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About Dieter

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    Lightly Roasted

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  • Location
    Norfolk, UK
  • Interests
    (obsessive?) skier, identifying first crack with Gene Cafe 101, playing classical guitar
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  1. Many thanks for your useful advice, fellow coffee lovers! I have 3kg of Mexican Siltepec El Jaguar from Small Batch Roasting with which to experiment around the first crack and the connected degree of roasting. I will do one initial batch taking the beans straight through to the 1st C and then time its duration, probably around 60secs, before cooling. With the next few batches, I will try mainly the following options: I will not preheat the Gene Cafe(apart from residual heat after cooling of previous batch) will drop temp by 5-8°C halfway through 1st C will initiate cooling cycle halfway through 1st C I may well report back in a fortnight.
  2. My roaster is a standard Gene Cafe 101. I have recently been able to detect the 1st crack reliably (not least with advice from forum members – much appreciated, indeed!), usually at around 11/12mins(no preheating) and 236°C. I initiate cooling when the 1st crack subsides, 60/70secs after it starts rolling. The issue I would like to tackle now is that by allowing the 1st crack to come to an end, the colour of my roast is generally darker than I prefer. Some options I am considering: preheat to 200-220°C before loading beans to expose them to high temp. for shorter time reduce temp when I hear first pops of 1st crack (by how much?) abort the roast at some point before end of 1st crack(at which point?) Would anyone kindly offer some advice, please? Many thanks!
  3. @marcuswar, many thanks for the outstandingly prompt reply!
  4. Hi coffee lovers! Could somebody send me the Coffee Compass discount code, please? Many thanks for considering my request!
  5. Thank'ee, kind sir, for the optimistic prophecy! (It's an interesting linguistic amalgam of Cosmopolitan style and Biblical utterance.) I do feel identifying the 1st crack is the beginning of the way forward for me. I still have some unresolved questions in my mind such as: whether to preheat the roaster, the merits or otherwise of a slow approach to the 1st crack, when(if at all) to lower the temp during the 1st crack, achieving as light a roast (which I prefer) as is appropriate/possible for each type of bean, etc. At the risk of sounding adolescent, I'm excited by the prospect of a foodie's adventure ahead.
  6. @ MediumRoastSteam, thank for your interest. It was a resounding success!! I roasted 2x250g of Costa Rica Aquiares from Small Batch Roasting. I followed the "Gentle rise, Gentle finish" profile from the "Hints & Tips" booklet which comes with the Gene Cafe purchased from Bella Barista (it doesn't mention its author, but imparts extremely useful advice, a lifesaver for the novice). According to information in that booklet, I was expecting the F.C. at about 238°. It did arrive at 236° with three isolated but loud and clear pops and then turned into a continuous chorus lasting a little over 60secs. At that point I liked the colour and therefore terminated the roast. How was I able to hear the F.C.? I followed your suggestion and removed the chaff collector - loud and clear pops! I then knew what the 1st crack sounds like. On the second batch, I waited till I heard the beginning of the F.C and then inserted the collector to test whether I could still hear it. Indeed I could, particularly when holding my ear close to the opening at the top of the collector. Many thanks for your valuable help! I now feel I will be able to achieve more consistently a decent level of roasting.
  7. Many thanks for the "Hopi ear candle" warning! And I may well come back to your recommendation of a "Personal-TV-Sound-Amplifier-Listen-Megaphone-Hearing-Aid-Assistance-Device".
  8. Of course, roast beans with a noisy 1st crack! Excellent idea. You are suggesting large beans from high altitude which, I have read, produces harder, denser beans. As it happens, I had seen your very useful entries on an online Roast Log Information page. The bean varieties that you mentioned having a vigorous 1st crack are: Monsooned Malabar, Papa New Guinea Kimel plantation, Indonesia Java Bayukidul Estate, Tanzanian Tweega and Vietnamese arabica. I must admit I generally prefer South/Central American beans, but Kenyan AA or Tanzanians sounds quite alluring. Does, in your experience, the build-up to the 1C play a role? E.g. if you don't spend time dehydrating the beans, say 5mins at 160°C, but go straight to 240°, might the bean create more steam at 1C and thereby crack more noisily? (This is just my conjecture as I don't have the necessary knowledge or experience!)
  9. Hi @johnealey, never self-conscious about looking amusing or foolish, I will definitely try your suggestion with the first batch of my next roast and @MediumRoastSteam 's with the second batch. Beans will be Costa Rica Aquiares from Small Batch Roasting. I'll report back next week.
  10. Very interesting, @MediumRoastSteam! I will remove the chaff collector for the second batch of my next roast...in the garden )
  11. I have been roasting using a Gene Cafe 101 since August 2017, mostly with quite drinkable results. However, there is a fundamental issue that I'd like to understand better so as to guide my roasting practice more effectively: how to identify the beginning and end of the first crack using my hearing. So far I have observed increased chaff, change of colour and visual cracks on the beans as an indicator of the first crack. All of these are evolving phenomena without a clearly defined beginning. Hence the desire to detect the first crack aurally which would be a distinct guiding event. I admit I have not felt capable of hearing it due to the noise of the roaster. Therefore, here is my question: Have any of you coffee lovers developed any strategies or use any aids/tools to facilitate hearing the first crack? I'd be very grateful for any suggestions!
  12. And this clearly depicts the reason for my variation no.2, so that both my arms might look like the one above. Thank you for the encouragement, jj-x-ray!
  13. Thank you for your respect, lake_m! I know about sweating, it is just a minor aim(or should that be inconvenience?), compared with attaining to the noble brew!
  14. Brilliant, an industrialized version of the donkey mill!
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