#11  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:22 PM
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Location: Northern Virginia
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Default 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  
Old 12-07-2012, 02:59 PM
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Location: Bucks County, PA
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Default 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 at 05:58 PM.
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2012, 06:45 AM
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Default 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  
Old 12-10-2012, 02:52 PM
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Default 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  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:20 PM
okn okn is offline
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Default 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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  #16  
Old 12-10-2012, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Roast coffee beans???

On the contrary, it's far more repeatable than any of the many electric machines I've used over the years. I stir the beans until they are exactly where I want them to be (well into the second crack, in my case) and pull the beans at exactly that moment. I can slow the roast down or speed it up almost instantly. I can repeat a roast I like much more precisely, if I pay attention, then I ever could in an electric machine.

Of course, you can get distracted, and mess things up, but that's true with most cooking. It's certainly true with bread.

I've home roasted for over ten years. The results from the electric machines were not terribly consistent. If you just "let her rip" and let the machine roast according to its timing sequence, factors such as age of the green, humidity, and, particularly, ambient temperature, affected the results. If you tried to control the machine on the fly, as some allow, your visibility of the beans was generally poor and, at least for me, it was difficult if not impossible to hear the cracks over the noise of the machine and the extractor needed to vent the smoke. The result was certainly much better than buying roasted beans at the local supermarket, but not nearly as good as what I could get from any of the better mail order roasters.

I've known people who claimed to get very good results tricking out the electric roasters with PIDs and so forth, but the stock machines I've used were good, but not great.

Roasting in the WFO lets me hear the cracks far better, observe the process of the roast, and control the profile. I'm not sure my results are as good as the best of the mail order craft roasters (Barry Jarrett used to be my favorite source) but the results using my WFO are a lot closer to them than I ever accomplished with the electric devices.

I'd say the improvement I've seen using the WFO rather than a kitchen appliance roasting coffee is comparable to the improvement I've seen in my bread. Which is a considerable improvement. Not as great as the improvement in grilling a steak or making pizza, where no kitchen appliance comes close, but a major improvement.

Karl
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  #17  
Old 12-11-2012, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Roast coffee beans???

Here is the design I am working on. It consists of two 9-inch stainless steel strainers clamshelled together. A 3' long drive shaft is attached to a small cordless rotisserie motor, which stands outside in the cool air.

I can quickly remove the roaster from the stand, pull it from the oven, and dis-assemble it to aid in the cooling of the beans. The motor needs to sit outside to keep it from cooking. I am also thinking of putting a notch in the door, to allow the drive shaft to come through.
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  #18  
Old 12-11-2012, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Roast coffee beans???

A couple of thoughts on your design.

1. I'm a little concerned about putting the basket in the middle of the oven. I imagine you intend to have the fire going (i.e. you won't be pulling it before you roast), in which case it's going to be really, really hot in there, at least if the fire has been going any length of time. I roast in the entrance where it is much cooler.

2. You wouldn't have much control over temperature; I don't think you will be able to move the device in and out to regulate the temperature, as I do. As stated above, I think roasting in the center of the oven may be too hot.

3. I don't know if you will be able to see the color of the beans as they roast; if not, that will make it hard to know when to stop roasting. You should be able to hear the cracks if the wireless motor is quiet, but you'll want both sight and sound to judge how the roast is going.

Karl
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  #19  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:04 AM
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Default Re: Roast coffee beans???

Finally, I got a day to do some roasting! It was a lot of fun and easy. Coffee turned out fantastic! My house now smells like the "grind-it-yourself coffee aisle at the grocery store!
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2012, 07:21 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Roast coffee beans???

I gotta tell you...roasting coffee in a WFO is downright fun and relaxing. I spent the entire day, just me and my oven, listening to Pandora....and roasting coffee beans...15 pounds of it! This evening was spent in the kitchen, grinding and packing the coffee in little burlap bags. I ran out of coffee so I ordered another 10 pounds.

My house smells sooooo good!
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