Ikawa Roaster Thoughts/Recommendations - Page 3

Discuss roast levels and profiles for espresso, equipment for roasting coffee.
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Peppersass
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#21: Post by Peppersass »

This should make you feel better: I pulled the trigger on an Ikawa Pro V3 this afternoon. After a lot of thought, and conversation with an Ikawa sales rep, I decided that the 50g machine is the best choice for me. Here are some of the reasons:

- While I mostly want to roast coffee for my own consumption, I also want to continue experimenting with different coffees and roast profiles, and improve my knowledge of the relationships between coffees, roasting and taste. 50g is really perfect for that, and 100g is too much. I was told that Pro V3 50g profiles work "consistently" on the Pro 100, which I take to mean "produce the same roast", but only with 100g batches. This makes sense, as the batch volume/weight to vessel volume ratios are probably the same on the two machines or very close. The Pro 100 can do 50g batches, but I would have to develop my own profiles or modify 50g profiles developed by others, and virtually all of the available profiles were developed on Pro V3s. That's just the kind of machine-specific messing around I want to get away from.

- You're right. I can roast more batches and roast more often to compensate for the smaller batch size. Two roasts will go six days, and even four roasts covering 12 days will take 1/3 to 1/2 the time needed to do four roasts on my Quest, with much less thinking and attention required (e.g., I can read the paper while I roast!) The Quest would produce almost twice as much coffee with four roasts, with constant attention and a good chance I'll make mistakes, but I'd end up freezing half of it. I'm quite happy to get away from freezing coffee -- one less thing to do. (OK, I could do only two roasts on the Quest, but with the much longer overhead time it's not worth pulling the roaster out to do only two roasts. Plus, when I make mistakes or bad decisions I have to re-roast.)

- I was tempted to get the Pro 100 so I can roast coffee for my wife's and son's drip needs, about 340g per week, but I don't see doing 4-8 roasts for their needs and up to four more for me. I'll continue to buy fine roasted coffee for them, which I can dip into if I don't have time to roast a batch for myself.

- The Pro 100 was released in February. It has sold very well, and I'm sure it's a solid machine, but it hasn't had the time in the field that the Pro V3 has had. I've done a lot of "early adopter" purchases, but in this case I'm more comfortable with the track record of the Pro V3, and the fact that virtually all of the profiles that are available now were developed on the Pro V3. While I believe the company when it says the Pro 100 is compatible with Pro V3 profiles, that's based on lab tests, not months or years of use in the filed by professionals. I'm not knocking the Pro 100. If I were a large commercial roaster or green coffee buyer with deep skills to develop my own profiles, it probably would make the most senses.

- And then there's the $1,000 lower price tag. I've been willing to pay up for ease of use and convenience because they tend to reduce time and increase willingness to experiment, but I'm going to gamble on the Pro V3 being so quick and easy to use that I won't mind doing more roasts more often.

I had questions about exhaust. The combination of 50g batch size and the light and light-medium roasts I prefer should produce less exhaust gas than 100g batches. The salesperson said with some roasts it might be advisable to open a window, but we have a very powerful range hood fan that should be more than adequate. Being able to easily take the roaster outside in warm, dry weather is something I can't do with the Quest.

How would you rate exhaust fumes from the Pro V3?

I had concerns about noise, too. In the videos I've seen, there's what sounds like a high-pitched whine when the roaster starts up, but that fades and I can hear the person standing next to it and talking. That could be a function of turning down the main mic and using a lapel mic on the person. The salesperson said it's the sort of noise that would cause me to turn up the TV a couple of notches, which doesn't sound like much more than our range hood fan when it's on low. I'm not too worried about it. I use a heavy-duty shop vac to clean chaff out of the Quest and run the outboard cooler, and it's *really* noisy -- I wear a pair of chain-saw ear protectors when running it. That drives my wife into another room.

How would you rate noise from the Pro V3?

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rhtrevino (original poster)
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#22: Post by rhtrevino (original poster) »

Peppersass wrote:This should make you feel better: I pulled the trigger on an Ikawa Pro V3 this afternoon.
Congrats! I think you're going to love it and really appreciate the simplicity and the configurability. Obviously I'm still learning the roaster and it's nuances but I can easily say I have not roasted anything underdeveloped and undrinkable yet, which was a fairly common occurrence on my Bullet. You might even find that roasting on the Ikawa will help you learn how to roast better on the Quest. Ironically, I would love to have my Bullet back for that very reason (though that sale helped to fund the Ikawa)!
Peppersass wrote:How would you rate exhaust fumes from the Pro V3?
The Pro V3 does not have any active smoke suppression (think the catalytic converter in a Behmor) but the batch sizes are so small that the smoke is negligible. You would have a more adverse impact on the air quality in your home if you were off a nice steak in cast iron. I think a nice externally-vented range hood will be perfect. I roast exclusively in my garage and already had a 4" passive vented solution for the Bullet. I intend to get a 4" vent fan similar to what you would find in a - ahem - indoor green house to vent out the small amount of smoke in the case that I can't raise the garage door. In my experience I have to roast about 3 back to back batches before I notice anything significant.
Peppersass wrote:How would you rate noise from the Pro V3?
There's definitely noise but it's not bad at all topping out at about 70db. Certainly not as noisy as a drum roaster where the beans are constantly falling against the drum. Your vent hood on high is about right.

That Pro 100 is tempting, right? I keep going back and forth about contacting Ikawa within the 30 days to see about an exchange. But it really is so quick to roast and I agree with you that, with all of the online profiles having been developed on the V3, it makes the most sense right now. If Royal ever starts calibrating exclusively for the Pro 100, I can see myself making the switch then. The amount of research they have put into profiles for the V3 is nothing short of impressive and I have 4# of green coming from them next week for that very reason.

