If you've landed on this blog by mistake, please follow this link:


Please update your bookmarks and the links on your sites.

Join our forum at:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Avoiding Java Jitters During TEOTWAKI!

About 2 years ago I found myself standing in front of the wall of coffee in my local grocery store. I noticed immediately that the price of a pound of coffee was higher than ever. I decided at that very moment to do something about it! I knew that somebody had to roast the coffee, so why couldn't I do it too?!
I went online and started researching the "how, what, when, where and why" of coffee. Coffee is grown all over the world. Many factors go into the flavor that make up the green (unroasted) coffee bean: soil type, climate, age of the plants etc.
No matter who grew the beans or where they were grown, I quickly found vendors that were eager to sell me their unroasted coffee. I find it very cool that I can order beans from Columbia in my office in Seattle and a week later they arrive on my porch!
Upon first inspection, green coffee is much different from any store bought coffee I have ever seen (think popcorn kernals vs. popcorn). Green coffee beans are very very hard and quite a bit smaller than roasted beans and usually have a pale green complexion.
More online research led me to several ebay auctions for "home coffee roasting equipment". Much of the home coffee roasting equipment is fairly expensive, especially considering what you get. I settled on a design that utilizes a drum that attached to the spit rod of any standard gas BBQ grille. I bought a small sheet of perforated stainless steel. I rolled this into a cylinder. I made up 3 L-brackets that are the same length as the cylinder. I used a drill with a 1/16" drill bit and rivets to secure the L-brackets inside the cylinder at equal spacing.
Once the brackets are secured and the overlapped edges of the cylinder have been riveted, I concentrated on the ends. I cut a circle from another sheet of stainless steel that was just bigger in diameter than the cylinder. I attached the disc to the end of the cylinder with small L-brackets and rivets. The other end I cut out the same oversized disc and used hi temp springs that attach to small holes drilled in the edges of the disc. With a pair of needlnosed pliars, I carefully curved the ends of the springs so they would fit in the holes of the cylinder with good tension.

I measured the diameter of the spit rod with a caliper and carefully drilled out a hole in the center of the disc on the "fixed" end. I slid the spitrod into the hole and lined up and marked where the 4 sharp "prongs" touched the disc. I used a drill bit slightly larger than prongs to make 4 holes in the disc. I repeated those steps for the removable lid and voila! One homemade BBQ roasting drum was made.
Since I had never roasted coffee before, I had several trial and errors (mostly errors) before I found a good combination of flame and time and amount of beans to get that rich dark roast. For my Jenn Air stainless grille, it takes 3/4 turn on all 3 burner knobs, basket slightly less than half full and about 28 minutes to get a good medium/dark roast. More trial and error taught me to let the entire set up cool down for atleast 25 minutes before handling it without hi-temp gloves.
Once the assembly is cooled sufficiently, you can remove the drum from the rod and open the top. I simply dump the beans onto a cookie sheet and let it sit overnight on the countertop in the kitchen. The smell is incredibly wonderful! Even folks who don't like the taste of coffee usually like the aroma. Coffee is optimally fresh for about 7-10 days, then the vapors will have released from the beans and the taste degredation is noticeable! Most of the coffee in the grocery stores are flavored. I suspect it is to mask the fact that it isn't optimally fresh...
Green coffee beans can stay years and years without going bad as long as moisture stays out of the packaging. Only after roasting will the beans start emitting their essential oils. In a pinch, you could use a popcorn basket and shake the beans gently over an open flame until they crack. When they have started cracking a second time you need to pay particular attention to the color. I HAVE made charBQ coffee before. I don't recommend it to anyone.
Join the APN Forum at http://www.americanpreppersnetwork.net/
Visit the Washington Forum at http://www.washingtonpreppersnetwork.net/

No comments:

Washington Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Washington Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.