HomeRoast Digest


Topic: iRoast thoughts (5 msgs / 278 lines)
1) From: Kevin Creason
I've got my iRoast2 roasting again.
My problems it turns out were just simply the screen/lid was trapping 
too much heat. Maybe they just run too hot here.
By soaking the top lid piece in Greased lightning for several hours I 
was able to get the screen completely clean and able to pass air 
somewhat unrestricted. I also rediscovered that some of those dimples 
around the edge of the lid aren't just dimples, they are supposed to be 
holes! heh. Yeah, it was that dirty. My previous meager attempts to keep 
it clean obviously were not enough so that is something that I will 
watch from now on.
Still, it roasts hot. For instance I programmed it for Tom's recommended 
espresso settings for Brazil Fazenda Jacaranda but shaved down the temps.
Tom's recommended starting point is : 350/3:00, 460/3:00, 470/4:00.
The onboard temp reading should be 310, 370, 390.
I programmed at 350/3:00, 400/3:00, 405/4:00. The ob-board temp reading 
was 288 @ 3:00, 350 @ 6:15, 374 @ 8:00.
A little under Tom's readings which is what is expected. But I still had 
to cut it short by 45 seconds and it is way too dark-- it is yuck.
I think it's a chaff thing. It moves good starting out, but those beans 
really stop moving later in the roast, and the cool down cycle doesn't 
move enough either to properly cool them down enough. So I've taken to 
popping the screen-lid piece loose during the cool down cycle and let it 
hover there on the fluid bed of air. The beans really move and cool down 
then, but of course the chaff is no longer collected but goes everywhere.
Popping this lid loose also helps with peaberries, like the Kenya 
Keriniyaga Thimu. It gets those beans moving so that they dry out and 
expand evenly at which time I tighten the lid back down. I didn't take 
notes that time, I was too busy fussing with the lid. I can't remember 
but I think I started with the City recommendation on Tom's cheat sheet. 
After a pot, I put them back in a popper for a little bit more roasting. 
So they are a little flat, not the taste I was expecting.
I ran some Panama Gesha through at 350/2:00, 360/3:00, and 370/4:30. It 
came out nice but I put it into cool down with a minute to go, so it 
roasted a total of 8:30. On board temps were 286 1:30 in, 325 3:30 in 
(dk yellow, light light brown), 340 5:00 in (speckled brown), 356 6:30 
in (rolling crack, darkening brown), and 376 before I put into cool and 
popped the top as I heard some second cracks.
I'd like to come up with a large chaff collection top for this baby so 
that it still moves air but doesn't lose too much heat out the top.
Thoughts and suggestions on what I'm doing, could do better?
I will definitely be packing the iRoast, the Thermos (TM) press pot, the 
aeropress, the Barista espresso machine, the Panama Mama Cata Gesha, and 
the Kenya if we evacuate for Hurricane Dean. Even if that means I'm 
recycling underwear a little more often. Priorities, man.
-Kevin, south of Houston, TX

2) From: Stephen Carey
--=====================_16761109==.ALT
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
Kevin,
I don't have near the number of roast you do on my IR2, but I did 
catch on (plain luck) to the fact that the lid can clog and become 
quite dirty very fast.  I now give it a good scrubbing with a soft 
wire brush, I use a tooth pick and a small piece of wire to make sure 
the holes are clean.  I have a duck hose on my lid and it vibrates 
almost off and floats the lid a bit.  I noticed it the other day.  It 
helped with the roast by letting out the heat at a better pace and 
helping, I believe in bean movement.  At first I was very worried 
about the lid coming loose, but I read on this list, possibly from 
you, about letting it float.  So, for some of my longer roasts I let 
it hover some.  If I don't I will find myself at Full City or above 
really fast.
If I keep the lid clean, like you suggest, things go smoothly.  I 
also did a roast last night where I tilted the machine in all 
directions to ensure that all of the beans were getting a pretty even 
roast.  It turned out quite well.
I don't have the experience to know this, but I assume each type of 
roaster has its own idiosyncrasies, though I would have expected 
better performance in that area from this machine.  However, for the 
most part I am coming up with some very good roasts.  Going to Full 
City+ gets me nervous for the reasons you site - I don't want to get 
there in a flash, I want a true roast, not a bolt of heat taking the 
beans there and beyond.
I look forward to see what others say on this, those who have had the 
machine longer.  For me, this needs to last a good long time, so I am 
doing all I can to make the roasts come out.
Stephen 
--=====================_16761109==.ALT
Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii"
Kevin,
I don't have near the number of roast you do on my IR2, but I did catch
on (plain luck) to the fact that the lid can clog and become quite dirty
very fast.  I now give it a good scrubbing with a soft wire brush, I
use a tooth pick and a small piece of wire to make sure the holes are
clean.  I have a duck hose on my lid and it vibrates almost off and
floats the lid a bit.  I noticed it the other day.  It helped
with the roast by letting out the heat at a better pace and helping, I
believe in bean movement.  At first I was very worried about the lid
coming loose, but I read on this list, possibly from you, about letting
it float.  So, for some of my longer roasts I let it hover
some.  If I don't I will find myself at Full City or above really
fast.
If I keep the lid clean, like you suggest, things go smoothly.  I
also did a roast last night where I tilted the machine in all directions
to ensure that all of the beans were getting a pretty even roast. 
It turned out quite well.
I don't have the experience to know this, but I assume each type of
roaster has its own idiosyncrasies, though I would have expected better
performance in that area from this machine.  However, for the most
part I am coming up with some very good roasts.  Going to Full City+
gets me nervous for the reasons you site - I don't want to get there in a
flash, I want a true roast, not a bolt of heat taking the beans there and
beyond.
I look forward to see what others say on this, those who have had the
machine longer.  For me, this needs to last a good long time, so I
am doing all I can to make the roasts come out.  
Stephen
--=====================_16761109==.ALT--

