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 +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+== +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+- Ralph M. Rosen 215-898-5137 (office) Professor of Classical Studies 610-642-0756 (home voice) Department of Classical Studies 610-642-3179 (home FAX) 202 Logan Hall rrosen University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104-6304http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://www.classics.upenn.edu/faculty/rosen/default.htmlhomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
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 :^)
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
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 Videoastronomy, music (UnFest) and electric helicopter site:http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast">http://www.eaglequest.com/~pgoelzhomeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
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> homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
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
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 homeroast mailing listhttp://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast
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.