HomeRoast Digest


Topic: upgrade fever (18 msgs / 532 lines)
1) From: Slinkster
I'm already looking to upgrade from the CafeRosto.  My EE husband won't 
countenance any hacks that might make the thing a fire hazard as defined 
by him so he gets to foot my bill :D
My basic considerations are: 4oz (min) roast, indifference to ambient 
temp, ability to *consistently* achieve a good FC/FC+/Vienna with little 
or no tweaking once I've learned the machine's ins and outs.
The FR8 is too small.
The IR2 apparently dislikes cold weather (cold defined as 65 or below 
based on my reading?).
I can find no information about the Nesco and cool/cold weather 
roasting.  Any comments here?  I don't expect to be roasting uphill both 
ways under the blazing sun during a raging December blizzard with no 
shoes carrying the horse but 40f won't be out of the question...
Hottop and GC may or may not be in the budget, it depends on how long I 
can resist the UPGRADE NOW voice nagging in the back of my head.
Thanks in advance for all the opinions I know this will elicit :D

2) From: Floyd Lozano
well with the Nesco's built in smoke management, you would probably not be
roasting outside with this one, so i'd say it's highly indifferent to
outside ambient temperature!  You just have to take the other downsides
(potentially long times to hit the darker roasts you like, which might have
been somewhat addressed with more recent versions of the roaster though i
wish someone that owned one would talk about that, as I have been eyeballing
that one for smaller roasts when i just don't feel like braving the cold!)
-F
On 3/21/07, Slinkster  wrote:
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3) From: miKe mcKoffee
I don't believe the coffee roaster exists that isn't affected by ambient
temperature, be it a $30k Probat or wok. That said I AM the EE Husband here
and routinely roast 1/2# Rosto batches (ok, sure mod'ed Rosto) including
down to Winter freezing temps in uninsulated garage. 
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
 
<Snip>

4) From: Steven Van Dyke
My GeneCafe has been working just fine out in our sunroom since last 
Summer.  Summer ambient temps 80+ were no problem, and it was able to 
cope with the Winter as well, although I found it better to have the 
door / windows closed when it was in the 20's outside but that was 
more for me than it.  I've had variations of up to a minute or two in 
my roast times and most of that appears to be bean related rather 
than temp related.  If you're willing to be in the room with it I 
believe it can handle it.
At 09:36 PM 3/21/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: Slinkster
miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>
May I send you my CR for hacking?  *g*  If you include a copy of your 
IEEE "club card" maybe my husband won't have a hissy about mods...
Mine seems to be quite sensitive to ambient: I couldn't get to second 
crack in 60f a couple of weeks ago.  This was very saddening, as I was 
roasting the last of my Puro Scuro (have since ordered more) and it was 
pretty much undrinkable.
I suppose in the short term this won't matter, as summer is nearly here 
in central Texas - for the next 8 months give or take I'll be griping 
about standing out in 105f waiting for the roaster to hurry up and 
finish already.

6) From: Brett Mason
Breakin all the rules Mike!  Makin my day - I'm proud of you...
The essence of homeroasting is to find a way to roast and brew the most
excellent coffee possible, to the crafter's delight, on a home or hobby
basis.  Mike has underscored a preliminary truth we all deal with: There's a
lot we can do within some reasonable limitations.  We can control our
device, but not all nature.  We can find the very best beans, but we cannot
ensure the very best bean will always be available.  And particularly here,
despite all the money in the world, the laws of physics still apply - they
just kind of have-to...
The only exception I can think of is roasting in an
environmentally-controlled bank vault...  Well, someone on the list is bound
to try....
OK, enough of this applause and agreement!
Carry on,
Brett
  RWA
On 3/21/07, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

7) From: Julie Tieszen
EE?
----- Original Message ----
From: miKe mcKoffee 
To: homeroast
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007=
 12:54:51 AM
Subject: RE: +upgrade fever
I don't believe the coffee =
roaster exists that isn't affected by ambient
temperature, be it a $30k P=
robat or wok. That said I AM the EE Husband here
and routinely roast 1/2#=
 Rosto batches (ok, sure mod'ed Rosto) including
down to Winter freezing =
temps in uninsulated garage. 
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to R=
osto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.ne=t/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm
Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solit=
ary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. =
Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps=
 of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiv=
eshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
 
