Table of Contents
What can Roast Recipes be used for?
Simply put, Roast Recipes are a way of automating the roasting process in RoasTime. For many in the coffee world, “automation” is a dirty word, a short-cut to save time at the expense of quality, the very opposite of “craft”. But Roast Recipes can do far more for your coffee roasting than just saving time.
Let us explain..
Imagine that you’ve just roasted a new bean for the first time. The first cupping tastes great, but you believe it could taste even better with some subtle changes to the original roast.
You could choose to roast it again manually, of course. But it isn’t always easy to keep most things exactly the same while making very specific minor adjustments. This is where Roast Recipes can step in to help. You can simply create a Roast Recipe from the profile you just roasted (we explain how to do this in the guide below) and then tweak it ahead of the next attempt, which can then be run automatically.
These adjustments are all up to you — your chance to get creative. Perhaps you want to try boosting the fan at 195ºC instead of 205C. Or maybe you feel the RoR never got quite as high as you wanted, and you want to begin with a little more power up front. You can make nuanced decisions like these ahead of the roast, and then play them back automatically, which frees you up to actually think about what is happening while you watch those different choices affect the roast.
Roasting in this way, you are not only learning how to roast this specific bean, you are also building a roasting knowledge base that you can dig into for future roasts.
And like practicing the scales of a musical instrument, this methodical approach to roasting can lay the foundation for smart improvisation in the future.
Sharing with, and learning from others.
Recipes are now synced with Roast.World. This means you can view the recipes that others share and download them to run them yourself in RoasTime.
You can search Roast World for recipes according to your own specifications. For example, you can search for recipes tailored for light roasts of natural coffees in the 350-500g range. (Again… we’ll explain how in the guide below.)
If you’ve ever wondered how others are putting the Bullet to use, this is as close as you can get to standing beside them while they roast.
Developing standard approaches to roasting new coffees.
It’s good to have a set of “go-to” moves when roasting new coffees that can be repeated consistently. By controlling variables you can do apple-to-apple comparisons, and this will help you quickly get a feel for a specific new bean, and also how you should approach roasting it in order to pull the very best flavors possible.
What is the difference between Playback, Overlay, and Recipe Modes?
Playback Mode is a time-based replay of a previous roast. You can access this mode while viewing a profile and clicking on the “Playback” option from the “Actions” menu on the top left.
When you run a roast in Playback Mode, you are repeating the same actions at the same time as the roast you are playing back. For example, if in a particular profile you adjusted the heat from P6 to P5 at 5:00 into the roast, when you then play it back, RoasTime will automatically repeat this adjustment at 5:00 in the new roast.
These roast playbacks generally track closely with the original profile, provided you are using the same bean and roasting under the same ambient conditions. (Please note that as with all roasters, the Bullet will deliver more consistent results after it has warmed up after the first roast in the session.)
You can access Playback Mode from the Actions menu of a profile as shown below.
Overlay mode can be accessed from the same Actions menu of an existing profile. As the name implies, it overlays that roast onto the next one, so that you have a visual reference of what happened before during a new roast. None of the actions will be repeated automatically.
Like Playback Mode, Recipe Mode allows you to automatically repeat adjustments during a roast. The difference is that it is far more versatile, allowing you to create an entire roasting method from scratch, to program adjustments according to bean temperature as well as time, and even to create pop-up notifications during the course of a roast.
Recipe List Page
Create Recipe Page
Your Recipe's Ingredients: Triggers and Actions
In Recipe Mode, Triggers lead to Actions.
There are two basic types of triggers. The first is Time, and as you may guess, it means that after a certain amount of time has passed in a roast, a certain action will trigger. In this way, it it works much like Playback Mode.
The second trigger is Bean Temperature, which means that when the beans reach a certain temperature according to either the bean probe or the IBTS (you can choose which) a certain action will trigger. This is not possible in Playback Mode.
There are two basic types of actions. The first category is adjustments to the roast itself: Power, Fan, or Drum changes — the same ones that Playback Mode employs. Please note that a single trigger can cause more than one action the same time.
The second type of action is Pop-Up Notifications. These notifications can remind you to, for instance, take a whiff from your tryer, to remind you to begin listening for first crack, or to alert you to what should be the end of the roast.
Why do Temperature Triggers also include a Time Elapsed field?
You will find the Time Elapsed field in both the Bean Temperature Triggers and also under the Time Trigger. This can be counterintuitive for some, but there is a very specific reason for this.
The Time Elapsed Field in the Bean Temperature Trigger works like an “AND” logic operator, meaning that both the bean temperature and the time conditions must be met before an action is taken.
This is absolutely necessary when using the old bean probe to trigger actions, because the temperature conditions are usually met twice during a traditional roasting curve — once before the “turn” — the moment when the ROR of the beans turns from negative to positive — and then once after. This is because traditional probes get very hot during preheat, but after you charge the roaster with room temperature beans, the temperature of the probe will plummet before the beans eventually begin heating it up again after the turn. It is this phenomenon which gives most roast profiles their familiar “U” shape.
So if you want to trigger an action when the traditional bean probe reaches 150ºC, you may want to set the logic to something like the example below, which will ensure the action doesn’t trigger at the very beginning of the roast, but rather after the turn.
With the IBTS this is all less of a concern, but it is recommended to have a minimum time of 5-10 seconds, just to be on the safe side.
How to Create (and Edit) a Roast Recipe
Roast Recipe Creator
Let’s use the Roast Recipe creator to automate the V2 Roast Recipe example from the manual. This recipe is based off IBTS temperature adjustments, and is ideal for light roasts. Here it is for your reference:
V2 Roast Recipe Example: 350g
The following roast should finish in less ten minutes.
