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Topic: IR2 technique question (9 msgs / 307 lines)
1) From: Stephen Carey
Hi, all.  Glad to be back from my trips, another one on Monday, then 
home for a few weeks, yea!
Regarding a tip I read back in July, I thought, I have checked the 
archives and just can't find it from then on; which is when I began 
reading and submitting questions and comments.
I read that sometimes, with an IR2 (or I thought I read it) when the 
batch is a bit bigger than normal there is a technique to help keep 
heat distribution even, or more even.  I normally roast about 156 
grams, tonight to finish off the last of a five pound bag I had 171 
grams.  In theory, okay for the IRoast.  I have great heat control 
with the air duct to my ceiling fan, the digital thermometer, and so 
on.  The ceiling fan keeps the temp. at what the IR read out actually 
says, or very close, within a degree or two, at least according to 
the digital thermometer.
What I thought I read was that if I rotated the IR2 to move the bean 
mass around the air would distribute evenly, allow the air to flow 
through them slightly better and allow for a better roast.  Well, it 
seemed to have worked, at least I think so.  I also worked out a 
profile that was a bit different in that it heated the beans slower 
at first, my guess was that with me rotating the machine it would 
allow a more even heating.  The probe was not much use for I couldn't 
tell what the temperature was on each side of the machine.  I also 
knew I wanted to cut the roast in time, I expected the first crack to 
be earlier, it was.
And, I knew the heat in the chamber during the cooling cycle would be 
higher than normal, or I thought that.
In the end, after my final cooling method, the beans look perfect for 
a city +, they really do.  The color is even and looks like the ones 
roasted with smaller loads.
After a much too long intro - am I nuts or is it possible this made a 
difference?  I am very sorry I can't find the person's name who 
posted the information, I hate to leave out someone, but I just can't 
find it and I know it is there - unless I dreamt it from the meds!!
Make sense?

2) From: Vicki Smith
I know folks have rotated or otherwise moved the IR2 in order to get a 
more even roast with more difficult beans and amounts, so you have it right.
I've read with a great deal of interest your accounts of getting the 
inlet temp and the bean mass temp to be about the same with your fan 
set-up. It sounds great, but I have to admit, I don't understand why it 
would work--especially at second crack when the beans are having an 
exothermic reaction and adding significant heat of their own into the mix.
Are you changing the way the fan works in this scheme as the roast 
itself starts to contribute heat?
It sounds like you are having great success with your IR2. That's terrific!!
As for the beans looking like a city+, I have never been great in 
telling degree of roast by colour--too many variables having to do with 
ambient light for my old eyes to deal with.
Stephen Carey wrote:

3) From: Stephen Carey
My looking at the color of the beans and saying they look like city + 
is purely a guess based on roasting 5 pounds of those beans.  I could 
be way off, the taste, after resting, will tell me.  It was more a 
statement that they didn't look darker than I have gotten when 
roasting that bean to City+.  My error in how I typed it.  I should 
have said - hey, they looked like the other City+ I have gotten with 
that bean.  That would be a more accurate statement, sorry for the 
confusion.  It's late, we are doing Christmas lights, and I am tired.
As for the fan, I can't account for anything but it hitting the temp 
the I want with my thermometer and my profiles, beyond that and it is 
beyond me at this point in only 65 roasts - many just plain luck, 
some from working on strong profiles, some from others' profiles, and 
more than a few I have probably been wrong on as I am trying beans I 
have never tasted before.  I am in the beginning of a major learning curve.
Add to that some meds that play havoc with my taste buds and the fact 
that I get coffee I like and others keep asking for more of what I 
roast and I am happy and lucky; but most of the luck is what I get 
from this list and what you all teach me.  I never forget 
that.  There isn't a roast that I don't pull out an email I printed 
or I just read the recent posts first, something to do with this 
list.  I know where my abilities, slight as they may be, come from, 
here, this list.  And the list is made of up of a wide variance of 
people with all sorts of opinions and experiences.  I suck it all in 
and try to learn from it.  I do some things right and a lot wrong, 
but I learn from it all.
For me, honestly, the main thing is that I found something I really 
enjoy.  That my friends enjoy the result of.  What better things for 
a hobby is there.  And it is more than a hobby.  I feel a bit like 
this list is more than that to me.  Maybe it is my health situation 
and I feel part of something or maybe I just like coffee, lots of 
it.  But, whatever it is, I will take it, be thankful and not 
question why I like it too much.  Some things are fine being as they are.
At 01:22 AM 12/2/2007, you wrote:

