☕ Coffee ☕: Ingredients, Roasting, Grinding, Brewing, and Tasting

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HarborTownBrewing

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Any issues with airflow with the filter?
No, below is a better picture of how I have it set up. I put a large woodworking dust collector right above the roaster's exhaust so it still has necessary airflow, and ends up pushing its natural exhaust into the duct where the in line fan is.

The filter I put in is an aquarium filter just like the one where the cooling fan is. I actually bought a big roll of it so I can cut pieces to fit both the cooling tray and that woodworking dust collector.

Speaking of the chaff collector filter basket though, I am trying to get a new one but they are on backorder at Sweet Maria's. I don't know off the top of my head how many lbs I have on this roaster but the chaff filter basket is ready to be replaced - I have to scrub it about every 3 roasts or else I get exhaust coming out the side of the chaff collector.

20210224_160837.jpg
 

mashpaddled

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No, below is a better picture of how I have it set up. I put a large woodworking dust collector right above the roaster's exhaust so it still has necessary airflow, and ends up pushing its natural exhaust into the duct where the in line fan is.

The filter I put in is an aquarium filter just like the one where the cooling fan is. I actually bought a big roll of it so I can cut pieces to fit both the cooling tray and that woodworking dust collector.

Speaking of the chaff collector filter basket though, I am trying to get a new one but they are on backorder at Sweet Maria's. I don't know off the top of my head how many lbs I have on this roaster but the chaff filter basket is ready to be replaced - I have to scrub it about every 3 roasts or else I get exhaust coming out the side of the chaff collector.

View attachment 736506
Oh ok that makes more sense. I thought you had the filter laying over the exhaust.

I am running my original basket on my Bullet which is a 2016 model (but with all the v2 upgrades). There's no choice but to pull the basket and clean it every two or three roasts. I usually roast two 800g roasts at a time so I clean it after every session. I clean it with espresso machine cleaner so it comes out good as new.
 

Ruint

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HTB....follow link below, you'll have to trim to size. It is the exact same material that original filter is made from.

 

DBhomebrew

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For at least 15 years I've brewed my morning coffee either French press or pour over. This morning, I woke up and pressed a button. I can get used to this.
 

HarborTownBrewing

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I did something similar (French Press or Chemex usually) for a few years. Eventually went to the Behmor brewer and haven't looked back. I wouldn't have imagined it, but it really allows the coffees to shine. I found one for $50 on marketplace and it has been the best $50 I've ever spent; I don't really miss all the mornings of manually brewing coffee.
 

DBhomebrew

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I went with an $80 8cup Bonavita. Worth every penny to gain a few more minutes in the morning. Kid1 just started preschool and I'm the one getting him out the door. Standing there making coffee wasn't cutting it. The little Bonavita makes a decent cup, too. Win-win.
 

pshankstar

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I went with an $80 8cup Bonavita. Worth every penny to gain a few more minutes in the morning. Kid1 just started preschool and I'm the one getting him out the door. Standing there making coffee wasn't cutting it. The little Bonavita makes a decent cup, too. Win-win.
Same here our Bonavita drip machine is our daily workhorse for the mornings.
 

bkboiler

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Roasted a Rwanda and Nicaragua today...the 1/2 lb roast went wayyyyyyy better than the 1 lb roast...
I think it had to do with the 1 lb was a natural process bean, so a bit more uneven to start...

Roasting on the BBQ is fun, im finally getting the hang of it ...except forgetting to clean out the drippings and they flamed up again and almost burned the roast. Don't do that!o_O
 

HarborTownBrewing

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Do you find yourself adjusting the brew temp or presoak often?
I used to in the first few months after I got it, but eventually settled on one that worked well for every coffee I roasted. I have the brew temp set at 200 F, and the presoak set at 2:00.
 

pshankstar

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Running low on some beans so I placed an order from Sweet Marias. Looking forward to some new beans to roast and enjoy. :coff4:

