Using Sound to Determine Degree of Roast

listening to the first and second crack audio on the Behmor coffee roaster

Hear the Sounds of First and Second Crack on a Behmor and Popper

Audio cues are very important in determining degree of roast; it is a good indication of the chemical changes happening internally in the coffee bean. Learning to determine the difference between first crack and second crack is important.

As you listen to the clips posted below – notice that wet process coffees tend to have more time between first and second crack; dry process coffees have a more drawn out first crack and first can seem to run right into second. A drum roast is a longer overall roast time, so the time between first and second crack in longer; in an air roast, the whole process is more condensed, so the time between the cracks is more tighter.

Each coffee is unique, but hopefully these audio samples will give you an idea of what to listen for in order to determine degree of roast in your own coffee roasting.

Listen to the Sounds of First and Second Crack:

Behmor  roaster  (wet processed coffee)First crackSecond crack From first to second crack
Behmor  roaster  (dry processed coffee)First crackSecond crackFrom first to second crack
Hot air popcorn popper (wet processed coffee)First crackSecond crack 
Hot air popcorn popper (dry processed coffee)First crackSecond crack 

For information and photos on what to look for in judging roast development, check out Using Sight to Determine Degree of Roast.

Check out the Behmor 2000 AB Plus

Check out the Hot Air Popper

4 Responses

  1. Hugely helpful!! Now the only question is when to start timing – as soon as the very first snap occurs, or when things get popping faster. Seems like a good two minutes between those times.

    1. HI Ron – Thanks for your comment. Generally you start timing once the snapping is rolling. But different beans will behave differently – sometimes where the snap/crack is drawn out and sometimes very condensed. That will come with experience – but to start you might start timing once there have been 3 to 5 snaps close together. Hope that is helpful -Maria

  2. That’s great – very helpful. That’s about what I’ve been doing, and getting pretty consistent results. I’ve never had better coffee!

  3. Do you remember the amount of beans and the Behmor settings? (i.e. 8OZ, B,P2, etc)?

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