Advice for a New Roaster

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Postby ricksroasters » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:44 am

Hello Roasters- we opened for business last year with an Ambex YM-15 and started roasting very popular coffees. We sold over 3500 pounds in our first six months. Before last year, we'd never roasted a single bean and have yet to attend any formal training. Yep- we're winging it. We basically started rosating using advice from our mentor who has a YM-5. The roasters act differently so we modified what we were doing a little and ended up with the following:
charge temp 450, cut flame back to 50% at the lowest bean temp, ride that heat until target bean temp. Recently I started playing with the burner more during the roast (note above comment about winging it) watching the rate of rise very closely. I found my beans look and taste better but now I'm concerned I may be baking instead of roasting (I read the entire thread on baking defined). My pallet is not mature enough to be able to tell the difference when cupping- both ways the coffee tastes fantastic to me, the new way just tastes better. I am using Roaster Dynamics LLC Logging Dynamics software to monitor what I'm doing. Any thoughts or advice?

Thanks Sean
ricksroasters
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:04 am
First Name: Sean
Last Name: Ricks
City: Stafford
State: VA
Zip Code: 22554
Company: Ricks Roasters Coffee Company
Occupation: Roaster
Roasting Since (Year): 2013

Postby N3Roaster » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:17 am

First, congratulations on your new business.

If your new coffee tastes better, then it's unlikely that you're baking the coffee. My advice at this point would be to try lots of different variations in the roast, shortening or lengthening time spent in different ranges, trying different end points, tasting all of that and building up that experience. I think you'll find that there is no single roast profile that is ideal for all coffees and now that you're taking more control over the machine you can open up a lot of different possibilities for your coffee.

If the lack of formal training concerns you, there will be some good roasting classes at the SCAA expo this April (full disclosure, I'm teaching one of the RP112 Introduction to Roasting Concepts classes) in Seattle. I think you're probably at a good point to start with some of those as well.
Neal
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Postby ricksroasters » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:29 am

Thanks Neal- I just watched the rate of rise video you just posted. We live close to an SCAA teaching facility in Virginia we plan to hit soon. Thanks again- Sean
ricksroasters
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:04 am
First Name: Sean
Last Name: Ricks
City: Stafford
State: VA
Zip Code: 22554
Company: Ricks Roasters Coffee Company
Occupation: Roaster
Roasting Since (Year): 2013

Postby ChrisSchooley » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:53 am

Solid advice from Neal for sure. Honestly, even adding or subtracting 30 seconds or so to different stages during the roast can have a noticeable difference and start to give you a clearer idea of what the range of possibilities are. My advice though on top of this would be to make sure that you only look at one variable at a time. And document all of it!
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Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 3:35 pm
First Name: Christopher
Last Name: Schooley
City: Fort Collins
State: CO
Zip Code: 80526
Company: Coffee Shrub
Occupation: Roaster, Micro-Seller of Green Coffee
Roasting Since (Year): 2001
Website: http://www.coffeeshrub.com/.
Location: Fort Collins, CO.

Postby ricksroasters » Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:20 pm

Thanks Chris- we keep experimenting and people love our coffee so can't be screwing up too badly.
ricksroasters
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:04 am
First Name: Sean
Last Name: Ricks
City: Stafford
State: VA
Zip Code: 22554
Company: Ricks Roasters Coffee Company
Occupation: Roaster
Roasting Since (Year): 2013


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