HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Newbie needs advice! (22 msgs / 847 lines)
1) From: David Morgenlender
Hi everybody,
I'm seriously thinking of trying coffee roasting.  I've looked around the=
 Sweet
Maria's website.  I'm leaning towards the iRoast 2 roaster.  A couple of =
things
I'm wondering about though ... how bad is the smoke & smell using this =
roaster?
Is it suitable for use in the kitchen?
Besides the roaster & green beans, can you recommend anything else I need=
 to buy
to start ...  Any special kinds of storage bags for green & roasted =
beans?
Anything else?
Thanks!
Dave
==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
==========================
=====

2) From: National Prison Consultants
Dave:  if you use the exhaust set up and buy a dryer vent hose, it is fine.
Otherwise it get pretty bad---not enough to set off smoke alarms but enough
to leave an acrid smell in the house.

3) From: Aaron Peterson
On 3/15/06, David Morgenlender  wrote:
<Snip>
 Sweet
<Snip>
things
<Snip>
aster?
<Snip>
I use my iRoast2 in the kitchen, and I have no vent to the outside.  I
set it on my stove top and turn on the hood fan.  It sucks the smoke
through some kind of filter, but the filter doesn't filter that much. 
I don't normally get much visible smoke, although the aroma fills the
house.  If I roast to vienna or beyond I get some smoke (darker roast
= more smoke).
<Snip>
 to buy
<Snip>
?
<Snip>
You don't have to have anything else, but there are an endless supply
of things you'll want, I'm sure.
When I stock a large supply of greens that I may not use within a
couple months, I buy a cotton sack sized to fit my order.  So if I buy
a 5 lb bag of green, I also order a 5 lb cotton sack at the same time.
 Eventually, I may roast enough that I empty some sacks and start
reusing them.  At that point I may not want to order more.
You don't have to have them at all, just a suggestion.  I have also
had good luck using paper lunch sacs to store green coffee in.  They
are much cheaper so I don't worry about reusing them and I write all
over them, etc...  If you buy small amounts and use them within a
couple months, the ziplocks sweetmarias provides should work just
fine.  For longer storage you'll want to make sure the beans can
breathe.
Aaron

4) From: Gerald and Beth Newsom
Welcome, Dave!
There are several people on this list who can tell you all about the Iroast
2.  My advice (if you have a garage or patio) is that you can do better with
a heat gun and a stainless steel bowl for about a quarter of the price.
With the heat gun you'll have the world's best computer controlling the
roast.  You can see, smell, and hear everything that is happening to your
beans.  The learning curve is quick and easy.
With the Iroast, one question I would ask its' proponents is how long does
one last?  I've read in a few places that it's not very long.
As for storing beans, there has been quite a bit of discussion this month
and last on that topic.  I'm storing my roasted beans in Mason jars as are
quite a few others.  The green beans can be stored in the plastic bags they
are shipped in or in cloth bags or in plastic containers.
Good luck!
Gerald

5) From: Scot Murphy
On |Mar 15, at 2:59 PM|Mar 15, David Morgenlender wrote:
<Snip>
My advice will be the same as I told Mme. Cheryl when she joined and  
asked the same questions: start out cheap! You don't have a way to  
know yet if you will really enjoy the hobby, given the mess it makes  
(chaff), the smell of roasting, the problems roasting during cold  
weather, and so on. If you can afford an iRoast 2 without blinking,  
not a problem. But what you *might* want to do first is haunt some  
local thrift stores, or eBay, looking for the granddaddy of home  
roasting: the West Bend Poppery. (Preferable to the Poppery II.) It's  
powerful, it's built like a tank, it can handle as much as 4 to 5  
ounces (depending--the things aren't totally consistent), and it has  
a handy on/off switch. You can get one on eBay for around $20 or so,  
much cheaper in a thrift store. If you are impatient, you can try  
getting a Toastmaster popper, which (I think) is available at  
Walgreen's for around $10. It's lower in power and capacity, but  
it'll give you a leg up on the hobby before you invest big bucks.
As far as roasting in the kitchen, I can't answer for the iRoast. I  
have heard the Z&D (Zach and Dani's) Roaster produces a lot less  
smoke, though it has detractors for a few reasons. Roasting does  
produce a bit of smoke, and probably your stove hood can handle it.  
The smell lingers, though. It's not a foul smell, like cigarette  
smoke. It's more like toasted grass. You know that smell you get  
walking through a field on a hot sunny day during a drought? That's  
close. You could try popper roasting under a hood. I roast in my  
bedroom (I live in an apartment) with a box fan in the window blowing  
out. I just don't mind the leftover smell of roasted coffee.
Start small. You'd hate to spend bucks on a roaster only to find out  
you don't like the smoke, the smell, or the hassle. If you are  
anxious to get started immediately, order a sampler from SM's and in  
the meantime buy a Toastmaster popper. If you can wait, go for a  
Poppery. But remember, you'll *always* be learning about roasting.  
That's the great fun of it!
<Snip>
De nada!
Scot "you just got approximately 1/100th of what you will learn in a  
week of roasting" Murphy

