Page Updated on Monday October 19, 2009 11:10 PM    Close

Using The Coffee Roasting Database

Table Of Contents
Creating Your Coffee List
Inventory / Orders
Creating a Roasting Profile
Creating a Roasting Session
Timing a Roasting Session
Managing The Session List

Daily Logs

Basic Workflow

Opening the database presents the Main Menu, allowing access to all the sections of the application.

  1. Create Your Coffee List
    1. After opening the database click Coffees in the Main Menu to open the Coffees Form. Create coffee variety records for coffees you plan to roast.
    2. Geographical areas and their countries are pre-loaded, but can be edited by clicking Origins in the Main Menu to open the Origins Form.
    3. Decaf, Size, Chaff and Smoke are set by clicking on the field and cycling through the options.
    4. The FQA box keeps the Flavor Quality Analysis graph from Sweet Maria's coffee listing. Just bring up the graph on the web site, right-click over it and select Copy, then right-click on the FQA box in the Coffees form and select Paste. Double-click on the FQA box (which now displays a tiny graph) to display full-size.
    5. The form configuration is changed with the mode selector in the upper right of the form. The three display modes are:
      1. Coffee List and core information for the current coffee,
      2. Coffee List and core information plus additional description and notes for current coffee,
      3. Coffee List and core information plus cross-references to orders, sessions and categories.
    6. The blue section at the top is the Filter Section. You can filter the coffee list by clicking Set Filter at the top of the form and making appropriate settings in the common Form Filter dialog, then clicking Use Filter.
    7. The selected filter description is then displayed at the top of the filtered form. It can be toggled on and off by clicking on it.
    8. The Current Coffee option in the filter dialog is only available in the Sessions form, not in the Coffees form as it has no useful purpose there.
    9. You can also use the blue section's quick filter controls in combination to select country, in-stock, blends and decaf filters. If they're set in addition to having selected a custom filter, clicking the Use Filter check will alternate between the two settings.
  2. Inventory Is Optional
    1. Inventory is kept using the Orders Form.
    2. There is always a Current Order active, with the order # 0. You cannot delete this order, only its items.
    3. To create an order, open the Coffees form and add the coffees you want in inventory to the current order. You do this by selecting each on the Coffees form list and clicking Add To Order.
    4. On the Main Menu, click Orders to open that form.
    5. Go to the Current Order by clicking the Go To Current button or on the corresponding list entry. The current order always appears at the bottom of the order list.
    6. Click the Show Details button which toggles the coffee list for the selected order on and off.
    7. Enter the quantities in grams in the Order Wgt column. Any number entered less than 100 will be assumed to be pounds and be converted to grams automatically. The Wgt Left field will be set automatically to the value in order weight when the order is Placed. However if you are entering existing inventory with weight left less than order weight you can enter it and it will not be overwritten.
    8. You can add more items "manually" to the order by clicking Add Item and selecting the coffee from the dropdown list.
    9. Click on Place Order to formalize the order. This gives it today's date and the next available order number, sets the Weight Left to the Weight Ordered, and clears the Current Order for the next round.
    10. You can now enter Ordered From and Order Notes as desired in the new formalized order.
    11. Go back to the Coffees Form to create more orders.
  3. Creating A Roasting Profile
    1. The Profiles Form allows you to create Roaster Profiles to describe roaster programs or target manual profiles.
    2. The top section contains the list and general profile description for the current profile, and the bottom section contains the profile segments for the current profile.
    3. The mode selector in the upper right lets you configure the form. Three display modes include
      1. Current Profile Description and List, showing all created profiles,
      2. Current Profile Description, List & Segments showing also the detailed segment entries for the current profile,
      3. Single profile mode showing the description and segments of the current profile (no list).
    4. Click Add New in the top section to create a profile, and after entering the general information, use Add New Seg in the bottom section to add segments to the profile.
    5. The segment section lets you enter duration time, target temperature and notes for each segment. There's also a Fan field to describe any programmed fan state for the segment, i.e. low, med, whatever.
    6. A system-calculated Segment End time field indicates the cumulative time of the profile at the end of the segment.
    7. If the cumulative totals seem out of whack after editing a time, click Refresh to recalculate cumulative times.
    8. The easiest way to edit the times is to double-click on the minutes or seconds ("0" when the segment entry first gets created) to select that portion of the time and enter your value.
    9. A profile can be assigned to a session using the new selection dropdowns in the Session or Timing Panel forms.
    10. Some roasters like the Hottop don't start their actual program until they reach a specific temperature.
      1. If you start the Session when you begin the pre-heat, you can use the Roasting Profile Start dropdown in the Timing Panel to select the reading at which the roaster started its program, assuming you created a reading when it did.
      2. By syncing the roaster program stored in the DB to the reading / time when the roaster began the program, all the succeeding times will be posted against the correct roaster program segment they occurred in.
