HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Recommed home coffee roaster (14 msgs / 256 lines)
1) From: Ryan M. Ward
Hello everyone, 
I was wondering what experiences you have had with different coffee roasters and which you would/would not recommend based on personal experience.
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2) From: Yakster
I don't recommend roasting on a perforated pizza pan in your built in
convection oven.  This is actually how I started, but it fills the house
with smoke and the Wife didn't like it.
Everything else--hot air popcorn poppers, old fashioned popcorn poppers over
a campfire, heat guns into dog bowls or bread machines, convection oven tops
over a stir crazy, drum roasting in a BBQ, Behmor, HotTop, FreshRoast,
iRoast, Gene Cafe--all have their following.
You have to determine your budget, factor in things like batch size, amount
of hands-on you want, and maybe even your handiness at putting together a
home built roaster.
-Chris
On Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 1:02 AM, Ryan M. Ward
wrote:
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3) From: J.W.Bullfrog
Price & capacity; Behmor - limited controlability, limited ability to
profile.
Lots of learning & experimenting, air popper, heat gun, etc.
On Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 11:51 AM, Yakster  wrote:
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-- 
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe.
Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
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4) From: Joseph Robertson
Nice simple assessment JW.
JoeR
On Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 10:47 AM, J.W.Bullfrog wrote:
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-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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5) From: Larry Dorman
I still use the SCTO  (stir crazy, turbo oven) combination...  mine
has been working for a LONG time now and just keeps plugging along.  I
can roast up to 1 lb at a time and it cost less than $100 to setup.
Here are some old photos... http://www.flickr.com/photos/bestfx/sets/1071789/LarryD
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6) From: silas coelho
I have no experience with the pizza Pan, but Skillet is also no so good for
the same reason (I will be sleeping with my dog if I even mentioned that...)
I do have about a year, or so, with RT 2, and it is great (batch size is
limented to 250g, but it is ok)
Grato
Silas
Contritionem praecedit superbia,
et ante ruinam exaltatio spiritus (Prov 16:18)
https://sites.google.com/site/coelhosefamilia/
2009/12/18 J.W.Bullfrog 
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7) From: Sandy Andina
Add my voice to the chorus of Behmor-ians.
On Dec 18, 2009, at 3:02 AM, Ryan M. Ward wrote:
<Snip>
Peace & song, 
Sandy 
www.sandyandina.com
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8) From: Ryan M. Ward
Thank you all for your advice. I apologize for sending 2 emails, I thought the first one was eatten by internet fairies. I am looking at the Behmor now (still eyeing the HotTop though, it looks very nice...), I am glad I asked because this was not one of the ones I was looking at but appears to fit what I am looking for. 
As far as the darker roast issue (Which seems to have lead to some contention). I am not sure why I like darker roasts I just always have. I started drinking lighter roasts (granted I first started drinking Gevalia which is not the best coffee- not the worst either). Later I found myself enjoying French Roasts, and Indonesian blends roasted well. Personally, I do not like Starbucks style French roast- TO DAMN DARK! I like some of the flavor to still be present but the typical lightly roasted columbian coffee is not my cup. I prefer sumatras roasted nicely.
So in defense of Dark Roasts, some are good if the roaster does not go ape-honkie. As long as the coffee does not taste dry and charcoally, its good to me. 
Granted, I have not had home roasted light roasted coffee, when I get my roaster in I will make a point of trying a lighter roast. You may be correct, I may have found a new favorite. 
Thanks for your input again.
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9) From: raymanowen
At the start of home coffee roasting, Don't buy or use an automatic roaster.
Learning coffee and roasting is parallel to learning how to drive, ride a
motorcycle or travel. With a room-temperature IQ, You wouldn't start out
with a Winnebago or a Goldwing.
Sift through the comments. You won't learn about roasters or how to roast if
you start with a shiny machine that has tactile buttons and digital
readouts. Try as you might, good-tasting coffee equates to a menu of buttons
pushed. Collateral learning might take place only by osmosis.
Being a Frequent Flier doesn't make one an airline pilot any more than a
taxi driver becomes an SAE engineer after several years behind the wheel.
Start simple and cheap. Learn the necessary steps and complications you want
to take to satisfy your palate. $1000 tied up in a starter roaster that
might not the best starting point.
Cheers, Mabuhay, Iechyd da - RayO, aka Opa!
-- 
Persist in old ways; expect different results - suborn Insanity...
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10) From: John A C Despres
I agree with RayO's general principle, here. There's a lot to be said for a
popper or a Fresh Roast 8 as a starter. Then the beginning roaster will have
a much better idea of what's happening in other more complicated roasters.
My advice is to settle on a Gene Cafe.
I, however, did become a pilot just by flying a lot. :-) Not so much an SAE
engineer
John
On Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 2:46 AM,  wrote:
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11) From: Rich
One of the original posters requirements was to be able to roast coffee 
in larger batches, up to a pound.  That will not happen with any popper 
conversion, Fresh Roast 8 or Gene Cafe.  And with a $400.00 max budget 
you can forget the Hot Top, which will not accommodate a pound either.
John A C Despres wrote:
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12) From: John A C Despres
Hmmm, I must be missing something. I don't see anything in Ryan's original
post about capacity or price points. Another thread, perhaps?
John
On Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 10:03 AM, Rich  wrote:
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13) From: John A C Despres
Yep, a different thread. Tough assignment/request.
John
On Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 10:27 AM, John A C Despres wrote:
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14) From: Mike Koenig
Ryan,
I know it's over your stated budget, but I'll add a plug for the HotTop.  I
went through some air roasters (Hearthware Precision, iRoast) a homemade
drum roaster for the grill, and now the HT, and my roasts have never been
better.  The main reason for buying it was full control over the profile,
with the ability to adjust during the roast.  After the drum contraption, I
wanted something a little more refined, that didn't involve setting up a
contraption for each roast (the thing I was using firmly fell into the
category of "contraption").
If you don't want to drop that amount of money on your first roaster, you
might want to give the Heat Gun / Dog Bowl method a try,  which is a nice
way to "get your feet wet" without dropping a lot of cash up front.
--mike
On Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 4:57 PM, Ryan M. Ward
wrote:
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