HomeRoast Digest


Topic: "Newbie here!" I-Roast helpppp!!!!!!! (12 msgs / 364 lines)
1) From: shawn davenport
i recently like last week purchased the I-roast, joined the list and been reading the archives, does anyone have good things to say about the i-raost! does anyones roasting cycles with the i-roast work.seems as though there is nothing but negative responses to the i-roast. should i not even open the box up! now i am really green here and really new to this, i've purchased some books on home roasting, and i'll do trial and error. Beleive me i'll not give up on this! but my question is,  does anyone who owns a I-roast heve some cycles that will work, anyone have some advice! Also saw a modified chaff colector i believe on this site, was nothing but an aluminum hose, one was into a bucket...anyone know where that link was? also s there a wabsite or book that explains roasting lingo, such as chaff ect.
                                      Thanks Shawn

2) From: DEchelbarg
Shawn, relax, easy -- if your I-Roast is working properly you will have a 
good experience.  
Try this 2 minutes at 325;   3 minutes at 375   program out to 10 for 425.  
It appears that I-roasts run at different temps, but on the average, for a City 
Plus roast it will go about 3:30 into the 3rd stage.  Full City 4:00 Vienna 
up to 6.  But let your senses tell you.  This is not a bread machine.  You will 
 have to acquire the skill to roast, and that is what makes it fun.
Various beans will roast differently.
As for the vent, I use a dryer hose.  I bought a drier fitting and cut a 
whole in a board that I cut to the width of my window.  I closed the window on the 
board and attached the dryer vent to the fitting -- presto outside venting.  
This is a great roaster.  I use another method as well, but I wouldn't be 
without it.  
Good luck.  Relax -- there will be a learning curve.
Dave E

3) From: ConradArms
Hi, 
 
I started roasting green coffee beans a little over a year ago.  I  started 
roasting my beans in a Toastmaster popcorn popper.  I found this to  be time 
consuming, so I looked into buying a roaster.  In August I  purchased an 
I-Roast, I love it.  I bought it from Sweet Maria's.  At  first I roasted using the 
preprogrammed temps, the roasted beans were  OK.  About a week later I started 
roasting per the recommendations from  Sweet Maria's. My roasted beans come 
out great.  You can go to Sweet  Maria's web site (_info's.com_ 
(mailto:info's.com) ) to get the  roasting temps. they recommend for the 
I-Roast.  I live in North Carolina,  so it's pretty cold.  I keep my machine 
in the house when not in use.   When I'm ready to roast, I take my machine 
from the warm house into the  garage.  I put the I-Roast in a box when I'm 
roasting to keep it  warm.  I'm having lots of fun roasting and drinking the 
different coffees  from all over the world.  Good luck.......Dorothy  

4) From: Steve Wall
On Jan 17, 2005, at 9:42 AM, shawn davenport wrote:
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I've had mine for less than a month so I'm only a little farther along =
than you are, though I do have 2 or so years of roasting experience 
using poppers and stovetop methods.  The best advice I have is to 
follow something like the profiles in Tom's tip sheets but to max out 
the time setting in phase 3 and turn on the cooling cycle manually.  
This has helped me roast in a cold basement where the cold intake air 
has extended the roasting time from Tom's profiles.  Also keep a 
roasting journal to help reproduce the profiles that work for you.
Steve W.

