Airflow – Settings and Use
The North Coffee Company roasters come equipped with variable airflow. While a dial of 0-100 suggests a wide spread of airflow, we recommend the use of 3 settings:
- Medium and
Don’t get hung up on dial numbers. Instead, use a simpler approach by employing a cigarette lighter to determine settings. Let’s do that.
1. Pull out the trier from the trier chute.
2. Put the lighter up to the chute. When the flame bends into the chute at about a 45 degree angle, this is low. Note your dial setting.
3. Next, find medium fan airflow. Light the flame and when the flame bends heavily into the chute, this is medium. Note your dial setting.
4. Finally, find high fan airflow. Light the flame and when it lights but extinguishes, this is high. Note your dial setting. Don’t go above this setting.
Now that we have the settings, how is airflow used? This is how we use airflow when we roast.
1. Low. From “charge” to end of drying, use an airflow setting of low. This permits the roaster to bring the core temperature of the beans up to the same temperature as the outside portion of the beans. This also dries the bean and sets you up for a successful roast.
2. Medium. From end of drying to about 30 seconds before first crack. Anticipate 1st crack: look at the seam (begins to open) and examine the beans under the light. You will see the slightest smoke coming off the beans.
3. High. From 30 seconds before first crack to end of roast, open the airflow to high. Get that smoke out of the roaster. Don’t go above the setting for high that you have determined by the use of lighter. “More” is not better. We don’t want to move out aromatics, just the smoke.
As mentioned above, you may decide to do it a little differently. That is roaster preference. Now, roast on.