I have 2 of the former Zach and Dani's (now the Nesco
Roaster), a Bravi, and a GeneCafe. The Zach does 1/4 lb,
the Bravi 1/2 lb., and the GeneCafe can do 1/2 lb plus an
ounce or two depending on bean type.
I use the Zach's for decaf for my wife (takes her forever
to go thru 1/4 lb of a few types) and for small batches
of mixing beans that need a brighter type roast. I use a
thermo-couple with this machine. You can add extra time
to the roast if needed, up to 5 minutes in minute steps.
I hear the new Nesco unit has been changed a bit for
faster roasting according to the advertisements. This
unit can be used without any exhaust system if you don't
mind the roast bean smell in the area and don't go into
charbucks territory. It has a catalytic converter system
to rid virtually all of the smoke from roasting.
The Bravi is used mostly for earthly type beans, samatras
and the like.... the ones I take towards the FC++ to
Vienna stages for the "roast flavors". If I definitely
need to go to the second crack plus stage, it's
definitely the Bravi I use so I can hear the second crack
easier. I also use a thermo-couple with this machine.
With this machine, you can't add time to the roast once
it's started, so unless you know the setting you want, go
over and stop manually when you feel you are in the roast
where you want to be by sound, aroma, and smoke (and
thermo-couple if you use one).
My newer GeneCafe is uses for most all other roasts and
for mixed bean roasts. I can't hear second crack in
the GeneCafe at all but the visual is great. A lot of
times I can't hear first either (although the columbian I
did the other day was really loud for first). Can't use
a thermo-couple with this machine so you have to go by
sight, smell, and hearing if you can distinguish the
cracks from the bean sloshings. With this machine you can
add or subtract time, and modify roasting air temp on the
fly. Some people say the automatic cool down is too
long, but you can stop cooling at any time and cool
manually for a faster cool down.
I have not used the Hot Top, so I have no opinion on that
George aka the MadHemi Roaster
On 3 Dec 2006 at 9:46, Ross wrote:
Hi, I'm looking forsome opinions.Basedpersonal
experience what commercially available roasters under
$500 are worth considering for serious home roasting?