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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > What am I doing...  
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JD123
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Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 5:25am
Subject: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

I'm new to home roasting, and have done the HGDB method exclusively. I've tried different roast times, "profiles", bowls, and they all generally have one flaw which is a bad aftertaste.

I use an Baratza Encore grinder, and the beans smell great after grinding. I've done multiple brew methods (french press, pour over, even K-cup, and they all have this same bad aftertaste. When reading through forums it seem everyone has been really successful with this method but me, so I must be doing something wrong. Here is my general method:

I do small 80-100g batches since I'm experimenting and don't want to waste beans from a bad roast
Drop beans in bowl, put heat gun on high and hold a few inches away from beans while stirring constantly
Within 1-2 minutes, chaff starts flying and yellowing begins
First crack is usually hit around 6 minutes
I back off with the gun once first crack starts, continue stirring for additional 3-5 minutes until 2nd crack starts
Stop roast and cool very quickly. I typically have a very even roast in appearance.


I'm roasting sampler packs from Sweet Maria's: Currently Sumatra, Brazilian, Rwanda & El Salvador. The Brazilian gave me the most palatable roast, but still with a funky aftertaste. Is anything jumping out that is wrong in my process? I posted a thread a little while back on a different subject and a member suggested it was the dog-bowl method in general. How can so many other people be so happy with their HGDB roasts though? Are my expectations too high?
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ljguitar
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ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 9:19am
Subject: Re: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

JD123 Said:

…I'm roasting sampler packs from Sweet Maria's: Currently Sumatra, Brazilian, Rwanda & El Salvador. The Brazilian gave me the most palatable roast, but still with a funky aftertaste. Is anything jumping out that is wrong in my process? I posted a thread a little while back on a different subject and a member suggested it was the dog-bowl method in general. How can so many other people be so happy with their HGDB roasts though? Are my expectations too high?

Posted April 2, 2014 link

Hi JD...

Stabs in the dark…(brainstorming)
  • What level are you taking the roasts to?
  • Three minutes between 1st & 2nd sounds a lot better than 5 minutes. I'm not sure if tightening that space up would make a difference.
  • How long are you resting beans before drinking the coffee? I find a 2-3 day rest essential to good taste (substantial improvement actually).
  • Have you brewed beans from any local roasters? If so, do they also have the funky aftertaste with your brewing methods?
  • Where on your tongue (front, back, sides) is the funky aftertaste?
  • Have you tried roasting any raw almonds or raw peanuts to see if they have the funky aftertaste?

Hope you get a handle on the aftertaste issue...



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JD123
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Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 10:17am
Subject: Re: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

Hi ljguitar, thanks for the reply. Answers in bold below, I appreciate any insight at all!


What level are you taking the roasts to? I always stop at beginning of 2nd crack, so Full City +? I actually never meant to go this dark and your question just made me realize what I've been doing. I'm going to try City + next time

Three minutes between 1st & 2nd sounds a lot better than 5 minutes. I'm not sure if tightening that space up would make a difference. See first response :)

How long are you resting beans before drinking the coffee? I find a 2-3 day rest essential to good taste (substantial improvement actually). I've been waiting anywhere between 8hrs and 5+ days just so I can fully understand the changes going on. Doesn't affect the aftertaste unfortunately

Have you brewed beans from any local roasters? If so, do they also have the funky aftertaste with your brewing methods? I used to purchase beans from CoffeeAM and intelligentsia and they were generally good the first week at most. It's been a while since I've used either though

Where on your tongue (front, back, sides) is the funky aftertaste? Back for sure, lingering, very unplesant

Have you tried roasting any raw almonds or raw peanuts to see if they have the funky aftertaste? I've never heard of this, can you elaborate?

ljguitar Said:

Hi JD...

Stabs in the dark…(brainstorming)
What level are you taking the roasts to?
Three minutes between 1st & 2nd sounds a lot better than 5 minutes. I'm not sure if tightening that space up would make a difference.
How long are you resting beans before drinking the coffee? I find a 2-3 day rest essential to good taste (substantial improvement actually).
Have you brewed beans from any local roasters? If so, do they also have the funky aftertaste with your brewing methods?
Where on your tongue (front, back, sides) is the funky aftertaste?
Have you tried roasting any raw almonds or raw peanuts to see if they have the funky aftertaste?

Hope you get a handle on the aftertaste issue...

