Brazil Roast

07/07/15 01:18:51AM
23 posts


I am sorry if this is in the wrong category, but I am looking for some help on my roasting of an Organic Brazil bean. It is an organic Forastero Bean which has good flavor but I am still upable to kick this annoying astrigency. My most successful roast is 8 Mins 250F and then 8 Mins 200F. After a 24 hour grind in a small CocoaTown I am still finding it to contain some undesirable astringency at 50-70% Sugar. So I am looking for roasting suggestions or anything really. I feel I may have hit a wall with these beans and looking for a little guiding light. Any help? I can provide more information if that would help just let me know! Thank you in advance.   

Ash Maki
07/07/15 11:42:34AM
69 posts

Hi there,

I couldnt claim to know much of anything really but as some smaller grinders dont heat up much, which helps burn off the acids a bit, you may need to run your grinder anywhere from 1-4 days to mellow the acids you have in there. You could also try adding some heat with a heat gun as well but would want to be sure you dont burn the chocolate. Above 140f for an hour or two would help. Beyond that you could try lifting your time and temp on the roast and see about burning out more of the acids in the begining.  

07/07/15 06:17:37PM
182 posts

The roast time seems very short. When we do a low roast (as your temps seem to indicate) we often do 1kg roasting for an hour. Also, Forastero beans can often take a higher degree of roasting (closer to 300F) - but obviously I wouldn't roast at that temp for an hour. I'd try experimenting with your roasting times and temperatures.

updated by @gap: 07/07/15 06:18:57PM
07/08/15 09:50:13AM
23 posts

Thanks guys I will go back to the drawing board with my roasting and see what comes of it. Just needed some encouragement and a light at the end of the tunnel.
07/08/15 02:46:26PM
59 posts

I agree about the roasting times/temps. That seems like an unusually low temp and a really fast roast. 16 minutes is more like a coffee bean cycle, except of course the temps would be much, much higher.  In my experience you want most cacao bean temps, depending of course on the bean, to rise up into the 260º to 290º range. And you want them at that temp, again depending on the bean, for 20-40 minutes. Yes, that's a wide range of times and temps, but your own efforts fall outside of anything I've generally see work well. 

As for Brazilian beans I don't know if the ones I've worked with are the same as the ones you have, but I would consider starting at a much higher temp (300º with hi fan if you're using a convection oven), leaving it there for 5-8 minutes, and then dropping the temp to somewhere in the 270º-280º range for another 25 minutes or so. If you find that you are losing too much of the bean's "personality", then lower than second phase by 10º or so and try again. With really bright beans (Madagascar, etc) you have to tread more carefully with the heat, but I find that the beans with less bright and/or citrusy attributes can often handle a fuller roast without losing their unique notes. 

Also, I've found that while many beans conch out well within 24 hours, there are others that really benefit from a second day in the grinder. A small number even require a third, but in my opinion that's rare. (Tip: conching/grinding temps will often increase significantly in small grinders as you add more nibs. In my Premiers I've seen differences of as much as 25º with 6lbs vs. 3lbs. So if you're testing a bean keep those grind quanitities the same to decrease your conching variables.)

That having been said, a problem with astringency might also suggest a chalkiness, because the two are somewhat similar. That can sometimes occurs when the grind is not quite right. As those of us who use them know, stone grinders (especially the small ones) do have their limitations. Although there seems to be an increasing trend to forgo pre-grinding, I still think it helps, especially with smaller grinders. And of course you'll want to make sure that your stones are not sitting too loosely on their grinding plate. 

OK, that's what I've got. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Brad Churchill
07/08/15 04:37:19PM
527 posts

Where the beans come from is not quite as important as their acidity before the roast, and as well, guaging their acidity while roasting.  

I have beans that I only roast for 30 min, and others (such as my Brazilian beans) that go as long as an hour in the oven.

What you need to pay close attention to is the smell.  They start as brownies baking, then become very vinegary, and then go back to rich brownies and light acidity.

I have standardized a roasting temperature in my shop, of 300 degrees F in a convection oven (equates to 325 in a standard oven), and then just vary the time.

That seems to work pretty well for me.

Hope that helps.




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