HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Cleaning the metal on a WB I (10 msgs / 177 lines)
1) From: Dana Kaempen
Last time I roasted, I noticed that the metal part of my WB Poppery I was, well, dang near black.  This is our primary roaster, and it's been used continuously for >2 years.  I'd like to remove the blackness, since I imagine it's not imparting anything good to the taste of the beans (see previous discussions about "seasoning").  The tough part is going to be getting my hand in there, unless I'm either brave or foolish enough to unscrew the top, plastic part to get down to the metal part of the
roasting chamber itself.
What's the best cleaner I can use to remove the smoke & oil that's burned onto the metal, yet not poison myself afterwards when I roast my next batch of coffee?  (Yes, I realize I'll still need to roast a sacrificial batch after cleaning - hmmmm, where's my wife's decaf...)
Thank you!
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2) From: EuropaChris
Just leave it there.  It's not hurting anything at all.  You'll likely wreck it by trying to clean it, and that stuff is totally burned on carbon.  Nothing short of oven cleaner will take it off, and then that will eat the aluminum something awful.
Just keep on roasting and enjoy the coffee.
Dana Kaempen  wrote:
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3) From: EskWIRED
I agree.  The stuff is similar to the seasoning you get on a cast iron pan.
That being said, try some powerful organic solvent, like ammonia or toluene.
Soaking and scrubbing with a brush likely will help.  Using a powerful
detergent, like TSP, might help too.
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4) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 09:32 8/2/02, EskWIRED typed:
First off, ammonia is not an organic solvent and I do not believe it 
dissolves carbon (sorry my CRC is at work).  Second, unless you are 
disassembling the WB completely (no hardware, nothing moving, just the cast 
aluminum) I would under no circumstances soak a WB in toluene or anything 
else.  BTW, I have yet to find any good way to cleaning elemental carbon 
chemically.  Of the chemicals that come to mind, most would leave the 
carbon and dissolve the aluminum   Only by physical abrasion like sandpaper 
have I had any luck
I would just leave it too.
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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5) From: floyd burton
On one of my WB I's, somebody poured butter into the roaster and now it has
become more than a little rancid-a good winter project of tearing it down
all the way and trying to get the stink out.  If it did not stink, I would
not bother because I have learned the hard way-if it ain't broke don't "fix"

6) From: Catherine Marley, M.D.
floyd burton wrote:
Nothing removes carbon except burning it.
For the conservation of the Tibetan Lhasa Apso,
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7) From: Rick Farris
(CC'd to OP)
John wrote:
Hey, you sound like a chemist!  What about my question about CO2?  At the
same temperature and pressure, is CO2 heavier, or lighter than air?  Should
we vent our resting coffee at the top, or the bottom?
-- Rick
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8) From: EskWIRED
I assumed that was understood.
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9) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 19:36 8/3/02, EskWIRED typed:
No offense, but I never assume something that if I am wrong could destroy 
someone else's stuff.  Better safe than sorry.
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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10) From: EskWIRED
Point taken.  I've disassembled my poppers so often, and it would be SUCH a
boneheaded move to put a plastic electrical appliance into a big bucket of
VOC, that I couldn't even imagine.  But perhaps I should have.
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