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Old 08-11-2014, 04:23 PM   #181
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Smoke and chaff burn off are clues for first crack...but you will hear it. 2nd cracks are faint, and smoke will go way up. I profile my roasts....ramping up heat as time goes on to delay the roast time. I usually roast light...city city plus. I hate over roasted beans...taste charred.

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Old 08-12-2014, 08:22 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by HarborTownBrewing View Post
I stumbled across this thread by complete accident last week. Got crazy enough to buy some green beans on my way home from work and roasted them up in a whirly pop I had laying around. Delicious.

Question though: I was cranking the whirly pop the whole time, and I didn't really hear much of a "first crack" sound. Maybe I heard some popping very faintly around 7 or 8 mins in. When I lifted the lid and looked at 10 mins, they were darker than I had hoped to get. They probably turned out more like a Vienna roast, while I wanted something lighter, like a City roast.

So, the question is, how loud is the cracking we are to be listening for?

Thanks everyone for posting thus far - it was encouragement for me to get into it.

I understand the predicament of a "single crack" when home roasting. So I like to use a technique I learned pro roasting. Start taking samples every few minutes when the cracking starts. Take note of the wrinkles on the surface of the beans, also take note of the muddled color. As your beans roast, the wrinkles smooth out and the color evens out and darkens (as you know), once you notice this smoothing effect, you can be certain enough that you are somewhere between the end of 1st crack and the beginning of 2nd crack
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:20 PM   #183
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Well, here is a mini update for anyone who was interested, and some info I've learned in the past week or so.

-First, my first roasted batch turned out tasting incredible. In Chicago we have access to some fantastic fresh roasted beans (La Colombe, for example) and these home roasted ones tasted comparably well. The wife and I enjoyed the heck out of this batch....buuuuut, the half pound I roasted didn't last long

-I went about roasting the other half pound of beans we had. I did the same procedure as before: Whirlypop on the grill's side burner, preheating on high heat for about 5-7 mins, then adding the beans and keeping the heat on low. After about 7.5 mins I decided to look and see how brown they were looking (they hadn't made a noise yet) and to my surprise they looked no different then when I had added them to the Whirlypop and showed no signs of roasting.

-I realized the wind was blowing my burner's flame all over the place. I cranked up the heat, eventually raising it to the highest level, but still had a really hard time. I had a timer going, and I think I was at about 30 mins when I finally decided they looked roasted enough. Of course, by this time it was dark out and even with patio lighting I couldn't see much.

-I killed the flame, dumped the beans into a collander, and began tossing them around, and didn't notice much coming off the beans. Eventually brought them inside and found that they weren't roasted nearly enough. At this point, the wind was worse and it was real dark, so I quit. I cranked that Whirlypop for about 40 mins and couldn't even get a city roast.

-For kicks and giggles, a couple days later I ground it up and tried the coffee. Yeah, it was bad. Took about 5 sips and dumped the beans in the trash.

So, I guess I learned not to try roasting when it's windy because I just couldn't keep the flame going. Another interesting thing was I had posted a few days back about not being able to hear the crack. I was using a peaberry bean, which I read elsewhere is prone to give very faint cracks which some can not easily hear. Couple faint cracking noises with the sounds of passing cars and sirens outside my patio, and I probably just didn't catch it in my first roast attempt a couple weeks ago.

In short, I ordered a 4 lb sampler from Sweet Maria's and I'm looking forward to trying it again. The first batch turned out very well, so I can't wait to try to replicate it again.

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Old 08-18-2014, 04:30 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by HarborTownBrewing View Post
.buuuuut, the half pound I roasted didn't last long
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