Today I once again tried roasting some Costa Rican beans at Preset 2. My last batch was really decent, but it was a little bit light, even by my standards. I was thinking about going from 4:45 to maybe 4:00, but I kinda got carried away taking photos and roasted to 2:45.
Really though, I think they needed it; while darker than yesterday, they’re still pretty brown. I’d say it’s between a medium and a dark roast, leaning more towards “medium” than “dark.” That said, I won’t really know until I sample it sometime tomorrow.
I think after this batch I’m going to wait until I’m entirely out of coffee before roasting anymore so I can sample it the same day I roast it. Next I’ll do two batches of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans, one lighter and one darker; stay tuned for photos later today.
In order to better keep track of my exploits in roasting coffee beans, I’m going to start posting my settings and experiences to Tumblr.
I’m using the i-Roast2, and this is probably the fifth or sixth batch of beans I’ve roasted with it. Up until now, I’ve used Preset I, which is a straight “10 minutes at 450ºF, 4 minute cool” process. The first time I roasted beans, I did the entire ten minutes, which set off the smoke detectors and resulted in an extremely dark roast. I don’t particularly like dark roast coffee; I generally drink my coffee black and burned beans (such as are often used at Tim Horton’s or Starbucks) make the coffee taste really bitter. A medium roast is not only easier to drink black, but it also contains more caffeine — something to think about next time somebody brags how dark their roast is. At any rate, I generally now manually put my roaster into cool mode with 4:00 to 4:30 remaining in Preset I.
According to my roaster’s manufacturer, Preset II is more graduated, starting at 455ºF for 6 minutes, then moving to 400ºF for 4 minutes, then back to 435ºF for the last 1:30. While lasting 1:30 longer than Preset I, Preset II ultimately gives more lenience to medium and light roasters due to its longer and lower-temp second stage, while giving dark roasters the ability to burn the crap out of their beans with the extra-hot third stage. I decided to give it a whirl today, running some Costa Rican beans through and initializing cooling with 4:45 remaining on the clock (6:45 total roasting time).
While I still managed to set off my smoke detector (even with the roaster running under my stove’s fume hood and the kitchen window open), I don’t think there was as much smoke when I roasted the same beans for ~7:30 on preset I. I’ll probably sample them later today and post the results.
I’ve also been trying to figure out how to set specific roast times — if I only want to roast 6 minutes, I shouldn’t have to manually push “cool”. That said, every time I try to set my own time, it puts like 30 seconds on the clock; something to investigate.