HomeRoast Digest


Topic: 1/2 lb roast batch -- iroast2 vs hottop drum (15 msgs / 432 lines)
1) From: 4qchmow02
Hello,
I'm a new list member and I have a question.  I'm currently using a first generation Fresh Roast and I've been having pretty good results with it.  So far, all the batches have come out real nice (despite roasting in the cold).  The only problem I have is that the batches are small and I have to roast in succession (which I believe will eventually burn out the roaster).
I would like to roast a 1/2 pound bach of beans and I noticed that there are two roasters at SweetMaria's that do that:  the iroast2 and the Hot Top drum roaster.
Why would someone want to buy a Hot Top when the iRoast is so much cheaper and they both roast one half of a pound of beans?  I'm sure the HotTop is a superior product, offers more control etc. but if someone was simply looking for a fresh roast type system that could roast a larger volume, would the iRoast be the best choice?
Thanks,
Phil
--------------------------------------
Protect yourself from spam, 
usehttp://sneakemail.com

2) From: Mike Chester
I have both an I-Roast 2 and a Hottop, so I may be able to answer this.  The 
capacity of the two is not the same.  The IR2 holds 150 grams (about 1/3 
lb.) and the Hottop holds 250 grams (about 9 oz.)  This is a significant 
difference, but not worth the difference in price.  The IR is a fluid bed 
roaster and the HT is a drum roaster.  You get a different roast with the 
two methods.  The HT is a much more solidly built device and should last a 
lot longer.  It can also handle back to back roasts that are not recommended 
in the IR.  The HT offers more possibilities for future modification. 
Having said all that I still have not answered your basic question; is it 
worth the difference in price?  The jury is still out on that question as I 
have not had the HT for long, but for now, I am not sure that it is worth 3 
times the price.  Both get the job done and I have done good roasts with 
both.  I hope that this helps, but I am afraid that I just added more 
confusion.
Mike Chester

3) From: Samuel Edmondson
4qchmow02 wrote:
<Snip>
Quick answer would be that the iRoasts can't roast half a pound 
batches.  The suggested maximum load is 150g, or a hair under 1/3 a 
pound of greens.  The HotTop suggested maximum load is 250g, though I've 
seen others say it can handle up to 300g of some greens.  Each has 
advantages aside from load.  The iRoasts do permit some profiling 
although there are peculiarities, whereas the HotTop "control" is a 
timer.  HotTop is a LOT quieter, so the cracks are always clearly 
audible, sometimes the iRoast can make cracks difficult to hear.  HotTop 
requires more frequent cleaning and has consumable filters, iRoast  has 
no ongoing maintenance costs.  HotTop has some visibility of the beans 
during the roast, iRoast has better visibility.
I've done 10 or so batches so far in my HotTop, first crack has run into 
second crack, which has been a little irritating.  I've read that using 
a variac can work around this problem, but I'm not sure of the specifics.
-Sam

4) From: B. Scott Harroff
I've also had both an iRoast and a HotTop.  Primary difference is roast
weight, as Mike said, and roast profile.  A 8 minute roast on a iRoast is
different than a 17 minute profile on a HotTop.  Tom's review hits this on
the head.
From my experience, the iRoast doesn't follow profiles particularly well.
Set your iRoast for 350 for 3 minutes, 380 for 2 minutes, and 435 for 3
minutes and measure what happens in the bean mass.  
The iRoast is at about its max roast capacity "as is".  Try to goto 250g of
beans and they will stall the airflow.  The hottop, when PID controlled, can
go up to 450g (1 pound) and still complete within the standard roast
profile.  Does it have any extra heat capacity at that point? No, but you
can do a pound if you wanted. I typically do 150-200g in mine so that's not
really a benefit unless I am roasting for others.
I agree with Mike on the back to back roasts.  The stock HotTop unit handles
it very nicely (20 minute delay), and a PID'd / manual unit can roast almost
continuously with no delay (except for a disassembly at 10 roasts or so for
cleaning chap out).
If I were starting out, I'd get an iRoast.  I'd do smaller batches, play
with variables, and see what happens - it's a great small batch roaster.
If I wanted full profile control and a roast profile more like a ProBat, I'd
go modified hottop.

5) From: David Echelbarger
The I Roast doesn't roast 1/2 a pound only 150 grams.  Plus it has an air
roast "flavor" (brighter) which is not a bad thing (I have one) but the Hot
Top is a more drum roast flavor (deeper?) which some people prefer.  I don't
have a Hot Top since I opted to spend the money for the RK Drum instead.

