Mill City 3k and 6k Roasters

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
rreiner
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Joined: Aug 03, 2015, 8:17 pm

Postby rreiner » Aug 03, 2015, 8:49 pm

Hey Everybody!

I am starting a little roasting project with a partner who owns coffee kiosks to supply his company with roasted beans (150-200 a week) and to hopefully start a small business. Right now we are looking at the USRC 3kilo and the Mill City (North Coffee Roasters) 3kilo or 6kilo.

I am wondering if any of you use these machines? We are leaning toward the Mill City option (due to budget) and would love to hear if any of you have used these machines for commercial roasting and how they have done. I am also wondering how small of a batch size you all have experimented on with the 6 kilo.

adamgronwald
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Joined: Aug 04, 2015, 10:52 am

Postby adamgronwald » Aug 04, 2015, 11:15 am

Hey rreiner! I've got a North 6 kilo that I've been roasting on for about 4 or 5 months, and I used to roast for a company that had a USRC 12 kilo.

I was also looking at USRC and Mill City before I purchased this machine. I knew that I liked USRC but I was curious about the North machines (same as you, due to budget). After spending an hour or so on the phone with Steve at MC, I was really impressed. (As a matter of fact, I think I visited HB to see if I could find any feedback from others who had dealt with Mill City or North machines, and all I found were rave reviews). There's a reason why. They know what they're doing up there.

The machine itself is great. It's heavy as hell, which is awesome (as long as you have 5 or 6 people to help you move it in). The cyclone is huge, probably the same size as the one on the USRC 12 kilo I was used to. We choked down the outlet on the cyclone from an 8" to a 6" and it still doesn't get very hot - and I'm using single wall duct (running straight out of a brick wall). The cooling tray is separate from the machine, which was interesting, but the only difference is it makes it lighter and easier to install. Steve sends an extra set of orifices for NG conversion, which I thought I wanted (I was used to it from the USRC), but I couldn't seem to get enough heat out of the gas. I think the bottleneck may be my feed line, but I've been so happy with propane since I switched it back that I'm just gonna stay here. I've never had any tipping or charring.

Batch sizes - I've found a sweet spot with a 9 - 10 lb charge. I've done a little bigger (11.5 or so) and as small as I think 5lb. They all work if you know what you're doing with your air and gas, but I stick with a 10 lb charge and have all the control I could want.

Any other questions, ask away!

rreiner
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Joined: Aug 03, 2015, 8:17 pm

Postby rreiner » Aug 04, 2015, 1:31 pm

Thanks so much for the reply! I spoke with Steve and he seems great and like you said they seem to really know roasting! My main concern is that in learning to roast a 6k machine may waste too many beans but I think we will quickly outgrow a 3k. Any tips? Thanks for the response!

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Postby Bodka Coffee » Aug 04, 2015, 6:02 pm

I have a 5k USRC so can't answer North questions. If you are going to do 200 lbs a week don't even consider a 3k. Smallest batch I do and have temp probes work right is about a 1.2 lb charge. Any less and you need to roast by sight and sound a little more and by temp less.
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rreiner
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Postby rreiner » Aug 04, 2015, 7:27 pm

Thanks Bodka Coffee!

So you'd say a 5 or 6k is more reasonable for that volume? What do you think about using a Hottop as a sample roaster? Anyone selling a used one?

Thanks!

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Postby Bodka Coffee » Aug 05, 2015, 12:09 am

Actually, if I had a locked in customer for 200 lbs a week I'd buy a 12k unless it was lots of different origins.
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Postby Bodka Coffee » Aug 05, 2015, 12:11 am

Of course that makes your investment larger. 5k is a nice size. And Compass Coffee roasts lots of pounds per week on a 3k so it is doable.
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vesteroid
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Postby vesteroid » Aug 05, 2015, 4:17 pm

I would make sure you get the delivery timeline confirmed.

I believe there was some confusion on my order and mine is going to be a month longer than what I thought we agreed to when I ordered it.

I am just home use, so I am not dying, but for commercial, I would want to make sure I KNEW when I could have my roaster.

rreiner
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Postby rreiner » Aug 05, 2015, 4:21 pm

Thank You for that tip! I will be sure to be clear with delivery date, a month would be a big difference for us!

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JK
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Postby JK » Aug 05, 2015, 5:35 pm

I'm no coffee roaster expert but I spent almost all my life building machines and machine parts..
I think the build quality North is much stronger and heavy duty than the Dietrich.. I check out a Dietrich all the time Costco..
Most times the machine is left opened after cleaning and the sheet metal seems to be lighter gauge..
The doors are no were near the North quality, they have folded and welded edges that are stiffer and for hand friendly..
The electronics are wired in a high quality method..
Not a thin gauge propriety wiring harness..
Its build as a one off that is easy to get replacement parts from any electronics maker.
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