HomeRoast Digest

Topic: IRoast2'ing and Grinder (11 msgs / 382 lines)
1) From: Jamie Dolan
I am rather new here, I'm from Neenah, WI.  I have a couple questions
that I think some of you will be able to help with.
I got a Iroast2 for Christmas.  I have done quite a few roasts so far,
and am fairly happy with the results.  My most recent roasts have been
375 for about 6 minutes, then a minute or two down at 320.  It seems
to me that the roasts are hitting a light to medium city roast.  It
just seems like it is roasting too quickly to me, compared to what
other people talk about with there IRoast.  I like the way the beans
are coming out, and I find the lighter roasts to be far better then
anything I am able to find "pre-roasted", even from a local coffee
shop that roasts daily.
My concern is I wonder if the IRoast is working correctly,  These
times seem so short.  Do these times at these temperatures sound
correct for the roast I am getting?
I make espresso most of the time.  I am using the cusinart grinder.  I
feel like the grind quality from the cusinart is affecting my
espresso.  I don't think it is fine enough.  I would like to get a new
grinder and have looked at a lot of them.  I would like to find one
that will dispense a set amount of coffee without having to have the
grind all sit in a doser.  The only one that I have found that is like
this is the Mazzer mini E.  It looks great, however it is expensive
for home use.  Are there other grinders that would work in a similar
fashion to the Mazer mini E but are less expensive?  I am not sure it
is worth it to spend $749 for a home grinder, seems like it might be
better to save some money on the grinder and upgrade my espresso?
I have the lello espresso.  I am pretty happy with it.  I am not sure
exactly what I would get with a better espresso machine?
Sorry to me so long winded here.  Thanks in advance for your help.  I
am having so much fun with the roasting, so much to learn!
Jamie Dolan
Neenah, Wisconsin
p.s. I am thinking about ordering the 32 double sampler pack from
sweet maria's, what do you think of it?

2) From: Barry Luterman
Welcome Jamie lots of questions. I will leave the i-roast questions to some
one else. I haven't used an i-roast in a few years. I am glad to see you
have found roasting light. Often  new roasters  start out too dark.  It
takes a while for them to realize that one has to roast lighter to bring out
the subtleties of different varietals. I will, however,attempt to answer
your grinder question. You state that you are a espresso drinker. The basic
need for good espresso is a good grinder (translate expensive). As others
have said grinder first then the espresso machine. If you try to skimp on
the grinder your shots will always be lacking and you will find yourself
upgrading constantly. Read up reviews  on grinders on other sites coffee
geek, home barrister etc. Research then buy the best you can afford. Of the
ones you mentioned. The Mazzer Mini has a doser. I have one. Initially, I
did not like the doser. I had moved up from a doserless Rocky. However,
after a few months I grew to really like the dosser. The Mazzer e is dosser
less. But it has a tendency to spew grinds over the counter especially in
cold dry climates. The clumping and spewing are due to a build up of static
electricity. Any Mazzer however' will yield excellent grinds for espresso.
In summary, if you can afford it 600 to 800 is not too expensive for a home
grinder which will be used for grinding for espresso. Get the grinder first
and save for an espresso machine. A good Barista can pull good shots on a
cheap espresso machine. But even the best Barista can not pull a good shot
with poorly ground beans.
On Jan 1, 2008 9:34 AM, Jamie Dolan  wrote:

3) From: Ross
You asked a lot of questions. 
Here are some shotgun replies:
6 minute roast with IRoast is OK, your machine is probably working 
You have already got good answers on the grinder, I will only add that the 
best way to dose espresso is to measure the beans before you grind them and 
then grind them all and use your finger to remove the excess from the top of 
the portafilter basket, my opinion.  I have a doser Rocky, I have removed 
the metal plate from the doser (so it really is not a doser anymore just a 
dispenser.)   I put some electrical tape on the bottom of the doser blades 
so they sweep cleanly and I clean it with a little brush when I'm done every 
morning.  I wanted a Mazer Mini but my price point was the Rocky and I'm not 
disappointed with it.
I don't know what SM has in the big sampler pack but you should go for it 
for sure, and see what coffee you like best.  I'm at the point now where I 
just get a pound of every thing Tom has (except Decaf) find the ones I 
really like, and get a big bunch of it before someone starts raving about it 
on this list and he runs out!  Bottom line-- you don't want to get coffee 
based on what other people are raving about, you want to try to find what 
you like.  So that makes the Sampler pack a good idea.
Good Luck,

4) From: ray
You can get a bunn grinder commercial burrs for $150.00 it will last a good
while after all Bunn has been in the coffee business for a while and don't
make junk so there grinder is great I think  you can Google for Bunn
grinders lots of places pop up spending 800 or 900 for a grinder is just a
waste of money or you pay a lot for snoot value unless your in the business
and running a coffee shop then you can get them even cheaper used on ebay

