Electricity vs gas roaster - Batch size 500g

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

#1: Post by warlock »

Hey Barista fam,

Whats the opinion on electricity vs gas roasters for a batch size of 500g

I am leaning towards electricity because,
1) I have relatively free electricity because of solar panels
2) Most of the electric roasters I am reading about have a decent level of automation as well (making this easier, would be a key, while not compromising much on quality)

What are you thoughts ?? :D

Capuchin Monk

#2: Post by Capuchin Monk »

I picked gas for my roaster because it's the cheaper source of the two in my area. If electric is cheaper, I would have picked electric.

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#3: Post by okmed »

I just switched from electric (Hottop) to propane (ARC 800) in October (still on the learning curve) and find it much more responsive. I found with electric heat you had to anticipate how the roaster would react whether you were trying to raise or lower the temperature. You would make a setting change but it could take a minute for the heating element to heat up or cool off and then give you a corresponding bean temperature change. The other reason I switched was if I wanted more capacity I would have had to run a dedicated 230 volt circuit. That may not be an issue for you, I think 220 volt is standard for you guys ?

warlock (original poster)

#4: Post by warlock (original poster) »

Yeah, luckily I dont have that issue as the country is on 220v by default. :)


#5: Post by TallDan »

Assuming that you have both electric and gas available to you, my recommendation is to not narrow your field of choices based on that. Pick the roaster that fits your needs best.

In other words, there's a bigger difference between a quest m3 and an aillio bullet than there is between a gas north roaster and an electric north roaster.


#6: Post by bwren »

Are we talking drum or fluid bed here? Having used both electric and gas drum roasters, I will never go back to electric. You can get similar results on both, and electric is easier to automate inputs for repeatability.

But there is no comparison with the lag time after temp control inputs. Plus liquid propane has a lot more power in a home environment of 220V. When trying to achieve a specific profile on the fly in Artisan, gas is so much more responsive, but you need to be on the ball and have developed your chops. If you like experimenting with various beans and profiles, I'd recommend gas.

I do believe though for drum roasters in the 500-800g range, electric roasters are better values - you need to spend a lot more for comparable gas ones. And it is a lot more convenient using electricity.