HomeRoast Digest


Topic: First Roaster Advice (46 msgs / 1622 lines)
1) From: mirrera
Hello folks.  Iíve been a lurker for a little while, and have read many, many archive threads, and Iíve still not made up my mind what to do, so hopefully you guys can help.  Apologies in advance for the verbose post.
I have good brewing equipment (Macap grinder and Vivaldi II espresso mach), so I feel that the next logical place to expand the coffee experience is to roast my own.  Iím pulling great shots using beans from an online roaster, but I know I would very much enjoy drinking what I make, even if itís not noticeably better tasting (I also brew beer Ė and I enjoy it, even though there is much commercially available thatís better). 
So, on to my dilemma.  Iím basically deciding between the HotTop/Gene Cafť or the RK drum.  I would definitely go with the drum if not for my space constraints.  I live in Boston, and have a small deck that already has a nice grill on it (75k BTU DCS).  So, I canít have another, roaster-only grill out there, and Iím concerned about dual-purposing it.  
Iíve read everything I could find about whether people use their grills for food and roasting, and opinion seems divided.  Iím, of course, concerned about the food imparting a flavor to the coffee, but also worried that roasting coffee in the grill is going to end up coating the inside with residue (will it?).
I believe that Iíd only be roasting about a pound at a time, to begin with, if I had the drum.  But as I do with my beer, Iím sure that over time I would end up giving some away, so Iíd like the drumís additional capacity over the HT/GC roasters.  And though the machines are nifty looking, the interaction necessary to roast in the RK drum seems more intimate than the Ďpush a button and come back for your beansí method.
Being that my first choice would be the RK drum, do you think it should be out of the running because of my grill situation?  
Thanks for all of the info Iíve already gleaned from the site, and in advance for what more youíre likely to give me.
-Mike

2) From: Brett Mason
My steaks don't taste like Sumatra, and my coffee doesn't taste like
Chuck (he's our family name for the side of beef in our freezer).
Go to a thrift store and buy a popper - this is simple.  Start here
with a $20 sampler from Sweet Maria's.  Once you've burned through it,
and realized you just outperformed your online roaster by a long shot,
then you can upgrade to whatever catches your fancy...
2cents
Brett
On 3/22/07, mirrera  wrote:
<Snip>
many archive threads, and I've still not made up my mind what to do, so hop=
efully you guys can help.  Apologies in advance for the verbose post.
<Snip>
), so I feel that the next logical place to expand the coffee experience is=
 to roast my own.  I'm pulling great shots using beans from an online roast=
er, but I know I would very much enjoy drinking what I make, even if it's n=
ot noticeably better tasting (I also brew beer Ė and I enjoy it, even tho=
ugh there is much commercially available that's better).
<Snip>
ť or the RK drum.  I would definitely go with the drum if not for my spac=
e constraints.  I live in Boston, and have a small deck that already has a =
nice grill on it (75k BTU DCS).  So, I can't have another, roaster-only gri=
ll out there, and I'm concerned about dual-purposing it.
<Snip>
or food and roasting, and opinion seems divided.  I'm, of course, concerned=
 about the food imparting a flavor to the coffee, but also worried that roa=
sting coffee in the grill is going to end up coating the inside with residu=
e (will it?).
<Snip>
h, if I had the drum.  But as I do with my beer, I'm sure that over time I =
would end up giving some away, so I'd like the drum's additional capacity o=
ver the HT/GC roasters.  And though the machines are nifty looking, the int=
eraction necessary to roast in the RK drum seems more intimate than the 'pu=
sh a button and come back for your beans' method.
<Snip>
e out of the running because of my grill situation?
<Snip>
ance for what more you're likely to give me.
<Snip>
ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

