This is a multi-part message in MIME format. Alfred writes: <Snip> My carpenter friend says it's relatively simple to frame a house, and my mechanic friend says it's relatively simple to rebuild an engine. Are you an electronics technician? <Snip> Every one here that owns a Hottop has told you the way to go, Alfred. Are you looking to learn how to run your Hottop, or just taking a vote? -- Rick
This is a multi-part message in MIME format. MessageNo Rick, you are wrong about that. "Everyone" does not agree with = you. That is the wonderful part of this forum. You find many opinions and can sift through them until you find one that = works for you. One of the members who posted uses the temperature (time) settings on = the unit for all his roasts and just uses different automatic settings = for different beans that are his favorites. He uses the automatic = feature completely. But I certainly appreciate your help.
As an ex HotTop pilot I can say that I always used the profile settings. That's not to say that occasionally I overshot the landing strip and had to eject - but rarely. I don't think I ever used the setting of seven for anything except the initial burned sacrificed first load. I know that the REAL experts now chat it up for set it on seven and eject. In which case I've got to ask, why did they pay for a machine with 7 profiles? On Mon, 2004-03-15 at 22:10, alfred wrote: <Snip>
This is a multi-part message in MIME format. Alfred writes: <Snip> I never said that Alfred. You've got to start reading more closely. I said that everyone here that owns a Hottop has given you advice. Some of us three or four times. You've got all the advice you need. Now go roast some coffee! -- Rick
Just one further thought about the settings. On Tom's website ,he shows three roasts from a cold roaster to a warm one. He states that starting with a cold roaster the results are quite repeatable. Now if you have a favorite bean, and you know that a setting of "three" produces exactly the result you want, why wouldn't you use it? Forget the cracks, the beeps, the analysis, just grab a brew and let it do it's thing. One of our members described this method and this is how he uses his Hot Top for all his roasts. Of course, I'm not a REAL expert either.
Because it *has* a profile, John. Instead of being a simple oven with a rotating drum inside, the Hottop controls the rate of change of the temperature. But you know that. -- Rick
Yup, sure do! It was an academic question not an inquiry. But... My machine is now a pile of parts and I'm not going to be a defender nor a detractor. I just know that I got a couple of years of wonderful roasts from mine irrespective of my method. Now the poor thing looks like a victim from Dr. Zarkoff's lab with a Labjack wired to it and all its control board nowhere in sight. Adds a whole new meaning to "Tune for smoke." John - On Tue, 2004-03-16 at 10:17, Rick Farris wrote: <Snip>
On Tue, 16 Mar 2004 07:56:50 -0800, alfred wrote: <Snip> As long as you have the patience to wait for the HotTop to cool down completely, you can certainly get away with finding a setting that works for you for a particular bean and then just using it all the time. I generally roast 4-6 batches at a time so I'm not willing to take the considerable amount of time needed for the unit - which is massive - to return to room temperature. If I recall correctly, when I first got my HotTop I determined that a setting of 4 + 1 pretty much gave me a full city roast starting from a cold roaster. However, since I don't wait for it to cool down between roasts, I set the HotTop at 4 + 5 and then manually eject the beans after the first cracks have been silent for at least 30 seconds and the second cracks are just beginning. This method produces remarkably consistent roasts every time. I would also like to chime in about the HotTop roasting profiles. I played around a lot with my HotTop when I first got it, and I found that there was a significant difference in roasts between, for instance, setting the profile at 7 and then dumping when the second cracks began or setting at 4 + 5 and dumping when the second cracks began. To my taste, the 4 + 5 roast produced coffee with a slightly brighter taste but with the same deep flavors as the 7 roast and it's a flavor I prefer. As others have mentioned, the HotTop does have profiles that control how fast the temperatures ramp up and how long the temperature levels are sustained and my experiments proved to me that setting the HotTop and 7 and manually ejecting the beans is not the same as setting it at a different level. Finally, one more thing to consider if you want consistent roasts is to check your electrical line voltage. I was surprised to discover that I could measure 10-15V differences in my line levels from day to day, so I invested in a variac so that I can normalize the voltage before starting to roast. Ralph Cohen
Thanks so much Ralph: This kind of feedback really helps me learn the ropes. and your message went right into my files. I started behind the eight ball when the new roaster arrived. It was defective the time/temp settings meant nothing. No matter where you set it, in 25 minutes it dumped a pile of oily charcoal in the tray. The new one arrives on Friday, the latest model with the new chip. Now I can't hear the beeps but I can hear the cracks and am learning to distinguish between first and second.(when you can't hear the beeps, you don't know when it's ready to dump if you want to add time) The wife is bringing home today an amplified listener from Radio Shack which may solve the problemhttp://www.radioshack.com/search.asp?find=amplifier&SRC=1&image1.x5&image1.y1Dr. Crema solved all my problems with making the brew, now to learn roasting.
