HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Alp replacement alternatives (7 msgs / 1660 lines)
1) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Garrik, Tom S, and all:
While it may be possible (and worthwhile) to 
repair the Alpenrost, I am also considering 
replacement options. When I bought it in 2000, 
there weren't nearly so many alternatives.
Now (in addition to the popper-based devices) I know of all these:
FreshRoast Plus 8 (I have the original)
Caffé Rosto
Zach & Dani's
new Alp expected in 2005 (but that seems like a long shot)
The HotTop seems the most interesting (and 
expensive). And I have a couple of concerns. I 
run my Alp next to the range and turn on the vent 
hood to catch some of the smoke. From the 
emphasis in Tom's writeup, though, I get the 
impression the HotTop throws even more than 
merely another 12% of smoke (as you would expect 
from the relative coffee volumes). I would be 
curious to know more about it. And about how much 
of a pain it is to deal with the filter.
When it first came out I was interested in the 
iRoast, but it didn't seem to offer many 
advantages over my trusty FreshRoast (or over the 
Alp). And I do like being able to roast 
substantial volume at one time.
If it takes me long to figure out what to do, I 
might just get the newer FreshRoast, which sounds 
as if it will suit me better than the old one 
(extra time on the dial instead of constant 
fiddling, and a slightly cooler roasting temp). 
But I won't be delighted to go back to a couple 
of ounces per roast.
Does anyone have any idea when the new Alp is likely to appear?

2) From: John Blumel
On Jan 16, 2005, at 4:35pm, Kathleen Tinkel wrote:
I roast outside, so the smoke has never been an issue for me. But, 
although I never thought to do even a subjective, quantitative 
comparison of the smoke output from my Alpenrost (which I don't really 
use anymore -- i.e., it's backup) vs. the Hottop, I don't think there 
is that much more smoke from the Hottop than one would expect based on 
the capacities. However, the Hottop does seem to leak smoke from 
various parts of its anatomy more than the Alpenrost. Overall, as you 
probably know, the smoke output is more or less a function of the bean 
mass and how dark you roast.
The Hottop is less sensitive to ambient temperature than the Alpenrost 
so roasting outside in the winter is not a problem. I've roasted as 
cold as 16F with no problems.
As far as the filters go, they seem to have changed them to a paper 
based system but I have the older foam based filters and can't really 
comment on issues related to the current filters.
John Blumel

3) From: Kathleen Tinkel
Thanks, John. As I suspected.
That HotTop is a very seductive gadget, I must say.
Roasting outside may not be much of a problem for the roaster, but 
for me -- there's the rub!
But it sounds as if I can place it next to (or directly under) my 
heavy-duty stove ventilator, though, which might be sufficient (as it 
has been for the Alp, which is on the counter to the left of the 
stove with its screened spout aimed up toward the vents). 
Alternatively, we can convert a casement window and insert a small 
ventilator there.

4) From: John Blumel
On Jan 16, 2005, at 5:58pm, Kathleen Tinkel wrote:
Of course, you don't have to stay out there all the time. You can 
always set a timer and monitor it from a window. I also have a propane 
heater that I sometimes use when I'm grilling in the winter (like 
tonight, 19F already, better get that eggplant marinating) which puts 
out a lot of heat, but, for some reason, I don't bother to use it while 
Someone on the list must have at least tried this. Perhaps they can 
comment on how well it works?
John Blumel

5) From: petzul
So far I have not tried roasting inside. It seems too much trouble to me 
to try to contain all the smoke and chaff. Besides I would rather roast 
on a concrete floor, or the ground, a place that doesn't burn ;-)
Roasting outside on a concrete patio, here in LHC.
John Blumel wrote:

6) From: Philip Keleshian
Hi Kathleen,
If you are going to roast indoors and you are concerned with smoke, I =
would say the Z&D is your best option.
Out of the box the Z&D is a good roaster if a bit under powered.  If you =
use the tricks developed by the Z&D users such as preheating the machine =
and cooling the beans outside of the machine it does a great job.  It =
won't do as large a batch as your Alp but if you are a tinkerer and are =
willing to "hot rod" it you can push it to about 6 oz.  You can check =
out my Z&D on the Coffee Geek site.  Do a search for Z&D updates.  If =
you put PJK for the author it may work better.

7) From: Russell Stanton
When my Alp died I replaced it with a Hottop and love it. I have a Jenn Air
with the downdraft vent and have no problems with smoke. I put the Hottop
over the downdraft vent and it pulls all the smoke out.

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