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1st try with bread machine and heat gun
bvwelch
Today, I tried a bread machine / heat gun approach. The bread machine motor was modified as per instructions on this site, to run continuously. I made a metal paddle from a piece of aluminum bar stock-- just gave it a slight twist, and bent a "U" in the end to attach to shaft with a bolt and nut.

I built a wooden "boom" for my camera tripod. I attached the HG to the boom and aim it down into one corner of the bread machine. I had a TC just sort of dangling above the surface of the beans.

Man, I felt so out of control over the process. I chose some Brazilian beans from S.M. that was listed as being tasty over a wide degree of roast, so maybe the roast will turn out to be drinkable.

I varied the "profile" by cranking the height of the tripod up and down, and also by adjusting the angle of the boom.

I love the idea that I can roast a relatively large quantity of beans in a single roasting cycle, but I don't feel I have nearly as much control as I do with the modifed air popcorn popper.

Maybe after a few more roasts with this new setup, I'll feel like I have more control.

I welcome any suggestions or feedback!

Bill
 
seedlings
I've found that the heat gun can be as close as one inch from the beans. Leave it on "High" until first crack (8 minutes for ~1.5 pounds?) then switch it to low until desired finish level.

How did your roast turn out?

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
Kaffee Bitte
Go Bill! The first few roasts with any roaster are pretty out of control if you ask me. You just can't quite be certain how it will behave. I am sure you will gain confidence with it pretty quickly.
Lynn

"Some days it's spice, other days it's bitter dirt."
 
njprentiss
Right on Bill, I just started roasting with a bread machine/heat gun too. My first two batches ended up in the garbage, but my third came out great (IMV C+). I was using an RK before but had to get rid of it.

Neal
 
boyntonstu

Quote

bvwelch wrote:
Today, I tried a bread machine / heat gun approach. The bread machine motor was modified as per instructions on this site, to run continuously. I made a metal paddle from a piece of aluminum bar stock-- just gave it a slight twist, and bent a "U" in the end to attach to shaft with a bolt and nut.

I built a wooden "boom" for my camera tripod. I attached the HG to the boom and aim it down into one corner of the bread machine. I had a TC just sort of dangling above the surface of the beans.

Man, I felt so out of control over the process. I chose some Brazilian beans from S.M. that was listed as being tasty over a wide degree of roast, so maybe the roast will turn out to be drinkable.

I varied the "profile" by cranking the height of the tripod up and down, and also by adjusting the angle of the boom.

I love the idea that I can roast a relatively large quantity of beans in a single roasting cycle, but I don't feel I have nearly as much control as I do with the modifed air popcorn popper.

Maybe after a few more roasts with this new setup, I'll feel like I have more control.

I welcome any suggestions or feedback!

Bill


My suggestion is to eliminate the tripod and to use a lid.

1> The height of the gun above the beans is better fixed.

2> A lid with a hole through which the HG tip fits will keep the heat in the tub.

3> An open slot will allow all the chaff to be blown away.


I have been using my setup without mods for many months.

I use my roaster like any other kitchen appliance.

Put the bread in the toaster and press down kind of process.

15 minutes a week, outside, no problem.
boyntonstu attached the following image:
Heat Gun BM15 with  thermometer[831].jpg
 
seedlings
Stu, where'd you open a slot for the chaff to blow away?

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
boyntonstu

Quote

seedlings wrote:
Stu, where'd you open a slot for the chaff to blow away?

CHAD


Just place the black aluminum "cover" a little (~ 1/4") to one side.

It fits like a lid o a pot.

BTW I bought it from Goodwill for $0.25.

It was part of a sandwich maker.

Any piece of aluminum or steel about 1/8" think will work.

I use a SS hose clamp to hold the nose of the HG.

The fit between th lid and the HG is quite tight.

Lots of drilled holes and some filing.

The 1/8" thickness keeps the HG upright.

I hope that this helps.


ASAIK There is nothing out there that can compare with respect to performance, ease of making, price, size, weight, portability, and replacement parts availability.

To roast 5 pounds make 2 units.

BoyntonStu;)
Edited by boyntonstu on 03/11/2008 12:20 PM
 
bvwelch
Stu,

How do you "profile" with your gizmo? And can you get repeatable roast levels, should you want to?

Thanks!

Bill
 
boyntonstu

Quote

bvwelch wrote:
Stu,

How do you "profile" with your gizmo? And can you get repeatable roast levels, should you want to?

Thanks!

Bill


Profile:

Turn on stirrer.

