Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Coffee: Home Roasting Talk
What are possible culprits for newly, consistently baked/sour roasts?
Commercial Equipment
Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, Rancilio. Nationwide installation. Instant financing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > What are...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
TeddyMac
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Boston MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Vac Pot: Yama stovetop, Hario...
Drip: Hario woodneck, Bona-Vita...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 8:34am
Subject: What are possible culprits for newly, consistently baked/sour roasts?
 

Hi all,

Behold, I tell you a mystery: suddenly, and seemingly without any changes, my roasts across all machines are tasting baked and sour simultaneously. I can't think of what the culprits might be and am feeling frustrated (and starved for good coffee!).

I've been roasting in a Behmor, Nesco, and Rosto, using beans from Sweet Maria's. While I'd definitely still consider myself a noob, I've been getting pretty yummy results up to now. Then I started getting some batches that tasted both baked and sour and the same time, and chalked it up to inexperienced roasting. But now, no matter the roast, they all taste baked-sour with little differentiation between roaster or bean. My roasting, storage, and all the rest could use a lot of help, I'm sure of it, but if none of those factors has changed recently, why the change in roast results? Help!

I haven't changed the bean source, or where I store the beans, and I roast in the same three machines, using the same batch sizes, at the same time of day during the week. What could other factors be that I'm not thinking of? I've got a Kill-A-Watt on the way from Amazon so I might find that there's been a voltage change I'm not aware of. Any other ideas?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
oldgearhead
Senior Member
oldgearhead
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 396
Location: Go Colts!
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso by Baratza
Drip: Chemex,Dilongi DCM900
Roaster: 1/2K Fluid-bed
Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 9:06am
Subject: Re: What are possible culprits for newly, consistently baked/sour roasts?
 

Behmor - Are you hearing first crack at the usual time?
Nesco - Are the beans expanding up the scale like a 'good' roast does?
Rosto - No experience

You are probably on the right track with the Kill-a-watt.
1) Do you, or your close neighbor have an air-to-air heat pump? If so it's probably been running 100% on resistance heaters during the cold snap and the voltage is low.

2) Water - Are you brewing with the same water? I find bottled water tastes all over the map. So I prefer under-sink filtered, soft water mixed 40:60 with bottled water.

3) Cut open a bean and see if it's 'cooked' into the core.

4) Weigh the beans before and after roast. They should loose 15-20%.

5) Volume - Should increase 1.5- 2.5 times.

6) Ambient temperature - All the roasters mentioned do not do well below 50F, without some help.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
TeddyMac
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Boston MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Vac Pot: Yama stovetop, Hario...
Drip: Hario woodneck, Bona-Vita...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 9:43am
Subject: Re: What are possible culprits for newly, consistently baked/sour roasts?
 

You've given me great homework!

First, the Behmor cracks seem to be happening at the roughly the same times, given the different profiles, I think. My logging isn't great, but from what notes I've taken, it looks like they're at least in the same ballpark; maybe in-the-ballpark is off enough to affect the roast?

The Nesco also seems consistent. I generally get a slow volume expansion of about 25%, then when the chaff starts really flying, it goes up quickly to about nearly double.

1) I'm in the frozen tundra of Boston where just about everyone has gas or oil powered radiators. Last year, however, my downstairs neighbor put in a gas-powered heat pump. I I didn't know they existed, and I'm not sure about how different heat pumps operate, but I'm sure theirs has been going full steam ahead for the past month.
2) Water has been consistent. I ought to be pickier, but I just use Brita pitcher filtered water.
3) Great idea, I'll cut open a bean.
4) Ditto on the weight. I'll do a roast in the Behmor today and see what I find.
5) I'll check the volume with the Behmor roast as well.
6) All roasting is indoors at 60-65 degrees.

Thanks for these great leads. I'll cut open a bean, then do a Behmor roast and report on weight loss and volume.
I'll report back.


PS I forgot to mention that brewing methods have also remained the same.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
fnacer
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 465
Location: Denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore E61, Vivaldi Mini...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Gaggia MDF,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 3:10pm
Subject: Re: What are possible culprits for newly, consistently baked/sour roasts?
 

Did you happen to change how you clean the roasters or what you clean them with?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
TeddyMac
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Boston MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Vac Pot: Yama stovetop, Hario...
Drip: Hario woodneck, Bona-Vita...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 3:50pm
Subject: Re: What are possible culprits for newly, consistently baked/sour roasts?
 

