HomeRoast Digest


Topic: iRoast (24 msgs / 999 lines)
1) From: slider
First I would like to say hello to everyone.  I am a brand spanking new 
roaster, with a brand new iRoast.  So far most of my batches have, well 
left much to be desired.  I suspect voltage is my first problem, and 
have gone ahead and ordered a variac to remedy, at least in part, that 
situation.
Another problem I am experiencing is the temperature reading I am 
getting from the iRoast internal thermometer, I am lucky if it's breaks 
300F, I know it's getting a lot hotter then that, b/c I am roasting 
full city roasts pretty easily.  I also plan on picking up one of the 
digital thermometers offered here at SM's, but they are currently out 
of stock.  BTW, has anyone figured out how to snake this think in?  I 
notice that the chaff collector on my machine is very different from 
the one on Tom's machine.  So I am saying that I think my internal temp 
reading from the machine is way off.  This only concerns me b/c I don't 
understand how the iRoast manages the fan cycle, low, high, low, high.  
Does it cycle high to maintain the temperature?  I know it needs to 
move the beans and seems to remain at a regular rate, but when I tried 
roasting for an extended period at a lower temp, the fan went to high 
irregularly several times and then drop back into it's regular low high 
cycle, my thought was that it was blowing off excess heat to maintain 
temp.  That is why I am concerned about the reading, I suppose it would 
be easier to have a separate internal thermocouple acting as resister 
to control that, that would be good.
I am also trying to get a good roast curve for city + on this roaster, 
everything I have produced in that range turns out really sour, maybe I 
am doing something fundamentally wrong that one of you could advice me 
on :)
Well, I am going to try one of Tom's curves, the Island one on what I 
have left of my Costa Rican, that's  a dense bean too right?
Well, Hello again and I look forward to your emails
Dan

2) From: R.N.Kyle
snip from Dan
First I would like to say hello to everyone.  I am a brand spanking new
<Snip>
<Snip>
Welcome Dan, sorry I can't help you, but would think that the internal temp
readings you are getting are certainly off. First crack occurs from 375 to
400 degrees and at full city just up to 2nd crack you should be seeing 425
to 430 degrees.
RK

3) From: Bob Yellin
<Snip>
<Snip>
Hi Dan and welcome! Are you saying that no matter how high a temperature =
you set
the program to, the iRoast doesn't read above 300 even though the beans =
are
getting to full city and beyond? If that's true, it sounds like there's
something wrong with the roaster and I'd get in touch with Hearthware if =
I were
you.
<Snip>
I use a fine gauge thermocouple (30AWG Kapton-insulated) attached to a =
digital
thermometer and drilled a small hole through the top of the chaff =
collector and
down through the assembly so that the junction of the TC is just =
penetrating the
bean mass between the glass and the central "tube". But if you do that, =
it may
void the warranty so first, I'd figure out the what's going on with the =
iRoast
temperature sensor. I haven't found a good way to insert the TC without, =
at
least, enlarging one of the already-present holes in the top of the chaff
collector. There doesn't seem to be any other way in.
 
<Snip>
That's very possible. The temperature that the iRoast measures is not the=
 bean
temperature and can be quite far from the temperature in the roasting =
chamber
during the roast cycle. But it should get higher than 300 deg F.
<Snip>
Yes. It cycles both high and low to maintain the programmed profile.
<Snip>
That's a good starting point. For further info, there are some threads =
here on
this subject and a really good one currently at Coffeegeek with lot's of =
info
and sample profiles written by folks who have just gotten their iRoast =
roasters.
Try here:http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/homeroast/52202?Page=1Good luck and again, welcome.
Bob Yellin

4) From: Rick Farris
Bob, have you considered drilling a hole through the glass side of the
chamber?  You might not want to do it yourself, but aren't there folks
(machinists?) who specialize in drilling glass?
-- Rick

5) From: Bob Yellin
<Snip>
Hi Rick,
No, it never occurred to me. I didn't realize it could be done. You're =
right, I
wouldn't attempt it myself. I'm not sure who, out here, could do it. On =
the
other hand, it was not a big problem to drill a tiny hole through the =
iRoast
chaff collector assembly. The junction goes to the same spot every time =
and it
works real well. 
BTW do you remember our discussion on the Hottop bean chute cover? Well I
finally got hold of a spare cover and now I'm going to drill into the old=
 one
from the top corner to place the thermocouple into the roast chamber. =
I'll let
you know how that works out. Maybe another photo for your web page? 
Bob Yellin
<Snip>
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

