HomeRoast Digest


Topic: SC/TO (20 msgs / 630 lines)
1) From: Frank Fairchild
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hi everyone.  As some of you know I have only been roasting for only a =
couple of months using a FreshRoast +8 And a couple of poppers.  I love =
the coffee compared to the stuff I was buying from off the shelf but =
reading your posts I feel like I would enjoy it more if I had more =
(some) control over the roasting profile.
I could spend money on a lot of different items from a Variac to a Hot =
Top but am intrigued with the SC/TO combination.  Before I go this route =
though I have a few questions:
1.  Does it make any difference what brand of oven as long as the =
thermostat goes to 500 degrees?
2.  Do most of you use an actual profile or do you just turn on to 500 =
degrees and watch/listen?
3.  The newer SCs automatically turn off when popcorn is finished =
popping.  I have no idea what the sensing mechanism is for this action.  =
Will this interfere with coffee roasting?  If so can this be bypassed?
Thanks for the help and any other tips, suggestions, etc.
Frank

2) From: Peter Schmidt
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Frank....  I've been using the SC/TO for a year and a half....  not a =
pro-roaster, but have 20 or so customers that keep coming back.  Like =
most things 'coffee' there's more than one right way to do it, but =
here's my spin on your questions......
  1.  Does it make any difference what brand of oven as long as the =
thermostat goes to 500 degrees?
  One of my ovens is 1250, the other 1440.  Both seem to work the same.  =
I use temp probes in the bean mass and both TO's heat approximately at =
the same rate.
  2.  Do most of you use an actual profile or do you just turn on to 500 =
degrees and watch/listen?
  I start my timers when the temp is 300, and leave it there for =
about 4 minutes, sometimes 6 depending on how much attention I can =
devote.  Then I'll set the oven to 'Full Blast' and wait for 1st crack.  =
Whatever temp the thermo reads while in a solid, rolling 1st is where =
I'll keep it.  Adjusting the oven's dial keeps it fairly close, but I =
fiddle with the dial to keep it at that temp within 5.  First crack =
finishes, and the temp is held or allowed to rise slightly.  For City+ =
I'll hold it for less than a minute, for FC I'll let the heat creep up a =
few ticks over a 2-3 minute span (the beans will bump up the temps on =
their own just from the heat they've stored), and for anything FC+ or =
into 2nd crack, I'll bump the oven's dial back up to 500 which will =
produce as dark a roast as needed.  For myself, I almost never go past =
C+ or FC.  A few customers still like dark stuff, which I'll do even =
tho' it's against my religion.
  3.  The newer SCs automatically turn off when popcorn is finished =
popping.  I have no idea what the sensing mechanism is for this action.  =
Will this interfere with coffee roasting?  If so can this be bypassed?
  I don't know about the auto shut-off.  I have one I bought new 6 =
months ago, that doesn't have that feature.  Mine will run and run, so I =
put a switch in. (Radio Shack)  I have an IR thermometer, that for my =
SC's at least, shows around 530 cut out, and comes back on at around =
350.  I would suggest either putting in a switch or disabling the =
SC's heater.  It gets hard for me to control two thermostats, and feel =
it's better to deal with only one heat source.
  Thanks for the help and any other tips, suggestions, etc.
  If your center shaft ever melts or breaks, a simple fix is to simply =
cut of the plastic threads, drill a hole in the shaft and install what's =
called a hanger bolt.  Home Depot or any good hardware store carries =
them.  They have threads on both ends; one end has wood screws (goes =
into the plastic SC shaft) the other end has machine threads ( 1/4-20 =
will make it easy to put a wing nut and washer on to hold down the =
stirring arm)
  Hope that helps, and I hope changing the font and color in the body of =
your post comes through.
  Peter Schmidt, Milwaukee
  Frank

