HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Advice on Rosting in Winter (Chicago) (32 msgs / 704 lines)
1) From: Debbie Kong
Hi all-
I am looking for some advice on roasting coffee (possibly outdoors) through
a Chicago winter.  We just moved in to a new house (actually an old house)
and there are no outlets outside.
I have been roasting outside because the smells have been setting the smoke
alarms off and we have a small house.
Anyone have any creative ideas?
Debbie

2) From: Sandy Andina
Hi, Debbie,
     I live on the far N. Side (Edgewater).  I began roasting in  
July. I roast outdoors on my deck, using an i-Roast and an extension  
cord, which gets plugged into an outlet in my kitchen near the screen  
door (the door of course does not close completely, since the cord  
prevents it from doing so). I've never roasted outdoors in cold  
weather, so I suspect that the roasts will probably take much  
longer.  I suppose I could also use my gas grill and a cast iron  
skillet and whisk.
On Oct 17, 2005, at 3:15 PM, Debbie Kong wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com

3) From: Matthew Price
On 10/17/05, Debbie Kong  wrote:
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gh
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)
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ke
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I'm here in Northwest Indiana and I made it through last winter okay. 
I did smoke the raccoon out of the shed once; I hope he finds some
other place to hibernate this year.
I spent last winter with my pumper covered up in an empty diaper box. 
It worked well enough in the tool shed.  I played around with the
flaps to get the right amount of recirculation.  I had a thermocouple
on the air intake and tried to establish a temp that was at least
above 60F before bean drop.  I doubt very seriously you could get any
roaster to go up against the wind; you will still need to find a
sheltered space, especially in Chicago.
Matthew

4) From: Sandy Andina
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Hmmm......maybe a cardboard carton with a hole cut big enough for the  
vent hose and a layer of fiberglass batting to keep the box from  
catching fire due to the heat of the hose.  Guess I'd better head to  
Home Depot for the hose and batting,
On Oct 17, 2005, at 4:47 PM, Matthew Price wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
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Hmmm......maybe a cardboard =
carton with a hole cut big enough for the vent hose and a layer of =
fiberglass batting to keep the box from catching fire due to the heat of =
the hose. Guess I'd better head to Home Depot for the hose and =
batting,
On Oct 17, 2005, at 4:47 PM, Matthew Price =
wrote:

I doubt = very seriously you could get any

roaster to go up against the wind; you will still need = to find a

sheltered = space, especially in Chicago.

= Sandy Andinawww.sandyandina.com = = --Apple-Mail-22-954950600--

5) From: hazzmat
Debbie Kong wrote:
<Snip>
If you haven't done it already, you could try putting a box fan inside a 
window and setting up your roasting gear right in front of that on a 
table or rack, and roast with the fan on. That way the smoke will be 
pulled straight out. When the roast completes you can use the same fan 
to cool, unless you already have a better method for that (such as the 
shop-vac/bucket/colander method.)

6) From: Dean
I have noticed that when I run the Rosto and have the HEPA + 
Carbon-filter blower  running nearby that the smoke seems to be reduced 
and the roasting smell is more contained.
'course I don't mind the smell of roasting smoke that much.
Dean
Roasting in the basement for nearly 2 years now
In the weeds in Iowa
Debbie Kong wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: James Pratt
<Snip>
I'd figure that if you were going to try to use an i-Roast outdoors in
Chicago in the winter time, you'd have to start it indoors, then take
it outside while it was running, or put it into a cardboard box
indoors, and take that outdoors warm - I've got one of those beasties,
too, and they really don't like to start unless they're pretty warm!
(BTW, the box would probably be a good idea, anyway, just to keep the
ambient temps up and avoid stalled roasts.) I live in Colorado Springs,
and it's already gotten cold enough here last week (snowed 3") that I
needed to park it on top of a heater vent for a while, since the
ambient temp in my house had gotten below ~65F or so, which appears to
be the "magic" temp... I usually roast in my garage, whatever the time
of year, but I have been known to do it in my kitchen, in front of a
box fan in front of the window over the sink, as well; if I were to use
this technique in really cold conditions, I'd probably want to use the
dryer-hose attachment (possibly with an in-line fan to encourage it
along) attached to a board or something in front of the window - that
way, I'd be pretty sure that just about all of the smoke would depart
the premises. It's probably just as well that I wasn't roasting back
in '98 (I think), when the blizzard dumped 2 feet of snow over the
whole town in about 8 hours (w/ winds like you're used to)...
                                James