      3. If you start your readings from the roaster load time then you can leave this to the default, at time 0.
    11. When you use the Timing Panel during a session and have specified a profile for it, four new controls display the current segment number, target temperature, segment time and segment time remaining for the session.
    12. When you graph the session readings using the Profile Report (1/Page) or Profile Graph (2/Page) the corresponding Roaster Profile segment will be shown for each reading, so you can see how the roaster is behaving against the intended program temperatures.
  4. Creating A Roasting Session
    1. Select the coffee you're going to roast in the Coffees Form, and Click New Session. The Sessions Form will open with that coffee selected.
    2. You can show different Session Form Configurations by clicking the red form Configuration Selection dropdown list at the top right of the form, which is initially set to Session List.
    3. Clicking Coffee will open the Coffees Form with the corresponding entry selected, should you need to view or edit it.
    4. If you have Inventory for it, select the Order in the dropdown box below the Coffee. Clicking Order will open the Orders Form with the corresponding order and entry selected, should you need to view or edit it.
    5. The Blend indicator tells you how many entries there are if the coffee is a blend - it's display-only.
    6. To the right are the editing and navigation controls, and the section below has three fields for entering generic comments, profile notes and usage information.
    7. The last two sections, just above the list, have the specific session information, and the timing data (in the dark coffee color section).
    8. Enter the Weight and Ambient Temperature. After the roasting session is done, you can set a Roast Level and Rating from the two dropdown lists.
    9. If you have selected an inventory order, clicking Reduce under the weight will reduce it from the inventory for that order. It will disable itself once it's reduced.
    10. You can also set the coffee entry ratings from the session ratings by clicking the Update Coffee link under the session Rating. You will open the Update Ratings Dialog which provides several options.
    11. The dark coffee colored timing section will get populated through the Timing Panel described below, but the times can be edited from here if you need to make changes after the session is done.
    12. If you plan to keep detailed profile records, click the Auto-Save checkmark on to automatically create an individual profile reading for each main event (Start-PreHeat, Load, 1st Crack, 2nd Crack, Eject and Rest), or arbitrary through a Reading button. The current Auto-Save setting will be remembered every time the application starts.
  5. Timing A Roasting Session
    1. To open the Roasting Session Timing Panel and start timing a session, click either the Start or Open Timing Panel link. Clicking Start will open the panel and immediately start timing. Just opening allows you to start from the panel's own Start button.
    2. The Timing Panel will always remain the top window. You can minimize it to bring up the Sessions Form again if that is minimized, and click Open Timing Panel to show it again. Or you can just restore the Sessions Form and have both open, with the panel on top.
    3. The top has the description of the session selected. This can be changed by going back to the Sessions Form list, selecting another session, then clicking on Show Sessions Form Current. If the panel is closed, it will always open to the current session in the form, not the last shown in the panel.
    4. At the bottom are the timer readout and the event buttons, which are used to log the main roasting events as they occur.
    5. If you plan to log detailed profile readings, check the Auto-Save option before starting the roast if you did not do so in the Sessions Form. The Add New Reading button allows you to create arbitrary reading entries at any time.
    6. To the right is the Display Mode option control. Clicking one of the buttons changes the timing numbers to reflect time from the start of the session, from the Load event, from the previous event, or from the profile start if a profile is selected. Resting time is always relative to the Eject time.
    7. Just before or after you start the roaster, click Start. The elapsed time will count up in the two time displays on the left, one relative to the previous event, the other determined by the current Display Mode.
    8. If you selected a profile for the session, four boxes in the bottom of the top section display the current segment, target temperature, segment allotted time and remaining time.
    9. As each event happens, keep clicking the appropriate button. This will set the time, and create a detailed reading entry if the profile panel is showing.
    10. Clicking Show Readings displays the Profile Readings List beneath the panel. This is the same that can be displayed in the Sessions Form with the Detailed Profile mode with its own set of editing buttons.
      1. You can log detailed reading records at any time by clicking Add New Reading button. There are two temperature entries you can enter as well as notes for the reading.
      2. Selecting AutoReading will enable periodic readings on the interval indicated in number of seconds.
        1. While unchecked, enter the desired number of seconds.
        2. Click AutoReadings to enable the Start function.
        3. When desired, click Start to create the first reading and begin the cycle.
        4. Every designated interval the system will automatically beep and generate a new reading record - enter the temperatures and information when it does.
        5. After the start, the button becomes a Synchronization function which when clicked creates a new reading and resets the interval to begin from that moment.
        6. Moving to another session or closing the panel will disable the AutoReading function, which can be restarted later.
