[Homeroast] Back to Basics

Brian Kamnetz bkamnetz at gmail.com
Wed Jan 5 19:11:40 CST 2011

I had similar results when I first started roasting using a hot-air
popper. It was very frustrating. The beans would be a black oily mess,
burned, but yet have the thin, sour flavor associated with

The problem was that I was roasting too fast. The roasts went into
first crack and then blended right into second crack. But it was just
the outside of the beans; the insides were still unroasted.

With the hot air popper, the "cure" was to drop from 2/3 cup of greens
down to 1/3 cup of greens. Once I did that, the roasts slowed down so
that I had a distinct first crack, then a substantial pause, then went
into second crack. I eventually increased the load to 1/2 cup with
good results, but any more than that would cause the roast to "race".

I don't know if this is similar to what is happening to you or not,
but the results sound similar, so I thought I would mention it just in
case. And if this is what is happening to you, I am unable to tell you
the "fix" with your roasting set-up.


On Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 1:32 PM, Alex Harvey <alexnharvey at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Homeroasters,
> I have done 7 or 8 roasts in my popcorn popper/Turbo oven roaster (black UFO
> modded stirrer, disabled heater). The results have been very hit and miss.
> I like a light roast, and I found my roasts were often coming out with too
> much burnt flavour for me.
> However my attempts at stopping before this have mostly resulted in under
> done sour coffee.
> I have been setting my Turbo Oven (a sunpentown digital) for 360 and then
> increasing the temperature as the roast progresses, stopping around first
> crack by which time oven temp (according to digital read out) is about 430.
> I think that often I have not let first crack finish because the bean begin
> to look overdone and often have some divots(?) before it finishes. Some
> posts I have read suggest starting the turbo oven full-blast and then
> reducing temp as roast progresses, would this be a better way to proceed?
> I write seeking a basic profile that I can start afresh with to try and get
> better results.
> I have access to a IR thermometer but have not really trusted the results
> and so stopped using it but with my lack of progression I am resolving to
> get more scientific and take temps and notes on what I did and the results.
> I am using some quite cheap sumatran, brazilian and columbian beans. They
> seem of good enough quality for me to learn with.
> Thanks
> Alex
> --
> Alex Harvey
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