Home Coffee Roasting, Part 3

     Today we continued our quest for the perfect home roasting experience! While all of our past attempts at coffee roasting have been with the use of a cast iron skillet, today we used the Fresh Roast SR500 to try to achieve a more even roast. In attempts past, we noticed that the cast iron skillet has a tendency to yield a relatively high number of scorched beans, which is when the bean touches a surface that is too hot for a proper thermal-conductive experience. So, we decided to invest in a legitimate roaster to eliminate the inefficiencies of both the skillet and the popcorn machine.  

     This device offers greater control over the fan speed, roast time, and temperature to ensure the perfect roast. Ideal for the beginning roaster, the additional controls provide room for experimentation with the lightness of the roast to find what fits your personal preference. The SR500 offers a variable convection fan control, time control on a digital display, a roasting chamber that roasts enough beans for up to 20 cups of coffee, and the ability to adjust the speed to ensure a fluid motion to limit any scorching to the beans. As the upgrade from the SR340, the SR500 also offers features that were not available previously, including additional high, medium, and low temperature settings and the ability to adjust the temperature and time without interrupting the roasting cycle.

     To roast coffee with the Fresh Roast SR500, fill the provided 43cc measuring cup four times with green coffee beans [Pro-tip: We always use green coffee beans from Sweet Maria’s!] and scoop the beans into the roasting chamber. Reassemble the roaster by placing the glass chamber back on the base unit and the basket and top cap on top of the chamber. The default recommended setting is to set the fan dial to medium strength, the timer to 5.9 minutes, and the temperature to high. When you’re ready, press the RUN/COOL button to start the roasting process. You may need to adjust the settings during the roasting process to ensure consistency. After the beans are completely roasted, allow the beans to sit for at least 3 minutes before disassembling the roaster. After the three minutes are up, remove the beans from the glass chamber and let them rest for about 3 hours to de-gas before grinding and brewing. This is done best by laying the beans on a flat surface, such as a baking pan. [Pro-tip: The SR500 includes a chamber that collects the majority of the chaff jackets, but there will still be some that remain. To remove the excess, take the beans outside on the baking tray and use either a pot holder, or something similar, to fan the chaff away from the tray.] 

     The experience itself was fairly easy to do. If you are roasting indoors, we would suggest paying special attention the smoke being released due to the heat of the machine and the beans’ reaction. In the effort to alleviate this problem, we suggest placing the machine underneath the vent of your stove. Ideally this will help you control the gases being released and prevent any potential issues with your smoke detector. We also recommend opening any kitchen windows and/or a nearby door as another precautionary step. Another option, likely the one we will attempt in our next adventure, is to roast it outdoors on a sturdy surface. Any of these options are a worthwhile time investment, and are sure to add to the home brewing experience. We highly recommend this machine, and hope that you too will find it to be as great of an addition as we have. 

Want to get in on the home roasting experience? Use this link to buy your very own Fresh Roast SR500. 

Have you ever roasted coffee at home? We would love to hear any of your tips and tricks in the comments below!

Happy Roasting!  

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