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Topic: Fwd: Re: +A very basic question about acidity and roast profiles (long) (84 lines)
1) From: Howell Ite
I have an I-roast 1 and am very frustrated with the feature/premise of being able to enter you're own roasting curves.  The admission by Hearthware that there is default stage parameters that cannot be overridden by a custom program is interesting.  This really bothers me because I know extra work was put into programming the controls so they override the custom program.  I guess the legal department got involved in the design phase.  Has anybody thought of doing something like wiring a potentiometer in between the controller and the heating element so the amperage to the heating element can be manually modified during the roast with a knob like a dimmer switch?
   
  Paul
Michael Wade  wrote:
  From: "Michael Wade" 
To: 
Subject: Re: +A very basic question about acidity and roast profiles (long)
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2006 20:41:27 -0700
Vicki
Everything you've said is pretty much right on target in my experience.
Prolonging or "stretching" the roast will decrease brightness, increase 
body.
After struggling with my iR2 for a while I wound up speaking with Gene in 
customer service at Hearthware, who sent me a sample profile for stretching 
roasts. I eventually came to the conclusion that: 1. I prefer brighter 
coffees and was going in the wrong direction. 2. I needed to gain 
experience with a simple profile before attempting to branch out. 3. I 
really needed a thermocouple in the roast chamber to satisfy my need for 
repeatable results.
I installed a thermocouple and have been recording my roasts for a while. 
Now I'm not so sure that it matters all that much, but it served to satisfy 
my need for getting control of the process. Or at least being able to 
monitor the process. Control remains ever elusive.
On interesting thing that Gene mentioned and experience has borne out is 
that there are undocumented default profiles programmed into the iR2 that 
will override anything you program in. For example, there is a default 
profile "to dry the beans" according to Gene, that will hold the machine at 
~350F for a period of time no matter what you program in. I have tried 
programming 320 for 2 minutes, but the machine goes right up to 350, and I 
have programmed 400 for 5 minutes and the machine will climb to ~350 and 
hold there for anywhere from 1:50 to 2:30 until it satisfies some arbitrary 
condition or other, then allow my program to resume control.
I have also found that no matter what I program in for the first 5 minutes, 
2:00 + 3:00, or 3:00 + 2:00, or just 5:00, it winds up 
just short of first crack at 5 minutes. Then I push it through first crack 
at 450 or 460, and punch cool when I like it. If I want to stretch the 
roast I will try to program a next-stage temperature that will hold the temp 
that first crack finished at for some period of time, then either go to cool 
or go back up to 450 - 460 to push into 2nd. It involves a lot of trial 
and error to find a length of time for first crack that will let it finish, 
and a next-stage temp that won't drop the bean temperature significantly. 
Not to mention that I haven't really cared for the results.
So I'm back to pretty much just using Tom's tip sheet profile and watching 
and smelling the beans and smoke. I can't hear the cracks. Truthfully, I 
drag out my Precision occasionally because it is quieter and I can hear the 
cracks easily, which gives me more confidence in my roast than all the 
readouts on the iR2 and the thermocouple combined.. If it weren't that the 
Precision tends to arbitrarily dump the batch to "COOL" whenever I turn my 
back, I'd put the iR2 on eBay. I just don't think the programming features 
are all that effective or practical.
What I really want is a Diedrich sample roaster with Jeffry Pawlan's 
computer control system, but I'll settle for just not ruining any of the 
coffe in the Panama Auction Set which should arrive tomorrow! YESSSS!
You obviously have a grasp of the basics on your iR2, just keep roasting. 
Choose a simple profile and make small changes ONE at a time and take notes. 
Remember that Les, who has homeroasted for thirty years wrote (something 
pretty close to): " If I don't feel like a newby at least once a day I'm not 
trying hard enough."
Soon we'll be asking *you* for advice...
Michael Wade


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