[Homeroast] THE home roaster

Edward Bourgeois edbourgeois at gmail.com
Wed Dec 15 15:22:32 CST 2010


Tom said, "One way to approach this that might get around some legal
hurdles (because a really GOOD home roaster is probably not going to
be idiot-proof, and I am sure would be classified as a fire hazard by
some agency) is to make a kit".
This is what I've never heard a good explanation on. How can we work
around UL and avoid a life of prison coffee if we sell a roaster or
kit to someone. A friend of mine is a lawyer but not product liability
which she says is extremely complicated and confusing.

On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 4:11 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
<sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com> wrote:
> It's something we have batted around for a long time. It comes up
> recurrently. Honestly at one point there seemed to be almost TOO much
> interest in home roasting, mostly by those who wanted to strike it rich by
> inventing THE home roasting machine. But their ideas of good features always
> seemed to be , well, everything I would find either useless, or ineffective.
> The problem with trying to create a reasonably priced home roaster is that
> it takes a skill set I don't have. I can dream it up but I can't make it go
> ... then add to that the huge problem with actually getting it manufactured
> right, and not going over budget ... it's not easy. It makes me have some
> appreciation for Behmor although I see it's faults. I would not want to make
> an appliance to convince people who would normally not roast their own
> coffee that they should. I would want to make one for those who DO roast
> their own coffee, to allow them to do it better. The Quest M3 is not really
> what I would have in mind, but it does have the right feature set. And of
> course it is also not really a home machine at all, not a home appliance,
> nothing you would ever find among blenders and toaster ovens. One way to
> approach this that might get around some legal hurdles (because a really
> GOOD home roaster is probably not going to be idiot-proof, and I am sure
> would be classified as a fire hazard by some agency) is to make a kit. If it
> was build around some commonly available heat source, and you had to put it
> together, but gave control of heat/air, manual control of roast curves,
> physical sampling from the roast chamber, and cooled outside the roast
> chamber in 4 min or less, that would hit most of my targets. One
> disagreement I might find with other home roasters would be batch size. I
> think that a 150-300 gram batch is ideal. Many are going to want 1 lb. I
> think the best thing about home roasting is freshness and variety. So I like
> smaller batches. But if you can roast and cool at the same time in a machine
> like this, I think most would be okay with a 1/2 lb batch.
>
> Tom
>
>> Tom,
>> Thank you for your incite and wisdom that only comes from hours and hours
>> doing what you do with the wonderful tools/roasters at your disposal.
>> Regarding your comment,
>>  "Getting really good at targeting that roast degree is difficult; doing
>> it
>> in a Behmor is even harder. That (and cooling within the same space you
>> roast in) are my gripes with most home roasters, and those factors make a
>> difference in successful results."
>> Have you had the opportunity to consult on home roaster design and
>> engineering concepts with a manufacturer?
>> Just seems like of all the professionals I know of you would be the first
>> I
>> would come to.
>> Thank you again for so much of the roasting/targeting picture from your
>> perspective and how much or little the machine matters.
>> Makes me want to drag out the popper and play again and compare like you
>> described, same bean different roast systems.
>> Cheers,
>> Joseph
>>
>> On Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 11:48 AM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <
>> sweetmarias at sweetmarias.com> wrote:
>>
>>>  I appreciate this conversation and have been holding back from weighing
>>> in
>>>  here. People are entitled to their opinions, and home roasters have
>>> never
>>>  held back. I look at each roaster as something unique, each with ups and
>>>  downs. I think you can get good roasts in many of these machines. There
>>> was
>>>  a real change around here when I decided I could no longer roast all my
>>>  samples on a home roaster. The volume of samples was just too great, and
>>> I
>>>  needed a multi-barrel roaster that could roast and cool at the same
>>> time.
>>>  But I still use most all the roasters (I even have a Poppery 1 on the
>>> bench,
>>>  across from a vintage  3 barrel electric Probat and a 3 barrel Gothot
>>> gas
