HomeRoast Digest


Topic: George Forman? (11 msgs / 342 lines)
1) From: Bob Szanto
Hi Folks,
I hope you don't mind that I've been lurking for the past few weeks.  I 
used to homeroast a couple of years ago with an HWP, but quite frankly I 
was never satisfied with the results. I've been able to buy  fresh 
roasted beans from my favorite coffee shop at cost (usually less than 
$5.00/#) and quite I prefer it to my previous homeroasting efforts.  
They place their order on Tuesday, it's roasted on Wednesday, and 
delivered to the store on Thursday.  They just add my order on to 
their's.  Lately I've been getting the itch to try the HR thing again.  
Reading everybody's results makes me want to try it again even more.
While deciding whether or not to even try the HWP again I started to do 
a little reading about roasters and ran across this roaster drum on ebay:http://cgi.ebay.com/COFFEE-ROASTER-George-Foreman-Rotisserie-Baby-Big-Jr_W0QQitemZ190026437770QQihZ009QQcategoryZ38252QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItemDo any of you have an opinion about it?  Someone gave me one of these 
George Forman units as a gift and it's so ugly I refuse to bring it into 
the kitchen....but, it might work as a coffee roaster for the garage.  
Does it have enough heat to roast beans?  Is the heat controllable?
Thanks,
Bob Szanto

2) From: Les
Bob,
If you want to spend money on a commercial type roaster, go with an RK
Drum setup, Hottop, or the new offering from SM that is a drum.  I had
an HWP and they don't do a good job.  If you don't mind tinkering, a
SC/TO is  a good way to to as well as heatgun/dog bowl.   Wok roasting
produces good result too.  I have not had a commercial roast that can
compare to a good homeroast.  I have had some good commercial stuff
and I don't put them down anymore.  However they are looking for a
bean to sell to the masses.  I am looking for variety beyond what they
are willing or capable of giving me.
Les
On 8/31/06, Bob Szanto  wrote:
<Snip>

3) From: miKe mcKoffee
While I haven't personally tried using a George Foreman type electric =
oven
for coffee roasting, reports have been consistent it does not have the =
heat
required to roast in a reasonable time. It bakes the beans at best, like =
30
to 45min roasts IIRC. You can modify adding additional heating elements =
and
or halogen heat, but stock it won't cut it.
I agree with Les best commercial home roasting appliance the HotTop and
possibly the new Gene Café. I-Roast2 can sometimes be tweaked to not =
roast
too fast. RK Drum and gas grill excellent setup but has a bit of a =
learning
curve since you're roasting without aid of seeing the beans and no tryer
like a professional drum roaster.
I also agree there are some very good Artisan commercial roasters out =
there.
But I also agree with Les I'll put my homeroast up against any, and have =
a
far greater variety. (down to something like 50 different greens, only 8
different Kona:-)
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.
<Snip>
aby-Big->
Jr_W0QQitemZ190026437770QQihZ009QQcategoryZ38252QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
<Snip>