Oh, the amplified listener arrived. Wow, is it something else.A tiny device, smaller than the smallest cell phone, it really amplifies any sound to LOUD AND CLEAR. You could hear a fart in a windstorm and even select the frequency with the three band equalizer I hope it works because it will help with the cracks as well as the beeps. It may help the other old dudes on this forum as well. I'll let you know $34. You can also use it to eavesdrop on the gossip at church.
On Tue, 16 Mar 2004 14:32:24 -0800, alfred wrote: <Snip> Great news, Alfred. That sounds like it should help a lot. I found that the key for determining the correct time to get a full city roast was to listen for the 30+ second gap between the first cracks and the second cracks. You may also notice that the second cracks seem a bit sharper i.e. at a higher frequency. So, listen for the silence between the cracks, then wait until you've heard at least 1 or 2 second cracks and then hit the eject button. Enjoy your coffee. Ralph
What do you mean by 4 + 5???? Am I missing something here? Can we add extra time to the hottop when we program the setting? Joe As always in the dark
On Tue, 16 Mar 2004 18:05:55 -0500, Joe Byrd wrote: <Snip> Absolutely! After you've started whatever profile you've selected, you can press the Plus button up to 5 times to increase the length of the roast. I think each press of the button increases the time by 20 seconds and the LED over the button will blink to indicate how may Pluses have been added. When a total of 5 have been added, the LED will stay solidly lit. Ralph
John: Ex HotTop pilot????????? Joe
It is my understanding: With the new models after May of 2003 with the new chip the time was increased to 30 seconds instead of 20 This enabled darker roasts when desired. Check out Randy Glass on this.. He says they will send you the new chip free and tells you how to change it.
On Tue, 16 Mar 2004 16:00:12 -0800, alfred wrote: <Snip> Thanks, Alfred. I had heard about this a while ago but I take the approach that if it ain't broke don't fix it. On my HotTop I have no problem getting an oily dark roast with the 5 + 5 setting although I prefer a lighter roast. Ralph
On Tue, 2004-03-16 at 17:24, Joe Byrd wrote: <Snip> Joe, Yeah it was time to move on. I have it torn down to parts and originally thought I might just replace the control logic - it currently sits with wires running in and around it so that it resembles a train wreck. I have the motor control and the heat elements (coil and sensor) running back to a Labjack. (i/o device) and have started controlling it (somewhat) with a laptop. Now I'm enamored with the concept of building a 2 to 5 pound roaster. I started by thinking of getting an RK drum and motor drive and converting a BBQ grill. But in chattering about it somebody pointed me back to an earlier statement about being able to get stuff fabricated very inexpensively here on the border (or across in Mexico) so now I'm just going all the way to the ground and trying to figure out what I really want/need to produce a small unit that can handle 2 to 5 pound loads. So now that I'm not a HotTopper I consider myself an ex hottop pilot.