6) From: slider
Wow, thanks for all the welcomes.
I am reaching second crack with this roaster, at least I am pretty sure 
I am.  So from what I am gathering from the responses, it seems that 
the the heat regulated by the fan my in fact really be on a separate 
thermocouple and the reading given on the iRoast is independent with 
its own sensor.  Actually when I watched the temp I got to 310F, I had 
definitely reached first crack.  Tom mentions that the temp could be as 
much as 60F off.  I also have made use of the vent pipe attachment that 
came with the unit and attached a 4" dryer hose to vent it outside, it 
dawned on me to stick the analog thermometer into the exhaust to see 
what that temp was, but it was too late for use in my last roast.  At 
any rate that should be telling as I move on.
As far as modifying the roaster to get the probe in, well Bob I think 
you have the answer in one of you latter posts, Spare Parts.  I might 
have to weight until Hearthware offers spare parts before I make any 
mods, or make the mods and just don't take advantage of the warranty 
until the parts become available.
I really hate to face the fact that I might have a problem, but I guess 
I should start formulating an email to Hearthware about the temp 
display inconsistency .
I think it would be beneficial to confirm I am reaching second crack, 
anyone have a nice curve for a french roast?
Thanks all,
Dan

7) From: leslee berringer
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Welcome Dan.  I too have the new I-Roast.  I too am new.  My I-Roast =
temp. built-in thermometer is reading at 375 degrees for the first snap =
of 1st, or 6 degrees plus or minus that range for my roasts so far.  =
However, on one roast, my 3rd stage was 7 min 14 seconds long which I =
used to the max and never reached temperatures above 385 on my I-Roast =
temp reader.  My voltage was off by 2.5 degrees, measuring 117.5 vs. =
120.  So it should have read about 384 if voltage was adjusted to 120.  =
And my roast was not close to French, possibly not into second.  I was =
roasting Papua NG.  It tastes okay, but I suspect it could be better.  I =
had an order in for a variac and for a thermometer with thermocouple.  =
But since they are out or stock, today I will see if a local Graybar's =
carries these items.  If you have any Yirg. lott 4453 from SM's in =
stock, I believe I have a nice profile for this should you wish it.  I =
have my I-Roast temp readings in 1/2 min intervals recorded until the =
end of the roast.  Since you are having lower temps on your I-Roast WRT =
your built in therm., I will also record my actual bean temps as soon as =
I get my thermocouple, hopefully today.  
Best of luck!
Leslee Berringer

8) From: DEchelbarg
I am just beginning to play with my I-roast.  Don't know how things are 
tasting, but they look like pretty nice roasts -- degassing.  One problem I have is 
where I live.  Here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan it is still really 
cold.  (in fact it is always cold).  The machine will not operate, I am told by 
Hearthware, under 65 degrees -- and it didn't.  So I set it up in the kitchen 
with a dryer pipe -- Kitchen was too cold, especially with the cool air coming 
from the open window.  I'm sure Hearthware is protecting themselves from folks 
that will try to use this at 20 degrees or something.  Anyway, the only way I 
could get it to come on was by heating it with a hair dryer.  
I'm still letting things go too far -- getting Full City plus --  Learning 
curve, but nice machine so far -- again, everything is degassing.  Hope it 
tastes as good as it looks.
Dave Echelbarger     

9) From: Rick Farris
Perhaps the iRoast chamber is different, or perhaps I don't understand =
your
probe configuration, but I always had trouble keeping the probe in place
with my Precision.  I figured that if I could drill a small hole near =
the
bottom of the chamber I could insert the thermocouple bead about 0.5" =
and it
would stay at the same place.
Do you have a rigid probe?  That would solve a problem.
Eventually I'll drill my bean chute cover, also.  I've come to the
realization that I can simply get a short bolt and nut to plug the hole =
when
I’m not monitoring the temperature.  I'm not as enthusiastic as I once =
was
about the project because I've pretty much given up on the Hottop as a =
good
platform for profiling.  As you are fond of pointing out, it does a fine =
job
just as it is.
I'm still planning on setting up some kind of profile-oriented roaster,
though.  I'm considering a pidded café rosto at this point...
-- Rick

10) From: Sue Stevenson
Good luck with your I-Roast. I would like to get myself, but it will have to wait a little while. I just finished 7 roasts with my FR+ and thats only about a pound! It took all evening, betweening roasting and letting the roaster cool a little! 
 
I haven't lived in the UP for 20 years, but you never forget how cold and how much snow you get up there!!!! I'm thinking it is always way to cold way down here in the northern lower penninsula!! Hasn't gotten over 70 except for a few days. I'm ready to move to Costa Rica, lay in a hammock and drink CRLM all day!!! What was I thinking when we bought a cabin in Cananda? 
Sue
DEchelbarg wrote:
I am just beginning to play with my I-roast.  Don't know how things are tasting, but they look like pretty nice roasts -- degassing.  One problem I have is where I live.  Here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan it is still really cold.  (in fact it is always cold).  The machine will not operate, I am told by Hearthware, under 65 degrees -- and it didn't.  So I set it up in the kitchen with a dryer pipe -- Kitchen was too cold, especially with the cool air coming from the open window.  I'm sure Hearthware is protecting themselves from folks that will try to use this at 20 degrees or something.  Anyway, the only way I could get it to come on was by heating it with a hair dryer.  
 