3) From:
Frank- Greetings to the humble list! Humble? Yes, I have to eat words once
in awhile!
  "The newer SCs automatically turn off when popcorn is finished popping.
a.) I have no idea what the sensing mechanism is for this action.  b.)Will
this interfere with coffee roasting? c.) If so can this be bypassed?"
[My condiment to season what I may have to eat, is some Panama Carmen Estat=
e
1700-1800m!]
a.)- The SC is a great popper, and uses a little oil to transfer heat to th=
e
popcorn kernels. When they're all popped, a lot of moisture has been
converted to steam pressure, and is now gone. With no moisture, the
temperature rises past the setpoint of a Normally-Closed thermostatic switc=
h,
which removes power.
b.)- The thermal switch would open above the BP of water, probably around
350F, an adequate popping temperature, I'm guessing. If it doesn't also
stop the little stirring motor, the beans will continue to agitate. The TO
supplies adequate heat and airflow for roasting.
c.)- You can add an R'Shack switch to parallel, or bypass the thermo switch
completely. You'd just have to (carefully) drill a hole in the plastic base
of the SC- starting small and working up to the size you need. You could
even get a switch with a neon indicator in the bat or rocker.
ray sez)- You didn't ask, but you actually have a lot of control of the
roasting profile with the FR +8. You can run it on an (uncoiled!) extension
cord, and/ or you can lower the heat while it's running by advancing the
timer knob about half way into the cooldown zone for 5 or 10 s every 30
seconds. Or whatever seems good.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
--
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the
Wichita WurliTzer

4) From: Scot Murphy
On Nov 25, 2005, at 11:19 AM, Frank Fairchild wrote:
<Snip>
There seems to be a difference, based on my vast experience with two  
different turbo ovens. The first I got was a DecoSonic, but even  
though it supposedly went up to 500, it didn't progress much past  
first crack on any beans I tried. My attempts to go to second  
resulted in baked beans. I then got a Sunpentown for $59 and it does  
the job just fine. (Although I have to say: the first time I turned  
it on, I heard a horrible scraping sound from the "fan." The "fan" is  
not really a fan but is a disc with vents cut out of it and bent at  
90-degree angles. I had to bend these up and away from the heating  
unit. Not too badly; just a quarter-inch or so. But once I did that,  
it was fine.)
<Snip>
I'm still learning. I can affect the roast by removing the oven and  
turning it off so far; I haven't played with a variac yet. But I am  
in the process of finding out how my beans roast and cup, so I am  
logging everything. Once I learn more, I will begin to actually  
create profiles.
<Snip>
I haven't had a problem with this, and I got my SC brand new in  
September.
Scot "and it's so EASY" Murphy
--------------
"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or  
cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need  
men who can dream of things that never were."
                                   --John F. Kennedy

5) From: Butch Bates
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
What does that stand for?  How does it compare to the I-Roast 2?

6) From: Rod
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Stir Crazy/ Convection Oven. http://turbocrazy.atspace.com/index_files/project.htm 
I am not expert roaster but as I shopped the following differences came to
my mind
 
IRoast is fluid air bed roasting 
SC/TO is conductive and convective heating.
 
IRoast is programmable
SC/TO is dials and art
 
IRoast is ready to go
SC/TO you build
 
Take my opinion on more sophisticated roasters with a grain of salt.  I use
thishttp://sweetmarias.com/prod.stovetop-popper.shtml 
Hope this is helpful,
Rodney