Item #Description
Qty
GCX-6843-002Mexico FTO Comunidad Tierra Blanca
1​
GCX-6930-002Ethiopia Yirga Cheffe Ajere
1​
GCX-6875-002Mexico Organic Lagunilla Coop
1​
GCX-6789-002Timor Leste Koliate
1​
GCX-6814-002Colombia Organic Hacienda La Pradera
1​
GCX-6716-002Brazil Dry Process Sítio São Benedito
1​
 
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MaxStout

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Roasted some Colombia Cauca Regional Select (washed) I bought from Mill City. First roast with this coffee, so haven't brewed any yet. Interesting roast sequence. First crack started around 5:00, went fairly steady and tapered off at about 7:30, then 2nd crack came in right away. I usually never go beyond the beginning of 2nd crack, which is well into medium roast, but I always want to see the timing when roasting something new. I roasted some more, ending a bit before 2c. I always roast the same amount in a batch (6.5 oz.--kind of the sweet spot for me). Heat gun/bowl method and I have a place to lean the gun on to keep the distance from the beans constant. I preheat the bowl for 30 seconds. Only variable seems to be ambient temp (I roast in my garage). In winter it takes an extra 1-1.5 minutes.
 

jammin

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I’m on my 2nd batch of this Yirg and it’s REALLY good. Sweet & floral with earthy body.


I used to in the first few months after I got it, but eventually settled on one that worked well for every coffee I roasted. I have the brew temp set at 200 F, and the presoak set at 2:00.
im very tempted to pick one up. I saw a video where a guy used his v60 setup with it. I like that flexibility
 

archi77

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Without reading all 174 pages of this thread, is there a coffee roasting starter video to help me get started, without wasting/burning my first couple batches, like I did with beer? 😭 Is there a flavor or efficiency difference between air roasters and drum roasters? TIA
 

HarborTownBrewing

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Well, to be honest, I learned a ton from reading this thread front to back. But that was also like 7 years ago so it was a little easier back then haha. Sweet Maria's has some great videos and writeups on their website, I would recommend starting there.

Whatever you do, be patient and take notes. I learned a lot in the beginning by buying about 5 or 10 lbs of a specific bean and roasting only that until I started to figure out how certain adjustments impacted the end flavor. Skipping around bean to bean at the beginning is kind of like throwing darts blindfolded.
 

MaxStout

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Without reading all 174 pages of this thread, is there a coffee roasting starter video to help me get started, without wasting/burning my first couple batches, like I did with beer? 😭 Is there a flavor or efficiency difference between air roasters and drum roasters? TIA
If you want to dip your toe into roasting, you can do the "heatgun/bowl" method. Just a heat gun from the home center store, and old stainless mixing bowl or dog bowl, and a spoon or whisk to stir. Lots of YouTube videos on that method, here's one:

 

NGD

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Without reading all 174 pages of this thread, is there a coffee roasting starter video to help me get started, without wasting/burning my first couple batches, like I did with beer? 😭 Is there a flavor or efficiency difference between air roasters and drum roasters? TIA
Cheapest method I’ve found is to grab a use popcorn popper from a thirft store for $5-10. If you already have a heat gun, then Maxstout’s method would be cheapest and allow more flexibility with size & temp.
 

NGD

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Unintentional double post, but thought I would update you guys. Few months ago I stepped up from the $100 amazon roaster with stirbar to an Freshroast SR800 with 12”v2 Razzo tube.

Its been a great learning experience but there are definitely more con’s than I expected. Namely with bean movement in the Razzo tube. Another issue is finding a 20 amp outlet that is a fairly short run to the breaker.
This sucker can pull 1750 watts according to the directions. So far I’ve pulled 1745 according to my Kill-a-watt meter from 1 plug near the breakers. Plugs on the other side of the house result in a 80-125 watt drop. I tried a heavy duty 25ft ext. cord on the other side of the house and saw a 300 watt drop….and definitely extended roast times.
The upsides are increased capacity, more variables to tinker with (can also be a con) and if I can find a decent setup for adding thermocouples then I can begin logging profiles on a PC.
So far, its fun.
 