I'm still letting things go too far -- getting Full City plus --  Learning curve, but nice machine so far -- again, everything is degassing.  Hope it tastes as good as it looks.
 
Dave Echelbarger     

11) From: Jeff Wikstrom
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I’m curious about what they drink in Costa Rica.  The coffee growing
countries I have visited were too poor to drink their own stuff.  =
Coupling
that with the fact that the best stuff went for export, the locals drank =
Nes
Café.  Yum!  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Sue =
Stevenson
Sent: Wednesday, May 26, 2004 9:30 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +iRoast
 
Good luck with your I-Roast. I would like to get myself, but it will =
have to
wait a little while. I just finished 7 roasts with my FR+ and thats only
about a pound! It took all evening, betweening roasting and letting the
roaster cool a little! 
 
I haven't lived in the UP for 20 years, but you never forget how cold =
and
how much snow you get up there!!!! I'm thinking it is always way to cold =
way
down here in the northern lower penninsula!! Hasn't gotten over 70 =
except
for a few days. I'm ready to move to Costa Rica, lay in a hammock and =
drink
CRLM all day!!! What was I thinking when we bought a cabin in Cananda? 
Sue
DEchelbarg wrote:
I am just beginning to play with my I-roast.  Don't know how things are
tasting, but they look like pretty nice roasts -- degassing.  One =
problem I
have is where I live.  Here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan it is =
still
really cold.  (in fact it is always cold).  The machine will not =
operate, I
am told by Hearthware, under 65 degrees -- and it didn't.  So I set it =
up in
the kitchen with a dryer pipe -- Kitchen was too cold, especially with =
the
cool air coming from the open window.  I'm sure Hearthware is protecting
themselves from folks that will try to use this at 20 degrees or =
something.
Anyway, the only way I could get it to come on was by heating it with a =
hair
dryer.  
 
I'm still letting things go too far -- getting Full City plus --  =
Learning
curve, but nice machine so far -- again, everything is degassing.  Hope =
it
tastes as good as it looks.
 
Dave Echelbarger     

12) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
HI folks - don't forget to check out the i-Roast review and the new 
i-Roast tip sheet online. The later has the details for the factory 
pre-sets1 and 2 and some ideas for low intial-temperature roast 
curves. It also explains the bewildering difference between what you 
program and what you read on the on-board digital thermo. Basically, 
you are reading a modified input air temp (you can see the sensor in 
the input air stream. Yes, it is way off from bean temp. but it does 
behave in a predictable way that corresponds to the roast so its not 
at all useless. I am sorry we are out of our low-cost 1200 degree 
digital probes but they will be be back soon. You can simply snake 
one of these into the roast chamber using the holes in the top of the 
i-Roast. No drilling necessary. I attach a firm wire then wrap the 
probe around it, which keeps the probe in the same spot in the roast 
chamber.
Tom
PS: I am SOOOOO behind in work - need to finalize new coffee reviews 
for some lots that arrived, and tuning the i-Roast tip sheet, and 
trip reports, a couple new product reviews... it goes on and on....
<Snip>
-- 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thomspon Owen george

13) From: Daniel Batchelor
Well, I finally got around to getting a volt meter and put it to the 
plug, I am over 120 volts.  I roasted at work to day and got some 
beautiful roasts, a city+ with a Mexican and Kenyan and a Full City 
with Kenyan, really nice.  I think one of the problems I have has has 
been ambient temperature and the over external temp were I had the 
iRoast exhausting to, before I start the cold air was actually pushing 
it, but I just figured once the hose heated up it would not be an 
issue, still don't know if it is, but it's one of the things that was 
different.  No need for an exhaust in a shop on a great day.  We have 
not seen the sun here in MA for a week.  On board thermometer is still 
frelled, but probe should be in soon.
Dan

14) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
<Snip>
Also important for roasting is the voltage "drop", not just the 
initial voltage when no appliances are running. Once theres a sizable 
load on the line, the drop can be severe - 122 down to 109 is what I 
had at our house in Columbus. Tom
-- 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thomspon Owen george

