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What to buy as a first roaster?
Davidsidcus
Hello All,

It looks like I found the right place to get some help. I apologize if this question is in the wrong area; the thread I found on this topic looked inactive.

So, you guessed it. I love coffee and want to take the plunge into roasting. I have read up on some machines, I think my problem is that I expect a single roaster to meet all of my requiremnts. Any ideas what I should look at considering the following?
- Not concerned too much about price. Would spend up to $1,500 for the perfect machine, but would prefer to stay at $750 or lower.
- I prefer body to brightness( insert joke here)
- I live in an apartment; smoke is a big deal! I do have a decent stove top vent
- I don't need to roast more than 8oz at a clip
- I am freaked about coasting! I would prefer a separate cooling area as part of the machine
Any suggestions?
My Best,
David
 
turtle

Quote

Davidsidcus wrote:

Hello All,

It looks like I found the right place to get some help. I apologize if this question is in the wrong area; the thread I found on this topic looked inactive.

So, you guessed it. I love coffee and want to take the plunge into roasting. I have read up on some machines, I think my problem is that I expect a single roaster to meet all of my requiremnts.


First off welcome to HRO

It is the person operating the machine that makes the roast a good or bad roast.

Once you understand your machine you "should" be able to get a good roast out of most home coffee roasting machines.

Quote

Any ideas what I should look at considering the following?
- Not concerned too much about price. Would spend up to $1,500 for the perfect machine, but would prefer to stay at $750 or lower.


Good that you have an open mind when starting out rather than a fixed budget you MUST stay within

Quote

- I prefer body to brightness( insert joke here)


Here again it is you that creates the roast, the machine is only your tool

Quote

- I live in an apartment; smoke is a big deal! I do have a decent stove top vent


Roasting coffee creates smoke and odors. Your machine will also have an order once it is well used. Unless you store your machine outside of your apartment all of your guests will comment "ewww...what is that smell".

Quote

- I don't need to roast more than 8oz at a clip


Most home machines do best @ 1/2 lb batch so you are on track here

Quote

- I am freaked about coasting! I would prefer a separate cooling area as part of the machine
Any suggestions?
My Best,
David


Cooling the beans as fast as possible after the roast finishes is a MUST.

Little point in creating the perfect roast only to watch it continue cooking into something else.

You are going to get a number of suggestions so I'll be the first to suggest a Hottop model B.

It is a good starter machine and one that will take some years for you to grow out of.

On the plus side, there are a number of modifications that can be done to it to extend the life (i.e. keep you from growing out of it).

To mitigate the odor I have placed my roaster on a cart and wheel it outside to roast. The bringing it back inside odor I have not gotten around but I store my machine in my walk out basement (makes it easy to wheel it in and out for use)

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/Hottop/cartCellHolder1_zpsfbbc142a.jpg
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
Davidsidcus
Thank you Turtle,

This was the one I really wanted, but unfortunately I do not have the option to roast outdoors, and the videos I found for that machine all showed significant amounts of smoke. Is there a similar machine( with the cooling system) that offers a catalytic converter for smoke reduction? Or at least an exhaust pipe like the Gene Cafe where I can attach a dryer vent? Like I said, I may be asking for too much in a single machine
 
Davidsidcus
Also, not super hung up on complex profiles, but suspect I will want all kinds of control after 8 months or so
My Best,
David
Technivorm Moccamaster
KitchenAid pro series burr grinder
Roaster?
 
ciel-007
If you have enough space to position the roaster under your kitchen exhaust hood, then the Hottop should work fine indoors.

The following links might offer working venting ideas for you:

Range Hood Chimney Venting:
http://homeroaste...post_48444

Outside Venting:
http://homeroaste...post_39735

Ciel
Ciel... seeking Heaven in my cup with ................................................................................................................. EXPOBAR Brewtus II - MAZZER Mini E - MAHLK?NIG Vario - GeneCafe - RAF-1 Extreme (Modified B-2 HOTTOP) - BellaTaiwan XJ-101
 
snwcmpr
There are many different roasters out there to choose from.
Drum and fluidbed.
Electric and gas heat.
Manual and automatic controls.
(Probably more than I can think of right now)
And then the capacity limits.

Members here will have a lot of different experiences.

A lot of members here love the HotTop. I did not, I could not get a great cup of coffee from it. And I was not willing to modify it.
If you search the forum here, you will find that some members modify the HT to meet their needs and others love it just the way it is.

Personally I think there is no way you are going to know what roaster works for you from hearing about it, I think you are going to have to roast.

I would suggest you start with a popcorn popper. Modify it as you are willing to put the effort into it. There is plenty of instructions here about how to do that. You may find that you really love the coffee from the popper, my wife's niece does. That's all she uses.

Me???? I was lucky, I got the best roaster in the world from another member that built it by hand. I cannot compare that. (Thanks Allen)
Mine is a Manual, Gas, Fluidbed, 1 lb capacity. I am responsible for the quality and my wife has to suffer when I blow it. (Well I just give it away to an unsuspecting friend)

That's my two cents worth,
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".
 
