HomeRoast Digest


Topic: IR2 issues (9 msgs / 622 lines)
1) From: Christina Bohnhoff
Today I roasted a 111 gm load in my IR2 (slightly smaller than I usually do).
I used my usual recorded setting, but the temp readouts were at least
20 degF less than usual (the readout from the machine, I don't have a
themometer set up in the bean mass).  The temp readings have always
been very consistent previously.
The roast made it to what seemed to be an acceptable C+ (what I was aiming for).
I let the machine rest for 1 1/2 hours, and did a 114 gm load (what I
usually do).  I got the same result.
(roasting more than once a day is unusual for me, usually I roast once a week).
Is there more than one heating  element?  Do you think one isn't working?
Should I get a new roaster sooner than later?
Any other ideas?
Thanks,
Christina

2) From: Stephen Carey
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Christina,
Someone with more experience will come along and help you, I am 
sure.  But, my only suggestion would be to do another roast or two 
with the thermometer to see if it is the display, the internal 
thermometer or what.  If it is just the display (which I doubt, but 
which can't be ruled out yet), you might want to keep it, working 
around the issue with the bean mass thermometer.  I have been lucky, 
with my IR2 connected via dryer duct hose to the kitchen fan I get 
the machine to run almost directly as programmed, the suction seems 
to keep the air from staying in the chamber, especially if I do more 
than 156 grams (5.5 oz.).
Again, I have very limited experience, but this may be one way to 
narrow down what is going on.  This is my first roaster as I have 
just gotten into this - and love it.  Out of curiosity, how have you 
liked the IR2?  For me, it was so hard to choose.  I asked many 
people, got many suggestions, in the end, knowing what my set-up 
would be the IR2 won out.  So far, total happiness, but 5 weeks does 
not an expert make!
All the best,
Stephen
At 08:18 PM 8/26/2007, you wrote:
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Christina,
Someone with more experience will come along and help you, I am
sure.  But, my only suggestion would be to do another roast or two
with the thermometer to see if it is the display, the internal
thermometer or what.  If it is just the display (which I doubt, but
which can't be ruled out yet), you might want to keep it, working around
the issue with the bean mass thermometer.  I have been lucky, with
my IR2 connected via dryer duct hose to the kitchen fan I get the machine
to run almost directly as programmed, the suction seems to keep the air
from staying in the chamber, especially if I do more than 156 grams (5.5
oz.).
Again, I have very limited experience, but this may be one way to narrow
down what is going on.  This is my first roaster as I have just
gotten into this - and love it.  Out of curiosity, how have you
liked the IR2?  For me, it was so hard to choose.  I asked many
people, got many suggestions, in the end, knowing what my set-up would be
the IR2 won out.  So far, total happiness, but 5 weeks does not an
expert make!
All the best,
Stephen
At 08:18 PM 8/26/2007, you wrote:
Today I roasted a 111 gm load in
my IR2 (slightly smaller than I usually do).
I used my usual recorded setting, but the temp readouts were at
least
20 degF less than usual (the readout from the machine, I don't have
a
themometer set up in the bean mass).  The temp readings have
always
been very consistent previously.
The roast made it to what seemed to be an acceptable C+ (what I was
aiming for).
I let the machine rest for 1 1/2 hours, and did a 114 gm load (what
I
usually do).  I got the same result.
(roasting more than once a day is unusual for me, usually I roast once a
week).
Is there more than one heating  element?  Do you think one
isn't working?
Should I get a new roaster sooner than later?
Any other ideas?
Thanks,
Christina
homeroast mailing list
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3) From: Larry Johnson
You don't say how many grams you usually roast, but my guess is that that
the lower volume (less restriction to airflow) caused the lower readings.
The other reason I say that; my IR2 recently blew an element and it wouldn't
even get to 1st crack. It was under warranty, so they fixed me up right away
and I've got only good things to say about their support of their product.
I've never really used the IR2 enough to say much about the temperature
readings and how consistent they are with different amounts of beans. I do
most of my roasting with a heat gun & bread machine. But I would say that if
you're getting the roast you want, the machine is ok (except, possibly, the
temp probe of course).
On 8/26/07, Christina Bohnhoff  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Larry J
Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk
for people who can't read.  - Frank Zappa

