[Homeroast] Thanks Allon

Allon Stern allon at radioactive.org
Fri Jan 7 04:00:33 CST 2011

On Jan 6, 2011, at 1:35 PM, Jim Sutton wrote:

> Thanks for all the great advice and demo of various roasting rigs and
> methods last night.  I truly appreciate it.  I'm sure it helped me as a new
> roaster to get a feel for different methods and techniques.  You were very
> kind.

It was a pleasure!

For the list: when I saw Jim Sutton post that he was in NoVA, I emailed him, and discovered he lives only about 10 minutes away from me; so I offered to give him a bit of an introduction. The other night, I swung by and found him in the garage having just roasted a batch of kona in the popper. Jim had already split-wired the unit, with a dimmer on the fan and a switch for the heater; the heater still ran through a standard plug/socket, so he could put further controls on it (more on THAT in a moment :).

We started with a demo roast of the Ethiopian Jimma Nigusie Lemma in my PID iRoast. We both agreed that PID roasting, while it may give fantastic, repeatable results, can be a little boring to roast (not quite as hands on), but we did watch as I explained some of the stages and strategies of roasting (over the roar of the fan). I left the coffee for Jim to try.

Then I demo'ed heat-gun roasting. I brought some Kenyan; I understand a lot of people like kenyan coffee, however I never particularly liked it. I bought a 2lber thinking that somehow homeroasted it might be different, that maybe I'd just been trying crappy kenyan coffee, but no, it still tasted like dishwater to my tongue. Anyway, Jim likes it, so I did a batch with the heat gun, showing how that process works; I love HG roasting - it's so raw and intimate, with your face in the beans and the smoke, able to hear the cracks amazingly well, with a perfect view of the beans as they develop.

We then tried a couple of popper roasts, using a Variac that I had brought, and roasted something (I forgot what!) and some PNG Wahgi Peaberry.

We then looked at the SC/TO setup that he was building. Looks like it'll be fun!

I left Jim the variac on loan, along with a PID, SSR, and thermocouple to try out.

> We should start some planning for an Eastcoast Roasters get-together.

Yeah, that :D  We discussed it :D
Anyone have any suggestions for a date?

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