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Topic: Alpenrost stuck on high? (24 msgs / 368 lines)
1) From: Michael Vanecek
Has anyone had a problem with their Alpenrost stuck on high regardless
of the setting entered in? Is there an easy way to get it to work? (no
hammers or drop kicking please... :) I'd really hate to be without one
for the several days/weeks it would take to replace it. Of course I
could always buy a second one in the interim... excepting this problem,
it's a real neat roaster.
Mike

2) From: TFisher511
Mike,
This is the first I have heard about problems with the Alpenrost except one 
that was reengineered and about burned someone's house down. That was a whole 
other very humorous saga that could have been a disaster. You have probably 
tried unplugging the unit and letting it set for a while before plugging it 
in and doing another roast? You could take your shop vac and thoroughly clean 
the roasting chamber, the inside of the air deflector on the right hand side 
of the unit and the fan area behind the deflector. If that doesn't work, it 
sounds like UPS time.
A hot air popper or a Hearthware would be my choices for a back-up unit. I 
have the HWP and the Alpenrost, and probably run about an equal quantity of 
beans through each.
Good luck and please let us know how you make out with this one. 
Terry F
PS: Happy Mother's Day to the lady roasters out there!
<< Has anyone had a problem with their Alpenrost stuck on high regardless
 of the setting entered in? Is there an easy way to get it to work? (no
 hammers or drop kicking please... :) I'd really hate to be without one
 for the several days/weeks it would take to replace it. Of course I
 could always buy a second one in the interim... excepting this problem,
 it's a real neat roaster.
 
 Mike >>

3) From: Don Staricka
<Snip>
of 
<Snip>
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the relative merits of
each sometime.
Don

4) From: peggykozy
Thank you to all who extended their Mothers Day wishes.

5) From: Michael Vanecek
Thanks for your suggestions. I hesitate to put another 1/2 pound of
coffee through it however. I like Brazil Oberon very light - I can use
the pound I've burned to break in my Gaggia espresso machine, but a
pound of coffee with identical results on two seperate settings (both
which should have produced light roasts) makes me wary. If I unplug it
and plug it back in and it works fine, what's to say it won't do the
same later on - perhaps on some St. Helena? I have the HWP which works
fine - but I've always thought the roasts were a little quick, and the
results are just a touch too bright for me on most coffees. I
meticulously clean the Alpenrost after every roasts just short of
scrubbing off the "seasoning". I have noticed on a roast that I cut
short by hitting the cooling button that even though it was luckily
light, the chaff in the tray was practically burned in and the tray
itself is heavily stained. I got the unit as a demo with about 30 roasts
on it and the tray was squeeky clean. I suspect that the burner is
cranking out at full force from the get-go. The flaps don't open until
the cooling session starts - I would have thought that they would open
periodically through the roast to control temperature, but maybe I'm
wrong. The fan works fine. Without knowing exactly what's inside these
things, I can only guess that the computer or the thermostat is
malfunctioning... Hopefully Swissmar doesn't take too long to get it
back to me. I have a second one on the way from Tom (as of tomorrow) -
but for at least a week it's going to be just me and HWP... :)
Mike
TFisher511 wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: Bryan Mannos
Hey Terry (or other folks that own both the HWP & Alpenrost),
Could you espouse some beneficial comparisons to the HWP and the Alpenrost.
I've owned my HWP for about a month or so and find myself wanting to get the
Alpenrost as well. (Handbasket must fill!)
Some assumptions I make are:
The HWP is great for the darker roast profiles.  Perhaps the better of the
two for espresso.?
The Alpenrost does a longer City-Full city roast profile, with smoke and
"conditioning" from the unit making a more complex roast ?
The HWP is produces a more consistent roast?
I'll quit assuming around there.  It seems you're quite amiss without your
Alpenrost.  What will you miss (other than the higher capacity) that you
can't achieve in your HWP?
Thanks!
Bryan Mannos
[snip]
<Snip>
of
<Snip>

7) From: Michael Vanecek
Primarily - the quicker roast of the HWP produces a brighter coffee
while the longer roast of the Alpenrost produces a mellower cup... Both
are very good at what they do and what they produce and I'm tickled to
have both as well as my trusty Poppery II.
Mike
Bryan Mannos wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Paul Goelz
<Snip>
There is a way to tell if the temperature controller is functioning....
plug a lamp into the same outlet as the Alp.  One with a dimmer set to
about half brightness is best, but a regular lamp will do.  Turn on the
Alp, and within a couple minutes, you should see the lamp start to get
dimmer and then brighter as the heater cycles on and off every 10 seconds
or so.  You can also usually hear the motor speed up and slow down too.
The effect is subtle but observable.  Having a lamp with a dimmer merely
amplifies the effect of voltage fluctuations on the light output.
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
pgoelz at eaglequest dot com
Videoastronomy and music web site:http://www.eaglequest.com/~pgoelz