8) From: Sandy Andina
My garage is freestanding and unheated--perhaps I'll roast in the  
basement and vent it out the dryer hose.
On Oct 17, 2005, at 11:47 PM, James Pratt wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com

9) From: javafool
Debbie,
I see you have received a lot of good advice on winter roasting in the =
Windy
city. I lived in northern Indiana and was able to roast in my garage =
during
the winter. After several years I came up with a much better winter =
roasting
solution. We moved to Florida!
Terry

10) From: Jerry Procopio
I have an iRoast also and found that it won't even start if the temp is 
below about 65F unless you preheat it.  I remove the roasting chamber 
and point a hair dryer (not my heat gun) down the hole for about 20 - 30 
seconds to heat the thermocouple and then replace the roast chamber and 
set the program and roast.  I live in the Virginia Beach area of VA and 
successfully roasted in my unheated garage (vented out the window) in 
temperatures as low as 25F last winter.  The only stalled roast I ever 
had was with some decaf (which is always hit & miss in the iRoast 
anyway).  I also had no problem roasting HG/DB in these conditions in my 
garage.  It got a little smoky if I roasted with the door closed, so I 
would open the door prior to 2nd crack and kept the smoke to an 
acceptable (for me) level inside the garage.
If you're running a long extension cord outside to run your iRoast, 
you'll probably have some kind of voltage drop, so best to use a variac 
to maintain 120v.
Good luck,
Jerry
Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: Sandy Andina
I apparently have one of the i-Roasts that runs hot;  I've never been  =
able to go the full nine minutes on Preset 1 or ten minutes on #2  
unless I'm using a very long cord plugged into one of the weaker  
outlets (the one by the door).  Never ever stalled a roast--and decaf  =
has come out great every time. Couple of nights ago I roasted out on  
the deck at 45 degrees....without a hitch.
On Oct 18, 2005, at 4:18 AM, Jerry Procopio wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com

12) From: fjm
Blow hot air into the I-roast when it won't start in winter.  I've had 
it work into the low 20's.  If you started out with the unit prewarmed 
inside it wouldn't take much to get it going.  I literally just put my 
mouth over the hot air vent opening in the base and blow a couple of 
quick breaths into the machine and it starts every time.  fjm

13) From: Alchemist John
Does anyone have any knowledge of a filter that will truly work on 
both the visual and non-visual components of coffee roasting 
"smoke".  I know the Hottop has one, but I see smoke coming from it 
also, so it is not that effective (or maybe way full).  Electro-static maybe?
At 16:47 10/17/2005, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

14) From: David B. Westebbe
<Snip>
I live in a 2-family house.  There are two dryer outlets in the cellar.
I started roasting down there, and I use one of the dryer outlets over
my WEPP to get rid of the smoke and the chaff.
I'm still in the development stage, but so far, so good.
My main concern at the moment is that the exhaust is around 350-400
degrees, and the dryer hose isn't built for anything like that.
Currently, I use a flexible hose, but I'm thinking it would be safer to
switch over to a rigid pipe.  I know that the flexible hose can catch
dryer lint and cause a fire, and I'm concerned about chaff doing the
same thing.
What would be optimal is a rigid pipe studded with heat sinks, so that
the heat would stay in the house, and so that the pipe would have cooled
off by the time it reaches the place it goes through the side of the
house.
I'll keep you posted.

