warning: wee-hour wonkiness follows.
casting about the interconnected webs for some sort of roasting standard whereby one can be sure he is “properly drying” coffee without baking them thar beayns, we stubbed our shins on a handy reminder that the audible first crack in the roast process is an exothermic reaction, meaning th’ beayns generate heat themselves, thus adding to the temperature in the roast chamber.
very quickly thereafter, they revert to the endothermic status of absorbing heat, which is a crucial time to make sure enough outside heat is being applied to avoid stalling the roast. (jaime offers a parallel text). it would seem to this blog that even with a finely tailored air-roast profile, ambient temperatures could easily alter when this switch takes place during a given roast. all the more reason to hover, then, and manipulate the airflow as needed to avoid temperature plateaus.
we’re calling our solution the finger’s lid juggle!
ultimately, “baking” would appear to occur any time temperatures flatline after beans begin to caramelize — or sucrose begins to melt. gurus having been consulted, that benchmark would appear to be roughly 370 degrees.
bonus inquiry: if, as our lady of wikipedia observes, an example of exothermy is “mixing water and strong acids,” then wouldn’t that sort of qualify coffee brewing itself? a gin and tonic with lime? just asking!