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Thread: The colour of my roast

  1. #1
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    Default The colour of my roast

    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:


    1. preheat to 200-220°C before loading beans to expose them to high temp. for shorter time
    2. reduce temp when I hear first pops of 1st crack (by how much?)
    3. abort the roast at some point before end of 1st crack(at which point?)

    Would anyone kindly offer some advice, please? Many thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dieter View Post
    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:


    1. preheat to 200-220°C before loading beans to expose them to high temp. for shorter time
    2. reduce temp when I hear first pops of 1st crack (by how much?)
    3. abort the roast at some point before end of 1st crack(at which point?)

    Would anyone kindly offer some advice, please? Many thanks!
    Hi!

    Greetings from a fellow struggling member of this forum trying to get better results on the Gene Cbr 101.

    Preheating: I don’t think that’s a good idea. From advice from other members, preheating has not much effect on the Gene, and pre-heating / charging will will only shorten the life of the heating element.

    Reducing heat at first crack: if you drop by too much, you risk stalling first crack, which is not a great idea. Literature suggests that you should drop by no more than 5 to 8 degrees C. However, I don’t think this will help getting lighter roasts either.

    Abort the roast: again, bad idea, as it will shorten the life of the element considerably, and not only that: due to the heat, it will start deforming some of your Gene facias / panels.

    Some users with more experience than me suggest that the trick with the Gene is to start the cooling cycle 30 seconds before your desired colour. To me, and I think to you too, means start the cooling cycle 30s or so after entering first crack, something I haven’t yet tried.

    I pretty much accept its a limitation of the Gene, but I’m happy to hear otherwise.

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    Did you get the additional notes (author Davecuk) with your roaster? If so, refer back to Pages 4 and 5.
    Nutshell version, once well into 1st C drop temperature by 5C to 8C below the highest temperature achieved. Do not do this to soon or you will stall the roast.
    It is not necessary to preheat. You may well cause problems with the roaster, particularly the rubber buffers on the chaff sweeper. Several references to preheating the Gene, or not, on this forum.

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    1. Pre heating does very little. Why would you want to expose the beans to a higher heat earlier on anyway? You want a light roast, presumably finishing just at the end of first crack? To do that you'll want to stretch out first crack, not push through it at max temp. Given your roasts are only 12 minutes long I don't see what shortening it by pre-heating would do to help?

    2. Reduce temp on first rolling. By how much depends on your temp, power draw, and beans. You'll likely want to drop by 5-8c as others have suggested. If it stalls (the popping stops and starts again after 30 seconds to one minute) then make a note of it and make your adjustment later or make it smaller or both on your next roast.

    3. I wouldn't. I can't imagine you'll have an even roast through the bean by running the Gene at full power and hitting the cooling cycle on 11 minutes half way through first crack.


    Why get hung up on the colour? It's about how it tastes. Some beans will benefit from a darker roast and some will benefit from a light one. You probably want to avoid burned/bitter/charcoal notes as much as underdeveloped grassy notes.
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  5. #5
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    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.

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