4) From: Christina Bohnhoff
I usually do 114 grams, so the second roast was my usual batch size,
and still gave the lower readings.
I keep a log of different bean roasts, and I'd roasted both of these
before in 114 gm batches. They both took about 1 1/2 minutes longer to
get to 1st crack than previous batches (even with the bean that had
consistent batch size).  Ambient temp is about the same.
All my other roasts in this profile have been reading consistently by
the internal temp.  I don't think the roast should have taken longer
if the beans themselves were the same temp.
I had a previous unit go bad too. It happened to be in the middle of a
roast so my temps stayed around 200 when they should have been 400.  I
sent it in (under warranty) and got a replacement base eventually (but
it did take a while).
That's why I was wondering if there are perhaps multiple heating
elements, and maybe only one is bad since it was close to temp.
The one thing I didn't try was re-entering my roast profile. That will
be the next step I guess. Today I was planning on the two roasts
anyway, so I chose to repeat the same memorized profile on my usual
batch size to see if it made a difference. I didn't need to roast
anymore after that, or have time to let it cool down again, so
re-entering the profile will have to wait for another day.
I do like the IR2 in general, just don't care for the repair issues.
The batch size fits my needs, and I like the ability to do different
profiles (although I mostly stick with one, but at least it is a
"profile").  My other roaster is a Zach & Dani's (now Nesco) and it
still works, but I prefer the profile roasts.  I used that as a back
up when my first IR2 needed replacement.
Christina
On 8/26/07, Larry Johnson  wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: Ross
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Christina,
I have used the IR2 a lot.  I made many records of my roasts and =
recorded the variables.  All I can say is:
1. The temp readout of the IR2 is not to be relied on for anything. =
(when you use a real temp probe you will understand)
2. It is a very good roaster if you insert a temp probe or something =
like the 8 in thermometer from SM into the bean mass and control a =
constant 120 volts with a Variac.  (Trying to vary the roast by changing =
the voltage will be resisted by the IR2 because if you turn down the =
voltage the fan slows down and the reverse.)  So all the Variac is good =
for is holding a stable voltage that the IR2 program logic expects.
3. I would get the 8 in Cooper Thermometer from SM, it doesn't cost much =
and it will give you enough real info to get good results from your IR2 =
if you have a stable voltage.
4. The next decision is whether to go to the expense of a Variac or just =
save that money for a better roaster.  At some time in the future you =
will probably want a better roaster.
5.  I use a bbq drum roaster now but I still have the IR2 if I want a =
quick batch and yes, I bought the Variac along the way, it  now is just =
a big heavy thing I move around every now and then but if there is ever =
a loss of natural gas, I will still be able to get good roasted coffee =
with my IR2!
Back to your real question about the temp readout.  There are variables =
like quantity of beans, outside air temp, first roast of the day, =
voltage variations ect.  But the real variable is the temp readout =
itself, it is a p.o.s. not to be trusted.
Also you eluded to how many roasts you could do in a row.  Contrary to =
the recommendations I have found that you can do as many roasts as you =
want in a row as long as you give it a couple minutes to cool down =
between roasts.  I would just let all the parts sit disassembled while I =
packaged and labeled my coffee and then come back and do another batch.  =
I have done as many as 8 roasts in one morning with the IR2 with no =
problems.
Have fun,
Ross