4) From: Vicki Smith
It sounds like you do an awful lot right, Stephen! Getting beans 
consistently to C+ in an IR2 is a definite accomplishment. When I was 
using an IR2, I found that very difficult, so I have been following what 
you have been saying with great interest.
Stephen Carey wrote:

5) From: Phil Bergman Jungle Music
Hi. I've done about 200 roasts with the IR2.  Like others, I've learned what
works with my machine.  First, with mine, you can set the machine two times
with the same program and get altogether different temps with the same beans
and volume.  If I set the final ramp for 335 I get final temps of about 405.
If I set it for 440 (5 degrees warmer), I get final temps of 445.  Go
figure; and this is with acceptable volume of beans with no vent clogging.
I on occasion will rotate or tilt the machine to help fan flow if the volume
of beans is too much or the temps get unexpectantly real high.  This happens
sometimes if beans roast to unexpected large sizes or if I put in too many
beans.  But, the most important thing I've found to suceeding with the IR2
is to watch, listen to and smell your roast.  This is critical, especially
toward the end.  Is the IR2 an extreme precision machine?  No way.  Does it
roast nicely if watched?  yes.  It's sort of like roasting a turkey.  Each
time is different and you have to keep an eye on it.

6) From: Allon Stern
On Dec 2, 2007, at 9:12 AM, Phil Bergman Jungle Music wrote:
And this fits in nicely with my cooking philosophy. I'm not a  
professional cook, but I do enjoy time in the kitchen, and I love  
making yummy food. I don't care about consistency - I can make the  
same dish a dozen times and each time have it come out a little  
different, but that's okay.
At a previous job, the Configuration Management team sponsored a  
chili cook-off. They worked a little CM into the rules - you had to  
have a recipe, the idea being that a recipe is a process that you  
follow, etc., just like CMMI, etc.
Well, my recipe is more of a process - it's not repeatable, but gives  
generally good results. Particularly, my recipie included: "Go to a  
grocery store and choose one of each pepper, two if they're small".  
Not repeatable, but yields good results. (A sample might be one red,  
one green, one habanero, two thai hots, two serranos, a cherry  
pepper, a poblano, a cubanelle)
The point is, I enjoy variety. Sure I keep coming back to a few  
coffees that I'm familiar with, but I also enjoy trying different  
things, and if that difference comes from the inconsistency in my  
roast, so be it :)
Hey, it beats supermarket coffee by a WIDE margin.

7) From: Robert Gulley
I am right with you Allon -
Cooking, like roasting, is all about the process. I can't make a dish 
the same way twice - mood, ingredients, time of year, and a hundred 
other things go into my dishes on any given day. When roasting I 
expect variation, and welcome it, because for my personality type 
rigid repetition is repressive. I appreciate and value those for whom 
precision is a must - if not for them we wouldn't have half the 
invemtions we have in the world (viz. the Behmor!) I just know about 
my personality, and the variety of the beans and the IR2 works! Over 
30 roasts and not a bad one yet - that says more about my standards, 
I know, but I am loving it!
At 10:43 AM 12/2/2007, you wrote:
"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons."  ~T.S. Eliot  

8) From: Chris Hardenbrook
Dead on.
C in H
At 04:12 AM 12/2/2007, you wrote:

9) From: Ross
Rotating your machine to get even heating?  Don't know what you are talking 
about, but if it is working for you go for it.  It sounds like you are happy 
with your set up, maybe there are a few Roasts out there that work as 
advertised.  Like Phil, I found the IR2 to be frustratingly inconsistent.
For those who already have IR2's the lowest cost best mod is to get a SM 
Cooper 8in thermometer and drill a hole in the chaff collector so you can 
put it in the bean mass, or install a temp probe.  Then you will know what 
your machine is really doing.    I had so many inconsistent results with my 
IR2 that I started adding other things like a variac and a temp probe. The 
variac (cost too much for what it accomplished) really doesn't give any 
control other than stable voltage because the fan on the IR2 will mitigate 
any effect of raising or lowering the voltage.  I installed a temp probe, 
(good investment) and I learned how to make "my" IR2 work.  I can get a 7 to 
8 minute FC now with a slight pause from the end of first to the start of 
2nd but I have to program low numbers.  Now that I have invested in the 
variac and the temp probe the IR2 is an OK machine but I wouldn't buy one 
again.  No mater what you do you can never get a profile other than a bright 
fast profile.  I moved on to a BBQ drum and rarely go back to the IR2.  The 
IR2 would have been so much better if they had just made it with a constant 
fan speed, a good roast chamber temp probe, and a rheostat on the heat coil. 
The bells and whistles are great marketing but they don't work worth a ####, 
my opinion of course.
From: "Phil Bergman Jungle Music" 

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