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Exploration Of the Hottop Characteristics III: Modified Profile Automated Roast
For those following this, I did the second sandbox test, which basically wrapped up my first set of experiments.

In the second sandbox test, I used the original roast background mentioned in E.O.H.C. II but I modified the profile.
My goal was to determine how to use a roast profile as a template, modifying what and when things happen, and then saving that and using it to drive a roast.

For all of these sandbox experiments, I am running the roaster empty.

So, as usual, even though I have read most of the documentation and several blogs and postings, I could not find a really simple description of how to do this!

Therefore, I am telling you right here, step by step, how to do it for your Hottop KN-8828B-2K+.

By the way, most of this stuff is actually just Artisan stuff, so will probably work for any roaster.


1. Once you have done a roast and recorded it, you have a template to play with (see EOHC II for detailed instructions on how to record a roast, background it, and then have it drive another roast). You will now need to open the original roast profile and background it (Roast->Switch Profiles). (there are other ways to do this).

2. Now, you will need to go to Roast->Properties and click the Events tab at the top.

3. Here you will find a list of the things that happened in the roast. This list can be edited. You can change the time of an event, moving it backward or forward in time during the roast, or you can change the parameter of the event. You can do all sorts of crazy things. When you make a change, it becomes active when you click OK.

The fun thing about messing with these events, is that when you put in the time, the software uses that as the independent variable, and pulls the ET and BT from the graph puts in in your event. You can add events, they always go at the end, by defaut. But just modify the event and the time you want it to happen, then simply click the ORDER button at the bottom, and it will resort by time and put your event in the right place.

And if you have your "playback events" set, when you go back to the roast control screen and click START, it will drive the roaster exactly as you have modified it.

For instance, I modified a fan event to start 30 seconds later, and I added a couple of nonsensical offs and ons for the fan. I also noticed that the recorded roast profile had too many events. When I turned the heat down from 100 to 0 using the manual button, the profile recorded an event for 100, 90, 80,70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, and zero %.
I just deleted everything except the 100 % and zero, eliminating the ramp. This also happened with the fan.
The original list had scores of events in it, and I got it down to 10 or 12.

I saved this cleaned up profile, and then re-opened it, backgrounded it, and then set up the roaster and drove the roast with this background as described in EOHC II. It was beautiful. The removal of the ramps actually had little effect on the actual result, as the physical ramping probably happens in the device anyway, but it sure makes for a cleaner profile. All the little tweaks and changes I made were executed faithfully by Artisan. And you can really easily see how the new ET, BT, and ROR were affected by the changes.

So that's basically it. That is how you modify a profile and then use it as a background to drive a roast.

There may be other ways, but this works.

Next Steps:

As I said, most of the above is just Artisan stuff, but let's bring it back down to earth with the Hottop.

When I characterize the Hottop, I see a 20 - 30 second delay between lowering or raising a heat setting and seeing the actual result in the environment. This seems to be fairly consistent, at least enough to work with.

So, it ought to be possible to examine a roast profile, look at each place where a change to the heat setting is needed, and simply move that setting back in time 20 seconds. It's easy to do with a computer. In addition, changing the fan setting will cause a faster change in the ET and BT, but I would like to try to avoid this method as it also inadvertently changes the humidity in the chamber. My goal is to get the temperature control as close as possible, and then use the fan as necessary for small adjustments.

But will it work?

My next step is to take a real roast profile, tweak its events to try to get a smoother RAO curve, and then turn around and execute that on real coffee beans, based on the above reasoning.

Happy roasting.
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