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BM/HG roast questions
g8rgrad2k
Hi,
I am fairly new to coffee roasting. I have a fresh roast 8, and have done some successful roasts in a pot. I recently tried the BM/HG set up and was successful the first time. My second attempt wasn't. My set up:

(no pictures yet)
West Bend BM - dough cycle has 6 minute pulse 24 minute continuous.
Wagner Heat Gun (1200 Watt) two modes 750 and 1000.
Fan to blow the chaff.
The heat gun sits about 1 inch into the BM, about 5-6 inches above the beans. The lid to the BM is open.

My first roast (Brazil Yellow Bourbon) in this set up went ok. I let the BM pulse for the 6 minutes and then turned on the HG when it started to run continuously. I had a hard time hearing FC so I just went by the look. I ended the roast at 24 minutes, right when the dough cycle stopped. The roast looked good and tasted good the next day.

My second roast (Ethiopian Yirg) didn't seem to go as well. This time I turned the HG on low for about 3.5 minutes during the pulse cycle and then turned it on high when it started to continuously turn. Still could not hear FC so I had to go by sight again. I pulled the batch at around 24 minutes (including the 3.5 minutes on low heat). The beans looked ok (Not as dark as I wanted). I cooled them off and put them in a sealed glass jar. I also roasted some Yirg in my Fresh Roast 8 to compare. Both batches looked almost identical. The next morning I opened the jar that I did in the BM/HG and noticed that it didn't have the same good smell that I am used to. It just didn't have much of a smell. I brewed it this morning (12 hours later) and it tasted ok. I will brew the Fresh Roast 8 roast later to compare. Is it common for the beans to not smell after sitting for 12 hours? Every other roast I have done has had that good fresh roasted coffee smell.

My concerns are that my HG isn't powerful enough. Or, my HG isn't close enough to the beans. It seems like the roast shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to complete (through SC). I really don't want to spend more money right now on a new HG, so I am hoping that it is my HG not being close enough to the beans. How close should it be?

Also, is it ok to turn the HG on high while the BM is pulsing?

Thanks for the help.

Tim
 
Koffee Kosmo
Hi and welcome Tim

Just so we can get an idea how much weight in green beans are you putting in your BM
The best HG for American BM roasters are
Steinel
Makita
Metabo
Bosch
Milwaukee
You need to get a heat gun that produces at least 2,000W output or you will be struggling with large green bean batch weight
That will also affect the times

KK
I home roast and I like it. Designer of the KKTO
Roaster Build information
https://homeroast...ad_id=1142

https://docs.goog...lide=id.i0
Blog - http://koffeekosm...gspot.com/

Bezzera Strega, Mazzer Robur Grinder, Pullman Tamper Convex,
(KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster.
 
g8rgrad2k
Ah, I forgot to include how much I was putting in the BM. The first batch (Brazil) I put 200g in. The second (Yirg) I increased it to 350g. I thought it would be ok to increase the size because 200g didn't even come close to covering the mixing arm.

Is it impossible to roast with a 1200W gun?

Thanks,
Tim
 
Koffee Kosmo

Quote

Is it impossible to roast with a 1200W gun?

Thanks,
Tim


Nothing is impossible but unless you have a near closed system your 1200W HG will struggle
You have to remember this roasting system although good it wastes a lot of heat so to compensate you need more horsepower

KK
I home roast and I like it. Designer of the KKTO
Roaster Build information
https://homeroast...ad_id=1142

https://docs.goog...lide=id.i0
Blog - http://koffeekosm...gspot.com/

Bezzera Strega, Mazzer Robur Grinder, Pullman Tamper Convex,
(KKTO) Turbo Oven Home Roaster.
 
seedlings
- I usually do a batch size about 500grams (~1.25 pounds).

- Just about any heatgun will work fine. If the elements glow red you should be OK.

I recommend that you consider "modifying" your breadmaker to run continuously, although this is not critical. But, it sounds like you have plenty of continuous mixing time for roasting.

I think your roast times are too long. You should be at first crack by 15 minutes, and with the small batches I'd expect to get to first crack by 8 minutes. Cracks are usually easy to hear even with the motor and heatgun on.

5" from the beans is a good distance. But, if your gun is a little weak, don't be afraid to get closer. At close range, rotate the heatgun opposite the paddle's direction. The beans will look brown before you hear first crack. Once you can hear first crack, if it comes very rapidly with many cracks simultaneously, the heat is too high. If there are a few seconds between cracks, press the heat up a little.

Welcome to the forums!
CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
David
I think your HG is fine. It's just too far away from the beans, allowing heat to escape before doing its job. Remember, HG roasting is like broiling - the heat has to go downward a ways before it starts to rise.
FWIW, I usually have the heat gun about 1-2" from the beans. The rapid agitation keeps the beans from scorching or tipping. I typically do a full pound at a time this way, with 1C usually coming at around 12-13 minutes.

