New Huky 500t purchase questions

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

#1: Post by Frankc1450 »

Hi everyone,
Love this forum! I've been reading up on what to get to replace my Gene Cafe.
I was looking at Kaldi but now I'm pretty much set on the Huky.
So, the questions I have at the moment concern temp measurement and drum type.
I'm intrigued by the option of using radiant heat so I'm leaning towards the perforated drum.
As for temp probes I've read the threads about response times and I'm leaning towards Phidgets and RTDs at 3mm. I'm going to reach out to Mr Li and see what he can do to make that easier, if anything. I don't want to buy a new machine and drill it up to accommodate the skinny probes.
I might as well replace all three probes with RTDs as long as I'm doing it. Has anyone done this with a new machine?
I'm going to use Mr Li's infrared heater because it works and it is indoor rated. I'm in Chicago and I won't be able to roast in the garage in the winter. I'm looking for a long hose for my propane tank so I can keep it outside while I'm inside.

So thanks in advance, I appreciate whatever you care to share.


#2: Post by littlenut »

I can't directly help Frank, but this seems to be a helpful thread on what to order from Mr. Li. I've seen similar (but a little dated) posts on the old Huky forum about ordering. I "bet" there are helpful posts about phidgets on the subreddit and the Huky Forum as well. HTH, -LN

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#3: Post by Brewzologist »

Welcome! Some thoughts:

1) I have a solid drum and I'm happy with it. Perhaps Marcel and others will weigh in on the pro/con of a perforated drum. You could also search which is closed to new submissions but still a great info resource.

2) Agree on getting RTD's for BT and ET, but I wouldn't spend the money on an RTD for the MET probe. (I don't really use MET much and it's still a TC). Let Mr. Li know you'll be using 3mm RTD's and I believe he can source the compression fittings and install them for you. But worst case it's really no big deal to install them and only involves minor drilling to increase the size of the BT probe fitting in the faceplate.

3) Agree on using the IR stove. I have had no problems with it. FYI; I also roast indoors and I just bring in my propane tank when time to roast and then return it outside. Recommend you get a variable pressure regulator (5-10PSI) and use it on the IR stove instead of the green one Mr. Li provides. You might consider upgrading the stock gauge to a better range model (0-6kPa) at the same time for more precise control. Search for threads here on HB for how to do these things.

4) Regarding roasting indoors; you need good ventilation to the outside as roasting generates a lot of smoke which will stink up your house and set off the fire alarms. It's also not healthy to breathe either. You probably know this given your experience with the Gene Cafe.

Sounds like you've already been reading a lot on HB. There is a TON of good info here about the Huky in the roasting forum, so make good use of the search function and read all you can. Not many questions that haven't been answered about this roaster.

All that said, know the Huky is a bit of a Rube Goldberg contraption. It's very flexible, you can do a lot with it and keep it running forever, but you will find you'll want to do a lot of tweaks. Like upgrade the fans and exhaust system. If you'd rather have a complete kit that works more 'out of the box' and finances/time permit you may wish to look at the Cormorant. Don't get me wrong, I love my Huky and would never go back to electric roasters, but if I were starting today I'd take a long look at the Cormorant too.

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#4: Post by Marcelnl »

Agree with all that has been said, and I too think you have clearly given this move some good thought!

It's hard to weigh in on solid versus perforated as I only have a perforated drum so from me you'll only get the 'pro' on perforated. You can purchase both drums and motors from Mr Li (at a cost of course but I recall drum and motor are not THAT expensive). Swapping drum is easy, motor is doable too.

I'm perfectly happy with my perforated drum, just keep in mind that the charge temp readings are way off so plan to find your own way as far as charge temperature is concerned and do not copy solid drum gas settings/adjustments. (well that is sort of a 'con' after all).
The low thermal mass of the perforated drum and the convection heating is like driving a lightweight car with a powerful engine, quick 'acceleration' and 'braking', yet the challenge is to keep enough momentum to maintain a declining RoR.

