mariog7 Senior Member Joined: 7 Mar 2011 Posts: 218 Location: NJ Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Quickmill Vetrano Grinder: Vario
Posted Sat Jan 21, 2012, 9:45am Subject: Trouble Freezing Beans
Hello, all. I am having trouble freezing beans. No matter what I do, they go bad and taste disgusting and undrinkable. I tried two procedures - mason jar and also putting an unopened, sealed 12 oz bag in a separate freezer bag. I always let thaw overnight, but no matter what, they go bad.
Any ideas? Am I not getting enough air out? Also, I am using a separate chest freezer in my basement which pretty mush stays closed. Perhaps is there frost?
fwtechwiz Senior Member Joined: 19 Feb 2010 Posts: 530 Location: Fort Wayne, IN Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Evolution Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012, 4:28am Subject: Re: Trouble Freezing Beans
I'm at a loss. I use gladware containers and have no issues. I store them in a freezer with nothing else in there but the beans. What beans do you have? Maybe it's just the beans that do not freeze well?? I dunno.
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 3,063 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Jan 22, 2012, 10:10am Subject: Re: Trouble Freezing Beans
I understand that some people's pallet can detect "frozen taste" even when it is done well. I can't unless it is freezer burned. To test this, I would defrost and clean out my freezer, get a freezer thermometer to make sure it is working well. Then put a shot's worth of one fresh batch of beans in a bunch of different containers. I have been using the ziplocs bags you can pump the air out off. Then taste the fresh unfrozen beans and note the flavor and after a set time in the freezer pull all the frozen shots at the same time and see if they all taste bad to you. If your freezer is working and the beans all taste bad then you can taste the "frozen" and should not freeze beans. If you have a clear winner then you can share your research. Good luck,
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
We're not speaking of "storing" beans, rather freezing gives folks the option of ordering 5-10lbs at a time, thus saving shipping costs. IMO when done properly, freezing barely (if at all) degrades the quality. YMMV/
There is a wonderful device on this website called a "search engine." There is also something called "Google," and it has several competitors . . . within milliseconds, you too could have found things like
There is a wonderful device on this website called a "search engine." There is also something called "Google," and it has several competitors . . . within milliseconds, you too could have found things like...
Okay, Jason. Since you took all that time and effort to show what a seach engine can find, why don't you take the time and answer the friggin question yourself?
Search engines are a hit or miss. You get a lot of different websites, with a lot of different information, written by a lot of different people. Even here on coffeegeek, or homebarista, you get A LOT of different opinions.
But the fact is, there are more cons than there are pros when it comes to freezing coffee. And if you DO freeze coffee, freeze it as whole bean, only ONCE(don't dethaw & refreeze), for no more than a week or so, and when you take it out, give it an hour or so before you brew any. And even then, you will notice a difference in taste than you would have if you'd of just bought a smaller portion and stored it properly. And no matter how you look at it, putting coffee beans in the freezer, for any amount of time, in any quantity, for any reason, is storing them in the freezer.
You see? And right here is an example of different opinions! I would strongly disagree with your comment that "the fact is . . . " I don't know about you, but I know of NO scientific, double-blind study published in a peer-reviewed journal that indisputably states, as fact, that "there are more cons . . . " Certainly this statement runs counter the the majority of the statements posted both here and on HB regarding freezing, albeit -- admittedly -- these are merely anecdotal to be sure and represent an individual's personal experience with freezing, rather than any scientific, double-blind study published in a peer-reviewed journal, etc., etc.
And if you DO freeze coffee, freeze it as whole bean, only ONCE(don't dethaw & refreeze), for no more than a week or so, and when you take it out, give it an hour or so before you brew any.
I presume here -- and I could be wrong; if so, forgive me -- you haven't looked at any of the links I took the time and effort to provide you with. If you had, you would know that all of this has already been well discussed in many of those discussions.
And even then, you will notice a difference in taste than you would have if you'd of just bought a smaller portion and stored it properly.
Yes, well -- again -- this is your opinion, rather than fact, and is not supported by the anecdotal (albeit -- admittedly -- not scientifically proven) experience of dozens upon dozens, if not hundreds, of people regularly participating on this, HB, and other coffee sites.
And no matter how you look at it, putting coffee beans in the freezer, for any amount of time, in any quantity, for any reason, is storing them in the freezer.
I could never reach a conclusion on this topic, but I had a few thoughts.
Until someone actually performs controlled experiments, we are all in the dark. The internet is filled with undocumented sources and false, untested claims.
The oils in coffee do become rancid after awhile like most food oils. If the reaction that produces this rancidity is slowed by cooler temperatures, then freezing could be beneficial. Many chemical reactions are heat sensitive, so this is one avenue to pursue. Whether household freezer temperatures are low enough to slow the reaction down to a significant level is left to experiment.
The heterocyclic compounds in coffee that produce its smells have a volatility that increases with increased temperature. I rationalize this through the kinetic molecular theory of heat. My reasoning is the following: the added heat produces more molecular agitation, resulting in more smell compounds being ejected. Cooler temperature mean smaller loss rate of smell molecules. There is a relative volatility to consider here, as flower, fruit and herb smells are the most volatile and may be lost at a high rate even with household freezer temperatures.
When you remove the beans stored in the freezer, the humidity in the air attaches to them much like condensation on a cold glass. Repeated exposure like this may impart bad flavours or ruin the beans. Maybe individual containers for daily use are recommended, rather than one large one that is repeatedly put back in the freezer.
Coffee beans, especially light roasts, have some moisture content after roasting, do they not? Would this be a problem when we freeze the beans?
If anyone has any ideas on these points, I would love to hear them as I am still trying to give a good answer to the people who ask me this question. Has anyone seen an actual study done for coffee?
If the freezer is frost free it may be the source of your problem. A timer turns on the heating coil which is wrapped among the freezer coils. The heater melts the ice off the coils. When all of the ice is gone, the temperature sensor senses the temperature rising above 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) and turns off the heater. This temperature cycling may be the cause of freezing not working. I use a chest type commercial grade freezer that maintains the temperature at -5F which I have not noticed any changes since I purchased it.
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