Ikawa Home Roaster 100g (2021 ver.) - Review - Page 10

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
B2uatk

#91: Post by B2uatk »

Total Roast Count - I feel that the machine is missing OR I haven't found a counter which shows how many roasts have been completed on the machine..Seems like a simple thing to keep track off? what roast count using what profile?

mgrayson
Supporter ♡

#92: Post by mgrayson »

The app is supposed to tell you how many times a profile was used, but it keeps saying "never" no matter how many times I use one.

GDM528

#93: Post by GDM528 »

Has anyone made it past 'City Roast' with the in-app (iOS version) recipes? What the app is calling "Dark +++", and "the darkest we would ever advise", is really just a medium roast: no second crack, and no visible oil/shine. I'm beginning to wonder if their app is gaslighting me on roast levels.

I suppose Ikawa capping the roast level may reduce smoke output and keep the machine interior cleaner - both of which will reduce the number of angry customer-service calls - but the more dedicated home roasters are made of sterner stuff.

So if I were to start with one of Ikawa's in-app profiles, say 'Dark +++', how should I modify it to reach a Full City roast level: bump up the temperature, development time, both?

MNate
Supporter ♡

#94: Post by MNate »

Just got the Ikawa Home - ordered it on Black Friday. Here are my initial impressions:
- the packaging is superb
- the fit and finish of mine was stellar. I think once my Weber Key comes my DE1 is going to look like a Chevy next to two Cadillacs. Though their lols are all quite complimentary.
- the instructions are simple, though I too missed a button click along the way and roasted a profile I didn't intend my first time. Second time I get it though.
- I like how everything has a nice feel to it, even the little magnets or something in the doser.
- no smoke but the house really did smell like fresh roasted coffee after two batches. I thought it was a nice smell but I was worried the kids would complain. They didn't. My wife thought something I was cooking had caramelized well...
-I paid $70 of duty fees, slightly higher than others but perhaps because of the including beans I bought on top of the free beans

I'll save roasting comments for a bit later but so far the experience is on a much higher level than with the FreshRoast.

MNate
Supporter ♡

#95: Post by MNate »

I decided to test out the darkness levels of their standard espresso profiles, each using the +++ development time. I used a washed Rwanda that was pretty cheap and I never really loved when I roasted using the Fresh Roast, but it was ok. I used 100g batches.

Here is how they looked (photos like this really need perfect lighting, sorry!)




On the left is how it roasted up last week on the Fresh Roast SR800, on the right two of the roasts on the Ikawa:


The roasts were nice and even. It covered a nice range and was easy to tell which was which. The two darkest roasts showed a little oil... darker than I'd want to buy so I don't mind that it won't go darker. They weren't quite to second crack I don't think. The lightest roast made it through first crack, I think, with the rounded edges, etc. noticeable. Yet it is hard to hear the cracking and when it stops or starts, but there were always some quite noticeable pops. The FreshRoast with its loud fan was also hard to hear well. Oh, and with the two darkest roasts the roasted

Since day 4, today, was my birthday and a Sunday I didn't have any trouble getting my wife to do some taste testing. Instead of normal cupping I prefer just making the drink as we'd make it and see how we like it. This is a little less milk than we often use, maybe 80g. I used a Niche and the Adaptive Profile on the DE1, each bean adjusted to try to get near 2ml/s for the main portion of the shot.

Here's what things looked like:




(I pulled the medium roast first and when we got to that one we could definitely tell it wasn't as good as the others- it flowed fast and we could tell. My second attempt at it was better)

My wife ended up preferring the Medium Dark and I preferred the medium light. The Medium was a bit boring to both of us. The Medium Dark and Dark both had strong Smokey flavor I could tell just by grinding it. The Light was more acidic, for sure, and maybe slightly sour- perhaps dialing it with a different temp would have helped it a little.

