[Homeroast] No first crack

Paul Pinson paul at thepinsons.org
Sun Aug 31 13:54:48 CDT 2014

I've noticed that although most beans do have an audible first (and second)
crack, some are so quiet, I can't even hear them over the motor sound on my
Behmor.  So, in addition to listening very carefully around the time I
expect 1st crack, I also watch the seam side of the bean on those quiet
coffees .  When the seam separates, and shows white, I consider the crack

Some engineers I met bought a commercial roaster to run tests on a
technology to remove VOC's from exhaust.  The drum on the roaster was
closed, but we determined first crack involved a release of gases they were
measuring.  In lieu of buying a sniffer of some kind, I wonder about trying
to learn to "smell" first crack!  


  1. India Ratnagiri Pearl Mountain Peabody - no first crack
      (Brian Kamnetz)
In my most recent order of greens, as part of an 8-pound sampler pack, I
received a pound of India Ratnagiri Pearl Mountain Peabody. I roasted it
yesterday. It seemed to be heating up pretty fast, so I moved the heat gun
back a bit, aiming for increase of 10-20 degrees per minute. When I got into
the high 300s I backed the heat gun off a bit more and kept very gradually
increasing the temp of the bean mass. I usually hit first crack anywhere
between 400 and 415 (as I measure the temp), usually ending the roast after
14-15 minutes. But I passed that temp yesterday with no first crack. I ended
up a bit over 440 degrees and about 19 minutes, and never did hit first
crack. Has anyone else roasted this coffee variety?

I probably ended at around full city, though I didn't hear second crack (but
my hearing isn't good and I might have missed some snaps). I don't usually
roast this dark, and to my taste there is a bit of charred flavor.
But, that said, the flavors are pleasant enough, and it probably will
improve with a few days rest.



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