Tips for seasoning with naturals?


#1

The long wait is almost over as my new V2 is in transit from Sweet Marias. Planning to season the drum with some inexpensive Brazilian dry process beans. For a 500g seasoning roast the documentation suggests 230C preheat and D9, but didn’t see much about power or fan settings. Can anyone offer some advice about avoiding trouble (fire, …) when taking these chaffy beans beyond 2C? Would have had to watch this carefully with my Gene Cafe, don’t want to make a rookie mistake with the Bullet.
Thanks! - Brad


#2

You’re not going to be drinking these seasoning roasts, so it’s a chance to get familiar with the controls and power setting without ruining your prize beans.

Something you might think about is doing more seasoning than recommended. Many of my early roasts were less than impressive, yet similar roast profiles produced a decent cup later on. I can only guess this was related to seasoning.

To see what others have been doing you can go to your Dashboard, choose Find Users and take a look at what others have done with their roasts. You’ll have to drill down a bit to find your way.

Yeah, stay away from getting too dark at first. If you watch IBTS/Drum Temp and keep it less than 440°-450°F, you’ll should avoid igniting beans when you dump. Depending on taste preference you’ll probably be roasting below those temps. Think about keeping a fire extinguisher and some gloves around. And an ash bucket isn’t a bad idea just in case you do ignite some beans.

If you roast indoors you’ll want to work out how you’re going vent the smoke. With an in-line extractor fan it’s best to avoid a direct connection between the vent inlet and the Bullet. An air-gap is recommended so you avoid affecting what the fan is doing inside the roaster. And don’t forget to have an air source (open a window or ?) to make up for air pushed out of your workspace.

Hope you enjoy your new roaster!

Bruce


#3

Thanks Bruce for suggesting to look at other’s roasts. Chaff fire was my big concern with the Gene Cafe since the roast chamber outlet screen tended to clog, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue with the Bullet. Found several other User’s roast profiles with natural process beans that look to be seasoning roasts (P0 for a couple of minutes after SC), with a variety of fan settings and drop temperatures.
I’ll be roasting under a powerful stovetop hood with outside venting. That’s always worked well with the Gene. I especially like the removable metal mesh filter panels that can be thrown in the dishwasher. 9# of beans should make for some learning fun while sheltering in place. Stay well! - Brad


#4

Thanks for posting this @bradm. In hindsight did you see a similar experience as @bab wherein more seasoning roasts were required in order to find taste was where you wanted it? I’ve just put in my fifth seasoning roast and was considering whether to season a few more times or get after some drinkable coffee.


#5

Hi Bill -

I agree with Bruce in principle: now after ~50 roasts my drum looks much darker than it did after seasoning. But I’m sad to admit that the real limiting factor for me in obtaining great tasting coffee wasn’t drum seasoning but rather my inability to control the roaster to produce the curve shapes that I want. And maybe too much focus on curve shapes!

If you do more seasoning, you might want to pay attention to what happens near and after first crack, and play with power and fan controls to see how changes influence the curves. I’ve recently invested in another 9# of inexpensive beans to use in “test” roasts for this purpose.

But you’ve got to be eager to get on to some “real” roasting, so do it! I hope your first try is a winner.

Cheers,

  • Brad

#6

Hi Bill-

It’s been awhile since I did the seasoning roasts, but I don’t recall the early results post-seasoning being ‘bad’ per se, just not as good as later results (same beans). Aillio seems to have changed the seasoning recommendation a little which may make comparison inaccurate. Whatever the details, my take-away was that more pre-seasoning was a good thing.

Matt mentioned his concerns about a chaff fire as a result of prior experience with his Gene roaster. I have had less concern about chaff fire since I started taking a precaution recommended by Sweet Maria’s to vacuum the chaff collector thru the rubber port after each roast. If I’m roasting beans with very little chaff I’ll stretch it, but I roasted some Panamanian beans a few months back that had more chaff than I’d experienced before. There was so much chaff it clogged the filter enough to reduce exhaust flow which softened the holder enough to allow the filter to sag (I think I recall an ErC as well). When I saw the recommendation later I decided I’d better take the few-second pre-caution. No issues since. And the small 20 VDC B&D vacuum is sitting there anyway.

Bruce