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Topic: Newbie to list with new alp ?s (2 msgs / 115 lines)
1) From: Cznbill
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2) From: Michael Vanecek
1. Yes. Get the heck out of that cold garage and boost the ambient 
tempurature to more sane levels. Ambient tempuratures have a definite 
effect on the timing of cracks. Hit the kitchen and aim the exhaust out 
a cracked window or under a stove vent.
2. You really can't for the most part, unless it's obvious - get into 
indoor conditions and give it a go and see if the trend continues. Every 
coffee is different and ambient times are different and back-to-back 
roasts can also affect things, so roasting times are hard to judge as 
being long or shorter than it's supposed to be unless the machine is way 
out of wack.
3. In the cooler temp, the crack will tend to drag out. Even so, in 
warmer conditions, you can look at a good two minute crack with the Alp. 
Depending on coffee parameters of course. And you'll virtually never 
have first and second bump into each other - unless you have one of 
those super hot Alps - which doesn't seem to be the case here.
First - make sure your measure is exact - and consistent. I love the 
little digital scale Tom sells - it's seen a *lot* of mileage and still 
keeps on ticking. While some use different amounts with the Alp and your 
mileage may vary, I tend to stick to exactly 230grams with large bean 
coffees and 232grams with small bean coffees (to accomodate any loss). 
So far it's worked out well. Pick your amount and stick with it 
consistently.
Second - make the ambient tempuratures a little bit warmer - it should 
be "room" tempurature - or comfortable. That will help shorten the roast 
a bit - and a consistent ambient tempurature makes it easier to judge 
the roasts.
Third - set the thing to 14 or 15, get a multi-lap stopwatch ($25ish 
from RatShack) and time to first crack and then, based on 
experimentation hit the "Cool" button at a predetermined time after 
that. Mine - usually city to full city roasts - tend to be in the 2:30 
to 3:00 range past first crack depending on coffee - some longer, but 
usually not shorter.
Be aware that small bean coffees can have a fake first crack - some 
beans will lodge and get stuck in the holes of the cylinder and will 
crack out. What I tend to do is give it ten seconds or so after the 
first premi crack and if no cracks occur during that I wait until I get 
a grouping of cracks. It's very much a work of art and personal 
judgment. Large bean coffees generally don't have as much of a problem 
with that.
Given all this - if your Alp is still leaving your coffee at cinnamon 
stage at 15, you've got a cold Alp - give Swissmar a call. If the Alp 
Frenches your coffee at 1 - you've got a hot Alp - give Swissmar a call. 
Within those two extremes, you should be able to make things work for 
you. No two Alp is exactly the same, so your mileage may vary.
Let us know how it turns out.
Be well,
Mike
Cznbill wrote:
<Snip>
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