Cropster seems to be on an innovation kick this year. Not long after the last update, only two months ago, which predicted first crack, the company now has another important update. This one helps roasters get consistent results between batches by taking the guesswork out of the equation and bringing it all back to quantifiable, and hence changeable, data.
My early career was in Quality Control, supporting an ISO9001 system, and my boss and mentor drilled something into me “You can never have quality”, he said, “unless you have consistency”. I think that’s true in any discipline, including roasting.
In roasting, you want to be in control, which means eliminating variations where possible. In a detailed blog post on Cropsters website, Anne Cooper from Equilibrium Master Roasters says:
If customers ask why a profile does not match, when they roast, one of the first things I ask is if they have followed the same between batch protocol. If the starting conditions for a roast are not the same, you won’t be able to reproduce it.
This is what Cropster says about the new release:
We are proud to release between batch protocol, another new feature that empowers roasters and helps make key business information easy to collect, access, and analyze. How? By presenting roasters with the information they need to ensure the thermal energy in their roast machine is consistent across batches.
What is between batch protocol?
Between batch protocol is the process of resetting the thermal energy in your roast machine from the last batch to the start of the next batch. The goal is simple, to arrive at the exact same starting conditions you had for the last batch. As a roaster, your ultimate goal is to create consistency with your approach and product.
Without a consistent between batch protocol, you can approach a coffee with the same in-roast strategy as the last batch but without the same initial thermal conditions. That means you are unlikely to replicate your desired roast and create consistency amongst your roasts throughout the day.
With this latest innovation, Cropster delivers a simple way for roasters to record their machine’s temperatures in between batches. That means they can use this information to adjust as needed before the official “start” of each roast to ensure the alignment of pre-roast machine temperatures and energy. An important feature to highlight is that this helps between batches of the same coffee and between batches of different coffees!
With an effective BBP, one can roast numerous consecutive batches of a coffee using identical gas settings to replicate roast curves and cupping results nearly perfectly. In my experience, most roasters’ batches get faster as a roast day progresses, which means they need to improve their BBPs. – Scott Rao, Coffee Roasting – Best Practices
With our between batch protocol feature, Cropster makes this critical thermal information available to roasters and includes the tools they need to act on this information and as a result roast more consistently. It’s available today. All roasters need to do is go to their preferences and make sure the option is toggled on! Some roasters are already using it and loving it.
We’ve written up a detailed blog post announcing and explaining the Between Batch Protocol.