One of the challenges I’m working on with my drum roaster is accurately predicting the roast level. I spent years doing dog bowl roasting. Turns out I was doing my roast evaluation based on a visual inspection. I could hear the crack, but I really was watching the beans.
With my drum roaster, the magic is done in secret behind the stainless steel lid of the grill. I’ve lost my ability to do a visual evaluation. Even when I peak, the drum itself obscures the view of the beans. It can be frustrating — I’m experimenting with larger batch sizes. I hate tossing $20 worth of beans in the trash because I messed up.
With the larger batch size, it seems that the right amount if heat is critical. I tried to raise the average heat to 550 and I ended up with some beans blacker than coal and most beans barely roasted to light cinnamon shade. When I carefully monitored heat and kept it at 500, I was able to get a consistent roast.
The other ‘fun’ thing that occurred now that I have to rely more on sound is my last roast came out much darker than ever before. Usually the beans come out as a deep dark brown, but this time they came out black.
This roast level makes an awesome strong Capp. The espresso now cuts straight through the milk and lets you taste the espresso. Yum. So much so that people that prefer “expresso” drinks didn’t really like the taste — they had to add a lot more sugar.