HomeRoast Digest


Topic: i-Roast 2 vs. Z&D? Or just add a variac to my popper? (7 msgs / 196 lines)
1) From: Tim Wat
Hi all.  This is my first post after a short lurk.
I've been using a poppery II for about six months.  It's modded to 
provide switch control over the heater, and the thermal protection 
bypassed.  Roast times have always been erratic, and are now getting 
longer and longer (30 min to 2nd crack), and the resultant roast is flat 
and tasteless.  I assume temp is too low, and I'm just baking the beans.
Obviously frustrating.  I'm not sure whether the next step is to add a 
variac and see if that helps, or just to scrap the popper and upgrade to 
another unit.  I prefer FC / FC+ roasts right now (admittedly, I'm a 
recovering Peet's-a-holic), so the reviews I read on the Z&D concern me 
- 1)  ability to get a darker roast, and 2)  general build quality.
Was thinking about the iRoast 2, but am concerned about build quality as 
well, if I read the complaints on coffeegeek.com forums correctly.  And 
of course, it's not in stock at SM until Hearthware starts shipping 
again after their recent warehouse move.
I realize no roaster's perfect, and there's no silver bullet.  And I've 
read the posts about outlet voltage and wonder if my first step should 
be getting a variac - no matter what roaster I end up going with.  I'm 
not an electrician and not especially handy either, so testing outlet 
voltages and the sort make me a bit leary.
Any suggestions?  Obviously a lot of you here have been doing this a 
whole lot longer than I have, and I was just hoping someone could save 
me making a costly mistake.
Thanks in advance.
Tim Wat
timothywat

2) From: Barry Luterman
First Tim what kind of budget are we talking about? Second how many lbs per 
week do you use?How do you like espresso?

3) From: Timothy Wat
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4) From: Barry Luterman
Sounds like you are shooting for a Gene and add a Variac later if needed. I 
have a Hottop no experience with the Gene. Here in Hawaii roasting outdoors 
all year haven't needed a Variac with it. I personally think the hottop has 
an edge over the Gene. Better cooling and easy to hear the cracks.If 
possible go for the Hottop. You probably will not have to add a Variac and 
it will come out about the same as far as price. From experience upgrade 
fever can get very expensive.Try going for the best first time around. 
Unlike grinders and espresso machines roaster resale prices are not as good.

5) From: Barry Luterman
Opps misread your message. Thought you said you can spend 500 for Gene. Try 
cheap roasting methods, Wok, HGDB etc.If not I-roast is a nice machine but 
don't expect longevity or a large output from it

6) From: george
This is a new mail program for me, so please excuse if it 
doesn't come out right.  If it doesn't look right, I'll 
switch back.
Okay, now to the good stuff,
You don't have to worry about the Zach's for making dark 
roasts.  I have two of them and they both are very 
consistant to each another and do dark roasts with no 
problems.  I don't even cut down on the beans like they 
suggest.  I just put in anyplace from 125 to as much as 
150 grams and they roast with no problems.  Easy to hear 
the cracks, and visual is great.  I usually roast most of 
my beans to full city and beyond, some into vienna and 
french roast territory.  Again, no problems.
I also have a bravi, great machine but can't see beans, 
although the sound of the cracks are heard easily.  Also 
just purchased a GeneCafe and it roasts great, nice and 
visable roasting.  After about 6 roasts, I must say I can 
not hear the cracks.  I did several different varieties 
and only on one did I hear a few first cracks.  
George  the hemi roaster
On 8 Sep 2006 at 15:14, homeroast-
request wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: Douglas Strait
Tim Wat wrote:
<Snip>
Tim, see my recent post "A Non-Traditional offering".
Doug


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