3) From: L. Michael Fraley, MD
Hi Mike,
First, welcome!
I do not own an RK drum, but would like to have one at some point.  
However, what I want to address is your comment about wanting something =
that is "more intimate than the ‚Äėpush a button and come back for =
your 
beans’ method."  I use the Hottop (and occasionally my IR2 and =
stovetop 
roasting) and I do not ever depend on the roaster to do the job for me. =
  I have been playing around with profiles (since I got my programable =
panel) but even before that I always attended the roaster during each 
roast cycle, and have attempted to make each roast fit each bean.  
Perhaps if I owned the RK already, I would feel differently, but to be =
honest, I feel that I "craft" each roast.  I put a lot of effort and 
thought into each and every roast.  Maybe I am missing something, and 
am too ignorant, thus far, to notice it.  I hope this helps some.  I 
just want you to see that even with an "automatic machine" (is their 
really such a thing?) that one can (and many do) have a great deal of 
control of their roasts, and make the process very intimate.
Happy roasting!
Michael
On Mar 22, 2007, at 11:48 AM, mirrera wrote:
Hello folks.  I’ve been a lurker for a little while, and have read =
many, many archive threads, and I’ve still not made up my mind what =
to 
do, so hopefully you guys can help.  Apologies in advance for the 
verbose post.
I have good brewing equipment (Macap grinder and Vivaldi II espresso 
mach), so I feel that the next logical place to expand the coffee 
experience is to roast my own.  I’m pulling great shots using beans =
from an online roaster, but I know I would very much enjoy drinking 
what I make, even if it’s not noticeably better tasting (I also =
brew 
beer ¬Ė and I enjoy it, even though there is much commercially =
available 
that’s better).
So, on to my dilemma.  I’m basically deciding between the =
HotTop/Gene 
Café or the RK drum.  I would definitely go with the drum if not =
for my 
space constraints.  I live in Boston, and have a small deck that 
already has a nice grill on it (75k BTU DCS).  So, I can’t have 
another, roaster-only grill out there, and I’m concerned about 
dual-purposing it.
I’ve read everything I could find about whether people use their =
grills 
for food and roasting, and opinion seems divided.  I’m, of course, =
concerned about the food imparting a flavor to the coffee, but also 
worried that roasting coffee in the grill is going to end up coating 
the inside with residue (will it?).
I believe that I’d only be roasting about a pound at a time, to =
begin 
with, if I had the drum.  But as I do with my beer, I’m sure that =
over 
time I would end up giving some away, so I’d like the drum’s =
additional 
capacity over the HT/GC roasters.  And though the machines are nifty 
looking, the interaction necessary to roast in the RK drum seems more 
intimate than the ¬Ďpush a button and come back for your beans¬í =
method.
Being that my first choice would be the RK drum, do you think it should =
be out of the running because of my grill situation?
Thanks for all of the info I’ve already gleaned from the site, and =
in 
advance for what more you’re likely to give me.
-Mikeuuencode.c:279:UUENCODE_is_uuencode_header:WARNING: Cannot read permissions for UUENCODED data file (begin 
)

4) From: Les
I would echo Brett's advice.  I know Ron might kill me for saying this, but
I don't think it is wise to try to start roasting on a RK drum.  You need t=
o
have the ability to visually see your roast and associate the various stage=
s
with the sound of the cracks, smell, and visual aspect of the roast before
going to the RK drum.  Sound and smell being the most important, with sight
being the least important, but what we oriented to in this culture is
sight.  Second, I would go to the Wok or Heatgun/Dogbowl method before
graduating to the RK drum.  Once you know the basics of roasting, the
transition to the RK is pretty easy.
Les
On 3/22/07, L. Michael Fraley, MD  wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: Brian Kamnetz
I would second all the advice about learning the sights and sounds. I
started roasting in a popper and had a world of problems because I did not
know what was supposed to happen. My roasts were "racing", rapidly moving
through first crack directly into second crack. With invaluable advice from
people on this list, I was able to make adjustments that slowed the roast to
the proper progression. Once that happened, and I had seen the greens turn
yellow, then tan, then brown, then first crack, then pause for a couple
mins, then second crack, I was able to move to different modes of roasting
and make the roast progress in a way approximating what I wanted.
Brian
On 3/22/07, Les  wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: Larry Johnson
I have roasted with a Whirly-Pop (bad idea), a Fresh Roast 8, a West Bend
Poppery 1, an iRoast2, and a heat gun / bread machine setup. My favorites
are the HG/BM for bigger roast volumes (1/2 to 1 pound) and the iRoast2 for
smaller batches. My favorite way to roast, between those 2, is the HG/BM.
Both give a lot of personal control, but the HG/BM is the ultimate in that
regard. It allows you to see, hear, and smell virtually every little thing
that's happening to the beans. It's not too hard to add a thermal
measurement device, if your scientifically inclined. It's also the least
expensive, but you may not care about that.
If you want to look into the HG/BM, there's no better site than Vicki
Smith's at www.coffeecrone.com . Another point:  You're in Boston, so if yo=
u
have to roast outside you'll be roasting in single-digit temps during the
winter. The iRoast won't hack it, nor will most any other fluid bed
roaster, but the HG/BM will if you get a heat gun with enough watts (1500 o=
r
better). Vicki does it in Canadia just fine.  OK, I was kidding about the
single-digits in Boston. It doesn't get THAT cold very often, I know. I
lived in Quincy for a while, also North Attleboro. But still, I think it's =
a
great way to roast. If I had tried this method first, I wouldn't have a pil=
e
of other roasters taking up space in my house.
Anywho, that's my nickle's worth of free advice.
On 3/22/07, Les  wrote:
<Snip>
the
<Snip>
in
<Snip>
le
<Snip>
my
<Snip>
-- 
Larry J
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please
bring me some coffee.
  - Abraham Lincoln

7) From: Eddie Dove
Ditto on what the others have said.  Start with an inexpensive, but intimat=
e
method of roasting and just go roast; get Harvey to drop off a goodly
portion of beans.  Once you gain some experience, all of those threads you
have already read will make a lot more sense in your mind.  I started with =
a
popper and help from this list (priceless) and I am glad I did.
Having read through the archives, you must know that there are a LOT of
Mikes on this list.  Are you thinking about a distinguishing handle?
Perhaps: "Mike (Yet Another)"  ;-)
Welcome aboard!
Eddie
-- 
Docendo Discimus
My Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/On 3/22/07, mirrera  wrote:">http://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/On 3/22/07, mirrera  wrote:
<Snip>
nce
<Snip>
even
<Snip>
ť
<Snip>
ned
<Snip>
me
<Snip>
ty
<Snip>
e
<Snip>
e
<Snip>

