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Who has experience roasting their own coffee beans?


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#1 donaldp83

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Posted 05 January 2019 - 07:59 PM

I have been thinking of roasting my own coffee for some time, and just decided I am going to start. I am wondering who has done this, and what home roaster they use or recommend? I want to get one very soon. Any input is appreciated...

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#2 bscinstnct

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 10:41 PM

View Postdonaldp83, on 05 January 2019 - 07:59 PM, said:

I have been thinking of roasting my own coffee for some time, and just decided I am going to start. I am wondering who has done this, and what home roaster they use or recommend? I want to get one very soon. Any input is appreciated...

Cmon! Somebody hit don83 with some bean roasting knowledge.

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#3 donaldp83

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 05:50 PM

I thought somebody here must have some experience with this, but it appears I may have to look elsewhere! Maybe all the roasters are too busy roasting...
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#4 bscinstnct

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Posted 07 January 2019 - 10:04 PM

View Postdonaldp83, on 07 January 2019 - 05:50 PM, said:

I thought somebody here must have some experience with this, but it appears I may have to look elsewhere! Maybe all the roasters are too busy roasting...

Could be an indication that all the roasters spent all their time on this

And eventually said

Wth am I doing? Makin a mess and roasting coffee beans?

Why not just buy them roasted?

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#5 tuckman

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Posted 09 January 2019 - 09:40 PM

A couple of years ago I would roast very small batches of beans with cheapo air popper. I could get light to medium blends. It was neat, but I didn't want to invest money in an actual roaster.


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#6 Matt J

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Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:52 PM

I did it for a long time, hundreds of pounds roasted at home.

The easiest thing to do is to get a metal dog bowl and heat gun, stir it with a wooden spoon while you roast.  Sweet Maria's is probably the best source for high quality green beans although I would start cheap just to get the hang of it.

One of the best things I did was create a cheap way to cool them.  Basically, you get them to exactly the roast you want, but they'll keep roasting if you don't cool them down even after you remove the heat source.  I found some real fine mesh at the hardware store, that the beans won't fit through and put it over the top of a five gallon bucket and secured it with bailing wire.  Then I used a hole saw drill bit to drill a hole about the same diameter of the hose of my shop vac.  I'd dump the beans out of the roaster and onto the mesh and fire up the shop vac to suck air through it.  I'd put my hands over the top of the beans and mix them up with my fingers meanwhile closing the hole to create more suction.  Worked great.

My favorite way to roast was with an old air popcorn popper.  There are a bunch of resources on the internetz of course, but there's a hack where you need to take the popper a part and disconnect a fusible link that was meant to keep it safe from overheating.  You can run the power through multiple drop cords to decrease the current and get a little cooler temperature and the right roast time.  The only downsize was that it would only roast about a cup, 5 or 6 oz. of coffee beans at a time so I had to do it every 3 or 4 days.  The coffee was always very fresh.  The popcorn poppers simulate a Sevitz (I think that's right?  too lazy to google it at the moment) air bed roaster so the beans don't touch the metal body of the roaster and caramelize the outside too much.  Makes for very bright notes of flavor especially in a lighter roast which I came to love.  Just roasted enough to be roasted all the way through with no grassy flavor, but not too much to taste the darker bitter flavors of a medium to dark roast.

PM me if you have any questions although it has been a few years since I quit roasting.  I'm sure there are some better pieces of home roasting equipment out there now, back then none of it was very good but guys were working on improving it basically every generation of design or few months.  Best wishes!

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#7 donaldp83

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Posted 13 January 2019 - 03:58 PM

View PostMatt J, on 10 January 2019 - 08:52 PM, said:

I did it for a long time, hundreds of pounds roasted at home.

The easiest thing to do is to get a metal dog bowl and heat gun, stir it with a wooden spoon while you roast.  Sweet Maria's is probably the best source for high quality green beans although I would start cheap just to get the hang of it.

One of the best things I did was create a cheap way to cool them.  Basically, you get them to exactly the roast you want, but they'll keep roasting if you don't cool them down even after you remove the heat source.  I found some real fine mesh at the hardware store, that the beans won't fit through and put it over the top of a five gallon bucket and secured it with bailing wire.  Then I used a hole saw drill bit to drill a hole about the same diameter of the hose of my shop vac.  I'd dump the beans out of the roaster and onto the mesh and fire up the shop vac to suck air through it.  I'd put my hands over the top of the beans and mix them up with my fingers meanwhile closing the hole to create more suction.  Worked great.

My favorite way to roast was with an old air popcorn popper.  There are a bunch of resources on the internetz of course, but there's a hack where you need to take the popper a part and disconnect a fusible link that was meant to keep it safe from overheating.  You can run the power through multiple drop cords to decrease the current and get a little cooler temperature and the right roast time.  The only downsize was that it would only roast about a cup, 5 or 6 oz. of coffee beans at a time so I had to do it every 3 or 4 days.  The coffee was always very fresh.  The popcorn poppers simulate a Sevitz (I think that's right?  too lazy to google it at the moment) air bed roaster so the beans don't touch the metal body of the roaster and caramelize the outside too much.  Makes for very bright notes of flavor especially in a lighter roast which I came to love.  Just roasted enough to be roasted all the way through with no grassy flavor, but not too much to taste the darker bitter flavors of a medium to dark roast.

PM me if you have any questions although it has been a few years since I quit roasting.  I'm sure there are some better pieces of home roasting equipment out there now, back then none of it was very good but guys were working on improving it basically every generation of design or few months.  Best wishes!
Thank you for the cooling idea... Great stuff! I should probably try the popcorn popper first to see how invested I want to get in this. Did you try any roasters made for coffee beans?
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#8 Matt J

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Posted 14 January 2019 - 11:19 PM

No never tried a real home coffee roaster, they were in the infant stages of development and the wrinkles weren't ironed out when I was into it.

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