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smoke issues
ML
best post

Hi All,
I live in a teeny tiny studio apartment in NYC. There is one window at one end of my apartment (my desk, chest of drawers and bed are here) and a small stand-up kitchenette at the other end of the apartment.
I have a half-size refrigerator and a small gas 4-burner stove. This is where I will roast, if indeed I can roast. I roast presently with a FreshRoast SR500. I get consistently good results.
There is virtually NO VENTILATION in my apartment. I live alone so coffee roasting smells are no issue. But SMOKE is an issue!! I have neighbors.

I have been warned me that a Gene Cafe needs plenty of ventilation and that I would have smoke issues.
Also, the footprint of the GC would probably cover the entire stove top.
As long as I reside in this apartment will air popping be my only choice?
Can the Behmor fit the bill?
Any suggestions?
If air popping is my fate I can live with that.
Edited by ginny on 01/21/2013 6:19 AM
ginny
Hi Mark:

good questions.I think you can fix the smoke issue with a vacuum vent
out the window or exhaust fan pointed that way.

I am sure there are lot's of folks here like issues.

I use my Hot Top and Quest 3 on top of my stove, using the hood exhaust fan and it works really well.

let's wait and hear what others my say.

-g

cross fingers
ML
Hey Ginny:
Thank You so much for your prompt reply, it's much appreciated!

the window is at the other end of the apartment from the kitchenette -there is no venting possible out the window -there is no fan that can blow smoke anywhere but around and around-there is no hood fan over the stove-I will not purchase a HotTop or a Quest (though I would love to own a Quest) because I don't want to spend that much $, even if I had that much $ Shock)

My life and studio apartment can handle smoke. I don't really care about smoke. When I cook a steak there is a lot of smoke because I heat up my cast iron skillet until it is red hot.

It's just that I don't want so much smoke that it comes out from under the door of my apartment -----
My clothes won't smell from smoke though I think they sometimes smell of wet dog (after a rain).
ginny
OK, I was not suggesting you buy a new bigger machine only that mine can be going and all smoke goes up and out, well most, the fan...

you have no window in say a bath that will open? you window in the living/kitchen area does not open?

a very small 4x4 inch exhaust fan will suck the smoke out that window without your having to set up any big elaborate fans...

-g
jkoll42
Like G said, is there any window that opens? Exhaust vent fan in the bathroom?

If not then stick with small batch sizes like you are doing now.

You could also take a page from the stoner manual and build a scrubber to cut down on the smoke. Never had to use one so I'm not sure how much reduction it would give you. https://www.icmag...p?p=509470
-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
snwcmpr
I roast in my shop/shed. It is enclosed because I don't have windows that open and the door open would let critters in, they would like the warmth.
It is 12 x 16 and an angled roof height of 17 in the center and 10 on the sides. Not very big, like your apartment.
After I roast I turn on a HEPA filter fan and it clears the smoke, well what little my HotTop produces. If I do several roasts it is very noticeable.
I think that may work for you. I see them in thrift shops all the time.

Ken in NC
--------------
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."

As Abraham Lincoln said "Do not trust everything you read on the internet".
ML
THANK YOU ONE AND ALL - Your replies are a real help and the suggested solutions are much appreciated - it's a kindness and thoughtfulness that one doesn't come across often.

I feel funny to admit this but there is no window solution. It would take an elaborate description to explain why but suffice it to say that there is no window solution.

An HEPA fan is a GREAT idea but unfortunately costs more than the roaster Shock)

small batch sizes is the best solution

I would like to see for myself a GeneCafe or a Behmor in action, then I would not be making decisions in a vacuum.
Anyone live in NYC?

The Behmor, though not my first or second choice, has a small footprint, is quiet, has a smoke suppression unit and is dedicated to light roasts (where I roast almost all the time). The videos I have seen seem smokeless.
But then again the GC doesn't seem to produce that much smoke for the lighter roasts. The advice I was given about smoke issues and the real need for ventilation with the GC were suggested by a veteran roaster with a high degree of experience.

How do you purchase something you have never seen?
Air popping with my FreshRoast SR 500 produces good results. Why all this hand ringing --- I have a roaster
Bob Yellin and Jim Schulman - The Coffee Cuppers - both roast with elaborate air poppers
I'm in good company
If I were at all handy I would build me a PID'd P1 but alas I'm a store bought out of the box kind of guy
troposcuba
to give you an idea of how much smoke we are talking... I roast in my living room during winter. I run a dryer duct off the chaff collector chimney of the GC out the dog door. I get almost no smoke that way, but last night the dog just had to go in and out several times during the time I was roasting. In her exhuberance to get through the door with the hot exhaust thing impeding her progress, she managed to tip it so the open end that was outside was perfectly face down on the cement. I, of course, did not realize this, and soon noticed a small amount of smoke that was sort of creeping out around the duct inside the house. before I knew it, the smoke detectors were screaming, the dogs were panicked, the wife was yelling at me to turn them off, and my Yemen roast was about to reach the critical end of roast. Needless to say, I told the wife how to disable the detectors and comfort the dogs and tended to my coffee. In the end, the dogs lived, the wife got over it, the house didn't burn down and the coffee turned out great. The thing is, unless you are roasting deep into 2C there is not a lot of visible smoke, but even when I roast in my garage, I am surprised by how much builds up.

