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help mod my huky's trier?

I've been roasting with a Huky 500. It's awesome. One of the most irritating issues, however, is the trier. If you pull it out all the way while in the middle of a roast, as I have done on a few occasions, the beans come flying through the hole.

Currently in the middle of doing a little maintenance to it: cleaning/lubing the bearings, checking for any issues, and cleaning/scrubbing the exhaust vent. Also took it apart because it is fun. While it's apart, thought it'd be a good time to try to figure this out and take pics.

Here's how it works: during the roast, you twist the trier for it to catch some beans, then pull it out part way. This is problematic because you will burn your nose on the hot huky. Then you push in and twist so the "cup" in the trier drops the beans back in. You leave the cup facing down.

See attached photos - on the external face, there is a nubby that houses the trier. The trier has a cotter pin the secures it to the nubby. From the inside, the trier just sticks into the drum.

A friend of mine suggested putting some spring mechanism on the inside. That would be awesome because it would automagically close and open... BUT, it seems complicated and I have no idea how to do that. My thought was to cut a slit of sorts into the nubby, and slide a little plate into it as I'm pulling out the trier. It requires two handed operation, skill, and timing. Discussing with a friend, he thought a weight one might work, where it'd fall on its own. Not sure that'd work.

Any better ideas?
jedovaty attached the following images:
front_without_trier_showing_nubby.jpg front_with_trier_in.jpg inside_with_trier_in.jpg

Edited by jedovaty on 03/09/2013 7:40 PM
Hey. One idea is to angle the nubby tube downwards to discourage the beans from flowing into it. That would require you to remove then re-weld it.

It seems like a spring loaded / weighted trap door will only cause problems when it gets clogged by resiny soot, or jammed by flowing beans.

My two cents. - Russ
I agree with Russ on the angling idea. I included an angle on my 1/2 lbr trier for two reasons, one to make sure the trier didn't work itself backward out of the hole and two for keeping the beans inside the roaster when pulling the trier.

Another idea is to see if you can have a thin piece of stainless tigged onto the inside of the face plate just above the opening at a downward angle but not extending deep enough to prevent the beans from dropping into the trier. The spring loaded trap door approach would probably be trouble IMO.

1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
I'm trying to understand what was recommended:
- the nubby on the front plate would be angled
- which means the trier would be inserted and removed at the same angle
- angle from out to in would be downward
- walls of the nubby will cause an incline, so beans would have to travel up

That would actually work? Hard time picturing in, the nubby would need to be pretty steep as the beans really launch out. If it does, then I'd need to find someone to weld. My brother has taken courses, but says for one reason or another he can't do stainless steel. Hrrrm.

What about my idea of a slit in the nubby, where as I pull the trier out, I slide a plate in, then slide it out when I reinsert the trier? It needs two hands.
Hey jedovaty,


Hard time picturing it, the nubby would need to be pretty steep as the beans really launch out.

I didn't realize the beans are coming out with such force. The drum vanes that push the beans towards the front face to help eject them at the end of the roast are also pushing them out the trier opening. That explains why it was built that way - with the trier being non-removable.

Your idea of cutting a slit in the nubby and using a guillotine-type closure does make sense. It could be permanently mounted in a slider configuration, or used in a free-handed manner. A wooden handle would keep it cool to the touch.

Allens thought about a deflector near the trier opening is a good one too. If it was mounted between the 3 & 6 o'clock position around the trier opening inside the front plate it could negate the bean velocity towards the opening while still allowing some beans to cascade over it into the trier for sampling.

Another idea is to lengthen the trier a little bit. Looking at your third image showing the thermoprobe lenght vs the trier, and a "googled" image of the drum, it looks like you have at least 1/2 inch more room to work with before running into the three mid-drum shaft supports. That could be all you need to help visibility of the beans in the trier and avoid "burning your nose" on the hot parts of the roaster. Which also keeps the original configuration of the non-removable trier.

Hello Jed,
I am trying to find an e-mail for Kuanho Li regarding the Huky 500.
If you could find a piece of tube that would fit outside the tube you have now and make it longer beans should stay inside till your trier can push them back in. You would also have to have a longer trier.
All you need in life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure. Mark Twain
John, I've pmed you his email.

Ringo, that's a creative solution!
This is in response to an inquiry I received regarding the Huky 500. I referred him to this forum and to the lengthy article on Home Barista.
I have jedovatys very generous information on file. I am closer to ordering my Huky. A friend and myself bought a refurbished 2# Sonofresco which works well for what it is, a very automatic machine. I cannot buy an Ambex or SF Roaster or equivalent,
thus the Huky is very attractive. The learning curve with the Huky is a "plus". The $10k commercial roaster would also have a learning process to go thru.
Again, thanks for the input,
jedovaty, I agree, having a trier you can remove from the roaster so you can sniff without putting your nose in danger is a good idea. For your machine, I'd leave the nubby alone and install a flap door on the inside with a simple hinge at the top. Gravity would close the door when you retract the trier, keeping the beans where they belong and not let any heat/smoke out, or cold air in. I don't think maintenance of this flapper would be an issue, especially since you like taking the machine apart to clean it.

Alternatively, you could add a little interior awning to the trier to keep beans in, but this wouldn't deal with the smoke issue.

hope this helps, Dan
1 pound electric sample roaster, 3 pound direct-flame roaster, both handmade; modified Mazzer Mini grinder, LaSpaziale Vivaldi II automatic espresso machine. When the electricity goes out I make vacpot coffee from beans ground on my Zassenhaus hand grinder, and heat the water with a teakettle on the gas range.
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