Help roasting with a Bullet R1

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.

Postby Acorazza » Dec 06, 2017, 9:56 pm

Hi everyone. Longtime laker but haven't posted yet. I recently took delivery of a Bullet R1 and I just attempted my first roast. It went terrible. Let me preface by saying that I have been roasting for a few months on a Quest M3 and have put around 12 lbs through it. That however is a completely different roaster than the Bullet seems to be. I have a few questions regarding the Bullet.

First I got it used and cleaned it up before I started including the squirrel fan and the IR sensor. Chances are i could have messed something up but here what just happened.

I preheated the roaster in preheat mode. I noticed that unlike my Quest which I heated with high airflow, the fan was not on at all during preheat. Is this normal? Also the roaster started to smoke from the trier and front faceplate. No fire but it seemed pretty possible I preheat to around 350F . Thinking this was normal I charged my beans 350grams. My preheat temp was most likely too high but what happened next worried me. The beans started charring heavily and i was hearing cracks. I dumped the beans after about 2 minutes and they were very unevenly roasted but many of them hit first crack. I dumped it because i thought they were gonna go on fire.

This entire experience felt like my days of popper roasting. Im sure i did something wrong here so I'm looking for some guidance. Also I don't have the software yet because Im not a Windows guy but I'm going to install it tomorrow.

Can anyone help me out I really wanted to roast but Im nervous to turn it back on at this point.


Postby Acorazza » Dec 06, 2017, 9:58 pm


This is the roast


Postby sight » Dec 07, 2017, 10:20 am

No experience with the R1 but is the temperature read out in C or F? 350C = 662F


Postby Acorazza » Dec 07, 2017, 10:51 am

The temperature readout was in F. I double checked it after to make sure because that was my first thought too.

The only thing I can think of now is that the temperature sensor was way off. I think i am going to have to tear it down and clean everything up again. Since the the roaster was used, a lot of the soot an ash within the drum and roaster was shaken loose during shipping. There was a black charcoal like film on everything and I think some of it may have gotten behind the IR sensor. I didnt remove the sensor initially because i saw that it was really recommended but i think i have too.


Postby sight » Dec 07, 2017, 4:19 pm

Got a meat thermometer or thermocoupler sitting around? Should be pretty simple to troubleshoot if in fact your temp probe is off.


Postby day » Dec 07, 2017, 4:57 pm

Sounds like the first time I roasted on a whirly pop. Your temp was definitely way too high, no need to get a thermometer to verify. You could not have had so many beans enter first crack in two unless it was true. Does seem to suggest uneven mixing though, clearly some spent more time in contact with the drum than others. Unless you turned off all heat and the beams initially in contact charred and cracked, moments later cooling the drum dramatically but leaving the first beams to drop close enough that after turning back on heat they weee able to finish quickly?
Yes, i you per this on an iPhone


Postby Acorazza » Dec 07, 2017, 5:28 pm

Ya something was way too hot. I may try sticking a thermocouple from my Quest in through the tryer hole to check it. I also did some reading and it seems like the drum may need to be removed to get all of the soot out from previous roasting. I am working crazy hours for the next few days so my testing will have to wait until i can get to it. To be honest i'm not sure why only some beans charred and the drum was spinning and everything seems normal. It definitely reminded me of my air roaster sessions with how quick it all happened.

User avatar

Postby hankua » Dec 07, 2017, 5:39 pm

It would be a good idea to do a dry run and toggle thru the heat and fan settings, at least you could put your hand over the exhaust port and verify both are working. Thermometer in the exhaust is also a good idea to test out the exhaust temperature and how it compares to the display.

I watched someone roast on a Bullet (for the first time) earlier this year in a cafe, with a few tips from the owner the roasts came out fine. As I recall the Bullet displays ROR, time, and temperature; which is good enough to roast providing one knows when 1C is going to occur.

Just checked in at the BulletR1 forum and it appears to be active, have you tried posting there?


Postby Acorazza » Dec 07, 2017, 11:29 pm

Hi Hankua. Yes I have to make an account for the Bullet forum and for the Facebook group. The forum isn't actually where u read that you need to take the drum out and vacuum out the soot every 20 kilos or so. I think mine needs his and that probably why there was so much smoke. As to the heat and fan settings. They seem to be working fine but I have not tested with a thermometer but I know it gets HOT. I think the IR sensor needs to be cleaned and it probably wouldn't hurt to clean out the whole thing again. When I have some time I will take it apart and then try to do a dry run and see what happens. I just got the software hooked up so I have to explore hat a little bit too

User avatar

Postby hankua » Dec 08, 2017, 12:42 am

Seems like the Bullet is popular with owners, hopefully after cleaning the sensor it will improve performance. Maybe the previous owner was roasting well into second crack and not using enough air, causing the soot buildup.