Thank you to all who helped me decide between the Gene Cafe and the Hot Top -- I ended up choosing the Hot Top for 2 reasons: It looked like more of a horse (i.e. might last longer) and someone said that it tended to cut out the bright notes (my wife and I prefer that). I do have a couple of questions though: 1) How often do you really pull the drum out and clean it? I just did that for the first time (after my 5th roast) and wondered if it actually has to be done that often. 2) The front piece that comes off (with the brass screw and the observation window) seems to get chaff caught around the window (between the window and the metal...does that make sense?) Is there a way of stopping that? It's not a huge deal - doesn't effect the roast, just a little annoying and it takes the removal of four little screws to get it open enough to clean it. In any case...I love it! I'm still trying to figure out where I'm roasting and how to do it with the least amoung of smoke in the house (my wife isn't so fond of it house ALWAYS smelling like roasting coffee)..I may have to break down and buy a hood.... oh well. Grace and Peace, `tim -- The content of this e-mail may be private or of confidential nature. Do not forward without permission of the original author. -- Rev. Tim TenClay, IAPC, NATA #253 Dunningville Reformed Church (www.dunningville.org) Personal Blog:http://www.tenclay.org/blog
I do mine every fourth roast. The drum seldom needs any thing done to it. Sometimes a bean gets lodged in it . However, I have to take the 4 screws out to clean the chaff from the chamber anyway.At that time I wash the inside of the glass. Machine should be cleaned of chaff after 4 roasts to avoid chaff fires. Not everyone removes the screws. Some people just take off the glass piece wash it out and blow compressed air through the port that the unfrosted beans are placed in the machine. No matter how you do it. Empty chaff tray after each roast and clean chaff from body after every fourth roast. Also don't let you Christmas tree dry out. It can lead to same disaster as not cleaning the chaff from the Hottop
Tim, I roast about once a week, a two hour session with four half pound roasts. After every roast I empty the chaff tray. After every session (next day) I take out the drum and poke around inside. There are usually a few wedged in beans and burnt particles that need to be forced out of the drum. Also it's easier to vacuum out all the chaff and clean the insides of the machine with the drum out. Every two sessions I soak the glass front plate and the the top chute cover in a bowl with cafiza powder and hot water. In a half hour, with no scrubbing, they come out spotless. I've never seen more than the occasional flake of chaff in the front so don't know why you are getting an excessive amount, especially if you clean up the chaff between roasts. In any case, you only need to remove the glass front with the one knob in the center to get to most of the chaff between roasts. I take this off every time as soon as the beans are ejected, then take out the chaff tray and the chute top, and blow a small fan towards the opening between roasts. That way, when the bean cooling cycle is done, the hottop is ready for the next roast with almost no additional time to reach start temperature. I roast right next to a window. Before each session I install a standard window exhaust fan, It stays at low setting through most of the roast, then gets turned to high when the smoke gets thicker. It doesn't eliminate all the roasting smell but it does remove all the objectionable smoke. If you could install a hood that exhausted to the outside that might be better. But I'm in no hurry to do this because the fan solution works so well. Happy roasting... On 12/4/06, Tim TenClay wrote: <Snip> -- MichaelB
Tim: I missed this question!! drum, drum... Now if Albert was here, know he is here, he would be agast!! I have heve taken out the drum from/of my hottop. I clean the glass every 1/2 dozen roasts depending on the view. I like to see my beans roast. I pull the chaff try, use a mini shop vac on the inside of drum each AND EVERY roast to clean any latent material buildup and change rear filter ? not really counted. I run the HT every 4th or so roast blank, empty of beans which seems to keep any odd chaff away. I have never had any build up of chaff on the glass rim, inside. I do tend to roast to a full, darker roast which may or may not have a darn thing to do with chaff. Some beans a just chaffy stinkers. You have made a great choice withg the HT. Enjoy and roast the #30 longer... ginny ---- Tim TenClay wrote: <Snip>
If you have a fireplace with a nearby electric outlet, that's all the hood you need, Tim. Two ways to get the flue draft started once you open the damper- - Computer power supplies are self-contained with a real brat of a cooling fan. Set the power supply in the fireplace with the fan's air blast aimed up the flue. It's a switching supply so you'd need a dummy load on the 12v or 5v for sure. You can probably get one free if you ask the right people. - Run- a mini charcoal grille in the fireplace and it'll start a draft- New home construction in Denver 'burbs all have forced Radon extraction vents. You might scrounge around and find some of the hardware for an unobtrusive fume hood. The possibilities multiply if you have a patio or some kind of shelter outside. Just Ray's song Stang. Cheers -RayO, aka Opa! -- "When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
Every roast I empty the chaff tray. After each roasting session, I take off the cover with the glass window and handwash the glass in the sink with regular dish detergent. I sometimes also wash off the chaff tray, the cooling tray, and the bean chute cover at the same time. Every few roasts, I shake out any chaff that might be in the drum area. First I take off the chaff tray, the cooling tray, the bean chute cover, and the two side grills or they would fall off. Then I take off the cover with the glass window, turn the whole machine so the open end faces down, and give it a good shake so any loose beans and chaff tumble out. Every 3-4 months, I take the drum out and brush/vacuum inside for any remaining chaff. Taking the drum out and putting it back takes 2 minutes even for a tool-challenged klutz like me. I always roast outdoors because it doesn't get very cold here in paradise, but I sometimes have to plan my roasts around the winter rains to make sure I don't run out of beans when we have a series of back to back winter storms. If I couldn't roast outside, I'd try under the stove hood or possibly in the fireplace to minimize smoke in the house.
Tim, I use a can of compressed air and a shop vac to clean between roasts and then disassemble every 8-10 roasts. Be sure to use a flashlight after each roast to check the drum for stuck beans as they will burn the next time and effect the flavor. Frank Coster frankc12 Coral Mustang Wines www.coralmustang.com