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Topic: Gene Cafe: My Initial Impressions (2 msgs / 135 lines)
1) From: Jeremy DeFranco
     OK, so I've done 4 roasts so far in my new Gene Cafe. Let me just begi=
n
by saying this machine is AMAZING! I could not be more happy with my
purchase. I actually think it is worth every penny of the price, and with
proper usage, it is actually upto par with the current Hottops, EVEN IN THE
COOLING STAGE (stay fixed to the page; I'll explain!), and thus a much
better deal (although I do plan to eventually purchase Hottop's future
programmable model). Before I dug into the box of this (most expensive so
far for me!) machine, I decided to take pictures at every stage of opening
the box. This is truly a beautiful, very solid, well built machine.
      I have taken Tom's video advice to start off at 482 degrees, and then
turn temp down at first crack. Unfortunately, I was so much in awe during
the first roast, I didn't have a chance to turn down the heat till first
crack almost ended to take full benefit of slower rooasting capability of
this machine! So now it has been standard practice for me to turn down the
heat nearly immediately after first crack has begun into a solid momentum. =
I
have been turning the heat down to exactly 10 degrees above what I would
read at the end of my desired roast if I were able to place a thermocouple
right into the beans at this point (i.e.- ten degrees above what Tom's
"degree of roast" sheet explains the temps should be for each degree of
roast, which, by the way, I've found to match exactly my thermocouple
readings in iRoast2). This gives a nice slow transition out of 1st crack,
and if desired, into 2nd crack. I want to be sure to take advantage of the
slow inertial abilities of this beatiful machine as much as possible,
because I have been using nothing but an iRoast2 before this. Eventually I
will play around some more, but for now, I am experimenting with the
"body-building" characteristics of this machine. I think the great thing
about this machine is that since you can change the temperature anytime
during the roast, you don't necessarilly have to roast this route. For
example, if you want to be sure your Kenyan doesn't lose all its delicate
hints, for example, to too much body development, you could always keep the
heat high after 1st crack (and play around with temps BEFORE 1st crack!) to
be sure delicate piquancy is not lost.
     Now, as far as cooling goes, I am surprised that no one else has
decided to stop the roast and water quench in a colander. After reading the
manual, I learned that the machine IS built for this (in fact it
specifically tells you to incorporate this practice if you plan to do
back-to-back batches (which I have done, by the way---AWESOME ABILITY!; AND
consistant as far as time of roast goes!). This practice does not void the
warranty or anything; Reason being that a fan stays on for five minutes to
ensure the inner parts of the machine cool properly--- VERY COOL FEATURE! S=
o
I have been stopping the roasts exactly where I want to stop them! I am
trying to put the machine into the cooling cycle for a atleast a minute,
though, before stopping it (i.e.- have the fan run 6 minutes, instead of 5
minutes) to ensure longest effective life possible for this machine (the
great thing about this Inertia-building machine is that you can do this, an=
d
the temp will still continue to rise in the chamber due to energy beans hav=
e
been absorbing; and so the inner machine parts are able to cool longer with
a fan, eventhough the beans continue to roast!). After the machine stops, I
gently dissasemble the chamber while wearing an oven mitt, and dump the
beans into a collander, and water quench with a spray bottle (Now, I am
getting quicker cooling than my iRoast2, and just as good as Hottop (with
which I assume you can incorporate water quenching as well).
     So That's my spiel folks! I highly recommend this machine to all who
are thinking about it. And now, if it was the cooling cycle that was
preventing you from purchasing, don't fear! It is designed to handle
complete stops, and you will NOT void your warranty. Like I previously
mentioned, you can even initiate the cooling fan sooner if you really want
to play it safe and keep that piece of mind! So don't cry, JUSTIFY! This
machine is worth every cent, if not MORE! I love the on-the-fly temp
changing and time changing capabilities, and yes, the quick cooling
allowable with this machine as well (change all those preconcieved notions
folks- this machine is a contender!). The only thing I could find wrong wit=
h
this machine so far is that it is nearly impossible to install a
thermocouple into the bean chamber.
     As a final note, I noticed the instruction manual is written for rich
yuppies who will probably buy this machine for giggles, out of a catalogue
that will probably sell this for $100 above retail price. These "yuppies"
would not go through the hassle utilizing the complete stop feautre, along
with water quenching. In fact, they would probably think it silly and
"time-consuming". I think this is why the instruction manual does not
elaborate more about using the quick stop feature, but instead leaves it at=
:
"this feature was designed for small resuarants..." what they should have
written is, "this feature is designed for small restuarants, and serious
home roasters, who should water-quench in a collander after removing the
beans from the roast chamber to prevent over-roasting..." I think this is
also why the exrutiatingly slow "cool" feature was installed in the first
place- to prevent idiots from burning themselves or "wasting their time"...=
.
Thank god the company also had "small restuarants" in mind as well when
building it!
          Wishing Everyone the Very Best!  Jeremy

2) From: Les
Thanks for the great write-up.  It sounds like this might be another
great "Plug and Play" roaster like the Hottop.  I continue to be
satisfied with my RK Drum.  Personally, I use a colander and  a five
gallon bucket with a vacuum hooked up to draw air through the beans
and colander.  Cooling time is between a minute and two minutes.
Les
On 4/30/06, Jeremy DeFranco  wrote:
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