Sweet Marias *Popper - Page 4

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

jpender wrote:My question about Artisan was tongue in cheek. Sort of. I used to brew beer with very simple equipment. I mashed in a thin enameled pot balanced over two electric burners, holding a dairy thermometer in one hand and stirring like a madman with the other. If I were going to do that again I'd spend more money on gear. But I wouldn't buy a turnkey system for $10K or whatever. That's no fun. It's hard to know with a new hobby what the sweet spot is.
The IKAWA Home 100 is about $1k with the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. I'd say that is the current sweet spot for roasting specialty-grade coffee, unless you need much more capacity. (This is for new equipment. Used is always different.)
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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#32: Post by jpender »

That looks pretty good, actually. But it does everything for you, like running a bread making machine instead of mixing and kneading the dough yourself. And $1000 is out of proportion: My Robot + Kinu were only $600. Maybe home roasting just doesn't make sense for me.

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baldheadracing
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#33: Post by baldheadracing replying to jpender »

It can do everything for you, but it doesn't have to. Thus, you can get reasonable results immediately, and then dive as deep as you want to. Their business model is predicated on subscription; the machinery itself is quite excellent for the price. However, look at the threads here, and, if you can mount a thermocouple, then you can say good-bye to ever needing a subscription and their roast curves that they have developed for each of their subscription coffees. That's why I'd say that it is a "sweet spot."

BTW, your proportions don't seem that out of proportion to me. If I exclude my 'collection,' and look at current retail prices, then I would have paid about $10k for the main roaster with ancillaries, $3k for the grinder, and $2k for the espresso machine. However, I didn't pay anywhere near those numbers because almost everything was purchased used and needing repair.

That being said, I don't save money roasting, although it is certainly possible to save money roasting.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

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another_jim
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#34: Post by another_jim »

I wasn't suggesting automating the roaster, but instrumenting it so one can manually slow down the roasts is a must for an experienced home roaster
Jim Schulman

jpender
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#35: Post by jpender »

So what does that mean exactly? Heat power control, fan control, and temperature sensor? The current v1 popper has the first two and adding the second isn't that hard. Is there something else?

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#36: Post by jpender »

I just re-watched the video where Tom demos the Popper and it's kind of funny. He gets confused by the backwards timer. Why did they do it that way? The thing more or less works okay but even in his hands it's far from perfect. Well, it's a modified popcorn maker.

I didn't realize until just a few minutes ago that SM is a relatively local company. For some reason I thought they were a thousand miles away.

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another_jim
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#37: Post by another_jim »

jpender wrote:So what does that mean exactly? Heat power control, fan control, and temperature sensor? The current v1 popper has the first two and adding the second isn't that hard. Is there something else?
Ideally, they'd fix the overly clever timer -- turn it counterclockwise it goes down to zero then pops back to ten minutes, similarly going clockwise, up to ten, then back to zero -- changes to cool whjn the timer hits three/

Adding a wattmeter or ammeter to the power is useful, since its utterly blind.

Adding a fast sensor to the bean mass to get a feel for the pace of the roast. The roaster is a popper, so it goes to fast at the start and can stall at the end. Setting the heat steady results in a six minute roast to the first pops of the second -- OK for bourbons and SL28s, not so good for the cats or ethiopian varietals. Once that is in, you can babysit the roasts to a more generally useful profile.

Unlike drum roasters, the "natural profile" on air roasters, i.e. roasting with steady heat at an intermediate setting, does not produce very good roasts in most cases. So they need a lot more control interventions over the course of the roast than drum roasters. Contrariwise, they respond to heat changes must more quickly, so they are much easier to automate. This means air roasters are more fun when they are automated, while drum roasters are fun used manually.
Jim Schulman

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Sal
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#38: Post by Sal »

another_jim wrote: Unlike drum roasters, the "natural profile" on air roasters, i.e. roasting with steady heat at an intermediate setting, does not produce very good roasts in most cases. So they need a lot more control interventions over the course of the roast than drum roasters. Contrariwise, they respond to heat changes must more quickly, so they are much easier to automate. This means air roasters are more fun when they are automated, while drum roasters are fun used manually.
Thanks for this comment. Now I know why I don't like using the Behmor roaster unless I have to for a larger batch. Even though it is a drum roaster, it offers no manual control. Its automated pre-programmed profiles are sufficient for my use, but I never liked the resulting coffee that much. And for the automation part, my SR700 is basically used in that fashion. I have a set of base receipts and pick one for the new bean and tweak a bit. Then the recipe is set for the automation of the remaining beans.

If I decide to purchase a larger 1 lb roaster now, it will either Sonofresco 1lb roaster for automated roast for production (small sale to friends and family) or Cormorant 600g roaster for manual roasting for my own hobby, or Bullet R1 for both automation and manual roasting.

But, it is very unlikely that I will ever come to a decision to splurge that much money on a roaster unless I play to market and sell a lot more for "profit". My fixed budget of $8/lb for coffee is not likely to change anytime soon.
I am a home-roaster, not a home-barista...

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#39: Post by jpender »

another_jim wrote:Adding a wattmeter or ammeter to the power is useful, since its utterly blind.
That wouldn't be expensive or hard to do. But how do you use the value? In what way is it better than a unitless number on a dial? Isn't feedback from the temperature sensor what really counts?

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another_jim
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#40: Post by another_jim »

jpender wrote:But how do you use the value? In what way is it better than a unitless number on a dial? Isn't feedback from the temperature sensor what really counts?
I use the combo of ammeter and ET to set the power on my Quest; that may be coloring my judgment.
Jim Schulman