HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Alp numbers (8 msgs / 136 lines)
1) From: Michael Rochman
Just finished 2nd batch on Alp. First batch was their Columbian, 
included in the box. Took it to 9 as the package advised. Ironically, 
was about right where I'd want a brighter coffee to be...just before 
2nd crack, but not quite as dark as I'd like with a Columbian.
Next, I roasted a batch of St. Helena's. After much vascillating, I 
took it to 9, too.  It was just slightly darker than the Columbian. (Are 
island coffees softer beans?). Fine, for what it is.
So, I have a question...
Does anyone have a list of numbers they are trying for auto 
roasting with the Alp? I have the times of roast for each number, 
but haven't a clue what "just after first crack" with LaMinita (for 
example) might be.
It would be interesting to have a chart with Tom's various coffees. 
Or, is this too "wussy" a way to roast coffee?  ;->)

2) From: Barry Corliss
on 9/7/00 2:10 PM, Michael Rochman  wrote:
Unfortunately, the roast/time profiles of the Alp seem to vary so much from
machine to machine that this doesn't currently seem to be a viable method. I
think it would be a great way to roast coffee if it worked.
Barry Corliss
Seattle, WA   (206) 282-2274http://www.master-works.com

3) From: Michael Vanecek
Unfortunantly, all any of us can do as far as numbers is concerned for
another person is approximate since there are so many variables that
affect level of roast. The best you can do is keep a detailed log
including info such as variety and crop year, ounces or grams roasted,
ambiant tempurature during roast, time to first crack and time after
first crack you ended roast. It's a lot of work and I admit sometimes if
I'm in a hurry I throw a batch of familiar coffee in and hit a number
that approximates a successful time for me, but still, once you've
created your database for that particular Alp (two side-by-side could be
different so if you get another one, create a new database), you'll get
to the point of being familiar enough to hit a number and press go. I
suspect this is the same even for large commercial roasters too. No two
databases for different machines will be the same, so take suggestions
as approximates and don't be dismayed if a recommended number didn't
work too well for you. If you have access to a webserver or perhaps have
a Linux machine where you can install Apache, MySQL and PHP, I'm
thinking about writing a tracking program in PHP. It's not a top
priority now since my current project is an ecommerce project, but if
there's interest, it'll be motivational...
Michael Rochman wrote:

4) From: Michael Rochman
Mike thanks for the advice. Not at the stage yet where I'm going to 
keep detailed notes. Whatever I roast and however I roast it 
(within reason) tends to be a devil of a lot better than any roasted 
coffee I've ever bought in the past.
When on manual, have been roasting to 2 mins past the first crack 
and that was good for us. Now, if we can get a really good roast 
from a given number (not sure we can), than that will be good 
enough for us (at this point of my learning curve).  
Again, thanks. Mike
On 7 Sep 2000, at 20:35, Michael Vanecek wrote:

5) From: Michael Rochman
Barry, I forgot about ~that~ variable.
Noticed that there are some markings under the chaff tray near the 
end of the case, apparently made by Anthony. One is the date but I 
don't know what the other stuff relates to.
This Alp is spot on correct as to times by the chart that they gave 
me for number = roast time, at least for the 4 numbers I've tested 
so far.
If yours isn't, and you want it to be, I'd recommend contacting Julie 
at Swissmar. They are fabulous people. I have three Alps at the 
house right now...mine and two of theirs boxed up and ready for 
call tags. They didn't want me to go without a machine...unheard of 
trust and service in today's day and age.
I do believe these folks really care about their Customers, just as 
Tom & Maria really care about their Customers.  I'd bet they would 
work with any of us who want the Alp to be accurate. Told them 
late today that I was going to post here, but not on 
I fully understand that the true gourmet at this would never settle 
for a punched in number and perhaps I'll grow into that as I'm 
already grinding with an electric Solis and brewing with a Chemex. 
We shall see. Just know that I have more great beans sitting 
around than a coffee shop. ;->)
Again, thanks. Mike
On 7 Sep 2000, at 18:29, Barry Corliss wrote:

6) From: Barry Corliss
on 9/7/00 7:34 PM, Michael Rochman  wrote:
The difference between machines is how dark the beans get at a given time
interval. One machine may roast to medium at 17 minutes, another may char
them at the same time.
Barry Corliss
Seattle, WA   (206) 282-2274http://www.master-works.com

7) From: Michael Rochman
Barry, correct. And, this Alp takes number 8 to just before oil spots 
on the beans.   Mike
On 8 Sep 2000, at 20:31, Barry Corliss wrote:

8) From: Michael Rochman
OOPS!  Make that:  number 9-10
On 9 Sep 2000, at 10:57, homeroast wrote:

HomeRoast Digest