When it comes to roasting coffee beans, not many people think about the cooling process.
However, it can be key to maintaining the perfect roast.
Many prefer to cool their roasted beans quickly so that they don’t get overcooked or end up burnt.
The good news is, you have a lot of options for cooling your beans.
Some of them can even help with getting rid of any leftover chaff.
To learn more about these methods for cooling your roasted beans, continue on!
You’ll surely get plenty of ideas to help you with discovering the perfect way to cool your coffee beans.
The Importance Of Cooling
Many of those who roast their own coffee beans prefer to make sure they get cooled down pretty quickly after the process.
This just helps to ensure that once the beans reach the perfect roast, they stay there.
However, not all roasting methods come with a good way to cool your beans.
Because of that, self-roasters are often looking for the best possible ways.
Some of which might be simple, while other methods involve more intricate DIY tools.
It’s going to be up to you to decide which is your ideal method!
Keep in mind that not all methods are going to be created equal.
Some that are used could actually have a negative effect on the flavor you get from your roasted beans.
How Not To Cool Your Beans
While cooling your coffee beans with water might seem like a good idea, it’s one to steer clear of.
Firstly, using water on your freshly roasted beans can reduce their lifespan.
As a result, beans are likely to go bad or lose their positive effects more quickly.
This is also why you want to store your beans away from moisture.
In addition, it can have a negative impact on the flavor you get from the beans.
So if you’re looking for a quick way to cool your beans, sadly, water isn’t the ideal choice!
This is the most common method among those who roast their beans at home.
It’s very simple, relatively quick and only requires a couple of metal colanders.
The process is really very easy.
When your beans are finished roasting, pour them into one of the colanders.
Then pour them from that colander into the second one, and repeat.
The air that hits the beans during the pouring will help to cool them and the movement will help to remove leftover chaff.
However, make sure you do this over the sink, a trash can or outside because it can get pretty messy!
Try a Shop Vac!
Some coffee lovers attempt methods that are a bit different, but can be quite effective.
One such option includes using a shop vac.
This is a tool that many people have, and this is just one more benefit it can offer.
Essentially, you need to start by using a bucket, mixing bowl and a few other items to create your pan.
You’ll then need to make sure the shop vac tube is inserted into the bucket.
When turning the vac on, it will not only help to clean up chaff but also create a sucking breeze to pull away the heat.
Use A Fan
One of the simpler options you can try out is a desk fan.
For this, you’ll still need a colander but the fan will speed up the process.
Just set up the colander full of beans in front of the fan.
Here and there, you can also use a whisk to stir the beans.
This helps to make sure the air hits all the bean equally, getting each one cooled down.
Stirring will also help to pull away chaff.
You may want to rest the colander on something, as some of the chaff may fall through the holes.
If you don’t want to put forth too much extra effort, you can also simply air cool your beans.
This is a decent option when you aren’t too worried about cooling them down rapidly.
All you need to do is get a cool tray, and pour the recently-roasted beans onto it.
Make sure they are spread out evenly to allow the best airflow.
In some cases, it may even help to use a perforated tray on top of a normal one to allow air to reach the bottom of the beans.
At that point, it’s just a matter of waiting.
DIY Bean Coolers
In some cases, coffee-lovers may attempt to make something of their own to cool down their beans.
Most often, these are often buckets with some kind of added fan.
However, there are other methods you can try as well.
This is really an option for those who like to build solutions to their problems.
Typically, materials used include tubes, buckets, vacuums, colanders or trays and more!
If you’re interested in making your own bean cooler, then it can help to look at some of the tools people have made already.
Using A Roaster
If you like an automated process, then using a coffee roaster can automate the whole process for you.
There are a variety of roaster options including models like the Gene Cafe CBR-101 and Behmor 1600.
Some of these options include a “cooling period” in their cycle.
However, that may not exist on every model and it often doesn’t mean cool air will be applied.
Typically, this just means that the roaster is shutting down the heat to stop roasting the beans.
As a result, you’ll want to check potential roasters carefully to see if they offer any features that aid in cooling.
Which Method Is Best For Me?
There are a few things to consider when you’re thinking about which cooling method is best for you.
It can depend on the roasting method you’re using, where you’re roasting and how much you’re roasting at a time.
On top of that, you’ll want to consider just how much effort you want to add to the cooling process.
Not everyone wants to take the time to build their own efficient DIY bean-cooling device.
Some are willing to put in effort, but want a simple process.
In which case, using simple colanders are more than adequate.
Meanwhile, others don’t really want to add more effort past the roasting process.
This is a good time to make use of a simple cooling tray or colander and a fan.
The moving air will do the majority of the work for you, and you can stir or shake up the beans as well if you wish.
Should I Just Get A Roaster?
A roaster can be a relatively simple, though expensive, answer to those who want a simplified roasting and cooling process.
As a result, it can be a good option for those who roast often or roast larger amounts and don’t want to have to watch the beans the entire time.
That said, you’ll want to find out what any roaster you’re interested in offers when it comes to cooling.
In many cases, you’re likely to find that the roaster simply stops applying heat.
They may not add anything to the cooling process itself.
Some options, like the Gene Cafe CBR-101, do offer a “cooling cycle”.
This can be a useful addition for many, but keep in mind that it is one of the more expensive options out there.
You may find that you need to try out a few different methods to find the one you want to stick with.
Once you do, you’ll surely get an efficient roasting process going that will save you time and money.
Or you may come up with something completely new!
It truly depends on your needs and unique situation.