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Now Hottop Roaster Model "KN-8828B-2K+"
Steveo
My first post here. I first bought HT-B thru SweetMarias in 2009 ($730 - which I thought was too much money).

This summer my HT heater coil broke and when I saw the new 2k+ I decided to gift myself and I couldn't be happier except for the cost ($623).

The upgrade took a few hours and there's a couple of places where the pictures were a little different.

I never thought I'd use a computer for roasting as I prefer a simple approach but Artisan is so helpful. I especially like the the deltaT and projection calculations. I roast a lot of different beans and those computations are indispensable.

The rotary knobs are a huge improvement.

I wish the software was OS X native (written in python) but I can live with it.

This is the upgrade I've been waiting and though it's steep, I feel good that HotTop has a long history of providing support and parts.

I signed up on the forum because I'm now looking for how I can predict a roast behavior by knowing the destiny, moisture content, etc. Artisan doesn't do this but it's good at logging all the information so I can compare a previous roast but like the weather, something's always different to change the equation.
 
TheoBro
Steveo, Sounds like you're satisfied enough with the HT to stay with it and upgrade. I'm giving it serious consideration in moving up from a modified air popper. How are the roasts since the upgrade?
 
Steveo
The operator control over the roast is phenomenal.

I don't think anyone would be disappointed with the HotTop.

A beginning operator can let it do a generic curve to get a decent roast every time. But if you want a lot of control over the parameters, the 2k+ is awesome. I just finished roasting several back-to-back batches. Anyone who's done this knows it's difficult to produce consistent results because of the change in ambient temperature, etc.

But with the new improved sensors and interface (along with Artisan) it's easy to match a curve regardless of conditions.

I don't want to sound too much like a commercial and to be candid I was reluctant to pay up but I'm very satisfied. When I look at how many years and roasts I've done, the amount of money amortized over that period is good value.
 
TheoBro
Very encouraging. Please keep us posted on further insights as things progress.
 
MichaelRpdx
Yay! I've been out of touch, just roasting away. Found out about the 2k+ and came here to find some information.

Time to order the upgrade kit.
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+ ??
 
Trickydick
Randy,

Any update on the hottop software under development?

I have been using MacBook to control hottop with the 2k+ conversion kit. Been enjoying it but wondering about the uno/tc4 with PID to trace or follow saved or designed roast curves. Can the + version interface with the unoTc4 PID without much fuss using the native USB connection, and has a body accomplished this for PID control purposes??

Thanks


TD
 
Randy G
Right now we are pretty happy with the way Artisan is working. Artisan is very much a work in progress (not just for Hottop, but generally), so just watch as things come from the folks there. Right now I know of no other efforts to develop any other software for the Hottop.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
Trickydick
Thank you. I was wondering if earlier in this thread you had been referring to a separate program other than Artisan, but it seems not, and that is fine because I have been enjoying using artisan.

After a bit of investigation, it seems that the arduino uno & tc4 shield will not directly interface with the USB on the 2k+. No PID for me unless I go into the guts of the 2k+. I am not entirely certain that I want to do that at this point or not. For now, the answer is no.

TD
 
Benzie
Hi All-

First Post. Came to the forum to learn more about this unit. This appears to be the most recent thread on the topic.

Everyone's still happy with the unit, I gather.
 
MaKoMo
Artisan v1.0 will implement a software PID that will play also with the Hottop 2k+ very similarly to the TC4.
 
alext

Quote

Benzie wrote:
Everyone's still happy with the unit, I gather.


I have the 2K+ and think it is great. I only operate the roaster from Artisan and in fact I have only ever used the on-roaster controls once. Artisan and the 2K+ is a winning combination for my needs and interests.
 
Randy G
DISCLAIMER: I work for Hottop

I have logged over 100 roasts on Artisan using the "+" and probably have well over 130 roasts on that model. The greatest benefit of the "+" running Artisan is that it allows you to roast on a temperature-priority basis which produces very consistent roast profiles batch after batch.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
TimPiazza
I'll add my +1 to this thread for the 2k+ with Artisan. I roast 2-3 times per week, and I to am only roasting with Artisan. I am able to reproduce a previous roast within a few degrees time after time. This consistency lets me make small incremental changes in a controlled way. It's pretty awesome! I'd love to have this kind of control on a larger capacity roaster!
 
Randy G
https://www.youtu...nWNIIpJVQQ

https://www.youtu...0AYlyYUG_Y

https://www.youtu...MHLClnf40s

Two things I can recommend - Scott Rao's book, The Coffee Roasters Companion, and the three videos from Mill City Roasters(the beginning of an ongoing series) linked above.


Admin Edit: Made links live and easy to use.
Edited by JackH on 08/29/2016 4:18 AM

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
TimPiazza
I could not be more happy with my HotTop 2k+. I have a 2.5kg drum roaster coming in next week, but I plan to keep the HotTop for roasting sample batches.

My first upgrade was going from the 8828B-2k with thermocouples and a Phidgets board to the B-2k+. There was an adjustment period as I learned to interpret the different temperature readings from the new thermocouples and getting the right heat settings with the higher output element, but it took just a few roasts with Artisan to find my way home.

