HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Death of a Hot Top (9 msgs / 170 lines)
1) From: Jim Wilkins
My reliable Hot Top roaster decided to go out in flames (literally) today. I
roast in the basement, vent to the outside. I was on the other side of an
interior wall when I noticed the smoke rolling through the doorway. When I
turned the corner, the flames were about 18 inches above the top of the
roaster. Pulled the plug and doused with water. Disaster averted but damn -
that was my Hot Top. No more than 6 minutes into a roast. And to add insult
to injury I was roasting the Panamanian Gesha (Lot 10) from SM. What a mess.
I have a Behmor 1600 and it is a great roaster but the Hot Top was so much
better for a FULL CITY and FULL CITY+ roast. And in case anyone wonders, the
machine is toast. All plastics melted and the wiring that is left is brittle
and rotten.
Jim Wilkins
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2) From: John Letoto
*Groan*.  That's just horrible :(
smeagolisfree.blogspot.com
On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 9:52 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
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3) From: Ray Tolar
So sorry for your loss at least she went up in style (
Panamanian Gesha Lot 10) :-) let us know where to send the flowers and when
the ash scattering service will be held. I keep worring about my old Hottop
doing that so i never leave the garage while roasting. Again SOOOO sorry and
glad nothing really bad happened.  Ray
On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 6:52 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
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4) From: Dave Huddle
Yikes - good thing you noticed the smoke.    I think Tom always
recommeds not leaving the room when any coffee roasting appliance is
in use.
Dave
On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 9:52 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
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5) From: Barry Luterman
Do you have any idea what might have caused the fire? How long have you had
the roaster?
On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 3:52 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
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6) From: Mike Koenig
Sad to hear - do you know the cause of the fire, was it chaff, or
something else?
I'm pretty sure all the parts are available from HotTop USA - not sure
if the cost is less than a new machine though. I'd bet you can salvage
the housing and drum, maybe a few other parts.
--mike
On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 9:52 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
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7) From: Jim Gundlach
One of the things I really like about the Behmor 1600, I think it  
needs a nick name, is that it is inside and just to my left as I set  
in front of my computer/TV monitor.  The monitor  also has the ability  
to display satellite TV or show both TV and computer at the same time  
on halves of the screen.  One of the things I really like about this  
roaster is that it allows me to share the time I spend monitoring the  
roasting process with interacting with the computer applications or  
network as well as watching something on TV.  Come to think of it, I  
spend about $90 a month on the TV network and I don't get a fifth of  
the pleasure from it as I do from the coffee which costs me less than  
a third of that much.  Talk about relative values.  Sorry, I just went  
with an uncontrolled stream of consciousness.
        pecan jim
On Jul 5, 2009, at 8:52 PM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
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8) From: Dhananjaya
Ouch! So sorry! I guess it wanted to upgrade from Hottop to Flametop ...
I think mine must've had some sympathetic resonance - it did not eject the
beans when I pressed Eject - the cycle did end but the trap door didn't
open. I had to do some emergency handling, but the roast was saved. Darker
than I was shooting for, but still nice. Now it's back to normal. It is
getting long in the tooth, six years, so I really can't complain.
Here's hoping for some miraculous recovery ...
DJ

9) From: Jeffrey Pawlan
Users have asked me whether they could use a wireless USB adapter to control 
their CCRs (computer controlled roasters) and thus put their hottop outside 
while they are inside at their computer.  My answer has emphatically been that 
technically a wireless USB adapter may function, but I would never operate a 
coffee roaster (of any type) without being close enough to watch it at all 
times.
I do not know what you did to cause your hottop to catch on fire. Even the 
normal one has a heat fuse that disconnects the heater above a certain 
temperature. I therefore think it is likely that you had not cleaned the 
roaster sufficiently between roasts. I empty the chaff tray completely every 
time. Then I also clean the inside of the roaster thoroughly every 4-6 roasts. 
This is done by cooling to room temperature then either removing the drum and 
vacuuming the inside or by passing a thin vacuum wand in the space where the 
chaff tray fits.
There have been a number of major fires at coffee shops where the person in 
charge of roasting began a roast, but then went to the bathroom or went to 
another room to chat or talk on the phone.
Regards,
Jeffrey Pawlan
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