How to Roast Coffee at Home

How to Roast Coffee at Home

October 08, 2020

Fire roasting coffee is the oldest method of roasting coffee. Many places in the world still roast their coffee in a  pan over an open flame today. Whiskey Morning Coffee began roasting open flame due to our barrel aged coffee. I will explain how we got into fire roasting our coffee, techniques we have learned, and ways you can roast your own coffee at home.

Spring Semester 2018

Texas Christian University Class Coffee Project

Whiskey Morning Coffee started in a class project at Texas Christian University. In the class a group of students had to run a business completely on their own. Evan Sledge, having a background in distilling spirits came up with the idea of aging coffee in the families whiskey barrels. The class had a fair knowledge on coffee, but their was a lot to learn there at the beginning.. 

Due to the coffee beans absorbing 80-100 proof whiskey/bourbon Whiskey Morning Coffee began constructing it's own custom roasters. Sometimes the best method is the simplest way. Whiskey Morning Coffee went back to the oldest tradition using fire to roast it's coffee. Tj "The Canadian Coffee Cruncher" is a welder and began developing commercial styles roasters that use open flames to roast Whiskey Morning Coffee. 

 

How to Roast Coffee With Wood 

Whiskey Morning Coffee utilizes a drum style roaster. WMC preferers to use wood during roasting. When roasting coffee with pecan wood you will see that its best to maintain a consistent temperature. The pecan wood has a mild smoke that pairs well with the coffee profile during roasting. If you are roasting at home open flame a good rule of thumb it to hold 530-550 degrees for a 12-15 pound batch. You may need to alter you temperature depending on your roaster and the amount of beans. Some roasters will burn hotter than others. Whiskey Morning has a trade secret when it comes to our exact roasting temperatures and times during the roasting cycle. My best advice would be to try different temperatures and times and nail down the sequence that produces the coffee profile you enjoy. 

 

Roast Your Own Coffee at Home

Roasting at home can be very simple to get started!

 

The Simplest Way

Use a iron skillet over a stove to roast coffee beans.

1. Set stove to medium-high heat and let skillet warm up.

2. Measure out 1-2 cups of green beans depending on skillet size. You will want to weigh the amount of green beans you use so that you can replicate or adjust future roast.

3. Pour green coffee beans into skillet. Using a wooden spoon keep beans constantly moving. 

4. 1st roasted coffee indication is the first crack. Your beans will begin to crack and there will be light smoke coming from coffee. This is known as first crack. The moisture inside the coffee is starting to come to a boil and the coffee beans begin to crack and take on a traditional shape. for a lighter roast you will want to pull coffee in the 1st crack stage. 

5. 2nd crack. There will be a period after first crack where the coffee takes a little brake from cracking before starting again. When the coffee begins cracking more rapidly and the smoke intensifies you have entered 2nd crack. Be sure you are roasting with good ventilation because there will be a lot of smoke. Typically you will leave beans in skillet 10-15 seconds once 2nd crack starts to get a full city + roast, or medium-dark. 

6. Once you reach desired roast level dump beans from skillet and let cool. use a fan to help cool the beans faster and prevent further cooking. 

Record your bean type, bean weight, and roasting times. When trying to replicate or change coffee profile you will be able to adjust variables for desirable outcome.

Buy Iron Skillet Here: https://www.lodgecastiron.com/

 

Larger Productions and Consistency

Once you outgrow the skillet and burner stage of home roasting coffee, the next stage is typically a drum roaster. 

The easiest way to home roast using a drum would be using the RK Drum on a home bbq grill

The RK drum is a drum that you can insert into a bbq grill and roast 4-12 pounds of coffee per batch. RK provides a everything you need kit that is simple to install and makes some great coffee

 

Buy RK Drumhttps://www.rkdrums.com/

 

Summary

Getting started roasting coffee can be as simple as buying some green coffee beans, getting a skillet, and using your house stove. As you get more familiar roasting coffee the skillet method, you will notice your coffee is getting better and better. If you enjoy roasting coffee you will probably transition into a RK Drum for your house roasting.

 

Enjoy & Sip on,

Whiskey Morning Coffee