TallDan

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Roasted the last pound of that Kenya Kiambu Fram Farm today. Still not entirely satisfied with how I've roasted it, but with the later batches I've at least been reasonably satisfied with the results. I have some new stuff coming from Klatch this week, looking forward to them!

Kenya Kiambu Fram Farm AB 21-08-28_1247.png
 

pshankstar

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I figured I would ask here because I value everyones feedback in this thread. My friend was asking me if I had any suggestions on making coffee in advance and reheating it for an upcoming camping trip next month. Internally I cringed because I know this isn't a good idea especially with good coffee. The reason he was asking is, during the camping trip (I went for the first time last year and again this year) over the years, the guys use a few percolators to make coffee every morning. He said it comes out watery or tastes burnt and he's never happy with it.

With that being said, does any one have any suggestions on using a percolator or helpful links. I searched HBT yesterday and saw some using percolators for camping too and they didn't get the same flavors as other brewing methods, but that was about it. Could someone share a good bean to water ratio? Time in the percolator? Or has anyone make coffee a day before and reheated it later on with good results? If so, please share your process.

I would say make cold brew coffee and enjoy that in the morning, but on a cold NY morning in October in the woods, a warm cup of coffee is more appealing than a cold cup. Thanks in advance everyone!
 

HarborTownBrewing

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The outdoorsman in me wants to say part of the fun is in drinking not-so-great coffee, in the woods, on a cold morning, while hanging with your buds and joking about all the homebrews you threw back last night.

The coffee enthusiast in me says f if I know.

I made campfire coffee a few times and had varying results for reasons I don't quite know. I think some batches took longer to make than others, and maybe had over-steeped because of that. The only thing I can really say is to possibly play with ground size before going, and if you REALLY wanted it to be consistent try to make it over a propane camp stove where you can control the heat vs. over a fire.

Only other thought I can give is to bring a French Press or pour over cone. Boil water over the fire, and take it off the fire right before boil (or let it sit for a minute post boil), then pour it through the cone or FP. It really should be the same as at home. I have a stainless steel insulated FP perfect for that but I've never used it camping. I'd loan it to you if we were neighbors!
 

TallDan

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I'm not one for camping, but the pour over would probably be my first choice. One of those travel mug french presses would probably be good. A friend who camps and backpacks recommends the starbucks VIA instant coffee.

Or you could try briping! (possibly the most entertaining video James Hoffman has recorded)
 

shelly_belly

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Ruint

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You can use coldbrewed coffee as a base for hot coffee @pshankstar. You just heat it up by adding hot water into it. You don't want to heat the coldbrew up by placing over heat, as that will cook the coffee. A 50/50 mix is the most I would use, unless you make fantastically strong coldbrew. Won't be the same kind of hot as a fresh pour over would be though. Just giving options is all.
 

MaxStout

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I need to up my roasting game, and wanted to pick the brains of you all.

My coffee is consistently "OK" but never great. It tends to have an astringent twang I can't put my finger on, regardless of the beans' origin or roast level I do. It is kind of flat and one-dimensional. My wife thinks it's too astringent. She can be brutally honest, and I value her feedback. She says it makes her tongue dry after drinking. When I have a cup of coffee from a good coffee shop, it has a certain warmth and complexity that mine lacks. I usually shoot for about a medium roast, though I've done a few lighter roasts. I tend to buy beans from Central/South America, and occasionally, New Guinea. I stay away from the "trickier" varieties, and I don't want to screw up expensive coffee, anyway. ;)

Let me describe my roasting process.

I use the "heat gun/dog bowl" method. Heat gun is just one I bought from the hardware store and it's dedicated to coffee, nothing else. I clean out the gun frequently with compressed air to remove any hulls that might be sucked into the intake vents. I've never noticed any odd smells coming from the hot air it generates. Bowl is a stainless mixing bowl, maybe 2 quarts, rounded with a flat bottom. During roasting I constantly stir the beans with a stainless wire whisk.

