Level: Apprentice

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I’ve read all your posts about profile roasting but I’m still not sure where to start.  Can you give me just a basic profile that will work for all beans?

Sure, I can do that with, of course, a few caveats.

I am going to assume everyone reading this has read all my posts about profile drum roasting.  If not, you should.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  They are Ask the Alchemist 200 – 205.  (The Search feature works great for finding them)

With that out of the way, here is a basic profile written multiple ways.

  • 10/2.5/4 min @ 255 F (time segments)
  • 10/12.5/16.5 min @ 255 F (elapsed time)
  • 10/9/5.75 f/min @ 255 (ramp)

That will give you a great roast with virtually any bean.  There are a couple outliers that I will address specifically.

If you have a bean that you know doesn’t have any fruit flavors, and low chocolate flavors, you should drop your EOR (End of Roast) temperature to about 248 F.  Without those flavors present there is nothing to cover bitterness that starts to creep as the EOR goes up that usually balances those flavors.  If you are roasting 100% blind as to the flavor profile, then just take it to 255 F and adjust the next time.  These kinds of beans are exceedingly rare.  The current Costa Rica I have in is this way.  I need to stress that I didn’t mention Criollo at all.  Most of those have fruit and/or  chocolate aplenty and this does not apply.

Next, that profile is not set in stone and deviating will still result in a fine roast.  If you prefer, the windows you can use with perfect success are:

  • 9-13 minutes Drying (ambient to 212 F)
  • 2-3 minutes Development (212 – 232 F)
  • 3-6 minutes Finishing (212 – EOR)
  • 255 – 265 F EOR

The rule of thumb to the ranges is that the RAMP (not time) for each following segment should be less than the previous segment and you should slow the ramp down in the last two segments if the roast starts to smell sharp (not acidic sharp) or acrid, and likewise, the EOR should be when the soft roasting aromas start to change to something a little more prickly.

It is really that straight forward.

The final thing I’ll say, is that the bigger the flavor of the chocolate (big fruit, big acid, big chocolate) the harder you can push the roast, meaning your times can be shorter and the ramps are larger (but each following still less than the previous).  The EOR can also be higher.  And I am going to stress again I did not say anything about variety.  The flavor of the bean dictates the profile not the origin or variety.   Yes, there is some correlation of ‘light’ being Criollo stock and ‘heavy’ being Forastero but there are too many outliers.  If you stick with the objective flavor of the bean the correlation goes WAY up.

As a final little bonus, I have been recording the profiles in my thermocouple modified Behmor and guess what?  The standard P1 profile loaded with 2.5 lbs of beans is similar to this:

12/14.5/20 @ 252-260 F

Very interesting isn’t it how it falls exceedingly close to the windows I give and consistently gives a good roast.

There, that is your summary and a good way to end what I am calling the Year of Roasting.

Most likely I will not have an Ask the Alchemist up next week since we are all closing up shop.

I wish everyone a wonderful holiday and happy new year.

Thank you everyone.  I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support.

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