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I have been roasting for a bit on my (unmodded) Gene roaster, and I am having a hard time hitting some nice, light roasts.

I am using a washed Colombian, 1500-1800m - using 250g, no pre-heating, and cooling down to 100C in the Gene, and then externally until they are cool.

 

I tend to hit 1st crack after about 13-14 minutes, and my problem is that if I keep roasting after 1st crack my beans start to get burned. So, I fear that I either underdevelop the beans or burn them..

 

My best tasting try so far, hit 1st crack at 14 min and lowered the temp 5C right away, and started cooling only 25 seconds after 1st crack. The beans seemed to be a bit uneven, and some of them too dark/scorched.

- Do the beans continue to develop while in the cooling phase? eg. could I start cooling right at 1st crack? (just seems super early to me).

 

I could use some tips on how to achieve better light roasts on the Gene, thanks!

 

Mr. Karlsen

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If the machine was bought from Bella Barista you should have some additional notes written by davecuk of this forum.

If it was bought secondhand, try going back to the seller to see if they bought from BB and have the notes.

Those notes are really helpful in getting a feel for the machine and will go a long way to solving your problem.

BB will not send the notes out unless you buy the machine!:whistle:

'Fair do's' really.

 

You Columbian coffee is likely to be a 'soft' bean and would probably do well with a 'Gentle Rise' profile.

Failing getting the notes, re post........

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I'd suggest you try this approach from the Gene manual

 

GeneCoffeeRoasting.jpg

 

Not at all happy about the taste notes in that but time to some stage may come into it as well.

 

But bear in mind that using 230C could take the beans to 2nd crack if left in long enough. You might find 220C an interesting one to try if you want first crack, time likely to be circa 20min for plenty of cracks. Plus maybe heat proof gloves to get them out immediately. Toolstation etc welding gauntlets.

 

John

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You didn't say what temp you get up to just that you drop by 5c...

 

Do you notice burning earlier in the roast such as when the beans are moving from yellow to brown?


ACS Minima (Beta) -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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Thanks for the input!

I will definitely look into trying the gentle rise profile.

 

I'm sorry I forgot to mention my temp setting (I meant to do this..) - I have used set temps in the range of 235-238C, and then dropped by 5C when I hit first crack (sometimes happened before hitting end temp).

It could seem that this temp is a bit high? (I got this from reading many other forum posts).

I have not noticed any burning early in the roast, and I did try to keep an eye out for this.

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Are the beans progressing evenly through development, as in turning yellow all at the same time, browning all at the same time, and hitting first crack together for an obvious start to first crack (like a couple of pops and then within 30 seconds a whole load of them). If first crack does progress like that does it tail off in the same way or does it seem to be over very quickly? Lowering your temp effectively turns your heating element off until the roaster cools to the temp you have set it to so if you drop by too much you could cool the beans and stall the roast (a reason to carry out the dimmer mod).

 

If progression is even and you aren't getting burning to the tips of the beans as the temps increase I'd just say go for a 235c setting and drop by 5c just before first gets going and another 5c when it has finished it's most active phase and you're just expecting stragglers to pop (when does it reach 235c when you roast?). You need to provide times and temperatures to get any help really, as well as details of how the roast progresses. Your temp setting just tells me you've limited the temp to 235c-238c, not that the roaster ever reached that temp.

 

It could be that after first your beans will just burn and progress very easily in which case the only solution really would be the dimmer mod.


ACS Minima (Beta) -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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It seems that the beans do develop quite evenly along the roast, up until they starting nearing 1st crack.

 

Here are some fotos of my most recent roast, which is quite representative of most of my roasts. (I did try to follow the gentle rise profile, although it seemed to have not made that much of a difference).

 

I had a set temp of 230c, and held for 1 min 15 secs (this is around minutes 12-13.15) the beans were already getting very brown at this stage, but 1st crack didn't happen until around 14 minutes (I did hear some outliers around 13:40).

So at 13.15 I set the temp for 240, and kept this till the end of the roast (almost). It only reached 235, then I started cooling as beans were starting to get too dark.

 

The problem(s) I am having, is that the beans seem to get too dark already when 1st crack happens. And the roasts also tend to get quite uneven (this particular roast seemed to get a bit more uneven than previous ones).

I feel like I want to end the roast sooner, when judging just by the color during the roast, but that would mean I would end the roast when 1st crack is just happening..

 

Below are some pictures of my little log, where you can see temp progression etc. and a few pictures of the beans.

 

I appreciate you taking the time to help me out!

 

32616130977_dbeebc6444_c.jpg

 

.

 

..

 

47558737051_7417e003bf_z.jpg47558807401_5c6974b1ca_z.jpg

47505827252_fe8262f313_z.jpg

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It's difficult to say really, the beans could be being burned by temps around 235c or they could be burned just because of the heating element on/off action. If you follow my advice above you might get better results, then again you might need to keep the 230c limit, or maybe neither will stop the burning in which case you really need to do the mod.

