HomeRoast Digest

Topic: need Help with Caffe Rosto (18 msgs / 521 lines)
1) From: Jim Kidd
Hi all,
I'm new to the list, and have been roasting for about a year and a 
half.  I had a HearthWare Gourmet which I loved.  It made wonderful 
coffee, but, sadly, died just after all the HW Gourmets were gone from 
everywhere.  The replacement is a Caffe Rosto and I am having problems 
with it which I'm hoping somebody will help me with.  At first, it had 
no problems cooking the beans to charcoal, but as time goes on, it has 
problems getting past a light roast.  Some of this may have to do with 
the necessity to roast outside (wife's orders) - last night's roast was 
in 10 degree howling wind, and the early charcoal roasts were done in 
the summer.  But I use it in a box outside.  The HW Gourmet was ok to 
below zero howling winds, same plug, same box (I live near Boston - last 
January was truly frigid).  And I was having problems in late summer 
before it got cold.  Do you think the area where it recirculates hot air 
below the chaff collector could be clogged?  How could I clean it if 
that's the case?  Any other possibilities?
I was going to tough it out till the I-Roast was available, but after 
reading Tom's posting decided I would give up lurking and ask for help.  
February is too long to wait.
Just to chime in on a lot of recent how do you...  I drink cappucinos, 2 
parts milk, 1 part espresso, with sugar, made with a Gaggia Syncrony (at 
least when it's working - when it's not I use a small press).  I roast 
mostly Yemen coffees, sometimes 50-50 with a Java, just to the beginning 
of second crack.  Loved the ISH, but am saving all but the first batch 
till I get the roaster thing figured out (No, you can't have it).
Jim Kidd

2) From: rnkyle
welcome to the list. anyone that roasts in sub zero temps.with howling
winds, gets my vote for homeroaster of the year.

3) From: Ed Needham
Wife should have to drink Folgers until she changes her ways and allows you
to roast inside when the weather is bad.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!
homeroaster ... d.o.t ... com

4) From: miKe mcKoffee
Questions: do you clean out the secondary chaff collector after every batch?
(fixed screen below removable chaff collector) I suppose it's possible the
insides are getting a thick build, internal inside not roast chamber. I've
never had it happen to that extent but again suppose it's possible. How to
get inside can be found via my Rosto how to links @ sig.
Does your box method block the hot exhaust back towards the Rosto? What is
the ambient temperature inside the partially enclosed box/Rosto? I've only
Rosto roasted using the box method in the teens with no wind (in uninsulated
garage), but no problem without a top to the box. Three sides plus fourth
side as a *draw bridge* which the Rosto exhaust blew towards to regulate the
amount kept inside. You may need to use a sliding top partially closing off
to get ambient inside the box up some.
What is your bean movement like beginning and towards end of roast? Rapid
racing beans or ? You'll get better heating with very minimal bean movement
green so it won't be too fast later. Best is split wired so you (I) can
control the fan speed any point of roast. Faster bean movement equals lower
heat. I keep a slow *ocean wave* like bean movement entire roast, never fast
Have you checked for voltage change? Maybe winter brings higher demand
lowering available at your outlets. (variable transformer / variac takes
care of that plus other benefits)
Good luck!
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
MCSE (Maniacal Coffee Systems Engineer/Enthusiast;-)
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer etc.http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm

5) From: Bill Clark
I can address the screen at least,,,
I just use canned air (4-6$ us) and as soon as I dump the beans into my
colander, I spray some canned air onto the screen, and into the roasting
chamber to remove all chaff. after a few trys you will develop a light touch
as the canned air is darned expensive! but it works wonderfully.
I am sure that others can answer more completely about the box, but yes, it
does deflect some of the heated air back around into the intake for
Bill C
Happy Rosto Roaster

