green robusta coffee beans and home roasting coffee

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by jnanian, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    has anyone here ever experimented with actual robusta coffee beans
    for their caffenol / caffenol C &C experiments ?

    is it possible to use unroasted beans ?
    is the caffic acid only released with heat from the roasting process ?

    thank !
    john
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2010
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I am not a caffenol user, but if you haven't discovered them, Sweet Maria's (http://www.sweetmarias.com/index.php) sells green robusta beans.
    Roasting them isn't so difficult, you just need a Twirly pop popcorn popper, and actually not even that.
    Good ventilation in the kitchen helps.

    How much coffee do you need for a (small) batch of developer?
     
  3. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Interesting question!

    Though I admit, I wish this thread could be just about the joys of home-roasting ones coffee in a popcorn popper as bdial mentions. I do it, it's great!

    I bought the popper for $2 at a garage sale and the beans cost $5/lb at a local mediterranean market. That means after 1 lb. of home roasting, I've already paid for my initial investment. Most coffee costs what, about $8/lb?

    Sorry, I digress...
     
  4. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    From the "Coffee Science Information Center":

    The roasting of coffee beans dramatically increases their total antioxidant activity. A roasting time of 10 minutes (medium-dark roast) was found to produce coffee with optimal oxygen scavenging and chain breaking activities in vitro (6). A study of robusta and arabica coffees from six different countries showed that robusta samples contained significantly more reducing substances than arabica samples and that protective activity measured ex vivo was significantly greater in roasted samples than in green coffee (7).

    Those statements are made for in vivo and in vitro, not in dev-tanko :smile:
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    I too have found a note that the maximum amount of caffeic acid is found in medium dark roast robusta beans.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thanks for the tips !

    barry, i HAVE heard of sweet marias, and tried to contact them today.
    i have a roaster nearby to me who i will hopefully be getting my robusta beans from ( tomorrow ) ...

    i don't have a hot air popper, i will hopefully be using a beat on hibachi and a hot plate .. or maybe just the hot plate :smile:

    thanks jerry and ian, that's just what the dr ordered ! :smile:

    john
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    no need to apologize for the digression
    i have roasted + re-roasted coffee before,
    it is REALLY fun, smokey, but fun :smile:

    john

     
  8. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I have a bag of cheap Vietnamese robusta bought for a buck from Sweet Maria's---it's one of their "educational" offerings---and I keep meaning to roast it for Caffenol but haven't gotten around to it yet. Partly I'm afraid to contaminate my roaster with that stuff!

    (By the way, after years of using a popper I finally sprang for an actual roaster, and I find it's well worth it to have something that controls the smoke and chaff and that doesn't need constant attention while roasting.)

    -NT
     
  9. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I just finished a cup of french press made with beans that I roasted yesterday. Few other things that I can think of taste better! Like NT, I started out with a hot air popcorn popper. It made too much smoke to do inside and it barely overcame Michigan winter to do outside. So I ended up putting the popper at the edge of my fireplace to draw up the smoke. When it finally burned out I bought a proper roaster with a catalytic element in it to eliminate the smoking problem. I buy all of my coffee from Burman Coffee in Wisconsin.
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i will be picking up the coffee today ( in a few hours )
    i was told it was sumatran robusta ...
    from what i remember full city roast is just after the oils come out the
    second time so maybe tomorrow i will pull out the hibachi, get the
    aluminum pie tin out and roast ...


    the roasters with the catalyst to remove the smoke seem to be nice,
    have you had any trouble with yours ?
    i know there are several manufacturers, and some seem to work better than others.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    barry
    i just got off the phone with the good people at folgers
    to learn about how concentrated instant coffee is ..
    so i can adjust my recipe ..

    it turns out that instant is 3x as concentrated ( 1 tsp / cup vs 1 tbs / cup ),
    so for a single roll of film, i am guessing
    i will be roasting up a half cup to a whole cup of beans ....

    the wrench in the spokes is that different varieties of coffee
    have different characteristics and different caffic acid contents.
    i know i have had different results depending on the brand of coffee i have
    used ( "el gringo" vs. "stop and shop generic" ) ... typical instant coffee
    is never 100% robusta beans, so who knows what is going to happen
    when i use 100% in my mix ...
     