7) From: Brent - SC/TO Roasting
Hi, Butch.
I've roasted in an SC/TO for over a year; and have been using an
iRoast 2 for about two months.  Here's what I can tell you:
SC/TO stands for Stir Crazy/Turbo Oven.  It's an easily put together
roaster made from different machines.  Basically, the top of a turbo
oven set on the bottom of a stir crazy popcorn popper.  Other versions
are SC/GG for stir crazy/galloping gourmet and SC/CO for stir
crazy/convection oven.  You can get the parts for approx. $100 if you
keep an eye out for sales.  Many folks here get their turbo oven from
www.newegg.com.  If you do a search for Sunpentown (the manufacturer
and that is spelled correctly), the turbo oven will come up.
The biggest difference between the two machines is batch size.  The
IR2 roasts approx. 1/2 cup at one time; the SC/TO can easily roast 3/4
of a pound at once.  It takes me 3-4 hours to roast a pound of beans
in the IR2.
The SC/TO is not programmable -- it's all up to you, the roaster. 
Which I really like.  You can smell, hear, and see the roast; you can
stop it when you want; it handles small and large batches reasonably
well.  All are important.  The SC/TO is mainly an outdoor roaster but
I've roasted with it in a fireplace.  It may work OK under a strong
kitchen hood.
The iRoast 2 is programmable and is meant to be used indoors.  The
programs are saved in memory and you can fiddle around to try and get
repeatable roasts.  There is a vent attachment to vent smoke and smell
outdoors.  It works reasonably well.  You can still see, smell, and
somewhat hear the roast in the IR2, but it's takes some getting used
to compared to the SC/TO.
The IR2 is made of bakelite.  A piece has already chipped off after 2
months of use from a relatively short (6") fall.  The SC/TO is pretty
sturdy and I haven't had any problems with it going on 2 years.
So, I like the SC/TO over the iRoast 2.  But the iRoast 2 is a good
indoor roaster for the winter.
I hope this is helpful.  Please post if you have any other questions.
--
Brent
Roasting in an SC/TO & i'Roast2
On 12/24/05, Butch Bates  wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: MMore
Just a note about the SC/TO.
I've been roasting in one for about a year now.   This, on the heels of hot 
air popcorn poppers (which I still use occasionally for small batches, to try 
out new beans, etc...) and an Alpenroast.   IMHO, forget the Alp.   Looks good, 
does a decent job, but it's hard to profile, hear the cracks, and mine died 
after 12 months.
The SC/TO is my roaster of choice until I move up to an RK drum.   I roast up 
to a lb. of beans, get a nice consistent roast, feel like I have pretty good 
control over it (by listening, smell and sight).   I disconnected the SC heat 
source (really easy to do) and have found that I have to run the temp. sort of 
in a reverse mode.   Have to start out at 500 degrees and then back it off 
once first crack starts.   If I go the other way, it takes too long to get to 
first and tends to "bake" the beans.
My two cents worth on this Christmas Eve.
Good luck
MICHAEL - A roaster from Vienna, Va.

9) From: Obrien, Haskell W.
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I was using an air popper before making my SC.http://Biobug.org/coffee/turbo-crazyif you care to see mine. :-)
 
It's massively quieter than the popper.  With the larger volume and
quieter operation it's MUCH easier to hear the cracks.
You can also find the ovens on amazon.com.  FYI there's no difference in
the base of the various stir crazy sizes, just the size of the bowl/lid.
You'll need to replace the stirring shaft fairly quickly, I suggest at
least getting the parts before the regular shaft breaks...
 
Oh, while wait for the parts to make the roaster, the SC can be used to
make some tasty kettle corn.
 
Will

10) From: Geary Lyons
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Will,
Great page!  I have wondered about this set-up. You layout and explanations
are super. I was leaning toward a small drum, but am intrigued by the SC/TO.
I would rarely need to roast more than 4-8 ounces in  a batch.
Thanks for sharing!!
Geary

11) From: Thomas Pfau
I went to visit my sister today.  Somehow, the conversation shifted to 
roasting coffee.  I was describing the proper corn popper and my 
Hearthware Precision. I started telling her about the SC/TO setup that 
I've been wanting to build.  She said she has a turbo oven that she 
bought off the home shopping network years ago, used once, then packed 
away in the basement.  She offered it to me.  I'm now half way to my 
SC/TO setup.
-- 
tom_p
pfau --http://nbpfaus.net/~pfau/

12) From: Peter Schmidt
Tom,
If you don't have time for, or interest in scavenging, Target has the SC on
sale from time to time, as does Amazon (qualifies for free shipping too).
peter
<Snip>
unsvbscribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

13) From: Steve Hay
On 5/28/06, Peter Schmidt  wrote:
<Snip>
What's creepy is if you go try to buy one from Target, it suggests a West
Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper.
!!
-- 
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it."

14) From: b cook
Cool.  I have an SC I got at a thrift shop.  I'm looking for a TO.
Unfortunately I have no sisters.  :)
brad
On 5/28/06, Steve Hay  wrote:
<Snip>
C
<Snip>
l
<Snip>
l
<Snip>

15) From: Thomas Pfau
Peter Schmidt wrote:
<Snip>
Walmart.com has a stir crazy for $25.  Target.com has a 6 quart (in 
stock, $30) and an 8 quart (2-6 weeks, $40) model.  I'll check in the 
stores to see what they have.
While digging out the turbo oven, we came across her popcorn pumper.  
Unfortunately for me, she still uses it for popping corn.
-- 
tom_p
pfau --http://nbpfaus.net/~pfau/