So what did I learn?
-the Ikawa can cover a range that I'm happy with. I don't think we'll spend much time on the dark end. The light end may be used if a particular bean calls for it.
-it's a whole lot easier to get a range of roasts with the Ikawa than it was with the Fresh Roast! Maybe I should have been more bold with the Freah Roast because I had this idea that I only wanted to end the roast after I heard first crack ending, but that usually got me too dark of a roast, for my preference.
-the Ikawa can make ok beans ok. Buy better beans to get better results, I suppose, although this can't tell me that good beans will turn out well.

Well, it was a fun activity anyway. It is easy! Can I find some spectacular results? We shall see!

kidloco

#96: Post by kidloco »

Thank you so much for doing this detailed review!

Auctor (original poster)
Supporter ❤

#97: Post by Auctor (original poster) »

Agreed, awesome post. Still trying to digest it.

ConFlatExp

#98: Post by ConFlatExp »

like the all white setup!

GDM528

#99: Post by GDM528 »

MNate wrote:The roasts were nice and even. It covered a nice range and was easy to tell which was which. The two darkest roasts showed a little oil... darker than I'd want to buy so I don't mind that it won't go darker. They weren't quite to second crack I don't think. The lightest roast made it through first crack, I think, with the rounded edges, etc. noticeable. Yet it is hard to hear the cracking and when it stops or starts, but there were always some quite noticeable pops. The FreshRoast with its loud fan was also hard to hear well. Oh, and with the two darkest roasts the roasted
The roasting results are remarkably uniform! Did you take a picture of the greens before roasting - uniform-in/uniform-out?

Ikawa's recipe for that bean is interesting: they briefly spike the air a bit past the temperature for first crack just 2:30 into the roast, then quickly back down to Mailliard temperatures, and ramp linearly back up to first crack temperature in 3-5 minutes. The ramp is so gradual, that I expect first crack will be indistinct, and will have turned exothermic well before any audible sounds. Their temperature profile doesn't appear to go high enough to ever trigger second crack, save a few over-eager beans.

My previous roaster was a FreshRoast, which I nicknamed "The Incinerator". When I poked around the FreshRoast with thermocouple, I found a >10C thermal gradient from top to bottom of the bean mass. The FreshRoast also has a thermostatic control loop that produces +/- 10C temperature fluctuations - enough to span several levels of roast in a single batch - yikes. I suspect those thermal fluctuations contributed to a more distinct-sounding first crack indication despite the high fan noise.

The Ikawa has an awesome level of control over temperature, like, wow. I think one outcome of that thermal control is the ability to 'sneak' into first crack with nary a peep, and over a span of two minutes. The drum roaster profiles I've seen, generally divide the roast into Drying/Browning/Development with first crack marking the transition from Browning to Development. But what if first crack takes 1-2 minutes, shouldn't that be accounted for in the overall time budget?

MNate
Supporter ♡

#100: Post by MNate »

GDM528 wrote:The roasting results are remarkably uniform! Did you take a picture of the greens before roasting - uniform-in/uniform-out?
Sort of. In one of my first batches (I believe their Guatemala) I picked through and found 6 or 8 bad beans (mostly broken) in the 100g dose. Pictures below. In this Rwandan from another supplier there were so many bad beans! So I picked through before roasting. I've been pleased that all the other Ikawa beans have been virtually defect free in their green state.

GDM528 wrote:
Ikawa's recipe for that bean is interesting: they briefly spike the air a bit past the temperature for first crack just 2:30 into the roast, then quickly back down to Mailliard temperatures, and ramp linearly back up to first crack temperature in 3-5 minutes. The ramp is so gradual, that I expect first crack will be indistinct, and will have turned exothermic well before any audible sounds. Their temperature profile doesn't appear to go high enough to ever trigger second crack, save a few over-eager beans.
I suppose many drum roasters heat the drum a lot before charge so maybe it's not too surprising. Almost all of their bean profiles are like that except this one Natural Yirgacheffe which is much more gradual. I think I may test some with this profile vs the sharper spike and see how it works.



But yeah, things have been good for someone who doesn't really know what they're doing. If we ever get to "roast togethers" with someone on a Quest or Bullet we may see if it really falls short. May be best not to compare up the scale!