Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Roasting Coffee

At lunch today, I roasted some coffee using the Heat Gun/Dog Bowl method. I tried this once before, but this time, I took pictures!

First, the equipment...

This is the bowl I used to roast in. Ok, so it isn't really a dog bowl. It's just a regular stainless steel mixing bowl. The dog bowl that I got is too big for the small amount of beans I used in the roast. But Heat Gun/Dog Bowl is more fun to say than Heat Gun/Mixing Bowl (and you get more useful hits when Googling).
You can see the beans in the bowl in their unroasted, green state. The beans are Guatamala Huehuetenango: 'A classic acidic Huehue flavor profile with berry accents and mild floral aromatics'. Whatever that means...

Here's the heat gun I used. The blue thing is my Nomex barbecue mitt (in case I needed to grab something that was hot)

Here's my watch. I use the stopwatch to time the roast. But I think I need to get  a new watch. Part of the minutes don't display sometimes. The other night, someone at basketball went to look at my watch to see what time it was. I had to explain to them that they could use my watch, but it was set to display military time, and I hadn't set it back from Daylight Savings time. And part of the minutes were broken so you kind of had to figure out what number it was trying to say. So they made fun of me.

This is my bean cooling rig. Hot beans go into the colindar. Shopvac sucks air through the colindar and out the bottom of the box. Keep stirring the beans until they're cool.

This is the outdoor cat that helped me. He thinks he's our cat. But he's not.

Now, the roast...

I did this pretty much the same as last time. Start the roast on the low setting for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Here's a picture of me starting to roast the green beans.

After 5 minutes, I switched to the high setting, still stirring constantly. At this point, the beans are smelling nothing like roasted coffee at all. It's more of a grassy smell.
At about 9 minutes, it hit the 'first crack' stage. That's when you start to hear popping noises, kind of like a campfire.
At about 12 1/2 minutes, it hit the 'second crack' stage. At this point, you start to hear sounds kind of like when you pour milk into your Rice Crispies. I let it stay at this stage for a couple of seconds. Here's a picture of the beans right after I turned the heat gun off.

Then it's on to the cooling rig to kill the cooking process. Turn on the Shopvac and stir the beans until they're all cooled off. There's probably a way to cool these beans even faster, but I just happen to like the little box thing that I made.

When you roast coffee, you end up with a lot of 'chaff'. This is chaff.

And in the end, we have freshly roasted coffee!

Mrs. BigKat is going to let the beans rest for a while before trying them out. Hope they taste good!