HomeRoast Digest


Topic: My Alpenrost just died (36 msgs / 860 lines)
1) From: gin
Kathleen:
I agree with Perter, yeah strange I know, but check your breaker.
Otherwise we all use any excuse to buy up!

2) From: Kathleen Tinkel
I have a sinking feeling about this, but thought I'd ask the experts 
here if there is any hope (and I will call the company in the 
morning).
Tonight my Alp lost power at some point while roasting (perhaps at 17 
or 18 minutes, about when it would have finished -- I was able to 
salvage the coffee, I think). Instead of going to cool, the light 
went out and the machine simply died.
No warning, nary a hint.
Is this likely to be something electrical that could be repaired? Or 
should I just give up and buy a new roaster?
Any advice gratefully received.
Kathleen

3) From: petzul
Hi, I almost hate to mention this, but the first thing I thought of was 
that it tripped a circuit breaker. Does the outlet work with something else?
PeterZ
Kathleen Tinkel wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks. And that's all right -- it was one of my first thoughts as 
well. But the outlet works with coffee grinder, coffee maker, etc. 
Just not with the roaster.
I hope to talk to Swissmar next week. Perhaps it's fixable. In the 
meantime, guess I'll start looking into roasters again. I know there 
have been quite a few new ones since I bought the Alp.
Kathleen
<Snip>

5) From: MMore
Advice - Chuck it and buy a Stir Crazy and Sunpentown Convection  Oven.  The 
exact same thing happened to me with Alp.  Only with me the  fan died, I 
didn't know it and ended up melting various plastic parts.  The  SC/ST mentioned 
above can be had for around 80 to 85.00.  A steal.   And it can roast up to a 
pound at a time.  It's the BEST set up I've seen  short of the Hot Top or RK 
Drum.
 
Michael A. Roaster of Vienna,  Va.

6) From: Dennis Parham
--Apple-Mail-7-827405535
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charsetO-8859-1;
	format=flowed
hehe I agree!!
Dennis Parham
On Jan 15, 2005, at 5:54 PM, MMore wrote:
<Snip>
the 
<Snip>
85.00.  
<Snip>
set 
<Snip>
--Apple-Mail-7-827405535
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/enriched;
	charsetO-8859-1
hehe I agree!!
Dennis Parham
On Jan 15, 2005, at 5:54 PM, MMore wrote:
Century =
Schoolbook0000,8080,0000Advice
- Chuck it and buy a Stir Crazy and Sunpentown Convection Oven.  The
exact same thing happened to me with Alp.  Only with me the fan died,
I didn't know it and ended up melting various plastic parts.  The
SC/ST mentioned above can be had for around 80 to 85.00.  A steal. 
And it can roast up to a pound at a time.  It's the BEST set up I've
seen short of the Hot Top or RK Drum.
Century =
Schoolbook0000,8080,0000 
Century =
Schoolbook0000,8080,0000 
Century =
Schoolbook0000,8080,0000 
Century =
Schoolbook0000,8080,0000 
Century =
Schoolbook0000,8080,0000Michael
A. Roaster of Vienna, Va.
=
--Apple-Mail-7-827405535--

7) From: petzul
Well, at least it waited until it had done its roasting before it quit. 
Quite decent of it I would say.
So now you have a great excuse to get a better one. There must be one or 
two out there that you always wished you had  O:-)
I know nothing about the Alp, except that I decided not to buy one. 
Almost did once on ebay, but the gods were not with me.
Then I got more involved with this list, and reading everything on the 
SM sight. Had my heart set on a greatly improved product that Tom sells.
If the I Roast had come out sooner I probably would have one of those, 
but I had to do something while I waited. (hot air popper)
Would you believe that my first thought about this was that I would 
NEVER waste my time tinkering with some half way device, or spend a lot 
of time roasting and blending coffee........
Good luck :-)
PeterZ
Happily roasting with home built roasters, here in LHC.
Kathleen Tinkel wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks, Peter -- very much.
I have been roasting coffee since the 1970s, and have used many, many 
different devices. Before the Alp, I used a FreshRoast; before that, 
a Melitta thingie; before that, a copper ball on top of a gas stove; 
before that, a perforated sort of pizza pan thingie in the oven. I 
have also roasted coffee in a wok.
The Alp was a great relief that lasted for three or four years. It 
wasn't perfect, but it was satisfactory and fairly easy. My objective 
is to have decently roasted fresh coffee for drip -- nothing exotic!
If the Alp cannot be easily resuscitated, I guess I need to move on 
to the next thing. But being fundamentally lazy, I really don't want 
anything seriously fussy.
Guess from your comment that I should look into the iRoast? Okay -- 
ready to research. Just in case the Alp cannot be restored,
Thanks.
-- Kathleen
<Snip>