8) From: mirrera
Eddie, and everyone else,
I had a feeling that I was going to get the 'walk before you run' advice.  It's just in my nature to try to short-cut the process and go for the end-game.
So, I will heed the undoubtedly sage advice of the experienced folks here and start with a popper.  My issue (and it's really MY issue) is that I won't be satisfied with that.  I'll immediately split the circuits, then add voltage control, chaff collection, temp monitoring, and eventually will want to control the whole thing from a laptop with pretty graphs and things.  And then I'll need to upgrade.  I know, I have a problem.  But at least it seems that many of you share a similar affliction.
But I will start with the popper, nonetheless.
And I'll come up with a more distinguishing moniker, as I agree that there are too many Mikes posting here.  How about AdkMike? I've actually just moved to Boston from NYC, so I can't really say I'm from Boston, but I have a place in the Adirondacks, so I can go with that.
Thanks again.
-Mike
er...
-AdkMike
From: homeroast-admin [mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Eddie Dove
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 1:14 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +First Roaster Advice
Ditto on what the others have said.  Start with an inexpensive, but intimate method of roasting and just go roast; get Harvey to drop off a goodly portion of beans.  Once you gain some experience, all of those threads you have already read will make a lot more sense in your mind.  I started with a popper and help from this list (priceless) and I am glad I did. 
Having read through the archives, you must know that there are a LOT of Mikes on this list.  Are you thinking about a distinguishing handle?  Perhaps: "Mike (Yet Another)"  ;-)   
Welcome aboard!
Eddie
-- 
Docendo Discimus
My Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/

9) From: Eddie Dove
IT WORKED!  HE'S ONE OF US ALREADY!
On 3/22/07, mirrera  wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: Rich M
Mike-
FWIW, how about a compromise. Why not go for something like an IR2?  
It has its issues like any other roaster, but it is programmable and  
you can see, smell, and hear the beans as they progress. Then, when  
the need to upgrade strikes, you can use the IR as a nice backup for  
smaller batches. That's exactly where I am right now. Again, just a  
thought...
Rich M
On Mar 22, 2007, at 12:49 PM, mirrera wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: Brian Kamnetz
On 3/22/07, mirrera  wrote:
<Snip>
That's starting to sound like Mike (just plain)'s Uber Popper.... Not a bad
way to go!
Brian

12) From: Michael Dhabolt
ADKMike,
Good handle.  If you find that 1/2 pound (net) roasts will satisfy your
consumption habits.....no upgrade will be necessary.  You can satisfy your
geek side by finding an original West Bend Poppery (P1 in our lingo), and
modify to your hearts content, ending up with a permanent roaster that will
allow (beg for) full profiling control...etc. etc.
Mike (just plain)

13) From: RK
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Les makes a good point and a West Bend Poppery II is quite easy to find, =
I just found one yesterday at the Hospice thrift store, brand new, $3. I =
buy them for the ones who say I can't even think of roasting my own =
coffee, it's too hard. 
When they find out it is not, we have another home roaster.
I have had several customers that went directly to the drum and with a =
bit of coaching via email and telephone they did all right. 
I do beleive that learning the basics are important and a popper is the =
least inexpensive roaster to start with and the bonus from learning the =
basics would be some pretty darn good coffee.
RK

14) From: The Dunaways
This is a multipart message
I'm going to go out on a limb here.  I haven't been roasting very long at a=
ll.... maybe a month??  I started with an RK Drum and I am VERY happy with =
it.  But I have a nice grill with good temp control.... and since the grill=
 is your heating element here, having one that cooks even, level surface an=
d knowing how to control that is key.  I've only ruined one batch of beans =
and it was my first.  They hit first crack at 5 minutes and spontaneously c=
ombusted at 6 minutes   The fire was very pretty and very well control=
led inside the grill on my concrete patio......  I now roast at a lower tem=
p and hit first crack around 10 minutes consistently and decide how far to =
take it after that.  So, you can learn how to roast with an RK Drum very ea=
sily, but I would know your grill.  But I do have that more power issue goi=
ng for me already ;-)
Janhttp://www.serendipityquilting.com<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
body { margin: 5px;
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I'm going to go out on a limb here.  I haven't been roasting very=
 long =
at all.... maybe a month??  I started with an RK Drum and I am VERY ha=
ppy =
with it.  But I have a nice grill with good temp control.... and since=
 the =
grill is your heating element here, having one that cooks even, level surfa=
ce =
and knowing how to control that is key.  I've only ruined one batch of=
 =
beans and it was my first.  They hit first crack at 5 minutes and =
spontaneously combusted at 6 minutes <vbg>  The fire was very pr=
etty =
and very well controlled inside the grill on my concrete patio......  =
I now =
roast at a lower temp and hit first crack around 10 minutes consistently an=
d =
decide how far to take it after that.  So, you can learn how to roast =
with =
an RK Drum very easily, but I would know your grill.  But I do have th=
at =
more power issue going for me already ;-)
 
