Let us know how it works out with your setup.

    Jim

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
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kmg
Senior Member
kmg
Joined: 21 Nov 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Drip: AeroPress, V60
Roaster: CoffeeTech FZ-RR-700
Posted Thu Jan 9, 2014, 5:21pm
Subject: Re: Effects on Coffee if Roasting Outside During Winter (-10C to -25C)
 

So I am now roasting my green coffee - in terms of cold weather, I am not having too many difficulties so long as I block the wind to allow my stove to operate most efficiently.

However where I am having difficulties is with consistency in my roasts - one roast will reach first crack after 4 minutes, while the next roast may not hit first crack until 20 minutes! I just bought the iCelsius Probe to be used with my Roastmaster app for data logging and I am hoping I can establish more consistent profiles. But I was hoping that someone who is used to using the FZ-RR-700 can give some suggestions and past experiences about achieving consistent roasts. I understand there being a learning curve to using this type of roaster, but it is starting to get frustrating. I am also having some issues with the beans being the same in roast from each batch (some beans are under roasted, whiles others come out black - I am trying harder to keep the roaster in motion by spinning or shaking it to agitate the beans) - so again, any suggestions would much be appreciated.
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