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Topic: Alpenrost Workarounds (8 msgs / 220 lines)
1) From: McConnel
Rick says:
"Why wait?  If it was me I'd roast to 15, *instead of hitting the cool
cycle*
I'd pull the AC plug, plug it back in and immediately restart it.
I'm happy with my Alpenrost from the standpoint that I can roast a pound an
hour with only about seven or eight minutes of manual intervention.  I'm not
happy from a high-quality roast standpoint.  The Alp does ok, but has
absolutely no facility for profiling."
I do much the same. I set a timer for around 15 minutes. When it goes off, I
check the roast either by sound and to a lesser extent, smell or cheat by
lifting the lid a bit and looking. If it looks like it's got a ways to go, I
pull the plug and start over listening for second crack.
BTW, I wipe my Alps out a bit, but since it lost the shiny, reflective
surface to smoke stain, it actually seems to roast faster (even with cooler
ambient air temps.) I'm unconvinced that a light-reflective surface does
much in that dark and mysterious drum. I think it's mostly heated air that
impinges on the ceiling of the lid, making insulation a more important
factor. The radiant heat from the coils is mostly absorbed by the rotating
drum. I'd be interested in hearing from someone who could demolish this
uneducated theory of mine, but I'm still probably not going to polish the
thing.
tommcconnel
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2) From: R.N.Kyle
<Snip>
mottled after roast.  Thanks in advance.
I have not had this problem when roasting PRYS in my Alp.
Like Rich stated, just into 2nd crack on the Alp is a lot longer then =
just into 2nd crack on a popper roaster or other air roaster. I roast PR =
to Full City, nice and brown, dry surface. I set the Alp on 15 and like =
Rick its hard to not hit the cool button, and the roast develops quite =
rapidly when 2nd crack starts. I let it run 1 min. after the first pop =
of 2nd crack, and hit the cool button. it will coast another 30 to 40 =
sec. I then open the lid and cool it with a fan until it dumps.
I roast 225 grams and like Rick said if you over load the Alp it tends =
to give you an uneven roast.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC
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3) From: Oaxaca Charlie
 I've never used an Alp, but I'm familiar with the PR beans and
they should roast very evenly. It all sounds like too hot a
roast. It needed to slow down a bit somewhere. 
Charlie
--- fhopel2911 wrote:
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4) From: Rick Farris
Colleen says:
<Snip>
Things move very slowly in the Alp.  What some people call "15s into 2nd
crack" takes about a minute on the Alp.  When I'm roasting to that stage,
during that last minute I stand in front of the roaster doing a peepee dance
and chanting to myself "sit on your hands, sit on your hands" as the Alp
belches smoke and sounds like things are on fire in there.
<Snip>
In the Alp, mottling is usually caused by too large a volume of beans.  I
found that out the hard way by trying to roast 1/2 pound of Malabar Gold.
Whereas the volume of 1/2 pound of most greens is about 3/4 of a pint, 1/2
pound of Malabar Gold was about a pint and a quarter.  The beans stayed in
the roaster, but were very mottled when they were done.  Since then I've
noticed that the lower the bean volume, within reason, the more even the
roast.
<Snip>
Definitely not that.  The way the Alp works is that it has a temperature
controller that adjusts the electric current to maintain a 550 environment
in the drum.  Then, it has a timer that is controlled by the roast-number on
the front panel.  If the Alp is calibrated to the factory spec, then at a
setting of 8 (mid-range) the roast goes for 18:10 and then starts the
cooling cycle.  For every number above or below 8 it adds or subtracts 15
seconds of roasting time.  In other words, the Alp doesn't get any hotter or
faster by turning up the roast setting.  It simply goes longer before
starting the cooling cycle.
BTW, if you ever are trying to measure the temperature in the drum, and
leave out the drum (and beans) to make it easy to get your thermo-probe in
there, be advised that the bean cup *will* melt if you leave it on very
long.  :-)
<Snip>
*I* usually roast just a few seconds into 2nd crack -- read 30- to 60-
seconds on the Alp -- but the OP had mentioned that they weren't getting to
second crack even on setting 15.  Their solution was to unplug the Alp, let
it and the beans cool off, and then start the roast over.  I mentioned that
there was no necessity to let it cool off.
<Snip>
No.  See above.
<Snip>
Nope.  If the beans are going to hit second crack at 17:30, say, they will
hit it at the same time no matter what you've got the Alp set for, as long
as you don't have it set so that it quits before you get to 17:30.