6) From: Woody DeCasere
I am very high on my iRoast 2, i am building a Turbo Crazy, but will
continue to use my iRoast. I also use mine under the hood on the stove, but
i have a direct outside wall vent, i cant really smaell the coffee roasting
unless i am right under the hood. Mason Jars work or Ceramic or Glass jars
as well. Unless you are going to horde your beans the plastic bags they sen=
d
out have holes in them to keep the moisture level down, so you wont really
need to do anything different with them.
On 3/15/06, Gerald and Beth Newsom  wrote:
<Snip>
s
<Snip>
e
<Snip>
?
<Snip>
--
"Good night, and Good Coffee"

7) From: Sandy Andina
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My family likes the roasted coffee smells (except when I've burned a  
roast). Nobody comes into the house and goes "eeuww, what burned,"  
but many people have inhaled deeply and smiled.  When it gets a  
little close in the kitchen and the weather's too inclement or cold  
to roast on the deck, I roast in the bathroom with the (truly vented  
to the outside) fan going and the window louvers open.
On Mar 15, 2006, at 3:32 PM, Scot Murphy wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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My family likes the roasted =
coffee smells (except when I've burned a roast). Nobody comes into the =
house and goes "eeuww, what burned," but many people have inhaled deeply =
and smiled.  When it gets a little close in the kitchen and the =
weather's too inclement or cold to roast on the deck, I roast in the =
bathroom with the (truly vented to the outside) fan going and the window =
louvers open.
On Mar 15, 2006, at 3:32 PM, Scot Murphy =
wrote:
On |Mar 15, at 2:59 PM|Mar 15, David Morgenlender = wrote: = Hi everybody, I'm = seriously thinking of trying coffee roasting.  I've looked around the = SweetMaria's website.  I'm leaning towards the = iRoast 2 roaster.  A = couple of thingsI'm wondering about though ... = how bad is the smoke & smell using this roaster?Is it suitable for use in the kitchen? Besides = the roaster & green beans, can you recommend anything else I need to = buyto start ...  Any special kinds of storage = bags for green & roasted beans?Anything = else? My advice will be the same as I = told Mme. Cheryl when she joined and asked the same questions: start out = cheap! You don't have a way to know yet if you will really enjoy the = hobby, given the mess it makes (chaff), the smell of roasting, the = problems roasting during cold weather, and so on. If you can afford an = iRoast 2 without blinking, not a problem. But what you *might* want to = do first is haunt some local thrift stores, or eBay, looking for the = granddaddy of home roasting: the West Bend Poppery. (Preferable to the = Poppery II.) It's powerful, it's built like a tank, it can handle as = much as 4 to 5 ounces (depending--the things aren't totally consistent), = and it has a handy on/off switch. You can get one on eBay for around $20 = or so, much cheaper in a thrift store. If you are impatient, you can try = getting a Toastmaster popper, which (I think) is available at Walgreen's = for around $10. It's lower in power and capacity, but it'll give you a = leg up on the hobby before you invest big bucks. As far = as roasting in the kitchen, I can't answer for the iRoast. I have heard = the Z&D (Zach and Dani's) Roaster produces a lot less smoke, though = it has detractors for a few reasons. Roasting does produce a bit of = smoke, and probably your stove hood can handle it. The smell lingers, = though. It's not a foul smell, like cigarette smoke. It's more like = toasted grass. You know that smell you get walking through a field on a = hot sunny day during a drought? That's close. You could try popper = roasting under a hood. I roast in my bedroom (I live in an apartment) = with a box fan in the window blowing out. I just don't mind the leftover = smell of roasted coffee. Start small. You'd hate to spend = bucks on a roaster only to find out you don't like the smoke, the smell, = or the hassle. If you are anxious to get started immediately, order a = sampler from SM's and in the meantime buy a Toastmaster popper. If you = can wait, go for a Poppery. But remember, you'll *always* be learning = about roasting. That's the great fun of it! Thanks! De = nada! Scot = "you just got approximately 1/100th of what you will learn in a week of = roasting" Murphyhomeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = = --Apple-Mail-35-943543370--

