[Homeroast] THE home roaster

Hank Perkins hankperkins at gmail.com
Wed Dec 15 16:27:28 CST 2010


Joe,

One big difference is the roaster is an oven that will generate temperatures upwards of 500 degrees.  Home electronics are not heaters. There is a big difference right there. 

Secondly, anytime you participate in an act of commerce with another individual you potentially accept liability personally or as a business. 


On Dec 15, 2010, at 4:19 PM, Joseph Robertson <theotherjo at gmail.com> wrote:

> Ed,
> What would be the technical difference between me selling you a ham radio I
> built or a home roaster and they both short out and burn a house down. There
> has got to be a disclaimer to protect the seller?
> Just wondering. If you get a chance, please ask her ( your attorney friend
> )this for me.
> Plenty of folks have sold kits they built to other, say ham friends. A kit
> should be a kit if you get my jest. True one has a lot of heat inside and I
> do realize insurance rates are based on incident reports and frequency of
> occurrence etc. etc etc.
> Thank for your input Ed,
> Joe
> 
> On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 1:22 PM, Edward Bourgeois <edbourgeois at gmail.com>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
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
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>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> --
>>>> Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Homeroast mailing list
>>>> Homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
>>>> 
>>>> 
>> http://lists.sweetmariascoffee.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroast_lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
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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
>>> 
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>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
>> Amherst MA.
>> http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
>> 
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>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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