        7. To stop AutoReadings at any time just click the checkmark again. You can then change the interval if desired before starting again.
      3. Clicking Temperature Converter brings up the conversion form
        1. There are two text boxes that hold the values as labeled, and two buttons that executes the conversion.
        2. The label of the button tells whether it's converting the contents of the Farenheit box To Centigrade or the Centigrade box To Fahrenheit.
        3. The target conversion box gets overwritten.
    11. When the coffee has been rested, click Resting to freeze the resting time. While the coffee is actively resting, rest times will be indicated with a ® in front.
    12. You can edit times by clicking the appropriate time field which will open the Time Adjustment Form. When you're through adjusting the time, click Save to set the new value. You can now click on another time field and edit that one the same way. Click Close when you're through adjusting times.
    13. If you change the Display Mode after you start the session, it will automatically revert to relative to Start mode when you edit any of the times.
    14. All currently resting records can be accessed from the Main Menu, with the oldest showing at start-up. Use the arrows to navigate multiple resting sessions.
  6. Managing The Session List
    1. The blue section at the top is the Filter Section, which behaves exactly like the one in the Coffees Form.
    2. You can set a custom filter for the session list by clicking Set Filter and making appropriate settings in the common Form Filter Form, then clicking Use Filter.
    3. The selected filter description is then displayed at the top of the form. It can be toggled on and off by clicking Use Filter or anywhere on it.
    4. You can also use the blue section's quick filter controls in combination to select country, current coffee, blends and decaf filters. If they're set in addition to having selected a custom filter, clicking the Use Filter check will alternate between the two settings.
    5. You can select multiple random sessions using the checkmark at the right of the list entries.
    6. By clicking the Sel button at the heading above the checkmarks you can alternately show all sessions, selected sessions or unselected sessions.
    7. You can set and clear a selection range by clicking the first record of the range then Shift-clicking to set the selection, or Ctrl-clicking to clear the selection, on the last desired record.
    8. You can set and clear all selections by Shift-clicking to set or Ctrl-clicking to clear on the Sel button.
  7. Blending
    1. In the Coffees Form locate / create the coffee entry which represents the blend using the Blending Section under the Coffee Name.
    2. Click the Blend Formula button in the Blending Section to open the Blend Formula Form, which will be set to that particular entry. The Blend Formula Form will remain on top of all windows.
    3. You can now browse the Coffees Form to find the coffees to blend.
    4. When you find one, click the Add To Blend button that now appears under the Coffee Name field to add it to the formula. It will show up in the formula form.
    5. Repeat for each component of the blend.
    6. In the Blend Formula Form, assign an allocation number to each component in the proportions desired. The unit count is not important, only the relative amounts. Use e.g. 1-1-2-3 or 25-40-35-60 or whatever is convenient.
    7. You can now enter a Total Weight in the box provided in the formula form and click CALC. Each component will be assigned its weight in proportion to its allocation.
    8. Conversely, click the Clear All button to clear the total and individual weights, enter a desired weight in one of the components and then click CALC.
    9. If the total has a value, all individual components will be calculated.
    10. If the total is blank, the largest of the individual weights will be used to calculate the others and the total.
    11. If the user-entered weight is less than 10, we assume pounds are intended and use 3 decimals, otherwise grams are assumed and integers are used for calculated weights.
    12. Once your weights are set up, you can deduct from inventory in the bottom section of the formula form.
    13. You can now create a blend session based on the formula for the blend coffee entry by clicking the New Session button of the Blend Formula Form, (not the Coffees Form!). This will create one detailed profile record for each blend component with its weight and name so you have a record, as well as set the session weight to the total.
    14. If it's a roast blend, you can go ahead and use the Session record to time the roast. Otherwise, it's your blending record.
    15. Both the Coffees Form and Sessions Form forms have a Blend field which displays the number of blend components assigned to the formula.
    16. To do a formula for another blend with the Blend Formula Form still open, just browse to that coffee entry and click Formula instead of Add To. Make sure you save any changes to the previous blend's formula.
  8. Daily Log Form
    1. Before making entries in the Daily Log Form, you need to create log categories. Access the Categories Form by clicking Categories in the Main Menu.
    2. In the Categories Form, click Edit Types and create a Category Type named exactly "Log Type".
    3. Create one or more categories with that type. These will appear in the Entry Type and Filter By Type dropdown boxes in the Daily Log form.
    4. In the Main Menu form click Daily Log to open the form.
    5. You will be prompted about creating the Entry Types until you create the first log entry.
    6. Create entries, using the dropdown box to specify the type of entry. You can leave it blank if you choose and just make a comment.
    7. The date is set when you save. You can change it by clicking on it to bring up the same Time Adjustment Form used in session time editing.
    8. You can use the filter dropdown to view only a particular entry type.