Turn HG on to Hi.

Wait 1 minute.


Dump in beans


When the beans begin talk to you at the start of 1C turn HG to Low.


After 1C either go to the first sound of 2C and dump or as I have been doing lately, wait until the smoke comes in about 2 - 3 minutes after the last of the 1C snap, pull the beans and dump into cooler.

In the olden days a woman could cook great meals on a wood stove with much less control than a BM/HG.

We have it better than them.

It is not rocket science. Just trust yourself a little.

BoyntonStu
 
bvwelch
Stu,

Thanks for your reply. Your approach sounds very practical. And honestly, that is probably where I will end up, if I even continue with this hobby.

But my interest in more detailed control over the roasting profile, is to see if I can repeatedly duplicate some of the rather fantastic descriptions of good tasting coffee that I'm hearing about from other home roasters.

Bill
Edited by bvwelch on 03/12/2008 8:03 AM
 
boyntonstu

Quote

bvwelch wrote:
Stu,

Thanks for your reply. Your approach sounds very practical. And honestly, that is probably where I will end up, if I even continue with this hobby.

But my interest in more detailed control over the roasting profile, is to see if I can repeatedly duplicate some of the rather fantastic descriptions of good tasting coffee that I'm hearing about from other home roasters.

Bill


I used to work for the government.

We had a saying; "Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, and cut it with an ax"

You THINK that you need detailed control for repeated results.

Do you make love that way?

Spend a few bucks and try roasting.

Remember, they used to roast in a fry pan and some still do.

(I don't even use a thermometer anymore)

BoyntonStu;)
 
seedlings

Quote

boyntonstu wrote:
I used to work for the government.

We had a saying; "Measure it with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, and cut it with an ax"

You THINK that you need detailed control for repeated results.

Do you make love that way?

Spend a few bucks and try roasting.

Remember, they used to roast in a fry pan and some still do.

(I don't even use a thermometer anymore)

BoyntonStu;)


That pretty much says it all. Were you also among those gubment officials who get a budget to build, say, an airport then proceed go over-budget with fancy buildings, then demand more money to build the runways? B)

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
David

Quote

bvwelch wrote:How do you "profile" with your gizmo? And can you get repeatable roast levels, should you want to?


Repeatable roasts are fairy easy, within certainly limits.
Or maybe I should say "semi-repeatable" roasts aren't too hard to achieve.

When I started with the heatgun and breadmachine I made up some graphs to record time and temperature while the roast was progressing. A well-placed thermocouple is essential, as is having some way to contain the heat for awhile. Otherwise it is just broiling in an open air oven and any gust of wind changes the dynamics. The nice thing about Stu's machine, [besides it's disgusting simplicity] is that it contains most of the heat in the chamber.

I place my thermocouple down into the bean mass and keep the heatgun pointed away from it. Using a pound or so of beans seems to be the practical minimum for having enough depth to keep the probe from merely measuring air temperature.

I believe that the two most commonly used HG/BM profiles are: 1) as Stu described -- all out until First Crack and then taper off until Second; and 2) similar to the first, but with a longer period of time coming up between 200-300F (very roughly), through "drying phase" where a lot of moisture is given off by the beans. This seems to work well with the bigger and/or denser beans, as they need more time to give off their moisture.

Hope this helps. ;)
 
EddieDove

Quote

bvwelch wrote:
[...] if I even continue with this hobby.

[snip]

Bill


Bill,

Do you mean that? What can we do to help? We can help you get repeatable results.

I can repeat results with just about all of my roasting methods including the RK Drum, which is pretty much the only one I use now.

Let us know how we can help, Bill.
Respectfully,

Eddie Dove

The South Coast Coffee Roaster
vita non est vivere sed valere vita est
Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Reference
http://southcoast...gspot.com/
 
Kaffee Bitte
I agree with David and Eddie. You can get repeatable (well I like David's "semi-repeatable" better) results. Some of it just comes with practice. The first four months or so that I was roasting, I had the same coffees turning out at twenty different roast levels in one week. After learning more though and many roasts under my belt, I can get to any roast level I want in the time I want. You really can get there. Another part of the learning curve is figuring out your roaster and how it behaves.
Lynn

"Some days it's spice, other days it's bitter dirt."
 
bvwelch
Eddie,

Thanks for your offer to help. Maybe you can suggest a winning strategy. What would a "winner" be like? It would be my wife saying "hey, that's great coffee!", and then being able to repeat that week after week.

I do wonder sometimes whether this hobby is for me... I had no idea how much time it would involve, in order to gain some level of proficiency.