5) From: Jerry Procopio
Shawn,
I, also, have been roasting a little over a year.  I started with a 
Toastmaster and in June got my iRoast.  Although I think there are some 
improvements that Hearthware could have and should have made to the 
roaster, I am one of the "happy" people.  I use Tom's recommended roast 
profile (modified a little) of 2 minutes at 340, 3 minutes at 390, and 
6 minutes at 450 and then I watch, listen, and smell carefully and stop 
it manually by starting the cool cycle.  The only modification to the 
chaff collector that I have made for regular coffee is a little wad of 
tin foil that I place in the center of the chaff collector so the screen 
lid will hold it down tight.  I roast in my garage, with the roaster 
vented through a window using some flexible vent hose and a clothes 
dryer vent that I rigged to go into an open window (when I roast).  I 
live in Virginia and right now it is rather cold.  I found that 
"preheating" the iRoast with a hairdryer for about 15 seconds works to 
overcome it's refusal to operate in cold temperatures. 
I also use the dog bowl/heat gun method of roasting, which has become my 
preferred method, but I still roast at lewast one batch a week in the 
iRoast and I think it is a good machine.  You're not gonna find out till 
you take it out of the box and roast some coffee.  Go for it!  Don't 
just plug it in and walk away.  Watch what is happening - not just for 
safety, but for the learning experience.  Watch, listen, smell, learn 
and most of all, enjoy the fresh roasted coffee that you will start 
producing.
Jerry
shawn davenport wrote:
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6) From: Aaron S.
Thought I would weigh in on the i-Roast, because the more I read, the
more confused I get...
It's hard for me to tell from all the reports I've read whether
Hearthware is shipping lots of bum roasters or if lots of home
roasters are just not doing something right.  My roaster works fine at
low temperatures, but once I program in anything over 380-390, I lose
control of the roast entirely; it takes about 30 seconds or so to go
from city to vienna, with no differention between 1st and 2nd cracks
at all.  I know, I know, program in lower temperatures, you say.  But
there are two problems with this.  First, if I can't use temps higher
than 380, then what's the big deal about having a roaster with
temerature control?  I though that was the point of the i-Roast, to
have this control.  Second, clearly there are i-Roasters out there
that CAN handle higher temps, so what's the deal?  Why is it that some
i-Roasters seem to "handle" higher temps but others cannot?
My first thought was that the chamber was heating up too fast because
of chaff.  I, like others, have a loose-fitting chaff collector ring
that let chaff sneak out and clog the mesh screens on top.  So I
folded a picece of foil to wedge in between the collector ring and the
lid.  The up side is that this keeps much of the chaff from blocking
the screens...  The down side is that it does nothing to give me more
control over the roast.  I still can't use temps higher than 380-390,
and I still can't prolong the 1st-2nd crack interval.
This makes no sense.  Tom says that 350 F for 2:00 min, 400 F for 3:00
min, and 460 F for 4:30 min gives him City to City+.  But this profile
on my roaster gives me Vienna/French less than 1.5 minutes into 3rd
stage.  How can this be?  There's no way my voltage is higher than
his, so either there's something ELSE I'm doing wrong, or there's a
problem with my i-Roaster (and to make things even MORE complicated,
the themo readings are consistently low relative to my profile temps
-- I know this isn't a "problem" but it does suggest my unit isn't
running particularly hot).
Furthermore, I've tried cutting back on the beans...  From 150g to
135g to 120g.  This makes a teeny weenie difference, but not much. 
And frankly, if I cut back the amount of beans any more, what's the
point of using the i-Roast?!?  My HWP did 75-80g no problem...the
appeal of the i-Roast was its x2 capacity!
Okay, enough ranting.  Am I crazy?  Am I missing something?
Oh, forgot the kicker:  I have had the same problems with BOTH i-Roast
units I've tried...the one I bought from SM and the second HW sent me
as a replacement.  So again, what's the deal?!?  I appreciate any/all
input y'all may have on this.
Aaron S.
On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 10:21:07 -0500, Jerry Procopio  wro=
te:
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and
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ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>

7) From: Brent Peterson
Your i-roast sounds exactly like mine. Using Tom's
suggested roasting curve (340 for 2 minutes, 390 for 3
minutes, 450 for 4-6 minutes), my roasts reach the
Vienna stage about a minute into Stage 3.  If I let
the roast reach 5 minutes into the 3rd stage, it's
charcoal. 
 
I performed the chaff collector mod and that helped
cool things down a bit, but it didn't make much of a
difference.  By the way, my house's voltage varies
from 118 to 121.
 
In attempting to slow the roasting times, I've tried
using much lower temperatures, but the roast always
develops too fast if the temperature is set over 390.
But if I keep it below 390, the roast stalls out at
about city stage. 
 
The i-roast seems to have two fan speeds: fast and
slow.  When the temperature is set below 390, then the
fan speed is fast; if the temperature is set at or
above 390, then the fan speed is slow.  On my i-roast,
there is no difference between 320 and 380; and
there's no difference between 390 and 450.    It's as
if the variable temperature control is meaningless. 
There seems to be just two settings, separated by the
390 degree threshold.
 
The problem with this behavior is that it is very hard
to control the roast.  Assume I adopt the following
profile: 350 for 6 minutes and 400 for 4 minutes.  (I
am using 350, but, as I wrote above, the roast
develops the same at any temperature between 320 and
380.)   So, the roast develops fairly nicely for the
first 5 minutes, bringing the beans right to the verge
of first crack.  When the second stage kicks in, the
heat is too high: the roast charges right through
first crack and into second in a couple of minutes,
with little or no discernable pause first and second
crack.
One thought I've had it to muck with the thing so that
I can control the fan speed separately.  As I
understand it, the i-roast doesn't vary its heat
output at all: it just varies the fan speed to change
the roasting temperature.  If *I* could control the
fan speed, then I wouldn't have to worry about
figuring out the i-roast's mysterious behavior; I
could just make the necessary changes during the
roast.
-Brent
--- "Aaron S."  wrote:
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Do you Yahoo!? 
Yahoo! Mail - now with 250MB free storage. Learn more.http://info.mail.yahoo.com/mail_250

8) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Folks - there were some changes to the i-Roast default programs a 
while back and I was slow to respond ... ie make tip sheet changes. 
That wouldn't affect the custom program settings in itself, but the 
newer i-Roast chip varies air speed to change heat in a different 
way. The first generation would fluctuate air speed from high to low 
at 10-15 second intervals. The newer generation varies airspeed in a 
continuous way, not short intervals. This DOES affect the custom 
programs, I think. In a way the changes are good, and if I might be a 
little self-centered here, I think Hearthware actually took my basic 
custom program, and made that the Preset 1 on the new machines.
But I need to make an apology ... I wasn't aware of the change, I 
didn't make Tip Sheet modifications to acurately reflect the change, 
and my online review (well, the part where I have the datalogged 
temperatures) is based on the prototype still. I put a lot of work 
into things, and that sorta backfires when something changes because 
I basically have to take a day out from everything else and do all 
the work over again. I really need to re-do my tests and do some 
comparative cupping with the results to "index" them both to the 1st 
generation i-Roast and to the other roasters - I will do that SOON!
Tom
-- 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                      http://www.sweetmarias.com                Thompson Owen george

9) From: DEchelbarg
In a message dated 1/21/2005 5:12:03 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
rogueregime writes:
Thought I would weigh in on the i-Roast, because the more I read, the
more confused I get...
It's hard for me to tell from all the reports I've read whether
Hearthware is shipping lots of bum roasters or if lots of home
roasters are just not doing something right.  My roaster works fine at
low temperatures, but once I program in anything over 380-390, I lose
control of the roast entirely; it takes about 30 seconds or so to go
from city to vienna, with no differention between 1st and 2nd cracks
at all.  I know, I know, program in lower temperatures, you say.  But
there are two problems with this.  First, if I can't use temps higher
than 380, then what's the big deal about having a roaster with
temerature control?  I though that was the point of the i-Roast, to
have this control.  Second, clearly there are i-Roasters out there
that CAN handle higher temps, so what's the deal?  Why is it that some
i-Roasters seem to "handle" higher temps but others cannot?
My first thought was that the chamber was heating up too fast because
of chaff.  I, like others, have a loose-fitting chaff collector ring
that let chaff sneak out and clog the mesh screens on top.  So I
folded a picece of foil to wedge in between the collector ring and the
lid.  The up side is that this keeps much of the chaff from blocking
the screens...  The down side is that it does nothing to give me more
control over the roast.  I still can't use temps higher than 380-390,
and I still can't prolong the 1st-2nd crack interval.
This makes no sense.  Tom says that 350 F for 2:00 min, 400 F for 3:00
min, and 460 F for 4:30 min gives him City to City+.  But this profile
on my roaster gives me Vienna/French less than 1.5 minutes into 3rd
stage.  How can this be?  There's no way my voltage is higher than
his, so either there's something ELSE I'm doing wrong, or there's a
problem with my i-Roaster (and to make things even MORE complicated,
the themo readings are consistently low relative to my profile temps
-- I know this isn't a "problem" but it does suggest my unit isn't
running particularly hot).
Furthermore, I've tried cutting back on the beans...  From 150g to
135g to 120g.  This makes a teeny weenie difference, but not much. 
And frankly, if I cut back the amount of beans any more, what's the
point of using the i-Roast?!?  My HWP did 75-80g no problem...the
appeal of the i-Roast was its x2 capacity!
Okay, enough ranting.  Am I crazy?  Am I missing something?
Oh, forgot the kicker:  I have had the same problems with BOTH i-Roast
units I've tried...the one I bought from SM and the second HW sent me
as a replacement.  So again, what's the deal?!?  I appreciate any/all
input y'all may have on this.
Aaron S.
Aaron, what happens if you just program cooler, forget aobut going above 390. 
 I guess the issue isn't necessarily what the temps say, but what they 
produce.  If dropping stage 3 below 390 gives you the desired response, great, I 
wouldn't worry about the numbers, they are relative to your roaster.

10) From: AlChemist John
You know Tom, I really appreciate the work you do, on this and everything 
else, and I guess it is what puts you a step or five above the rest, but 
frankly you have nothing to apologize for.  It is Hearthware that should be 
making these tip sheets, and suggested programs and how too's on THEIR 
MACHINE.  It really isn't your responsibility.  And besides, there are 
prototypes out there that use your original info.  How are people to know 
which "model" they have.  I have never been burned by Hearthware, but I 
don't like them.  rant over.
Sometime around 17:41 1/21/2005, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee typed:
<Snip>
--
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/http://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

11) From: DEchelbarg
Tom, I want you to know how much I appreciate you tip sheets.  It is what 
makes your site the most comprehensive wonderful spot to visit.  I visit your web 
page every day.  Thanks for all you do.  It would be nice if Hearthware and 
other vendors do what you do, but the home roaster mentality is not to accept 
anything without trying to make it better.  Our is a tinkering mentality.  Our 
tinkering and your reports actually help the manufacturers, obviously.  Thanks 
for helping.

12) From: Brett Mason
Here, Here!  We all agree!
Kudos Tom...
On Sat, 22 Jan 2005 10:24:39 EST, DEchelbarg  wrote:
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-- 
Regards,
Brett Mason
 HomeRoast
      __]_
   _(( )_  Please don't spill the coffee!


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