8) From: Aaron Peterson
Heh, most respondants are offering more frugal advice than mine.  I
should have asked these things before I got out my credit card :-).  I
didn't join the list till after buying my iRoast2 though, hehe.
What is the largest capacity home roaster one can build these days? 
Is it the one that uses the convection oven top and the bread maker
paddle to stir that I've seen on homeroasters.org?  Or maybe the RK
drum on a gas grill?
Aaron

9) From: Frank Parth
<Snip>
Dave,
I tried an iRoast 2 once, and it set off the fire alarm upstairs. It puts out a lot of smoke. Doing it outdoors is 
good, or indoors on the stove top with the vent fans going.
I bought another intro-level machine, the Zach & Dani's. It doesn't smoke nearly as much as the iRoast, but it 
alsogives you much less control over the process. All you can do to adjust the process is to kill the heat when 
thebeans reach the color you're shooting for.
But in less than a year I've already amortized the cost of the Z&D with what I've saved buying green beans. So I can 
easily convince myself to buy something more serious. The only question is how to sneak it by "she who must be obeyed." 
Hmmm, she's going on a business trip to the East Coast in the middle of April. Maybe I canget onedelivered then and 
just tell her the old machine broke 
Frank

10) From: David Echelbarger
David the I Roast will work well for you if you vent it with a dryer hose
out a kitchen window.

11) From: David Morgenlender
On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 15:32:38 -0600, you wrote:
<Snip>
I don't about the without blinking part ... especially when my wife =
reacts to my
new purchase! :)
Good idea about starting out cheaply.  But will starting with a cheap =
approach
lessen the enjoyment of the hobby?  I know when I started with guitar I =
got the
same advice.  I did start out cheaply, but fortunately not too much so.  =
It's a
tradeoff because a cheap guitar is often harder to play & doesn't sound =
as good
... so it can take away a lot of the enjoyment of the hobby, to the =
extent that
one doesn't want to continue.  OTOH, I could presumably buy an iRoast 2, =
then
sell it if I don't like roasting coffee.  This is definitely something to=
 think
about!
<Snip>
I could put a roaster on the stove, under the hood.  If the smoke gets =
vented
adequately that deals with one issue.  Then the question is how long the =
smell
lingers, how I feel about the smell, and how my wife feels about it.  =
She's not
a coffee fan (although she has taken to chocolate covered espresso =
beans!).  I
can do the actual roasting when she's not home, and won't be back for a =
few
hours, since she works out of the house, and I work in the house.  But if=
 the
smell lingers beyond that, it could be an issue.
<Snip>
I've tried the coffee Sweet Maria's roasts ... it's great, far better =
than
anything I can get around here, despite the numerous places to buy beans.=
  Then
recently I was sent a sample, by somebody I met online, of some freshly =
roasted
beans, actually roasted with a popcorn popper.  The aroma from the beans =
was
absolutely incredible, and the coffee flavor was astonishing.  I was =
already
tossing around the idea of doing some roasting myself, but not all that
seriously.  The thought of having coffee that potentially could taste & =
smell
that good got me hooked on the idea!
BTW, one other thing ... I love gadgets!  :)
==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
==========================
=====

12) From: David Morgenlender
On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 15:30:09 -0800, you wrote:
<Snip>
puts out a lot of smoke. Doing it outdoors is 
<Snip>
I'm in the Boston area.  So, it's too cold to do it outside much of the =
year,
and too hot, humid &/or rainy much of the year.  But there's the 2 week =
spring
each year, when I could do it!  :)
I do have a stove top which vents right up through the attic to the roof.
<Snip>
smoke nearly as much as the iRoast, but it 
<Snip>
adjust the process is to kill the heat when 
<Snip>
That was the first unit I was considering because of its smoke filtering.=
  But I
like the iRoast 2's ability to control the roasting process ... at least =
I think
I'd enjoy using it!
<Snip>
what I've saved buying green beans. So I can 
<Snip>
is how to sneak it by "she who must be obeyed." 
<Snip>
April. Maybe I canget onedelivered then and 
<Snip>
Why not have an "accident" with the machine, so it needs replacement!  :)
Dave
==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
==========================
=====

13) From: David Morgenlender
On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 19:43:48 -0500, you wrote:
<Snip>
hose
<Snip>
That would be an ideal solution.  But it wouldn't work very well with our
casement window in the kitchen, not to mention the fact that it would let=
 all
the bugs in much of the year (& freeze us out other times during the =
year).  Too
bad!
Dave
==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
==========================
=====

