HomeRoast Digest

Topic: fluid-bed roasting - large scale (14 msgs / 348 lines)
1) From: Fiona
I have been so satisfied with my Hearthware home roaster that I purchased in
about 1997. This original unit is not even commercially available but it
works just fine.   I am thinking about purchasing a scale-up unit and have
looked at info about the Sivetz fluid-bed roasters that many small
commercial operations are using.  The claim is that the aromatics in the
roasted bean are preserved using fluid-bed roasting rather than convection
heat due to the lower temperatures, and also that there is less carbonized,
burnt flavor in the beans.
Could someone tell me about the prices and what is available for larger
fluid-bed roasters?  I would prefer an electric powered fluid-bed unit.
Thank you,
Fiona Geiser

2) From: Bob Adams
Have done some research on this. Check out sonofresco.com.

3) From: Ed Needham
It's just a claim.  Another claim is that air roasting roasts too fast and 
does not give the bean enough time to develop flavor.  Both claims are 
hogwash when beans are roasted properly in any competent machine.
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"
ed at homeroaster dot com
(include [FRIEND] somewhere in the subject line of any email correspondence)

4) From: Bob Adams
Found my notes--Sonofresco is $3500.-uses gas for heat.

5) From: Jim Mitchell
The Sonofresco may be the least expensive 'commercial' fluid-bed roaster at
roughly $3500 from the manufacturer.
It's an attractive idea, a 1 Lb, fully automated, table-top device - which,
with its optional vent hood could realistically be used indoors. BTW, I
believe that the Sonofresco and the Monster Coffee version use 110V for the
control circuits, but roast using Propane from a bottle.
Unfortunately, the basic machine has been through several versions and
manufacturers - and has gotten a reputation for being somewhat fussy and
unpredictable to use and for having expensive and difficult to obtain
parts - specifically the glass roasting 'carafe.' I don't know if the
current production has improved the situation or not.
The small Sivetz roaster as shown on their website may not be in production
any longer - at least several requests for price information have gone
unanswered - it used to be about $2200 several years ago, which seems at bit
expensive for what is essentially a kit which you have to complete
The 5Lb Sivetz is about $6500 and there's a 12Lb version on Ebay which has
gone begging for several auctions, but is expensive.
In wandering around the 'net, I did run across this small 'pearl' of wisdom
from a little-known coffee reseller:http://www.sweetmarias.com/tiny_joy_html/tinyjoy-augsept-03.pdfAlso, you may want to consider the upcoming Gencafe roaster - it uses a
rotating drum and pressurized hot air to roast- its getting good press in
Europe - and should cost about the same as a Hot Top. I think that Tom may
have some more information on this device.
It's very frustrating - my Alpenrost is slowly dying, and I'd like to
replace it with a table-top machine which could reasonably roast 1-2 Lbs
batches and (if necessary) do several batches per day - but suddenly the
price delta for increasing the batch size is appears to be an order of
magnitude - jumping from $350 to $3500 (and up) in a heartbeat.
Yeah, I know that this class of machine is intended for commercial service
and is built to last forever, and has nifty features, and is haunted by the
ghost of Jabez Burns himself, and yadda, yadda, yadda - but 10x the cost?
Mutter, mutter, mutter
Look, I'm not alone, and I'm not asking for much - Just a Hot Top Senior, or
an RK Junior Drum in an assembled machine - one has to wonder why this hole
in the market continues to go unfilled.

6) From: Scott Marquardt
Jim -
1 to 2 lbs, you say?
OK, consider that my target range for a project I'm embarking on.
Details once a prototype is in beta.  ;-)
I'll only hint that it's going to be a bit unusual.
Seconding Ed's remarks on claims and performance. Since extending all
my popper roasts to any duration I want (I generally run between 12
and 16 minutes), it's been easy to see that the "too bright" thing is
from duration, not method. A drum would probably be bright too, if it
were sane to do 7 minute roasts in one.

7) From: Matthew Price
From comments I've read on the Roaster's Guild board, the Sonofresco
is fragile and the companies that support it are difficult to deal
with.  You could do better by not sinking your hopes into that
particular machine.
On 3/1/06, Bob Adams  wrote:
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>

8) From: Woody DeCasere
I hasve purchased coffee in the past from a guy who uses a sivitz roaster
and he swears by it, if i were starting a roasting company(which i and i be=
all of us would love to do) i would get a diedrich drum and a sivitz
roaster, as each has different qualities and beside the geek in me would
think it was really cool!!
On 3/1/06, Matthew Price  wrote:
"Good night, and Good Coffee"

9) From: Sandy Andina
In response to that article, Thunder Brew Coffee Roasters uses a  
couple of Sivetz machines in its Crivitz, WI operation (combination  
espresso bar, roasteria and retail store in a "manufactured housing"  
building. Its stock in trade is roasting batches of 1/4-1 lb. to  
order while you wait. Dunno what they use at their Algoma headquarters.
Kate of Marquette, MI's  Dead River Coffee (who uses drum roasters)  
tells me there have been instances of fires in Sivetz roasters, at  
least one of which took down an entire building.
On Mar 1, 2006, at 9:37 AM, Jim Mitchell wrote:

10) From: Mark J Bergh
I would like to know more about the Gencafe mentioned.
Anyone have further info or links on this new item? 

11) From: Jim Mitchell
Mark -
There's a fairly long-running thread over in the CoffeeGeek site - go to 
'forums' and search for 'genecafe' - note that I misspelled the name in my 

12) From: J.W.Bullfrog
Sandy Andina wrote:
FYI, drums can have fires also. Its not the tech, its the operator.
Only you can prevent roaster fires.

13) From: Justin Marquez
On 3/2/06, J.W.Bullfrog  wrote:
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (Snyder, TX)http://www.justinandlinda.com

14) From: J.W.Bullfrog
Justin Marquez wrote:
Been there, done that. Everything survived except for the glass chimney. 
I was trying the wet the beans trick and they stuck together, and the 
same beans stayed at the bottom.
There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers 
exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will 
instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more 
bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

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