Tips and Lessons Learned for Roasting on KL

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Joined: Mon 02 Jan, 2023 12:52 am
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Tips and Lessons Learned for Roasting on KL


Post by beantacos »

Sharing some of my lessons learned and tips for roasting on my KL in hopes that you can learn from my mistakes and also contribute your learnings. Thanks!

Things that matter a lot

The roast profile is not that important, good beans are. I spent a lot of time early on trying to find and create the “perfect” profile. In all my testing, while profile definitely impacts taste, it is relatively minor compared to importance of good quality beans that you like and avoiding defects. SweetMarias has some good beans, but try others such a Bodhi Leaf, Sagebrush, and Burman. Don’t be fooled by some of the flavour descriptions online as I find they are often over exaggerated or not accurate. Just because they’re selling a Geisha, doesn’t mean it will be amazing. I’ve had more sub-par Geishas than good ones. Enjoy the process of trying different beans and suppliers to learn what you like!

Sort bad beans before and after. Take a little time before you roast to take out those heavily discoloured or weird looking beans. Depends on the source, but I usually find around less than 5% that I throw away.  After you roast, check for bad beans as some defects do not show until after the roast. These usually show in the form of quakers which are much lighter or very dark beans compared to the average.

Avoid major roasting defects and don’t worry about minor fluctuations. The two most common defects I find with the KL is tipping, from roasting too fast for that particular bean (black roasted dot at end) and baked flavours usually due to major crash and flick. Tipping is easier to solve as you can try a more gentle curve, although note some beans are just prone to tipping and a little bit is ok. For major crash and flick, try a new profile before modifying the existing one. In general, don’t get too stressed if the actual curve doesn’t follow the profile exactly. I used to spend a lot of time power profiling and adjusting other factors to get a “perfect” ROR curve but found it really isn’t worth it unless: 1) you have large volume to roast so the time is worth it, 2) major volatility or 3) tasting major issues. Try different profiles first and taste.

When trying a new bean, start with a fast and gentle profile and adjust from there. In general I find that the more processed (e.g. Anerobics, Decaf, and even some naturals) the coffee, the gentle the roast profile. High altitude, washed coffees are usually dense and can roast faster. It is not a hard and fast rule, so when roasting a new coffee, I have 2 baseline, custom profiles I use. One is more gentle (like Firestarter) and the other is faster (like Adaptive). You can taste afterwards to see differences and preferences for your future roast of that bean. Use colour, not temp or DTR, as a way to gauge consistency between the roasts. A little tricky to do this on the KL, but using a light against the new chaff collector helps.

Fruity and clean light roasts. I think there is a tendency to find roast profiles (e.g. less than 6 min) that are super fast for light roasts to get very bright cups. While sometimes these work well, they often aren’t the best and a 6:30-7:30 min roast will give you better flavours. Don’t stick to the 15%-25% DTR as I like many of my beans around 12-14% range. Lighter roasts tend to look less even - that’s OK. Try, taste, and adjust!

Sometimes resting takes 3 weeks. While I have read that air roasters require less resting, I found that many of my light, washed roasts benefit from 3-4 weeks of resting. My darker roasting decafs, are usually fine to drink in 3-5 days. Doesn’t hurt to try earlier - you will easily be able to taste very grass or raw vegetable like flavours if it is not ready.


Fan calibration and load size matters. Do calibrate your fan and use the correct load size for the profile (usually 120g). For those with boost kit, obviously select the correct load size.  How to calibrate the fan of your Kaffelogic Nano 7

You can re-roast beans. I can recall 3 times out of hundreds where my KL abruptly ended (e.g. power fault, thermal runway). You can re-roast your beans. They won’t be super but still decent and can save you from wasting beans. Worth a try!

Use the notes in KL studio. After my roasts, I always add the date, bean name and brief comments. Helps when you go back and tweak different profiles.

Please let me know what you agree, disagree or have other learnings to share!
Ron in Van
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Joined: Sun 19 Feb, 2023 11:51 am
Location: Canada
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Re: Tips and Lessons Learned for Roasting on KL


Post by Ron in Van »

Thank you for posting your tips. They are all interesting to see put in one place like this. There is so much to learn about roasting!

My preferred roast profile is more to the medium dark for espresso so I tend to longer, more developed roasts. I probably don't have the most discriminating palate but I am enjoying the roasts and blends I make.

I would add that I find I need to stick with couple of profiles with a new bean, give them time to rest, usually 5-15 days post roast, tasting them along the way, then perhaps make adjustments. Whenever I try a new profile I feel like I am starting from scratch.

I recently got some sample beans from Eight Ounce Coffee in Canada as they did a repair on my Nano. They provide their own profiles for each bean variety. It is interesting to compare to the others I use like Firestarter.

Happy roasting all!
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