HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Z&D (AKA Nesco) roaster issues -- any PM needed? (5 msgs / 180 lines)
1) From: Michael Wascher
I have a Zach & Dani's roaster (AKA Nesco), that has been in use for about a
year. Lately the roasts have been variable. Is there any maintenance
required, other than cleaning the chaff catcher, screen & chamber after each
I originally thought it was due to temperature (outside air temperature, I
roast in the garage in NJ). Reducing the batch side to 3 oz. & max timer
setting of 35 minutes helps. But it used to do 4 oz + to a nice FC+/V but
now 3 oz are barely into 2nd at best.
Taste is a bit grassy & underdone, it tastes like the heat never penetrated
leaving beans green inside even though they look properly roasted outside.
Beans roasted during a recent warm spell (60s) were similar.
"Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring
the deadening effect of a habit." --W. Somerset Maugham
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2) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
I used a Z&D for my entire deployment (232 Days) and I noticed the same
thing near the end of the deployment last month or so I was forced to
increase the roast time to get the beans roasted. 
Mind you I was doing back to back to back roasts 3 times a week with it
and I'm sure that did wear on it a bit. 

3) From: Barry Luterman
I had a Z&D years ago,and that was it's life expectancy, about a year.
However, the timing of it's demise was congruent with my upgrade fever.
On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 7:00 AM, Michael Wascher  wrote:
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4) From: Paul Helbert
I had a heat gun which crapped out that way. When I opened it up I found
that a whole bank of the nichrome resistance coils had opened and so were no
longer heating. I had been restricting air-flow through the gun with duct
tape on the vents, in order to increase heat, which I am sure contributed to
the problem. I have read good reports of Z&D support, so perhaps sending it
in for repair is in order.
"There is nothing- absolutely nothing-
half so much worth doing as simply
messing about in boats."
---Ratty to Mole in Kenneth Grahame's
  The Wind in the Willows
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5) From: raymanowen
I have no idea if the manufacturer/ distributor will support this, but you
can ask for a price and availability quote on a new nichrome heater element.
Of the two nichrome elements, the lighter one is a ballast resistor to drop
the line voltage down to power the 4 diode bridge rectifier on the DC motor.
It makes some heat, because it's dropping maybe 100v and carrying the motor
current of an amp or so- maybe it makes 100w - 150w of heat.
Check out a hair dryer on the "Cold" setting- it's only cool- with the motor
running, the ballast resistor is still dissipating heat.
If the motor ballast fails, the main heater would still be hot. With no
blower = *++ungood*. Then the ubiquitous Thermal fuse will become useful, if
you ordinarily just abandon the HG to swinging from a tree.
Automation of Roasting and Brewing is for commercial enterprises in which
the staff have interests elsewhere- like profit, ROI or paycheck- than
custom controlling the roast and processing for a cup of coffee.
Specialty Coffee has morphed from Juan, Haile and Tranh using their senses,
experience and brawn to cultivate the crop with care and pick only the right
cherries for processing and shipment for the home roasting hobbyist.
"Experiment, mistake and improve" are watch words for the amateur home
roaster in this "I Can Do It Better, not the approved way," group.
If there's no tolerance for "Misteak, experiment and improve," I got off on
the rong floor.
Big Coffee and BC wannabes have machines and automation. Starbucks has
carried it to an extreme. They make money and wield a lot of power, but I
think they've lost a little something.
I watch almost every damn bean I roast, and tend to chase the light ones
with the heat gun. You want sameness- support Starbucks- they've got the
pushbutton paradigm patented, I think.
Autopilot, radar and GPS will fly you across the country- the Captain will
get you safely into the air, back on the ground and handle emergencies even
when ducks are walking.
In getting a roast of '05 Kona Moki's Farm through First but not touch
Second in a Fresh Roast early yesterday, I exposed some more Pasture Pies. I
kept roasting and throttling the heat for over 19 minutes, to make sure
First was all done. I was starting to see semi gloss surfaces in the
tumbling mirth in the FR.
"Have I baked them?" I thought- "Now, I've done it- I baked them!" You might
think so, but you'd be RONG. Not baked, burnt or otherwise FUBAR.
Hear the P-s-s-s-s of escaping air? I let the air out of another Old Wive's
Tale. I Flash Froze 12g of the Kona, ground it into the Gold mesh cone
filter in the TechniVorm, closed the valve on the basket, dribbled boiling
water over the grounds. I kept the fabulous bloom knocked down with the
stream of water. Bliss, soon to be in a coffee mug.
Just remember, there is no Partial Carafe button on the TechniVorm, so you
Can Not Brew any less than a full carafe. Actually, the TechniVorm had
nothing to do with it. It just held the mug and the filter cone in position.
Never even turned it On. Ground at 42, it was the neardest to the Bestest
Kona so far.
I can't wait to find where in Blue Blazes I put the box with the Capresso
Luxe thingy. I know- it will be in the last place I look...
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?
On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:27 AM, Paul Helbert 
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