16) From: Tom Bellhouse
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Brad, did you see an earlier post that mentioned buying the TO top only, =
as a replacement part?  Knocked off about $20, IIRC.  I thinkthe =
Sunpentown website was mentioned as the source.
K-Mart carries the SC for ~ $29.  Remember that you can use a thrift =
store SC whose heating element is crapped out, and that many people =
disconnect the heating element anywhay.  All you need is the for =
stirring motor to work.  I'm scouring the thrift shops looking for parts =
for a second unit, but there must not have been many popcorn eaters or =
turbo-chefs in these hills.  No luck recently.
Why hasn't some enterprising person gotten together with the parts =
manufacturers and cobbled together a complete SC/TO?  It's such a great =
way to roast.  
BTW, I've recently figured out that the optimal size for a roast in my =
SC/TO is 3/4 lb.  It'll do more, but without bottom heat a bigger roast =
gets pretty slow and uneven.  I ccould easily roast a pound when I had =
the bottom element functioning, but then it's too quick on smaller =
roasts.  My next unit will have the bottom element on a switch.  
Holler if you  run into a snag.
Tom in GA

17) From: Peter Schmidt
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Steve, perhaps we should let Target know that the West Bend Stir Crazy's =
are designed for turning green beans brown.
Tom, the 6qt. & 8qt. have the same base, different size plastic tops, so =
get whatever saves a buck.
Would someone be kind enough to e-mail me off-list with some basic =
instructions on posting pics online.  I actually came into the 21st =
century, at least in digital photography, and would like to post some =
pics of my adjustable spacer/ TC placement.....peter4jc  =
thanks!
  On 5/28/06, Peter Schmidt <> wrote:
    Tom,
    If you don't have time for, or interest in scavenging, Target has =
the SC on
    sale from time to time, as does Amazon (qualifies for free shipping =
too).
    peter
  What's creepy is if you go try to buy one from Target, it suggests a =
West Bend Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper. 
  !!
  -- 
  Steven Hay
  hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
  Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of =
natural numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is =
a natural number which requires more than 50 words to describe it." 

18) From: Peter Schmidt
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Mr. Bellhouse,
I'd agree that this is a great way to roast coffee, and seems like a =
no-brainer for a retail unit.  I've noticed the same thing for optimal =
roast size.  I can go down to 115g with modded arms, but find more is =
easier.  It seems like the culprit in my uneven one pound roasts is the =
convection patterns; there's more heat towards the outside as that's =
where the hot air comes down.
My next project is going to be to replace the stock SC thermostat.  I =
have four that open and close at lower temps; 275F- 340F.  My thinking =
is that bottom heat in that range may add just enough so that the SC =
element can remain on, and the TO may do larger qty's., and allow =
greater control.  I still don't like the idea of the SC 'stat going on =
when I'm trying to maintain a temp, or going off when I'm trying to =
raise a temp.  But 330F of bottom heat won't cause the small roasts to =
go too quickly.
peter
  BTW, I've recently figured out that the optimal size for a roast in my =
SC/TO is 3/4 lb.  It'll do more, but without bottom heat a bigger roast =
gets pretty slow and uneven.  I ccould easily roast a pound when I had =
the bottom element functioning, but then it's too quick on smaller =
roasts.  My next unit will have the bottom element on a switch.  
  Holler if you  run into a snag.
  Tom in GA

19) From: Steve Hay
On 5/28/06, Tom Bellhouse  wrote:
<Snip>
wn
<Snip>
If not,http://store.yahoo.com/yhst-10843381165166/paacforov.htmlApparently they have upped their price; I guess due to demand...
-- 
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it."

20) From: Scot Murphy
--Apple-Mail-2-921085075
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On May 28, 2006, at 9:38 PM, Peter Schmidt wrote:
<Snip>
Try eBay. I got a SC for $3 plus shipping.
Scot "no signatures after my recent crash" Murphy
--Apple-Mail-2-921085075
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On May 28, 2006, at 9:38 PM, Peter Schmidt wrote:

If you don't have time for, or interest in scavenging, Target has the SC on

sale from time to time, as does Amazon (qualifies for free shipping too).

Try eBay. I got a SC for $3 plus shipping.

Scot "no signatures after my recent crash" Murphy --Apple-Mail-2-921085075--


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