HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Freshroast Tip and Possible Mod (8 msgs / 169 lines)
1) From: Sam Tregar
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?

2) From: Tom Ufer
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:

3) From: Floyd Lozano
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!
On 2/22/07, Tom Ufer  wrote:

4) From: raymanowen
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 =
of green beans in the glass chamber. Instead of the Ronco "Set it and Forge=
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=
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=
   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.

5) From: Silvia Marsh
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.
(always keep in mind, however, that I'm an extreme newbie. ;))

6) From: Jason Greenberg
"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)

7) From: Floyd Lozano
He was being funny.  He 'modified' his roaster by getting a dogbowl / ss
bowl / kitchenaid mixing bowl / bread machine, and presumably a heat gun ;)
On 2/24/07, Jason Greenberg  wrote:

8) From: Jim Carter
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:

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