15) From: Ed Needham
The Zach and Danys roaster uses a catalytic filter to remove most of the 
smoke.  Works well on the small 3-4oz. batch sizes.  Bigger than that, I'd 
guess the technology would be too expensive for a homeroaster.  Large 
roasters use an afterburner setup where the residual combustibles in the 
smoke are burned after they exit the roaster.  That takes more gas or 
electric though.  I've never heard of one small enough to use on a home 
unit.
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
(include [FRIEND] somewhere in the subject line of any email correspondence)
*********************

16) From: Ed Needham
You've seen the flexible metal 4" dryer hose, right?  Wouldn't that meet 
your needs?
I would not use a dryer vent that has any dryer lint left in it.  Hot chaff 
embers and dryer lint would be a terrible fire hazard.
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
(include [FRIEND] somewhere in the subject line of any email correspondence)
*********************

17) From: John Blumel
On Oct 18, 2005, at 11:02 am, Ed Needham wrote:
<Snip>
The Cafe Rosto Pro 1500, which handles batches of up to 3 pounds,  
uses a catalytic converter (I recall reading this somewhere but can't  
recall where), but, of course, it probably falls in the "too  
expensive for a homeroaster" category for most of us.
John Blumel

18) From: Rich Adams

19) From: STephen niezgoda
Electrostatic precipitators work well enoguh to be used on coal power plant exhaust stacks. (yes I know ther are still dirty, but Image how bad it would be without the filters).  They have been around a long (since early 1900's invented by an engineer named  Frederick Cottrell) have no moving parts and should last forever.  All you need as a corona discharge to charge the smoke and pass the smoke between tho biased plates.  You would have to balance the charge on the plates to the velocity of the air/smoke going by. At the end of the roast wipe the plates of and you are ready to go for the next batch.
 
Or even better yet you can use a magnetic field and build youself a little smoke cyclotron.
Alchemist John  wrote:
Does anyone have any knowledge of a filter that will truly work on 
both the visual and non-visual components of coffee roasting 
"smoke". I know the Hottop has one, but I see smoke coming from it 
also, so it is not that effective (or maybe way full). Electro-static maybe?
At 16:47 10/17/2005, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/--------------------------------- Yahoo! Music Unlimited - Access over 1 million songs. Try it free.

20) From: Gene Smith
<Snip>
And the following report from website complaints.com really makes 
me wonder about this company.  Sounds like way too much fun for 
$6-$7K...
Gene Smith
riding the wild learning curve, in Houston
RE: Brightway Pro 1500 Cafe Rosto Coffee Roaster - 3 bean fires, 
broken solenoids, squeaks, bad rom modules, many problems
We had 3 scary bean fires in this product and one almost took out 
our building! During a 6 month period of time with 2 machines we 
also had an incredible, unbelievable, absolutely nightmarish repair 
record of 32 repairs performed, some of which were simply not 
fixable.
They were a colorful assortment of fried Solenoids, horrible 
squeaks, bad halogen heating bulbs, program errors in the panel, 
bad rom modules, faulty electronic scale, sticky doors, bad bean 
auger, broken feet, faulty wiring, moisture buildup, pins falling 
out of the drive shaft, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. If you want 
to roast your own coffee for your store there are other roasters 
out there.
We found and are using a Syd & Jerry's at one store and a 
Roastmaster at the other. Both are absolutely wonderful compared to 
Brightway's big chunk of Korean plastic and tin.
I have a friend that likes his Probat. I wouldn't wish this unit on 
my worst enemy. Really!

21) From: David Yeager
At 12:15 PM 10/18/2005, you wrote:
 >
 >

22) From: Peter Zulkowski
Sounds like you are talking about one of those Sharper Image Ionic 
Breeze thingies. The demo they do on TV where they put one in a box 
filled with smoke and it eats it up in seconds is sure impressive. I bet 
it would handle the smoke well enough, but perhaps the chaff would still 
be a problem.
They do cost less than a Hot Top, but could be a bit pricey for a home 
roaster, unless you already have one, and are willing to build some duct 
work so it will have a good shot at getting most of the smoke.
I wonder if using it to clean up coffee roasting would void the warrantee?
PeterZ
STephen niezgoda wrote:
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23) From: Rich Adams
Agreed,  $5500 will get you an Ambex 5 pounder.

24) From: Matthew Price
On 10/18/05, John Blumel  wrote:
<Snip>
I just got around to following the links.  I wonder if they have a web
page that isn't in pigin?  Also, the photoshopped coffee cart at the
bottom is a (not very) nice touch.  That's not a company I'm going to
trust a business to.