First, I preheat the bowl for about 30 seconds or so, then dump in 6 to 7 oz. of green. I hold the heat gun with its nozzle about 1 - 1.5" above the beans, a bit off-center, and whisk the beans to rotate them under the gun. I have no way to measure temp, so I go strictly by sound and use a kitchen timer to monitor the elapsed time it all takes. First crack usually begins around 5 - 7 minutes, and tapers off after another 2 or 3. Second crack starts around 7:00 to 10:00, and I usually stop right at the beginning of 2nd crack. I quickly pour the beans into a mesh colander and place that onto a "downdraft" box I made from a cardboard carton with a shop vac connected, and run that while constantly stirring the beans. Air is drawn downward and through the beans as I stir, and they are cool to the touch within about 60 seconds.

The beans always appear to be fairly consistent in color, and I rarely get more than an occasional quaker, which I cull. I let the beans "rest" for a day before grinding and brewing. I generally roast just enough beans to last a week or so and grind enough for the next day or two.

For brewing, I usually load up fresh ground into a plastic Keurig insert, or I brew a French press. I always drink it black. I have experimented with coffee to water ratios, but no real change. If I brew stronger coffee, I just get stronger astringency with it.

Am I roasting too fast? Too slowly?
Does my method need adjustment?
I never clean the roasting bowl, I just wipe it out with a paper towel after use. Could there be residue affecting batches?
Or does the heat gun method just have inherent limitations?
I'd love to get a Behmor, but that isn't in the cards for me at this time.

Any help would be appreciated!
 

HarborTownBrewing

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@MaxStout I think you'd probably benefit from stretching the roast a little bit, especially in the Drying phase. For me, that means pulling back heat a little bit from about 1:30 - 4:00 into the roast. I then hit them with more heat when they lose their green shade and become more yellow, usually around the 4 min mark. In my experience it allows more flavor development and complexity in the cup, and loses that astringency you mentioned.

I roast on a drum roaster though so maybe I am completely off base. I used the same technique with my Behmor and Bullet and it's worked well for me, but admittedly they are different animals than a heat gun.
 

ba-brewer

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@MaxStout A 5min first crack is pretty fast roasting if you are stopping at about the start to 2nd crack. If you go further into 2nd crack for a vienna or french type roast it might be OK. If you can get first crack out to 8 or 8.5min that should help. Sounds like you are doing OK in stretching out the first crack. For me central American coffee do benefit from a slower roast I try to get the start of 2nd to start about 11 or 12min. When I roast too fast my coffee seems sour.

I roasted with a heat gun for a few years but I did it in a cast iron pot on a camp stove. The stove was turn on low and helped me control roast time more than I could with just the heat gun. I used a whisk to keep things moving.

I read grinding just prior to brewing is best, if you grind ahead of time you might be losing some flavor from that.
 

MaxStout

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Thanks for the advice, @HarborTownBrewing and @ba-brewer.

I did a test roast today. Weighed 7 oz of Colombian (the variety I've been using lately). I cleaned the bowl with a scouring pad--there was a thin layer of burned-on oils and didn't want that affecting the coffee. I pre-heated the bowl for 30 sec, poured in the greens and started stirring. I heated full-bore for about 1:00, then moved the gun farther away, with the nozzle about 3-3.5" above the beans. I continued until the beans turned to a yellowish-butterscotch color, at about 5:00, then moved the gun back in. It hit 1c starting about 8:30, and 2c started about 11:30. I stopped at the beginning of 2c and cooled using the downdraft box.

I'll let the coffee rest overnight and grind some tomorrow. I'll keep you posted.
 

ba-brewer

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One other thing I thought about when I seen the email from Sweet Maria's about New Ethiopian beans coming. There are some beans that do better with longer roasts and some that that don't. Sweet Maria's does a pretty job of identifying the idea roast levels of their beans, so I use that as a guide and look for beans that at good to FC+.

Ethiopian beans do well with faster roasts but they too can get sour if done too fast.
 
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