fllawyer Senior Member Joined: 15 Jan 2014 Posts: 1 Location: United States Expertise: Just starting
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 8:15am Subject: Letting beans rest after roasting
Hi all. Just got my first Behmor 1600, and have made a few batches with what I think are increasing degrees of success. Few quick questions. First, what's the best procedure for storing/using beans after I roast them? Air-tight container for 48-72 hours before I put them in my automatic machine? And what's the maximum time I should keep roasted beans for (as in, will they go bad/lose their taste after a month?) Thank you!
RandomTask Senior Member Joined: 30 Jan 2013 Posts: 67 Location: Saskatchewan, Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Grinder: Barratza Encore Drip: Behmor Brazen Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 8:35am Subject: Re: Letting beans rest after roasting
For coffee, I've heard the "Rule of 15's"; greens are good 15 months from picking, coffee is good 15 days from roasting and grounds are good 15 minutes from grinding. As for storage, look for something that seals tightly so your coffee doesn't lose all the good stuff. Mason jars are always a good option as they come in a variety of sizes and seal up well.
Personally I keep my roasted coffee in what best could be described as "candy jars". Large-ish glass jars (holds about 1/2 lbs each) that have a rubber gastketed lid. I ususally set the lid on, though not super tight (so gas can still escape) and let it sit usually overnight. I roast after the kids are in bed, then usually seal it up when I make coffee the next morning. That usually works to be about 12 hours, while I tend to "burp" them again around 24 and 36 hours. After that I usually let them rest for 4 days total before using them. That's the point I tend to find the best taste, though YMMV.
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 8:35am Subject: Re: Letting beans rest after roasting
Congrats on the Behmor! Depending on the beans you are roasting a 24 hr minimum is a good thing. I usually give all of my coffee 48hrs +. Any sooner and my espresso is pure crema. Airtight container is good. If your using glass try too keep the beans in a dark area to prevent any UV from aging the beans. Up to two weeks you get the all the freshness, after that the coffee begins to go stale. I usually roast for a month myself but I notice a difference after about 15-20 days but still tastes good to me. I've gotten rid of jar storage because I've read any oxygen in with your beans is going to make them go bag sooner so I've switched to foil valved bags. They are great. I can wash and reuse them. I've used the same bag now for 2 kg so far. :P
I roast with a hottop and roast 250 grams twice a week. I leave a fresh roast out for about 4 hours after roast to release gases. I them put in a push down airtight lid container while waiting "on deck" then I just leave in my cleaned forte grinder hopper. I move through the beans rather quickly so I don't worry myself on freshness. Peak is 48+ out for dark 24+ out for lighter roast.
Babbie's Rule of Fifteens is fine as far as it goes, but doesn't address many of the distinctions of ordinary storage, brewing and grinding.
Because the espresso grind is finer, and because espresso is made with pressurized water, espresso machines more efficiently extract a bean's bad and good than ordinary brew methods. Consequently, the respective windows of fresh/rested for espresso and brew are considerably different. In general, brew beans go from fresh to rested to stale roughly twice as fast as espresso.
Cupping is its own thing. Cupping is brewing for predicting what a particular profile will taste like when it's been properly rested and used either for brew or as espresso. It's called "cupping" because coffee used and ground for the purpose is brewed in a cup
What I call "quasi-cupping" is probably used more often by home roasters, who don't want to go the enormous PITA that's SCAA/COE style cupping; but do want to get the maximum amount of information from their roasts, so they can tweak their profiles on purpose.
Since you're just starting out, this probably sounds daunting. But cupping is not the first part of learning to roast, so don't worry too much about it. The more and the better you roast, the more important it becomes. When it's necessary, you'll know and start working on it.
Same day -- EVERYBODY cups same day;
24 - 48 hrs post roast -- SCAA "cupping" standard. A little rest makes a difference, you'll get somewhat better development and separation. Whether that makes a big difference in your life as a roaster depends on why you cup, if you cup at all.
2 days minimum -- for quasi-cupping;
3 days -- the "best" window opens;
4 - 7 days -- a little bit of paradise;
8 days -- the "best" window closes;
12 days -- the "usable" window slams shut.
4 days -- a dark roast is barely drinkable;
6 days -- the "best" window opens;
7 - 12 days -- best of the best;
14 days -- the "best" window closes;
21 days -- the "usable" window slams shut.
We store and age in either Coffee Vacs, or the one-way valved, heat sealed bags roasters use.
Coffee Vacs are great. Can't say too much good about them. I'm not a professional by any means, never played one on television (if you're old enough to remember that line), but know a few. They all love Coffee Vacs and use them in their own homes.
Coffee Vacs come in two sizes, and a bunch of colors. They're plastic, and more reasonably priced than the stainless, valved alternatives. In our experience the Vacs work as well as anything with a one-way valve. Of course, you're entitled to your own experience.
Side gusseted, valved bags are $24/50 count; while a decent heat sealer runs around $30 at Amazon.
We got into bags because so much of our coffee goes to other people it makes sense; also my wife bought me my first batch as a gift because she knows I like to play at being pro -- and they turn out to be as useful as they are fun.
You can store sealed bags in the freezer pretty well; about as well as Mason jars, in my opinion. For our use, I'm all in favor of storing some beans in the freezer for emergencies (like I got lazy and put off roasting so we ran out of appropriately rested coffee or something we particularly wanted to drink); but don't think defrosted coffee is quite as good as coffee stored at room temp and ground at its freshness/rested peak.
However if the distinction is more than imagination (which it may well be), it's pretty damn subtle. Also, it's just my opinion; not some sort of Revealed Truth.
Our experience with vacuum sealing is that it's a waste of beans and nothingness.
On the subject of gusseted foil bags and heat sealers. I used to roast for a couple of diners a friend of mine owned back in 2006/07. I purchased my bags from a company in Chino, California. They were 12 to 16oz side gusseted foil bags with valves, and I still use them today. I would use the $100, 6"jaw sealer available on Amazon to seal the bags. The $30 sealer boar_d_laze mentions on Amazon is probably an impulse sealer, which is suitable for poly bags only. I know as I own both of them. The 6" jaw sealer is constant on and 25 watts per jaw, with serrated Teflon jaws. That puppy will seal the heavy foil bags in about three seconds. The impulse sealer can seal heavy foil bags but not in one attempt, and the elements burn out too easy.
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