HomeRoast Digest


Topic: new hot top and yuck (19 msgs / 687 lines)
1) From: p&k
So Iíve had my Digital Hot Top for about 2 weeks now, and roasted 6 times and all Iíve gotten is yuck.  Iíve tried Kenyan, Ethiopian, and a Costa Rican peaberry.  Iím familiar with all three in an I-Roast 1.  Set the machine for 21 minutes, 250 grams, inside under the stove hood, in Los Angeles on reasonably nice days, and ejected when 2nd started.  
  Kenyan lot 668 1st crack @ 5:20 remaining, 2nd @ 1:55 
  Ethiopian 1st @ 4:30, 2nd @ 2:05
  Costa Rica Peaberry 1st @  4:30, had to add more time 2nd started after 21:30
   
  I tried roasting some Columbian last night and stopped right after the end of first it looks really light, but havenít tried it yet.  Each time Iíve roasted I seem to get only a few first cracks, it seems like there should be a lot more for the amount of beans Iím roasting now.
   
  Help I donít know what else to do and Iím at the point where I donít want to put anything good in it, but itís all good.
   
  paul
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2) From: Barry Luterman
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Weigh your beans .Don't go over 250 gr.

3) From: Zara Haimo
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Do you check the temperature when you hear the cracks?  Different =
HotTops probably will give different temperature readouts, but you =
should get a reasonably consistent reading from roast to roast.  I get =
first crack starting about 385 degrees and second crack about 405.  I =
don't use the timer to control the degree of roast at all, but stop my =
roasts manually partly based on smell, partly on the temperature, and =
partly on the crack sound.

4) From: Robert Avery
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Paul .... I too suffered from the Hot Top Blues .... I don't have the =
digital, but as mentioned .... don't try to roast more than the =
suggested amount. 250 g. I dump all my  roast by hand. I watch the =
roast, crack and color ... it seems to do a decent job. It's a different =
method that the I-roast. I had one and there is a differents as you =
mention ... I think the one thing you get nervous about is the smoke and =
timing. You'll get there practice. Keep us posted, Later, Bob

5) From: B. Scott Harroff
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
The roaster itself has plenty of capacity - it's their programming and
sensors that are limiting.  The unit itself can take 250g to FC+ in 7
minutes total or a pound to FC+ in 17.
You either need to fool with the sensors to get the unit to do what you want
or take manual control over the roaster.  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Robert Avery
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 7:23 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: +Re: new hot top and yuck
Paul .... I too suffered from the Hot Top Blues .... I don't have the
digital, but as mentioned .... don't try to roast more than the suggested
amount. 250 g. I dump all my  roast by hand. I watch the roast, crack and
color ... it seems to do a decent job. It's a different method that the
I-roast. I had one and there is a differents as you mention ... I think the
one thing you get nervous about is the smoke and timing. You'll get there
practice. Keep us posted, Later, Bob

6) From: DJ Garcia
I routinely roast between 270-300 gm, no problems getting great tasting
roasts.
What does your HT temperature read at load, 1st crack and 2nd crack?
DJ

7) From: p&k
I kept a log on my batch of Kenyan PB 668, on a 21 min 250 g roast my temp readouts were:  I have a digital so this is time remaining
  17:00 - 207,  16:00 - 234, 15:00 - 257,  10:00 - 336,  8:00 - 352, 6:00 - 368,  4:00 - 386, 3:00 - 395, 2:00 - 402, 1:00 - 405, :30 - 408
   
  added more time and then 2nd started so ejected, 1st crack was at 4:05 so the temp was about 385
   
  Check your voltage at the outlet and don't use a long extension cord.  =
If the voltage is low the heating element will not heat properly.  What =
is your temperature on the display at 15 min?  17 min?
---------------------------------
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8) From: javafool
Paul,
Sorry to hear about your problems with the HotTop. I have been using mine since SM started selling them and don't know what I would do without it. Just a wonderful roaster. I don't have the digital, and that may be confusing more than helping in your situation??
Get a regular timer and set it by the HotTop. Weigh out about 1/2 pound, or 225 grams of beans. I got tired of having odd quantities of beans setting around so this way my purchased bags of beans com out even. Go through the warm up cycle and add the beans when the roaster beeps at about 4:45 minutes. Start the regular timer and after 13 - 14 minutes, really start paying attention to the roast. At about 15 - 16 minutes into the roast you should hear 1st crack begin. Follow it through first and keep and eye on the color of the roast. On *MY* roaster, first will finish at about 17 - 18 minutes after adding the beans and I will give the roast at least another 20 - 45 seconds, paying attention to the color, the change in the smoothness or sheen of the bean, and the smell. I usually hit the end button, always manually, somewhere between 17:30 and 18:45 into the roast. It will probably be similar but different with your roaster. The technique should be the same.
Good luck and I hope this information helps in your quest for the perfect cup. Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention the two day rest I give the beans before brewing. Not mandatory, but it adds to the flavor.
Terry