9) From: Kathleen Tinkel
You guys have me lost: What is the "Stir Crazy and Sunpentown 
Convection Oven" -- I feel seriously out of the loop! 
Thanks.
Kathleen
<Snip>

10) From: Craig Andrews
Hi Kathleen, Check & replace the thermal fuse. Please read this link http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/homeroast/63491#63491& the 
others there on my post. I've posted lots of info for repairing & 
adjusting a too cool Alp, etc.
Cheers!
Regards,
Craig.
-- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.300 / Virus Database: 265.6.12 - Release Date: 1/14/2005

11) From: Dennis Parham
Kathleen, here is my setup ... it is a 6qt. Stir Crazy popper, mated to 
a Sunpentown convection oven... roasts very nice! brand new... 85 bucks 
for everything! give  some shipping costs...http://homepage.mac.com/dparham_is/PhotoAlbum20.htmlDennis Parham
On Jan 15, 2005, at 7:21 PM, Kathleen Tinkel wrote:
<Snip>

12) From: Jeff Oien
Kathleen Tinkel wrote:
<Snip>
Here are some links:http://www.bish.ws/coffee/TurboCrazy.htmlhttp://home.earthlink.net/~ddesmarais/Turbo%20Crazy/turbocrazy.htm
Also search on Coffee Geek for SC/TO, SC/GG and Stir Crazy in the
Home Roasters section and you'll find a lot.http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/search?RET=%2FforumsJeffO

13) From: Mike Rudziensky
Kathleen,
Sorry this may be a bit late, but I was out of town.
This sounds like you tripped the thermal fuse in the unit.  Basically,
there's a device in the power loop of the roaster that 'blows' if it
reaches a certain temperature.  This puts an 'open' in the power path
and shuts off the roaster.  This is generally done to meet UL listing
or CE mark requirements (so the roaster won't burn down your house).
My alp blew the first one and I replaced it.  It requires taking the
alp mostly apart, finding it, cutting out the blown fuse, and
soldering in a new one.  This worked for maybe 20-30 more roasts. 
Then it blew again.  I replaced it again, and it worked again for
10-15 roasts.  The third time I replaced it, it only worked for maybe
5 roasts.
I believe the unit was experiencing another failure, and the thermal
fuse was just a symptom.  I don't think it was too dirty, as I had
plenty of opportunity to clean it while taking it apart over and over.
 I think it may be that the fan is failing.  It looks like a standard
computer fan, and I can imagine that it's probably not happy with
coffee oils all over it.
The last death it died was right around the time the iRoast came out,
so I've not bothered to troubleshoot any more.  I did roast several
hundred roasts with the Alp,so I figured it might be time to let it
rest.
If you're interested in further discussion, email me off list and I
can walk you through fixing it.  You can get a thermal fuse at radio
shack for a buck or two.
Hope this helps!
-Garrik
On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 21:57:50 -0500, Kathleen Tinkel
 wrote:
<Snip>

14) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thank you! Fascinating, and I would love being able to roast a pound at a time.
But I think I need an appliance, and something that collects most of 
the chaff, as it is too cold here in Connecticut to roast outdoors 
for much of the year, and I don't think my husband would like me 
sullying his garage workspace!
Still, it is pretty amazing, and I have printed out the instructions 
from those sites. Maybe I'll get the components and try it, in the 
pursuit of knowledge.
Thanks very much for the links.
Kathleen
<Snip>

15) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Garrik:
Thanks. It seemed very much like a thermostat or control failure, so 
your advice is appreciated. My husband is downstairs now 
disassembling the Alp, trying to figure out what's where in it, and 
checking whatever is visible or can be measured by his various meters.
Did you try replacing the fan? I realize it is but one of the 
components that could fail, but it appears to be fairly accessible.
Thanks for the offer of further help; if we need to, I'll write off list.
Kathleen
<Snip>

16) From: Dennis Parham
buy a stainless or galvanized steel bucket... the chaff just falls out 
the side... "into the bucket" hehe also..if you run a few minutes 
before, it will warm up the immediate area some... just an idea ;)
Dennis
On Jan 16, 2005, at 2:34 PM, Kathleen Tinkel wrote:
<Snip>

17) From: Kathleen Tinkel
The chaff just falls out the side, huh? Interesting notion. I was 
wondering about an enclosure of some sort, maybe with a vent fan in 
it.
But it all sounds like a lot of work. Fun for a techie, maybe not so 
much for me. 
Thanks. Warm sounds good, right around now. . .
Kathleen
<Snip>

18) From: Brett Mason
... Serve him Folgers for a week, and you'll get everything you ask for!
On Sun, 16 Jan 2005 15:34:40 -0500, Kathleen Tinkel
 wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

19) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks, Craig.
My husband is doing an exploratory operation on my Alp right now. 
Thanks for all the great information.
Kathleen
<Snip>

20) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks, Brett.
And oh, I wish it were that easy -- but he doesn't drink coffee! It's 
all for me.
Kathleen
<Snip>

21) From: Peter Schmidt
Kathleen......
The three mods I've done to my Stir Crazy are 1) a new stirring arm 2) a
copper pipe cap - 2" dia.
3) disconnect the heating element.
If you choose to try this wonderful set-up, I will send you a custom bent
arm (good for 100g roasts up to 400g) and a pipe cap.  Since your husband is
able to check out you Alp, he would certainly be able to find the wire to
the SC element and either cut it, or install a switch.
Free stirring arm, and a pipe cap......    Just a little incentive to try
this roaster.  You'll be thanking us for recommending it.  :-)
Roasting in the shade, in M'waukee
peter schmidt

22) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Well, I thought you (and others here) might be interested in seeing 
what caused my problem (and I do believe it is a failed thermal 
fuse). Take a look at these two snapshots of what we found inside 
once we opened up the Alp:http://www.broadlyspeaking.com/alp_fan_top.jpgThe amount of chaff and chaff dust around the electronic components ">http://www.broadlyspeaking.com/alp_overview.jpgandhttp://www.broadlyspeaking.com/alp_fan_top.jpgThe amount of chaff and chaff dust around the electronic components 
(and elsewhere) within the Alp was astounding. Of course it would 
kill a thermal fuse!
I guess my question for the assembled multitudes is: Is that a normal 
state for four-year-old Alpenrost? I cannot imagine that I am at 
fault -- I brush out all the accessible places (all around the coils; 
the chaff tray and beneath it; within the gates leading out to the 
fan doohickey; and the fan thing itself -- everywhere that can be 
reached, in other words, without disassembling the Alp).
It seems to me that this is a grievous design flaw, yet no one has 
mentioned it. So perhaps it is a problem just with my unit?
In any event, it appears that the fuse has been fried, and we shall 
go get a replacement at Radio Shack, solder it in, and see if the 
machine can work again.
Thanks for all the great advice!
By the way: two of the screws that allow the machine to come apart 
are hidden within the rubber feet. Just in case anyone else has as 
much trouble as we did in figuring out how to take the Alp apart.
Kathleen
<Snip>

23) From: Steven Van Dyke
Kathleen,
The Stir Crazy / Turb Oven combo is only a *little* messy - if you set it in
a shallow box / pan (like the recently suggested kitty litter box) then
there's virtually no mess at all.   Add in a bucket / colander / shop vac
bean cooler and you're all set.
I keep all of these as one of my backup systems, largely because I don't
have room in our small house to leave them set up.  My Cafe Rosto works well
and fits in minimal space.  Plus, I only need about three 125-gram batches a
week which would be only one batch in the SC/TO setup so I get more variety
this way.
The bucket / colander / shop vac cooler is something I learned about from
the list.  For those who haven't yet heard about it, get a thin steel
colander (big mesh strainer might work). Cut a hole in the lid of a bucket
so the colander just sits down into it - remember to *NOT* make the hole the
size of the colander's rim - you don't want it to fall in!  Cut a hole about
1/3 up from the bottom of the side of the bucket to stick in the hose of
your shop vac.  I use a hose from a Dirt Devil handheld myself.  To cool
your beans, turn on the vacuum cleaner and dump the beans in the colander.
You'll need a spoon or something to stir them with for the first minute or
so, then they'll be cool enough to stir by hand.  The vacuum sucks up almost
all of the chaff - note that for larger drum roasts this can be a slight
fire-hazard.  The key is to make sure you don't have so much surface area
open above the beans that all the air you pull in goes around them.  That's
why a colander, with its limited number of holes, is probably best.
Enjoy!
Steve :->

24) From: Gary Townsend
Very nice pics! 
On Fri, 16 Sep 2005 19:54:23 -0700, Deward Hastings  wrote:
<Snip>

25) From: Deward Hastings
<Snip>
Not mine, understand . . . credit them to Kathleen , , ,
Deward

26) From: H Hurd
Kathy said "I guess my question for the assembled multitudes is: Is that a
normal
state for four-year-old Alpenrost? I cannot imagine that I am at
fault -- I brush out all the accessible places (all around the coils;
the chaff tray and beneath it; within the gates leading out to the
fan doohickey; and the fan thing itself -- everywhere that can be
reached, in other words, without disassembling the Alp).
It seems to me that this is a grievous design flaw, yet no one has
mentioned it. So perhaps it is a problem just with my unit?"
Not just your unit.  The insides of my two Cafe Rostos
were similarly coated w/ chaff dust when I opened them up.
There was less of it but they weren't as old as your Alp.
The fans suck the dust in along with the air
they use to agitate or cool the beans.
Holly

27) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Hmmm. If/when we get it working again, I'll try that. Wonder, though, 
whether the chaff will exit as readily as it entered.
Certainly would make sense to open it up and clean it a couple of 
times a year, though.
Now, of course, we are concerned about which components besides the 
thermal fuse may have suffered from the buildup of heat. Guess we'll 
find out.
Thanks for the good idea.
Kathleen
<Snip>

28) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks, Holly.
It makes sense that chaff would be inclined to be sucked in, but it 
doesn't make good sense not to design something to prevent it from 
happening.
But perhaps the thing was never expected to have a four-year lifetime? [shrug]
Kathleen
<Snip>

29) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks, Steve.
I tried the colander/vac bean-cooling method a few years ago, when I 
was mostly using the FreshRoast. Too much fuss, too much equipment. I 
think I must be a really lazy wench!
But the kitty litter tray sounds like a good idea if I decide to play 
around with the StirCrazy/Turbo oven combination. As you point out, 
it would be a reasonable backup, and I can seen its use for roasting 
lots of coffee for parties or gifts.
Now, though, it's fix the Alp or replace it with something, and I 
must say the HotTop has really got my attention. Expensive, but the 
notion of really good flavor -- as is noted in all the reviews -- 
sounds wonderful.
Kathleen
<Snip>

30) From: Craig Andrews
Hi Kathleen, At 4 years of age it's a wonder you didn't have problems 
sooner! Some of the chaff gets blown through the slits in the fan shroud 
during every roast & will circulate through the Alp, & ESPECIALLY the 
printed circuit board also., clean that out too!
Please read my post here: http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/homeroast/6348#6348. If you ">http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/questions/95951#95951& here: http://www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/homeroast/6348#6348. If you 
care to search on my handle CraigA, I think I have all your questions 
answered, as I've posted extensively on the Alpenrost.
I used to do some repair & service refurbishing work on the Alp as an 
interm off premises sub-contractor for (Canada) Swissmar (Swissmar 
Imports Ltd) 35 East Beaver Creek Rd., Unit 6  Richmond Hill, Ontario, 
Canada L4B 1B3  1-(905)-764-1121 for a short period.
Regards,
Craig Andrews.
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
-- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.300 / Virus Database: 265.6.12 - Release Date: 1/14/2005

31) From: Michael Guterman
Kathleen,
I love my Hottop, and it is totally non fussy.
Michael
Kathleen Tinkel wrote:
<Snip>

32) From: Tanya sunshine
Who the hell are you ?! Why are you writing to me ????
Deward Hastings  wrote:> Take a look at these two snapshots of what we found inside 
once we opened up the Alp:http://www.broadlyspeaking.com/alp_fan_top.jpgUgly. This might be one of those cases where blowing it out with compressed">http://www.broadlyspeaking.com/alp_overview.jpgandhttp://www.broadlyspeaking.com/alp_fan_top.jpgUgly. This might be one of those cases where blowing it out with compressed
air (even just the blower side from the shop vac) every now and then might
not be such a bad idea. Can't be any worse than what you got . . .
Deward---------------------------------
Do you Yahoo!?
 Yahoo! Mail - now with 250MB free storage. Learn more.

33) From: Michael Vanecek
Perhaps because you or someone on your computer subscribed to the list. 
If you want off, just look at the bottom of the message and follow the 
instructions.
Cheers,
Mike
--http://www.mjv.com/Tanya sunshine wrote:
<Snip>

34) From: Brett Mason
Thank You T.Sunshine...
Sunny Disposition Shining The Light...
Read the bottom of these and unsubscribe.  Otherwise you'll get a
whole lot of mail!
On Sat, 19 Feb 2005 09:48:23 -0800 (PST), Tanya sunshine
 wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!

35) From: Deward Hastings
Brett (and everyone):
I thought we'd passed through a time warp, or that the coffee was =
*really
special* this morning, or something . . .  . . . 
That sly allusion to the "safe to clean with compressed air?" =
conversation
was posted here over a month ago . . . (and no, I don't know T.Sunshine,
either . . . ) . . . but there's got to be a *lot* of homeroast mail =
in
the poor thing's in box . . . 
Deward

36) From: Deward Hastings
<Snip>
once we opened up the Alp:http://www.broadlyspeaking.com/alp_fan_top.jpgUgly.  This might be one of those cases where blowing it out with =">http://www.broadlyspeaking.com/alp_overview.jpgandhttp://www.broadlyspeaking.com/alp_fan_top.jpgUgly.  This might be one of those cases where blowing it out with =
compressed
air (even just the blower side from the shop vac) every now and then =
might
not be such a bad idea.  Can't be any worse than what you got . . .
Deward


HomeRoast Digest