HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Merits of drum roasters (6 msgs / 190 lines)
1) From: K W Matley
I'm sure that there are discussions about various drum roasters in the 
archive, but for some reason my password doesn't work there. Sorry if 
this is a return to much traveled ground.
I bought a Gene roaster when Tom first started selling them and have 
used it regularly since them. It had a little accident (read left out 
in the rain while plugged in) over the weekend and I'm wondering what 
to replace it with. With the Gene, I've never had results as good as I 
got with the HGDB method. The chief value in the Gene has been that my 
wrist doesn't get sore. The two things about the Gene I haven't liked 
are its slow cooling, making it very difficult for me to stop a roast 
exactly when I want to, and what Tom describes as an advantage, the 
'bright' flavor of its roasts. It's also very noisy.
In the few days I've been back on the list, I've seen a number of posts 
about the Behmor roaster but they've all been about customer service. I 
see from the description on Tom's website that it also has a pretty 
slow cooling time, as well as limited visibility, but no mention of the 
brightness of the roast. As I have limited time in which to roast the 
large capacity sounds great, though.  I'm also intrigued about the 
HotTop: looks like cooling is not an issue here, but I'm wondering what 
the issues are. 
Would anyone care to share their impressions of these three roasters 
with me? I'd be particularly interested in hearing from anyone who has 
moved on from the Gene to another roaster, especially if their reasons 
were similar to my concerns about stopping the roast and brightness. 
In the meantime, it's back to HGDB....
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2) From: Sandy Andina
Love my Behmor. Cooling time for a one-lb. roast is twelve minutes as  
opposed to the i-Roast's four, but as long as you keep that in mind  
and stop your roasts slightly before you get to the degree or length  
of "crack" you wanted, and thus plan for the bean mass temp to drop  
below the point where roasting continues, you shouldn't have a  
problem. As to visibility, I find that after I do a self-clean cycle,  
if I clean the window with a cloth dipped in Cafiza solution and then  
wipe with first a plain wet cloth and then a dry one, I'm able to see  
pretty well when I turn the unit's light on during roasting.  It's  
rather quiet as well, making it easy to hear the cracks.  I find that  
with the Centrals, Konas, and Puerto Rico beans as long as I use a P2  
profile and don't take it past the end of second crack I do retain  
most of the acidity that is characteristic of these varietals as found  
in professionally-roasted versions.  By contrast, the small convection  
roasters do tend to exaggerate brightness in these beans.
On Apr 2, 2008, at 9:08 AM, K W Matley wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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3) From: Eddie Dove
K W,
The Gene Cafe (~$500) used to be my primary roaster and I very much
enjoyed the roasts including the brightness that could be achieved.
Just shy of 225 pounds of coffee were roasted in that Gene Cafe and it
was a great tool for learning to roast given the amount of control one
has with that roaster.  One does have to learn to anticipate when to
initiate the cooling cycle to account for roast coast.  Initiating the
immediate stop and cooling externally is a also option with the Gene
Cafe and rather easy to execute.  If your Gene Cafe has had time to
dry out, you may want to check the fuse located in the back next to
the power cord; internal parts are available and the Gene Cafe is
fairly simple to take apart and reassemble.  The Gene Cafe still takes
up residence here, but its roasting duties have been replaced by an RK
Drum and the roasts are quite excellent when the operator is paying
attention.
The Hottop is an excellent roaster, has about the same capacity as the
Gene Cafe (1/2 pound +), a much better cooling method and a reputation
for durability.  The models B and P will also give you a great amount
of control over the roast with the ability to save and repeat roasting
profiles, but they are on the higher end of the scale when it comes to
price (~$730 and ~930 respectively).  Another benefit to these
roasters is that they have historically allowed for an upgrade path
without having to replace the entire roaster.  The resulting roasts of
the Hottop are very much as one would expect from a drum.  One can
still obtain bright roasts if desired, especially with profile
control, but it is different and very enjoyable.  Parts are readily
available and the Hottop does require some periodic filter
replacements
The Behmor can also handily roast the same capacity as the Gene Cafe
and the Hottop, but it also has the ability to roast up to full pound.
 The interface provides for a bit more automation and the ability to
repeat profiles, but at a much lower price point than either the Gene
Cafe or Hottop (~$300).  Cooling on the Behmor is similar to that of
the Gene Cafe in that you must anticipate desired roast level and
allow for a bit of roast coast; other things can be done to expedite
the cooling cycle.  Visibility is somewhat obscured, but the beans are
still visible and there are some modifications one can perform without
voiding the warranty to allow for greater visibility.  For a small fee
~$20.00, an optional fine mesh drum is available for roasting the
smaller types of beans.  The flavor characteristics are those of a
drum roaster and some roasts produced by the Behmor have been quite
similar to those of the RK Drum with careful consideration during
setup of the roasting profile and assisting the cooling.
The drum roasters seem to excel at developing the deeper, darker
flavors (chocolates, caramels, currents, raisin, plum, tobacco, etc.)
whereas the air roasters seem to accentuate the brighter notes (lemon,
orange, tangerine, cherry, etc.)  Absolutely both types of roasters
can develop both "sets" of the aforementioned flavors and more,
especially with excellent profile control, but differently.
I hope this is helpful ...
Eddie
-- 
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Referencehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 9:08 AM, K W Matley  wrote:
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4) From: Barry Luterman
Erudite review.
On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 3:41 PM, Eddie Dove <
southcoastcoffeeroaster> wrote:
<Snip>
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5) From: raymanowen
"...don't take it past the end of second crack"
Isn't that where Tom says you can turn off the lights and still see what's
happening from the burning beans?
Not for your sake or for my sake, but for Heaven's sake, "don't take it past
the end of second crack."
240 seconds to cool it down from roasting? 720 seconds? How about 5 seconds,
and it's cool enough to stick my bare hand in a pound of beans that were
revving up to a snapping, smoking blitz?
That's 5 seconds from the point where they were snapping and smoking- they
would have actually stopped advancing the roast level 2 or 3 seconds before
that. Dead cold in 30 seconds.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 1:16 PM, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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6) From: K W Matley
Thanks for the information. My Gene Cafe runs now, but there is no 
heat. I was able to find instructions for disassembling it, as well as 
a source for a new heater assembly. Hopefully that's all I'll need. 
We'll see how things turn out when I get the part. Thanks again.
Ken
On Wed, 2 Apr 2008 20:41:21 -0500, Eddie Dove wrote:
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