5) From: Barry Luterman
Bunn grinder is not good enough for espresso.E-bay is a good source for
grinders. If you buy one on e-bay factor in the cost for new burrs with the
purchase price.
On Jan 1, 2008 12:14 PM, ray  wrote:

6) From: miKe mcKoffee
Bunn grinders are great high volume grinders. Happen to have one at the
Kafe. They are NOT suitable for espresso grinding however, which is what the
OP requested information about. 
"Snoot" value has nothing to do with grind quality and espresso shot
I'd highly suggest a Rocky or better for home espresso duties. Oh, based on
numerous years home espresso experience wide range of grinders from Solis
Maestro on up to Mazzer SJ at home. 
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/

7) From: Jamie Dolan
Quality is deffinatly the issue.  I can't get a fine enough grind or a
consistant enough grind to make what I think is proper espresso.  One
of the most obvious things to me, is that even with like 15 grams
packed into a double shot my pull time is only in the 10 to 12 second
I'd take a old bunn or whatever if it is going to produce quality espresso...
I have eyed the Rocky, and it was suggested to me by my brother as well.
The biggest question that I can't seem to get answered is, What the
difference would be between the cheaper grinders (like the Rocky) and
the Mazzer I was looking at?  It's nearly a $500 increase to the
Mazzer.  How much difference will the Mazzer really make?
(I read several things that refer to the Mazzer as one of the ultimae
espresso grinders...)
Thank You,

8) From: Brett Mason
Rocky will dial in espresso nicely...
Mazzer will dial it in even more precisely.  I own a Rocky, and it
does well.  Mazzer would do even better.
This is a common consensus on this list.
On Jan 1, 2008 5:23 PM, Jamie Dolan  wrote:

9) From: Barry Luterman
As I said I has a Rocky and moved up to a Mazzer. Was it worth the extra
money? That's something only you can answer. For me, my reasoning was, the
Mazzer is probably the last grinder I will ever have to buy. The Mazzer
produced a fluffier less static ground than the Rocky. Also I would not have
to replace the burrs as often. It's very hard to loosen the screw holding
the burrs on the Rocky.Finally, I made a big win at a poker game and could
afford to pamper myself. The question is if I have a Cadillac why do I need
to sell it and buy a Rolls Royce? Better performance. But is it worth the
extra price ? That's your decision. You won't go far wrong with the Rocky.
As MiKe said it is the basic entry level machine. But if you want to avoid
upgrade fever go Mazzer.
On Jan 1, 2008 1:23 PM, Jamie Dolan  wrote:

10) From: raymanowen
The Mazzer Major I got, in spite of the eBay snipers, was $225, shipped. The
picture of Brown profusely sweating one summer day as he brought it to the
door, was priceless. Immediately, I knew I had made the right grinder
I had already spent essentially that much for a smaller motor-driven grinder
with burrs, with no satisfaction in sight.
I was inspecting the grounds from my previous burr grinder, and I might as
well have thrown the beans out on the highway at the beginning of morning
drive time and swept them up at noon. there was absolutely no real control
over the coffee particulate size coming out of the grinder.
The individual settings did not determine the size produced by the grinder.
The output grind size was always an interesting variety, with the maximum
size limited by the dial setting.
When the grinder setting yields a roulette wheel game of chance, you're
getting short changed. It's not Las Vegas, and nobody comes around with a
tray of hors d'oeuvres.
Folks miss the point when they castigate others' quest for a good grinder as
"Snooty." They don't have a problem going to a machinist to have a part made
if he chucks up a piece of stock in a two ton engine lathe.
Have they ever had surgery with an over-educated or over-experienced
Or call the fire department and tell them to leave the big truck- they can
all just hop in a station wagon and come over. You have two or three garden
hoses they can use...
Now, who's ridiculous?
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
On Jan 1, 2008 4:23 PM, Jamie Dolan  wrote:
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

11) From: Mike Sieweke
There are a lot of variables in iRoasting, including bean quantity,
bean origin, ambient temperature, caf/decaf, etc.  You can extend
the roast time by using fewer beans.  If it takes 7 or 8 minutes to
do a light roast, that's not bad.  I like an 8-10 minute roast for
full city, but a friend with an iRoast2 is happy with a 6-7 minute
city roast.
Your iRoast runs hot, but it's working correctly.  Most do run hot.
Although you're programming temperatures in the 300's, it is
certainly hitting the 400's or you wouldn't get past first crack.
On Jan 1, 2008, at 2:34 PM, Jamie Dolan wrote:

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