The HotTop, on the other hand, actually ramps the temperature at different
rates instead of simply acting like an oven and holding the temperature
constant.  Of course it costs twice as much as an Alp.
-- Rick
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5) From: fhopel2911
I'm new to roasting.  Did my 5th 1/2lb last night in the alp. and am puzzled.  It took me a few roasts to realize that I definitely needed to set up high and stop it when I wanted, but I'd never used higher than 14 and have been very happy with the last 2 roasts.  I used 15 last night on some Puerto Rican Yauco beans and at Tom's advise set the roaster at 15 and allowed it to go just into the 2nd crack.  Roast time was 19 min.  But it turned out to be a lighter roast than expected and VERY mottled in appearance.  Most of the beans were a combination light/dark in coloring - no oils to surface, though the roast smelled good (not like my 1st roast that for me was definitely under-done and still smelled fieldish).  This mornings brew had good strong flavor but very different, possibly more acidic than I'm used to?  Would this be unigue to PR beans?(I've not read of anyone on this list useing them as yet-in my 2-3 mos. of lurking) or was it the setting 15 roasting the beans faste
 r and possibly giving me a fast roast flavor more like an air roaster would?  When I read Rick's input on pulling the plug on the alp and hitting "re"start, it made me curious about how dark you usually roast, because I've normally gotten a full rolling 2nd crack at about 18 min. Does the alp actually roast at a higher temp. at the higher settings thus producing a faster roast?  They don't spell this info out in their user guide, but that would explain why even setting 8-14 all still take about the same 18-20 min for very different roasts.  Just curious.  + I was curious if anyone has any imput about the PR beans being so mottled after roast.  Thanks in advance.
Colleen from PA - roasting @55degrees (sent to the basement)
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6) From: Oaxaca Charlie
 Hi Colleen, so glad you finally got the roasts you wanted with
those special beans. Rick and Ron made more sense with their
idea that you'd over filled the alp. Your scale could indeed be
off. Does the alp compensate by raising it's temp?  Yauco
Selecto beans seem more dense than many, at least they seem to
take longer to roast. Similar to JBM in that way. Lots of smoke
is normal that far into second crack. Roasting dense beans may
require using smaller amounts if you think 23 minutes is too
long and takes something away from your cupping pleasure. Just a
little fine tuning, since you say it tastes great at 23 minutes.
Too quick a roast isn't what you want either.  Saludos
Charlie
--- fhopel2911 wrote:
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7) From: fhopel2911
Charlie, Rick and R.N.Kyle,
Thanks for the imput!  I couldn't help myself and last evening went to roast the other 1/2 of my PRYS lb. only to find that I only had 7oz, which means that my scale is a tad off and could be the reason for the poor roast the evening before.  Set the alp at 13 this time, and with 7oz it was a 23 min. roast time.  Got more smoke than I think I've ever had before, but I was determined to get a darker roast (Rick, the peepee dance:) and it went into Cool by itself about 3min into second crack.  Beautiful Roast, uniform and tastes great today!  Learned that I might want to get a better scale. . . but wondering about the 23 min roast time.  I time precisely (it's a personality thing I guess) and even my several roasts at 14 were several min. less.  I guess that's what made me wonder about the alp's temp vs. cycle #.  Since that's not the case, is it the bean? density or internal temp or my volume?  Anyway, I love doing this!  To comment on another string out there, the whole proce
 ss makes my cup even more enjoyable, and I enjoyed my coffee before.  My friends and family thought I was a coffee-holic before, but then I started started reading this list and . . . wow!
Thanks again! 
Colleen
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8) From: R.N.Kyle
Colleen wrote this: snip:
<Snip>
a personality thing I guess) and even my >several roasts at 14 were =
several min. less.  
Colleen, when you say 23 min. roast time, are you referring to total =
time including the cool down cycle? My Alp. set on 15 will roast 20:20 =
and then go into cool down, approx. 5 more min. Most of the beans I =
roast I stop the roast between 17:15 and 18 min. and it will coast =
another 45 sec. this relates to a nice city roast to a dark full city =
roast. There are machines that the heating and timing are different and =
this is totally adjustable. some will not get much into 2nd crack, and =
like mind, will go to French and beyond with no trouble.
I'm glad you got and even good tasting roast. good luck with future =
roasts.
Ron Kyle
Anderson SC
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