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US Roaster Co. 1-lb Sample Roaster

Postby JonR10 on Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:57 am

Here it is, the US Sample Roaster.
Note that these pics were taken after roasting, so the tryer is laying in the dump tray...
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The temperature controller is a Watlow PID but it is set to signal only ON/OFF, and mainly used as a temperature readout off of the probe in the bean mass (directly under the sightglass). Temperature ramping is controlled manually by means of a precise needle valve on the gas feed to the burner.

Behind the Temp Controller/Display is the fan speed control pot, allowing for variable airflow
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That wire running across the unit is from my clamp-on light...not very elegant (yet) but I wanted a clean light shining in the tryer so I can have some consistency when checking beans during the roast
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I'm still learning to manage the roasts and control the progression, but early results are very encouraging. This machine seems to be well built and is a pleasure to use, and the people in OKC were just terrific to deal with. I'm glad I decided to purchase locally to support domestic industry

And of course it's nice to have a direct line to the manufacturer..... :mrgreen:
Jon Rosenthal
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Postby cannonfodder on Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:39 am

That is a big hunk of hardware. Looks nice and I have been thinking of replacing my little HotTop but I simply do not have room for something like that. My garage is full to the brim with wood working equipment and motorcycles but I still think about upgrading now and then. Especially when I spend 3 hours in the garage roasting a few pounds of coffee. Look forward to hearing how it works out.
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Postby JonR10 on Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:56 am

cannonfodder wrote:That is a big hunk of hardware.

The pictures seem to make it look bigger than it really is.
The cart is 24x36 and the machine footprint is 18x26

cannonfodder wrote:Especially when I spend 3 hours in the garage roasting a few pounds of coffee. Look forward to hearing how it works out.

Roasting whole pounds (green) is a great big + for me, I'm running about 3 pounds per hour right now.
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Postby Ken Fox on Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:20 pm

Hi Jon,

That's a very nice looking "little" roaster you have there . . . . :mrgreen:

Have you considered mounting it permanently in an enclosed space such as your garage and venting it outdoors? That is what I ultimately did with my 1lb sample roaster purchased from the same company (which at that time had the unfortunate URL of "roastersexchange.com" ?)

I'm visiting family out of town right now so have no access to pictures of my own roaster, however your roaster is obviously much more refined in appearance and construction than is mine, and has more the design of a production roaster than that of an old sample roaster (what mine resembles). I had to hack mine a lot to get it properly installed and to have proper bean temp thermometry.

I've considered a few times upgrading my roaster to something more resembling what you now have. I'm at a point now where if I were to do so I would probably get a roaster with a larger capacity, say 1kg or so, and one that would have the potential for more automated operation and programmed profiling. Needless to say, such a roaster would cost a lot, maybe approaching $10K when installed, and for this major reason I've not gone beyond the "dreaming" phase at this point.

Congratulations on your purchase and I can assure you that you will forget what you paid for the roaster in short order, and will be delighted with your purchase going forward.

ken
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Postby Nik on Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:59 pm

Congratulations Jon. It does look much larger than the measurements indicate.

Do you have it hooked to natural gas or propane tanks? Also, the US Roaster description states that it comes with a stand. Is this what you have it sitting on and does the stand have rollers?

Can't wait to hear more about it.

Best of luck with it.

Bob

JonR10 wrote:Roasting whole pounds (green) is a great big + for me, I'm running about 3 pounds per hour right now.
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Postby JonR10 on Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:14 pm

Thanks for the kind words!
I'm already very happy with it and some of the early roasts have been outstanding. I think I have a good handle on drying and ramp to first crack, and my variance seems to be with the period from first crack to onset of second crack (if it goes that far).

What are ideal ranges for rate of bean temperature rise after first crack?

Ken Fox wrote:Have you considered mounting it permanently in an enclosed space such as your garage and venting it outdoors?

I want to be able to wheel it onto our covered driveway when the weather is nice, but I have purchased fittings and flexible duct so I can roast in the garage and vent under the door.

Nik wrote:Do you have it hooked to natural gas or propane tanks? Also, the US Roaster description states that it comes with a stand. Is this what you have it sitting on and does the stand have rollers?

My roaster is configured for propane, although they will go either way you ask. It did not come with a stand, I purchased a utility roller cart separately. US Roaster offers a cart but that was an additional $500 and I figured I didn't need it.
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Postby Nik on Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:25 pm

Thanks Jon.

I don't blame you for not paying $500 for a stand. I would love to see the roaster in a picture with something of a known size that could be related to. I just wrote down the measurements and going to check if it will fit where I want it to.

Are you using the standard size propane tank for barbecue grills?
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Postby JonR10 on Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:35 pm

Nik wrote:I don't blame you for not paying $500 for a stand. I would love to see the roaster in a picture with something of a known size that could be related to.

The first picture above shows my travel tumbler next to the roaster, it is approximately the diameter of a 12-oz beverage can (but a little taller). I am using standard propane tanks like for the grill (actually, I'm using the one I had on my RK drum grill roaster).

This unit is MUCH more efficient for gas usage than the grill roaster. I have already roasted over 20 pounds of coffee and the needle on the gauge hasn't budged a bit.

When I get home this evening maybe I can take some more pictures to show familiar objects for scale and the gas connection, datalogger output, etc.
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Postby Nik on Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:44 pm

Thanks Jon....incredible it looks so much larger. I just measured a metal cart that I bought to set my Hottop on. The cart is 16" x 30" which makes the base of your roaster just one inch wider and 7 inches shorter than the top of my cart. At the back of your roaster are tubes/vents. Does the 17 x 23 inch measurement of your roaster include these as well?

Be capable of using the propane tank from the grill is a huge plus.

Thanks for sharing with us.

Bob
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Postby another_jim on Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:58 pm

It's a great looking roaster, and it looks like it may be more controllable than the Probatino, at which it is aimed. Maybe Henry will comment how it compares to the Taiwanese Mini-500, which has the same specs. It's interesting to see how the market has picked up for roasters of this size.

I use a cop LED flashlight to look at the beans in the tryer. I find it most useful for light brewing roasts, where Henry's advice to look for the split side to bulge out before pulling the roast is golden. This takes you just is a little further than a cupping roast, but gets you some nice caramels. I still like to sniff the roast for distillates for doing light, flirt with the 2nd crack, espresso roasts. Are these roasters sniffable, maybe through the tryer hole, or do all the aromatics go up the stack.

I have a question about the drop in funnel. On my little Quest knockoff of this design, the drop in chute has a trap door, and you supply your own funnel. Do you remove the funnel; or is there a mechanism shut the chute with it in place?
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