HomeRoast Digest

Topic: "Catastrophic" Alp failure (10 msgs / 218 lines)
1) From: Renaud Dreyer
I bought an Alp last summer and have been generally very happy with 
it since. My original machine was developping more and more problems 
during the Spring (stability of the settings, roast times getting 
longer and longer etc.) and Swissmar sent me a replacement machine.
My current machine had been working perfectly... until now. I was 
roasting some Classical Italian Espresso Blend when suddenly, at 
around 16 minutes, the machine went dead. The beans started smoking 
and burning heavily, and I had to throw out the batch.
The biggest problem is that the machine has, for the last couple of 
hours, stayed dead. It won't turn on at all anymore. Has anyone here 
experience a similar sudden and total failure of the Alp?
Of course, this happens when I'm out of roasted bean, on a Friday 
afternoon when Swissmar is closed... I guess that for the first time 
in 2 years, I'm forced to make a trip to Peet's, and will probably 
have to live on preroasted beans for the next 2 weeks.
I just hope that, once again, Swissmar will quickly send me a 
replacement machine with a minimum of fuss. Ciao,
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2) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Renaud Dreyer" 
 Of course, this happens when I'm out of roasted bean, on a Friday
Thanks for helping me 'justify' my second Caffe' Rosto! (and maybe HotTop in
a few months...)  Backup roasters are a good thing...
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
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3) From: R.N.Kyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Sorry for your ALPS demise, but instead of going to Peet's. just go out =
and buy a West Bend Poppery II about 20 bucks come home and dump in (  I =
use 2.5 ounces) and roast away 5-7 minutes and you have a nice small =
batch of roasted beans.
Ron Kyle
a coffee roaster from South Carolina

4) From: Renaud Dreyer
I don't want to give the wrong impression, I really love my Alp (when 
it works...) and the "drum roast" taste is really addictive for 
someone who does espresso almost exclusively.
Also, Swissmar's service has been really good. When I had to replace
my original Alp, at first they only wanted to send me a replacement
after getting the defective one, but I convinced them to send me a
replacement immediately by giving them my CC # as collateral (and Tom
said he would have talked to them about it anyways). Hopefull they'll
do the same.
I have an old Fresh Roast I haven't used in a while. But I'm REALLY 
not looking forward to spending the amount of time and attention 
(colling and restarting the roast etc.) I used to spend in order to 
get the sweet, full-bodied roasts that come so effortlessly with the 
Alp. Ciao,
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5) From: Renaud Dreyer
That sounds nice but I really love that drum roast taste for
expresso... And since I consume about a half a pound a day, I'd spend
way too much time roasting... Ciao,
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6) From: Charlie Herlihy
Renaud wrote;>I guess that for the first time 
 Don't you even have a frying pan, Renaud? 
Do You Yahoo!?
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7) From: Renaud Dreyer
Yes, but I also have an appartment, a girlfriend who hates the smell 
of roasting coffee and no exhaust. Ciao,
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8) From: Paul Goelz
My first Alp (from the very first production batch) died after the very
first roast.  The display showed a "1" as I remember instead of the normal
"8" and was totally unresponsive.  Swissmar immediately shipped a
replacement which worked for several years before becoming flakey and
operating the drum motor at odd times (like when it had finished roasting).
 Oddly, the first one miraculously came back to life the next day.  I
returned it anyway.  
So far their track record has been very good.  
Paul Goelz
Rochester Hills, MI
Videoastronomy, model helicopter and music (UnFest) web site:http://www.pgoelz.comVectron Blackhawk discussion list:  vectronblackhawk
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9) From: coffenut
That failure sure sounds like a replacement situation will be in order.
I'm guessing you still have some warranty remaining with your unit.  My
Alp's been out of warranty by over a year, so I'd probably take it apart
and look for something that I might be able to correct.  I completely
understand your love for the Alp's drum roasted flavor.  I think it's
not just the drum that makes the difference, but the longer roast time
vs an air roaster's shorter time.  I've got a backup roaster (HWP), but
rarely use it because the Alp's flavor is that much better IMO.  Hope
you're back in business asap.
Coffenut  :^)
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10) From: Renaud Dreyer
Yes, I bought it last summer, and the replacement came this Spring.
It's addictive, isn't it? I remember using all those tricks to 
lengthen the FR roast times, and all that for much less beans...
The HotTop looks nice, but it also looks like it's a non starter in 
an appartment without an exhaust.
Thanks! Best,
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