HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Autopsy on Hot Top (11 msgs / 350 lines)
1) From: Jim Wilkins
I was all ready to send the old beast to the curb but decided to dismantle
it further.
What I found concerned me a little. There was an accumulation of chaff
BEHIND the wall that separates the drum from the motor. The chaff was
surrounding the motor, all of it was thoroughly burnt. To get to this space,
I removed the section that holds the air filter and removed the plastic
framing that butts up against the back of the motor. 
Here is my concern, in all the time I've had the Hot Top and have done
cleaning and maintenance, I've never opened that space before. It is clearly
not a space that is on the maintenance checklist. At the end of the drum,
there is a small 'trap door' with a spring-mounted hinge that opens toward
the back of the machine. This is the only way that I could see for chaff to
escape the drum and get trapped in this area. I empty the chaff tray every
time I roast.  A small vacuum attachment used from the drum end won't work
as it does not activate the hinge (pressure needs to push, not pull from
this direction). 
How do I prevent chaff from collecting in the space of my new Hot Top?  The
space is about 1" x 1" x 3" long.
Jim Wilkins
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2) From: Mike Chester
I have experienced this with both a stock Hottop and with the CCR version I 
currently use.  I don't know how the chaff gets in the rear of the roaster, 
but it does.  To make matters worse, it seems to form a cobweb like mass 
made up of chaff packed loose enough to easily combust.  I have had the 
whole electronics compartment area full of chaff.  The only effective way to 
remove is to remove the whole rear of the machine and vacuum it out.  Since 
the rear is held on by screws in plastic, it can only be removed so many 
times before the holes wear out.  I don't have an easy solution to this 
problem.  Hottop should probably have put metal screw inserts into the 
plastic so that regular bolts could be used, but that would have cost a few 
pennies more and cut into their profits.  The Hottop is, in general, a well 
built machine, but I don't think the designers envisioned some us running 
them as hard as we do.
Mike Chester

3) From: Mike Chester
I replied earlier that I had seen similar chaff problems with my Hottops.  I 
forgot to add what I now do to reduce the chaff buildup.  I have found that 
the chaff tray does not collect all of the chaff.  A lot is left in the 
bottom of the roaster.  I think that this is what ends up in the rear of the 
machine.  I roast in my garage and I have an air compressor there for 
various garage uses.  I have an air gun for it and after every roast, while 
the beans are in the cooling tray, I empty the chaff tray and with the tray 
still out, I blow air down the bean fill chute.  Usually a bunch of chaff 
will be blown out of the slot where the tray goes.  The amount varies with 
different beans.  Doing this, I don't need to periodically disassemble the 
drum area to vacuum it out.  It stays clean.  It makes a bit of a mess on 
the garage floor, but this can easily be swept or vacuumed away.  This does 
not totally eliminate chaff collecting in the rear, but it greatly 
diminishes it.
Mike Chester

4) From: Mike Koenig
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5) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Hi Jim - we are going to check this out on our end, and find out from 
HotTop. As many know, a similar issue came up with the Behmor and Joe 
issued a further "maintenance update" to address this. I can't 
visualize the gap you are talking about, but from reading hyour 
description (that to access this space you need a "push" of air, not 
a vacuum) would it be possible to clean out the space with canned air 
or a compressor? Or would there be no exit to blow the chaff to?
Tom
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
Homeroast mailing list
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6) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Jim and others - this is an important issue so I wanted to make sure 
it reaches people on the forum too, and when we have an answer from 
Hottop and some ideas from the community, we can preserve them as a 
Sticky on the forum:http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f&&t22As Mike points out, all the chaff doesnt make it into the tray. I 
have usually had a shop vac by the roaster and my habit was always to 
put the nozzle up to the tray and suck out any stray chaff. I am sure 
it would help a little, but I doubt it would completely prevent the 
buildup you are talking about.
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
Homeroast mailing list
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7) From: Dhananjaya
I don't think you can avoid it. But there are openings that allow the chaf
there to get to the outside, with some assistance.
What I do is every few roasts I "shake, rattle & roll" the roaster
front-back, left-right and over-under-sideways-down, as the song once went,
and do the same completely upside down several times to get anything at the
top back there towards the bottom, and from the bottom towards the
vertical-middle and towards the front, where it keeps coming out the hole in
the plastic bottom beneath the roasting chamber. You can actually hear the
stuff slushing around, so that acts as a kind of guide.
Maybe twice a year I actually take the back out and clean the surface of the
fan & plastic frame, around the inside back there, and remove any existing
chaff which is not much because of the afore-mentioned shake-o-rama.
DJ

