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We finally took possession of our 15kg coffee roaster which we imported from Turkey. Very excited about it and raring to start roasting but having no experience with these machines I thought I would ask for help before sacrificing our lovely beans.

I have done a  bit of research on roasting coffee and am starting to understand how roast profiles are created, but it opened up a lot more questions than it answered.

Can anyone who is using a coffee roaster give me a bit of a heads up on what to look for and how it will differ from roasting in a convection oven.

I want to start with small roasts, so I don't ruin too many beans, but then I imagine the roaster will  behave differently once I increase the roast batch size. My grinder batch size is 20kg so I am working towards doing two 10kg roasts.

In terms of the curve, from drop temp to recovery, should I have a steep initial curve and then flatten for the duration of the roast, or alternatively, should the temperature rise slowly after the beans are dropped in (which would mimic my convection oven)

Any help greatly appreciated

Beans I am roasting are Madagascar, Peru Criollo, Carenero Superior & Puerto Cabello, Dominican Repub.

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Replies to This Discussion

Did you buy a Toper? And did you have your coffee roaster modified for cacao? I ask because I don't see any mention of that, and if you didn't you might have a problem. As I'm sure you're aware, coffee roasts at significantly higher temps than cacao, and coffee roaster drums tend to spin too fast for cacao as well. Coffee roasters of this type work well, but only if they have been modified specifically for cacao. Otherwise they're usually too hot and too rough on the beans.

As for roast profiles, this is a very complicated subject that coffee roasters have been dealing with for some time. Quite frankly, in this regard coffee roasters are years ahead of cacao roasters. Did you buy a roaster with roast-profiling software?

Hi Thanks for answering my post.

I bought a Yucel from Turkey with a variable speed drum, it can go very slow. No software but it does have a temperature controlled burner so I imagine a roast profile system could work.

Fred

I tried my first roast today. The roaster performed really well. First roast I dropped 5kg of beans in at 150C, the temperature went down to 70C before coming back up gradually. I roasted for 18mins until i thought the beans were done, I was very careful not to over roast. Secong batch,m another 5kg, I dropped them in at 180C, the roaster recovered a lot faster and I roster the beans at 140C for about 18mins again. Taste was much more similar to my experience with the convection oven on the second batch. I think a drop in temp of 180 is a good starting point going forward.

And then the building caught fire. Not my premises but a business at the other end of the same building, luckily my end was not damaged but I will be out of action for quite some time by the look of it. Oh the irony.

Hi Freddo

I was just wondering how you are making progress with your yucel roaster. I'm thinking of starting a small chocolate factory in some month and I'm still not sure if I want to start of with the convection ofen or the coffee roaster. As I know quite a bit about the coffee making scene i know they put a lot (if not all) of their effort into the roasting machine. And this is why I'm pretty unsure with what to start of. Of course in terms of money it's clear which one to take but not in terms of quality and making fine flavours of the cacao aviable... And to make a really good chocolate is the only reason why I want to start with it.

As I read in your last comment, you had a convection oven before. So can you already tell the difference in quality?

By the way, sorry about the fire. Are you back to business anyway?

Cheers

Andy

Hi Andy

I'm still out of action unfortunately. So I have only done the one roast with the coffee roaster. 

I bought mine because I want to have good control over the roasting, the ability to sample, manipulate the profile etc. Coffee roasters are less labour intensive, and I can scale up my operation easier.

A few times I have second guessed the decision, getting the machine installed was very expensive. But I look at it as a long term investment.

If you are just getting started and money is a very tight, a commercial grade convection oven with good airflow will be fine, the chocolate made this way is every bit as good as that made with a coffee roaster I would say. also you can always sell an oven later if you outgrow it.

Hi Freddo

Sorry to hear your still out of order.

Thanks for your insight though. I will probably go that way (first convection oven and if successfull with business, then roasting machine).

Cheers

Andy

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