[Homeroast] No first crack

Brian Kamnetz bkamnetz at gmail.com
Tue Sep 2 13:04:17 CDT 2014

I was roasting in the garage with the garage door open, and there was just
enough breeze wafting through that I wasn't getting a very good sniff of
the roast. Sometimes I smell a full, sweet smell that signals first crack
is about to begin, but of course I didn't get that this time.

This coffee has settled nicely with a couple days rest and I am enjoying it.


On Sun, Aug 31, 2014 at 1:54 PM, Paul Pinson <paul at thepinsons.org> wrote:

> 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
> underway.
> 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!
> Paul
>   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.
> Brian
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