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Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:03 am
by Spencer Viehweger
Given the extent that baristas have so religiously advocated various espresso machine cleaning rituals, I'm surprised at the comparatively small amount of information pertaining to roaster maintenance.

Would anyone be willing to share some of their practices?

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:01 am
by MeanJoeBean
a match and some gasoline... stand back.

May want to alert the fire department first though, they don't respond well to "10 ft flames" and "controlled burns"

-Joe Davis

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:33 pm
by gabelucas
We have daily, weekly, monthly, 6 month and yearly check lists for the cleaning that happens at Intelligentsia Chicago and LA and Ecco.

All the ducting comes off every possible orifice every week for scraping. Recently we experimented with a power drill and a soft brush to really get to the perky elbows and to not gouge the ducting with a straight and stiff scraper that is often used to clean the ducting.
We are looking into having duplicate ducting so that we can soak a set then replace it with a spiffy clean set of ducting (for the 90 kilos) and keep switching them out. It's pricey and tricky to do, but I think it's the way to go.

we have multiple roasters attack each machine for the fastest results. All the bearings are checked, every grease tip lubed, chaff cans and settling chambers scraped, cooling tray cleaned, underneath cooling tray vacuumed and scraped, wherever air flows, cleaned and scraped, afterburner cleaned and scraped (lots of chimney sweeps stuff used to do this). Your roaster should be thoroughly cleaned once a week or at LEAST 2X a month depending on volume. Vacuuming the chaff can is super important as often as possible (4-6-8 batches). Clean and scrape wherever things bend and collect for sure, and always watch your flame as it will tell you how your airflow is, and your airflow is a good indicator of how clean your pipes are!

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:56 pm
by jasonscheltus
Soaking elbow joints, fan casings, and tricky shapes makes the cleaning easier. We have spares of these parts which allow us to soak them for several days to get clean. I find espresso machine cleaning product works well to break down the tar build up, this way you can gently scrape off the tar and finish it with steel wool rather than scratch at it for hours scoring your ducting.

We roast 30-40 batches per week and clean everything every 8 weeks.

Obviously keeping a log of what and when you clean will help with consistency in airflow changes and flavour changes.

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:33 am
by Alistair Durie
Gabe, I really like the duplicate duct idea, makes great sense.

Anyone tried using a large ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning?

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:00 am
by Chris Kornman
Haven't tried ultrasound yet, but we did get a pretty swwweeeet demo of a dry-ice blaster. Worked exceptionally. Had to rent the compressor, so maybe a little pricey, but very very effective.
IMG_0507 reduced.JPG

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:30 am
by Marty G Curtis
Hey man can you tell use how messie this was. Would it require a drain by roaster for the ice when it melts or are you abe to mop up. Thanks for sharing

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:54 am
by Rob Larson
Here's a dorky video i made showing some of the more frequent maintenance done on one of our roasters. 8)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9Q7xXgax1c

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:16 pm
by Andy Schecter
Marty G Curtis wrote:Hey man can you tell use how messie this was. Would it require a drain by roaster for the ice when it melts or are you abe to mop up.


Dry ice blasting leaves no liquid residue, it simply turns to gas.

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:59 pm
by Marty G Curtis
Cool thanks Andy now if us people back up in the woods had a place to get dry ice it would save me a ton in blasting media

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:19 pm
by Andy Schecter
Marty G Curtis wrote:Cool thanks Andy now if us people back up in the woods had a place to get dry ice it would save me a ton in blasting media


39 mi too far?

AIRGAS DRY ICE
3302 Brown St, Little Rock, AR 72204
39.0MI from Romance
(501) 666-6629

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 4:38 pm
by Marty G Curtis
Again, Thanks Andy
This is the only time I dont like living 5 miles up on a gravel road with were we get no traffic but block roads from cattle and a town of 57 poeple.

Re: Roaster Cleaning and Maintenance

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:28 pm
by sam
Every Wednesday all but the drum and the burners come off my roaster. Handles, fans, arms, brushes, windows, bolts, pipes....everything gets scrubbed soaked and cleaned. My roaster works great! So consistent and dependable. I expect it to be like tie until I upgrade. A well maintained roaster should last for life!