Jan
http://www.serendipityquilting.=com
 

15) From: Carole Zatz
I second what Larry Johnson says Ė this is what worked for me as well:
On 3/22/07, Larry Johnson  wrote:
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or
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you
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16) From: Steven Van Dyke
Mike,
Welcome to the list!
I started with a FreshRoast (the original, not 
the current improved version),  used a CafeRosto 
as my main roaster for a while and now have a 
GeneCafe.  I've also used a Turbo/Crazy (Turbo 
Oven + Stir Crazy), an AromaPot (similar to a 
stove top popcorn popper), and dabbled with Heat Gun / Dog Bowl.
Never had a chance to fool with a HotTop but they look good in the pictures.
If you want the most intimate roaster then it's 
HG/DB (or it's close cousin, the heavy 
wok).  When it's just pure heat + beans you not 
only have full control, you've got full feedback.
The FreshRoast gives great feedback - you can see 
well, you can hear well, and you can smell 
everything.  Not a whole lot of control though, and a small batch size.
The CafeRosto's not available any more but it's 
pretty good on feedback - a little hard to 
hear.  Also not too much control unless you mod it.
The AromaPot is the closest I have to a drum.  It 
uses an external heat source (camping stove in my 
case) and you can't see inside.  Manual agitation 
vs. motorized.  Not too much on feedback but you 
*do* get a feel for it.  Not sure I'd recommend a 
closed system like it or a drum for your first 
roaster unless you have someone to help you gauge 
things or buy a few pounds of Tom's 'UGH' beans 
to practice with.  One of the tricks is figuring 
out when to stop so you can get things cooled (more on that later).
The GeneCafe has pretty darn good feedback.  You 
can see well, you can smell and see the smoke, 
but it's surprisingly hard to hear the 
progression.  I say 'surprisingly' because the 
GeneCafe's a pretty quiet roaster.  Cooling's a 
little bit weak so your first few batches will 
wind up going a bit beyond what you 
wanted.  You've got pretty good control since you 
can change the temperature setting at any time 
and can extend or shorten the roast at 
will.  Don't forget that the displayed 'bean' 
temperature is really the output air temperature 
which will change a lot faster than the mass of beans.
Cooling: You can cool your beans lots of ways.  I 
do a final 'extra' cooling with the beans from my 
GeneCafe by pouring them back and forth between 
two mesh strainers.  If I feel like it I  use one 
strainer, a fan, and a spoon to stir them.  The 
*best* cooler is a vacuum bucket but I'm 
generally too lazy to fool with it.  You take a 
bucket with a lid, put a hole the right size 
about 2/3 of the way up from the bottom.  Stick 
the hose of a ShopVac in that hole.  In the lid 
of the bucket make a hole to fit a colander - you 
want one fairly solid rather than mesh.  You can 
dump in beans that are snapping, crackling and 
smoking as they edge into 2nd crack and with the 
vacuum on and a spoon to stir they're cool enough 
to stir with your hand in about a minute and at 
room temperature or below in three.  Also sucks 
the chaff away which is a concern for drum roasts.
Whatever you wind up with, I recommend you start 
with a handful of beans,  a heat source, a pan, and a spoon.
At 10:48 AM 3/22/2007, you wrote:
<Snip>