Davidsidcus
Thank you all for the good advice!
My Best,
David
Technivorm Moccamaster
KitchenAid pro series burr grinder
Roaster?
 
ginny
David:

Gotta jump in and say that I roast with a HOT TOP in my kitchen, I roasted with a Gene Cafe in my kitchen...

I have had 4 Hot Tops and roasted with each in MY KITCHEN. That kitchen has changed 4 times from my ranch in Oregon to my home in San Luis Obispo, CA to my condo in Scottsdale, AZ and finally to my home on the high desert of AZ...

you DO NOT NEED A SUPER HUGE, MEGA vent system for a HOT TOP inside. Period. Or any roaster inside.

I must say as a long timer here I know that Ken does not like HT's and will go out of his way to bash them, Period. I have actually asked him not to do that here...

You will learn to roast in your own way regardless of what anyone says. I have used Hot Tops and jumped to the Gene Cafe which did not work for me though its a great roaster.

That said David I would get a Hot Top since if you do not like it, which is doubtful, you can sell for just about what you pay and get another roaster.

ginny


roar
Edited by ginny on 02/01/2015 4:14 PM
 
woodchuck
Hi David, I purchased a HotTop this summer and I just finished my 148th roast on it. Yes I do roast alot and maybe the HotTop is already a little small for me but it a great roaster to learn on and can produce a fine cup of coffee with good quality beans.

Cheers

Ian
Roasters: TJ-067, Hottop with TC4C and RAF Mods
Espresso: LaSpaziale VII/Macap M4 Grinder
Pour over: Bonmac Pro Cone
Press: Bodum
 
ciel-007

Quote

ginny wrote:

... Gotta jump in and say that I roast with a HOT TOP in my kitchen...



Ginny, thanks for jumping in.

You are quite possibly the most experienced Hottop user on this great site, and I always enjoy hearing about the roasting wisdom you've acquired while using it. Reading your posts was instrumental in my acquiring a Hottop.

Ciel
Ciel... seeking Heaven in my cup with ................................................................................................................. EXPOBAR Brewtus II - MAZZER Mini E - MAHLK?NIG Vario - GeneCafe - RAF-1 Extreme (Modified B-2 HOTTOP) - BellaTaiwan XJ-101
 
snwcmpr
Ginny, I am deeply offended. I do not recall you ever asking me to "Not do it again". Are we censoring opinions here?
I did not go out of my way to bash the HT. I had the HT for almost 2 years as my sole roaster. I tried everything, and asked for help. I did everything that was suggested, short of modifying it. I personally did not like the coffee I roasted with it. That's all. I didn't say it's a bad roaster.

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".
 
ginny
Ken:

why be offended we did have this conversation. I have asked most members to not bash other roasters they do not own. sure give your opinion. no Ken I am not the post police but we do have some unwritten rules like any other forum.

"Are we censoring opinions here?"

no I am not Ken.


ginny
 
lyle
My experience is similar to others: a kitchen vent/hood is sufficient to control smoke while roasting indoors. The roasting aroma will linger in the house for at least 24 hours, but that's a bonus as far as I'm concerned.

Also, the roaster is stored in a kitchen cabinet and does not seem to cause any strong odors of its own. When I open the cabinet door, I smell the green beans also stored there, not the roaster.

I have a Quest M3, not the same as a HotTop, but my batch size is in the same ballpark.
 
JackH
I would read up on the HotTop and Quest and see what others think. Look through the posts here and decide. Both are excellent roasters. I think the Quest is a bit prettier.
---Jack

KKTO Roaster.
 
ginny
Like Lyle I have the Hot Top and the Quest 3 and use both in my kitchen.

If I can remember I will zip downstairs and shot a photo of the vent over my gas range.

Since I love air my windows are usually open some so the smell of the roasted beans stays for perhaps from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the time of year but again like Lyle I love the smell of roasted coffee around the house.

Both my Hot Top and Quest 3 are stored in the kitchen with no ill effects.

ginny


roar
 
turtle

Quote

ginny wrote:

Both my Hot Top and Quest 3 are stored in the kitchen with no ill effects.

ginny



You must not have burned yours like I have burned mine in he past. Mine stinks up the entire basement. Not a bad smell but obviously a coffee roaster smell

I like my espresso roasted to where the oils ooze......

i1066.photobucket.com/albums/u414/turtle-web/food/coffee/beans/light_dark_blend_11-20-2013_zps8f30d78b.jpg
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
HoldTheOnions
Impressive, you are now qualified to roast for starbucks. Grin
 
turtle

Quote

HoldTheOnions wrote:

Impressive, you are now qualified to roast for starbucks. Grin


haven't had a batch catch on fire yet but I am still working on it. THEN I'll be ready for them.....
Mick - "Drinking in life one cup at a time"
"I'd rather be roasting coffee"

Roaster 1: San Franciscan SF-1
Roaster 2: Hottop B-2K+
Roaster 3: 2 kilo Chinese drum
Grinders: Mazzer Major - Forte BG (x3)
Pour over: Hario - Bee House - Chemex - Kalita - Bodum
Drip: Bunn CWTF15-1 & CW15-TC (commercials)
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Vacuum: Cona - Bodum
Press: Frieling - Bodum Colombia
 
ciel-007

Quote

Davidsidcus wrote:

... unfortunately I do not have the option to roast outdoors...
Is there a...machine...that offers a catalytic converter for smoke reduction?


