Roasting Temperatures and time

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    Ridge Brannon

    Hello, I have a 2 lb roasting drum. When I roast one pound at 60 RPM, about 490 degrees, it seems to hit first crack around 14 minutes with a 2 + minute break before second crack. When I put 2 lbs in the drum it doesn’t hit first crack until 20 minutes and this is roasting at 510 degrees and it took 24 minutes before I finally pulled it only to achieve a City + roast. What am I doing wrong? If I have read and heard right, roasting should not take this long.

    Ridge Brannon


    The short answer is you need to increase your heat in this case to achieve the desired roast time. You’re looking for an approx 2nd crack at 20-21 mins. So you’re going to need approx 550-575 maybe to achieve that. Adjust the heat up or down to accelerate or decelerate the roast so that the cracks happen on time.

    For further study….

    Have a look at the following chart:

    Look at the estimated temperature for achieving a 21 min finish on a 2LB load for the 2LB drum. Remember one thing however is that temperature is a relative thing. If you were to place your probe down near the fire, your temperature would read much higher than before, conversely if yo go to the tip top of the grill the temp would read relatively lower.

    What you need to understand is that you need to supply whichever temperature the coffee requires in order to finish on time…. that might be a seemingly high number or a low number, depending on your grill and its internal heat flow.

    You know that 510 is causing you to finish very late. So you need to bump up the heat to 550-575 maybe 600 to give that extra coffee mass the heat it needs to convert in the time that we require (21 mins in this case)

    Have a read of this 3 part article…

    That should explain the concept very well. Please call or write back if you continue to have issues.

    Ridge Brannon

    Mine takes 20 minutes to get to first crack with the Colombian and Costa Rican beans using 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds – and this is at a temp of 550 for the 1st roast. If I immediately fill the drum again and roast it takes about 15 minutes for 1st crack – the drum is hot and so is the grill. You could preheat the grill and drum – but it if you don’t mind waiting during that 1st roast – it is preheated for the 2nd and so on. You want those beans to take all the time they need to heat up and for the water to be expelled. I set my speed to 50 rpm. I posted to another person – beans vary by region. South American, Central American beans, for the most part, take a bit longer. Jamaican and Hawaiian beans are fragile and burn up if not hovered over. My rule of thumb is the further from the equator and the lower in elevation the bean is grown – test roast before you do a full batch and take copious notes.
    -Pamela Haddock

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