15) From: Bob Yellin
<Snip>
your
<Snip>
the
<Snip>
and it
<Snip>
<Snip>
I use two different types of probes. Haven't decided which one I like =
best. One
is a Kapton-insulated 30 AWG pair. If you look at the top of the iRoast =
chaff
collector, you see a series of holes going all the way around. I put the =
wire
through one of them and then double it back out of the top and in again. =
That
way it remains fixed without moving. I also drilled a very small hole to =
go
straight through into the roasting chamber. Kapton is quite stiff so it =
doesn't
move much once it's in the bean mass
The other probe that I use is a rigid, stainless steel-sheathed TC with =
an outer
diameter of .032" so it's very fast acting and only needs a very tiny =
hole to go
into the roasting chamber. I use it for my PID'd Sirocco and I'll =
probably drill
the chute cover of the Hottop and use it there as well.  
<Snip>
when
<Snip>
 was
<Snip>
good
<Snip>
 job
<Snip>
Right! The only manipulating I ever do with it any more, is to drop the =
voltage
occasionally, after 1st crack to try and stretch out the time between 1st=
 and
2nd, or 1st and finish. And I only do that on particular beans; not all =
of them.
Bob Yellin
<Snip>
unsvbscribes) go to =http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

16) From: Daniel Batchelor
I have also found that the iRoast performs much better when I maintain 
120V with the Variac and got from SM.  I found that while my initial 
line read from the Multimeter was 120V, it would drop to 114V during 
roasting.  The iRoast is my first venture into roasting, so it was 
more, well, discouraging when I was getting results that were sour.  I 
was questioning, of course, is it me, the machine, the voltage, I had 
no clue and this on top of learning how to roast and what to look for.  
All issues (well except for actually learning) were resolved when I got 
the variac in, oh, and also purchased my multimeter (MM).  I use the MM 
to regulate the variac at all times during the roast.  That was one 
other thing I liked about the variac from SM, since it has two outlets, 
I can use one socket for the iRoast and the other for the MM.  My 
roasting has become what I had hoped for, a learning experience about 
coffee in general, and fresh delicious coffee.
Dan
On Jun 5, 2004, at 2:04 PM, homeroast-request 
wrote:
<Snip>

17) From: Phil Kohl
Dan: 
The change in voltage suggests that you may have an electrical wiring 
problem where you do your roasting. You can check -- see if any of the plugs 
or receptacles or cables are unduly warm. If so you should consult a 
licenced electrician. There is a possible fire hazzard here. 
Phil Kohl 
<Snip>

18) From: leslee berringer
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I have no idea what a multimeter is?  Are you referring to the Digital =
thermometer with K-probe?  Thanks.
Leslee

19) From: leslee berringer
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
No need to respond Dan.  I understand that you are referring to your =
voltage meter.  
Leslee

20) From: Scott Stevenson
I don't think it is your thermostat...I had an Iroast2 do the same thing and
it appeared that it has two heating elements and one of them went South.
What you are reporting is very similar to what I saw...I was lucky..one week
left in the warranty and they replaced the entire bottom portion. 
Good luck!
Scott

21) From: raymanowen
"...it has two heating elements..."
Did you ever ask yourself why it has two heating elements, when there is a
need for one heating element and one ballast resistor for the low voltage
motor? -ro

22) From: John Carlson
Hello all,
 
I recently purchased an iroast and am delighted with the results after minimal experementation. Roasts are really coming out nice and I only ruined the first batch, still brewed it anyway though. Until now I've used a FreshRoast and the bulletproof West Bend Poppery II, doesn't get much simpler than that. Also got a Technivorm, best purchases I've made in quite a while.
 
One additional thing, I notice a lot of abbreviations on these posts, especially in reference to coffee types(?) and equipment used. Can I find a listing of abbreviations anywhere? Maybe somewhere I've missed on the Sweet Maria site?
 
Thanks,
John
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23) From: Brian Kamnetz
On Sat, Sep 13, 2008 at 11:47 AM, John Carlson  wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>
Hi John,
Glad to hear that you are enjoying roasting. You have experiemented
with an interesting progression of roasting machines. I used a Poppery
2 with a switch on the heat element for a long time and greatly
enjoyed it, but finally switched to Heat Gun/Dog Bowl.
As far as the abbreviations, many of them are sort of made up on the
spot, so it's not likely that there will be a list of abbreviations
that is comprehensive enough to list them all. I hope you will feel
free to ask when you see an abbreviation that you don't recognize.
Many people on the list would be more than happy to explain the
meaning, happy for the chance to help a fellow roaster.
Brian
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24) From: raymanowen
"...a listing of abbreviations anywhere?"
That takes all the fun away. Why not just assign your own translation? Or
the thread will ID the acronyms and abbreviations by context.
A reference to coffee origins might refer to BCs-dMF. Obviously, it's Brazil
Cerrado screen-dried Moreninha Formosa, that takes longer to write than
roast!
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
On Sat, Sep 13, 2008 at 9:47 AM, John Carlson  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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