HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Question on thermometers + roasters (11 msgs / 321 lines)
1) From: Silvia Marsh
Hi, all,
This may be what's known in the business as a 'dumb question'...but I'm
gonna ask it anyway.
I roast with a FreshRoast plus 8, and I keep reading about the temperature
marks on roasting profiles. Is there any way at all to use a thermometer
with this particular roaster?  A flexible-probed thermometer would probably
do, I suppose, because the chaff collecter could stay in place, but I
haven't seen one that would fit the bill.
Any suggestions?  Thoughts?  Am I stuck with the sight-sound method (which I
must admit is working well for me so far) until I upgrade?
Cause, well, let's face it. I'm addicted. I'm gonna upgrade. Might be a year
or so...but I will. ;)
Maybe just a heat-gun...*grins*
Thanks in advance,
Silvia

2) From: Larry English
Hi Silvia,
  I use the digital thermometer sold by Sweet Maria's (on the Roasting
Accessories page).  Just hook the flexible probe over the lip of the glass
roast chamber - the chaff collector sits on top but there's not enough gap
to let chaff out - so that the tip of the probe is in the bean mass but a
little off-center and about an inch or so off the bottom of the chamber.
Works well for me.
Larry
On 1/28/07, Silvia Marsh  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"You can't know the unknowable, but you can do the doable." - Jon Carroll

3) From: Michael Mccandless
In the beginning . . .http://www.inficad.com/~mikemc/javaMcSparky
On 1/28/07, Larry English  wrote:
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4) From: Jeffrey Pawlan
You might want to scan the archives for the many posts on this subject.
I posted several messages over the past three years strongly admonishing the use
of teflon or plastic coated wire in your roasters as the gases produced are
highly toxic. As you may recall, that is what killed the astronauts in the
shuttle launch that had an electrical fire. It was not flames or heat.
I use reactor grade double kapton thermocouple wire. It is rated for use to 600
deg F. It does not decompose into poisonous fumes or compounds either.
Stainless steel Thermocouples work but there is going to be a serious time lag
in its response.
Regards,
Jeffrey Pawlan
www.computercontrolledroaster.com

5) From: Rudy Ramsey
Jeffrey,
Can you suggest a source and exact item description for the sensor you would
recommend? I have the digital thermometer sold by SM, but haven't had much
luck with it and my FR-8+. The temperatures I get are much lower than they
should be based on actual roast results.
Rudy

6) From: raymanowen
Silvia, there are no dumb questions, but you have to help me out please-
You said, "Am I stuck with the sight-sound method (which I must admit is
working well for me so far) until I upgrade?"
So, you're Stuck- with something that works well?
If you want to upgrade to the HG/DB. That's good because the batch size will
be just about anything you want. My DB is a deep K-A mixer bowl that does a
nice job of concentrating the heat in the bean mass, and focusing the sounds
right at me.
Abandon something that works well for you, in favor of an unknown? Can we
talk?
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