I also didn't fully appreciate the coffee that is produced by a local roaster near me. My wife and I have been buying roasted beans from him for a little over 20 years. But we moved 50 miles away from him, about two years ago.

So far, nothing I've roasted has turned out as good or better than his coffee. And it sure takes a fair amount of time, so, I do sometimes consider just going back to buying his roasted beans.

That being said, I am not ready to give up yet.

One part of the puzzle is that I am not sure which is my weakest link-- bean, roast, rest, grind, brew?

beans - I have an 8 lb sampler from S.M.

roast - I've got various modified popcorn poppers, and now a bread machine and heat gun. I've got TCs and can measure temps.

rest - 24 hrs in a mason jar with lid just barely screwed on, then tighten after that.

grind - blade, capresso 555, and zass 151 (just got it a couple days ago)

brew- cheap automatic drip (temp only 180F), french press, moka pot. I am considering a vacuum pot, a chemex, or a simple melitta pour-over filter holder. My wife isn't real fond of sludge in the cup.

I'm liking the bread machine -- it is built like a tank, and I like being able to produce a decent size batch in a single roasting cycle. But I need to figure out where to put the TC, and maybe I need to increase my batch size to a full pound, so that the TC is down well into the bean mass. My bread machine's "pan" is rectangular. So I plan to mount the TC on one of the "long" ends, so that the stirrer doesn't bump the TC. I also want to try slowing down the speed of the stirrer, mainly to reduce the noise-- it is hard to hear the cracks.

Since the zass is new, I've been experimenting with grind coarseness, in the french press. And also the extraction time in the french press. I try for a temp of 200F. The press will hold 24 Oz, but lately I've been only brewing 12 Oz, with 15 grams of coffee.

I've been using a Brazillian coffee. Not sure if that is a good choice or not.

I'm wondering if the french press is the best choice for these experiments in grinding and extraction times.

Thanks for your interest,

Bill

ps: 8 lb sampler:

Costa Rica Naranjo Caracol Peaberry
Brazil Coromandel - Fazenda Sao Joao
Panama Boquete Organic Los Lajones
Kenya AA Nyeri - Gachatha
Ethiopia Organic Yirgacheffee
Ethiopia Organic Limu (Indonesia Process)
Indonesia Flores - Bajawa Highlands
Sumatra Organic Aceh District
Edited by bvwelch on 03/13/2008 6:26 AM
 
seedlings
The only thing I notice is the 180F brew temp. Everything will taste sour. Just use the tea kettle! Didn't you once say that the filter door of your coffeemaker swung open allowing you to do a manual drip of sorts? Bring the water to 200-210F and try it there.

You're at the knee of the learning curve, about to level off! IMO more repeatable results come with larger bean mass. HG+BM! c:4

CHAD
Roaster: CoffeeAir II 2# DIY air roaster
Grinder: Vintage Grindmaster 500
Brewers: Vintage Cory DCU DCL, Aeropress, Press, Osaka Titanium pourover
 
David

Quote

bvwelch wrote:rest - 24 hrs in a mason jar with lid just barely screwed on, then tighten after that.

It sounds like you are on the right track.

Rest time for best taste in the cup varies. In general, the lighter the roast the more rest time required. Unless I have let myself totally run out of coffee, I usually let it rest three days before serving it to the family. Ron Kyle of [RK drums] recommends five days.

It is worth experimenting. You might try roasting a batch and sampling at daily intervals, 1-7 days.
 
Kaffee Bitte

Quote

bvwelch wrote:So far, nothing I've roasted has turned out as good or better than his coffee. And it sure takes a fair amount of time, so, I do sometimes consider just going back to buying his roasted beans.

I'm wondering if the french press is the best choice for these experiments in grinding and extraction times.

ps: 8 lb sampler:

Costa Rica Naranjo Caracol Peaberry
Brazil Coromandel - Fazenda Sao Joao
Panama Boquete Organic Los Lajones
Kenya AA Nyeri - Gachatha
Ethiopia Organic Yirgacheffee
Ethiopia Organic Limu (Indonesia Process)
Indonesia Flores - Bajawa Highlands
Sumatra Organic Aceh District


Is your semi-local roaster using a drum roaster? If he is your pallete may very well prefer the drum roast profile over the air roasts. It is possible you could put together a simple drum roaster to try out. Check out TimEggers Soup Can Roaster from the roast contest, for ideas.

