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Fresh Roasting Your Own Coffee Beans
I just roasted my first batch of coffee, from start to finish. Earlier I tried using my Hamilton Beach counter oven with the Behmor rotisserie drum, which was a failure, due to not enough heat. I'm going to have to take the oven apart, from the bottom, in order to reach the controls located on the right side of the oven. Then I'll have to experiment on how to get the upper heat elements and lower ones to operate in "bake" mode when the rotisserie switch is turned on. Currently, the top elements only work in "rotisserie" mode, and its just not hot enough to roast the coffee beans effectively.

However, last week I went to Harbor Freight and purchased their 1500W hot air gun, which was on sale for $7.99. Less than an hour ago, I decided to roast the second half of the "El Salvadoe Finca Siberian Bourbon" beans in a SS pan, as I saw it done on a couple of Youtube videos. But unlike the video below, instead of using a smaller SS container, upside down in the center, I just decided to roast the beans, while stirring them with the gun itself.

I began by using the gun on the full 1500W, but that was entirely too much heat, even stirring the beans. One or two immediately burned and needed to be extracted. So I set the gun at the lower position and just used the gun to act as its own stirrer. And from there, everything went great.

Almost immediately the skins started flying all over the place, and soon the first crack began. But this went on for at least one minute, and the sound of the cracks were low. They weren't all that loud, like I have heard on some videos, or read elsewhere. But they did crack for that 60 seconds or so. After that everything settled down into a uniform color change.

One of the things I noticed on the Youtube videos with the hot air gun, was just how uniform the roast works with the beans. And in my case, there were almost none that lagged behind in roasting. The two that had become scorched at the start were removed already.

Oh, and every once in awhile, I was able to see the smoke from the roasting process. But I tried to keep the roasting uniform, and with as little smoke as possible. So the smoke only appeared about three times. And that was easily cured by stirring the gun around a little bit faster. Once I increased the stirring speed, I saw no more smoke.

I'm not certain of the exact time, but after a short while I began to get the second crack, which made a whole lot more noise than the first crack. It was quite loud. After the second cracking had pretty much ended, I removed the hot air gun and started cooling the beans, which were a uniform milk chocolate brown. None were over done, and none were light in color. The roasting was very uniform.

I wish I had used a timer, and will the next time, but I think my desire to keep the smoke down made for a slightly less hot roast, and took things a minute or minute and a half longer. But I suspect it may have made for a more uniform roast, which I should enjoy later.

I'll tell you this: using a hot air gun is as simple a process as one could expect. You just go outside and roast the green beans in a SS pan for twelve to fifteen minutes. That's all it took for me to evenly roast 1/2 lb of green coffee beans. I was amazed at how simple this worked out.

In fact, its so simple that I'm almost tempted to just go this route from now on. Almost anyway. There is so little investment into this approach, I cannot say enough for using the hot air gun. Its as easy as falling off a log, as they say. In fact, I'm not even going to try going the popcorn popper route. That includes the hot air, or stirrer poppers. It couldn't even approach the ease of the hot air gun. And because your head is right there, eyeballing the process, you know exactly what is going on with the roast, and just how far to take it to conclusion.

Next time I may try going with a one pound batch, just to see if a larger amount will roast as evenly as this smaller one.

Here's the video I liked best. The coffee used in the video is from Sweet Marias, where I also purchase my green coffee.

I did do one thing differently. Instead of using the smaller bowl, and stirring the beans with a spoon, I used the hot air gun to do the stirring. This meant the hot air started at the bottom of the pile and rose, rather than heating the beans from above. I just kept the gun moving all the time, but due to the efficiency of heating that way, I was able to put the heater on the lower setting. I think this is why all of my beans managed to come out almost totally even. I noticed that there were a few lighter beans in Mr. Remeer's roast.

But over all, his method was very easy and took almost no time at all, compared to the process of using complicated machines. And here is one more plus to being able to use the lower setting on the gun. Well, actually two things. First the wear on the heating elements are less, and the gun will tend to last longer, than if I used it on high. But secondly, with the lower setting, and constantly stirring, there is almost no smoke coming up from the roast. This means the roast can be done inside in the winter without setting off the fire alarm, or smelling burnt coffee.

I'll post how the one pound roast comes out, but I really expect it to be pretty easy as well. Well, hopefully anyway. S1

Harbor Freight is quite the store, are you a member?
'It's not who votes that matters, it's who counts the votes'  |  György Schwartz, Budapest, Hungary
Yes I am. I get their flyers on a regular basis.

I'm having trouble uploading some pictures of the roasted beans up into my Webshots account, or even the Photobucket one. It seems every one of them is switching hands, or making 'so called' upgrades in order to improve the site. In other words, they are adding a bunch of advertisements, which slow things down, and make it much harder to use unless you pay them to get rid of the crap. Being the consummate contrarian that does exactly the opposite with me.

I'm thinking of going to Picasa instead of putting up with all the crap.


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