Looking forward to hearing what you think when the roaster arrives.

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Cafillo

#23: Post by Cafillo »

I've had the V2 Pro for 3y now. Just sold it last week.

I always used it underneath the exhaust hood of the kitchen. The noise from a the exhaust hood when step 3 (full power) is much noisier than the Ikawa. The sound of Ikawa is nice.
The exhaust hood will not prevent from smell of fresh roasted beans in your house. But in fact, this is not a disadvantage.

I did 4-8 roasts a week for my own needs. I'm not a professional.

In my opinion, most of the roast profiles from Ikawa homepage are for cuppings. Most might be a bit underdevelopped for Espresso. Even for filter.

rhtrevino (original poster)
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#24: Post by rhtrevino (original poster) »

Of the handful of roast profiles that I've tried from the Ikawa online library, I would agree that they were underdeveloped. Especially Tim Wendelboe's "default" profile. I expected it to be a very light roast but it was such a short roast time that I'm not sure how any coffee would come out tasting good.

Were you roasting mostly for filter or espresso? Any profiles you could share?

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Cafillo

#25: Post by Cafillo »

At the beginning I did only roast for espresso.
Now almost only filter.
But espresso also light nowadays.

Since I have another roaster, I believe I did not get to the max. out of the beans with my profiles. There is even more potential.

Ikawa is a sample roaster. A lot of the official profiles are made to judge greens (by cupping). Not to get great filter or espresso IMHO.
But of course you can roast great filter and espresso!
Go hotter and may longer to get your preferred roast style. Every bean acts different. Generic profiles are not possible.

mathof

#26: Post by mathof »

I've been using an Ikawa Home roaster for a couple of years, mostly for espesso roasts. Nowadays Ikawa provides a choice between filter and espresso profiles for many of its green beans. Even the espresso ones are, on the whole, quite light, but they extract well on my dipper lever machine. When I roast non-Ikawa greens, I pick a profile from my library of something similar and adapt it as well as I can. (I've still got a lot to learn about adjusting profiles for taste.)

Because espresso needs a couple of weeks to reveal its best flavours, I don't bother with cupping; instead, I start dialing-in after a rest period. For dialing in, I usually need more coffee than the two shots a 50g roast would produce (~42-44g). This means I always do two identical sample roasts when trialing new profiles. After I find a profile I like, I roast four or five production roasts to get enough coffee to put in my rotation. At the moment, I'm waiting to see if Ikawa put out a 100g Home Roaster, as 100g roasts would be more suitable for my practice (and purse), and I'm not sure that I need the precision available on a Pro version.

mathof

#27: Post by mathof »

Cafillo wrote: Since I have another roaster, I believe I did not get to the max. out of the beans with my profiles. There is even more potential.
I see in your profile that you now have a Roest. How are you finding it compared to the Ikawa?

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Peppersass
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#28: Post by Peppersass »

Cafillo wrote: Ikawa is a sample roaster. A lot of the official profiles are made to judge greens (by cupping). Not to get great filter or espresso IMHO.
But of course you can roast great filter and espresso!
Go hotter and may longer to get your preferred roast style.
Good to know.

Like others, I cup my roasts by pulling shots or brewing because I roast for drinking, not to evaluate greens. In fact, I don't know how to roast for cupping. I do have a cupping setup, so perhaps the Pro V3 will offer a chance for me to learn cupping. This is attractive because one of the great questions I've always had with my Quest is whether I'm really getting the most out of the bean. Seems to me a successful cupping profile is a better place to start than from scratch, because I should be able to produce a cupping roast that shows me how the bean should taste -- assuming the person who developed the profile did a good job, of course.

Sounds like I'll have to learn how to adapt cupping roasts for drinking, but my sense is that it's not all that hard to do so on the Pro V3, at least if it's a matter of hotter/longer. Being able to see %DTR should be helpful. The experimentation that may be required for this makes me glad I went with the Pro V3.

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Cafillo

#29: Post by Cafillo »

mathof wrote:I see in your profile that you now have a Roest. How are you finding it compared to the Ikawa?
I'm neither a professional nor very experienced with roaster.

My points are. I wanted to start roasting 3y ago. And now I wanted to go even deeper into this topic. And Speciality Coffe (brewing) is a passion.

I was very lucky to get introduced (trained) on both rosters by a great enthusiast. Thanks T. Great guy.

Now comparing is not so easy. May I just list up my benefits (other will judge different). ROEST:
. Is a drum roaster not fluid. Means convection and conduction
. Batch size nominal 100g. 50g was to low. Snd new V3 100 to expensive since I already had V2.
. Can be controlled manualy (turning nob) at any time. Usually heater by pressing heater display on ROEST Display
. Offers Air Temp profiles (similar to Ikawa). Power profiles and bean profiles (beta function)

Understanding roasting for me as a non drum roaster owner was or is a big plus.
The roasts have much more body and texture. I always missed it a bit, when I was drinking other beans from 3rd wave roasters.
And in general I like my roasts better (of course, what else :wink: )

It's like having an ultra small Loring. Able to roast small fancy batches of beans. Also able to roast 10 batches in a row. Having full control and give you the feeling to be Rob Hoos or Tim Wendelboe.

Benefits of Ikawa are also great. But I do not list up here (if you like I can!).

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Peppersass
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#30: Post by Peppersass »

Cafillo wrote: Benefits of Ikawa are also great. But I do not list up here (if you like I can!).
Please do!