17) From: Sandy Andina
--Apple-Mail-7-889883544
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I use the i-Roast (actually, a pair of them, the original and the i- 
Roast 2--kept the original after I realized I could replace the pot-- 
for small 1/4 lb. batches) and a SC/TO I got through a "tradition"  
drawing from the list (I'm still trying to figure out what I will  
offer up in return) for larger ones--1/2-1 lb.  I roast indoors in  
colder weather, keeping the back door open (have a screen door over  
it) and the range hood running. In 60F+ weather, I go out on the  
deck.  With both methods, I can monitor the color, aroma, smoke and  
sounds of the cracks (it's trickier with the i-Roasts, but if your  
hearing is still good enough to differentiate higher frequencies from  
background noise, it's still quite possible).  With the SC/TO,  
removing the top periodically to check color does temporarily entail  
stopping airflow and introducing ambient air, but only momentarily.   
Indoors, I put foil down all around it to catch chaff; outdoors, it  
goes out on to the steel-mesh patio table, where I gather up whatever  
doesn't fly away and put it down in the garden as mulch.  The SC/TO  
method also takes a little longer and things can't get out of control  
as fast. But with ANY method, you have to be hands-on:  you'd be  
shocked at how fast things can progress during the time it takes to  
answer the doorbell or make a brief "pit-stop."
On Mar 22, 2007, at 1:08 PM, Rich M wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
--Apple-Mail-7-889883544
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/html;
	charsetO-8859-1
I use the i-Roast (actually, a =
pair of them, the original and the i-Roast 2--kept the original after I =
realized I could replace the pot--for small 1/4 lb. batches) and a SC/TO =
I got through a "tradition" drawing from the list (I'm still trying to =
figure out what I will offer up in return) for larger ones--1/2-1 lb.† =
I roast indoors in colder weather, keeping the back door open (have a =
screen door over it) and the range hood running. In 60F+ weather, I go =
out on the deck.† With both methods, I can monitor the color, aroma, =
smoke and sounds of the cracks (it's trickier with the i-Roasts, but if =
your hearing is still good enough to differentiate higher frequencies =
from background noise, it's still quite possible).† With the SC/TO, =
removing the top periodically to check color does temporarily entail =
stopping airflow and introducing ambient air, but only momentarily.† =
Indoors, I put foil down all around it to catch chaff; outdoors, it goes =
out on to the steel-mesh patio table, where I gather up whatever doesn't =
fly away and put it down in the garden as mulch.† The SC/TO method =
also takes a little longer and things can't get out of control as fast. =
But with ANY method, you have to be hands-on:† you'd be shocked at how =
fast things can progress during the time it takes to answer the doorbell =
or make a brief "pit-stop."
On Mar 22, 2007, at 1:08 PM, =
Rich M wrote:
Mike-FWIW, how about a compromise. Why not go for = something like an IR2? It has its issues like any other roaster, but it = is programmable and you can see, smell, and hear the beans as they = progress. Then, when the need to upgrade strikes, you can use the IR as = a nice backup for smaller batches. That's exactly where I am right now. = Again, just a thought... Rich M On Mar = 22, 2007, at 12:49 PM, mirrera = wrote: = Eddie, and everyone = else, I had a feeling that I was going to get the 'walk = before you run' advice.† = It's just in my nature to try to short-cut the process and go for = the end-game. So, I will heed the undoubtedly sage advice of the = experienced folks here and start with a popper.† My issue (and it's really MY = issue) is that I won't be satisfied with that.† I'll immediately split the = circuits, then add voltage control, chaff collection, temp monitoring, = and eventually will want to control the whole thing from a laptop with = pretty graphs and things.† = And then I'll need to upgrade.† I know, I have a = problem.† But at least it = seems that many of you share a similar affliction. But I = will start with the popper, nonetheless. And I'll come = up with a more distinguishing moniker, as I agree that there are too = many Mikes posting here.† = How about AdkMike? I've actually just moved to Boston from NYC, = so I can't really say I'm from Boston, but I have a place in the = Adirondacks, so I can go with that. Thanks again. er...-AdkMike From: homeroast-admin= s.sweetmarias.com [mailto:homeroast-adm= in] On Behalf Of Eddie DoveSent: Thursday, March 22, 2007 1:14 PMTo: homeroast= s.comSubject: Re: +First Roaster = Advice Ditto on what the others have said.† Start with an inexpensive, = but intimate method of roasting and just go roast; get Harvey to drop = off a goodly portion of beans.† = Once you gain some experience, all of those threads you have = already read will make a lot more sense in your mind.† I started with a popper and = help from this list (priceless) and I am glad I did. Having = read through the archives, you must know that there are a LOT of Mikes = on this list.† Are you = thinking about a distinguishing handle?† Perhaps: "Mike (Yet = Another)"† ;-) Welcome = aboard! Eddie--†Docendo = DiscimusMy Home Coffee Roasting Blog and = Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoff=eeroaster.blogspot.com/Sweet Maria's = List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=

= = --Apple-Mail-7-889883544--

18) From: Les
Jan,
That is the beauty of the RK.  I just love have all that power just waiting
if needed.  All of the 120 volt electric models (Alchemist John's is an
exception) you can buy off the shelf barely have enough power.  I enjoy
roasting with power in reserve.
Les
On 3/22/07, The Dunaways  wrote:
<Snip>

19) From: stereoplegic
i'd second the air popper, especially if you can get your hands on a 
1400w popcorn pumper (like the original poppery, easier to open up and 
mod than the poppery ii and its clones, w/ a much stronger fan). i just 
added a pyrex bake a round tube for a see-through chimney. plenty of 
others like the HG/DB approach, esp. for learning the process and for 
bigger batches. if you decide you want bigger batches w/ motorized 
stirring, the SC/CO (aka SC/TO, Convection Oven, Turbo Oven, same thing) 
is a good, inexpensive way to go (though you may want to find a stronger 
motor, split wire the SC's heating element and run it through a 600w 
dimmer to protect your breaker/add profile control). btw, if you clean 
the pyrex lid on your CO regularly, you shouldn't have to lift it 
midroast to check bean color. My eWok/CO
snipurl.com/eWOK_CO
is an adaptation of this approach, just using an electric wok w/ a 
strong gearhead motor mounted to the bottom in place of the SC. works 
like a charm, and w/ a proper preheat, i can do @ least 1 1/2 lb 
batches. back to back roasts are no problem w/ this setup (not sure how 
the SC would hold up). for super-rapid cooling i use two box fans, both 
blowing downward, one w/ aluminum screen on top (back of the bottom fan) 
w/ 2x4's for walls, then place the second fan on top of this. overkill 
perhaps, but it works (1 lb cool to the touch in 30 seconds, i'll post 
pics someday). all that said, baby steps, start w/ the air popper or 
HG/DB to get the hang of things first.
glad to have another Mike aboard.
les.albjerg wrote:
<Snip>

20) From: John Moody
Let me guess that you will end up with an RK Drum.
If that were true, I would suggest HG/DB, which has a much faster learning
curve and cost is low.  If you don't already have a HG the $10 one from
harbor freight will do.
I use a SS mixing bowl that "locks" into a Weber chimney charcoal starter,
and roast 180 gm batches.  The chimney is pretty heavy, so it makes a stable
base.  I stick the bowl in at a slight angle that aids the stirring, and the
chimney provides some level of protection from breezes that could cool the
bowl.
John

