[Homeroast] Using a Variac to control a GeneCafe

Ken Knott esprcorn at hotmail.com
Wed Aug 17 15:01:52 CDT 2011


Hi Bob,

I'm no expert, but I did spend a bit of  time asking a lot of questons  when I got started.  The 'experts' of the time suggested the following ramp and I've generally used it ever since and I've been pretty happy.

Set temp to 300 and time to 30 to begin...

0-5 min 300  (this is to warm the beans and machine to an even temp)
5-9 min 451  (so at 5 min, adjust dial to 451)
9-11 min 462  (again, at 9 min adjust to 462)
11- to first crack 482  (11 min, adjust to 482)
Drop to 471 and when temp goes past to 462 drop to 462.  (In other words... when you change to 471, the thermostat will overshoot and fall below 462.  At that point, change it to 462.  IF you change it to 462 from the get-go it will overshoot too far and cool too much.)
Roast as much further as you like...

Generally I get to around first crack between 13-14 min...  2nd crack will show up between 18-19 min... 

This may seem long, but considering the first 5 min of warming up the beans to and equilibrium temp, is pretty normal.

Let me know what you think... I've been using this method for 4 years and very pleased...  I just vary the time i roast past first crack based on the bean.  I typically go solely based on Sweet Maria's recommendations...

Thanks and I'd love to hear how it works for you.  Again, I did not come up with this...  so I take no credit...  :)

Ken



> From: eglasscock at centurytel.net
> To: homeroast at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com
> Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 09:12:17 -0400
> Subject: Re: [Homeroast] Using a Variac to control a GeneCafe
> 
> 
> Ken,
> I have been roasting with a Gene Cafe for over a year now with fairly 
> consistent results. Note, I did not say excellent...merely consistent. 
> I am very appliance oriented, so my technique has been "pedal to the 
> metal" and watch and listen. Are there ramping formulas that would help 
> improve my roasts, and where can I find them?
>   --
>   Bob Glasscock
> Greenville, AL
> 
> 
> 
> Quoting Ken Knott <esprcorn at hotmail.com>:
> >
> > I have access to Variac's so I thought I might give them a shot to control my
> > Gene CAfe.  I understand that power fluctuations at the outlet are common and
> > can make a significant difference in controlling your roast profile's
> > conistency. 
> > So...  My Variac's can be set to 120V or 140V.  I imagine I would want to use
> > 120V. 
> > Second questions.  From there, I can set my Variac from 0 to 100%.  As wall
> > outlet are supposed to provide 120V, am I correct in that I would set 
> > it to 100%
> > and then plug in the old GeneCafe?  I'd rather not fry my GeneCafe if
> > possible...  :)
> > Thanks in advance,
> > Ken
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> 
> 
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