6) From: Sandy Andina
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My 2-yr experience with the IR2 is that it is best just to rely on  
the two profiles, set and store a few of your own, and just watch the  
sucker like a hawk--monitor by sight (color and bean velocity), smell  
and sound (with practice, standing back a few feet, you can ascertain  
the sound of first vs. second crack over the din of the motor and the  
clatter of the beans in motion; my musicians' earplugs with -9dB  
filters help a lot).  Mine runs hot (as did my original IR), so I  
always use a heavy-duty extension cord. Be prepared to replace chaff  
collectors (the bottom of the lid assembly) with depressing  
regularity, as the Bakelite is rather brittle and cracks and chips  
off in chunks (more pliable plastics can't take the heat, and metal  
would be so hot as to cause injuries). All in all, it's a decent  
machine for roasting 1/2 lb. a day in two 1/4 batches an hour or so  
apart.
On Aug 31, 2007, at 1:05 PM, Ross wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
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My 2-yr experience with the IR2 is that it is best just to rely on the =
two profiles, set and store a few of your own, and just watch the sucker =
like a hawk--monitor by sight (color and bean velocity), smell and sound =
(with practice, standing back a few feet, you can ascertain the sound of =
first vs. second crack over the din of the motor and the clatter of the =
beans in motion; my musicians' earplugs with -9dB filters help a lot). =
 Mine runs hot (as did my original IR), so I always use a heavy-duty =
extension cord. Be prepared to replace chaff collectors (the bottom of =
the lid assembly) with depressing regularity, as the Bakelite is rather =
brittle and cracks and chips off in chunks (more pliable plastics can't =
take the heat, and metal would be so hot as to cause injuries). All in =
all, it's a decent machine for roasting 1/2 lb. a day in two 1/4 batches =
an hour or so apart.On Aug 31, 2007, at 1:05 PM, Ross =
wrote:
Christina,I = have used the IR2 a lot.  I made many records of my roasts and = recorded the variables.  All I can say is:1. The temp readout of the IR2 is not to be = relied on for anything. (when you use a real temp probe you will = understand)2. It is a = very good roaster if you insert a temp probe or something like the 8 in = thermometer from SM into the bean mass and control a constant 120 = volts with a Variac.  (Trying to vary the roast by changing the = voltage will be resisted by the IR2 because if you turn down the voltage = the fan slows down and the reverse.)  So all the Variac is good for is = holding a stable voltage that the IR2 program logic = expects.3. I would get = the 8 in Cooper Thermometer from SM, it doesn't cost much and it will = give you enough real info to get good results from your IR2 if you have = a stable voltage.4. = The next decision is whether to go to the expense of a Variac or just = save that money for a better roaster.  At some time in the future = you will probably want a better roaster.5.  I use a bbq drum roaster now but I still = have the IR2 if I want a quick batch and yes, I bought the Variac along = the way, it  now is just a big heavy thing I move around every now and = then but if there is ever a loss of natural gas, I will still be able to = get good roasted coffee with my IR2! Back to = your real question about the temp readout.  There are variables like = quantity of beans, outside air temp, first roast of the day, voltage = variations ect.  But the real variable is the temp readout itself, it = is a p.o.s. not to be trusted.Also you eluded to how many roasts you could do in a row.  = Contrary to the recommendations I have found that you can do as many = roasts as you want in a row as long as you give it a couple minutes to = cool down between roasts.  I would just let all the parts sit = disassembled while I packaged and labeled my coffee and then come back = and do another batch.  I have done as many as 8 roasts in one morning = with the IR2 with no problems. Have = fun,Ross    ----- Original = Message -----From: Larry = JohnsonTo: homeroast= s.comSent: Sunday, August 26, 2007 6:03 = PMSubject: Re: +IR2 = issues You don't say how many grams you usually = roast, but my guess is that that the lower volume (less restriction to = airflow) caused the lower readings. The other reason I say that; my IR2 = recently blew an element and it wouldn't even get to 1st crack. It was = under warranty, so they fixed me up right away and I've got only good = things to say about their support of their product.  I've never really used = the IR2 enough to say much about the temperature readings and how = consistent they are with different amounts of beans. I do most of my = roasting with a heat gun & bread machine. But I would say that if = you're getting the roast you want, the machine is ok (except, possibly, = the temp probe of course).  On 8/26/07, Christina Bohnhoff <cbohnhoff> = wrote:Today I roasted a 111 gm load in my IR2 (slightly smaller than I = usually do). I used my usual recorded setting, but the temp = readouts were at least 20 degF less than usual (the readout from the = machine, I don't have a  themometer set up in the = bean mass).  The temp readings have always been very consistent = previously. The roast made it to what seemed to be an acceptable = C+ (what I was aiming for). I let the machine rest for 1 1/2 = hours, and did a 114 gm load (what I  usually do).  I got = the same result. (roasting more than once a day is unusual for = me, usually I roast once a week). Is there more than one = heating  element?  Do you think one isn't working? Should = I get a new roaster sooner than later?  Any other = ideas? Thanks, Christina= homeroast mailing list http://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast  To change your = personal list settings (digest options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go tohttp://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings 
--  Larry J Rock = journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk = for people who can't read.  - Frank = Zappa  homeroast mailing = list http://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast Sweet Maria's = List - Searchable Archives http://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/To change your personal list settings (digest options, = vacations, unsvbscribes) go to  http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings= Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-119--170867292--

