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Topic: Hottop Cleaning and Repair (7 msgs / 162 lines)
1) From: Justin Schwarz
Just got back from a trip to Portland to pick up Barry's old Hottop and spend a nice day with the family that included some nice stops for espresso and lunch @ Kennedy school.
Barry made me a deal that I couldn't refuse on his old "P" model with the caveat that it may need some parts to get it in full working order and no promises were made about the roaster.  Well, a deal is a deal and I was excited to have a roaster that I can use at my house, without going to my parents to use my NG BBQ drum. 
I was home for less than 20 minutes and had it opened up to figure out how to replace the element and the temperature sensor. When I took the back cover off, I was greeted by a small avalanche of chaff.  I grabbed the vacuum and got as much as I could right away, as I was doing this on my kitchen counter.  I realized that I would have to disassemble the roaster further to completely remove the chaff from inside of the back compartment.  
After all of the chaff was gone and I got a good look at how the roaster operates I began to see how the roaster is able to build up chaff so easily in that compartment and became aware that would be something I would have to remember to clean.  How often?
My next step was to pull the element that had warped over 5 or so years of use and see if I couldn't bend it back straight and get some more use out of it.  It was warped pretty badly and I tried to gently bend it back into place, and then snap! I was fully prepared to replace this part and was not surprised when I snapped the element.
I will wait until I get my replacement parts to replace the temp sensor, but it appears to be a pretty easy part.  It is nice that Hottop USA has such detailed repair instructions and I look forward to having the roaster up and running soon.
While I have the HT apart is there anything else that I should inspect or possibly replace while I am in there?  What are others doing about the chaff buildup in the back compartment?
-Justin
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2) From: Tim TenClay
I've noticed the same chaff buildup but have only bothered to do a
massive-take-apart-and-clean once.  I do occasionally vacuum the "backside"
of the roaster and also vacuum out the inside (the chaff collector doesn't
really collect all of the chaff - it also collects on the bottom of the
roast chamber toward the back.   As a whole, though, I haven't found it to
be a problem and, after about 5 or 6 years of use have had NO fire problems
or overheating issues.
I've only really replaced the bean-in chute and the temp. sensor - both were
easy as pie.
Grace and Peace,
  `tim
On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 11:06 PM, Justin Schwarz wrote:
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This message may contain information which is privileged or confidential; if
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Rev. Tim TenClay, D.Min.
Personal Blog:http://lexorandi.tenclay.org"Only a religion which is a way of living in every sphere either deserves to
or can hope to survive." (MacIntyre)
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3) From: Mike Koenig
When I have mine open, I usually hose down the main board with some
electronics cleaner spray, just in case there is any residue that can affect
the operation of the electronics.  I've never had such a problem, but it's a
habit I developed from my old i-Roast (where is was a problem).
I don't open mine up as often as I should either (once every few months
roasting 2 batches/week),  and haven't had any issues.  The only thing that
worries me a little is the amount of oily residue that builds up on the
motor housing.
I also keep the filters clean by putting it in the dishwasher. (I have two
and rotate between them).
--mike
On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 11:06 PM, Justin Schwarz wrote:
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4) From: Tim TenClay
I probably shouldn't admit this, but I've found that it roasts just fine
without the back filter in at all.....
On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 9:35 AM, Mike Koenig  wrote:
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This message may contain information which is privileged or confidential; if
you are not the intended recipient, please delete immediately.  Do not
forward or make any of the above content publicly available without
permission of the original author.
--
Rev. Tim TenClay, D.Min.
Personal Blog:http://lexorandi.tenclay.org"Only a religion which is a way of living in every sphere either deserves to
or can hope to survive." (MacIntyre)
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5) From: Joseph Robertson
Confessions are a good thing. I took out the chaff screen in the top of my
IRoast2 when I first started roasting so I could move more air and chaff
right out the AI dryer pipe and casement window.
Results improved. Never put it back.
Joe
On Tue, Feb 1, 2011 at 6:48 AM, Tim TenClay  wrote:
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Joseph Robertson
Sasquatch Coffee Roasters
Craft Coffee Roasting by Designhttp://www.jolindas.com(360)521-3104     PO Box 451 Stevenson,Washington 98648 USA
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6) From: Demian Ebert
I tend to vaccum out the roast chamber before each roasting session
and between roasts when doing some thing with a lot of chaff.
I pull the fan off and wash the residue off of it and the housing
every 30 or so roasts. Filters last about the same amount of time, so
I try to do both at the same time. I try to take the entire back off
every so often to clean out the interior, but that hasn't happened too
often.
I only have had to replace the ben dump door and solenoid. Easy to do
and excellent instructions.
Demian
On 1/31/11, Justin Schwarz  wrote:
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7) From: Justin Schwarz
I got the parts last friday, shipped coast to coast in 2 days priority mail.  It took a while to put back together but everything went smoothly, thanks again HT for having a user servicable machine with basically an online Chilton's manual for it.  
I have roasted about 8 batches in it since last friday, putting it through the paces and trying to figure out the best way to use it's programmable interface.  All but 1 of the roasts turned out pretty good and that was a Yirg that ran from 1C right into 2C, before I realized what had happened I was in a rolling 2C, I pulled shots with it today and the astringency is just too much of an off flavor to me.  The Sidamo Maduro, the other Yirg, and the DP Panama from Tom were all fantastic. I am really impressed by how quiet the machine is (except the beeping) really easy to hear the cracks, the sight glass is a big plus too.
There will be a learning curve, but with the addition of a bean mass probe next time I have the machine open, hopefully I can shorten it.  I am still learning how to get the most out of my BBQ drum and have been using that for about 7 or 8 years.  It is a fun little addition to my coffee world and I look forward to playing around with the profile control.  I have about 15lb each of Sidamo Maduro and Sulawesi Toraco WP peaberry and plan on refining a profile for each of those.  I look forward to roasting some of the beans in my stash that I have less than 2lb of without having to roast it all at once.  
I think I will really enjoy roasting on this thing, in fact I might just roast a batch right now!  I can always give some to my neighbor that will be watching our house and our cats while in we are gone in Kona.
-Justin
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