25) From: Sandy Andina
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Problem is that it generates ozone (unless you spring for the newer  
model with the ozone-to-oxygen convertor), which is a greater lung  
irritant than coffee smoke.  Wonder if a HEPA filter in the room  
might help?
On Oct 18, 2005, at 12:48 PM, Peter Zulkowski wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
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Problem is that it generates =
ozone (unless you spring for the newer model with the ozone-to-oxygen =
convertor), which is a greater lung irritant than coffee smoke. =
Wonder if a HEPA filter in the room might help?
On Oct 18, =
2005, at 12:48 PM, Peter Zulkowski wrote:

Sounds like you are talking = about one of those Sharper Image Ionic Breeze thingies. The demo they do = on TV where they put one in a box filled with smoke and it eats it up in = seconds is sure impressive. I bet it would handle the smoke well = enough

Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.com = --Apple-Mail-34-1034027564--

26) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
HEPA filter does help.  I use a Honeywell home air purifier.  It's
kind of loud but really does a great job of eliminating odors and dust
in a short time.
Fanless "quiet" machines do not move the air and, if they do anything
to clean the air, it takes a long time.  Anything that moves the air
through a filter will do the job more quickly.
--
Brent
Roasting in an SC/TO
Espressing myself in a LaPavoni
(and drip/moka/presspots)
On 10/18/05, Sandy Andina  wrote:
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n
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27) From: Jerry Procopio
Sandy,
I've got one of the hot ones too, but it still seems to have a mind of 
it's own when it comes to decaf.  For Regular beans using the profile: 2 
min @ 340, 3 min @ 390 and 6 min @ 450, I usually don't get much past 
3 minutes of stage 3 without having to manually end the roast.  All my 
roasts are 5.3 ounces and roast maintained @ 120v using a variac and 
digital multimeter.
Jerry
Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>

28) From: Sandy Andina
I use preset 1 most of the time, and I usually hit second crack (FC)  
between 5-1/2 and 6 minutes in. On a rare occasion (and usually the  
first roast of the day, with a 1-cup roast, I can get FC or FC+ to  
about 7 minutes.  8 minutes is always Vienna+ or even French  
(blecch).  For Vienna, I prefer preset 2 which is longer and slightly  =
lower. But I roast nearly everything these days between City and FC 
+.  Only roast I ever took to French was my first batch of Donkey, it  =
wasn't awful (still better than Charbux) but it works better at  
Vienna. (Decaf Red Line works best at FC-FC+).
On Oct 18, 2005, at 10:54 PM, Jerry Procopio wrote:
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Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com

29) From: Alchemist John
I will look into that.
At 09:37 10/18/2005, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

30) From: David B. Westebbe
<Snip>
What I'm currently using (simply because it was already there) is the 4
inch flexible shiny dryer hose which is basically a long coil of springy
wire with mylar or some other shiny plastic glued to it.  This is the
stuff which is reputed to trap lint and cause fires. Luckily, it only
forms a vertical portion of the outlet.  Therfe is a 90 degree bend
between the flexi-hose and the solid metal part which goes throught he
wall.
<Snip>
Damn good advice.  I should get the shop vac on it to be sure.
The whole thing is only about 4 feet long, so cleaning it should be
trivial.

31) From: Sandy Andina
My dryer's vent hose is galvanized aluminum.  Home Depot carries it.
On Oct 19, 2005, at 1:07 PM, David B. Westebbe wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com

32) From: Oolan Zimmer
I second the motion for flexible metal hose.  The stuff is cheap at home
stores, it's sturdy, it won't melt, burn, etc.
However, if I was you I wouldn't use your dryer outlet to vent unless you
had a way of cooling the roaster exhaust and filtering out any bits of
burning chaff.  I can guarantee that the 90-degree bend and the thing in the
wall of your house has lint trapped in it, and I can also guarantee that a
shop-vac won't get it all.  Furthermore, since it's in the wall of your
house, if it catches fire you can't get an extinguisher to it and you can't
pull it loose.
Oolan Zimmer
ozimmer at (please don't spam me) softhome dot net


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