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Do "baked beans" cause weak coffee?
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Do "baked beans"...  
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JWK
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Joined: 25 Nov 2013
Posts: 17
Location: central New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: OE Pharos
Drip: French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 9:36am
Subject: Do "baked beans" cause weak coffee?
 

I just got a Behmor.  My first roast came out baked, but I didn't really try to analyze that batch.  I just let me wife and daughter drink it up.  They thought it was delicious.  Since I got the 8 lb. sampler from Sweet Maria's and my daughter gave me another 3 separate lbs., I'm roasting everything in 8 oz. amounts.

My second batch:
A Nicaraguan bean
Set to 1 lb., P2, program B.  This gives full power for 12 minutes, then 70% power until the very end.  Total time is 20 minutes, but I planned on hitting cool before the end.  It seemed to work pretty well.  First crack started at about 7:45 remaining, which is only 15 seconds after full power decreased.  I hit cool with 2 minutes remaining.  This looked like a Vienna roast to me, even though I never heard any evidence of 2nd crack.

My third batch:
Sumatra bean.
Same setting as the second batch.  This didn't seem to work as well.  First crack didn't start until about 2 minutes after power reduction.  I hit cool with three minutes remaining.  The beans looked like a full city, but I don't have that much to compare it to.

The problem is that we are getting weak coffee using the same measurements I always used.  I decreased the amount of water for the same amount of beans, but still way too weak.  I don't get it.

French Press.
Carafe heated in oven set to 205F.
38 ounces of water (weighed) brought to boiling, then set aside for one minute.  Using a probe thermometer, this brings the water temp. to 205F.
1.8 ounces of coffee beans.
Hand ground coffee (Pharos) dumped into carafe, water poured in, gently stirred after one minute, poured into mugs at the 4 minute mark.

This always gave us the strength we like with all our store bought coffee, but now it is very weak.  Tastes good, but just really weak.  I reduced the water to 32 ounces.  There was a detectable difference, but still way too weak.  I kept the water at 32 ounces, but increased the beans to 2 ounces.  Still too weak.

I don't get it.  Anyone have any ideas?  The only thing I can think of at this moment is that I'm still getting beans that are too baked instead of properly roasted and it affects the strength.

My intent is to get the roast on P2 to where the 1st crack is starting when the power is reduced.  As I understand it, it's better to have the roast slower after 1st crack for the type of flavors I'm looking for (less bright/acid, more chocolate).  I'll keep shooting for this unless I'm heading down the wrong path.  I can still increase the time once more to give me about 13 minutes at full power instead of 12.  After that I would have to add preheating, BUT I'm thinking this is an awfully long time to be reaching the beginning of 1st crack.

Thoughts?
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CraigA
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CraigA
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Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 10:43am
Subject: Re: Do "baked beans" cause weak coffee?
 

Hi John,

I don't see any weights listed grams/ozs for your roasts. What load or weight are you using please?

 
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JWK
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Nov 2013
Posts: 17
Location: central New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: OE Pharos
Drip: French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 10:54am
Subject: Re: Do "baked beans" cause weak coffee?
 

CraigA Said:

Hi John,

I don't see any weights listed grams/ozs for your roasts. What load or weight are you using please?

Posted December 26, 2013 link

Thanks.  I meant to put that in.  Original post edited to correct.
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boar_d_laze
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Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 6:12pm
Subject: Re: Do "baked beans" cause weak coffee?
 

One associates "baked" with "flat" more than with weak.  

Roaster:
"Baked" is a very common criticism of Behmor roasts.  Part of the problem is that the Behmor doesn't have enough power to do a good job on charges larger than about 250g, but mostly it's the Behmor's lousy, "recommended" cooling scheme.  

There are better ways to do it.  I suggest starting a thread with the words "Behmor" and "cooling" in it.  In fact, a thread titled, "Behmor WTF?" might be in order.  There are some guys who can play the Behmor like a Strad.  I'm not one, and promise not to participate.

A Vienna roast is well into -- almost all the way through -- second crack (2dC).  If you can't hear 2dC, color isn't much help for distinguishing one dark roast from another.  I mean, "dark" is dark unless you have a set of Agtron tiles.  Without one, the simplest identifying characteristic is how long it takes for oil to form on the cool beans.  Viennas take a few hours to overnight for the roast to turn completely oily.

Until you figure out how to stop and cool your roasts, I wouldn't worry too much about whether your roasts are FC or FC+, or "where, exactly" to draw the line between FC+ and Vienna.  For one thing you don't have the basis to make an accurate identification, and for another the Behmor's slow cool renders those kinds of fine distinctions meaningless.

Brewing:
Start with 60g of coffee per L of water.  Water poured at 200F, not boiling.

If your coffee tastes "too weak," it might be a good idea to grind finer before increasing the coffee/water ratio.

Note that very fresh coffee sometimes behaves oddly.  

BDL
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Frost
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Frost
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Posted Thu Dec 26, 2013, 11:16pm
Subject: Re: Do "baked beans" cause weak coffee?
 

Check/measure your bean expansion; bean volume before/after roast. A roast too slow will not generate enough internal pressure and less bean expansion. Bean expansion opens the cell structure and allows for the water to get a better extraction.  A weak brew is one symptom. Bean volume nearly doubling is a good target.
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JWK
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Nov 2013
Posts: 17
Location: central New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: OE Pharos
Drip: French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Dec 29, 2013, 8:56am
Subject: Re: Do "baked beans" cause weak coffee?
 

boar_d_laze:
Thanks for the info on color and roast.  You are correct, I obviously never reached Vienna having never reached 2nd crack.  Cooling is not a problem for me.  I did a lot of reading on the Behmor before I got it and already had that part planned out.  I roast in my basement (finished) and use my big shop vac.  I hit "cool" and look for the heaters to fade (about 30 seconds), then open the door with the shop vac nozzle stuck in the opening.  Within a minute and a half I can reach in with my bare hands and take the drum out.  I immediately dump them out in a lazzagna pan and use the shop vac to suck up and loitering chaff and cool it the rest of the way.  The beans are almost to room temperature within a few minutes from hitting the "cool" button.

Frost:
Thanks for the info on expansion.  I didn't know the beans expanded that much and I can tell you that I haven't even achieved 1.5 times the volume yet.


I can see why it's helpful to stick with one type of bean for a while.  However, I still have 10 different lbs. of beans to roast up, so I'll just keep playing with program times and warm up starts to get my 1st crack while still under full power while using P2.
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Frost
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Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,050
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Tue Dec 31, 2013, 1:04pm
Subject: Re: Do "baked beans" cause weak coffee?
 

Frost Said:

...... Bean volume nearly doubling is a good target.

Posted December 26, 2013 link

I need to clarify/fix this as it's just wrong and your 1.5 (50%)  is not so far off target.
(it doesn't work to be loose with language about mathematics.)

Bean Volume increase and weight loss during roasting is a good measure for roast development and degree.
My numbers, fairly consistent, for  medium roast (full city to Full city+) are 15-16% weight loss, 1.75 volume increase.  I doubt I ever roasted fast/hot/dark enough to actually double volume, ...but it is possible.
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