New Ikawa Home Roaster - 100g capacity - Page 31

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

#301: Post by another_jim »

Please discuss any comparisons between the Ikawa and Bullet here.
Jim Schulman

MNate
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#302: Post by MNate » replying to another_jim »

But while we have you here, Jim... any thoughts on this roaster from what you've read?
-is the sharp initial heat spike of many of these profiles ok? What should we look out for that would tell us a more gradual beginning would be better?
-without a good bean temp, do you think we have enough to guide us through the stages and figure a good drop time adjusting by the development time selection, I guess)?
-any general profile selection tips?

Thanks!

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another_jim
Team HB

#303: Post by another_jim »

I once made a fully automated air roaster using a P1 popper and a Fuji ramp soak controller. I found that I had to keep track of the inflowing air temperature, and keep the P.I. ad D parameters quite overdamped in order to prevent the inflowing air from cycling. In an air roaster, dropping the inflowing air temp is bad for roast quality to roast quality, since there is no thermal mass to buffer the cooling effect.

My somewhat uninformed impression is that the Pro model gives you read otus control of these variables; while the home model does not. This means the home model would need to be smart rather than have a plain vanilla PID, so that it could make sure the supply air temp ramps up smoothly through out the roast, overriding any signal from the control of the bean profile.

More generally, not referring to this roaster in particular, I am no fan of opaque "we do it all for you" devices. If the goal is to learn how to roast, you need transparent roasters. If the goal is to do home roasts without understanding the process; this device might be OK, but I'd look in the mirror to see if you are OK.
Jim Schulman

mgrayson
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#304: Post by mgrayson »

I am getting better with the Home, but I don't know why. It's like I'm not learning how to roast, I'm learning how to wield the Home. I could say "What does it matter? I'm getting good coffee." But it makes it difficult to take on a new coffee, as I have no real principles to guide me. It's not easy to guess which existing profile will work well with a new bean, even if the elevation and other parameters are matched.

Sounds like I'm making excuses to try the Pro. Hmmmm...

MNate
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#305: Post by MNate »

another_jim wrote: More generally, not referring to this roaster in particular, I am no fan of opaque "we do it all for you" devices. If the goal is to learn how to roast, you need transparent roasters. If the goal is to do home roasts without understanding the process; this device might be OK, but I'd look in the mirror to see if you are OK.
Thanks for your thoughts. Always appreciated. Yeah, this device is definitely in the "we do it all for you" camp. But it does seem to work! So the results are good, even though I'm not learning much about roasting along the way.
mgrayson wrote:I am getting better with the Home, but I don't know why. It's like I'm not learning how to roast, I'm learning how to wield the Home. I could say "What does it matter? I'm getting good coffee." But it makes it difficult to take on a new coffee, as I have no real principles to guide me. It's not easy to guess which existing profile will work well with a new bean, even if the elevation and other parameters are matched.

Sounds like I'm making excuses to try the Pro. Hmmmm...
Or a Bullet, but that's the topic of another thread.

I do hope some will chime in on their profile selections. For me, we have found we tend to like the Medium++ of most profiles, including the default washed or natural for non-Ikawa beans. I do one of it and one ML++ and see which we like better. If I want more chocolate I might go M+++ or MD++. I really haven't worked the light angle yet. Simple... too simple perhaps...

dcdog59

#306: Post by dcdog59 »

Auctor wrote: My Ikawa Home arrived in 11 days to the west coast USA, via DHL. This includes the shipment being "On Hold" for 3 days in Cincinnati for no stated reason. It started moving again after I contacted DHL customer service to investigate. I did not request "no signature" delivery, and despite that it was left at my door without any contact or door knock.
I'm from Cincy as well and was trying to decide if the home 100g was worth the investment. How have you been liking yours so far?

Auctor
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#307: Post by Auctor »

There are quite a few good threads discussing the roaster (including this one). Generally:

+ Great repeatability at a given batch size
+ Lots of "in-roast profile" flexibility, great for a newbie roaster
+ Great fit and finish, great customer experience using the app (though occasionally a little buggy when connecting)
+ Growing user base here at HB sharing their results and insights
+ Decent green selection from Ikawa

- No existing support to learn *why* a certain roast profile is correct, or how tweaking might change things
- Wildly expensive (and seemingly purposefully unobtainable) Advanced Editor with no training or obvious help
- Results vary if you try the same coffee at 50g vs 100g

Other things we've read in threads shown below:

+ Good temperature consistency
- May not be able to produce a French or Vienna roast

In a nutshell, I would definitely recommend it to someone who wants an "easy" roaster for flexibility and good results. Jury is still out on whether this is a great roaster (at this price point) to get the best out of your greens. Most of the coffees I've roasted are good, not great, and certainly not in the top 20 I've ever consumed.

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

IKAWA Home - profiles

Ikawa Home thermal performance

mgrayson
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#308: Post by mgrayson » replying to Auctor »

+ No smoke. Even a dark roast (using an edited profile) makes a cooking odor, not a burning one.

GDM528

#309: Post by GDM528 »

dcdog59 wrote:I'm from Cincy as well and was trying to decide if the home 100g was worth the investment. How have you been liking yours so far?
That was actually me (or my evil twin) that wrote that. I think I may be over-liking the Ikawa, by (enjoyably) spending so much time fiddling and experimenting with it. Once of my decisions for the Ikawa over other roasters was its hacking efficiency - improving the machine largely involves adding stuff, rather than replacing poorly designed parts. Virtually everything in the Ikawa Home seems worth keeping. That's my point of view as a hacker.

A key source of frustration among the prosumers on this board, may be from Ikawa's attempt to 'Nespresso-ize' their roaster. If you buy their curated beans and follow their recipes, you'll probably be fine - and they'll have an ongoing source of revenue from you. They can't stop you from putting your own beans in the roaster, but they can give you some headwind if you try, like removing critical temperature sensors and charging usurious fees for custom editing. There are workarounds however, so I don't think you have to be handy with electronics to go further with the machine.

mgrayson
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#310: Post by mgrayson »

Not to be a traitor to the cause - I love the Ikawa Home - but I tried the Pro100 and there is great pleasure in seeing with some accuracy where FC will happen, what the development percentage will be, and what the final temperature will be. Actual results vary a little. Yes, it's exhaust air and not "real' bean temperature, but I tested it with an EspressoVision meter on three different non-Ikawa roasts and it gets pretty close to what you input. Is it worth the money? Certainly not if you stay in the Ikawa ecosystem. Is it necessary in order to go outside the walled garden? No, as others are documenting quite well. But it's scarily easier to deal with.

In other words, if it is remotely within your budget, don't try one or you will buy one. You've been warned!