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Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: decocritter
Date: November 12, 2011 12:00AM
What Roaster?

What Beans?
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: Trouble
Date: November 12, 2011 12:40AM
I don't even drink coffee at home.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: guitarist
Date: November 12, 2011 12:54AM
I've been mighty tempted to enter into this hobby, it's similar to other home-laboratory projects I'm drawn to. I have an advanced coffee setup at home, espresso machine, burr grinder, tools, paraphernalia..

I've prevented myself from 'going there' because I'm already a lost soul, with too many vices like this.

But I'd love to read about anyone here who's doing it.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: Winston
Date: November 12, 2011 01:07AM
Mmm. That would smell good, especially this time of year.

But I'm going to keep letting the commercial roasters do their thing.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: M>B>
Date: November 12, 2011 01:14AM
I purchase Trader Joes whole bean Bay Blend and grind it at home...

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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: Pam
Date: November 12, 2011 05:35AM
I do. I use a Nesco roaster [www.sweetmarias.com]. You can roast in the house with it, but I'd still use it in a garage. Or at least in a very well ventilated area.

I buy my beans at Sweetmarias as well. I'm a decaf person so I mix 50% Sumatra/Brazilian Cerrado. If they ver have komodo blend I jump on it. You can read through their articles and get some blending ideas if you do not like single origin. I would stay away from their donkey blend.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: LaserKun
Date: November 12, 2011 08:26AM
I have researched this a bit, and I think one site suggested an air pop corn popper as a great roaster. Buy green beans, roast, grind - yes, I do want to get into that when I have more time. I have friends who do, and they would never go back to "normal" coffee they tell me.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: Grace62
Date: November 12, 2011 08:30AM
Our town has it's own coffee company and they roast every day, it smells great to drive by there! Don't feel the need to roast at home but it does sound like an interesting hobby.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: Tofer
Date: November 12, 2011 08:33AM
I have been doing it for about a year, with a $10 eBay popcorn popper (West Bend Poppery II). It's been a lot of fun, and I suggest sourcing your beans from Sweet Marias.

I like a few things about it:
1. You can't get beans any more fresh.
2. You can store green beans for a couple of years, so you can build up a bit of a coffee cellar.
3. Green beans are generally cheaper, although shipping costs can mitigate that. If you can find green beans locally, all the better.
4. It's a lot of fun.

I'm not a fan of a couple of things:
1. Roasting coffee doesn't smell like coffee (although it is a nice smell, I think), and it can produce a lot of smoke. I try to roast on my balcony, but in cold weather I do it inside and have to deal with smoke detectors.
2. I've never been able to get roast quality like you can get from professional roasters, although I never expected to. Roasts with a popper take 4-7 minutes, while professional drum roasting takes >20 min (I think).
3. I have to run at least one batch a week, and although it only takes 10 minutes of my time, it is a bit of extra time.

Bottom line: if you want to dabble, find a cheap popper and some beans and give it a go!
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: earache
Date: November 12, 2011 10:04AM
I've been roasting about 6 years. Use a Hottop programmable. Most of my beans have come from Sweet Marias, but I do belong to a few green bean coops and have made some large volume purchases from them. I mostly roast for espresso, so don't do large volumes, maybe about a pound a week. It's a lot cheaper than buying from my local roaster and I get better quality too.

Tofer makes a really good suggestion about testing the waters with a popper. That's what sucked me in.



earache
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: Wags
Date: November 12, 2011 10:47AM
I've got an old air popper. Sounds like something to try. Any hints? How do you know when they're done? Color?
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: earache
Date: November 12, 2011 11:04AM
Quote
Wags
I've got an old air popper. Sounds like something to try. Any hints? How do you know when they're done? Color?

Some poppers don't get hot enough, so you have to modify them to take off the safety limits. If I remember right, there was a particular model that worked really well, I think it might be the one that Tofer has. Sweet Maria's has some great info about roasting here: [www.sweetmarias.com]



earache
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: November 12, 2011 11:33AM
Quote
earache
Quote
Wags
I've got an old air popper. Sounds like something to try. Any hints? How do you know when they're done? Color?

Some poppers don't get hot enough, so you have to modify them to take off the safety limits. If I remember right, there was a particular model that worked really well, I think it might be the one that Tofer has. Sweet Maria's has some great info about roasting here: [www.sweetmarias.com]

I'd be very careful. This advice sounds like a great way to start a fire.

Quote

Popper roasts too fast - Each popper can run differently - and some can especially at first run very hot. A simple fix is to use an extension cord between the popper and the wall outlet - since this will reduce the voltage slightly and make the popper run slower.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: earache
Date: November 12, 2011 11:44AM
Roasting is inherently dangerous. There is always risk of fire, especially with drum roasters. You should always roast where it's safe (outside or in a fireplace) and never leave your roast unattended. Do your research and know the risks.



earache
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: decocritter
Date: November 12, 2011 12:13PM
Pam - that roaster has a lot of negative reviews about fires and malfunctions. I was looking at the iRoast500.

I am nixing the popcorn popper to gain in safety. But I have read to never, for a moment leave any roaster and to be prepared for fire. The other reason is burnt beans.

I have read a lot about household current affecting the way these even small roasters functions.

Is the coffee project a good place to buy from?

I think with care roasting coffee is no more dangerous than frying chicken. Everyone used to roast their own beans.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: Pam
Date: November 12, 2011 01:26PM
Funny, I've never heard anything bad about them. I wore out my first one and bought another. Going on 7 years total. I wonder if people over filled them, didn't monitor them, or tried to jack them up.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: Tofer
Date: November 12, 2011 06:03PM
Quote
decocritter
I am nixing the popcorn popper to gain in safety. But I have read to never, for a moment leave any roaster and to be prepared for fire. The other reason is burnt beans.

I hear this a lot, but the popper really only takes 5 minutes, so it's not really that hard to stand close by for the whole cycle. You know the roast is done by the sound, sight, and smell; depending on how dark I feel like, I generally go until the second crack and then just watch it until it gets to the color I'm looking for.
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Re: Anyone roast coffee beans at home?
Posted by: decocritter
Date: November 13, 2011 03:48PM
Amazon reviews, Pam. As well as coffee forums. But it is good to hear your experience. I was a little nervous about the "danger involved" in home roasting.
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