7) From: Silvia Marsh
Touche, I concede the hit. ;)
I may be trying to overthink things. I keep reading posts about the perfect
temperatures to roast with, and realized I neither had any control or even
any indication as to the temps my machine's giving me.  I also figured it'd
be nice to have a temperature read to confirm where in the roast the beans
were; some beans I can hear the cracks and see the signs very clearly, but
some are a lot tougher.
Of course, like I said, I've been enjoying the results so far, and with the
smaller batches of the Freshroast +8 I can afford to do some experimentation
with it, so I should probably let well enough alone. ;)  I'm still sorely
tempted by the HG/DB method, but I'm a big ol wimp when it comes to cold
(since this doesn't seem like a method that's practical for indoors) so that
may wait till spring. *grins*
"My DB is a deep K-A mixer bowl that does a nice job of concentrating the
heat in the bean mass, and focusing the sounds right at me."
Thanks for the advice. :) Does DB material matter? Stainless steel vs
aluminum?
On 2/10/07, raymanowen  wrote:
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8) From: raymanowen
   - I don't think it's a bad thing at all to think things out. Don't go
   too far with it in the virtual realm.  I do that and think, "OK- now what'll
   happen next?"
"If I do this or that, I could get sued...Or I could lose everything"-the
Piano and the Organ. Ha!
   - You have to get to the watershed and be a Quick Study.
"...a temperature read to confirm where in the roast the beans were; some
beans I can hear the cracks and see the signs very clearly, but some are a
lot tougher."
   - Your palate will tell you how far you've gone with the roast/
   Grinding/ Brewing, Silvia. A temperature read is just that- an accurate read
   of the temperature of the RTD sensor, the thermocouple junction, the
   crickets' chirping or whatever the measuring
   device.
   The temperature you read will Not Be the actual bean temperature, and nobody
   else has it either. It is Relative to the bean temperature, but you can't
   even taste Bean Temperature. The taste is only related to the bean
   temperature.
   - The instruments give you a very indirect indication of what is
   happening with the roast. The beans tell exactly what's happening Right Now,
   or about to happen imminently.
   - You can "interrogate" the beans with a heat gun- At any point in the
   roast, you can segregate a few beans in your DB or Bread Machine and paint
   them with an intense stroke from the heat gun, or chase them with the heat
   gun and light them up a little longer. If a few of them snap, the rest are
   about ready to do the same thing. Step on it or hit the brakes.
I love instrumentation, but I know what kind of lies and misinterpretation
it can generate. Roasting is a Zen experience. Have a good experience with
the beans.
Getting there is only half of the story, as you know. This weather would be
ideal for cooling the beans quickly and blowing chaff away by just pouring
between bowls or cake pans. Falling through the cold air, the beans cool
pretty quickly, and that's the rest of the story.
Of course, like I said, I've been enjoying the results so far, and with the
smaller batches of the Freshroast +8 I can afford to do some experimentation
with it, so I should probably let well enough alone. ;)  I'm still sorely
tempted by the HG/DB method, but I'm a big ol wimp when it comes to cold
(since this doesn't seem like a method that's practical for indoors) so that
may wait till spring. *grins*
   - Mama better get warm boots, leather gloves, a pair of slacks, heavy
   jacket and a nice hat. That's my roasting uniform when I have to deal with
   the elements and the eddy wind from my big cooling blower.
Use whatever metal bowl you have. If you need to buy one, hit Target or a
hardware store for a stainless (They aren't, but I think they'll last
longer) bowl.
BTW- A thrift store bread machine would probably be cheaper than the bowl
bought new. The heat gun and Bread Machine have far more capacity than any
home roaster. Vicki is the Last Word on that, but the $40 HG is the biggest
item by far for that roasting mode.
What wimp? I would be happy in Bangkok or Manila NOW! I'd keep in touch-
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
It is pure Zen. Fix it now while it still works. Don't let that stop you-
On 2/11/07, Silvia Marsh  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

9) From: Larry Johnson
"Physicists like to think that all you have to do is say, these are the
conditions, now what happens next?" - Richard Feynman
  On 2/11/07, raymanowen  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Larry J (Lilboybrew)
"The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."
  - Flannery O'Connor

10) From: Karl Harder
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Hi Silvia
Just a couple of thoughts  I am a new roaster.  11/13/2006
I bought and use a T thermocouple Temp. Detector.
It has evened out my roasts.  You could probably learn the Sound, Smell, =
Hear, Ect, technique, but that will take more time and patience than I =
am willing to give.  I am certain that the Temp Detector that SM offers =
will provide you accurate and consistant indications of where your roast =
is.
KEEP THE TIP OF THE PROBE IN THE SAME PLACE.
One observation:  Beans are different.  If 435 degrees works for one =
bean, The temp may need to be adjusted for a bean from somewhere else.
Two observation:  At the precise time of the roast, THINGS HAPPEN FAST.  =
An electronic Temp Detector will greatly aid you in your consistancy, =
and to get to where you want to be.
Five seconds can be the difference from the smoke dectector going off, =
or not going off!
Observation three.  Keep a record.... What Date/Time? What Bean  What =
Ambient Temp when roasted... How long... What temp when power pulled?
What time into roast first/second crack?  Smoke/no smoke?
Observation four:
keep the record info WITH YOUR BEANS!!!
I have several roasts that taste????   What are they ???  When roasted   =
???  to what temp  ???   DUH  like I said, I am new at roasting
PS... I think roasting is an ART more than a science.......BUT I think a =
good Temp Detector will aid you in getting where you want to be FASTER
Karl
kcharder

11) From: Ken Mary
<Snip>
You forgot to mention keeping TASTE records with the roast records. I
hesitate to mention this at the risk of being called an
obsessive-compulsive, but I have records including temperature profiles of
nearly all of my roasts going back to #1 about 7 years ago. Such records are
a valuable resource to help you tune in a particular bean. Very often the
roast info can be applied to similar beans with good success. I usually
refer back over several years of roasts of a particular bean or growing
region before the first roast of a new lot. It helps me eliminate
not-so-good profiles, and experiment to emphasize different cup characters.
--


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