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Old 05-30-2009, 06:35 AM
fornax hominus's Avatar
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Default roasting green coffee beans

I've been roasting coffee in a brick ovens for 4 years using 2 dollar store sieves clamshelled together with a skidplate and handle welded on. it works great! you can keep the beans in motion without them scattering. I get my beans by mail , shade grown , fair trade , organic and they only cost me $4 per lb [if I buy 20lbs] from Greenbeanery [even cheaper if you want conventional beans]. Right now I am 1/2 way through a 50lb bag of Peruvian beans .. lovely.
A tip: the beans keep on cooking [and darkening] for several minutes after you take them out to cool , so pull them out before they get to your favorite roast colour.
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roasting green coffee beans-1.oven-spring-09.jpg   roasting green coffee beans-2.coffee-roasting.jpg   roasting green coffee beans-3.coffee-cooling-.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2009, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: roasting green coffee beans

Fornax Hominus,

Neat idea! What temp is your oven when you roast and how long do you usually roast them for?

Nice looking oven, by the way!
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Old 05-30-2009, 02:55 PM
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Default Re: roasting green coffee beans

Great idea....
Id like to know what temp too, with the cooling down, dont the commercial places drop them in water to cool them, or spray them or something?

Im going to give it a try for sure..
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:01 PM
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Arrow Re: roasting green coffee beans

fornax hominus
I envy you with your roasting and has got me interested.
It would help to finish off a great pizza cook with fresh roasted coffee beans and wonderful fresh coffee to top off the night.
I will have to source some 'green beans' from around here.
Can you share some of your experiences/pitfalls, etc so that we (speaking for other interested people) may be successful.
I have been studying a book on cofffee beans, roasting, griding, brewing and serving a variety of coffees and keen to extend my skills to home roasting.

Cheers.

Rastys
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Old 05-31-2009, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: roasting green coffee beans

Coffee likes it pretty hot , in my oven the soot is burning off the crown of the dome and the oven going full bore for about 1 1/2 hrs . As you see in the photo I like to sweep the coals right and left so I can get the flame/coals radiating from all sides. If your oven is hot and you don't have too much coffee in the sieve it takes about 10-12 mins .. of course I put as much coffee in the roaster as I can get [1 1/4 lbs] so it takes 12-15 mins.
It's really important to keep the beans moving to ensure a even roast. With the clamshell design you can time your shakes so the beans hit the inside top and cascade back towards you .
It's sort of like popping corn , indeed the first roasting I did was was in a $8 electric hot air popcorn popper.[ works ok, burns out in a few months] .
As you shake the coffee it goes through changes , first it expands ,gets a tan and throws off the first skin . This will shake out through the sieve and start to burn on the oven floor . As the process continues it gets darker, expands again , throws off the final skin , which again falls through the sieve, now the beans are getting oily and they are starting to smoke and smell really bad [ kinda like a sofa on fire].. Here comes the "goldilocks " moment .. If you want a light roast .. you may already be too late , as I stated in my first post when you haul them out they will continue to darken .. My friend John came up with the technique of taking the beans out early , piling them in a smoking mound on the cookie sheet , waiting for 1-2 min then shaking the sheet out to stop them cooking . I have put them on screen to get air moving through the beans , it's a bit of a trade off , the cookie sheet gets really hot from the beans on it , cooling off the beans that way.
When the beans stop smoking , all of a sudden ... a miracle! they don't smell like burning wrestler's trunks anymore, they now smell fantastic !!
Note: do not seal them up right away , coffee beans, depending on the part of the world they come from, variety etc. can take up to 32 hrs to de-gas c02 [ Starbucks and other shipped beans have to pre-stale their coffee so It won't blow up those foil bags ].
I know I am a bit ''over the top'' with all this , but when you have had your own roasted coffee you cannot believe how good it is .
The link I provided to the green beanery has all kinds of info on coffee.
Last night , more coffee, 3 loaves of oat bread, a pan of oven fried potatoes and a roast beef that we will cut up for lunches next week . Roll on oven!
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:21 PM
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Arrow Re: roasting green coffee beans

fornax hominus
Thank you for your comprehensive explanation.
I will source some and give it a go.
How do you thing a stainless woven barrel rotiserie style carrier would work rather than the clamshell that you use?
It looks from the pics to be spherical rather than cylindrical!
Obviously it needs to be kept revolving during the roasting process.
I just need to workout how to make one which joins to hold all the beans but allows the skins to pass through (but I guess that they are thin, brittle and break up easily).

Cheers.

Rastys
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Old 06-01-2009, 04:47 AM
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Default Re: roasting green coffee beans

Rasty,
When you are dealing with dollar store any thing, quality is not an option . My 2 sieves used to be more round.
There are 3 brick ovens in my ''hood'' and we all dream of more efficient ways of roasting coffee than standing , shuffling and shaking [esp. in the winter] , but so far the rotating basket has not emerged.
You are right, the skins /husks are very brittle and break up to come through the fine mesh of the sieve .
My friend uses an open stainless steel collander , it requires more control so that you don't scatter beans all over the oven floor , but because it is open on top gets more radiation from the dome and roasts faster.
Whatever device you come up with you really want to be able to see into it to be able to judge the colour , and to be able to release it fast enough to empty the beans out.
I forgot to mention in my last post .. green beans keep for years! Roasted , only a couple of weeks. So you can keep various kinds and enjoy them at their peak , whenever you want!
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Old 06-01-2009, 05:30 AM
fornax hominus's Avatar
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Default Re: roasting green coffee beans

Rasty,
When you are dealing with dollar store any thing, quality is not an option . My 2 sieves used to be more round.
There are 3 brick ovens in my ''hood'' and we all dream of more efficient ways of roasting coffee than standing , shuffling and shaking [esp. in the winter] , but so far the rotating basket has not emerged.
You are right, the skins /husks are very brittle and break up to come through the fine mesh of the sieve .
My friend uses an open stainless steel collander , it requires more control so that you don't scatter beans all over the oven floor , but because it is open on top gets more radiation from the dome and roasts faster.
Whatever device you come up with you really want to be able to see into it to be able to judge the colour , and to be able to release it fast enough to empty the beans out.
I forgot to mention in my last post .. green beans keep for years! Roasted , only a couple of weeks. So you can keep various kinds and enjoy them at their peak , whenever you want!
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Old 06-01-2009, 06:13 AM
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Arrow Re: roasting green coffee beans

fornax hominus,
I am more keen than ever to make the roaster cylinder as in the .pdf attached.
The mesh I am trying to show could not be downloaded from Locker Group - Expanded, Perforated & Wire Products
and is fine woven 304 or 316, 18-22g stainless wire, hinged to allow for easy and quick emptying of the beans onto maybe a cold or cool granite surface or kept within the basket and hit with a high volume cool air jet, similar to what is used to temper shatterproof glass. I would think that a half kilo would be all I need to roast at any time in a 250mm (10") x 500mm (20") long cylinder.
What are your thoughts?

Rastys
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:35 AM
fornax hominus's Avatar
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Default Re: roasting green coffee beans

Rastys,
Looks great! Me want! I like the variable wiper motor idea ,.. [the Ford Ranger's I have had seem to have the most settings]
The cold slab will work , the beans do tend to scatter and you will have to clean the oily residue off the stone . I don't know how hot the beans are when they finish , [hot enough to melt the plastic hopper on a coffee grinder .don't ask ...sigh!] but probably +500f..
For 6 months of the year we have snow and I can rest the cookie sheet on that , probably not an option for you in the antipodes.
The beans do lose a bit of weight in the roasting process , so if you start out with 1/2 kg you will probably get a scant lb.
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