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2/18/2020 6:04 pm  #1


Keys to a successful roast

Here we have subsections with information on the different items which influence the success of your roast

 

2/18/2020 6:10 pm  #2


Re: Keys to a successful roast

Load
Having a proper load size in very important for a couple reasons. 
Don't overload. If the roaster is overloaded it will not mix well and may be very tiring to agitate.   It seems crazy, but just an extra ounce of weight can make the roaster seem unbearably heavy. 
Don't Underload. If the roaster is loaded very light it may be difficult to control the heat and the roast may run away from you.
Weight or volume.  I use 1 cup by volume pretty much all the time.  This is a good starting point for any roast, and is a little below the max capacity of 6 oz.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is that my scale situation is not good.  I dont have a reliable scale. Secondly, beans vary in density quite a bit.  I am more concerned with the roaster having a proper volume than weight.

Play around with different size batches and you will see what works best for you.

     Thread Starter
 

2/18/2020 6:22 pm  #3


Re: Keys to a successful roast

Agitation.

How you move the roaster during the roast is critical to not only keeping the beans mixed, but it also modulates the way the heat enters the roaster.  Fast small circles are the hottest, wide slow circles are the coolest.  Either one is fine.  When the roaster is centered over a flame, heat and air are directed up into the roaster, adding convection heat to the roast.  When the roaster is to the side of the flame, the heat becomes conductive.  
Adding height away from the flame can act to cool the roaster because there is less conductive heat, however, you may add convection heat because as you increase the height you are allowing the flame to concentrate into a point which brings along a lot of air.   This can overdry your beans

I've seen folks use a light hammer tap style of agitation where the action is almost completely vertical
I've seen others use a side to side or front to back shake.  I personally like a medium circular pattern.  I keep my elbow and wrist stiff and with a loose grip on the handle.  To me this is the easiest to maintain during the entire duration of the roast.

I do not raise and lower much, but use the stove controls to modulate the heat.   
I typically roast over the grate on my stove, so the bottom of the roaster is less than 2 inches away from the top of the fire.

 

     Thread Starter
 

2/18/2020 6:30 pm  #4


Re: Keys to a successful roast

FIRE!

The type of flame that you use is very important, but also be aware that you can use most flame sources, but each may need its own technique.

With the design of the hive, beans are subjected to combustion gases.  This is the same as most commercial gas roasters.   As a result it is critical that the gas used is odorless or it will taint the bean.  You may want to try using an open wood flame, and you totally can, but be aware that your beans are going to taste smoked.  
I do not recommend kerosene, gasoline or other liquid fuel for this reason. They will provide the heat needed, but I would assume that your roast will have a gas flavor.

Butane is King.   I prefer the flame of butane as it is nice an hot, does not soot or smoke.  
Natural Gas that comes from your house stove is on a par with butane.
Propane.  Propane can create a ton of soot and smoke if the mixture is not correct, and as a result of waving the Hive above the flame, you may change the mixture leading to this issue.  I've had the entire inside of the hive turn black and ruined beans due to a poorly running propane flame.  But ive also roasted just fine with it.
Wood- This will work but its going to add smoke flavor to the roast.

Electricity. No.  There is no convection with electric heating elements.  It will work, but roasts very poorly.

 

     Thread Starter
 

2/18/2020 6:35 pm  #5


Re: Keys to a successful roast

TIme.

The overall length of roast is very important but does not equal a color.
You can have the same basic color at any time over 6 minutes all the way to 30 if you want. It all depends on how hot the flame is.
The longer a roast is under heat the less acid it will have.  If you dont like acid, roast long, if you do, roast short.
Longer roasts tend to roast more evenly, so if the appearance is very important to you, keep this in mind.
A baseline for general purpose would be a 10 to 12 minute roast.  Anything less than 10 is going to require quite a bit of skill, which is not to say it cant be done, but it is harder to get right.
Really fast roasts run the risk of being vegetal.  This is because it takes time for the heat to penetrate the bean.  Roasting very fast you may have  dark exterior and a green interior.   I do not know anyone who enjoys vegetal coffee.
Keep track of time, but dont be a slave to it.  Learn the roast and the roaster and pay attention, make adjustments as needed.

     Thread Starter
 

2/18/2020 6:49 pm  #6


Re: Keys to a successful roast

Profile.

Profile is used in two different ways in coffee roasting.  One, the profile of the bean.  This is a description of the flavors, textures and color of the bean. "its dark, oily and tastes like apples, burning rubber and cigar smoke" would be a profile describing the bean.

The other way profile is used is to describe how the bean was roasted.  
This starts at charge temp and includes all waypoints along the way, ending at the discharge, and in some cases the cooling techniques.. For example
1 cup of beans in a cold roaster over medium heat, yellow at 7 minutes lowered the heat at 9, cracked at 10, discharged at 11,cooled rapidly to room temp.  Basically a recipe.   
This can also be viewed as a graph or more often a notes seen like below

Kenya
180-157.4 g 12.6%    This is before and after weight with percentage of weight loss
7:40 to 9:10 16.4%     This is first crack to dump, or development.

I can copy that roast above using this data, its really all that is needed.

A note on crack and development.
Please form your own opinion and share it in regards to if the two are one in the same.
Some say that development is the total time the bean cracked
Others say its the total time after heat reduction
Some say you can fully develop a bean before it ever reaches crack.

Keep in mind that most roasting info is a result of commercial roaster information.  This is great as these are the folks that know the most, as they do it for a living.  But.  They cannot hear the crack in many machines.

From my experience, crack timing, duration and even frequency and strength are all very important to roasting, but others will differ.  Again, please form your own opinion and share.
 

     Thread Starter
 

2/18/2020 6:50 pm  #7


Re: Keys to a successful roast

Music,

I cannot roast properly without music, or with the wrong music.
I look for something motivating and with a good beat.
keep if funky,

I have roasting playlists I use, and Im happy to share

     Thread Starter
 

2/19/2020 8:53 pm  #8


Re: Keys to a successful roast

This was a great read, looking forward to implementing this into my next roast.

 

2/20/2020 4:45 am  #9


Re: Keys to a successful roast

Hivemaster wrote:

Music,

I cannot roast properly without music, or with the wrong music.
I look for something motivating and with a good beat.
keep if funky,

I have roasting playlists I use, and Im happy to share

Please do share!

I haven't tried roasting with music yet tho. I feel like I wont be able to hear FC so I just use a metronome occasionally to keep me spinning consistently.

 

2/27/2020 9:51 pm  #10


Re: Keys to a successful roast

I'm considering a small butane stove to replace the propane stove I am currently using. I'm curious, how many roast are you getting from the small 8oz cans?? I am currently using about 34 grams (1.2oz) of propane per roast. Is it about the same for the butane? 

These are the canisters I'm referring to. 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/8-Oz-Butane-Canister-Partno-9701-700-By-Coleman-Co-Fuel/47501190

Thanks,
Sonny
 

 

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