Regretably, theres going to be a price hike in a week on the ALP. They raised the price and in this case I am going to have to capitulate and do the same. Its going up to $299 and I am going to try to sweeten the pot by adding 8 lbs of coffee at that price, but its still a very significant increase. If other retailers havent raised it yet, they will too I can guarantee. So if you have been sitting on the fence maybe its time to say "yay" or "nay". If you have ever considered one of these beasts, its important to think about it and read ALL the comments I put on our web pages about it. I cringe when a first-time roaster buys one because its so much more difficult to master than a Hearthware or Freshroast. The main problem is that you cant see the roast in the drum. That makes it tough to relate roast to color. I would always recommend using a corn popper or other roaster BEFORE graduating to an Alp. Anyway, what I am trying to say is dont buy an ALP because the price is going up, buy it because it is the right roaster for you... Tom "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters" Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting - Tom & Maria http://www.sweetmarias.com
In a message dated 7/13/2000 12:01:19 AM Eastern Daylight Time, tom writes: << If you have ever considered one of these beasts, its important to think about it and read ALL the comments I put on our web pages about it. I cringe when a first-time roaster buys one because its so much more difficult to master than a Hearthware or Freshroast. The main problem is that you cant see the roast in the drum. That makes it tough to relate roast to color. >> Tom, I'm one of your "roastlings" that jumped feet-first into the AlpenRost from zero roasting experience. From my experience, if you're ok with having to use your senses other than visually seeing the bean, you can be very successful with the Alp and in only a few roasts. Actually, I think it forced me to pay closer attention to the roast than I would have if I had started with a different technology roaster. Here's a tip for those considering the Alp, assuming you wanted a city roast, had no experience with the product and were using a bean with average moisture content. It is more important to listen for 1st crack and roast about 2 to 2.5 minutes past 1st crack than it is to depend upon the automated roast timer (setting 8) as stated in the manual. This is because of the differences in heater calibration that can occur across different brand new units. A setting of "8" on one Alp may yield a beautiful city roast, while on another unit, you could be at french roast. Had I known this tip when I roasted my first batch of beans, I would have had a successful first roast. As usual Tom, your post to the group speaks to your business integrity that I have come to know and appreciate. Your alert of the price increase without pushing the product on your customers is one example. I like to tell someone when they're doing something right and bud, you're doing it. Hope you sell every Alp you've got and those considering the product can snag them before the price goes up.
Is that 2 to 2.5 minutes past the start or the end of first crack? In my Alp, first crack seems to drag out for quite a while which makes it kind of difficult to determine when first crack ends. The cool down is slow so I really need to start cooling before the roast is where I want it to finish. The beans are still quite hot to the touch after they are ejected, so I try to speed the cooling some after the 5 minute cooling cycle. Does this sound typical for the Alp? Thanks for the advice, Terry F Texinga writes: <Snip> 1st <Snip>
In a message dated 7/13/2000 7:41:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time, TFisher511 writes: << Is that 2 to 2.5 minutes past the start or the end of first crack?>> The start of 1st crack (literally from the very first snap you hear when 1st crack begins). I got this tip from the guy that invented the Alp after I burned my first batch of beans by following the manual and trying to allow a setting of 8 to work for the Brazil Cerrado that Tom included with my order. My Alp's heater is calibrated a tad to the hot side, so a setting of 8 produced a burned roast. As a matter of fact, when I roast on my Alp, I put the setting on 15, sit down, relax, enjoy all the aroma's as the roast progresses and then manually use the cool button when the roast has reached the desired point. This way, I'm not depending on a computer setting to decide when the roast has gone long enough. After 18 roasts across a dozen different beans, I've got my stride with the Alp and getting very good results. <> It does this on my unit too and some beans are kinda quiet on the transition from 1st to 2nd crack as well. I've found that first crack (start to finish, with the exception of a few bean varieties) averages about 2 to 2.5 minutes in length on my Alp. <> All my timings above include the assumption that I'm going into cool down manually and allowing the Alp to complete it's 3 minute cool cycle followed by the 2 minute bean ejection cycle. I've found the beans are hot to the touch too, but I get them over to a 9"by13" aluminum pan, spread them out in a single layer and they cool very fast in that pan. I have not tried or felt the need to cool the beans down any faster than this and the roast/cup results have been terrific (IMO). Hope this helps. :^)
<Snip> Its true ... you are right. It does train you better because you are forced to pay attention to your other senses. Its great to be able to smell a roast and know where it is at in the process. Theres such an extreme shift in aroma that occurs between the middle of first crack and the start of 2nd crack. Its still toasted grain smell for much of first crack but you sense it turning to caramel, and then as second draws near or begins it turns noticabley pungent. Then it gets smokier.... Tom "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters" Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting - Tom & Maria http://www.sweetmarias.com
In a message dated 7/13/00 8:49:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Texinga writes: <Snip> 1st <Snip> a <Snip> order. Thanks, and I will try this method on my next Alp roast. I have been roasting for at least three years, but am not as comfortable with the Alp as I am with my other roasters. I live in Clearwater, FL now so when I roast in the winter, it's a chilly 70 degrees and 93 degrees in the summer. I still don't miss the Indiana snow, so I will suffer through the tuff cooling problems I have to endure. Thanks again, Terry F
Am I the only one who peeks? :) Bob C. rcantor
<Snip> Bob, I have to admit I've not peeked during the roast, but occasionally when the beans are dumping. Have you seen any ill effects from peeking during the roast?
In a message dated 7/22/00 8:50:54 AM Eastern Daylight Time, coffenut writes: <Snip> when <Snip> When I peek, all I see are coffee beans & roaster. I have never seen ill effects. Really, I think the mass of the roaster and the drum is enough to minimize the effect of a quick peek during the roast. Terry F
At 09:20 PM 7/20/2000 -0500, you wrote: <Snip> Nope. I use a flashlight and peek once in a while. Paul Goelz Rochester Hills, MI pgoelz at eaglequest dot com Videoastronomy and music web site:http://www.eaglequest.com/~pgoelz
none (obviously I'm a bit behind in my reading... :) Bob C. rcantor