>

8) From: Larry Johnson
Electrical Engineer. I'm one, too (kinda-sorta).
On 3/22/07, Julie Tieszen  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Larry J
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please
bring me some coffee.
  - Abraham Lincoln

9) From: Brett Mason
EE is short for EEEEEEEEKKKK!   or, EEEEEEEEEEEEEE-GADS!
Technically Larry is right,
Brett
On 3/22/07, Julie Tieszen  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

10) From:
Yo Slinkster:
I hope Eddie hops in to this with his comments on the Gene Cafe. I have not tried it but he uses his like a workhorse and gets completely what he want and perfect profiles everytime.
I have a older HT I love, as a matter of fact I want to upgrade my panel to the digital.
I have had or used all of the roasters Tom sells. I use the HT most of the time. I use my little Fresh Roast 8 for fast small batches, the others I have given away.
If your husband won't let you hack, make him pay!!
ginny
---- Slinkster  wrote: 
<Snip>

11) From: miKe mcKoffee
Not reaching 2nd crack in 60f ambient with a Rosto is not normal, or rather
should not be normal. Rosto's went through various changes in manufacturers
over the years with resulting various performance characters. I have
encountered some Rosto's with fan too strong to ever roast hot enough any
bean load any voltage any ambient. But these in fact have my favorite "too
powerful" fan motor, when you have full control of your Rosto that is with
split wired dual variable boost voltage control. Other's the thermal limiter
kicked in too low. This is easily remedied by by-passing the thermal
limiter. (Not to be confused with the no heat at all symptom caused by blown
thermal fuse, also remedied by by-passing thermal fuse though.) I have three
Rostos, all performed differently stock, all perform basically the same with
split wired independent variable boost control.
Simply split wiring the heater and fan won't solve much if anything. Until
adding control of the voltage inputs. By-passing the thermal limiter may or
may not solve your current problem. By-passing the thermal limiter combined
with split wiring the fan and heater for separate voltage input combined
with independent variable boost voltage control of each would most certainly
yield a very capable and flexible Rosto.
Another low ambient compensator is partially blocking the re-circulating
slots which yields greater heated air being re-circulated which results in
greater max roast temp. I don't like the method of lacing aluminum foil
through the slots because you want the vents full open during cooling. I
first simply used a measuring stick held in front partially covering the
slots. I now use a slip on cover that blocks about 1/2 the vent openings,
fashioned from a drive mounting rail bent to fit. Have thought of
designing/devising some sort of variable slid cover but haven't gotten
around to it, maybe one of these days, only been Rosto roasting 6 years, so
maybe get aroundtuit one of these days:-)
Also as ambients really dive towards or below freezing the cardboard box
partial enclosure comes into play. But 60f ambient shouldn't require any
special tricks. 
Not roasting hot enough could also be not using enough beans. Generally
speaking more beans will roast hotter because the greater mass slows the air
flow more. While I do consistent by weight 227gr greens batches, good rule
of thumb for stock is to use just enough greens so they just barely, BARELY,
move at all start of roast. The exact amount would vary with the bean (and
the Rosto). (FWIW this rule of thumb also holds for electric popcorn
poppers.)
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
<Snip>