Like it or not, roasting coffee produces smoke. The larger the amount of greens being roasted, the greater the amount of smoke produced.

The Behmor 1600 Plus, which can roast up to 500 grams of greens, claims to filter out much of the smoke produced during roasting. If any HRO members use this model, perhaps they might tell us how well the Behmor smoke suppression sytem works.

However, if you are willing to roast small quantities of beans, and to roast greens more often, then there are several virtually "smokeless" models available. Examples of these include the IMEX CR-100, the I-Coffee S-100CR, the Nesco CB-1010PRP ... ...

Ciel
Ciel... seeking Heaven in my cup with ................................................................................................................. EXPOBAR Brewtus II - MAZZER Mini E - MAHLK?NIG Vario - GeneCafe - RAF-1 Extreme (Modified B-2 HOTTOP) - BellaTaiwan XJ-101
 
MichaelRpdx

Quote

ginny wrote:
I must say as a long timer here I know that Ken does not like HT's ...
Ken's dislike and a bit of good timing allowed me to get a HT at a great price. Ginny, could you attract a few more users like him that want to sell their HTs? It would be a great public service. ThumbsUp
Portland, Oregon roasting with Popper to start; Behmor 2007 - 2013; Hottop 2014 - now,
What to do with TC4 parts now that I have Hottop 2k+ ??
 
ciel-007

Quote

MichaelRpdx wrote:

... Ken's dislike and a bit of good timing allowed me to get a HT at a great price. Ginny, could you attract a few more users like him that want to sell their HTs? It would be a great public service...


Michael, I agree with you homeroasters.org/php/images/smiley/grin.gif

Since Hottops are reliable workhorses, considerable savings may be enjoyed by looking for a used roaster rather than a brand new one. Given that used Hottops are few and far between, one must patiently await for an offering.

If one is impatient, and wishes to shorten waiting times, it is always possible to look beyond the walls of HRO. A few minutes ago I took a quick peek at both eBay and Craigslist. I see there are two used Hottops for sale on eBay as I post these words.

Ciel
Ciel... seeking Heaven in my cup with ................................................................................................................. EXPOBAR Brewtus II - MAZZER Mini E - MAHLK?NIG Vario - GeneCafe - RAF-1 Extreme (Modified B-2 HOTTOP) - BellaTaiwan XJ-101
 
ginny
Members here can look any place for a used roaster...

we do have members that sell their roasters here, but there are always roasters on eBay and Craigslist.

ginny
 
snwcmpr
This is what I said.

Quote

A lot of members here love the HotTop. I did not, I could not get a great cup of coffee from it. And I was not willing to modify it.

I have to clarify the words that have been used with my name attached.
I never said I disliked the HT. I never bashed it. If you read what I wrote, I said I did not love it as others here.
I said I could not get it to work for me.
That is a completely different thing. Please refrain from this Ken Bashing.

I have tried, in my limited way, to contribute back for all that has been given to me. I am grateful for what I have learned here, and I roast quite well with what I have. There are many ways to roast a great cup of joe, the HT is only one way. Thank God we aren't all the same.

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".
 
ginny
Ken:

I do not believe that the Hot Top is the only roaster, period.

There are many choices for people to use to roast a lot of beans or simply 3 or 4 ounces. The Hot Top has been modified by many members here and hence has developed a lot of noise and conversation. So have many, many other roasters.

Clearly there are zealots for almost anything roasters are not exempt.

Free speech lives here at HRO and you have a right to your opinion.


ginny...

Clearly if someone asks me if they should get a Hot Top over a Gene Cafe I will tell them to get a Hot Top simply because I believe that there is more control over your roast with the Hot Top. Many would say the same about the Gene Cafe. What it all boils down to is PERSONAL CHOICE.



greenman
 
MichaelRpdx

Quote


I have to clarify the words that have been used with my name attached.
I never said I disliked the HT. I never bashed it. If you read what I wrote, I said I did not love it as others here.
I said I could not get it to work for me.
That is correct. Pardon me for believing you did not like a roaster that did not fit your needs/way of roasting.
Portland, Oregon roasting with Popper to start; Behmor 2007 - 2013; Hottop 2014 - now,
What to do with TC4 parts now that I have Hottop 2k+ ??
 
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