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Roaster Life Poll
Hi, all. I've also asked this on CG but since this group is dedicated to homeroasting I thought it'd be appropriate here too.

So people are aware of how long they can expect a typical roaster (one with a motor) to last before it's time for a new one, I'd be interested in seeing how long (or short) the lives of your roasters was/is.

Making some note about how much abuse the roaster went through might also help to gauge likely lifespan. Thanks!
Edited by ginny on 04/28/2007 4:58 PM

A good question!

Let's see... I've been using my pid modified Poppery 1 for about 2 years with 2, 10oz batches per week.

~224 roasts

~2240 oz of green (140 lbs)

(Working backwards I get about 1.25 lbs of green usage a week which is about right...)

And it doesn't seem tired yet... :)

(And I'll bet Mike has bested my numbers by a couple of hundred pounds...)


Hearthware iRoast (I) lasted 26 months. The heating element gave out and wouldn’t get over 200F and seemed to be getting worse. Ironically, this happened the day after I ordered a Gene Café.

For several months previous I’d been having trouble keeping the lid on tight. Every roast I’d have to tighten the band it latched on to. If I forgot I was usually rewarded with flying chafe and beans. Read this is improved on the iRoast 2....

Used it 3-4 times a week, so probably used about 400 times, 140-145g green coffee per batch.
My Hearthware Precision crapped out after about 16 months. Its replacement Alp lasted half that time. That's when I built my sample roaster. I is still going strong after 4 years, even though it has a used motor. I've head to replace the bare nichrome element once. This is normal, they gradually oxidize and give out.

I have been roasting with a Turbo Oven /Bread machine for a number of years.
It has gone through some refinement since I first started using it, but now I think it will last a really long time. Last month I roasted 30# in back to back roasts.
The TO needed to be rebuilt because it comes from the factory kind of wimpy.
The motor in it is fine but I slowly got to throwing all the timers and thermostats away and running 10 gauge wire directly to the heater. This plugs in to an on off switch in a box on my roasting table.
The bread machine is massive and almost indestructable, but the electronics and controls went to the trash also. Now the stirring motor plugs directly into an on off switch in a box on my roasting table.
No need to roast as little as one bean, but I have roasted as little as 80 grams and as much as 950 grams. Control is pretty good, and I can vary my roast time to as long as 20 minutes if I choose. Smaller quantities can roast more quickly, but I have lately been taking about three minutes between first and second crack and finishing the roast in under 12 minutes.

PeterZ c:3
Edited by peterz on 06/17/2007 2:20 PM
I did the math recently for a reply to a post on the SM list. I usually do at least six back to back roasts during a session. IIRC the 'Ubber Popper' has accomplished somewhere around 1100 roasts in it's present configuration (no maintenance other than occasional chimney replacement due to personal physical co-ordination problems).

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