4) From: Bob Szanto
Many thanks, to Les and Mike for their responses.  My instinct was 
confirmed with their knowledge and logic.  I've been away from the list 
for so long that I need to catch up on some of the "short hand" I'm 
reading.  Please, what is the RK Drum and the SC/TO?
Mike...you are absolutely correct about homeroast being superior to that 
of even a good commercial roaster.  On very rare occasions I was able to 
roast an exquisite batch.  The problem was that I couldn't duplicate 
them with any consistency.   In my frustration I took the easy road by 
settling for a very good, fresh, roasted whole bean coffee for around 
$4.50/#.  I think I'm ready to try again.
I need a recommendation for greens if I try it again.  My personal 
preference is to darker roasts with lots of body and not too much 
brightness.  Is there a green that is "forgiving" in the hands of an 
inexperienced roaster.
Is it worth  dusting off the HWP or should I just toss it onto ebay?  
BTW, I've got a "retired" bread machine in the basement sitting next to 
the George Forman.  Maybe I'll take one of the heat guns home from work 
and give it a try. 
Thanks again,
Bob Szanto
Les wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: Les
The RK Drum is a drum that goes in a BBQ and converts it into a drum
roaster.  They are made by Ron Kyle, thus the RK!  You can google it
at it will pop right up.  The SC/TO stands for the wedding of a Stir
Crazy popcorn popper with a Turbo Oven.
Les
On 9/1/06, Bob Szanto  wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: Oolan Zimmer
I hacked up a former George Foreman rotisserie to turn it into a somewhat
respectable coffee roaster.
Step 1:  Tear out all the controls.  They're behind the front panel with the
LCD.  As a side effect, this will teach you how to take the thing apart.
Step 2:  Find an extra heat source.  I use two of those coil burners from an
old electric stove.  You can also use one or two electric charcoal
igniters.  Put the extra burners under the existing bottom heating
elements.  You should fabricate something so that the heating elements as
well as all of the low-resistance ends of the elements are seperated from
the metal bottom pan.
Step 3.  Wire it up.  I wired up all of the original elements from the
rotisserie onto one plug, and the two new elements onto another plug.  I
then plugged them into my switchbox (an electrical junction box with two
outlets and two switches).
Step 4.  Get a thermocouple.  I have a 14" x 3/8" stainless sheathed K-type
thermocouple attached to a spare PID controller for a thermometer.  I have
the active tip of the thermocouple under the bottom of the rotating basket.
The basket drags on the thermocouple sheathing, but I figure that the
thermocouple is both cheap and difficult to break.
Step 5.  Do a dry run.  Turn on both sets of burners and measure how long it
takes to get to 500F.  If you're under 15 minutes, you're set.  This also
burns off any nasty chemicals left behind on any surfaces and lets you see
how well everything works together before you touch any of our hosts most
excellent greens.
Step 6.  Try a roast.  I use stainless safety wire to wire the basket shut.
I pre-heat, then put the basket in, then manually switch the "extra burners"
switch on and off to keep the air temperature below the beans at around
500F.  You'll probably need to cycle every minute or two.  When first crack
starts, I usually turn the extra burners off unless I'm roasting to FC or
FC+.  One of these days I'm going to actually hook the PID controller up to
the extra burners via a relay or something.
Step 7.  Cooling.  I pull the whole basket out and shake it in front of a
fan.  This has the added advantage of blowing the chaff away.  Did I mention
I do this outside?
I do half pound batches, but this could probably handle a full pound.  With
this process, I get to first crack in 7-12 minutes with second crack a
minute or so afterwards.  I'm beginning to be able to anticipate second
crack and pull it out such the first crackles of second happen on the way to
the cooling fan.  I discovered that having the probe cracking the lid open
helped to slow the roast down some.  I could slow it down more by modulating
the temperature at a lower point (really gotta let the PID do its thing).
The burners are limited by electrical supply at this point, since the ones
that stay on get noticably brighter when I turn the others off.
So, it's possible.  Just be prepared to do a little fabrication, that's all.
Oolan Zimmer
ozimmer
On 9/1/06, Les  wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: Alchemist John
What control or lack there of does it have stock?  Is it just a timer 
with a heater on full?
At 22:57 9/1/2006, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/

8) From: Ken Mary
<Snip>
<Snip>
Good work!. I can add that the slow 3 rpm drive will do the job provided the
drum can mix the beans effectively. The capacity is limited by the drum size
and heating power. But during the final ramp to the finish, not much heat is
needed, on the order of 50% of startup heat.
I do not believe that a PID is needed. You are going to be present through
all or most of the roast, so adjusting the heat is easy provided you can
measure temperature. On my toaster oven rotisserie, I use just 3 constant
power setpoints, max power (1000 watts) for heatup, 300 watts for
maintaining at the drying temperature, and 400 to 600 watts for the finish
ramp. I do 1/4 pound maximum loads, but a larger drum may do a half pound on
1000 watts of power.
--