6) From: 4qchmow02
 I have both an I-Roast 2 and a Hottop, so I may be able to answer this.  The 
capacity of the two is not the same.  The IR2 holds 150 grams (about 1/3 
lb.) and the Hottop holds 250 grams (about 9 oz.) 
Ah! Actually, you answered my un-asked question: Does the iRoast REALLY handle 1/2# coffe?  I saw the 8oz capacity listed in the roaster comparison chart and had my doubts.  Thanks for clearing that up.
It would be great to hear your impressions and evaluation of the hot top as you roast more batches.
Thanks so much,
Phil
--------------------------------------
Protect yourself from spam, 
usehttp://sneakemail.com

7) From: 4qchmow02
Since I receive the HR list eamils via digest, I didn't read through all the responses to my question before responding to Mike.
Thank you all for your comments (David, Scott, Samuel et al).
It sounds like I should do the drum grill thing but I'd have to go out and buy a gas grill so after all is said and done, maybe the HotTop is the way to go.
Since I've just started roasting, I'm going to try using my FR for a while and see what happens.  Maybe my attitude will change next winter if it gets really cold.  Here, in MA, we've had some pretty mild days which resulted in some great roasting sessions in the sun room.  An ambient 45-50 degress seems to be the lowest temp I can roast in.
Thanks again for the responses,
Phil
--------------------------------------
Protect yourself from spam, 
usehttp://sneakemail.com

8) From: p&k
First thing is I'd like to thank everyone here who contributes so much to the list,  I can only hope my roasting ability will be good enough someday to become a productive member and help too.  Good to see Ginny back too.  
  So heres my question: My second I - Roast 1 has just quit.  The first I've had for about a year and have used at least 5 times a week.  The fan doesnt seem to have enough power to circulate 125 grams of beans any more.  The 2nd, we bought used, no longer kicks in to higher temperatures and will not get above 355 on digital readout.  I have no clue how to fix either and doubt I could solder anything without frying a hole through the circuit board.  So my question is, does the Hot Top that costs 3 times as much as the I-Roast last 3 times as long, and is the flavor that much better?
  Paul
---------------------------------
 Yahoo! Mail
 Use Photomail to share photos without annoying attachments.

9) From: Mike Chester
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Only you can decide if it is worth it to you.  Having said that, I will =
say that the Hottop has much better construction.  It has a metal frame =
and a stainless skin.  It is built to last a long time.  It is also =
designed so that if a part should fail, it can be replaced relatively =
easily.  Everything is put together using screws and plugs, so that you =
don't need any special tools to take it apart.  I have not personally =
contacted the customer service dept, but I understand that they have =
good technical help that can tell you how to fix a problem and get you =
the proper parts.  The I-R is essentially designed to be a throw away =
item when it breaks.  As to the flavor profiles of the roasts, that is a =
matter of opinion.  Some people prefer the brighter air roasts and some =
prefer the higher body of the drum roasts.  When I get a chance, I am =
going to roast the same bean in both my HT and my I-R, try to taste the =
differences and then make a mélange of the two to see if the accented =
characteristics of the two styles of roasting complement each other or =
cancel each other out.  
Mike Chester

10) From: Aaron
for the i roast with the fan problem... try giving it a good blow 
through and cleaning,  take the filter thingy off the bottom of it and 
look to see that it isn't crudded up with stuff up in there.  One thing 
that I have done on batches of beans where it just wont blow them around 
enough anymore is I leave the top (not the chaff but the big top) 
unclicked so it's loose on top,  that helps circulate the beans a bit more
aaron

11) From: Bob Adams
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
p&k,
Can't help w/ the IR w/ bad heater but you could check fan output on =
other unit by running it w/ the chamber off (override the switch on the =
base), maybe compare it to the other unit running same time. If output =
feels good would check holes on bottom of chamber. Fouled top screen =
could also be to blame-try running w/o it and see what you get.
Bob

12) From: Sandy Andina
--Apple-Mail-26--692567245
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset-ASCII;
	delsp=yes;
	format=flowed
Not necessarily--alternating batches with the i-2, a new pot and  
using programs rather than presets have breathed some life into my  
original i-Roast.  Most parts--including the chaff collector, insert  
and lid are easily replaceable and require no tools to install.   
(Heating element in the base and central circulator tube in the pot  
are not, however).
On Feb 24, 2006, at 2:15 PM, Mike Chester wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
--Apple-Mail-26--692567245
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/html;
	charsetO-8859-1
Not necessarily--alternating =
batches with the i-2, a new pot and using programs rather than presets =
have breathed some life into my original i-Roast.  =
Most parts--including the chaff collector, insert and lid are easily =
replaceable and require no tools to install.  (Heating element in the =
base and central circulator tube in the pot are not, =
however).
On Feb 24, 2006, at 2:15 PM, Mike Chester =
wrote:
The I-R is essentially designed to be a throw away item when it = breaks. = --Apple-Mail-26--692567245--

13) From: olufcalif
--
Please stop any e-mail to me. Thank you: Oluf
---- Sandy Andina  wrote: 
<Snip>

14) From: olufcalif
--
Please stop any e-mail to me.Thank you: Oluf
---- Bob Adams  wrote: 
<Snip>

15) From: p&k
Thanks for all of the suggestions.
   
  I took the IR with the fan problem apart and cleaning it up, it seems to be working fine.  The other onw I'll save for parts.  As soon as we have the neccesary funds available I think we'll get the Hot Top. It does bigger batches, longer roasts, and appears to be a strudier unit.  When it comes in I'll try doing some roasts in both and post the results.
   
  Paul - who doesnt want to be unsubscribed
---------------------------------
 Yahoo! Mail
 Use Photomail to share photos without annoying attachments.


HomeRoast Digest