As far as RTD's, don't even consider not choosing them!
it makes the process so much more controllable that I think Mr Li should switch and integrate them from scratch or offer that option by installing the locknuts or adapting the holes (should be straighforward as it's pretty simple to do DIY). It really transforms the process that much.

The stove IMO is brilliant, just be sure to get a 5kPa gas regulator.
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#5: Post by SJM »

The original HUKY produced by Mr. Li had a perforated drum.
He started offering solid drums after he was asked to produce one for an early adopter here on this forum.

I roasted with both the perforated and the solid, and preferred the results that the perforated drum produced. I found them to be mellower, rounder, as probably goes hand in hand with my preference for solid medium roasts that could be successful both in the Livia and in the Technivorm.

I don't really advise getting both drums to start with. You can learn to roast well with either one, and if you can't/don't achieve the results you want and you think it might be because of the drum style, change then. At the beginning it is just too many choices: which to start with? when and why to change ?

There are almost certainly more people using the solid drums, so you might well get more input/help if you chose that. On the other hand, the perforated is....better :-)))))) (IMNSHO)

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#6: Post by Marcelnl »

great to see I'm not the lone ranger for perverted drums!
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#7: Post by Frankc1450 »

Thanks everybody!
This is great.
So, yes on the perforated drum. Thanks
I'll use RTDs with Phidgets for BT and ET, I'm kind of torn on the MET probe. I'd like to have some visual display of temp, that's why I liked the Centers. Maybe a TC and a 301 Center, or a physical thermometer? I'll have to figure the costs. I have read a lot of threads that liked the MET over the ET so I hate not having the MET feed in artisan at all.
Any recommendations for the RTDs? Or are they generic?

I'll start looking at gas meters and regulator threads.

Ventilation will be key when I roast inside. We have quite the ritual when I use the Gene inside. I'll be roasting larger batches so I'll have to rig up something good.

Yes, Cormorants look like great machines. Purchasing the Huky is a tough enough sell here at Frank's house. I don't see a Cormorant in my future any time soon.

LN, thanks for the thread link. :D
Thanks All,

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#8: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Frank if you want to support Artisan take a look at getting the probes from them.

I am happy to chat if you like on some choices. You really don't need the Center if you get set up right to start. Michael
Artisan Quick Start Guide

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#9: Post by Marcelnl »

just get the RTD and phidget kit from Artisan, download artisan and select the kit as device profile. Make sue you get the right locknuts to fit the Huky by contacting the Artisan folks, check the RTD upgrade thread for more info. I'd not invest in an RTD for ET, you can always swap location if you find you prefer one over the other. My MET is usually way out of the graph and ET works good as AWAC system.
LMWDP #483

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#10: Post by Brewzologist »

Frankc1450 wrote: I'll use RTDs with Phidgets for BT and ET, I'm kind of torn on the MET probe. I'd like to have some visual display of temp, that's why I liked the Centers. Maybe a TC and a 301 Center, or a physical thermometer?
I recommend you only get Phidgets and use Artisan for your visual display during a roast. It's highly configurable and you can see your temps in real time. Most people use Artisan as the 'Command Center' to drive their roasts and log events, all of which you'll want to create repeatable roast profiles. Subjectively I'd also say Center meters have been issue-prone; especially when integrating them into Artisan. The only reason to have a Center meter is if you would be in situations where you couldn't have a computer available during a roast.
Frankc1450 wrote: I have read a lot of threads that liked the MET over the ET so I hate not having the MET feed in artisan at all.
FYI; Be careful here because terms like 'ET' and 'MET' can be used differently/interchangeably by different roasters and machines. IMO, for the Huky, the ET probe is far more useful than the MET probe. The deltaET reading in Artisan signals where deltaBT is headed during a roast, and deltaBT is arguably one of the most used parameters to guide gas/air settings during a roast. The MET probe in the Huky is located outside the drum at the highest point in the housing and has little utility for roasting IMO.

In summary, I recommend you definitely use RTD's for the BT and ET probes. If you want to save money, use a K-type TC for the MET probe as the data from this has little value on the Huky. Also, BT, ET, MET and many other types of data can be fed into Artisan, so that's not an issue either.