We are quite a bit behind most places in the US, so spring has just
sprung here in Central Alberta. For the past 4-5 months, roasting with
my bread machine/heat gun combo has meant suiting up in layers of down,
gloves, and a hat and trudging through the snow to my (unheated) garage.
I think the coldest weather I roasted in was -35 C. That's doable if one
preheats the bread machine pan. It's also somewhat nuts if one has an
IR2 in a nice warm house.
In any case, I have been fair weather roasting for a week or two, and it
is only now that I realize that my quality control is better when I am
not risking frostbite.
My bread machine will handle a kilo of greens at a time, however, my
roasts are more even when I keep it at 3/4 to 1 pound. I also can get a
better temp going inside of the bread pan when the heat put out by the
HG is not fighting against the frigid air in the garage and that may be
related to the evenness of the roast.
In the winter, it seemed easier to do a single big batch than it was to
roast 2x a week, or two back to back roasts. Now that the difference in
quality is fixed in my head, I probably will not do huge batch roasting
next year, no matter how tempting it might seem. We may get a heating
system put in the garage, which I guess will entirely erase any small
financial benefit to doing my own roasting for many years to come.
Ron just reminded that given how much I have spent on coffee/espresso
paraphernalia in the past couple of years, breaking even was pretty much
a fantasy, even without a garage furnace expenditure.