>>>  roaster). I do not "profile" sample roasts - it's a straight line from
>>> start
>>>  to finish, within a range of about 9-11 minutes, with minor adjustments
>>> in a
>>>  session if I find the roast times creeping up or dropping off. I use the
>>>  green coffee batch size to adjust the roast as well. If I roast a batch
>>> in
>>>  the Quest (or the Poppery 1 for that matter, or I Roast or Behmor or
>>> Hottop)
>>>  I don't expect it to be better or worse. I expect it to be slightly
>>>  different, that's all. We compare roasts regularily- I did 6 separate
>>>  batches of a decaf arrival in the Probat (imagine how much time it would
>>>  take in one behmor!) and we did a Behmor batch as well. Behmor cupped
>>> quite
>>>  favorably. My Probat allows me great control, as the quest m3  does, as
>>> well
>>>  as much greater opportunity to ruin the coffee as well. In not of this
>>> are
>>>  we talking about larger batch roasting, which we do a bit of in the L-12
>>>  Probat, and on that we use several basic adjustments to air and gas
>>> during
>>>  the roast. The key on the L-12 is to have it properly installed, and
>>> very
>>>  clean ducting because it has low air flow. I think the L-12 roasts are
>>> nice,
>>>  but I feel that the critical factor is what you are putting in, the
>>> coffee.
>>>  I can say for sure that i MIGHT like an L-12 batch of a particular
>>> Kenya,
>>>  but it will have a different taste profile than my sample roasts.
>>> Usually I
>>>  produce many sample roasts of each coffee, and if I toss one L-12 batch
>>> on
>>>  the table with these many sample roasts, I guarantee you I will find one
>>> of
>>>  the sample roasts I like better.
>>>
>>>  My point is this; It might seem that it's about the machine, and the
>>>  operator. True, it is. But you have no chance of quality without putting
>>> in
>>>  good ingredients, and without targeting a specific end point. With small
>>>  (home roast size) batches, I get many snap shots of the same coffee, and
>>>  several seconds difference in degree of roast is where some coffees can
>>>  really shift. Getting really good at targeting that roast degree is
>>>  difficult; doing it in a Behmor is even harder. That (and cooling within
>>> the
>>>  same space you roast in) are my gripes with most home roasters, and
>>> those
>>>  factors make a difference in successful results. To a large degree,
>>> other
>>>  differences are secondary. If a Behmor no longer meets your needs and a
>>>  Quest might, fine. That would be like me at the point I found I could
>>> not
>>>  possibly produce enough samples in a home roaster. A Quest is not a
>>> Behmor.
>>>  A Quest is not a 3 barrel Probat nor an L-12. All are tools with
>>> different
>>>  capabilities. It depends on what you are trying to do with them. The
>>> thing I
>>>  find endlessly amusing is that you can produce AMAZING coffee in an air
>>>  popper.
>>>
>>>  There is not one right way. If you spend 4x as much money, you can still
>>>  produce horrible coffee. People do it every day on $250k of roast
>>> equipment.
>>>  With care, and accepting some limitations, a $2 thrift store find can
>>> result
>>>  in great coffee.
>>>
>>>  Anyway, just trying to chime in with some perspective from a different
>>>  place... now I am going to go roast a Guatemala sample in the Behmor!
>>>  --
>>>  -Tom
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>  ____________________________________________________________________________
>>>  "Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee
>>>  Roasting
>>>              Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
>>>
>>>
>>>  ____________________________________________________________________________
>>>    Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
>>>            phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
>>>
>>>
>>>  _______________________________________________
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>>>
>>>
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>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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>
> --
> -Tom
>
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> "Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee
> Roasting
>              Thompson & Maria - http://www.sweetmarias.com
> ____________________________________________________________________________
>    Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
>            phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
>
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>



-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.
http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/



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