Ralph: New at the Hot Top, I'm trying to understand what you mean regarding the " Plus" or add time feature. On mine, as you begin the roast and dump in the beans, the LED over the "add" button is not lit.. Is this when you press the button to add time. I tried it and the LED remains unlit. As the roast nears its end the LED starts blinking (remember I can't hear the beeps) Would you enlighten me?
Hi Alfred, The time to push the Plus button is anytime after the pre-heat cycle and before the end of the roast when the beans are dumped. Since you can't hear the beeps that signal the end of the pre-heat cycle, you may just want to wait for about 10 minutes after the roast has started and push the Plus button then. That will be somewhere in the middle of the roast so there shouldn't be any problem. One thing that can be a minor problem, is that the plastic overlay over the button makes it a little difficult to locate it sometimes, so you have to look for the LED to light when you press it. Ralph On Mon, 29 Mar 2004 11:55:32 -0800, alfred wrote: <Snip>
Thanks Ralph: Once it's lit, my "plus" button just constantly blinks on and off. I haven't yet pushed it to add time. Therefore I don't understand your comment that it indicates the amount of time you have added.
Hi Alfred, When you push the Plus button the first time, it it will blink single blinks. The second time you push it, it will blink a series of double of blinks, the third time a series of triple blinks, etc. When you push it for the 5th time, however, the light will remain on without blinking. Five is the maximum extension. Ralph On Tue, 30 Mar 2004 08:06:45 -0800, alfred wrote: <Snip>
Ah Ha! Comprende amigo. It would have been nice if they had explained this in the new owner's manual.
Alfred writes (about the Plus button): <Snip> manual. Yeah, but Tom hadn't begun carrying the Hot Top yet, so they had no place to steal the text from. -- Rick P.S. Alfred: you may want to consider trimming down your attributions. This isn't a local area network. [RF]
OK Ralph: Now for the sixty-four thousand dollar question---- What is the difference from a setting of "four" and adding five plusses to starting with a setting of "five" with no plusses?
On Tue, 13 Apr 2004 12:18:06 -0700, alfred wrote: <Snip> Hi Alfred, It is my impression (only) that the ramp-up of roasting temperatures is more gradual at the higher number settings. In other words, the cracks don't begin until after a longer period of time than at the lower settings. One of the reasons I use setting #4 is because I found that beans roasted completely through the first crack at setting #4 had a slightly 'brighter' taste than the same beans roasted to the same degree at higher settings. At setting #7, in fact, that brightness was virtually absent. A 'brighter' taste is often attributed to shorter ramp-up times. I previously used a HWP roaster which completed a roast in about 6-8 minutes vs. the 20-22 minutes for the HotTop at setting #4 and the flavor from the HWP roasted beans was almost all brightness with almost none of the depth of flavor from the same beans roasted in the HotTop. So, to finally answer your question, setting #4 gives me the ramp-up time that produces beans with the balance of brightness and depth that tastes the best to me. The extra plusses let me fine tune each batch since every batch - even of the same beans - roasts a little bit differently. Roasting at setting #5, however, doesn't seem to give me the same balance of brightness to depth that I prefer even when roasted to the same degree. Ralph <Snip>
Ralph: Man, you really have it down! Even with a room temperature IQ, I'm beginning to get it. This is exactly what I have found in roasting three batches of the same bean. Here is an email to Randy Glass on this issue. But you explain it completely.Conclusion: Adding plusses is not the same as picking a higher setting starting our. Subject: Learning the Hot Top Now regarding the settings let's take this scenario: If I roast on a setting of "four" and add " plusses" how much does it really add to the total roast time? The question is:starting at "four" If I added all of the plusses for a total of five, where would I be in relation to selecting a starting temp of say "five or six"? I may ruin your whole day!
Ginny : All to true. There are some interesting discoveries, however, when you roast with this machine. I was roasting on "four" plus three plusses and got a beautiful Full City roast. On the second batch, using the same bean, I set it on "five" to get a darker roast. This roast only reached a City+ at best. Randy Glass seems to think that the plusses you add (up to five) add much more time than just moving up to the next setting.