14) From: David Morgenlender
On Wed, 15 Mar 2006 15:51:40 -0600, you wrote:
<Snip>
How long do you find the roasted coffee aroma hangs around?
Speaking of too cold, I read where the iRoast 2 has a shutoff if the =
temperature
goes below 65 degrees ... we keep the house at 66 degrees over the =
winter.
That's cutting it close, unless I bump the thermostat temporarily.
Dave
==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
==========================
=====

15) From: David Morgenlender
Thanks everybody for the great feedback.  I'm amazed how quickly =
everybody got
back to me, and with useful info!  I've got a lot to consider.
BTW, how bad is the chaff released by the iRoast 2?
==========================
==========================
=====
Dave Morgenlender
e-mail: dmorgen
==========================
==========================
=====

16) From: Sandy Andina
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On Mar 15, 2006, at 8:53 PM, David Morgenlender wrote:
<Snip>
An hour or two.
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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On Mar 15, 2006, =
at 8:53 PM, David Morgenlender wrote:
How long do you find the roasted coffee aroma hangs = around? An hour or = two. = --Apple-Mail-55-962773913--

17) From: Sandy Andina
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On Mar 15, 2006, at 8:55 PM, David Morgenlender wrote:
<Snip>
Not bad at all--the lid keeps it contained till you empty it out.
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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On Mar 15, 2006, =
at 8:55 PM, David Morgenlender wrote:

BTW, how bad is the chaff = released by the iRoast 2?

Not bad at = all--the lid keeps it contained till you empty it out. = --Apple-Mail-56-962810741--

18) From: Gerald and Beth Newsom
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Sandy has an Iroast 2, so she should know how long the smell hangs =
around, but I can tell you that when I was roasting in a wok, the smell =
hung around MUCH longer than that (8-10 hours and that with the doors =
and windows open to encourage it to leave).   As you can imagine, I very =
quickly switched to another method of roasting.  :-)
Gerald (who was probably roasting quite a few more beans in the wok than =
one could in the Iroast to account for the greater amount of smoke)

19) From: Aaron
I roast coffee in my apartment right on the stove, there is no 
ventilation outside and yes it does smoke up the place a bit and YES 
most of the coffee WILL set off the smoke detector.
I don't mind the smell of roasted coffee....... given that I raise 
bearded dragons as pets, I have smelled a lot worse things, trust me....
Actually the smell isn't all that bad,  id say it lingers for a good day 
or two.  Of course if you open the window and air the place out it will 
dissipate faster.
I have done as much as 7 roasts in one day in here with my I roasts.... 
very thick smoke by the time that was all done... scent stayed around 
bout a week then.  I'd open the door and smoke would roll out.
Some people don't like the smoke / smoke smell,  others dont mind it.... 
might want to try it in a garage first so if you happen to be one of the 
ones who don't like it, or the ball and chain doesn't like it....open 
the big door and it's gone and not lingering in the house.
If you do darker roasts the smell WILL start smelling more umm  robust, 
burnt..ish smelling.
Aaron

20) From: Peter Zulkowski
Aaron,
There are some discussions on Homeroasters.org about making large 
capacity roasters.
Great info.
If you want to use gas (propane or natural) I think the best way is to 
get a drum from Ron and use a barbecue grill.
His can roast up to 5# of green coffee, not sure how much raw cocoa beans.
I dislike having to refill my propane bottles, so I am experimenting 
with 110V roasters.
Today I roasted four 750 Gr roasts back to back, each taking about 17 
Minutes from green to roasted and cooled, in my PGR.
I did one batch of 950 Gr but that took over 20 minutes until it was 
cool again.
Not sure if the next version will do 5# or not.
It does not seem to mind if it is windy or cool out. (Never really COLD 
here in LHC, does get HOT though.)
Wind helps get rid of the chaff while cooling :)
The Pretty Good Roaster does need better insulation, and a larger bowl 
would enable larger roasts, but it IS pretty good, for my needs anyway.
Also, it is not very aesthetic looking :(
PeterZ
Have to remember to bring it inside, going away and it is supposed to 
rain this weekend, here in LHC.
Aaron Peterson wrote:
<Snip>

21) From: Michael Wascher
Do it in the garage AND make sure car windows are rolled up! The scent
lingers in upholstery, I know from experience, or rather from Jean's
experience.
On 3/15/06, Aaron  wrote:
<Snip>
Some people don't like the smoke / smoke smell,  others dont mind it....
<Snip>
--
"Life is just one damned thing after another."
  - Elbert Hubbard

22) From: b cook
I liked the smell personally but my wife prefers that I roast outside.  She
doesn't throw a fit or get made when I do it inside but she just prefers th=
e
smell be outside.
brad
On 3/16/06, Michael Wascher  wrote:
<Snip>
e
<Snip>


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