21) From: Donn Milton
And that's why starting with a popper is a huge mistake--it's guaranteed
to lead to a serious case of upgrade fever. I began with the I-Roast, 6
months later I had built an SC/TO, and 6 months after that I succumbed
to the Diedrich SR-1 (I would have preferred the Ambex YM-2, but I can't
drink that much coffee). So, save yourself many months of the
debilitating effects of upgrade fever and go straight to a Diedrich or
Ambex.
-Donn 
<Snip>
here
<Snip>
I
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then >add
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will >want
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things.  >And
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it seems
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bad
<Snip>

22) From: Brett Mason
Excellent point.
Similarly, every one you know is dieing, or is now dead. . . . .  Save
yourself the trouble, buy the pine box now, and then come back for the
next step...
Or go the slow route - spend $3 for a popper and add a sampler pack...
Brett
On 3/23/07, Donn Milton  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

23) From: Joe Screnock
Donn Milton wrote:
<Snip>
I will have to disagree here.  While I don't disagree with the second 
half of the statement above (the "guarantee"), I *do* disagree that it 
would be a huge mistake.  A $3.00 mistake maybe, but that's about it.
I started with the popper we had in the house for popping, of all 
things, popcorn.  It was the "wrong" style (screen on the bottom) and 
gave VERY fast roasts, but it gave me better coffee than I could buy at 
the grocery store.  I soon picked up a garage sale Poppery II clone for 
$0.25.  I still use it.
I've also acquired an RK drum and absolutely LOVE it.  I began with the 
motor that came with the rotisserie kit (3 rpm) but almost burned the 
poor thing out trying to do 2.5 lb roasts.  It worked fine for 1 lb 
batches though.  The motor was upgraded to RK's (and am VERY glad it 
was) and now wish I had a larger drum that could do more than 4 lbs. 
The motor doesn't even break a sweat!
I've tried different profiles for the 4 lb batches, but generally roast 
at 530 degf, dropping the heat once first crack begins (14 to 16 minute 
mark) and coasting into second.  First crack duration is around 2 
minutes, with second coming in about 2 minutes after first.  End of 
Roast about 19 - 20 minutes.  Great FC+ roasts.  If anyone is interested 
in my complete profile (which keeps evolving), we could start a new 
thread to compare notes.
For those still reading, I don't believe anyone has sufficiently 
answered one of Mike's original questions, which had to do with using 
his grill for both food and coffee.  It was touched on a couple times, 
but no firm information that he could use to make an informed decision. 
  Incidentally, I've been wondering about this too.  Brett said Chuck 
doesn't taste like Sumatra (one wouldn't expect so), and the Sumatra 
doesn't taste like Chuck (a very good thing).  Does anyone else do this? 
  I would imagine if anything, the drum roasting would keep the grill 
very clean.  A 20 minutes, 500 degf roast will probably burn off a LOT 
of food residue.  Then again, if the grill is currently grease filled, 
it may need to be cleaned quite thoroughly before roasting the maiden batch.
So, my advice would be to get a popper (they are cheap and great to 
learn on) and an RK drum.  Clean the grill well before your first 
roasting session, and season the drum with some beans you don't mind 
tossing.
Take care and God bless.
Joe
(whose next purchase will be 6 lbs Wheat malt extract (teaching a friend 
and don't want to take the time for all-grain), 2 oz Hallertau, and a 
pack of Wyeast 3068.  Oh, and a pound or two of honey.  MMMMMmmm.

24) From: Rich
I have been following this thread with great interest as I have basically the same questions.  It strikes 
me that the first question that needs an answer is which roasting method do you want to end up with.  
That would be either hot air, fluidized bed or drum.  I will make the assumption that dropping several 
thousand dollars on a pro sample roaster is out of most peoples budget.
The you have to learn what you are doing by hands on has been covered but I think an important point 
has been missed.  That is that the drum technique is different than the hot air technique.
That leads me to think that the best, low ultimate low cost for education approach would be to first 
select your method and then learn how to use it.  SM has the very low cost test beans for learning how 
to roast.
All of the cost of modifying a popper or buying a decent heat gun will buy enough beans to learn to roast 
in a drum.
Remember, education always costs money.
My coffee consumption is over 2 pounds per week.  If I run the greens through a popcorn popper I will be 
spending all of my time roasting my coffee.  Reminds me of eating fresh boiled shrimp.  You work up an 
appetite peeling the shrimp to eat.
Almost any decent grill can be modified to be an excellent heat source for a drum.  Just a lot of options 
here.
Rich
On Fri, 23 Mar 2007 09:49:12 -0500, Joe Screnock wrote:
<Snip>

25) From: Brett Mason
Maybe it's just me, but....  The main point about roasting
  should not be
   ROASTERS
rather it should be
    HOW COFFEE ROASTS
Once you understand the process from the perspective of the bean, then
you can start to understand different methods and what will finally
work for you.
FOLGERS has great big, very expensive roasters.  Perhaps you can get
an internship with them?  They offer more in the way of roasters than
anyone on this list...
Brett
On 3/23/07, Rich  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