 

I can say you should not have kept going at full heat after first started as your notes show. You might have had a slightly longer roast if you didn't increase the temp at all...the problem with giving advice is what you need to do varies. Some beans will really take off at first crack and others will.need pushing through, so for some you need to predict when it's going to happen and adjust the heat before it even starts, for others that will stall the roast. That said it doesn't look like your roasts are taking off that badly considering you kept blasting them with full heat through FC so adjusting heat when FC starts is likely going to work for you.


ACS Minima (Beta) -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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Have you checked your power supply? Using one of these helps make decisions:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ENERGENIE-Energy-Saving-Power-Meter-for-any-UK-Household-Appliance-UK/351796331471?hash=item51e8b203cf:g:hecAAMXQEgpTDixv

 

I also seem to remember something about the heater elements being different for UK models and elsewhere in Europe, 240v for UK and 230v for mainland Europe?

Check you have the mainland Europe model not the UK model---sticker on underside.

A forum member in Italy(?) had this problem last year.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for your input!

Rob, I did a roast after this one trying to follow your advice - the beans came out a lot less uneven, but still getting burned. I will be trying some roasts at 230c later.

 

In Denmark we have 230V - and my Gene model is also a 230V. Could this be impacting my results?

I have not checked my power supply yet, but this is on my to do list as well as probably trying to do the dimmer mod at one point.

Edited by Mr Karlsen

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In Denmark we have 230V - and my Gene model is also a 230V. Could this be impacting my results?

I have not checked my power supply yet, but this is on my to do list as well as probably trying to do the dimmer mod at one point.

 

It’s supposedly 230V in France as well but I usually have nearer 240V or even as high as 244V. You really should get a power meter for your socket to rule out that variable. You can also see how stable your line voltage is (or not, in my case). I can get anywhere between 229 to 244V depending on the season, plus there is a lot of fluctuation (10V) during the roast. The dimmer mod combats that as well as giving a bit more control over the roast.

 

Good luck and keep at it!


Rocket Cellini PPv2, Mazzer SJ, Gene Cafe 230V with dimmer mod

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As you have the 230v model, that can be ruled out.

Next check what voltage you are actually getting. I have a poor supply at peak periods, so I plan my roasting for off peak. You may have to do the same or invest a fortune in a voltage stabiliser!

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Try ending your roast 20/30 secs before you think you should as your beans will still be roasting a bit after you hit cool down, and as above a voltage meter is a good idea.


Londinium I / Monolith Conical / Macap MC4 / Cormorant CR600 Roaster

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Thanks everyone.

 

So, I just ran 2 test roast with the voltage meter. Throughout both, it kept very steady at 227-229. I suppose this is a good thing?

I will try again later, to check if I just got lucky.

 

But I am still getting quite uneven roast eg. half the beans looks great, the other half looks somewhat burned. And I do get a char taste when I cup all of these.

 

Will do a roast or two later tonight, with a lower temp - probably 230c? And I will post the results after.

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I'd advise you to do the mod asap to avoid wasting more beans, but of course try limiting at 230c first.


ACS Minima (Beta) -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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Okay, so I did another roast. Voltage was extremely steady at 227v all the way through.

I did not go higher than 230c - and I was not at 230c for a long time as I kept the roast around 220-226 for most of the roast.

But still getting an uneven roast, with a lot of burning..

 

So I assume, that it is the switching on/off that could be causing the uneveness as well as burning?

- I will be looking to do the dimmer mod now.

If I have to mention something positive from my Gene-career so far, is that I have been able to keep it consistent!

Consistently uneven and burned, but hey.

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Update: I am pretty much done installing the dimmer mod, and just testing it right now - and it seems to work!

At least when I switch on the dimmer I am able to control the wattage and I get no errors and the gene seems to run great. Good news.

One question: When I have the dimmer 'off', the wattage is steadying around 2300ish. Is this the normal range when a dimmer is not on? seems high to me?

I did not check this before, and I am a complete electronics noob.

I am in Denmark, where we have 230V and have the 230v version of the gene.

 

- Mr Karlsen

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No theres something wrong with your watt measurer, the gene would draw around 1250 -1300W tops usually. I used to use the dimmer mod to give around 1170W when roasting in warmer weather. Perhaps the dimmer is affecting the wattmeter being used....because even when off it still sucks a small amount of power (30W), unless it can actually be completely switched off and not just turned down.


 My reviews at http://coffeestuff.byethost12.com/ (now ad free)  Various Machines and grinders, Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/ (old site)

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Yes okay something must be up with the watt measurer..

