HomeRoast Digest

Topic: The Fresh Roast Follies #1 (9 msgs / 223 lines)
1) From: Jim Mitchell
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
OK - so after prowling Ebay and the Web, I stumbled onto the SM site and =
in a fit of passing madness ordered a sample pack of green beans - =
thinking "Hey, so what if I don't yet have a roaster, I live in a =
commercial boatyard and can always 'borrow' one of their heat guns."
Immediately thereafter, I found a lightly-used FreshRoast +8 at a price =
that made it too good to resist - even for a cheap sod like me, so I =
bought the silly thing and had it shipped Express Mail.
The beans arrived in 3 days - and despite the best efforts of the FedEx =
guy - were in good shape. I was busily unpacking them, reading the =
labels, and plotting how I was going to roast up a batch with one of the =
yard's 30 Amp Bosch heat guns when the USPS person arrived with the =
FreshRoast package.
Cool! Timing is everything ... I eagerly tore into the package, only to =
discover that U.S. Post Orifice gorillas must be considerably larger, =
stronger, and more agressive than the FedEx variety, as I basically =
poured the many small pieces of what had one been a FR +8 roaster out =
onto the counter.
Mutter, mutter, Merde! mutter, mutter, mutter. The poor thing looked =
very bad, the roast chamber was smashed beyond repair, the chaff =
collector had several major cracks and a piece of its bottom flange =
broken off, and worst of all, the ceramic carrier for the heating =
element was broken in two.
A major disappointment, but sometimes you've just got to ignore the =
right part of your brain which is screaming "Don't stop now, just throw =
the whole blinking thing in the garbage!" and let the left side guide =
you through fixing what other folks have destroyed.
A quick trip to Hardwick's Hardware and some discussions with one of the =
old-timers there netted a glass oil-lamp chimney, and a tub of Rutland =
Furnace Cement (see all of their very interesting products here: =http://www.rutland.com/sfp4/link4.htm#64).Several messy hours of exceptionally creative cursing later I was the =
proud parent of my very own FrankenRoaster - the heating element glued =
together, the lamp chimmney cemented into the original metal carrier, =
and the chaff collector repaired and carefully balanced on top.
At this point I should start blathering on about how wonderful the 1st =
roast was - full of fruit and nut notes with an earthy undertone - I =
could, but I'd be lying.  The best I can say about my first roast, was =
that it was roasted - really roasted - somewhere between Sin City and =
Chicken Chernobyl I'd estimate with distinct flavors of Industrial =
effulent and psychotic rodent pee - into the garbage it went - Phew!
{to be continued}

2) From: Michael Dhabolt
 I love it. A good shipyard mentality - never can't be done - just a matter=
of imagination, ingenuity and implementation.
 Mike (just plain)
 On 6/30/05, Jim Mitchell  wrote: 

3) From: Gene Smith
{to be continued}
I certainly hope so, Jim...that was flaming hilarious!
Gene Smith
threading the wild learning curve, in Houston

4) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Excellent story.  Anyone who can find a way to use Rutland Furnace
Cement in homeroasting will certainly be at home here.
Looking forward to Chapter Deux.
Roasting in an SC/TO
On 6/30/05, Jim Mitchell  wrote:

5) From: Andy Thomas
Great story! One concern -- does the furnace cement,
or any of its possible secretions, come into contact
with your coffee? And a question, how is psychotic
rodent pee different from mentally well-adjusted
rodent pee? 
--- Jim Mitchell  wrote:
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6) From: Jim Mitchell
Andy -
No, the furnace cement surrounds the outside of the glass chimney - holding 
it to the pot-metal base, and it also seems to be fairly chemically inert - 
my hunch is a water-based silica product.
The psycho rodent reference may be a bit obscure - but years ago, when the 
anti-psychotic drugs of choice were Thorazine and Haldol, the really 
bull-goose loonies were heavily over-medicated and their urine had a very 
distinctively obnoxious smell of Ketones and Aldehydes that would linger in 
a room for hours.
Hence, the roast which had a very sharp, nasty, biting, chemical smell 
reminded me of those unfortunate folks locked away in the back wards. Both 
and unpleasent smell and an ugly memory ....
Cheers (I guess)

7) From: miKe mcKoffee
From: "Jim Mitchell" 
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 2:39 PM
Glad you clarified the reference. I was wondering about someone developing a 
palate that would distinguish the difference, relieved to hear it was only 
an olafactory comparison!
Great first roast story BTW.
miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path traveled by many. 
To know I must first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal 
enlightenment found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who 
have gone before.

8) From: Pecan Jim Gundlach
    You would have had more control with the heat gun.  There could  
well be a reason the FreshRoast was so affordable.
On Jun 30, 2005, at 2:58 PM, Jim Mitchell wrote:

9) From: Zara Haimo
I now wish I had started roasting with a dog bowl instead of with a
Hearthware.  With the machine, it was very difficult to hear/see/smell what
was happening - I could barely hear 1st crack which is often very loud and
never could hear 2nd crack.  I had to guess when to end a roast and often
roasted too dark by accident.  With the dog bowl and heat gun, it's really
easy to know when to stop a roast - all the changes in the bean size and
color are easy to see, the cracks are very loud and clear, and the change in
the smell of the smoke is the best indicator of when a roast is ready.
If you still have access to the heat gun and have any kind of stainless bowl
with high sides, try roasting again that way.  I just posted a fairly
detailed description of how I roast - check the archives for the last day if
you missed it.

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