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Topic: Hello! and SCTO questions (4 msgs / 137 lines)
1) From: Jason Montgomery
I've been lurking on the list for about a week now...picking up tid-bits of
info here and there.  What a great resource. :)
I just started roasting my own coffee in an old popcorn popper but it
doesn't hold very much coffee (about 1/2 cup at a time).  Using the popcorn
popper has been more of an inexpensive proof-of-concept for me to see if I
wanted to start roasting my own coffee, and also if I wanted to invest more
money into it. I've been impressed with the results and I'm ready to upgrade
from the popcorn popper.
I'm looking to build the SC-TO maker and I have a couple questions before I
purchase the parts (I've got all my info thus far from looking through the
Flickr pics of the SCTO roaster by LarryD):
1. Which Stir Crazy popper should i get (the 6 qt or the 8 qt)
2. I assume I should disconnect the heat from the Stir Crazy and should only
be having the heat coming from the TO. Is this a correct assumption?
3. What should I use to monitor the internal temperature? Candy Therm? or
something else?
4. What was used to attach the copper cap to the center of the Stir Crazy?
Any other 'gotchas' I should know about?
Thanks in advance!
later,
jason

2) From: Peter Schmidt
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
  I'm looking to build the SC-TO maker and I have a couple questions =
before I purchase the parts (I've got all my info thus far from looking =
through the Flickr pics of the SCTO roaster by LarryD): 
  This may give you a couple ideas too;http://peter4jc.googlepages.com/  1. Which Stir Crazy popper should i get (the 6 qt or the 8 qt)
  They're the same unit, with different plastic bowls, which get =
discarded anyway.
  2. I assume I should disconnect the heat from the Stir Crazy and =
should only be having the heat coming from the TO. Is this a correct =
assumption?
  Some folks like to put the SC heating element on a switch, which will =
give you more options.
  3. What should I use to monitor the internal temperature? Candy Therm? =
or something else?
  Digital units will give quicker readouts.  You'll see how I did mine =
at the above link.
  4. What was used to attach the copper cap to the center of the Stir =
Crazy?
  My cap stays on by the friction of a wad of aluminum foil.  The cap =
should be notched.  I really liked the idea of drilling a hole on one =
side w/ a notch on the other.  The cap is then threaded onto the =
stirring arm so it can't fall off.
  Any other 'gotchas' I should know about?
  We can't tell you all of our secrets Jason.  You'll have to come up =
with some creative ideas and improvements to bring back to the table.  =
;-)
  Thanks in advance! 
  later,
  jason

3) From: Thomas Pfau
Jason Montgomery wrote:
<Snip>
I asked this before buying mine and was told they are both the same base 
with different lids.  You won't be needing the lid (at least not for 
roasting coffee) so buy the cheaper one.
<Snip>
My turbo oven provides enough heat to finish a roast in about 15 
minutes.  I start at 350 degrees and add 50 every three to four minutes 
until I hit 500.   I'm normally hitting FC+ in about 15-16 minutes.  You 
shouldn't be needing any heat from the SC but it's up to you.  Just 
remember, these are both high current appliances.  Plugging both into 
one 15 amp outlet is likely to lead to tripped breakers (it did for 
me).  If you are going to use both heaters, plug the units into outlets 
that are on different circuits or make sure you have a circuit with 
enough juice to drive them both.
<Snip>
I don't bother.  I've been getting good results as described above.  I 
have checked the temperature using one of the $5 thermometers from SM 
but I don't leave it in place.
<Snip>
I drilled holes through both sides of the cap.  I then used a Dremel 
(you could use a hacksaw) to cut a notch to the hole on one side.  I put 
the end of the stirrer through the hole, then slid the cap up the 
stirrer and over the nut and snapped it onto the stirrer on the other 
side through the notch.
Good luck and be sure to report your improvements here.
-- 
tom_p
pfau --http://nbpfaus.net/~pfau/

4) From: MMore
Here's my experience with the SC/TO with which I've been roasting for about  
2 years, and love it!
 
First, I drilled out the plastic shaft (which the "cap" threads onto) and  
put in a metal bolt with a wing nut top with 2 washers.  A smaller one and  then 
one a bit larger (sorry for the non-technical measurements).  This  
alleviated any melting problems and was, for me, a longer term solution than the  foil 
wrap.
 
Although it's something I want to do eventually, I don't use a  thermometer.  
Just a stopwatch and my ever vigilant ears, eyes and  nose.
 
One thing that I've found is that I have to ramp up the temp until I get to  
my desired roast and then quickly ramp it down.  This ramp up is usually in  
increments of 15 degrees or so every 3 minutes.  I usually hit first crack  
around 10 - 12 minutes.
 
I disconnected the heating element but am tempted to put it on a switch to  
play around with different profiles.
 
That's my 2 cents worth.  Enjoy your new toy!
 
Michael A Roaster of Vienna


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