Be bold, give it a try. If it is awful, blame me. :trink25: Then back off the HG an inch or so.
PS Add Wagner to the list of American heat guns. It's the same as a Milwaukee, just a different color: it's sold at Lowe's, while Milwaukee is found at Home Depot.
 
g8rgrad2k
Thanks for the reply's. I will try again this evening and lower the HG. I will most likely have to hold it because I had it as low as I could get it with my current stand (mic stand). I just don't want to waste another 350g of good greens. How much would you recommend me trying tonight?

Thx,
Tim
 
David
500g.

As you increased the weight of the charge of beans, you start to get "mass effects." In this case it means that the beans are keeping each other warm and so less heat is lost.
This is the same problem in reverse when it comes time to cool the beans, ie, they are still keeping each other warm. So the next question is what is your cooling capacity?

If you have the cooling capacity, I'd try 500g.

You are needing to discover the upper limit of your capacity.
So, skip the pulsing stage, then dump the beans in and put the heatgun on high.
Aim for 1C around 10 minutes. Watch for browning starting around 3-4 minutes. Back the HG off a couple of inches as you get into 1C so there is a longer time to 2C, maybe 4 more minutes.

BTW, do you have a way to measure bean temperature?
 
g8rgrad2k
Currently I don't have a way to measure the temp. I will purchase a thermocouple and mm as soon as possible. Until then I will just have to use sight and sound.

500g seems like a lot. I don't want to chance ruining that many beans. I already ruined 350g last night.:@ OTOH I guess that if I get the HG close enough I will get the beans hot enough.

Thanks for the help.
 
David
Sacrificing some beans is part of the cost of tuition.
The conventional wisdom is to go ahead and burn one batch deliberately to learn how the equipment works. It's a write off.

Still, it's a shame to have to burn up gourmet beans. Shock
 
bvwelch
Congrats Tim on your setup! I'm sure you'll get then hang of it soon.

There are lots of helpful folks here on this forum, so keep those questions and results coming! Soon we'll be learning from your experiences.

One tip I found really helpful was a simple 'lid', from a scrap of aluminum - could even be a cookie sheet from the thrift store-- cut a hole just large enough for your heatgun's 'snout', and make it a fairly close fit. Then you'll speed up your roast (more efficient), and also protect your gun from self-destructing by recirculating its own hot air back to its intake. Enjoy! -bill

bvwelch.com/roast/hgbread.jpg
Edited by bvwelch on 07/30/2009 7:03 PM
 
PeteH

Quote

bvwelch wrote:
One tip I found really helpful was a simple 'lid', from a scrap of aluminum - could even be a cookie sheet from the thrift store-- cut a hole just large enough for your heatgun's 'snout', and make it a fairly close fit. Then you'll speed up your roast (more efficient), and also protect your gun from self-destructing by recirculating its own hot air back to its intake. Enjoy! -bill

bvwelch.com/roast/hgbread.jpg


I took a 1" hole saw and made a hole in the left end of my BM through the outside case and through the inside wall near the bottom of the well. This lets some of the heat and most of the chaff out. This allows more air to be drawn in through the HG. The BM also does not get as hot with a "relief hole" in it. I took a pipe nipple and a couple of lock rings for conduit and made a sleeve through the case but it works without it, the chaff just blows right on out in a stream.

Also if you have a Harbor Freight HG, you can remove the screw out of the bottom of the Grey cover, remove the cover on the front and gain about 2" more that you can stick further in the roast.
Pete
 
g8rgrad2k
Well, tonight's roast went a lot better. I used 400g of Yirg and held the heat gun 1 inch above the beans. I reached FC at 10:00 and finished the roast at 13:45. I will brew some tomorrow morning and post the results.

A couple of things: I really need to find something to hold the heat gun in place so that I don't have to stand there and hold it. Also, I noticed some dark spots on some of the beans. Not really charred but just darker. Maybe I don't need to hold it that close next time. I was just excited that it didn't take 20 + minutes to roast and i didn't ruin the beans. In the near future I am going to order a HG from Harbor Freight (I think they have one for $10 that is 1500W).

Thanks for the help

Tim
 
bvwelch
Tim,

I intended to point out -- the arrangement above is hands-free. I 'stole' the idea from Stu, who described his setup here at HRO.

