Ikawa Roaster Thoughts/Recommendations - Page 5

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

I think we're going to see more and more computer control of roasters that is facilitated by Artisan software. For example:

Coffee Crafters Artisan 3-e Automating Heat Control with Artisan-Scope PID

Also you can have a large capacity roaster and do batch sizes much smaller than capacity, within limits, if you bury the BT probe in the bean pile, measure the gases going out the exhaust. I have a 1Kg roaster and am doing well-controlled 350gm roasts. Rob Hoos told us at a gathering that he was doing sample roasts on a small USRC roaster by tracking exhaust gas temperature.

None of these replaces the convenience and downloadable profiles of an Ikawa Pro. There are competitors coming along and Ikawa is very pricey, so I think it'll just be a matter of time.

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#42: Post by mathof »

One difference between the Pro and the Home not yet mentioned is that the Pro is configured so that, as in most roasters, you drop your green beans into the chamber when the ambient heat has reached a specific target. With the Home, you put the beans in the chamber before starting the roast and they are heated up gradually by the input air. I don't know if this makes any difference to the final product but it does give Pro users a choice (when to drop) which is not available on the Home version.

[edit] Another difference is that you are allotted several more points at which to adjust the temperature and fan profiles on the Pro, which accordingly increases the precision with which you control the roaster.

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#43: Post by pcdawson »

I wonder how different the Ikawa home is from the old SR700. I owned one I'd these a few years ago. It was kind of a neat roaster when used with Openroast software. There was even a Facebook page where you could share profiles. It was discontinued a few years back. It certainly didn't cost anywhere near what the Ikawa home lists for, but was nowhere near as bespoke. It seemed as though the folks who bought these little home roasters preferred the manual versions like the SR500.

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#44: Post by Peppersass »

drgary wrote:I think we're going to see more and more computer control of roasters that is facilitated by Artisan software.
My Quest has an Arduino/TC4 that makes it capable of automated operation with Artisan, but I've never used it that way. For a long time that was because I was trying to learn the roaster and how to roast, and consequently needed to make corrections and changes each time I roasted a particular bean. Also, I periodically made modifications to the roaster -- different probes and probe positions, copper pipe mod, painted drum, etc., requiring more experimentation to adapt to the effects of the mods. It's only fairly recently, after upgrading to the M3s drum, that I've been able to get roasts that I like enough to repeat exactly, but I haven't had enough time to try that. Now an Ikawa Pro V3 is on the way.

My need to keep learning, my penchant for experimentation and my preference for switching coffees often are reasons I opted for the smaller batch size of the Ikawa Pro V3. Most of the time I'd rather have 43g each of three different coffees, or three different profiles for the same coffee, to drink during the week than 129g of a particular coffee. If I find a real standout that I'd like to dwell on for a while, I can always do three automated roasts of it.

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#45: Post by Brewzologist »

Chiming in here briefly so as not to derail the topic. I have fully computerized all aspects of a Huky with Artisan fairly easily using high resolution RTD probes. While I still prefer to drive the actual roast myself, all warm-up and between batch protocols are PID controlled and my ability to match profiles and/or achieve specific roast goals is very precise. So indeed I agree that automation alone is rapidly becoming less of a differentiator in selecting a particular roaster. But I like the Ikawa's ability to roast such small amounts for the same reasons Dick mentioned.