What Can I Control When Using this Home Coffee Roaster?
The Cascabel by Hive Roaster is a handheld, home roaster designed to be able to simulate the results from any commercial roaster-fluid bed, hot drum or hybrid.
(If you are looking or a darker, oily French roast style, please read this anyhow, but follow the instructions in the Dark Roast Blogpost as it will save you roasting time.)
Here is a list of what you have control over.
MUSIC: Keep it funky.
AGITATION: Use a circular motion over open flame and take advantage of the momentum of the beans to minimize arm movement. Use your entire forearm, NOT your wrist. This is like drum speed. More agitation creates a very uniform color and clean flavor with results similar to a fluid bed or hybrid, less agitation will be more variable and may provide smoky, charred or roasty flavors similar to a hot drum. (NOTE ABOUT BEANS: Colombian is a good bean for beginners.)
HEAT INPUT: You can control this in two ways. First, by gas valve modulation turn it up or down. The second is by roaster height. The higher the roaster off the flame, the less conductive heat is available, but convection heat may increase. This is due to aerodynamics involved in the flame shape and the shape of the roaster. Gas flames appear fairly flat in shape, but a look at a thermal imaging camera will show the heat pattern to be very much like a candles flame, the heat gathers to a point at the top. Holding the roaster at the peak of this heat pattern will add a lot of convection air to the beans.
AIR FLOW: As explained above, due to the aero and thermal dynamics, changes in the distance above the stoves flame will greatly vary the amount of airflow inside the roaster. Generally, the lower and closer to the flame the lower the flow, the further from the flame the higher the air flow. One technique I employ sometimes is during development I may increase the gas, plus increase the roaster height. I would do this because I want a lot of air flow to keep the smoke off the beans, but do not want to stall the roast.
OVERALL ROAST TIME: You can roast as long as you want and as short as about 6 minutes.
CHARGE TEMP: You can pre-charge or not, its up to you. Pre-charging changes the profile and typically will shorten the overall roast time. I am undecided on the value of this in regards to roast quality. It is important when matching profiles as it allows you to accurately copy past roasts, if that is your desire. Commercial roasters are almost always pre-charged, but consider they are running multiple roasts and need consistency, so starting with the same temp removes that variable.
DEVELOPMENT: This is the period of time during the roast where the temperature is typically reduced and the beans rate of rise slows down. This is often a determining factor to overall roast quality and needs to be considered and planned out.
ENDPOINT: You can drop the roast whenever you desire and immediately begin to cool.