I've done my homework, I think.

First crack in the Behmor was definitely late, and it was one of those where there were more sporadic pops than a rolling first crack.

On the other hand, expansion was 1.5, and moisture loss was 15%. So those aren't too far out of the norm, though based on your numbers, they're on the lower end, for sure.

Beans from three previous batches looked roasted right through when cut.

Fnacer, good question. I do a dry run every five roasts, and every other one of those I do a clean with Simple Green before it (paying attention to the spot in rear, right). I wonder if I used waaaay too much last time. I suppose I could do a water-only wipe down with a wet sponge then do a dry run.

These ideas are so helpful. Maybe we'll be on to something soon. By the way, I was at the hardware store today and was so tempted to get a Kill-a-Watt, though the package from Amazon ("Your package has been shipped!") is due any day.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
TeddyMac
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Nov 2013
Posts: 29
Location: Boston MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Capresso Infinity
Vac Pot: Yama stovetop, Hario...
Drip: Hario woodneck, Bona-Vita...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014, 7:10am
Subject: Re: What are possible culprits for newly, consistently baked/sour roasts?
 

Eureka. Voltage was the culprit. It so often is on the board here so I don't want to be another statistic, it's just that I'd been roasting for months successfully before the apparent voltage drop and was convinced it must be something else. So now the mystery is why the voltage drop happened. But that's not a mystery for this board (though your theory is as good as any I could think of, oldgearhead... maybe after the winter, the neighbors' heat pump will die down and my voltage will return to normal).

I did another Behmor roast on Monday that has a fairly predictable first crack time. On Monday, it came in 1:30 later, so I already suspected it was either a voltage issue or something wrong with the Behmor. The Kill-a-Watt arrived on Tuesday to confirm the voltage problem. To my amazement, it was between 115 and 117, depending on the time of day. Yowza.

So now I'm hoping you can give me advice or caution about an experiment I did yesterday to counteract the voltage issue, whether I potentially fried (or could fry) the Behmor. I plugged a variac into the wall, the Kill-a-Watt into the variac, the Behmor into the Kill-a-Watt, then set the variac so that the Kill-a-Watt was showing 120v. So far so good, it seemed. But once the roast got going, the drawdown from the heating elements coming on brought the voltage to a whopping 113v. Is that normal? Seemed like a lot. So I did something bold and perhaps stupid: I set the variac so that the voltage was at 122 with the heating elements off, and 116 with them on.

That seemed fine until about five minutes into the roast when the Behmor went into turbo. It brought the standing voltage to 118, and to 113 with the elements on. So, *gulp*, I re-adjusted the variac so that the voltage was back to 122 standing, 116 with the elements on, and left it there.

The good news is that it brought the beans to the best sounding and longest first crack I've had in a while. In fact, while I thought I stopped the roast right at the end of first crack, it seemed to keep going despite my normally effective cooling method.

So. Should I have started the Behmor at 120v on the Kill-a-Watt and left it there without fiddling? Or was adjusting it to bring standing voltage to 122 okay to do? Are the voltage drawdowns I witnessed normal? Do I need to move the Behmor closer to the fuse box to address the wide voltage drawdowns? I don't want to do another roast until I feel fairly good about not killing the roaster.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
oldgearhead
Senior Member
oldgearhead
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 396
Location: Go Colts!
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso by Baratza
Drip: Chemex,Dilongi DCM900
Roaster: 1/2K Fluid-bed
Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014, 8:35am
Subject: Re: What are possible culprits for newly, consistently baked/sour roasts?
 

Variable- auto-transformers better known by their GE trade name 'Variac' are not automatic line voltage regulators. Therefore, I would set the voltage at 122-124 before the elements turn on and maybe boost it a little if you see a 'sag' below 117.

Air-to-air heat pumps come in two types, electric resistance backup or fuel backup. When the outside air temperature drops below 15F the compressor (located outside) cannot extract enough heat from the air to keep up with the demand, so 'backup' heat is used during extremely cold weather. If your neighbor's backup is gas you shouldn't see any increase electrical demand during 'real cold' weather. In fact the electrical demand is probably the greatest in the 30-40F outside temperature range because the compressor is running.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > What are...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repair - Parts - Sales
Factory Authorized &
Trained Technician
www.espressocare.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.276524066925)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+