Ikawa Roaster Thoughts/Recommendations

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

I'm scaling back a bit on my roasting as a hobby having just sold my Bullet. Looking at the Ikawa roasters and would love to get feedback from any owners. What do you like/not like? Any issues roasting with your own created profiles and coffee from sources other than Ikawa?

Thanks!

pcofftenyo

#2: Post by pcofftenyo » replying to rhtrevino »

FWIW: One of my buddies owns the Pro-they can justify its expense as a sample roaster. I seriously looked at one after being exposed to theirs. It was super flexible _before_ the roast with nothing changeable once the roast started. I didn't want to justify the expense so I looked at the scaled down one. I decided that wouldn't meet my needs so I didn't buy either.

They have no problem sharing or creating roasts. They really like the set it and forget it operation as it frees their time tremendously.

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MerleApAmber

#3: Post by MerleApAmber »

Remember, it's 50 grams per roast. If you're looking to set some back for degassing you'll be making more than one run a time to develop those stores. Also, it depends upon how well your mind interprets the flow of input temperature and the various approaches to achieve ready drying, Maillard development, time to first crack, and roast/caramelization value. This is all on a fluid bed system that reacts something different to the Bullet you reference. There is a good reference dialog developing in the sponsored forum, but it may take some time to translate what's there to reproducible workflows/results. The one thing I can offer, in my experience, the Ikawa greens and their researched roast profiles are wonderful and demonstrate the potential available for those who dive deep and have a scientific method to discover cause and effect.

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

MerleApAmber wrote:The one thing I can offer, in my experience, the Ikawa greens and their researched roast profiles are wonderful and demonstrate the potential available for those who dive deep and have a scientific method to discover cause and effect.
Thank you both for the very thoughtful replies. Have you roasted many greens outside of the Ikawa recommended varieties and profiles? Are these profiles often good to use on similar origins from other importers?

I had a really good deal fall through today on a Pro v3 so I've requested a quote from Ikawa but feel like I'll end up with the Home roaster.

mathof

#5: Post by mathof » replying to rhtrevino »

I have been using an Ikawa Home for about two years. Before that I had a Gene Café which I didn't get on with a all. I never knew what adjustments to make in temperature and time. More often than not, I would have to throw away a couple of hundred grams of roasted coffee. With the Ikawa, I can of course get predictable results with Ikawa coffees and associated profiles. I've very slowly been learning to use Ikawa profiles with green beans from other sources. It usually means adjusting the profiles to get the best out of the new beans. I try to base my changes on what I have learned about roasting over the years, but in the end it is trial and error. However, at only 50g a roast, I can afford failures. At the moment I am enjoying some Yemen Mocha Matari beans that you would never find in a coffee shop and rarely from a roaster. I also have had some success with Aida Battle's splendid Finca Kilimanjaro. These kinds of results make the whole process worthwhile.

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drgary
Team HB

#6: Post by drgary »

There is now also a Pro that roasts 100 gm. I'm sure you'll need deep pockets.

The Royal Coffee Crown Jewels program typically includes roasts with the Ikawa Pro V3 and posts their profiles for download. So, that's another roasting library you can access. Not being an Ikawa owner, I don't know if those profiles can be used in the Ikawa home version.
Gary
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MerleApAmber

#7: Post by MerleApAmber »

Matt and Gary said everything I could offer better than I. I see the Home version as a different language to what most of us know in traditional bean mass temperature profiling. It's supposed to offer the novice more flexibility to get where we're going; good coffee. The assumption is, setting the oven temperature is easier than working in-depth knowledge of what causes the bean to respond individually and as a group. An interesting thing, working fluid bed micro-lots, seems like things are happening a whole lot "faster" than what we're used to. The Ikawa profiles are golden for someone starting out with bean lots and I recommend they be used as a starting point. Just realize, if you're not working Crowns level greens, your results generally are going to end up a bit 'muted.' Nudging ever closer is the beauty of hobby roasting, and why we do it.

Ya, I would have liked to go the Ikawa Pro Sampler route and might even have waited for the 100-gram system. Less mental gymnastics. But the price difference was the cost of entry on the Bullet. I find good value & flexibility in having both. The "Art" is using the Ikawa to develop characteristics I can shoot for with larger batches and prove it in the drum. I do not claim to be proficient - yet!

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archipelago

#8: Post by archipelago »

pcofftenyo wrote:FWIW: One of my buddies owns the Pro-they can justify its expense as a sample roaster. I seriously looked at one after being exposed to theirs. It was super flexible _before_ the roast with nothing changeable once the roast started. I didn't want to justify the expense so I looked at the scaled down one. I decided that wouldn't meet my needs so I didn't buy either.

They have no problem sharing or creating roasts. They really like the set it and forget it operation as it frees their time tremendously.
I exclusively use my Ikawa as a sample roaster, with just 1-2 profiles. This is accurate. For me it's a great one-trick pony but it won't teach you to roast and isn't useful in a production environment outside of sample roasting. It's a great little sample roaster though!

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

Really great info from everyone. Thank you!

I spoke with Brad, the head of IKAWA customer support today, and decided to take a plunge with the Pro V3. It was very much my choice despite being able to use the Home as a perfectly fine roasting appliance. I've got some commercial roaster friends that can provide green beans from time to time and the thought of playing around with the IKAWA with them is compelling. IKAWA is also sending a selection of coffees with some recommended profiles for the Pro that I hope to use as a jumping off point for other samples.

This seems like a fun machine to play with and I figure if the roasting hobby grows again, I can always get back into a Bullet, right? :D

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drgary
Team HB

#10: Post by drgary »

Ryan,

Congratulations on your choice! Please let us know your experience with the Ikawa Pro V3. Also, what do they cost these days? The site doesn't list cost but instead gathers your information before providing a quote.
Gary
LMWDP#308

What I WOULD do for a good cup of coffee!