Fellow FreshRoasters, have you tried putting some padding under your roaster? I put a piece of cardboard (from an SM box) under mine and it's now much quieter, making it easier to hear the cracks. Previously it was on a wooden table and the buzzing sound of the roaster vibrating against the hard surface was very loud. Don't use anything too soft though, there are air intakes along the bottom edge set a centimeter or so off the bottom. I imagine bad things would happen if you plugged them up! As I've gotten more comfortable with the roaster I've gotten less and less happy with the timer. It's not particularly accurate, it's hard to read and it's difficult to trigger the cooling cycle with precision. I've been thinking about taking the timer off and replacing it with two switches - one for the fan and one for the heater. Am I crazy? Anyone else try something like this? -sam
I use a digital timer to time the roasts. I don't bother with the cooling cycle either. I just dump the beans and either cool with a fan or 2 minutes in the freezer. On 2/22/07, Sam Tregar wrote: <Snip>
ambient is around 68 F in my kitchen where I roast, and I happen to have a small turbo fan mounted on the wall already to blow air around in the summer when it gets too hot. Well, this works to my advantage with the FR. I also don't bother with the built in timer, as it's only a means to prevent you from going way way too long with a roast. I go about 1/4 of a tic past what I expect to roast at and time with a stopwatch or chronograph on my timex ironman watch (any cheap digital watch will do). And I only use the time for 2 things - make sure I don't go overly long and that the roast progresses as I expect given how much beans I put in (between 64 and 80 grams) and to achieve repeatability. I make note of when 1st crack starts and when it ends and i note the time that i turn the timer to 'cool' (the white area, making sure the heating element stops glowing, which is hard to see through all the hopping beans) and then i blast the fan full on the roaster during the cooling process. it cools pretty quickly this way, and i turn the fan off when the cool cycle ends (so i don't blow chaff all over my kitchen) and dump the beans and then take them outside (20-40 F this time of year) for a few shakes. of course, i almost never use the FR now that i got a dogbowl and heat gun. even with my little experience (5 roasts so far) the results are, although unpredictable (missed City + with the El Placer and ended up 20 sec into 2nd crack, whoops!, but still tasty) still rival or better the results of the Freshroast, and I do a pound (green weight) at a time in the bowl. so yes, when i am too lazy to go outside or want to try some different depths of roast with a bean, i do small batches in the FR. If I know what I am shooting for (regardless of whether i can hit it or now ;) ) it's all about the dogbowl! -Floyd On 2/22/07, Tom Ufer wrote: <Snip>
With respect to use of the Fresh Roast appliance for home roasting green coffee procured from SM: I use it as a sample roaster, and roasting for me consists of installing = ¼c of green beans in the glass chamber. Instead of the Ronco "Set it and Forge= t It" technique, I plug it in and set the knob to max time. At t=55sec, I turn to the "Cool" cycle for 5s, then back to heat and cycl= e it that way (90% duty cycle) until C1 starts. I play it by ear, but for the duration of C1, I hit "Cool" for 5s out of 30 (80% duty cycle). When C2 starts, I usually nurse it along with reduced duty cycle to stretch the roast just barely in to 2nd and tease it there for 10 or more seconds. I think I have used four different methods of getting the thing to run in the "Cool" cycle. 1. Set the knob to the midpoint of the marked cool down zone- 2. Listen for the heater switch contacts to transfer as you turn it into the cool cycle- 3. Feel the contacts transfer as you turn the knob down - 4. Listen to the blower speed up as the heater load disconnects and the line rises 2-3v. Take yer pick- they all wurk for me. Barking mutts cancel #2, #4. I considered three mods to add utility, all very easy. 1. The blower and heater are run by separate microswitches/ cams on the timer. Just solder a jumper across the blower microswitch terminals. That way, the blower will operate whenever the FR is plugged in. [Not Do= ne because I did #2, and #3] 2. Modify the base unit to look more like a heat gun. [Did it] 3. Modify the roasting chamber to look like: a. -dog bowl, b -stainless steel salad mixing bowl, c-KA bowl or d -bread machine. [Done= !] None of these alter the appearance of the Fresh Roast if done correctly. Fresh Beans were very pointed to say that the cool down cycle cools the roaster (Thermal Fuse), and incidentally, the beans cool down a little. Let the roasting fun begin. Cheers -RayO, aka Opa! Some assembly required, batteries not included.
RayO said: "Fresh Beans were very pointed to say that the cool down cycle cools the roaster (Thermal Fuse), and incidentally, the beans cool down a little." The only reason see to go through the cool cycle with my FreshRoast is because I've found it allows the plastic and metal parts of the chamber to contract a bit after the heat and actually makes it a little easier to pull the chamber out of the base. The beans you can cool afterward. Silvia (always keep in mind, however, that I'm an extreme newbie. ;))
"the cool down cycle cools the roaster" This fits my experience: the cool cycle on my FR+8 doesn't cool the beans very well. But, pray tell, what's the value of cooling down the roaster with the fan? It's meant to get hot, right? Will the heating coil last longer if it cools down more quickly? Also, RayO, how can one "[m]odify the base unit to look more like a heat gun" and "the roasting chamber to look like: a. -dog bowl, b -stainless steel salad mixing bowl, c-KA bowl or d -bread machine" without altering the appearance? One could modify it to function differently without altering the appearance, but surely not to look differently. And, more to the point, can you dish details on the hows and whys of these mods (he asks hesitantly, knowing RayO's heady mix of technical savvy and enthusiasm)? -- Jason (more a newbie than Silvia, I'd wager)
He was being funny. He 'modified' his roaster by getting a dogbowl / ss bowl / kitchenaid mixing bowl / bread machine, and presumably a heat gun ;) -F On 2/24/07, Jason Greenberg wrote: <Snip>
now THAT was funny! Although, it is becoming quite clear that I have to stop drinking coffee while reading these emails. No chance for a spew alert there, just no chance at all. Perhaps one could argue that the onus was on RayO to issue the spew alert since he could have anticipated the results of his original email. - Jim (must put coffee down before reading) Carter Jason Greenberg wrote: <Snip>