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Roast coffee beans??? - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Roast coffee beans???

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  • Roast coffee beans???

    Has anyone ever tried roasting coffee beans in your WFO? I just bought some unroasted green beans and want to give it a shot. I plan to rig up a roaster basket consisting of two hemishperical stainless steel screen strainers, attached to a piece of copper pipe for a handle. Eventually I want to rig up a special insulated door with a rotisseri motor to slowly rotate and the basket and tumble the beans...

    Too much fun!!!
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    Last edited by jeeppiper; 12-16-2012, 06:12 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Roast coffee beans???

    I home roast my coffee, but I use a roasting appliance. I am sure you could roast in the WFO - but it seems a lot of effort. Beans are more easily roasted on the stovetop - using a cast iron skillet or one of those crank-handled popcorn makers
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    • #3
      Re: Roast coffee beans???

      deeja: Thanks for your input....I just thought it would be fun.

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      • #4
        Re: Roast coffee beans???

        I've been thinking of trying it, too! Here are a couple of threads about it...

        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f25/...eans-6259.html
        http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/f25/...eans-6885.html
        Ken H. - Kentucky
        42" Pompeii

        Pompeii Oven Construction Video Updated!

        Oven Thread ... Enclosure Thread
        Cost Spreadsheet ... Picasa Web Album

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        • #5
          Re: Roast coffee beans???

          Thanks KenH...some good info there.

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          • #6
            Re: Roast coffee beans???

            Hi jp,
            Oven roasting works fairly well, it great for a rustic, cowboy coffee, in fact it better than 90% of the pre-roasted coffee you get in supermarkets, because its fresh. If you're really interested in home roasting you should invest in a Behmor 1600 roaster, to get the best flavor from your beans.

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            • #7
              Re: Roast coffee beans???

              Originally posted by Laurentius View Post
              Hi jp,
              Oven roasting works fairly well, it great for a rustic, cowboy coffee, in fact it better than 90% of the pre-roasted coffee you get in supermarkets, because its fresh. If you're really interested in home roasting you should invest in a Behmor 1600 roaster, to get the best flavor from your beans.
              Supermarket beans are old, and typically over-roasted. The hard thing about roasting is managing the roast level, which is what might be difficult in the oven.

              The Behmor looks like a great unit. I have my eye on that one, currently use an iRoast2.
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              • #8
                Re: Roast coffee beans???

                Originally posted by deejayoh View Post
                Supermarket beans are old, and typically over-roasted. The hard thing about roasting is managing the roast level, which is what might be difficult in the oven.

                The Behmor looks like a great unit. I have my eye on that one, currently use an iRoast2.
                Its a great unit, I got one when they first came out(about 7 years ago), and would be lost without it. I roast a lb every two weeks for myself and a few which I give to friends.

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                • #9
                  Re: Roast coffee beans???

                  I've been roasting in my oven since I built it a couple of years ago. I roasted for years inside, using various electrical roasters but a) most of them only roasted, at most, half a pound (several much less), and the instructions strongly warned against roasting more than one batch at a time, b) none of them lasted more than a year or so, and c) the amount of smoke produced was a challenge until I installed a commercial grade extractor. Don't underestimate that amount of smoke generated by roasting coffee, its pretty impressive.

                  I never had a Behmor, which is supposed to roast a full pound, as I recall, but, at least when I was roasting indoors and keeping up with things, it was said to have some reliability and fire issues. If I hadn't moved to the WFO, it would have been the next unit I tried.

                  I roast in the oven in a 10" cast iron skillet. Control is not a problem; on the contrary, I have complete control over the profile. I use a large kitchen spoon to constantly stir the beans, and move the skillet in or out to speed up or slow down the roast. I can hear first and second crack far better than with any of the electrical devices I had (all of which had fairly noisy electric motors which made it hard, sometimes impossible, to hear the cracks) and I can adjust the skillet to stretch out the profile as I wish.

                  The downside is that it is time consuming. With the electric roaster you pretty much turned it on and left it alone. With the WFO you have to be there, stirring. But, since I (like quite a few of us on this forum, I suspect), am rarely happier than when standing in front of my oven admiring the fire, that's ok. It takes something like 15 -20 minutes per batch, including post roast cooling between two large colanders, and I thoroughly enjoy it. The results are better than I achieved with the in house roasters, although those generally worked pretty well also. I only drink espresso, and like a fairly dark roast, which some of the electric roasters could not achieve.

                  I am looking for a larger skillet, but, since I generally blend varietals after roasting them separately, 1 pound batches are working very well.

                  Karl

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                  • #10
                    Re: Roast coffee beans???

                    Hi Karl,

                    I 've been home roasting coffee about 10 year now, and like you, I've used everything from popcorn popper, to WFO. Finding my WFO much superior to the others. The Behmor is in a league of it own for home roasting. I really question how much larger you can go in a cast iron pan, they are heavy and they do get hot. I also drink only espresso. Do you ever drink SO espresso? If so, most of these are more flavorful at a less robust roast, and the time it take pull the hot pan out of the oven and transfer the beans to a colander, you'll have a different profile. What blend are you coming up with that are keeper? I apologize to everyone else, just talking roaster to roaster with Karl.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Roast coffee beans???

                      I guess any roasting method requires you to make allowances for how long it takes to cool the beans. You are right that some roasting goes on while I transfer the beans into the colander, but I just pull the pan out a little earlier. That's no different than other methods - the electrical roasters keep roasting for much longer while they run in cool down cycle than it takes me to get the beans into the colander. Once they are in the colander I pour them between two colanders and the roast stops very quickly.

                      I have tried single origin espresso, but have not found any single origin which gave me the complexity I like. For quite a while now I've been using equal parts by weight Ethiopian (Yirgacheffe when I can get it) and Sumatra. I normally roast to Full City. I've tried roasting a little lighter but greatly prefer the result at Full City.

                      I'm sure I can go to at least a 12" pan if I can find one. The weight doesn't matter much during the roast, since the pan just sits on the deck. Heavier will be harder to unload into the colander, but I don't think it will too bad. Now, pulling the Tuscan grill out when its 900 degrees or whatever, and finding a place to put it, keeps me on my toes!

                      Karl

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                      • #12
                        Re: Roast coffee beans???

                        Karl, thanks for your input. Rather than using a skillet, I am making a rotisserie basket consisting of two 9" hemispherical screen strainers, clamshelled together. I am working up a steel frame so I can run it through my door and attach it to a motor....will begin experimenting this weekend.
                        Last edited by jeeppiper; 12-07-2012, 06:58 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Roast coffee beans???

                          I've thought about trying to rig up something like that but a) I doubt I have the skills to construct it properly, and b) what I really like is being able to watch, listen to, and really control the roast, which I think a basket and a motor would interfere with. I'm looking forward to hearing how you make out, though.

                          Karl

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                          • #14
                            Re: Roast coffee beans???

                            Keep in mind that whatever you construct, you must be able to de-struct fairly fast, coffee bean have a flash point, especially in the latter stage of second crack, oozing oil, compounded with the chaff being tossed about.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Roast coffee beans???

                              If you get into coffee roasting/drinking you may want to try this site:

                              Home-Barista.com • Espresso Machine Reviews, Coffee Grinder Reviews, How-Tos and Discussion Forums

                              I wouldn't imagine using a WFO to roast coffee is hard, however, to be able to make your results repeatable would be most difficult. There's a lot to it, if you want to do it well.

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