9) From: Bob Szanto
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Oolan,
Thanks for more info than I imagined possible.  It's good to know that 
somebody has made one of these things work.  I'm going to go ahead with 
converting mine.  I'm sure it won't be the best or efficient roaster 
around but I just like the challenge of the "project", plus I'm hoping 
that it will yield better results than my HWP that's been sitting on a 
shelf for 2 years.  It's either convert it into a coffee roaster or sell 
it at a garage sale for $10. I've got a few questions for you you could 
answer at your convenience.
    * You said you used old stove coils as additional heat sources.  I
      assume they were 220V units that you simply ran on 110V.  (unless
      you are not in North America and your George was originally 220V)
    * Do you use the original wire basket?  If so, did you make any
      modifications such as agitating fins?
    * Any idea how many amps it pulls when all the heaters are running?
    * Are the existing cabinet vents adequate?  Any need to install an
      exhaust fan?
    * Any basic info on PID's?  I have no experience with them.
Thanks,
Bob Szanto
******************************8
Oolan Zimmer wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: Bob Szanto
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Oolan,
Thanks for more info than I imagined possible.  It's good to know that 
somebody has made one of these things work.  I'm going to go ahead with 
converting mine.  I'm sure it won't be the best or most efficient 
roaster around but I just like the challenge of the "project", plus I'm 
hoping that it will yield better results than my HWP that's been sitting 
on a shelf for 2 years.  It's either convert it into a coffee roaster or 
sell it at a garage sale for $10. I've got a few questions for you you 
could answer at your convenience.
    * You said you used old stove coils as additional heat sources.  I
      assume they were 220V units that you simply ran on 110V.  (unless
      you are not in North America and your George was originally 220V)
    * Do you use the original wire basket?  If so, did you make any
      modifications such as agitating fins?
    * Any idea how many amps it pulls when all the heaters are running?
    * Are the existing cabinet vents adequate?  Any need to install an
      exhaust fan?
    * Any basic info on PID's?  I have no experience with them.
Thanks,
Bob Szanto
******************************
Oolan Zimmer wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: Oolan Zimmer
Sorry I've been away folks, I started a new job on 9/5 and have been kinda
busy.... :-)  Not to mention that my first attempt at this bounced because
the quoted thread made it too big.
The stock George Foreman won't allow all four rod elements to be on at
once.  Rather than attempt to hack on the really simple controller board, I
just pulled it out and replaced it with a lightswitch.  The controller board
does have 4 good 120V 20A relays on it, though.  If I PID, I'll use those
relays.  Hey, I'm cheap!
I measured the temperature ramp with just those 4 elements.  It took about
20 minutes to level off, and leveled off at about 425F.  Adding a heat gun
to the bottom made it level off at about 500F after about 15 minutes.  I
don't remember the readings with the two extra elements (it was
hotter/faster), but I know I can reach second crack in 10-12 minutes.
I haven't modified the drum at all, except that I use stainless steel safety
wire to wire the basket shut.  I usually do half pound roasts.  For my last
roast, I did a pound and it worked.
The stove coils were from an ancient 110V "countertop stove" that I got on
ebay for next to nothing (all shipping).  At full tilt, I get big time
voltage drop, so it pulls more current than the 20A circuit I plug into can
provide.  At some point, I'll use split phases from a 220V outlet or hook
into multiple circuits.
The thermocouple I use props open the hood a little.  That seems to help
keep the roast from running away from me.  There's no provision for chaff
collection, so I vacuum out the roaster between roasts.
I'm already using a Honeywell ramp and soak PID controller as a
thermometer.  After I understand the temperature ramps required for good
roasts, I plan on hooking it up to a couple of relays in parallel to control
the stove coil elements.  You can learn all about PIDs from websearches, I
did.  I have a few spare controllers lying around, too.  Now that would be a
good tradition.  Hmm...
-- 
Oolan Zimmer
ozimmer


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