  12. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    The saying "If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research" comes to mind here.
    This opens up a whole stream of variables, from how dark to roast, to how finely you grind the beans.
    The folklore I've always heard is that roasting destroys some of the caffine, so dark roasts like French or (typical) expresso roast don't have as much caffine as lighter roasts. Don't know if it's true or not though.
     
  13. mbsmith

    mbsmith Member

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    Great thread! Very informative.
    I've been wanting to try caffenol, but can't seem to resist drinking the developer :munch:

    :D
     
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  15. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    So does that explain why my roasting times have gotten considerably longer now? I do mine outside now... I learned my lesson.
     
  16. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    This could be an opportunity to create "Fair Trade" developer :smile:
     
  17. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I bought a Nesco brand roaster made in Wisconsin (USA even!) I use it nearly twice each week to roast small batches for myself, and occasionally for my girlfriend. It has been trouble free.
     
  18. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I assume so. The first time I used a hot air popper it was mild enough to do it outside. Second time I really smoked up my kitchen. Third time I did it in the garage and it was so cold that the beans took forever to roast. Then I hit upon the fireplace idea.
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    well, i have roasted my second batch.
    it is kind of half reroasted the leftovers from the batch i did before and a few handfuls of green beans.
    i got the outside nice and black ( hard to see between all the smoke and the darkness )
    i brought the beans in the light and cracked some open .. they were still brownish inside
    so i went back to the hotplate and did it again .. now they are black inside and out.
    the beans are still steamy in the kitchen, and i reek of smoke.
    i have uploaded a grind sample :smile:
    kind of my version of the universal grind ... a little bit of everything - course/perk - turkish ...
    it isn't this light, but the flash + digi thingy make it look lighter than it is.

    barry, that folklore is what i have always been told
    that said, i did have some dark roasted espresso over the weekend and i am still jittery from it :smile:
     
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  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i'll have to look into that :smile:
     
  21. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I have roasted all my coffee for the last year and a half. I went through two whirly pops and an air roaster as well as all summer roasting on a wok on a webber. I finally started to experiment with just roasting in the oven. That turned out to be the best method for me. My oven is by the back door so I can open the door and run a fan and most the smoke goes out... some amount of smoke makes the house smell good. I don't like dark roast, I only go to first crack. I use a largish ceramic bowl in the oven and set the temp to 450. I am drinking a cup of Sumatra I bought green off ebay and roasted two days ago. I would rate this cup on my scale at about a 9 (out of 10). Really really good. Guess I should add that I open the oven and stir the beans every few minutes. It takes quite awhile.
     
  22. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I just got some Jamaican Blue Mountain beans to roast up for Christmas gifts. I wonder if developing film in some of those would improve the quality of my negatives??? Nah, I'm gonna drink it instead!
     
  23. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    jnanian, is that for drinking or developing? I'd soon drink D-76 over that roast.... :wink:
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i could probably drink it since it was originally bought for someone who was serving it at her restaurant.
    i know its drinkable, and i have to admit, it smells pretty nice.
    but ... i perked for film instead. it is cooling now ( 1L / 6-7 'scoops ) and i'll be processing 4 rolls of film in it soon ...
    the last roast i did turned out good, this one i am sure will be even better
    since i roasted the beans to be black inside + out, used coffee maker + pulverized the coffee in a grinder ... :smile:

    who knows, maybe over extraction and brewing it the traditional way will reduce caffic acid content ...

    whether it works or not, it's kind of fun :smile:
     
  25. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    Haha, ok. I guess that's beyond French roast :wink:
     
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    yeah .. my wife looked at it and said " thats' burnt! " ...