[Homeroast] No first crack

Howard B howardbandy at gmail.com
Tue Sep 2 20:37:06 CDT 2014

My attempt to start a new thread appear to have failed.  I'll just post

Greetings --

I have been roasting with a Fresh Roast 500 for about two years.  This is
what works for me.

Green beans -- 115 grams.  This weight fits the Fresh Roast well, and
breaks one pound packages into four equal sized batches.
Weight after roasting -- almost always 98 to 102 grams.

I roast in the garage to avoid smoke and chaff in the house.
We are in Oregon, so the weather is not too extreme.  In the summer, I
roast in the morning before the temperature rises too much.  In the winter,
later in the day so the garage is a little warmer.  If the temperature is
too low, I put the roaster in a large cardboard box and partially cover the
top so the intake air is pre-warmed.

My procedure, timings, and setting are:
Timer set to 9.0 minutes.  Fan high.  Heat Low.  Start.
At 7.0 minutes, heat to medium, fan to about 5/8.  The lowest fan speed
that keeps the beans moving.  Heat remains at medium for the remainder of
the roast.
At 5.0 minutes, fan to 1/2 (straight up).
Depending on the beans, crack begins around 4.0 minutes, plus or minus a
minute.  Seldom before the 5.0 minute mark.
I watch carefully, and listen closely.  As the crack slows or stops, and
the beans approach the color I want, usually about 3.0 minutes, I take the
top off chaff collector of the roaster, (chaff flies around a bit), and I
point an infrared instant read thermometer down into the bean chamber.  I
want 435 degrees.  If it is there or higher, I stop the roast.  If cooler,
I put the top back on and measure every 0.5 minutes from then on.
To stop the roast, I turn the heat to Cool and fan to high.  At the end of
the cool cycle, I dump the beans onto a metal baking sheet.

I rub the beans to remove excess chaff, winnow them between two large
screen strainers, inspect, and remove bad beans.

I typically roast two to three 115 gram batches in the same session, with
no special treatment between other than brushing out the chaff collector.

Stopping at 435 gives me a ground color around Agtron 45, comparing it to
the plates inside the front cover of Kenneth Davids, "Home Coffee Roasting."

I use a one liter french press pot, charge it with 50 grams of ground
beans, ground slightly finer than "coarse" on a Mr Coffee burr mill.
Filtered water is boiled, then rested or cooled with room temperature water
to about 205 degrees.  The grounds are wet to about one-quarter of the pot
to bloom, wait 60 seconds, stir, fill the pot, wait 3 more minutes, press
the plunger.  The coffee stays in the pot until it is gone.

My favorite coffees are Guatemala -- several locations -- and Ethiopia
Yirga Cheffe.  All of these are best slightly cool, all the way down to
room temperature two hours later.

Best regards,

On Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 2:09 PM, Howard B <howardbandy at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Michael --
> That is a great suggestion.  Perhaps extend it to other roasting
> equipment?  I will start a FreshRoast thread.
> Best regards,
> Howard
> On Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 12:09 PM, Michael Smith <mas139 at comcast.net> wrote:
>> For the Group,
>> Being a newbie with the Behmore, I wonder if the members of the group
>> would
>> be willing to share their protocols (settings, times of roasting etc) for
>> various kinds of coffee that taste the best to them.
>> Michael Smith
>> > From: Paul Pinson <paul at thepinsons.org>
>> > Reply-To: "A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for
>> this
>> > list, available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html"
>> > <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
>> > Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:54:48 -0400
>> > To: <homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com>
>> > Subject: [Homeroast] No first crack
>> >
>> > 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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