I know you said you disabled the smoke detectors, but even roasting just past 1C there is enough smoke to cause a problem. If you were venting all of it into the apartment, I fear the headlines might be something about "man found dead in apartment while roasting coffee".
Sean
ML
that's a really funny story but the way you wrote it had me in stitches
well I guess even a Behmor is not a viable option, either
I'm disappointed but I tried
ginny
Mark
does this apartment have a basement or laundry room?

make use of it...

roar
snwcmpr
ML, you said the HEPA costs more than the roaster, I suggest you look at thrift shops.The ones I frequent, I see them all the time. 5-10 dollar range.
Ken
--------------
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."

As Abraham Lincoln said "Do not trust everything you read on the internet".
ML
1000 thanks Ken - I'm on it
living in NYC I don't own a car and thrift shops in Manhattan are rare
Good Lord Ken but I am a party pooper
Ginny-- I walk my clothes a block and a half to a laundry and the basement is locked to all but the super who lives elsewhere
You have wracked your brains for me, Ginny you're simply the best
I'm OK with the FreshRoast and I'm thinking if I don't do multiple roasts but only one per day or even every other day; never use more than 1/2 lb-don't try and fool the machine and roast lightly the Behmor will work. I will stay within the program parameters. The smoke from the roast will not be much of a bother and will not disturb my neighbors. I'm sure the roast will taste good and it will be interesting to compare the roast of a Behmor to a FreshRoast.
It's just controlling the roasting variables is what drew me to this forum in the first place but it seems that I will roast with roasters that give me the least control
But I must say my beans are terribly delicious with that air popper
ginny
your fresh roast is a great machine, you would like the Behmor and frankly
the level of smoke is not bad at all.

I have used virtually all except the BBQ roaster in my homes and never really had an issue.

go for it.

you can also sit on your front porch or steps or even the side walk with a nice long electrical cord and roast away...

take pictures please.

ginny

rockon
allenb
A relatively inexpensive but very effective means of reducing the smoke/smoke odors from a roaster doing small batches is the use of activated carbon as a filter media. Buying off the shelf activated carbon filters gets expensive but you can buy the carbon media in granular form and load your own into window screen lined cardboard trays in a 12" x 12" x 2" size.

http://www.amazon...sbs_misc_1

Stack 4 of them horizontally, one on top the other in a sheet metal or cardboard box. Leave a 4" space between the bottom filter and the bottom of the box, attach an inexpensive 100 cfm blower to the side of the bottom to draw air from the top of the box down through the media and out (into the room). Attach a 3 or 4" dia flexible corrugated aluminum tube capable of reaching above the Freshroast and attach the other end to a hole in the top of the box. You might have to make a makeshift funnel to grab enough of the Freshroast's exhaust.

Run the fan during the roast and leave it run for another 1/2 hour or so to remove any odors that escaped the filter.

This will be ugly but what the heck, use it and hide it afterwards. The carbon media should be stirred a bit if down the road it looses effectiveness. With the small batches you're doing I would expect it to go a long time.


Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
ML
Holy Moly Allen, I want to hang with you brother!!
I'm gonna take my bicycle and my red nosed pit and make a beeline for paradise which is wherever you live (CO)
snwcmpr
Allen, on the filter media topic, would this work?
http://www.amazon...PDKIKX0DER
I have saved this in my cart for a while, now it's out of stock, but ....

Ken in NC
--------------
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."

As Abraham Lincoln said "Do not trust everything you read on the internet".
ML
JohnnyD -where are you? get in here!
allenb

Quote

snwcmpr wrote:

Allen, on the filter media topic, would this work?
http://www.amazon...PDKIKX0DER
I have saved this in my cart for a while, now it's out of stock, but ....

Ken in NC


Hey Ken,

No, the link is showing a graphite gasket, not activated charcoal.

Allen
1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
snwcmpr
I knew they were graphite, do you mean graphite won't work as a filter or that they are different than activated charcoal.
Sorry if I seem ignorant ... I am.

Ken
--------------
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."

As Abraham Lincoln said "Do not trust everything you read on the internet".
Barrie

Quote

ML wrote:

1000 thanks Ken - I'm on it
living in NYC I don't own a car and thrift shops in Manhattan are rare
Good Lord Ken but I am a party pooper
Ginny-- I walk my clothes a block and a half to a laundry and the basement is locked to all but the super who lives elsewhere
You have wracked your brains for me, Ginny you're simply the best
I'm OK with the FreshRoast and I'm thinking if I don't do multiple roasts but only one per day or even every other day; never use more than 1/2 lb-don't try and fool the machine and roast lightly the Behmor will work. I will stay within the program parameters. The smoke from the roast will not be much of a bother and will not disturb my neighbors. I'm sure the roast will taste good and it will be interesting to compare the roast of a Behmor to a FreshRoast.
It's just controlling the roasting variables is what drew me to this forum in the first place but it seems that I will roast with roasters that give me the least control
But I must say my beans are terribly delicious with that air popper


Mark, the smoke and associated aroma are surely a product of the roasting process regardless of the machine used. Because the GC and the Fresh Roast share the same coincidental mode of dispersing them, I suspect they would both give off about the same amount of smoke for the same beans taken to the same stage? Those are the only roasters I have used and that seems about right. Admittedly, it is all over more quickly with the FR.
Barrie (San Diego, CA)
"So much to learn, so little time."
Hottop 2K+., Artisan, Jura Capresso ENA 3 (i.e. espresso).
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