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1st Post/Roast, BM/HG Scared off Before City+?
So I have been wanting to get into home roasting for years and decided to try and sustain our families $36/wk coffee habit.

Since I have been using the stand mixer to make bread for the last year it was time to hack.

Standard West Bend 1.5lb bread machine and Steinel HG. No starting cap, 2 wire motor. I put the holes in the tubs for the heat gun and fan with chassis punches. The fan worked well but needs some more flow to get it all out but at least it kept it clean. I cooled the beans with a large mesh colander over a turbo metal fan aimed up, cooled them in less than 2 mins.

200g Guatemala Antigua Finca Retana (Sweet Marias)

I am afraid I hit the stall, I got well into first crack, it was pretty violent and close together so I turned down the heat a tad and let it go until I felt like the beans were getting dark enough to be city+ without hitting second crack. I was ~ 6 mins to first crack and let them go another minute before dumping. I need a better temperature setup, the turkey fryer probe is not ideal. I need some RTDs...

My background is electrical engineering with a focus on data analysis for server processors so I am eagerly awaiting an idea I have for a fluid bed roaster and tackling a lot of Arduino/TC4 things.

Great site!
zombie girl

nice of you to post, thank you.

your roasted beans look really good. how were they?

please do not be afraid to post; we have all been in the
"this is my first post" place before.

enjoy the forums and post all ou want.


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I have not tried them yet but the few sniffs I have taken they seem to smell fantastic. I think overall I just need a little better stirrer to help with the evenness...I have 5 more pounds waiting to be roasted so I can try a few different things.

Again, great site!!!!
Howdy MK,

I know for a fact that you will be able to pull off some outstanding coffee from your setup. Some of the best coffee's I've cupped have been from a similar setup from one of our members.

One thing that will help is to get a TC4 built once our TC4 build project is launched which won't be too far down the road. This will give you two things (at minimum), One is the ability to read the environment temperature and bean temperature and second is a rate of rise readout in degrees per minute which will allow you to steer the roast with precision while controlling your heat level from your heatgun. There's simply nothing else out there that can do this and once you've done a few roasts with it you will be hooked. When you've gotten better thermometry, shoot us some time/temps in 1 m increments so we can assess how you're doing. Stalling is not easy to avoid without the quick read of a thermocouple to be able to see in real time the temperature changes.

Keep us up to date on your progress.

1/2 lb and 1 lb drum, Siemens Sirocco fluidbed, presspot, chemex, cajun biggin brewer from the backwoods of Louisiana
Thanks Allen, I actually messaged Jim about the TC4 boards. I went to college with 2 guys who opened a small contract shop here in VT who do kit assembly; it may be a long shot but it is always worth a try ;)

They do everything from large runs to one offs all day long. Just a couple guys in a shop with pick and place and ovens.

I have also done board design and layout as a job so I am not scared of breadboards or soldering irons ;)

I am looking forward to trying out all the things I can do with Rasberry Pi and Arduino.
I also spent some of my career working on bare die thermal cooling interfaces for IBM (liquid, oil, helium, graphite pads etc.) so when it comes to thermal resistance, interfaces and the importance of accurate measurements I am right there with you. I have to start small since I don't have a place to scrounge parts, even though my site has millions of dollars in scrap sitting around at any given time and labs in every building stocked to the CEILING with Vidmars full of everything you could imagine from resistors to full blown test equipment.
Here is an AWFUL picture of me holding a ceramic POWER7 module that I developed tests for, since this place seems friendly enough I have no issue posting this horrendous picture...
MK, let me know if Jim responds. I had messaged him a while back hoping to connect (He lives in my town, only a couple miles away). I had hoped to get some hands on advice, but I haven't heard from him.

I love that setup and I'm excited for the TC4 project to come along.
So it appears what I thought was first crack was nowhere near where I needed to be. I roasted the second ~250g and this time really focused on trying to stop when first crack stopped, I think this was closer to full city and my thermometer read closer to 450. I really need to get some thermocouples ;)
With my heat gun on high, I have a good distinction between first and 2nd crack in my BM/HG setup. It does go fast though. I get to yellow about 4min in and 1st crack around 8min. Roast is done a couple min after that.

Neat idea with the exhaust fan. I just have a hole in the top of my lid and it's working OK, but I like it!

If there's a Harbor Freight near you, it's only about $15 with a coupon for a DMM w. a K type thermocouple. Drill a hole in a bottom corner (maybe 1cm up) of the bread pan and you're good to go.

The TC4 is a pretty easy build.

I'm thinking of doing some hardware hacking and putting together an open source all in one board since the current all in one isn't available or open sourced in order to save the $30 arduino cost. It would take nothing at all to do small runs of 100 or so.

For that matter, it wouldn't be very hard to come up with our own rev of the shield with all smd to make the build faster. It really is a low component count boad, so if you're doing it by hand it's not a huge deal. Pick and place + board panelization would be the best reason to go all SMD. Not sure there's enough interest to make it worth doing that for this. Is there a market for more than 50-100 /yr of these?

I believe the open source license allows for all of this, but I'd have to look into it before I'd commit. Don't want to step on anybodies toes. :-)

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