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Topic: Alpenrost stuck on high - Part II (6 msgs / 120 lines)
1) From: Michael Vanecek
Alpenrost #2 came in today. I did the same thing as I did with the other
one, plugged it into the same outlet and set it on 4 expecting to get a
nice light roast. Well, I got another crispy roast - a little lighter
than the other machine, but oily French nonetheless. I've weighed and
reweighed my green coffee meticulously by both grams and pounds on a
digital scale. It was 8oz or 1/2 pound on the dot. Either my electrical
grid is screwed, or Tom has gotten a bad batch of Alpenrosts. I'm
beating my head against a wall here. How many people purchased these
things from Tom, and of those how many are experiencing the same
problem? I think I got the last of the batch Tom had - he has another
order of Alpenrosts on the way, which hopefully are the new and improved
ones. I don't mind wasting coffee getting the machine calibrated, but I
hate chronically crisping out my coffee regardless of the setting I
have. I could just time the thing, but that kinda defeats the purpose of
the setting - consistent roasts. Well, I'm gonna take the second unit
home and see if it crisps out there. If so then Alpenrost owes me two
roasters. If not - I think I need a drink... There are four flourescent
lights (8 bulbs) in the office where I'm roasting as well as a
refrigerator - and the lights do flicker when the roaster is cycling.
Could they in any way be interfering with the computer or timer? I'm
thoroughly ticked. I have two units and I'll be sans both of them...

2) From: Paul Goelz
At 03:49 PM 5/18/00 -0500, you wrote:
No problems here.  I know it's a dumb question but are you weighing the
beans only or the container as well?  Sorry, but I had to ask....
By measure I use about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup and find that is about 8 oz.  
It's real easy to tell if the timer is messed up.... time it.  A setting of
1 should be 16:15, a setting of 2 should be 16:30, 3 should be 16:45, etc.
A setting of 8 should be 18:00.  After the intitial 16:15, each additional
counter digit is worth 15 seconds.  Easy to check.  The time is the time
between power on and damper open (big clang).  
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
pgoelz at eaglequest dot com
Videoastronomy and music web site:http://www.eaglequest.com/~pgoelz

3) From: Michael Vanecek
Hee Hee - I wish it were that simple. Nope, I set tare before measuring
the coffee on Tom's digital scale. I've also double-checked it on my UPS
scale - it floats between .4 and .6 because it can't do .5, but it's
good to get a rough comparison to eliminate the digital scale as a
possible culprit. I've weighed, reweighed, added beans, removed beans -
if it were anywhere other than .5 pound you'd need a super-duper
micronano-ounce scale to detect it... :)
Good idea. When I take it home to test I'll time it too. I'm going to
set it on four again and expect 17 minutes exactly. I'll let you know my

4) From: Texinga
<<  + Alpenrost stuck on high - Part II >>
I just got off the phone this afternoon with the guy that designed the 
AlpenRost and he was a ton of help.  You should call SwissMar and ask for him 
to contact you on your two roasters.  His name is Anthony Lemme and a very 
nice guy to work with.
Anyway, he was able to walk me through several diagnostic tests and it looks 
like my unit is working (at least from the test results).  I'm going to try 
to do another roast tonight using a lower setting than 8 (probably 4), but 
being ready to manually force the unit into cool-down if first crack occurs 
before the unit would do it on it's own.  Anthony told me that the units they 
had problem with, were ones shipped the end of last December, but they made 
some corrections and units since January have been ok.  He also told me that 
beans have such a wide variety of response to roasting that you always need 
to be ready to manually cooldown when roasting a new bean or first time use.  
By the way, the setting of 1 = 16min 35 seconds with increments of 15 seconds 
per setting.  This will put you at 17mins 20 seconds on setting 4 which could 
still be a dark roast depending upon what kind of bean your using and it's 
moisture content.  The setting of 15 = 20min and 5 seconds.  Anthony also 
said that it is possible to have a unit that is calibrated a little to the 
high side on the heater causing you to adjust your times downward for 
Bottom line, the timer is ok as a gauge, but you still have to pay close 
attention and listen for first crack and be ready to press cool-down if you 
feel the beans have reached your desired roast level.  It's also possible to 
have a unit that is disregarding the timer all together.   I'd like to hear 
how you come out on this thing.

5) From: Michael Vanecek
Well, I took one roaster home and set it on four and it ended up with a
mixture of brown and dark oily beans (about half-n-half). It was exactly
17 minutes and a few seconds (17:20 would be accurate). I'm a little
unsure - I figure four would end up with a lighter roast. That was with
the Brazil Oberon. I came back to the shop and set my other roaster on a
different outlet in a different office using the Zimbabwe bean and set
it on one and actually got a dry, dark-brown roast. I noticed when I
retrieved my beans that it was set on 8. I could have sworn I set it on
1, but may be mistaken... It doesn't reset itself after a roast does it?
In my rush to run back and forth from my timer to the roaster to keep
track of the time I may have just forgotten. If so - that's what I
envisioned an 8 would be and the roast is perfect. I'm gonna take some
of those to my other roaster and try it. Perhaps either there's too much
power to the outlet in the other office or the Brazil roasts faster...
Texinga wrote:

6) From: Mike Geis
Could you fill us in on what these diagnostic tests are?

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