8) From: Michael Mccandless
The last time I had mine complete apart, I found the same thing.
Lots of chaff, but not burnt. PC board was covered an inch deep.
Hottop's response was to make this a part of the full PM when needed.
I believe it makes its way through the side vents, following the airflow.
Hottop advised me against altering the way air flows from the roasting
chamber to the back of the machine.
Just need to keep an eye on it.
McSparky
On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 11:19 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
<Snip>
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9) From: Dante
Hi Jim,
My Hottop gets used the most in my home/hobby.  Like you, I noticed that chaff collects in the rear compartment that holds the exhaust fan and rear filter, so I added a quarterly cleaning riutine of that area in my maintenance schedule. I use a desktop vacuum/blower with a thin noozle attachment to remove all the chaff that accumulates there once every three months. You have to remove the rear fan to get to the compartment, which is added hassle, but I've had no chaff fire so far even if I roast about 3 to 5 times a week in my Hottop with 250 gram loads. Of course I vacuum clean the chaff collection compartment/cavity after every roasting day.
Hope this helps.
Cheers!
Dante
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 2009 14:19:42 -0400
From: "Jim Wilkins" 
Subject: [Homeroast] Autopsy on Hot Top
To: 
Message-ID: <076301ca00c1$d4423f80$7cc6be80$@wilkins>
Content-Type: text/plain;    charset="US-ASCII"
I was all ready to send the old beast to the curb but decided to dismantle
it further.
What I found concerned me a little. There was an accumulation of chaff
BEHIND the wall that separates the drum from the motor. The chaff was
surrounding the motor, all of it was thoroughly burnt. To get to this space,
I removed the section that holds the air filter and removed the plastic
framing that butts up against the back of the motor. 
Here is my concern, in all the time I've had the Hot Top and have done
cleaning and maintenance, I've never opened that space before. It is clearly
not a space that is on the maintenance checklist. At the end of the drum,
there is a small 'trap door' with a spring-mounted hinge that opens toward
the back of the machine. This is the only way that I could see for chaff to
escape the drum and get trapped in this area. I empty the chaff tray every
time I roast.  A small vacuum attachment used from the drum end won't work
as it does not activate the hinge (pressure needs to push, not pull from
this direction). 
How do I prevent chaff from collecting in the space of my new Hot Top?  The
space is about 1" x 1" x 3" long.
Jim Wilkins
Homeroast mailing list
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10) From: John Borella
 I have a flat/narrow attachment that goes on my shop vac hose. Every couple 
of roasts I remove the rear filter assy, insert the attachment into the 
filter opening & with the vac running tip up the Hottop by lifting the 
cooling tray base and shake it a few times so the vac can suck any 
accumulated chaff out of the motor/board area. I also remove the front cover 
after every roast & vacuum out the drum & the area just under the drum while 
giving the drum a few turns.
John B.
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11) From: g paris
Hi Jim:
every hot top I have had has the same issue.
what I do after every roast along with cleaning the chaff try is to take off
the glass front, which it self holds chaff against the glass you cannot
see,  tip the machine up on end and tap it a few time on my counter, amazing
what comes out, I also have a small, long crevice tool for my big shop vac
(read it will suck up my dog) and I use that to go all the way inside.
every couple of months, take it apart, drum out etc!
ginny
On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 11:19 AM, Jim Wilkins wrote:
<Snip>
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