12) From: Eddie Dove
Slinkster,
Perhaps miKe mcKoffee could send a cheat sheet to your husband ...
All roasters are going to be susceptible to ambient temperature changes, but
some more than others.  Fluid bed roasters (such as the CR, FR-8, IR-1 & 2
and poppers) count on air as an agitation mechanism, they have a greater
volume of air moving across the heating element so they will be more
susceptible to the "wind chill" effect due to the relatively shorter contact
time with the heat source.  I am sure miKe's mods allow him to compensate
for such.  It may be my lack of understanding of the CR, but it struck me
odd that it would struggle to that extent at 60F.
Nesco = $179.00 with 8 Pack Sampler from Sweet Maria's
Gene Cafe = $495.00 with Double 8 Pack Sampler from Sweet Maria's
The Nesco (formerly Zach & Dani's) and the Gene Cafe are affected by ambient
temperature, but perhaps not nearly to the same degree; I own both of these
roasters.  They do use forced hot air but at a much slower velocity so the
air has more contact time with the heat source, but they use different
mechanisms for agitation; the Nesco uses the auger and the Gene Cafe an
off-axis rotating drum.  I have found that both of these roasters benefit
from preheating for the sake of consistency.  For the cooling cycle, both of
these roasters significantly increase the rate of airflow.
I have used both of these roasters indoors atop the range and under the
microwave range hood that is vented outside.  The Nesco has a catalytic
converter that eliminates the smoke; all roasting aromas will remain in the
house though.  The Gene Cafe does produce smoke and since the batches are
considerably larger, it can produce a lot of smoke depending on the bean and
degree of roast; again all roasting aromas will remain in the house.
I outgrew the Nesco rather quickly because I consume a goodly portion of
coffee and the batch sizes are small.  The later models of the Nesco did not
have the problem of achieving dark roasts like the earlier models did; I
could turn any bean into carbon with the Nesco (voltage in my house is
usually 120-121 volts).  Per the manual, the Gene Cafe can roast up to 300
gram batches and I have roasted many 300 gram batches.  I have also roasted
up to 328 grams in the Gene Cafe with no problem, however, I think the
"sweet spot" for batch size is between 226g (1/2 pound) and 250g for profile
control.  I have not found the roaster to be strong enough to control the
profile of a 300g batch.  Perhaps it could with modification, but I am not
an EE.  I can achieve any level of roast I desire with the Gene Cafe, but
that rarely goes beyond Full City+ for me.
The Nesco is just okay at handling chaff ... if you have a steady hand.  I
would open the lid, remove the top/screen to the chaff cup and use the
vacuum cleaner to suck out the chaff and loft the beans and suck the
remaining chaff out of the, but you had to be careful or the beans would end
up in the vacuum.  If you jostle things the wrong way ... well, you'll be
using the vacuum a little longer.  I think the Gene Cafe is excellent at
handling chaff.  I don't have to empty it after every roast because it
actually has some capacity.  I have even forgotten to empty for about 8
straight roasts the Sidamo; it was packed full, but without stopping the
roast, I removed the chaff collector, dumped it in the flowerbed and put it
back in place.  After the roast is cooled, I do shake the beans inside a
matched bowl and colander then pour between the two in front of a fan to
remove as much as possible, especially for customers.
I do think the Gene Cafe is a great training roaster because of all of the
feedback I get during the roast.  I have time and temperature readings (not
inside the bean mass itself), I can see the beans and learn that color can
be deceiving, I can smell the aromas and see the smoke and I can hear the
cracks (and I am half deaf).  This roaster has enabled me to learn a lot
about roasting and how different beans respond and I have the ability to
change the profile on the fly. When I have a lot of roasting to do, I also
have the option of using the continuous roasting method, which means I can
stop the roaster, dump the beans into an external cooler, reload with beans
and immediately start roasting the next batch.  Using this method, and
depending on other variables, I know that I can roast 3 full batches per
hour.
Ginny wrote, "I hope Eddie hops in to this with his comments on the Gene
Cafe. I have not tried it but he uses his like a workhorse and gets
completely what he want and perfect profiles everytime."  I have been
promising Ginny that I would write a Gene Cafe review, but I haven't gotten
to it yet.  If there is anything that anyone would like me to cover in that
review, do let me know and I will do my best.  Below is an excerpt from my
blog about the Gene Cafe being a workhorse that I posted on March 11, 2007.
----------  Begin Excerpt  ----------
What a workhorse! Today, I put the Gene Cafe through its paces again ... 35
(18 1/2 pounds) consecutive roasts without a break and no cooling until it
was done.
In the six months that I have had this roaster, it has roasted 364 batches
totaling 191 3/4 pounds. The only thing I have replaced / repaired is the
little piece of rubber on the chaff wipe and I do recommend you have a spare
on hand. Over time the rubber becomes brittle and it can break into two
pieces.
I do periodically take the chaff collector apart and soak it / clean it.
Also, I do periodically clean the drum for visibility, which is easier to do
with the center (metal) piece removed. Also, it is vitally important to make
sure you clean the screen under the roaster as it is the only intake for the
air for the roaster. If you grab the roaster by both ends and flip it over,
at the top right you will see slots. Beneath those slots is a very fine mesh
screen that filters the air going in to the fan.
The coffees (all from Sweet
Maria's)
roasted today are:
   1. Guatemala Fraijanes - Finca Agua Tibia (versatile roasting coffee)
   2. Mexico Organic Nayarit Terruno (great mild coffee)
   3. Java Government Estate Djampit (deep, silky and chocolatey)
   4. Brazil Fazenda Boa Sorte Natural Bourbon (deep, dark, bittersweet
   chocolate)
   5. Colombia Tolima Planadas - El Jordan (anticipating ... )
   6. El Salvador PN Las Ranas WP Decaf (fantastic chocolate!)
   7. Mexico Organic Oaxaca WP Decaf (outstanding, flavorful coffee ...
   fooled people again!)
----------  End Excerpt  ----------
Hope this is helpful ... to someone ...
Eddie
-- 
Docendo Discimus
My Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/On 3/21/07, Slinkster  wrote:">http://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/On 3/21/07, Slinkster  wrote:
<Snip>