26) From: Les
Donn,
I would love a Diedrich, but I find the RK does a wonderful job at a
much reduced price, simplicity of use, and roasts great coffee.
Les
On 3/23/07, Donn Milton  wrote:
<Snip>

27) From: Brian Kamnetz
I use a different mode, HG/DB, but heartily endorse having power available.
I initially got a low-power Milwaukee heat gun, and now use a Master
Appliance 1740 watt heat gun. Night and day difference. With the big heat
gun (in warm weather) I can easily roast a pound with no auxiliary heat
source.
Brian
On 3/23/07, Les  wrote:
<Snip>

28) From: miKe mcKoffee
Dang Brett cut it out, I agree with you again!;-)
And Tom too me thinks:
<Snip>
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>

29) From: Rich
That master HG-751B sells new for about 80.00 if you do some heavy i-net shopping.  It will do 750 
degree F at 23 cfm air flow.  It is a real nice tool for cooking almost anything to ash....
--Original Message Text---
From: Brian Kamnetz
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 11:39:46 -0400
I use a different mode, HG/DB, but heartily endorse having power available. I initially got a low-power 
Milwaukee heat gun, and now use a Master Appliance 1740 watt heat gun. Night and day difference. 
With the big heat gun (in warm weather) I can easily roast a pound with no auxiliary heat source. 
Brian
On 3/23/07, Les  wrote: Jan,
That is the beauty of the RK.  I just love have all that power just waiting if needed.  All of the 120 volt 
electric models (Alchemist John's is an exception) you can buy off the shelf barely have enough power.  I 
enjoy roasting with power in reserve. 
Les

30) From: Angelo
For those of you who are tempted to try this and are wondering 
where  you can get a motor, let me, once again, recommend the 
StirChef (about $15 on ebay). This can be easily mounted underneath 
any pot, or pan. If you need to keep the heat in, just use two 
identical pans with the insulation of your choice between them..
For those of you who are using stovetop roasters, this motor can be 
mounted on top... Btw, it turns at about 15 rpm and has quite a bit 
of torque....
A
Snip..
<Snip>
Snip...

31) From: mirrera
Wow...I didn't expect this volume of responses.  I've gone from being convinced that I need a $3 popper to a $4,000 Diedrich and back again in the space of 24 hours.
Brett, I get the "Be the Bean" advice:
<Snip>
Makes perfect sense.
Joe, I appreciate you steering things back to one of my original questions on dual-purposing the grill.  I still think that's my eventual path, since I'd probably want the ability to do more volume than I could get with most of the other methods.
I'm very much able to keep my grill clean from food debris and grease.  What I'm still a bit concerned about is whether roasting 100 lbs of beans in the grill is going to leave it coated in coffee gunk. I'd rather not do that to my $4k grill.  Can someone that's roasted extensively on the grill can respond with what kind of residue it leaves behind?
I will start with a popper and/or HG/DB and continue to evaluate what will work best for me thereafter.
And Joe -- sounds like you have a nice Honey/Wheat going there.  I just finished off a keg of a Weihenstephaner clone I did with that yeast.  Tasty.  When are you going to start roasting your own malt, too (or are you already doing that)?
Trying to Be the Bean,
AdkMike

32) From: Lisa J. Carton, LICSW
hey angelo~ i am wondering if you have any pics of the arrangements you're using/have tried.....sounds interesting and i'd love to see it!
----- Original Message ----
From: Angelo 
To: homeroast
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2007 12:17:42 PM
Subject: Re: +First Roaster Advice
For those of you who are tempted to try this and are wondering 
where  you can get a motor, let me, once again, recommend the 
StirChef (about $15 on ebay). This can be easily mounted underneath 
any pot, or pan. If you need to keep the heat in, just use two 
identical pans with the insulation of your choice between them..
For those of you who are using stovetop roasters, this motor can be 
mounted on top... Btw, it turns at about 15 rpm and has quite a bit 
of torque....
A
Snip..
<Snip>
Snip...Don't pick lemons.
See all the new 2007 cars at Yahoo! Autos.http://autos.yahoo.com/new_cars.html

33) From: Brian Kamnetz
That's the one. I was patient and persistent and got mine new on eBay for
$64 including shipping. It's always nice to have excess power, and is
especially handy in low ambient temps. It's heavy, though, nearly 4 pounds.
For roasting I suspend mine on an adjustable hanger.
Brian
On 3/23/07, Rich  wrote:
<Snip>

34) From: Joe Screnock
mirrera wrote:
<Snip>
what kind of residue it leaves behind?
I can tell you that in, oh, probably 75 roasts so far (just a guess), 
the only "residue" is burned chaff ash.  I vacuum it out about every 5 
roasts otherwise it flies all over when I open the cover and the drum is 
spinning.  I think there may be a "patina" on the inside of the grill, 
but I'd bet one batch of burgers would make more of a deposit than 50 
roasts.
<Snip>
I certainly hope so.  It is the recipe from my very first batch, and 
I've made it (almost) annually since then (6 years now?).
 > When are you going to start roasting your own malt, too (or are you 
already doing that)?
LOL - heavens no.  If I get into roasting anything else, it would be 
cocoa beans.  I tried growing my own hops, but I don't have a good place 
for them to grow vertically, and they didn't do well growing 
horizontally on my wooden fence, so I gave it up.
Good luck with the roaster options.  The most important thing is to 
remember:  "Don't Worry - Have a Home-roast".  (paraphrased ;-)
Joe