9) From: Robert Avery
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Terry ... funny !!! the method you use is exactly my process. The times =
are identical. Good point on the quantity. I usually find myself at the =
end .... not sure on the color ... do you let the beans start to develop =
the shine when the oil is starting to form ??? I think I just don't go =
dark enough sometimes ... just wondering reading you note ... all good =
points by the way, Bob

10) From: javafool
Quote> not sure on the color ... do you let the beans start to develop the shine when the oil is starting to form ??? I think I just don't go dark enough sometimes ... just wondering reading you note ... all good points by the way, Bob
Bob,
I am posting from the forum rather than the list right now, so this may look even a little more odd than usual. If I actually see the shine in the roaster I have probably gone a little into second crack, which is slightly darker than I usually want to be. I try to go from a dull surface to somewhat of a semi-gloss I guess. If you look at Tom's pictures of the different degrees of roast, it might give a better idea what I am trying to describe.
The smell also changes to slightly sweet, which is another indicator that it is time to press the button. It is better to go a little too dark than a little too light, in my opinion. So I sometimes tend to occasionally err on the dark side, There goes the natural sweetness when I do that :(
My Harr Blueberry arrived yesterday but I have some Sumatra peaberry to use before I dare roast it.
Terry

11) From: Frank Coster
I've had the Hot Top manual for about 2 yrs and do 3-4 batches per week. My 
experiences are exactly the same as Terry's. I base all of my batches on 
crack, sight and smell. The time will vary based on outside temp,  whether 
the machine was cold or warm at start up, or whether the stars and moon are 
aligned ;-) , so I don't pay attention to the time. You might want to check 
your voltage also.
Frank
Frank Coster
frankc12
Coral Mustang Wines
coralmustang

12) From: Maryann & Dave Schellenberg
As someone who is tired of the small size of popper roasts, I am 
beginning to pay attention to alternatives like the Hot Top.
Does it not have a temperature readout?
Is there any facility to vary heat produced?
I would like to be able to follow a profile, like I do for the popper, 
controlled with a Variac.
Is that possible?
Dave S.
Frank Coster wrote:
<Snip>
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13) From: Terry Stockdale
At 04:50 AM 3/18/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
You should also check the voltage -- especially if you're using an 
extension cord.  One or two volts will have a huge effect on the 
Hottop's heating capability.  I used a Variac to adjust voltages and 
a digital multimeter to manage them.
I used a 50' heavy-duty orange extension cord, the variac, a 3-plug 
adapter, and plugged the multimeter and Hottop into it.  I adjusted 
the voltage so I got 120v when the heaters were runninng and about 
125v when they weren't.
The variac also let me drop the voltage after first crack finished, 
to stretch the time between 1st and 2nd for a more mellow cup.
--
Terry Stockdale -- Baton Rouge, LA
My Coffee Pages:http://www.terrystockdale.com/hottopMy RK Drum pages:  http://www.terrystockdale.com/rkdrum">http://www.terrystockdale.com/coffeeMy Hottop pages:http://www.terrystockdale.com/hottopMy RK Drum pages:  http://www.terrystockdale.com/rkdrum

14) From: Maryann & Dave Schellenberg
Hi, Terry. I just checked your web site, and after seeing your 
experience, you may be just the person I need to tap for information.
I would like to roast bigger batches than the 1/4 lb I currently get 
from my popper, but I don't want to sacrifice quality of roast.
Les has made statements about having roasted with a popper for years, he 
prefers the roasts he gets from his RK drum.
I'd like to know if the results from a HotTop drum are like that from 
the RK drum.
Which do you prefer?
I may not actually have a choice, since winter in Winnipeg pretty much 
rules out using an RK drum year round, while it sounds like I could use 
the HotTop year round in my kitchen under the range hood, as I do now 
with my popper.
Dave S.
Terry Stockdale wrote:
<Snip>
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No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
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15) From: Robert Avery
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Terry ... thanks for the info. I do about the same ... there is not a =
whole lot of time in roast between what you suggest and the later. I =
just finished up about 2 pounds of decaf Kenya AA for my brother in law =
and about 3 pounds of Wagner for me ... one of those nice days in =
Florida here ... so I just kicked back and got dizzy watching the Hot =
top go round and round ... one thing I did due this time though is =
remove the filter from the fan area of the roaster to try it out ... It =
made a differents I think. A little more smoke but there seemed to be a =
bit more consistency in the roast. The machine it self cooled down a lot =
faster also after I dumped the  roast. It might have just been one of =
those things .... you notice when you make a change.  Thanks for the =
help, Later, Bob