°

Posted April 2, 2014 link

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Frost
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Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,070
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 10:42am
Subject: Re: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

Did you try the grapefruit peel I suggested?
...just trying to get more descriptive with the taste defect(s).
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JD123
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Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 10:48am
Subject: Re: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

Sorry, I did not... Forgot to pickup a grapefruit twice since you suggested it. I did however do a 2 minute and 8 minute french press brew just to taste the difference between under and over extraction... both of these brews had that aftertaste to it.

I will do the grapefruit test when I can remember to buy one in the first place!
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ljguitar
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ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 11:04am
Subject: Re: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

…Have you tried roasting any raw almonds or raw peanuts to see if they have the funky aftertaste? I've never heard of this, can you elaborate?

Hey JD...

I've never heard of it either. Just in the process of trying to see if the aftertaste is a result of your gear, or the process, or the coffee beans themselves I thought if you roast some nuts and they have the same aftertaste, something in your chain is producing/inducing it. If not, then at least you eliminate a factor.

I roast nuts all the time (they are fabulous). Both peanuts and Almonds have a first-crack of sorts, and then I roast them till they are the right color/aroma.



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JD123
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Apr 3, 2014, 5:38am
Subject: Re: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

I think I have it figured out. Last night I did a Sumatra Mandeling roast to City+, and it became very obvious where my aftertaste is coming from since the beans were lighter in color. Turns out I've been tipping about 20-30% of the beans. I made a press-pot this morning, and although it hasn't rested long enough I can definitely now associate that bad aftertaste with scorching/tipping. There are good flavors hiding under this bad aftertaste, so as long as I can prevent tipping I think I'll have a decent cup.
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,070
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Thu Apr 3, 2014, 9:31am
Subject: Re: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

Here's some suggestions:

  • Put a lid on it. The roasting 'oven' temperatures need to be in the 450-500F range and doing this in an open bowl with all the heat loss is impossible. Make some kind of lid that allows you to see the beans and stir the beans, and inlet for the heat gun. This will get more even heat to all the beans and not just roast temps on the beans directly under the gun. Your roast quality will improve dramatically with this mod.

  • Your times to drying and first crack are fast. This can be done well but requires lots of efficient even heat to the beans. ( something you don't have ...yet) Slow down a bit there, (and adding the lid) to get the beans heated more evenly and avoid the tipping.

  • Get a thermometer or 2 in the roaster. One in the beans and one to measure how hot the air hitting the beans from your heat gun. See how this temperature changes as you go from 1 to 4 inches from the nozzle. Get control and monitor of your 'oven temperature' this way.  Keep this below 500F or so; whatever limit that avoids scorching, tipping, and otherwise burning the beans in your roaster. Thermometers will greatly help your quality, consistency, and repeatability.

  • With all the effort required to accomplish the above, consider switching your roasting vessel to a bread machine or some such. It provides a platform to stir the beans, insulate and cover the vessel.
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JD123
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Apr 3, 2014, 10:13am
Subject: Re: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

This is very helpful information, thank you Frost.  I'll be roasting this weekend and applying your tips, so hopefully I'll have good news to share.
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JD123
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Location: MS
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 8:45am
Subject: Re: What am I doing wrong? Heat gun dog bowl method...
 

Well I'm happy to report that the tips I received helped tremendously. I probably did 6-8 small roasts trying different ways of covering/insulating/etc the bowl, and finally gave up when I took a second look at my tea kettle.

It is an old-school kettle with thick walls and bottom, I figured it may do a better job at providing even, efficient heat to the beans. After a couple small batches I was dialed in already and have ZERO scorching/tipping. The beans are very evenly roasted and after 24 hours I couldn't wait so I made a press pot and had no nasty aftertaste like I did with the bowls.

My new process is like this:

Wrap the tea kettle with a dish towel to provide a bit of insulation.
Preheat the kettle to 300 using low on the gun.
Add beans to kettle and put the gun to the spout of the kettle, keep cover off.
Staying on low, dry for 3-4 minutes while swishing beans in the kettle, switch to high.
Continue swishing beans for the entire roast, color starts at 5-6 minutes.
First crack at 10 minutes (I get a good rolling crack with the tea kettle now)
Finished 1 minute after first crack ended

I used an IR gun throughout the process which helped me understand what was going on, but I'm doing more sight and sound for now since I only have 2 hands.

I really question the true success of people using the heat gun dog bowl method given how sensitive the beans are to scorching. I couldn't be any happier now and I appreciate the help.

JD123: IMG_20140406_105326-1.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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