HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Roasting Questions with FR+ (7 msgs / 284 lines)
1) From: sean tarbox
Hi All,
Have been roasting now for a few months, many thanks
to the list members (+ Sweet Maria's) for all the
words of wisdom coming out of the mirror. My questions
are regarding roasting with the FR+
1) My FR+ seems to take a considerable amount of time
to roast: 5-7 minutes to first crack,  another 6-8+ to
second crack. I've roasted with 8+ diff. greens now,
so I dont think its a 'bean' thing, and  I use the
prescribed (2 heaping scoops) amount of beans. My AC 
measures at ~116, on a 20A circuit. I'm roasting
indoors (~65'), so I dont think its ambient temp.
(When I've roasted out in the garage at 40', it has
taken ~20 mins to 2nd crack)
Anyone else have these extended roasting times w/ FR+?
Should I just be thankful that I can 'slow roast' with
a notorious fast roaster or what?
2) How many roasts do folks do in a row with the FR+
without changing out chambers or letting it cool a
bit? I'm concerned about cracking the chamber with the
heat.
3) The perforated sheet metal that forms the bottom of
the chamber is attached to the chamber with a silicon
or other clear-like resin. I noticed it has somewhat
detached from the chamber, possibly due to expansion /
contraction from heat. This happen to anyone else?
Does it make anyone else nervous that that glue/resin
substance might be giving off fumes into the beans? 
4) Sometimes, usually just into 2nd crack, I hear a
change in the machine’s sound (gets quieter), and it
seems like heat just ramped up (fast snapping ensues).
Does the heating coil circuitry on this thing have an
overdrive or something???
5) I recall someone mentioning a 'fix' someone did to
the FR+ to increase roasting capacity (I do ~3oz max),
but had a hellofa time wading through the archives.
Has someone got a reference to this? 
Thanks much for all the opinions & such - I'm still a
press pot / drip drinker, but I'm considering a dip
into the espresso world after hearing all the praises.
Regards,
Sean Tarbox
sean_tarbox52
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2) From: Mike McGinness
From: "sean tarbox" 
 Thanks much for all the opinions & such - I'm still a
<Snip>
Don't do it! There's no turning back! Cafe' Cremas and Americanos are
addicting! :-)
(I'm don't roast with the FP+ so won't attempt to address those questions)
MM;-)
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Miss Silvia brewin'
My cup is empty, time for another Americano before heading out the door!
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3) From: Ben Treichel
sean tarbox wrote:
<Snip>
I would.
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I've done 5, however it shouldn't be a problem.
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I've noticed that also, thats my guess.
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I'll roast 100+ grams by adding a soup can to the bottom od the chaff 
collector, and cycling the heat into the cool position until i get good 
bean movement.
<Snip>
Try a Vac pot first, its cheaper and better coffee than a press pot. 
FYI, I have 3 press pots, well used.
<Snip>
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4) From: M.G.Rich
Wow, that seems extremely slow for a FreshRoast.
Your idea that a slower roast might be preferable is logical -- but I'd call
the company to make sure that there isn't something important (as in bad)
going on. There often are nice side-effects to looming catastrophe (as in,
"Well, the sun's about to explode, but look at this great tan I got this
morning!).
FR's customer service is fantastic, and I'm sure they can advise you
M.G. Rich, who can roast on his FR+ in four minutes but is certainly aware
that "Hmm, three minutes and you're done?" is best left to boiled eggs and
not other areas of life.

5) From: Ben Treichel
Mike McGinness wrote:
<Snip>
Thats what I also expect. Therefore, I avoid the expresso obsession by 
not buying any cheap ones to try.
<Snip>

6) From: John Abbott
Sean,
	I'm a part time FR & FR+ user. I, like most, have to reset my timer for a
full city roast. A lighter roast (just before or at the first snaps of 2nd
crack) work out to be right at 5 minutes. I find that the roast cycle is
VERY predictable on the FR+ in that a 7 minute cycle produces exactly the
same roast each time. I generally run a 110g load in the plus.
	2) I've done six back to back roasts (Christmas presents) but now switch
chambers every roast.
	3) The epoxy is food safe - and doesn't migrate.  The chamber is
constructed with a small gap at the base - just large enough to occasionally
lodge a bean - and that bean becomes charcoal and flavors the next roast if
you don't remove it.
	4) The motor is in series with the heating coil so as the coil reaches max
thermal, it acts resistively to the circuit and alters the current to the
motor. There is no logic to tell it to switch gears.
	5) A Campbell's soup can notched for the chamber handle will give you an
extended chamber volume (thank you Dr. Cathy) and will allow for larger
loads and thus extended times. I've also discovered that if you tilt the
whole roaster by 5 degrees you get extreme bean stirring even with 115g
loads.
	6) Press pots are good!  Espresso is better! You will find that a quality
grinder becomes much more important when you move to the espresso making, so
in consideration for the budget of your new espresso machine, allow a major
investment into a grinder.  However - you realize that you are stepping onto
a slippery slope that leads to total inialation of your budget but brings
you into a paradise of coffee consumption.
John - FR, FR+, HotTop, La Pavoni (yep its inside to stay), Solis Master
5000 - vacuum sealer - French Press, Cona, Ibrik

7) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Sean,
1 & 5. The FR+ roast time is very load sensitive. 
The two heaping spoons you're using probably do 
not make for 3 ounces (check your scale), rather 
about 70 grams. Using loads of 80 to 90 grams will 
speed up your roast. 
At those loads, it sometimes happens that the 
beans "hang" at the top of the chamber due to the 
airpressure, usually towards the end of the roast 
when they're at their lightest. People used 
various contrivances to extend the roast chamber 
by 1 1/2 to 2 inches to stop this. Catherine 
Marley's Campbell condensed soup can one is the 
easiest and neat looking to boot. A longer 
extension will slow down the roast and reduce bean 
movement, so may be undesirable in your case.
2. I usually do 8 roasts in a row, my record is 
14. If you want to do this many, I'd advise 
getting a second roast chamber. < Just hold off a 
while, so I can get replacements for both of mine 
as soon as the parts get off the *&^% boat gr> I 
find that the plastic of the chambers begins to 
crack after a year, and they need to be treated as 
supplies. At $15 per chamber, it's not a big deal.
3. Yep, the screen loosens, no big deal. Check for 
stray beans getting lodged.
4. Never noticed it.
Anyone who spends as much as me for home espresso 
equipment has to be nuts, so take the praises with 
a grain of salt.
Jim
On 25 Nov 2002 at 8:58, sean tarbox wrote:
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