[Homeroast] THE home roaster

Rich rich-mail at octoxol.com
Wed Dec 15 15:43:22 CST 2010


I bet you would have problems even if all you did was sell a set of 
detailed plans and a parts list with sources.

If you are so dense you dump a cup of hot coffee in your lap when you go 
through a drive through and manage to win life's legal lottery then 
collecting because you burn the house down with a home built roster 
should be relatively easy.

On 12/15/2010 03:22 PM, Edward Bourgeois wrote:
> 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
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>   _______________________________________________
>>>>   Homeroast mailing list
>>>>   Homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>>>>   Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :
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>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :
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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
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Homeroast mailing list
>> Homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>> http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>> Homeroast community pictures -upload yours!) :
>> http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=7820
>>
>
>
>



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