The french press is the perfect method of testing out new grinds and extraction times. When changing something try to only change one thing at a time. For example change the grind, but don't change brew temp or extraction time. This will give you a pretty good idea in the cup what that change did for you and should help you narrow in on the correct value of all the variables.

Coffee wise! You have there some of the best coffees available at SM. The Costa Rica is great and takes many different roast levels well. I think the only two I haven't tried on that list are the brazil and the Limu Indonesian process. The rest of them are good stuff.

If you like the HG/BM stick with it for a while and see if you can get your skill up with it.
Lynn

"Some days it's spice, other days it's bitter dirt."
 
bvwelch

Quote

Kaffee Bitte wrote:

Is your semi-local roaster using a drum roaster?



Lynn, thanks for your comments. I don't know enough to say whether it is similar to a modern drum or not. It is an old Burns roaster. Click on their photo for details.

http://www.kaffee...

Bill
Edited by bvwelch on 03/13/2008 11:34 AM
 
Kaffee Bitte
Yep, that's a drum alright! It definitely isn't quite the same as most modern roasters, but I am sure it works on the same principles. You should try the soup can roaster. The link has enough info to easily build it and it doesn't take much fabrication at all.
http://forum.home...ead_id=511

It might give you an idea of whether it is your coffee roasting skills that are lacking, or if it is the roast profile/roaster.
Lynn

"Some days it's spice, other days it's bitter dirt."
 
bvwelch
Oh boy, what a roast today-- Made a lid, like Stu's. Drilled a hole for TC in the side. Roasted a little over a pound of some Sumatra that my wife was very interested in. Up thru 1st crack, life was good. Beyond that, I let it get away from me-- much smoke, very oily beans. Vienna, Italian, Spanish? Kingsford I imagine.

Then, I see a serious need for a real cooler-- tossing those beans between two collanders just wasn't working. So I grabbed a big fan and tried to cool the beans-- dropped the fan, spilt over half the beans on the floor. My wife was watching the whole thing. Very humbling.

This is one roast I hope never to repeat. :-)

I hope the rest of the afternoon goes better-- tractor work, prepare a small plot for some vegetable gardening.

Bill
 
Kaffee Bitte
Everyone needs a few humbling experiences while roasting! Keeps us honest about our coffee. I just did something similar about a month ago. 1.5 pounds of utterly blackened coffee. I could have used the beans for pencil lead.

So what are you going to work up to cool your larger loads? Since you are using the HG/BM now I would make sure you can cool around 2.5 pounds. That way you know you have enough space if you ever do need to cool that much.
Lynn

"Some days it's spice, other days it's bitter dirt."
 
bvwelch
Well, the tractor work went pretty well.

bvwelch.com/roast/tractor.jpg

Afterwards, I whipped up a temporary cooler-- something I saw here I think-- a collander in a cardboard box, taped to a window box fan, set for suction.

I roasted some Costa Rican beans. Still had trouble figuring out how to end the roast, but got it stopped much sooner than the Sumatra.

My TC's reading is a bit lower (I think) than what I expected. At least it is lower than my popper's.

I wish I could hear the cracks better. The noise of the stirrer batting the beans around is loud. I may try reducing the working surface area of the stirrer. That might quiet things down.

I wish I could see the beans. This lid is great for holding the heat gun, but I can't see anything. Maybe I'll add some sort of viewport that I can slide open briefly.

Meanwhile, I may just look at that soup can "drum". Thanks!

Bill
 
boyntonstu

Quote

bvwelch wrote:
Well, the tractor work went pretty well.

bvwelch.com/roast/tractor.jpg

Afterwards, I whipped up a temporary cooler-- something I saw here I think-- a collander in a cardboard box, taped to a window box fan, set for suction.

I roasted some Costa Rican beans. Still had trouble figuring out how to end the roast, but got it stopped much sooner than the Sumatra.

My TC's reading is a bit lower (I think) than what I expected. At least it is lower than my popper's.

I wish I could hear the cracks better. The noise of the stirrer batting the beans around is loud. I may try reducing the working surface area of the stirrer. That might quiet things down.

I wish I could see the beans. This lid is great for holding the heat gun, but I can't see anything. Maybe I'll add some sort of viewport that I can slide open briefly.

Meanwhile, I may just look at that soup can "drum". Thanks!

Bill


Seeing the beans.

That is what the handle on the HG is for.

Like the handle on the lid of a pot.

After 1C lift the lid to see the color. (Sunlight is best).

After 1C momentarily turn off both motors to listen.

Good roasting.

Boyntonstu
 
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