Home Roasters

roasting & roastery operations

Home Roasters

Postby Spencer Viehweger on Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:47 am

I know there's lots of feedback out there from home enthusiasts regarding their favourite roasters. I was wondering if anyone who has experienced the commercial side of coffee roasting could offer their experience with home roasters like a Hot Top or iRoast.

I recognize that there could be significant limitations for such equipment. I imagine that they might never fully showcase a coffee's nuance, and probably would not be ideal for roast profiling; but can they consistently and accurately showcase a coffee's "purchasability"?

Thoughts?
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Re: Home Roasters

Postby Ben Cram on Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:19 pm

I have used the iroast and to be honest I prefer the old popcorn popper. I think the two are very similar but the i roast has a tiny roasting chamber. At least with a hot air popper you can manipulate the roast a bit by changing the dose of coffee.

I know that Geir roasts samples on a home roaster so you may want to call him if he doesn't chime in here.
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Re: Home Roasters

Postby Kevin Knox on Sat May 07, 2011 12:17 pm

An old thread by now and so perhaps no reply needed, but since I meet the OP's qualifications (lots of experience roasting on commercial roasters plus home roaster ownership) here are a couple of thoughts:

First recommendation would be to check out the Quest M3, which I don't (yet) own, but which the folks at Coffee Shrub/Sweet Maria's are high on, which counts for a lot in my book. That's $1200. Next step down would be a Hot Top, below that IMHO you're probably looking at hot air popcorn poppers and I don't say that like it's entirely a bad thing. Many of us used modified versions of these as sample roasters for years before we could spring for a vintage Jabez Burns or Probat. Do the old Sivetz modification (separate switches for fan and heating) to a Westbend Poppery, load it up with enough green to slow down the roast and you certainly have a more than adequate tool for assessing "purchasability" for however long it lasts. Acidity will be a big notch higher and body less developed than the same coffee in quantity in a production drum roaster, but that's an easy thing to account for in your cuppings.
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