HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Alpenrst Question (8 msgs / 287 lines)
1) From: Ralph Rosen
The quick question is: does anyone know whether there have been 
design improvements in the Alpenröst since it was first introduced 
(more consistent temperature regulation, for example)?
The background to the question: I sold my first Alp a while ago bec. 
I found I wasn't using it very much (the persistently inconsistent 
roast results were annoying), the heating element of my second 
Hearthware just burned out after only moderate usage, and the Caffe 
Rosto I got last summer has proven to be even more unpredictable and 
finicky than the Alp! I mostly use the trusty Whirlypop these days, 
but still dream of a decent automated machine. It just continues to 
amaze me that there isn't some machine out there for the serious home 
roaster that is built for real durability, a decent batch size (half 
lb. seems like a minimum to me; 1 lb. ideal), and predictable 
operation. I don't think these need to be dirt cheap (up to a $1,000 
wouldn't deter me from considering something that was a quality 
product), but I just haven't seen any. If there's something out there 
like this, I hope someone will post it to the list, and urge Tom to 
carry it! In the mean time, I'm beginning to think about an Alp 
again, if they seem to be have worked out the kinks from their 
earliest days.
Ralph
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2) From: coffenut
Ralph,
Maybe your Alp problems were associated with having one that had a problem?
I've had my original Alp (purchased from Tom) for 20 months with 183 roasts
and it's still doing a great job.  The roasts are consistently well done and
even in color, with exception of a few bean types, but nothing to be
concerned about.  I know that SwissMar had issues with the very early
production units and then had some heater calibration problems that plagued
some units thereafter.  To my knowledge, no improvements have been made to
the design, but from my perspective, the Alp does a great job.  Sure, I'd
like to see things like more roast control (instead of a timer), ability to
see the beans, etc.  But, for what the Alp is designed to do and the
capacity, it's still my favorite and I also own a HWP.  Got the HWP mainly
to be able to roast the smaller bean types that can fall through, stick or
burn in the Alp's drum.  If I had it to do all over again, I'd still
purchase the AlpenRost over any competing product.  With some of the other
companies considering larger capacities, maybe we'll see some real
competition for the Alp in the future.
Coffenut  :^)

3) From: Thom Underwood
I too had problems with my ALP and sent it in sometime last summer.  While
they have been very nice on the phone - I have yet to receive the
replacement unit some 6 months later.  My trusty (keeping my fingers crossed
here) HP is getting me through for now.
Regards - Thom

4) From: Paul Goelz
At 06:55 AM 12/20/01 -0800, you wrote:
<Snip>
My Alp is one of the very first shipped, and it has been fine for several
years.  
Recently, though, it developed a funny tendancy to re-start the drum motor
after the roast had finshed, cooled and dumped.  And several roasts ago it
refused to reverse to dump the beans.  I called Swissmar and they said that
they did not have any on hand at the moment, but would call me when they
got more and offered to replace the unit.  I was shocked, since I made it
clear to them that it was one of the very first and therefore way out of
warranty.  So far, no call.  I'll call after the holidays and see what the
deal is.  
But aside from those small problems it is roasting fine.  I roast indoors
in the fireplace, and find that in the winter I have to increase the
setting several notches as opposed to the summer.  I think the difference
is that it sits in a corner by the fireplace, against an outside wall.  And
in the winter, the machine is somewhat cooler at the beginning of the
roast.  I am assuming that the 30 seconds or so that it takes to reach the
same internal temperature as in the summer explains the 2 notches (30
seconds) I add in the winter.  Other than that, it produces very even
consistant roasts totally unattended.  I load it, set it, and walk away.  
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
pgoelz at eaglequest dot com
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5) From: ooi
I just recently (this week) saw the "NEW" Alp mentioned on another
website and it says it's ready to ship on 12/24.  Not sure if there are
any changes on this new Alp.  I didn't email them to ask since I just
got my FreshRoast Plus this week.  The description says:
     This is the NEW Alpenrost, the re-engineered model of the
     original that was introduced 2 years ago.New & Improved
Does anyone know anything about this New Alp?
Regards,
Lay Wah
Ralph Rosen wrote:
<Snip>
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6) From: Thom Underwood
Well I should have complained about the long replacement time last summer.
Just two days after my statement here I have now received my replacement
from ALPS.
I'll work with it over the weekend and let ya'll know how it goes.  I
suppose it's the new model.
Regards - Thom

7) From: HomeRoaster
	I too have been thinking of a better roaster than the Alpenrost.  The 
Alpenrost is good, but I don't use it the way it is advertised.  I roast 
Moka-Kadir once a week.
	The machine is kept and used inside my fireplace (to easily vent the 
smoke).also a great place to dump the chafe until enough is collected to 
throw out.
	I set the machine at "15" (the highest setting), set my kitchen timer for 
17 1/2 minutes.  	When the timer goes off, I use a flashlight to check the 
color of the beans (by opening the lid), if it's not quite ready I wait 30 
seconds and check again.
	Depending on the weather, humidity, whatever it varies.  By using the 
color to guide me, I always get the same roast.
	If I roast larger beans, sometimes the machine kicks into cool mode before 
the beans are done (at about 20 minutes).  So then, I unplug the roaster 
(to reset it), plug it back in and press start to complete the roast.
	I have been roasting this way for a year or so.  I have noticed that as 
the roaster ages it seems that it doesn't clear out all the beans at the 
end of the cycle (I think I remember it being better when it was new?).  I 
do recommend cleaning all the gunked up parts (lid, flaps, cage) with a 
mild solution of Urnex, once a month or so (depending how often you roast).
- Craig
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8) From: Duerr Bradly
Interesting,  that is exactly the way I do it my Alpenrost, except I've
hooked up a dryer exhaust hose and stuck it out the cat door.


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