35) From: Floyd Lozano
i bet you can learn a lot from Folgers.  They have the consistency angle
nailed.  They can produce the same result, ton after ton, til the end of
time, regardless of the bean lots they have to purchase for 50c a lb!  Just
you try and produce the same result next year with next year's crop!
-F
On 3/23/07, Brett Mason  wrote:
<Snip>

36) From: Ross
Mike,
My recommendation may surprise you but with your space constraints, I think 
you will be best served with an I-Roast2 or HGDB. Considering the fact you 
don't want to roast coffee in the same grill you use to cook food unless you 
like barbeque flavored coffee.  The Hot Top is also a huge expensive piece 
of equipment.  I have experience with HotTop (a neighbor roasting buddy 
brings his over now and then) and I own a IR2 with temp probe and Variac.  I 
know I'm comparing fluid bed to drum but IMHO the IR2 with temp probe and 
Variac setup is superior to the Hot Top and half the cost.  Plus you will 
have more control of your roast and your learning curve will benefit.
Have fun,
Ross

37) From: Brett Mason
In light of that FACT, I trust Mike has several grills,
  one for Beef only,
  one for Pork only,
  one for Chicken and all things that taste a lot like chicken,
  one for shellfish only, and finally
  one for fish only?
Given that Fact, I wouldn't want to mix the coffee into any of them...
 Ah, such a conundrum!
If on the other hand Mike has ever used a grill for more than one kind
of cooking, then using it for one more, i.e. coffee, isn't going to
mess up the grill.  The coffee should be ok, unless you actually gut
your game into the grill, and leave the leftover parts in the
firebox...
Must be some freakin-Big back porch...
Brett
On 3/24/07, Ross  wrote:
<Snip>
nk
<Snip>
u
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you
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ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

38) From: Brian Kamnetz
I don't use an RK drum and am not an expert. Even so, the dual use question
has been discussed before, and I am very sure that the bottom line is that
there is NO exchange of flavors between food and coffee. The only negative
expressed in the past has been the hassle of installing and uninstalling th=
e
drum apparatus for each roast. A common solution is a $99 dedicated gas
grill, when storage space is not an issue.
Brian
On 3/24/07, Ross  wrote:
<Snip>
u
<Snip>
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<Snip>
,
<Snip>
.
<Snip>
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39) From: Floyd Lozano
The only potential issue with dual use is how well your grill is going to
retain heat and how you'll measure temperature, imho.  If you're going to
need to pop-rivet flashing in there to reflect heat back in to the drum or
to stop up areas where you might have drafts now then.... well, then you
might actually improve how you cook your sausages.  Who knows!  My wife
wanted this $700 Ducane grill, and I'd feel a lot more comfortable cutting
into a $150 Charbroil, but that's just my fear talking.  I had no fear in
tearing apart a $6 breadmachine from the thrift store, looking for thermal
cutoffs, pulling out suspicious looking possible-meltables, then
reassembling it to use for a roast agitator.  The thing rocks! (except if
you roast 1/2 lb half the beans end up in the neighbor's yard ;P ).  We'll
see how some of that coffee turned out tomorrow!
-F
On 3/24/07, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
ne
<Snip>
9
<Snip>
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<Snip>

40) From: Larry Williams
You guys are bad.  I am considering buying a HG/DB.  I don't know why.  
I just want to try something different than the IR2.  Bad!
Larry
Rich wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.413 / Virus Database: 268.18.15/728 - Release Date: 3/20/2007

41) From: Larry Johnson
The $99 grill being for the sausages and the $4K grill for the coffee,
right?
On 3/24/07, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>
ne
<Snip>
9
<Snip>
s
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.
<Snip>
-- 
Larry J
If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please
bring me some coffee.
  - Abraham Lincoln

42) From: Larry Williams
mirrera wrote:
So If I try with a HG/wok, what heat would be good on the stove>
Larry
<Snip>
-- 
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.413 / Virus Database: 268.18.15/728 - Release Date: 3/20/2007

43) From: Rich
The HG-751 can be had on fleabay for less than the $80.00 new price but you will have to be paitent.  
The company that makes them provides parts for all of the various revisions of the 751.  It will last a 
lifetime and the high air flow is great.
On Sun, 25 Mar 2007 19:11:38 -0700, Larry Williams wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>http://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings

44) From: jim gundlach
Larry,
      If the stove is outside it will work fine.  When you use it on  
the inside, the chaff can cause marital problems.
         Pecan Jim
On Mar 25, 2007, at 9:16 PM, Larry Williams wrote:
<Snip>

45) From: John Moody
You're not kidding.  I did a 1lb HG/wok outside on Saturday, and got the
hairy-eyeball and comments when I came inside with chaff all over myself.
John

46) From: Silvia Marsh
Gotta shake like the dog before you come in. *shakeshakeshake*  Or maybe get
her to bring out the lint brush. :)  Family activities!
Silvia
On 3/26/07, John Moody  wrote:
<Snip>


HomeRoast Digest