[Homeroast] IRoast 2

msmb at suddenlink.net msmb at suddenlink.net
Sat Dec 4 11:18:04 CST 2010

My IRoast -1, which recently died, gave me several years of excellent roasts, probably over 300 pounds.  At one point I roasted probably around 20 pounds for my daughter's wedding party within one week, doing several roasts per day and waiting only 15 minutes between them.  It was a an excellent machine, and several weeks since it broke I am pretty much where you are.  I have been trying out an air popper and find that if you want a very cost effective device it works pretty well.  Thus far I have only invested in the popper (about $4 at my local thrift store) and an infrared thermometer.  For cooling I use a small but very powerful fan and find that it is even faster than my I-Roast was.  The only thing that is missing is a controller for the temperature, which I have not yet had the time to deal with.  But even without it there are are several possibilities for controlling temperature.  See Tom's video on using a popcorn popper for installation of a switch that will provide some control over the two heat elements.  Again, I haven't had time to deal with it and the simpler possibility is just to use a power strip with an on/off switch.  Once you get the beans up to temperature you just turn it on and off about every 5 seconds.  The temperatures will fluctuate within a range, but this is no different from my I roast as well.  You can keep them within a 5 of 10 degree range.  The problem here, so far as I can see is if you allow the temperature to go down too much and the beans are not turning then you are baking them.  The other possibility is to just let the device run, with a continual increase in temperature up to its upper level (around 475 degrees). You do get to that upper level very quickly and the total time of your roast will be 5 or 6 minutes.  I admit that my roasts are not as good, as sweet tasting, as with the I-Roast.  Perhaps the temperature controller and my increasing proficiency will help that.  But while you figure out which roaster to get it is an excellent method for home roasting.  The amount of beans that you can roast is about the same as what is used --at least what I used-- in the I-roast; 86 grams.

---- Christopher Navarro <cnavarro2 at gmail.com> wrote: 
> I'm usually just a fly on the wall on this list, but now I have a reason to
> post, I could use some information.  I think my IRoast 2 finally gave out.
> I noticed with my last 2 roasts that the cool cycle wasn't cooling nearly as
> fast as all my previous roasts and I had to resort to using a metal colander
> to finish the process.  At the end of today's roast I knew the machine was
> done because it had a strange smoke coming out that I've smelled before when
> old computer monitors die.  With some minor investigation I discovered that
> when I plugged the roaster in the heating element came on without touching
> any settings on the roaster.  The heating element must have been staying on
> during the cooling cycle.  Another good reason to watch the entire roast
> from start to finish every time.
> This was my first roaster and has provided me with just over two years of
> great coffee so it was well worth the money.  The good news is now I have a
> reason to research and buy a new roaster, which will probably either be a
> Behmor or Gene Cafe based on budget and what I have read about them thus
> far.
> A question I have for people who own the Behmor and/or Gene Cafe.   Can you
> give me an idea of the durability of your machine (i.e. about how many
> roasts were you able to do before it gave out or if it hasn't given out yet,
> how many roasts have you done with it?  With my IRoast I logged about 220+
> roasts, I roasted about every 3 days, give or take.  I have roasted heavily
> chaffed coffees and peaberries, which seems like it might be a problem based
> on Tom's review so I am curious to get an idea of your experiences with each
> roaster, what you like and don't like.  Thanks for taking the time to
> provide feedback.
> Regards,
> Chris
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