3) From: Barry Luterman
For cleaning most of my roasting equipment I find the use of a denture brush 
to be invaluable. Great on the grinder as well as roasters.

4) From: MSMB
I have had the same heat problems with my IR-1 . I also found that cleaning
the little dimples from the top, the screen, and even the inside of the
glass roaster made a difference, as does keeping the amount roasted down to
a maximum 1/2 cup; a bit of a problem because you cannot do repeated roasts
one after the other, and you end up with beans that have rested a different
amount of time all mixed together(unless you can keep them separate, no
doubt ending up with a proliferation of little containers of roasted coffee
beans).  But, as you have found, even then there are heat issues and I have
been experimenting with profiles so that I can get a sufficiently light
roast.  Today I tried some Yirg with the profile 4:30 minutes @ 325 + 2:30 @
360 + 2:30 @ 4:30.  But I cut it short at 9 minutes, which actually is a
pretty long roast for me. The result was a somewhat light city.  It still
isn't as light as I want but it tastes pretty good.

5) From: Paul Carder
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I keep the screen and holes in my lid as clean as I can. I keep the =
insided of the glass chamber clean with BON AMI so I  can see the roast =
better.  I use the following roasting curve from Tom's IRoast tip sheet =
for almost all greens that I roast:
Island Coffees: Coffees from Jamaica, Hawaii, and to a lesser degree =
Puerto Rico, have a lower bean density because these island coffees do =
not have the altitudes of such origins as Kenya. They benefit from a =
lower initial temperature during the warmup time. Here is the program I =
am currently using for a City roast: 
  a.. Stage 1: 350 degrees f for 3 min. ( = 310 f onboard thermometer =
reading) 
  b.. Stage 2: 400 degrees f for 3 min. ( = 360 f onboard thermometer =
reading) 
  c.. Stage 3: 450 degrees f for 3 min. ( = 375-390 f onboard =
thermometer reading) (It might be wise to make the last stage 3-4 =
minutes, then simply stop the roast manually when you reach the "degree =
of roast" you like - this is always the best method to target an exact =
degree of roast.) 
My IRoast roasts a little warmer it would seem than the one Tom used =
because I get a FC+ or more if  I go the full time. Besides a bean's =
individual characteristics, the biggest variable I face is ambient =
temperature along with the wind if I'm roasting outside. If it's =
hot,and/or if I'm in the sun, I hit the cooling cycle button a little =
sooner. If it's colder and/or it's windy, I bump up the temperature =
settings 10F and extend the 3rd stage time if needed. In colder weather =
I roast mainly inside for my own comfort and roasting consistency. My =
biggest problem with the IRoast is the lids wanting to turn off and come =
loose. For the screened lid, I place a piece of a toothpick on the rim =
so the screened lid locks tighter in place. For the main lid to stay in =
place on top of the glass chamber, I drilled a small hole through the =
lid and the chamber handle and use a bread tie through both to keep them =
from separating. 
Regards, PAUL CARDER


HomeRoast Digest