7) From: Lynne Biziewski
Since I am a new owner of an IR2, and I've managed to destroy some very fine
coffee in it, I am reading this thread. Thanks for the help... machines, on
the whole, scare me. I know I can become its master (there was a very old
Twilight Zone episode where the machines of the household (back then, before
computers, it was the radio, tv, electric mixer, etc.) literally took over
the house. I identified with the writer of THAT episode... and still do.
But seriously, I've been so swamped with work at school that I haven't had a
moment to really, really figure this thing out. Now that I decided to make
the plunge and switch my major to culinary arts, I figure I better learn how
to work a little electric coffee roaster or I'm in trouble. ; > }
Lynne
On 8/31/07, Ross  wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Michael Wade
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Lynne,
Do NOT judge any morsel of your self-respect by your ability to master =
as contrary and unpredictable machine as an iR2!
DO install some kind of bean mass thermometer, whether a thermocouple =
with the lead snaked into the  bottom of the roast chamber or a long =
thermometer probe down through the chaff collector.  Then start logging =
your roasts every 30 seconds listing both the lcd readout and the bean =
temp.  After a little testing you'll find out where your particular =
machine roasts and be able to get pretty consistent results.
Good luck,
Michael Wade
  ----- Origina Message ----- 
  From: Lynne Biziewski 
  To: homeroast 
  Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 2:11 PM
  Subject: Re: +IR2 issues
  Since I am a new owner of an IR2, and I've managed to destroy some =
very fine coffee in it, I am reading this thread. Thanks for the help... =
machines, on the whole, scare me. I know I can become its master (there =
was a very old Twilight Zone episode where the machines of the household =
(back then, before computers, it was the radio, tv, electric mixer, =
etc.) literally took over the house. I identified with the writer of =
THAT episode... and still do. 
  But seriously, I've been so swamped with work at school that I haven't =
had a moment to really, really figure this thing out. Now that I decided =
to make the plunge and switch my major to culinary arts, I figure I =
better learn how to work a little electric coffee roaster or I'm in =
trouble. ; > } 
  Lynne

9) From: Stephen Carey
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Amen to what Michael says.  It has made a world of difference with my IR2.
Stephen
At 11:23 PM 9/3/2007, you wrote:
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Amen to what Michael says.  It has made a world of
difference with my IR2.
Stephen
At 11:23 PM 9/3/2007, you wrote:
Lynne,
 
Do NOT judge any morsel of your self-respect by your
ability to master as contrary and unpredictable machine as an iR2!
 
DO install some kind of bean mass thermometer,
whether a thermocouple with the lead snaked into the  bottom of the
roast chamber or a long thermometer probe down through the chaff
collector.  Then start logging your roasts every 30 seconds listing
both the lcd readout and the bean temp.  After a little testing
you'll find out where your particular machine roasts and be able to get
pretty consistent results.
 
Good luck,
 
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