9) From: Michael Vanecek
Well, inadvertently I have observed that. My flourescent lamp flickers
dim to bright in time with the subtle oscillations of the fan. So that
must mean that the thermostat is fine, but that the computer thinks it's
set to 15 regardless of what's keyed in. Maybe a hammer _would_ help...
:)
Mike
Paul Goelz wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: TFisher511
Mike,
Are you sure you are roasting a full 8 oz. of green in a batch. The Alp will 
consistently over roast a short batch and under roast if you pack in more 
than the half pound? Also, the doors to the cooling fan are only supposed to 
open at the end of the roast and sound like they are operating normally. 
Terry F
<< Well, inadvertently I have observed that. My flourescent lamp flickers
 dim to bright in time with the subtle oscillations of the fan. So that
 must mean that the thermostat is fine, but that the computer thinks it's
 set to 15 regardless of what's keyed in. Maybe a hammer _would_ help...
 :)
 
 Mike >>

11) From: Mandy Willison
Peggie wrote:
<Snip>
I got a double barrel shotgun for my mums day pressie.
I will be flaming Grand Mariner (sp) down the top of the barrel and
experimenting what this 'gunbarrel coffee' is all about.  (Snow Shoe Sam has
patented it. What does this mean. Am I infringing on it if I make it with
decent coffee) Never normally mix nuttin' with me coffee but I wonder what
varietal/blend would compliment this alcholol as well as Creme de Cacao.
-bean'wild!

12) From: Paul Goelz
At 05:27 PM 5/14/2000 -0500, you wrote:
<Snip>
Remember that the setting affects only the time, and in a non-linear way.
A setting of 01 is 16:15, and it goes up in 15 second jumps from there.
Have you checked the timing at various settings?  
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
pgoelz at eaglequest dot com
Videoastronomy and music web site:http://www.eaglequest.com/~pgoelz

13) From: Michael Vanecek
According to my handy dandy digitl scale from SM, 8oz precisely. 8 and
1/8 with the cotton that I'm putting my green coffee in. Both 6 and 3
ended up with _identical_ roasts - I put them both together in the same
container and I can't tell where one leaves off and the other starts...
I wish there was something I could hit with a hammer or something. :)
Mike
TFisher511 wrote:
<Snip>

14) From: Michael Vanecek
Well, with the coffee a dark and very smoky French roast on 6 and an
absolutely identical dark and very smoky French roast on 3 I kinda
stopped there to preserve the rest of my coffee. Given that some people
have been claiming not to be able to get dark enough roasts at 15 and me
getting such dark roasts at 6 and 3 it's easy to conclude that I have a
problem...
Mike
<Snip>

15) From: John Tyerman
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
Mike, My Alp also does not respond to changes in the setting 
level.  I just leave the setting at the default of 8 and roast by time 
instead.
 
John
>>> mike 05/13/00 11:05PM 
>>>
Has anyone had a problem with their Alpenrost stuck on high 
regardless
of the setting entered in? Is there an easy way to get it to work? 
(no
hammers or drop kicking please... :) I'd really hate to be without 
one
for the several days/weeks it would take to replace it. Of course 
I
could always buy a second one in the interim... excepting this 
problem,
it's a real neat roaster.
Mike

16) From: Michael Vanecek
I've been in contact with Swissmar and they've been enormously helpfull.
They make a great effort to help you eliminate other possibilities
(they're even sending me a free 1/2 pound of coffee to test it) and they
actually return your calls. If yours is not working, then by all means
let them know. Even if you don't care or don't wish to be without the
machine while it's being shipped to their warranty center, their
knowledge of it could help expose a possible design flaw or
manufacturing flaw...
Mike
<Snip>
<Snip>
Has anyone had a problem with their Alpenrost stuck on high regardless
of the setting entered in? Is there an easy way to get it to work? (no
hammers or drop kicking please... :) I'd really hate to be without one
for the several days/weeks it would take to replace it. Of course I
could always buy a second one in the interim... excepting this problem,
it's a real neat roaster.
Mike

17) From: Texinga
In a message dated 5/17/2000 4:24:45 PM Eastern Daylight Time, mike 
writes:
<< Re: + Alpenrost stuck on high? >>
Mike,
I just received my AlpenRost on Tuesday and had the same problem you 
experienced.  The setting of 8 had zero control over the unit and it burned 
the heck out of the beans after completely fogging my house.  After talking 
with SwissMar, they admit they have had some defects and had to fly the guy 
who invented the unit over to China to make some changes.  They say that the 
most recent batches have not exhibited these problems, but I'm not sure of 
this answer (yet).  
I'm interested in some of the creative ways people are venting the smoke from 
these units?  Especially people who do not have a range vent in their homes.  
This baby can pour out the smoke even when it is working just fine and I've 
heard of people that cannot vent all the smoke even with a range vent.  My 
idea is to cut a piece of plywood to fit an open kitchen window, mount a fan 
in a cut hole in the plywood, connect a hose to the output of the AlpenRost 
and vent all the smoke directly outdoors.  I've also considered roasting 
outdoors on my deck, but this would be only in fair weather conditions.  
Other ideas are welcome and best wishes.