13) From:
way to go guy!!!
ginny
great stuff posted...
ginny
---- Eddie Dove  wrote: 
<Snip>

14) From: miKe mcKoffee
	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Eddie Dove
	Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 9:51 AM
	Slinkster,
	
	Perhaps miKe mcKoffee could send a cheat sheet to your husband ... 
Just click the link in my sigtag....
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/

15) From: Justin Marquez
On 3/21/07, Slinkster  wrote:
<Snip>
Safety issues notwithstanding, it "looks bad" for an Electrical
Engineer to have a house fire with an elecrtical cause!!
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

16) From: Justin Marquez
or, an ELECTRICAL-caused one, too...
On 3/22/07, Justin Marquez  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Safe Journeys and Sweet Music
Justin Marquez (CYPRESS, TX)

17) From: raymanowen
Expense tally for latest HG/ BM roaster that performed well on the open bac=
k
porch on its maiden voyage at 50 F:
   1. HG= Wagner HT 1000 $34 at Big Box store
   2. BM= pristine new Chefmate HB-12W $2 at Thrift store
At this rate, I'll never get to use my DAK/ Welbuilt with the neat glass
dome top for roasting- it would be a little clumsy to empty into The Cooler
I have right now.
The Chefmate has the closest Paddle/ pan tolerance, at 1/ 16th inch. Can
easily stir 50g to a full pound of green coffee. (1.5lb looks like a gimme)
Highly useful machines have lift- out Paddle/ pan assemblies. The agitation
makes for an extremely even roast, and the first time I heard 1st Crack in
either machine, it was Very Loud!
$36 total outlay for roasting,
$2 furnace blower and $5 s/s screen mesh colander from Target= The Cooler=
.
It cools a 1lb roast from smoking, start of rolling Second crack roast to
hand stirring in 10 seconds, dead cold in 30 seconds.
The Costa Rica SM select peaberry 400g and 460g roasts were so easy to
"read" and control- the gorgeous outcome was superb both times.
(My new neighbor's wife manages an Einstein bagel shop...)
How tough to build a glove box or roasting igloo for extreme roasting
environments? 10a load on 120v for a 1,000w HG + 200w stirring motor. The
blower is not specified, but <500w, and only runs after the roast is done.
Duh-
Easy for a 12ga extension cord- use a lighter gauge extension at your own
peril. 14ga should work OK, but Murphy will be watching you.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Roasting is the best way to roast coffee
On 3/22/07, Justin Marquez  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
y
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

18) From: Dave Ehrenkranz
I have used both the IR2 and the Zach and Dani (bought out by Nesco)  
INSIDE my home. The Z & D claims to have a catalytic converter (all I  
see it doing is recycling the air) to make indoor roasting possible  
and I have had no real problem using the IR2 inside without venting  
the smoke outside.
dave
On Mar 21, 2007, at 7:36 PM, Slinkster wrote:
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