My second upgrade was a "reverse airflow mod" which I documented on my website at http://evansville...p-roaster/

I'm re-learning my roaster with this new setup, running a minimal fan throughout the roast to minimize smoke (I have updated my filter over what is shown in the website photos) and producing more controlled roast progressions. I just need to start drinking coffee faster so I can roast more!
 
lparsons21
Hi all. First post here.

I'm just about ready to order the B-2K+. Been reading here and other places and it seems like a real step up from the Behmor and Gene Cafe I have now.

Initially I thought to get a non-plus and do some mods, but after thinking about all the mods I would likely do and the fact that some of them would probably void the warranty, I decided to just go for it.

Just waiting until I find out if I have to make a short road trip in the next day or two. If I'm gone no one is around to receive it.
Lloyd
 
lparsons21
Road trip turns out not needed. So I ordered the B-2K+ today w/2-day shipping. That's the price of impatience!! woohoo

The more I thought about all the mods, and the fact that there is a machine already equipped with most of the important things already, was just too compelling to not get this model.
Lloyd
 
lparsons21
Got the B-2K+ today!! When it shipped it went Fedex Ground scheduled for Monday delivery. Lo and behold, this morning the Fedex truck delivered it. Wasn't expecting it until Monday. So I'm tickled pink!!

This is one very slick roaster. You can control practically anything except drum speed on the fly, time, bean target temp, fan and heater. All with infinite controls though the values have limits and steps. Smoke is much less than the Gene and mostly occurs in a burst when you eject the beans at the end of the roast. Very nice. And VERY quiet! That's always been an issue with the Behmor and Gene when trying to hear 2nd crack. No problem with the Hottop.

The cooling tray works very well. And it does make a difference since with most home roasters you have to account for the slow and not so good cooling they do.

I ran through the 1st empty roast run as directed, then did an automatic roast with 9 oz of nice, easy to roast, Colombian coffee I had here. Roast progressed nicely but hit 1st crack about 3 degrees before the machine should have indicated that 1st crack was imminent at 356 degrees F. Took the beans up to just the first snap of 2nd crack and ejected. By sight it was a perfect roast, I'll know later today since I know I won't let it rest a full day.

A few things I've noticed that are a bit negative:
1. When you eject and it goes through the bean cooling, it does it for 5 minutes and then stops cooling everything, including the drum. The machine and drum are still very hot.
2. Based on reading here, the temps for things to happen are probably off a bit.
3. Transferring the coffee from the cooling tray to grinder or container is a bit of a PITA. It isn't 'spouted' in any way. I made a quicky funnel out of a newspaper page and that worked well.

Overall this is the roaster I've been wanting for a long time. The Behmor and Gene are fine roasters in their own right, but are more of the 'get close to what you want' roasters because of the way they cool primarily. And while they both have many fine tuning you can do during the roast, the Hottop does it much more elegantly and accurately.

Looking forward to controlling it with Artisan software after I play around with just using the front panel a bit more.
Lloyd
 
turtle
My old B has bit the dust once again.

Looks like another rebuild is in the works (will be the 3rd rebuild).

This time a K+ may emerge from the ashes.
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
 
Randy G
Without playing salesman I can address Lloyd's three negatives:

1 - If you need to cool the machine further after it stops it eject/cooling cycles, just start a roast again and it will go into a cooling cycles to bring the temp down to (iirc) about 140F. With the "+" connected to the computer you could just manually set the heat to 0% and the fan set to 100% and run it as long as you like.

2 - I know the "+" temperature points seem a bit different than older models, but your roaster should be very consistent with the temperatures at various events (EOD, start of 1st and start of 2nd).

3 - To pour the coffee out of the cooling tray, grasp the tray's edge closest to you with the heels of your hands close together and the fingers on the tray (hands forming a "V" with the fingers of the left hand on the left side of the tray and the right fingers to the right). Lift the tray's far side up and the beans will pour between your hands, through the "V opening" formed between your palms... or you can use the included funnel that comes with the roaster.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
lparsons21
Thanks Randy.

1 - I figured that out after posting. But thanks for the confirmation that is a way to do it.

2 - Most temp differences that I've been reading about have indicated things happening at higher indicated temps, I'm seeing much lower, about 30 degrees F.

3 - I used a quick and dirty funnel made with some newspaper. I'll try your suggestion next roast.

And note that I did say "a bit negative". None of those were considered to be a big thing.
Lloyd
 
Randy G
We do test all roasters before shipping at this end as well as they are pretested at the factory. There should not be that much of a discrepancy in the temperatures. If it continues with all beans get in touch with us (again) through the company e-mail.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
TimPiazza
Here's the latest roast on my HotTop. I don't think you can get better than this. :-)

I've been playing with amounts of heat and fan to find a sweet spot that works with my modified roaster. i did the "reverse airflow mod" and am happy with the results so far.

In addition to the airflow change, I made a cover with a "pour spout" for my cooling tray out of a stainless steel stove burner cover from Walmart. You can check out both of these mods on my blog.http://evansville...ry/hottop/
TimPiazza attached the following image:
hottop-roast.jpg
 
RAG
I upgraded from a 2k to a 2k+. The current draw of the new heat element is about .1 amps less than my previous heater element. The new thermocouples read FC at ~345 and SC at ~375. A very small window for what should be a 50 degree window. This window decreases slightly with consecutive roasts. Anyone else see this?
 
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