Did a test (empty barrel). Started with dimmer Off and let the temp rise to 145 - reached after 1 minute. Then I brought in the dimmer, and brought the wattage down to 1300ish, and that caused the temp to fall. The sweet spot for keeping the temp steady was around 1600.

The watt measurer does seem to be consistent, but for some reason shows higher than it should?

 

So what should my approach be? Get a new watt measurer? Will that even help - it does seem to show correct measurements for other appliance if I test it there.

And is it safe to run with what I got at the moment? I wont burn down the gene if the wattage the measurer shows are actually correct?

 

Sorry for the many questions, I am not quite that skilled with my electronics. So thanks for trying to help me out!

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Has anyone measured how much the temperature varies when the Gene is regulating it as it comes without any modifications?

 

John

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What do you mean?

 

As in what is the temp swing like on the display when the element cycles on and off? Or what is the temp measured in the drum and in the bean mass when the element cycles on and off? Display is 3-5c.


ACS Minima (Beta) -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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What do you mean?

 

As in what is the temp swing like on the display when the element cycles on and off? Or what is the temp measured in the drum and in the bean mass when the element cycles on and off? Display is 3-5c.

 

I set mine for 220C and did a roast and didn't notice the display changing but wonder about actual temperature of the air flow.

 

John

-


In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

SageBanner_v01.jpg.a45786743a4eb401969788b45ae7f893.jpg

 

 

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Someone mentioned measured air temp at the heating element and just adjusting the dimmer based on that, reasoning being that voltage varies and you won't have to worry about it if you just aim for a consistent heat coming off the element. It's a little mod that might be easy to do without disassembly of the heater box, I say might because I've sealed mine with high temp rtv sealant but before I did I could see tiny gaps in it and the thermocouple that's fitted in it rattled around a bit so I'm thinking you could easily squeeze another wire in there. There are other solutions, for example you could replace the electronics entirely if you want and have element temp and exit air temp instead of whatever the gene readout is. The temperature of the air flow will drop when the element cycles off, that's guaranteed, I just can't say by how much or what your air temp is at the element at the time. Drops in temp when the element cycles on and off do show up on my thermocouple in the drum or at least they did until it went out of action.


ACS Minima (Beta) -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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Someone mentioned measured air temp at the heating element and just adjusting the dimmer based on that, reasoning being that voltage varies and you won't have to worry about it if you just aim for a consistent heat coming off the element. It's a little mod that might be easy to do without disassembly of the heater box, I say might because I've sealed mine with high temp rtv sealant but before I did I could see tiny gaps in it and the thermocouple that's fitted in it rattled around a bit so I'm thinking you could easily squeeze another wire in there. There are other solutions, for example you could replace the electronics entirely if you want and have element temp and exit air temp instead of whatever the gene readout is. The temperature of the air flow will drop when the element cycles off, that's guaranteed, I just can't say by how much or what your air temp is at the element at the time. Drops in temp when the element cycles on and off do show up on my thermocouple in the drum or at least they did until it went out of action.

 

:) Some one was me. I've too much kitchen and one or two other things to do before I have time to fit a thermocouple. Have the bits to fit it internally with a socket to connect a meter too it. Also a Chinese 2kw so called speed controller to fit internally as well. That may have a get's too hot problem so a bit suck it and see Also a switch to short that out for full power as with in circuit it will always use up some power..

 

Main problem with getting on with and it also trying another roast is also some where to do it at the moment.

 

I tried the suggested roasting ideas and just had problems with burning so decided to use a bit higher than what appears to be OK for Ily, 220C. No problems getting 1st crack but more darkening than intended due to the cool down time / or just a maybe appearance through the glass. Can't comment in taste as it was a bean I have never bought fresh roasted. I didn't try the Gene manual method as other attempts suggested that starting at 230C would probably roast the beans more than I wanted. Hard to say without trying it. I also feel that I Improved the roast by cleaning out all of the dust and fluff from the input "filter". That would have influenced air flow. 3rd hand Gene.

 

John

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In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

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Right, so I successfully installed the dimmer and it works perfectly, and after fiddling with the wattage measurer this also works correctly and shows the right wattage (12-1300w when dimmer is off).

I did 4 roasts tonight, and being able to have much greater control over the temp was really nice. However.. All of the roasts remain super uneven / burned.. Pretty much similar to the pics on the first page (and some even worse).

I tried different things with each roast, for example; one roast did not go higher than 219c - still half burned.

I even tried to E-dump one batch to see if the burning was occuring in connection with the cooldown - This did not help at all, lol.

Will try cupping all 4 in a few days, but not expecting much based on the burning.

 

Its quite frustrating I must admit. Could the bean be a cause? - It is a Colombian Supremo from Huila, and I have only been roasting this one bean so far. I will be getting some new greens soon to try this out.

If you have any tips or things/profiles I could try to help mitigate this problem I would be greatful.

 

Mr Karlsen

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