Roast Level: Light
Weight: 350 grams
Charge Settings: Power 7, Fan 2, Drum 9
Infrared Bean Temp @ 120ºC: Power 6, Fan 3
Infrared Bean Temp @ 165ºC: Power 5
Infrared Bean Temp @ 190ºC: Power 4
Infrared Bean Temp @ 200ºC: Fan 4
<First Crack Begins @ 196–204ºC >
45–90 seconds after First Crack: End the Roast
To build this recipe in RoasTime follow the directions below
- In RoasTime, click the Recipe Hat on the sidebar to open the Recipe Window
- On the top right corner, you’ll see a Create Recipe button that opens up a new window
- Click the Edit Preheat Setting button to the right of the default Charge Settings step
- Set Preheat temperature to 220ºC, Power 7, Fan 2, Drum 9
- Click the + button in the bottom right corner to confirm the addition of this step
- In the recipe from the manual, at 120ºC, the first change to the Power and Fan settings occurs. To add this step, first select the Bean Temp Trigger in the upper right corner under the Trigger Type field.
- Set the temperature to 120ºC — you can ignore the Time Elapsed field for this recipe
- Click the Add Action button and set Power Setting to 6
- Click the Add Action button again and set Fan Setting to 3
- Click the Done button to add the step
- Repeat these steps for all the changes at 165ºC, 190ºC, and 200ºC as shown in the GIF below
Once you have created the recipe. Click the Edit button on the top of the screen and input more details about your Roast Recipe. In this case, we know the recipe is designed for a basic light roast of 350g for any bean.
Adding new steps to an existing Roast Recipe (And how to create a pop-up notification)
Although Roast Recipes look as though they move along step-by-step, in fact every condition in a Roast Recipe is checked simultaneously by the software. In other words, you can append new steps to the end of a Roast Recipe, and they will still trigger as soon as they are matched, even if a previous step has not yet triggered.
For example, let’s say you have a tendency to miss first crack when replaying the above recipe from the manual, and decide you need a reminder. You can simply set the Initiate Alert trigger to occur at 190ºC as shown below.
In the above example, the Initiate Alert action will trigger before the Bean Temperature 200ºC action, despite the fact that it appears “out of order.”
How to edit an individual step
Tweaking an existing recipe isn’t only about adding new steps, it can also involve editing existing ones. To edit an existing step, you can simply click on the edit button to the right of the step and change it according to your wishes, as shown below. (Don’t forget to save your work!)
Downloading Recipes from Roast World
How to Download Recipes from Roast World
Your recipes are automatically synced to Roast World when you create them in RoasTime. You can toggle between making them public or private in the “actions” menu next to the recipe.
Those Roast Recipes which you leave public are free to be downloaded by anyone with a Roast World account. And that means, of course, that you are also free to download recipes from other users.
Within Roast World, you can search for the recipes of other users by clicking through My Recipes -> Discover on the left sidebar menu. This will open the Discover Recipes dialog.
In addition to being able to choose recipes made for a specific origin, there are additional filters available to the right. As shown below, these filters will help you quickly find recipes designed for different roast degrees, batch sizes, and processing styles, so long as the author of the recipe tagged it properly.
You can view recipes by clicking on their name. If you see one that interests you, you can click the Save Recipe button on the right to download it and use in your own RoasTime. Please note that you will not be able to edit this Roast Recipe directly within RoasTime, as it is technically not yours! You can, however, clone the recipe and edit the clone. We discuss how to do this below.
Building Recipes from Pre-Existing Profiles / Cloning Recipes
Building Recipes from Pre-Existing Roast Profiles
Not all profiles need to be built from scratch. If you have an existing Roast Profile that you really like, you can build a recipe from it in order to repeat it, as an alternative to using Playback mode. This may be particularly desirable when trying to emulate someone else’s profile that you have downloaded from Roast World, from someone who may be roasting under different conditions than your own. In these instances, a temperature-based Roast Recipe may be superior to a time-based Playback.
Recipes can be created from pre-existing Roast Profiles by clicking the Action button atop the profile and selecting Create Recipe. All the adjustments made during the roast will be visible in the Recipe Creator, free for you to edit as you wish.
Recipes that have been built from an existing Roast Profile will include a reference tag (Ref:) to the original Roast Profile, as shown below.
There are a number of reasons why you may wish to clone a recipe. Perhaps you have a pre-existing recipe that you quite like, but wish to tweak without losing access to the original. Or maybe you’ve downloaded a Roast Recipe from someone and wish to make a few changes to it. (You cannot edit someone else’s Roast Recipe directly, even if you have downloaded it.)
Cloning a recipe is as easy as clicking the Clone Recipe button on the Recipe List page. Recipes that have been cloned will automatically have “CLONED” appended to their name, but you can always edit the name afterwards.
The Future of Roast Recipes
Paving the way toward better coffee…
Roast Recipes and Roast Profiles are linked together now, and that means we can also see how many people download a particular Roast Recipe and also how they rate the Roasts that are derived from that Roast Recipe. Over time, as we collect more data from this long-term enterprise, we will begin to see what works and what doesn’t. In other words, with the ability to share Roast Recipes, we are opening the door toward a better understanding of what makes a great roast.
Roast Recipes will be a cornerstone of the AiO experience. The ability to download and run Roast Recipes for specific beans with the level of automated control that the AiO affords is an absolute game-changer.
For now, keep an eye out on Roast World for official Roast Recipes from us, as well as unofficial ones that we rate highly. Expect much more to come.