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Old 04-11-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
The Pol
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Default New Fresh Roast 8 PLUS

Decided to start a new thread about my coffee roasting since the last one was started in a little different direction. Just bought the Fresh Roast 8 PLUS from Sweet Marias... this thread will document my roasting!



I have a pound of each:

#2 El Salvador Siberia Estate Bourbon (Excellent at FC roast! Very easy cup!)

#4 Sulawesi Enkrang "Mount Alla" (Roasted three different times, there is really NO first crack, only a couple pops... then roasted 3 minutes past this, no chaff. Not a bad coffee, but not my #1.)

#1 Indonesian Flores Organic Manggarai (Very full bodied at a 6 minute roast, slightly bitter sweet, my NEW #1 from this lot)

Burundi Kayanza Bwayi No 7 (Recommended at a City+ roast, so I ran it for 5 minutes in the roaster, seems a little darker than a City+ but it is phenominal, will try 4.5 minutes on the NEXT roast, tonight! I PREFER the 5.0 minute roast here, less... grassy??? Yeah.)

Kenya AB Auction Lot# 786 Rukira
Guatemala San Jose Pinula-La Trinidad

Bolivia FTO SHG EP Caranavi (They recommend a City+ roast. Roasted tonight to 5.0 minutes, JUST to the end of the First Crack, brewing it tomorrow!!)


#3 Columbia Huila Valencia (First crack was at 4.5 minutes, roasted for 7 mins, just to the start of the second crack. Maybe a little darker than Id prefer, backing it off to 6 minutes on the next roast to compare)

Here are some tips!

Put the roaster on a NON GFCI outlet (I hear they can affect them)

Measured exactly 3oz of beans by weight, instead of ONLY using the scoop. This comes to 2.5 scoops, as recommended by Sweet Marias.

Preheated the roaster for 2 mins. prior to roasting, just like we do with our MLTs

Turned the timer to "6"

THIS TIME at 4 minutes in I had my first crack start, it was VERY obvious. The beans looked VERY uniform in thier roast, the aroma was great. There was also a TON of chaff... good

The first crack ended at about 5 minutes, I roasted 30 sec. past this then turned it right to the cooling setting.

I removed the beans, placed them in a colunder and placed them in the freezer to cool them.

I will upload a pic of this roast, it is AMAZING!!! I love this machine... truely love it.

NEW: I started roasting in my master bath. I can close the door, not set off my smoke alarms, turn on the exhaust fan and the cord reaches out the coor to a NON GFCI 124 VAC outlet. This is my solution to setting off the smoke detectors.

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Old 04-11-2009, 12:46 PM   #2
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The key to consistent roast with the Fresh Roast Plus is consistency in the scoop levels. I prefer my roasts, as a rule and depending upon the coffee bean variety, slightly darker than yours. With three scoops slightly less than level I usually set mine for about 4 1/2 minutes. This will take it about 10-15 seconds into the second crack before the cool-off stage.

Good luck, and have fun. I love mine!

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Old 04-11-2009, 12:52 PM   #3
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Yeah, I used TWO scoops last night as per the instructions... apparently not enough beans, so the heat was escaping. Today I used exactly 3 oz and preheated so that I can get rid of that "cold" roaster variable. Today I used about 2.5 scoops to reach 3oz.

I am playing with my roasts, so I am starting at about Full City and will try out different roasts from there. Most of my beans I have are recommended for City+ to Full City+ roasts.

The beans smell like nothing I have ever smelled before though, I do love this machine. The first crack is really easy to hear, the machine is not as loud as I thought it would be.

I am satisfied.

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Old 04-12-2009, 12:10 PM   #4
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I will be updating the OP with my brief comments on each coffee.

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Old 04-12-2009, 07:11 PM   #5
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Roasted some of my El Salvadorian beans to the start of the SECOND crack today... it is really easy to hear with this machine BTW... WOW, looks like an excellent roast, cant wait to brew some up!

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Old 04-13-2009, 12:06 PM   #6
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Updated roasting notes in OP.

It will take me several weeks to go through a test on all of the beans, but I am roating and giving some away to the neighbors to make it go faster!

I am still preheating with 2 minutes on the timer, and then roasting exactly 3oz of beans each time. I have found that I am not using the timer much, but listening for the first and second cracks and using those as my baselines.

First and second crack are EASY to hear on this machine, but beware! Some beans dont really have much of a crack! My Mount Alla beans had one or two quick pops at first crack... then I roasted 3 minutes past this to what was a quick crackle at second crack. There were THREE pieces of chaff in the collector!

When I roast the El Salvador beans in the OP, there is a 45 second long first crack, there is a TON of chaff and the second crack is very pronounced. I have heard that this may be attributed to the moisture content of the beans. Less moisture, less cracking (sort of like popcorn) the steam escaping and resultant pressure cracks the skins.

Thus far, I prefer the Full City roasts that occur at the begining of the second crack. MM MM goodness! I will never go back to swill coffee again!

I am drinking the Mount Alla this morning, and it is a great coffee, but I am simply rating these 1-8 in the OP as to my favorites.

I also began roasting in the garage... though there is no "smoke" in the house at a Full City roast, the fire alarms repeatedly go off, which makes hearing the cracks difficult! My garage is always 55F at a min. so it is plenty comfy.

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:15 PM   #7
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Glad to hear that's working out. Seems like a great, relatively inexpensive way to get into better coffee (without as much DIY-ism as a heat gun or popcorn popper - I need that time for beer).

How are you grinding and brewing? We brew with a French press so a burr grinder is recommended to reduce sediment. Cuisinart & Krups make burr grinders for $50-60, but I'm not sure how well those would work. Sweet Maria's cheapest burr grinder goes for $150. We may just give it a try with a blade grinder and see how that goes, but I'm curious to know what everybody else does.

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:18 PM   #8
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I am just using a Target $12 blender type grinder....

I am brewing using just a typical drip coffee maker...

Not fancy, the roasting is very rewarding though!!

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:30 PM   #9
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I am very happy with the Breville Conical grinder:

Amazon.com: Breville BCG450XL Conical Burr Grinder: Kitchen & Dining

Consistent, even grind and the price is right at $100. Timer doesn't always work for me, but I don't care since I put in the amount of beans I want (3-4 scoops for 6 cups) and grind until they are all through. Who would keep the beans in the hopper anyway?

I prefer City+ roast except for Sumatra which I take just into second crack. The darker roasts I grind on coarse and use a french press for 2.5 minutes, serve with a dollop of whipped cream or milk. For lighter roasts I grind between medium and fine setting and use a manual drip coffee maker with water heated to 208*F.

Once you get the coffee bug everything else tastes like poo. I think it's worse than with beer -- I still drink cheap swill beer if it's all that is available, but I can no longer stomach cheap coffee at all!

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Old 04-13-2009, 04:33 PM   #10
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I am stopping my roasts at the very beginning of the second crack... I am loving it! The coffee smells like... well not like coffee! It is better.

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