[Homeroast] Definitions and Agtron > hazmat blends of *$

miKe mcKoffee mcKona at comcast.net
Mon Mar 8 16:22:32 CST 2010

I mentioned it but seems to have been missed. To clarify the Agtron system
is used to measure/name/specify the roast level, as determined by the
"ground" coffee. Not the whole bean unground. Also the system is profile
independent, couldn't care less about how it got roasted. Except for
uniformity in the color of the grounds.

The Agtron Spectrophotometer system is not a tool for developing or
evaluating profiles, simply final roast level. However, Agtron has expanded
to offering Coffee Roasting Control Systems. Based on Carl Staub's
groundbreaking "Kinetic Roasting Method," Agtron Inc. developed two
electronic roasting wizards that can be fit to existing roasting equipment.

Oh, they also have a spectrophotometer specifically designed to address the
special requirements associated with evaluating color changes relative to
the frying process of French Fried Potatoes. (I suspect developed at the
request of MickyD's?) And another one evaluating color changes during tomato
maturation. And yet another used extensively in a large variety of food
products like; flours, spices, grains, nuts, cereals, sugars, snack foods,
baked goods, etc. They are also used for pharmaceuticals, plastics,
chemicals, paper and other industries.

Back to coffee. As far as any "Industry Standard" naming conventions with
any sort of associated detailed roast parameters there are none as far as I
know. Some loosely most of the time agreed upon terminology is about it.
Hence you'll see meaningless (marketing) roast terms like "Bold Roast",
"Deep Roast", "Premium Roast" or yeah "Espresso Roast".

Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee

URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:
Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com 
> [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On 
> Behalf Of Ryan M. Ward
> Sent: Monday, March 08, 2010 1:32 PM
> To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] hazmat blends of *$
> Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to suggest that we should 
> all got out and buy Agtron systems- that would be sort of silly. 
> I think that I should back up a bit and explain why I became 
> interested in this topic in the first place, that may clarify 
> where I am coming from.
> Personally, I am a Mathematician(Well, technically a 
> Mathematics graduate student), which means that I am very 
> focused on Logic and definitions. This is just how my life 
> runs. In Mathematics, we have to take some abstract concepts 
> and define them very clearly in a way that one can perform 
> logical arguments on. Sometimes things that seem very obvious 
> or intuitive are actually the hardest to define. 
> Example (I am starting to get a little OT, I promise I will 
> come back soon and make my point clear):
> Consider a collection of objects which has nothing in it. 
> This, in set theory, is called an empty set(pretty 
> descriptive name huh?). Well, the description above is not a 
> very workable definition mathematically. It's hard to do math 
> on it even though its point is rather clear, so we use a 
> better definition:
> Definition: The empty set is the set of all elements which 
> are not equal to themselves. 
> This definition is very strange but surprisingly is very workable. 
> Now, back to coffee. My interest in this topic arose out of 
> the motivation I have outlined above. Has the industry 
> established a formal definition, based in rigour and physical 
> properties, for different roasting profiles. If such a 
> definition exists, I am sure there are implications that 
> trickle down to the home roaster but my original inquiry was 
> simply whether such a definition exists. Mike then 
> established that the industry uses color and a spectrometer 
> to establish uniformity in roasting profiles. I assume that 
> temperature is also controlled in this process. To summarize, 
> I was simply asking if such a thing exists. I think we can 
> all agree that if you throw some beans into a Behmor and 
> roast for 2 seconds you certainly do not have a Full City 
> roast, right? Well, this leads me to suspect that some kind 
> of definition exists- even if a loose one. 
> Now, regarding eggs and steak the same, equally valid 
> question can be applied: Does an industry standard definition 
> exist which clearly defines what an over easy egg is, or a 
> medum rare steak is? I have no idea, when I am eating an egg 
> am I focused on this question? No, of course not, I am eating 
> an egg. Now, if I were to open up a high end French 
> restaurant which caters to the egg connoisseurs, would I care 
> then? Of course, I would be researching it like crazy, and 
> then once I had mastered the ability to created the egg of 
> definition, I would butcher the recipe and add my own 
> personal signature to it. If I was feeding egg snobs, I would 
> hate to listen to them complain about how the eggs florentine 
> dish that I fed them wasn't even really eggs florentine 
> because I forgot X, Y and Z. I probably would not care so 
> much if I was having friends over though.
> Now, one last thought and then I will quit. I never meant to 
> personally establish what that definition is. A formal 
> definition can be sufficiently loose to allow for a wide 
> range of variation. I could see a definition for an over easy 
> egg as being an egg fried on both sides. The reason I 
> question a color based definition with coffee roasting is 
> that the surface can brown at a different rate than the 
> center based on ambient temperature. This is why I feel that 
> any definition based on color needs to at least account for 
> temperature controls. In short, such a formal definition does 
> not have anything to do with extreme repeatability, other 
> than the fact that such a definition would allow "extreme 
> repeatability" to occur should one choose. 
> -- 
> Ryan M. Ward

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