HomeRoast Digest

Topic: first smoke alarm alert... (5 msgs / 107 lines)
1) From: Silvia Marsh
Hokay, I've been roasting for about a month now and before tonight had only
once generated enough smoke to notice, and never enough to set off the smoke
Tonight, roasting my brand-spankin-new Peru Norte Especial, I smoked up my
kitchen something fierce. Now, I'm not complaining, because even the smoke
smells good, but I'm a little confused.
I've been re-reading the freshroast plus 8 (the type of roaster I use) tip
sheet on the SM site again, and realized I haven't been cleaning the chaff
collecter as completely as I should have been. I've been dumping it
religiously and making sure there were no large particles, but not brushing
it out. I grabbed a clean pastry brush and brushed the heck out of it, top,
bottom, inside and out. I started my roast at six minutes, again from the
advice on the tip sheet; that should have put me about at a full city +
(unless of course I stopped it early). When it got to two minutes on the
dial, I turned the dial back a bit to give me more play room. That part's
not unusual; I've done that on many roasts. Now, after about another minute,
first crack started (loud and clear with this bean, actually; easy to tell
start and finish). When first crack ended, I moved to get my cooling
container and my potholder and the alarm went nuts!
I grabbed the alarm, hit the button, and tossed it in another room so I
could grab the coffee, and it was smoking like crazy.  The color is a touch
darker than the full city picture on this page:http://www.sweetmarias.com/freshroast.tipsheet.html,so I got close to my
intended result in any case.
The main question is: why smoke now? Did I jar some of the powdered chaff
into the roasting chamber? Does brushing the chaff that thoroughly make the
machine run hotter?  The coffee itself? All of the above? I wouldn't think
it would be the degree of roast, because I've roasted to that degree and
darker and have never had it happen before...
I guess I'm a real roaster now, smoke alarm and all. ;) Woo!

2) From: Darliene Stanhope
I use a Fresh Roast +8 as my roaster and have found that if I am a little
heavy on the amount of beans that I put in the chamber then it roasts a
whole lot faster.
On 1/28/07, Silvia Marsh  wrote:

3) From: MichaelB
A smoke alarm is one way to monitor a roast, but not always the most popular
The timer on the Freshroast just determines how long the heater stays on
before it switches to cool, and then to off. It is just a guide and
convenience for you. It does not determine how fast the roast progresses or
the final roast level. You need to do that. So the main focus in your
roasting should always be the state of the beans. The machine settings and
time are secondary. By all means record the time so you get familiar with
the operation of your machine, but don't let the time alone determine your
There are all sorts of reasons for a roast to go faster or slower than you
expect. So pay attention to the roast progress, bean color, when the smoke
increases, start of first crack, and any other signs to indicate how far
along it is. The more you roast the more you will learn the importance of
controlling or monitoring variables like weight of beans, cleanliness of
chaff collector, household voltage, amount of heating and cooling, etc. And
later, maybe even bean mass temperature, split wiring, etc.
Oh, and even before you master your current roaster you'll probably be
upgrading to something completely new and different...
On 1/28/07, Silvia Marsh  wrote:

4) From: Floyd Lozano
I thought the recommended settings for 121v (Tom's lab voltage) and the
recommended 64g (2 scoop) of coffee were
6 - City
6.5 - City +
7 - Full City
7.5 - Vienna / Light French
Though I usually have to add time (1 or 2 min) to achieve vienna (i only get
114-115v from the wall).http://www.sweetmarias.com/freshroast.tipsheet.htmlI actually have been playing with reducing the amt of beans I put in (60g)
to see if i can slow the roast a bit and give a little more body.  Results
on that aren't in yet. Will know in a few days!
On 1/28/07, Darliene Stanhope  wrote:

5) From: Silvia Marsh
The time's very play-aroundable...I was just shocked at the amount of smoke
I got out of this one roast. *grins* But that's okay. I can always set up a
table near my patio door instead of in my kitchen, if it's a continuing
On 1/29/07, Floyd Lozano  wrote:

HomeRoast Digest