6) From: Michael Walls
If it roast fine indoors it is probably not the
thermostat.  I make a few mechanical changes to mine
instead of a Variac.  If it is roasting too fast I
will place some change (quarters, nickels, dimes)over
the bottom second screen under the chaff collector.
This will keep the hot air from reciculating and
extend roast times.  If it is cold out side I add
something to block one or two of the exit vents. I cut
a thin stip the lenth of the roasto vents from a soda
can. I could then bend it in to a U shape and cover a
few vents alowing more hot air to circulate. This can
cause a backpreasure problem it the chaff collector
gets too filled and lift off the lid.  If the
thermostate is working properly it shut open and shut
off the heat before the thermofuse blows.  But on my
unit the thermostate had a higher temp rating than my
thermofuse and the thermofuse would open up.  I now
have my thermostate and thermofuse by passed. (Big
fire hazard, but I roast outside on a concrete patio).
Hope it helps,
Mike Walls
Do you Yahoo!?
Free Pop-Up Blocker - Get it nowhttp://companion.yahoo.com/

7) From: alfred
Is the Café Rosto a good choice for a Newbie? I ordered one and it is
described as the new and improved model. Reading your posts on ventilation,
I plan to roast outside in the breezeway. Here in southern Oregon a cold day
there would be in the mid forties.
I am a retired engineer and love to tinker but this model sounds like a good

8) From: Rick Farris
I think it is a pretty good choice for a new user.  It doesn't have any
brains to worry about scrambling, so it's easy to hook up a variac and
do some profiling.  If you want to go further you only need to check out
Mike McKona's website for instructions on how to modify it all the way
up to 10oz roasts.
The thing has the best industrial "feel" to it of any home-sized
roaster, including the Hottop.  It's built like something made to run
everyday for 20 years.
You've done well, Alfred.
-- Rick

9) From: alfred
Thanks Rick: Do you happen to know McKona's URL?

10) From: Rick Farris
He'll be along with it in a minute, as well as his comments, but for
now, here it is:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm-- Rick

11) From: dewardh
I've got two "old" ones, one "stock" (more or less), the other modded to the
max.  No experience with the "new, improved" model.  Like everything that's
available these days the Rosto has its strengths, and its weaknesses, but for
someone willing to "tinker" a bit there is nothing better to be had (short of
the rk bbq route, and there might be some argument even there  . . .).

12) From: Ed Needham
Wait a day or so until McGinnis gets rested from his marathon Christmas
decorating extravaganza and he'll tell you anything you want to know about
the Rosto.
Ed Needham
To Absurdity and Beyond!
homeroaster ... d.o.t ... com

13) From: miKe mcKoffee
I'm another satisfied Rosto roaster going on three years. It was my first
roaster. And my second and third. (Have three of them. Two need fan motors,
coming next week.) Works pretty good stock with technique tweaking. Hack it
and you'll have total control with batch size flexible from 3oz to 10oz,
roast times from 5min to 20min or more if you want. You might find some of
the Rosto stuff I've posted interesting. See the link @ my sig.
Feel free to ask any specific questions if/when they come up. Enjoy the
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
MCSE (Maniacal Coffee Systems Engineer/Enthusiast;-)
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer etc.http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm

14) From: AlChemist John
MM, where are you getting the motors?  From the main company?  I don't 
recall, why do they need new motors, what happened?
Sometime around 20:45 12/4/2003, miKe mcKoffee typed:
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Zen Roasting and Blending by Gestalthttp://www.dreamsandbones.net/blog/

15) From: miKe mcKoffee

16) From: alfred
Having just ordered a Caffe Rosto, advertised as the latest improved model..
Have they fixed the problems yet ?
It hasn't arrived yet but should have it in about a week.

17) From: miKe mcKoffee

18) From: Steven Van Dyke
I got one of the 'new build' ones back in June and it's still going strong!
In fact, the more powerful fan in this build series lets me get *really*
close to a full cup of greens in a batch.  If I start it up and they're not
moving I just do a little of Mike's rocking to get them roasting. 
Steve :->
http://www.svandyke.com<- my simple home page
http://www.cafeshops.com/stevespics<- my little store of Impressionist &
Special Events Photography stuff)

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