HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Newbie: is my i-Roast defective? (10 msgs / 244 lines)
1) From: Shel Michaels
Hi all...
    You seem like a _real_ friendly crew, so maybe you could advise me (I've
read this list for a few days, and read much at the SM site):
    I just got my i-Roast from SM.  I've tried two batches of beans, both
decaf.  Used 5 1/2 oz. beans by weight in each batch.  First time, I used
"Profile 1".  Second time, I used the profile suggested  by [mumble] which
was 360 for 4:45, 425 for 3:00, finishing with 475 for 5:15.  Line
voltage as measured by a digital multimeter was 117.  Fan cycled about seven
seconds low speed, one second high speed, over and over.  Unit sealed well,
and I didn't feel any air leaks.
    In both attempts, the i-Roast temperature reading quickly went to 285,
but never ever got above 295!!  Also, nothing wrong with my hearing, but I
didn't hear any crack sounds.  Haven't even bothered brewing the results.
    Any thoughts?
Bests,
...Shel Michaels

2) From: Bob Yellin
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(I've
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both
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used
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which
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seven
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well,
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285,
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but I
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results.
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You were using my suggested *starting point* profile but your =
iRoast-measured
temps sound like a faulty roaster. You don't say how the beans looked =
after the
roasts (regardless of what the measurement said). But if the beans were
under-roasted, there have been a few other scattered reports mirroring =
your
experience. My suggestion is to report this to SM or directly to =
Hearthware
(Linda). I know of one case where Hearthware heard the same story you're =
telling
and sent a replacement circuit board with instructions for replacement.
BTW the fan cycling you describe may be entirely normal. The low temps =
aren't.
Bob Yellin

3) From: dna
Shel,
I'm no expert but I have been using my I-Roast for a couple weeks and it certainly sounds like your machine is defective.  While the display temperature does display significantly lower than set temperature, the most difference I've seen is about 85 degrees lower than set temperature (once it has been set to the temperature for a few seconds).  In other words, I get a display temperature in upper 300's or higher with a setting of 475 degrees.
Question:  What color are your beans after the preset or the profile you mentioned?  If left for the full time, mine would be black (though I can only assume that as the longest I've ever left it running is to a Vienna roast).    Since you don't hear any cracks, I'm guessing you are only seeing medium brown.  If you aren't hitting even 1st crack, the coffee tastes awful.
Another question:  how much chaff is collected in the collector?  With any bean I've roasted (I don't roast decaf) there's a lot of chaff.  One time I screwed up somehow, roasted the entire 3 stages at 325 and never hit 1st crack.  There was almost no chaff, and the beans were a sickly tan.  If this is what you are getting then I can only think that you have a defective unit.  On the other hand, if the roast is good or too even too dark then you might just have a defective sensor in which case you still have a defective unit.
-David
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4) From: Jerry Procopio
 Another question:  how much chaff is collected in the collector?  With any bean I've roasted (I don't roast decaf) there's a lot of chaff.  One time I screwed up somehow, roasted the entire 3 stages at 325 and never hit 1st crack.  There was almost no chaff, and the beans were a sickly tan.  If this is what you are getting then I can only think that you have a defective unit.  On the other hand, if the roast is good or too even too dark then you might just have a defective sensor in which case you still have a defective unit. 
I've been roasting both regular and decaf.  Regular greens produce 
varying amounts of chaff depending on the variety.  Most decafs produce 
almost no chaff because it somehow mysteriously disappears during the 
decaffination process. 
I'm getting indicated temperatures well over 300 in my iRoast using a 
variac and a constant 120v.  I have no problem hearing 1st crack, but 
have yet to hear 2nd crack, even when I roasted a batch well into the 
Vienna stage.  I'm not saying that I didn't get to 2nd crack, it's just 
hard to hear over the fan noise.  Next roast I will try my stethoscope.
Jerry
dna wrote:
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5) From: Christian Wiedmann
I have the same experience roasting decaf in my I-Roast.  Regular beans
work fine with Bob Yellin's profile.
I think the I-Roast is not well tuned for chaffless beans, at least mine
isn't.  I think the air restriction from the chaff is needed to get to
the higher temperatures.  I plan to experiment with blocking part of the
screen with foil to see if it helps.  I've been roasting the decaf in
my FR+ instead in the meantime.
	-Christian
On Fri, 11 Jun 2004, Shel Michaels wrote:
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,
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ut I
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6) From: Shel Michaels
Hi again, and thank you David, Bob, Jerry, and Christian...
    I appreciate much your responses.  8^)
    To answer your questions:
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mentioned?  If >left for the full time, mine would be black  (though I can
only assume that as the longest >I've ever left it running is to a Vienna
roast).    Since you don't hear any cracks, I'm >guessing you are only
seeing medium brown.  If you aren't hitting even 1st crack, the >coffee
tastes awful.
    A:  They get kind of medium brown, sort of the same color as the
membranes inside walnuts.  Yes, it tastes awful - just a dull mud flavor.
Hardly any real coffee aroma.
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roasted (I don't roast decaf) there's a lot of chaff.
    A:  No chaff at all, but seems like if that were the problem, the
temperature which zooms up to 285 should at least keep inching higher.
    So...I guess I'll take Bob's suggestion (as well as his temperature
profile) and call Hearthware.
    I'll let you know how I make out.  Thanks again for the interest and
data points.  8^)
Bests,
...Shel Michaels
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results.
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7) From: Jeff Wikstrom
You've got to be kidding me!  I know that we're a pretty hands on crew, but
come on!  This is a consumer product...send out a board in the mail with
instructions?!?!  I can't imagine ever asking a customer to fix a defective
product themselves.  Very strange to me.
I know of one case where Hearthware heard the same story you're
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8) From: Shel Michaels
Hi...
    Actually, I'm thrilled that that could be an option - less expensive to
ship, less likely to be damaged en-route, and probably quicker to do the
exchange.  Besides, I like knowing a little about the "guts" of my machines.
    I already tried to take it apart, but there must be a secret
ingredient...I took out all the screws I could find, including the ones
under the feet, but it still doesn't disassemble.  I was hoping I could find
a heating element disattached or something non-solid-state that had gone
wrong.
    If anybody has any experience with this, I'd appreciate hearing about it
sooner rather than later, as I intend to call Hearthware tomorrow unless I
can fix it myself.
    Unusual for a consumer product, but then again this crew (including me)
seems to be _extremely_ hands on.  8^)
Bests,
...Shel

9) From: Bill Doman
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Actually, I'm very happy they're sending me the board and not making me send
in the whole base for replacement or repair. I'll be less happy if the
replacement surgery is more complex than they suggested or if it doesn't
solve the problem. Of course, I'm used to dealing with IT vendors, where
this is common practice. I'd also mention that Baratza did the same thing
when I had a problem with my Maestro. This practice creates savings for the
company in several ways (postage, paying tech's, etc.) and also for the
consumer since the cost of sending something in for repair is generally not
reimbursed and the company can keep down the product's price. Generally, if
the user says something like, "I don't know which end of a screwdriver to
hold", they'll offer the option of sending it in and I think Hearthware
probably would have done this had I asked. 
Bill

10) From: Jeff Wikstrom
Gotcha.  I guess I'm just sitting back a little amazed at the whole
"experience" that you guys are enjoying so far.
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