May I make an observation about your approach?
For most roasters in the past, it has been a sensory job. Using these graphs and data weren’t a part of the general industry 20years ago.
We can now sort of gamify roasting, and get guides on “what’s my RoR?” And all of that, but if yo are roasting to stats and graphs, how does what you do going to be better than A.I. roasting?
I suggest you spend time using the try-er a lot while your roast test batches. Get a good light so you can see color changes.
YES, using the tryer a lot will likely ruin your batch, but it will also allow you to roast with your senses, which is something that machines don’t currently do.
Smelling the roast as it roasts is the best teacher. Build that intuition and that conversation.
We’re at a geek phase in roasting where it attracts us nerds that want to use data and make things perfect, but if you roast that way, in a few years, you won’t be better than a robot.
Data is hugely useful, and so is technique and guides, and for many of us that is the enjoyment, even more than tasting the coffee.
Where are you at? Are yo a data nut or a sensual coffee drinker?
I tend to be more about the coffee, and data is a means. That is why I love sharing and learning about roasting with others, but I’ve noticed on this forum so many people discussing numbers…. Which are relative. It is weird, but hard numbers are almost less specific than generalities and theory of intention.
Also, a lot of roasters are on the autism spectrum. It is a job that people on the spectrum do well. I do think it is sad that I won’t be able to hire a roasting staff in the near future, as we get undercut by machines, but at least we can help each other enjoy home roasting.
So I hope you get into your senses more, and yeah, blow some money on wasting a few batches using the tryer more. Do a slow batch and a fast batch. Take them dark and smell and take notes along the way. See how things change first hand. Then make coffee from one successful batch (where you didn’t use the tryer) and just drink that each day and see what da it tastes better on. Some people like day1, some like day3, and others like day 7 or 11. For espresso I know baristas that like day 14. By day 14, much of the “volatiles” have settled down, but there is still enough aroma and freshness and any oils have not gone stale or rancid. Generally pour over crowd likes day3-day11, and espresso people tend to like day7-day18. But new school people have all types of preferences. Many new school roasters have developed roasts and palettes for day 1 brewing. But by the sound of it, you have more traditional tastes, so a good rul for you would be to test your espresso on day7 or later. But do your cupping on day 3 to get used to detecting differences between your roasts. It is a lot easier to taste the difference between roasts in a cupping. That said, you might struggle to understand how the flavors from a cupping bowl translate to espresso, at first, but don’t worry that takes time. Main thing is to be able to detect differences and trends between roasts, and look for things you do and don’t like. If one bowl has more paper taste and feels rough on the tongue, you may flag that as less desirable, and when you pull espresso, you can reference the notes and go “oh no, yeah, nasty!” And then look for that in future cuppings and see if the trend holds up.
Roasting is a slow going. Has always been a job where 10 years is a blink. But all this new data and community is a great way to get up to speed much faster. As long as we can access the data in meaningful ways.
You asked about RoR? But did you ask what flavor or express your intention? If you are afraid of doing something the wrong way, then you know different RoR has different effects, so why just ask about RoR without expressing your desired result?
The answer is yes, 0-5 ROR IS OK, if that is what gives you the flavors.
Look, most people want to have an easy brewing coffee, but what if you prefer the flavors of a coffee that isn’t easy to brew? What if you light roast and need a longer brew of a much higher dose of coffee?
We aren’t even talking about variables of the roasting environment yet.
The insane amount of “yes ands” in this type of thing require that you have some sort of intention to give context to what you are striving for.
Traditional espresso? 3rd wave espresso? 4th wave espresso? And if traditional…. HOW traditional? Haha. Like really old school espresso is different from what we get today at most places. I suppose you can still find it in Europe, but the US, Australia, and most of the places I visited in Asia are not quite old world espresso anymore. But still decidedly more traditional than say the grassy light stuff that we can get in very specialized places.
So, I doubt I answered any question you had, but you know, give yourself a little time with this and explore it with your senses, and then look at the data and trends. Because there isn’t a one way. Just like you might ask how to cook a Steak and one person will tell you only use olive oil and salt, another will say cook it to 145F internally, and others will marinate and others will rest it, and others will souve, and and and and, and then every rule you started with gets broken. But what would be the point if you don’t know how it should taste or if you even like it?
When you finish a roast, crack open a bean and look and see how even the inside and out are. You will likely see lighter color inside and possibly a slight char near the “germ” of the bean. This will give you both bitter and sour flavor in your espresso. Sometimes it can be nice though, but that is such a fine line, it is generally not good. Uneven beans can be the best of both worlds, but usually are the worst of both. So, if you are prone to gamifying things, aim for even beans both inside and out, without char or burn marks.
Alright, time to go for a walk. Take care, happy roasting, hopefully this has some usefulness, and yes, we will share tons of numbers and rules with you in the coming months, but each, spend some time trusting your nose and take a break from the forum for a week or two.