HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Home roasters (was Re: +Lurker on the Food Saver List (6 msgs / 137 lines)
1) From: Alchemist John
At 13:57 7/2/2006, you wrote:
Why can't people just write about Home Roasters?
Dave S.
I can't refuse a line like that :-)  Over the 4th holiday I rebuilt 
my Zen roaster.  It is/was originally constructed of hardibacker 
(cement board) and aluminum angle, with a pair of glass windows I 
rescued from a wood stove.  The original is at 
www.chocolatealchemy.com/zenii.php. After a couple years the 
unprotected hardbacker started to crack and become brittle.  I 
extended the life of it (and improved insulation) by putting a couple 
of sheets of flash aluminum inside.  On the rebuild, I replaced the 
back and front piece of hardiback, removed the heat gun (just too 
much air movement and lined in completely with aluminum flashing or 
1/8 aluminum and clean the windows.  I expect it to be good for 
another 4000 lbs of coffee this time instead of the 4000 oz I 
estimate it has roasted.
That last bit the cleaning the window bit) brings me to a another 
point I have been wanting to make for a while.  I have roasted on a 
lot of items (poppers, grills, RK, SC/CO, Zen roaster), I know what I 
am doing, and have been roasting for some years now and when it comes 
down to it, I LIKE to see my roast.  I can do it with just smell or 
time or sound, but frankly, visual IS important.  Over the past year, 
the smoke from the roasts have sooted up the glass and I was 
effectively roasting blind.  After cleaning, it is SO nice to see the 
roast again.  I can really tweak it subtilely.  Oh, a little uneven, 
pull the heat back, not quite progressing and it's even, add a 
little.  I just could not do that with the windows blocked with 
soot.  And all said, that is why I have never gone RK completely and 
why the next roaster will also have a window and tryer.
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

2) From: Dan Bollinger
John,  I know what you mean.  I use visual clues all through the roast.  It is 
only when I'm determining when to dump the roast that I switch to smell and 
sound.   Dan

3) From: Ken Mary
You got more done than I did.  :-)
I had great plans to build a larger different design drum. But instead
satisfied myself with relining the roaster oven with aluminum foil, the old
foil was a dirty brown. The foil liner really cuts down the heat loss.  The
new foil did not change the heatup time but it looks much nicer. Since I do
not have to see the beans, the glass door (a major heat loser) is also
covered. My original prototype drum made from aluminum flashing is still
doing fine after about 2.5 years. I have a few more days at home so maybe
that new drum still has a chance.

4) From: Brett Mason
I was thinking about this post tonight as I roasted in my skillet.  I too
really like to see and participate in my roast.  The 12" Revereware skillet
gives me this opportunity.
I spent this evening roasting 2lb of Costa Rica DOTA La Conquistador.  Did
it up in the skillet over a medium flame, taking it just past 2nd crack.
Skillets can be misleading because they only roast on the bottom, so the
roast is more of a melange, less even.  I'll see how it turns out.
I also roasted 1lb of mystery beans I received as part of a bean swap on
homeroasters.org.  Now to rest it for 3-4 days, and then slow brewing to try
and figure out what it cups like, and thus guess what it is.  This swap was
a lot of fun last time, and should be fun this time too...
Thanks for the note - I think more people may want to "see" the roast as it
goes by!
On 7/5/06, Alchemist John  wrote:
Brett Mason

5) From: Aaron
I havent tried a skillet roast yet but I did do a wok, and yah, melange 
for sure.  I overcooked it a bit too.  Much into 2nd crack seems to lose 
too much of the flavor of the original bean for my tastes, and seems to 
be pretty much shooting everything for 'robust' / 'espresso' type of coffee.
Mystery coffee... well at least you can find out what it is eventually, 
unlike the Post office blend, where you are really not sure what all is 
in what at the time of opening that 'rattling' package.  One of these 
years Ill finish up my sc/to mod and give that a whirl (sorry for the 
pun) ... mebbe this weekend, give me something to do here.

6) From: miKe mcKoffee
I agree like being able to see the roast. Especially when I first started
roasting and roasting by sound and smell not even close to a learned skill.
Wonder if you had a tryer if you'd still find the 'need' for a window. Lack
of a tryer is one reason haven't gone with a Q/drum roasting setup. I'd also
want active controllable air flow like a pro commercial drum but that would
be relatively easy to add. But not usually wanting larger than 1/2# batches
can do now with full control of Rosto just not enough impetus to pursue it.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

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