18) From: Paul Goelz
<Snip>
from 
<Snip>
I tried the idea of roasting in the firepalce suggested a while ago on this
forum.  Works nearly perfectly.  What I do is light a kerosene lantern and
put it in the firepalce before I roast, to get some hot air rising.  Then I
put the Alp so that the vent blows into the fireplace and roast away.
Works fine so far.... I get more smell in the house from opening and
peeking than I do from the exhaust.  
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
pgoelz at eaglequest dot com
Videoastronomy and music web site:http://www.eaglequest.com/~pgoelz

19) From: Michael Vanecek
I hope the new one I should get tomorrow is of the recent batch. The
other one was a little older. We'll see. Heh - the HWP was famous for
it's dying fan - the Alpenrost is getting famous for losing it's timer
and crisping the coffee. Counting myself - you're at least the third
person to have this problem on the list.
I recently bought a dryer hose and will be attaching it to a vent in my
ceiling here at the shop. I guess my attic is going to smell like
roasted coffee here pretty soon. I'll put the new roaster through it's
paces tomorrow with the hose attached and post a report. I expect to be
sending my other Alpenrost to be replaced or fixed next week. When I get
it back I'll have to fashion some sort of T connection so both roasters
can use the same vent - perhaps a tin manifold with flaps to prevent
backwash. I may even try to assemble a third hose with a fan that I can
place over my HWP. With all that put together, I can face Christmas head
on... :)
Mike
Texinga wrote:
<Snip>

20) From: Paul Goelz
<Snip>
That probably will not work, or at the very least will drastically alter
the internal temperature.  I tried it and even had a fan in the duct, and
it didn't work very well... the internal temperature was way too hot.  Far
as I can tell the Alp determines temperature by sensing the temperature of
the inner chamber wall near the heating element.  The ACTUAL internal
temperature is a function of that temperature, the amount of air drawn
through the chamber, and the temperature of that air.  If you change the
backpressure the fan has to work against (and it is not a high pressure
fan) you change the relationship between the chamber wall (controlled) and
the internal air temperature (un-controlled).  
What should work would be to have an exhaust fan, and attach a duct to it
that terminates near the Alp exhaust but does not actually connect to it.
That way, any exhaust will be drawn out of the building, but the Alp will
not see any change in backpressure.  If the duct was big enough, it could
service two roasters.  
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
pgoelz at eaglequest dot com
Videoastronomy and music web site:http://www.eaglequest.com/~pgoelz

21) From: Texinga
In a message dated 5/18/2000 7:14:47 AM Eastern Daylight Time, 
pgoelz writes:
<<  Re: + Alpenrost stuck on high? >>
I agree with your assessment and plan to alter my window-fan-hose solution 
such that I do not connect the hose directly to the output of the AlpenRost.  
I also think that if you had a strong vent fan that was connected directly to 
the unit via hose, it could draw too much air through the unit and possibly 
add a cooling effect to the inner chamber.  I plan to have a strong fan in my 
solution and will fashion a receiving duct that will sit just outside the 
roaster exhaust to capture the smoke just as it exits the unit.
Oh, I got an e-mail from SwissMar that they could not determine which batch 
my AlpenRost came from.  Putting a serial number on the unit would help that 
problem as I could not find one on my unit.  I guess I'll be giving them a 
second chance and allow them to send me a replacement for the "bean burner" I 
have on hand now.  For those of you who have had a replacement, what should I 
expect in the way of time to get a replacement?  Is it going to be another 
week via UPS or something faster?  I am going to ask for my burned beans to 
be replaced too.  Thanks for the help to all.

22) From: Michael Vanecek
Oh burnt coffee! I should've considered that. Thanks for pointing that
out before I had a chance to waste yet more coffee. I guess for now I'll
just have the hose positioned close to the outlet until I can fabricate
a more permanent solution...
Paul Goelz wrote:
<Snip>

23) From: Paul Goelz
<Snip>
burner" I 
<Snip>
should I 
<Snip>
They replaced my Alp via UPS RED.  I had a problem that went away by itself
and I had decided to keep the unit and see what happened.  I had been in
contact with Swissmar about it, and they decided on their own to replace it
and told me after it had shipped!  
Don't know what they are doing these days....
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
pgoelz at eaglequest dot com
Videoastronomy and music web site:http://www.eaglequest.com/~pgoelz

24) From: Paul Goelz
At 10:44 AM 5/18/00 -0500, you wrote:
<Snip>
It took a couple days for the basement to clear after I tried it and didn't
consider the effects.....  I knew I was in trouble when I saw smoke leaking
out of the roast chamber aroound the edges, since it should have been
drawing air IN instead of having it come OUT.  
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
pgoelz at eaglequest dot com
Videoastronomy and music web site:http://www.eaglequest.com/~pgoelz


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