16) From: Terry Stockdale
Dave,
I can't give you any help on whether winter roasting in Winnipeg with 
an RK drum is feasible -- I'm in the Deep South.  I think the coldest 
roasting day this winter was about 50 deg.F.  It got colder, but I 
didn't roast those days.  On the other hand, our 70-80% humidity and 
wind means that cold feels COLD.
As far as results from HotTop vs RK drum, that's going to be a 
function of how well you control the wind hitting your grill.  I 
don't bother trying to block the wind -- but I notice that on those 
rainy days when I pull the grill into the carport, I get a much more 
even roast than on the days when I roast on the 
patio.  Better?  Maybe.  More consistent?  Surely.  But, I like the 
"melange effect" that the wind gives me in a single origin roast.
If you set up like I did with the Hottop -- digital multimeter to 
monitor voltages and variac to change the voltage during the roast -- 
you can do some amazing things, even with the standard, non-digital Hottop.
The Hottop was so predictable that I used to sit and read a book 
until 14 minutes after bean insertion.  Then, I'd start paying 
attention.  Every roast was good, once I got the "new chip" in June, 
2004 (this chip gave us more extension per beep).  The big Hottop 
change came with the stability enabled by the variac.  I found that 
summer AC voltage would be 4-5 volts lower in the afternoon than in 
the early morning.  The variac meant I could roast any time.  (note 
that not all variacs allow you to _raise_ the voltage;  some will 
only decrease it.  Mine would do a max of 110% of incoming voltage.)
Dare I say it?  I got bored when I was roasting with the 
Hottop.  That doesn't happen with the gas grill / RK drum setup.
I like to twiddle with the gas knobs, playing with _anticipating_ 
temperature swings and adjusting before they show up on my thermocouple.
One last point -- I _stiill_ haven't followed Ron's advice and put a 
decent heat shield/baffle below the drum.  That would stabilize the 
roast greatly, from what I've read.  Just can't seem to remember it 
when I'm at Home Depot.  I'm having too much fun with the way it is 
now (18 months this way) and enjoying my coffee.
--
Terry Stockdale -- Baton Rouge, LA
My Coffee Pages:http://www.terrystockdale.com/hottopMy RK Drum pages: http://www.terrystockdale.com/rkdrumAt 02:01 PM 3/18/2006, you wrote:">http://www.terrystockdale.com/coffeeMy Hottop pages:http://www.terrystockdale.com/hottopMy RK Drum pages: http://www.terrystockdale.com/rkdrumAt 02:01 PM 3/18/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>

17) From: Robert Avery
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Terry ... just some info. This would pertain to the RK Drum. In my =
travels I came across LP temperature interface unit that works with a =
thermocouple and temp setting knob. It's a pretty straight forward =
interface. It's called  "The Sentry Temperature Control Valve". It's =
range is 200 to 450 degree F in 50 degree graduations ... and you can =
set it in between. I got it at Bass Pro. My intention was to use it next =
year when I start throwing a large roaster together this summer. 
 =http://www.cajun-outdoor-cooking.com/sepasttecova.html

18) From: Frank Parth
<Snip>
Terry,
Since I'm gearing up to buy a HotTop, can you give me more information about putting a heat shield/baffle below thedrum? How does that work?
Frank Parth

19) From: Terry Stockdale
At 08:01 PM 3/18/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
Frank --
The heat shield/baffle is for the gas grill / RK Drum setup, not a 
Hottop.  It acts as a large heat spreader and also reduces the wind 
effect on the grill temp.  All I'm using right now is the Charbroil 
"vapor bar" which is about a 2"x2"  120degree inverted V-shaped bar 
over the flame.
--
Terry Stockdale -- Baton Rouge, LA
My Coffee Pages:http://www.terrystockdale.com/hottopMy RK Drum pages:  http://www.terrystockdale.com/rkdrum">http://www.terrystockdale.com/coffeeMy Hottop pages:http://www.terrystockdale.com/hottopMy RK Drum pages:  http://www.terrystockdale.com/rkdrum


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