I've been using the cheap HG from Harbor Freight for all my roasts -- works fine. I was worried it wouldn't last so I always keep a 'spare' handy. Recently I gave away my 'spare' so I bought another one-- it is a different model but it works fine also. -bill
 
David

Quote

g8rgrad2k wrote:Well, tonight's roast went a lot better. I used 400g of Yirg and held the heat gun 1 inch above the beans. I reached FC at 10:00 and finished the roast at 13:45. I will brew some tomorrow morning and post the results.


Attaboy!!:Clap:

If you can stand the wait, you might divide the finished roast up into several small jars and sample one each day. You can find out for yourself whether it is true that the flavor gets better with rest and at what point it is a good as it is going to get.

Ditto to what bvwelch and hworx said about the lid and the exit hole.
I didn't think to mention that because I always strip the outer shell off my machine and rewire the motor with a simple on/off switch to get rid of the durn pulsing and waiting time. I also modify or replace the container to fix the airflow issue. When you get the urge to modify, homeroasters.org is THE place to come for info.

Here is a solution from a couple of years ago:
David attached the following image:
redkettle.jpg

Edited by David on 07/30/2009 9:01 PM
 
seedlings
Give the yirg 3 or 4 days rest, and you'll be in paradise!

Nice job!
CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
g8rgrad2k
Couldn't wait 3 or 4 days...Brewed it this morning and it tasted great. I just can't seem to wait that long before trying it. I will let it sit for a couple of days before I try it again (If i don't get the urge...hard to resist).

Also, is it bad to open the jar to *sniff* the fumes? Will I lose flavor if I do that? I have a bad habit of periodically sniffing my beans Grin. Am I alone in this?

Tim
Edited by g8rgrad2k on 07/31/2009 9:15 AM
 
David

Quote

g8rgrad2k wrote:Also, is it bad to open the jar to *sniff* the fumes? Will I lose flavor if I do that? I have a bad habit of periodically sniffing my beans Grin. Am I alone in this?


You are not alone. Bean sniffing is a common vice amongst coffee roasters. The rich fantasies that accompany it make it very addicting.

Roflmao


I guess a straight answer to your other question is:

Oxygen in - problem
Aroma out - no problem

Since the beans are out-gassing for a few days, it's actually harder for the O2 to get into the beans, so a quick sniff of the escaping aroma will cause no harm. Having a few valved ziplock bags helps a lot. [If you want some, just send me a PM. I have hundreds of them.]
 
g8rgrad2k
I have another question. My BM has a non-stick coating. Is that ok? I have read where teflon can be bad at certain temps.
 
seedlings

Quote

g8rgrad2k wrote:
I have another question. My BM has a non-stick coating. Is that ok? I have read where teflon can be bad at certain temps.


I haven't had any trouble with it. It's on frying pans too. Be more concerned if you have a plastic stirring paddle. Those melt.

Alternately, you can sand the coating off if you'd prefer.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
g8rgrad2k
I think I have it down now. The only problem I am having is with my heat gun. I am using a Wagner heat gun and I am on my third one. The first lasted about 1 month, the second 1 week, the third 1 roast. I am not sure what is wrong with these heat guns. They just would stop turning on. So, I ordered one from Harbor Freights. Hopefully this one will last longer.

Are you supposed to do anything special with the heat gun? I just use it to roast, turn it off, roast again on another day.
 
seedlings
I noticed that if you hold the heatgun verticle, so the heated air goes back up into the intake, it shortens the life of the heatgun.

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
David
Yeah, what CHAD said. I use Wagner 775s and I burnt up a few before I realized that the hot blowback was going into the air inlet and taking out the fan. The Harbor Freight guns are easier on the budget and have an inlet that is farther away, but can burn up the same way -- unless the nose piece melts out first. :trink25:
 
bvwelch

Quote

g8rgrad2k wrote:
The only problem I am having is with my heat gun.
Are you supposed to do anything special with the heat gun? I just use it to roast, turn it off, roast again on another day.


I've had really good luck with the $10 Harbor Freight heat-gun. I've used one for over a year now.

But I always use a flat sheet of aluminum as a 'lid' for my bread machine (see photo above). I have a hole in the lid just large enough for the heat gun's 'snout' to stick thru.

I think this method (borrowed from Stu), is protecting my heat gun from overheating. Give it a try. -bill
Edited by bvwelch on 08/26/2009 12:04 AM
 
MarkBart
In my Restrictor Plate Roaster I use a piece of plywood with a couple of holes cut out for the heat gun and it seems to block most of the blow back, but i found that the part that melts the fastest is the trigger switch. So make sure you turn the HG so the switch is protected. I regularly roast 2 pound batches with my Welbuilt (Northern Tool) 1500W HG and have gone as large as a 1 Kilo batch.

MarkBart
I'm so Bad, I'm Good! www.homeroasters.org/php/images/smiley/cool.gif
I'm putting the small back into Small Business!
 
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