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Which Heat Gun?
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Which Heat Gun?  
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computerDr
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 2004
Posts: 83
Location: chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Grimac
Grinder: solis maestro
Drip: krups
Roaster: milwaukee heat gun,...
Posted Mon Jan 19, 2004, 4:03pm
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

Well I just bought a Wagner 775 heat gun and used it today in Chicago.  I bought the gun because 1) Jim uses it in similar weather, 2) it looks like a pretty solid tool and 3) it can be used without heat (for cooling) as Michael Lloyd pointed out which will probably come in more handy in the summer months than right now.  (By the way, the Wagner is sold under the name Milwaukee.  It was $56 at Home Depot.)  One last data point, this is the heat gun used in the Sivetz sample
roaster.

I wanted to provide some insulation without living as dangerously as Jim did with his cardboard box.  Instead I used a broken electric pressure cooker in which I put
a small pot.  The pressure cooker is not very well insulated, but it is a bit as the
double layering is designed to reduce burns.

I first roasted two cups.  It took about 17 minutes, and the cracks were not
as clear as I would have liked.  I then roasted 1 cup in about 9 minutes.  Very
easy to hear the cracks although they were not as clustered as with my freshroast.

Tomorrow, I'll have some idea whether this was a good idea.

Jon
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MGLloyd
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2002
Posts: 777
Location: Mill Creek, Washington, USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Livia 90 semi
Grinder: Rocky doserless
Drip: Capresso MT 500
Roaster: Behmor and HG/DB
Posted Mon Jan 19, 2004, 4:12pm
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

Be sure to see the 'several roasts done' thread, which is all about heatgun/dogbowl roasting, for some valuable tips.

 
Regards,

Michael Lloyd
Mill Creek, Washington  USA
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jliedeka
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jliedeka
Joined: 1 May 2002
Posts: 1,566
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: Rocky Stainless
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor, heat gun
Posted Mon Jan 19, 2004, 6:25pm
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

Jon,

Today was pretty crisp here.  I did my roasting Saturday while the temps were above freezing. :-)

You basically need to find the right batch size to bowl ratio.  If you pay attention, the beans tell you how to roast them.

So far no fires with the cardboard box.  Not even with flaming chaff spewing forth.  It's still not my preferred solution.  I'd like to find a clay pot or bowl that my roasting bowl just fits inside.  Or, I could dig up some flame retardant insulation.  Someone's always ripping old asbestos out of somewhere .....  :-P

    Jim

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
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MGLloyd
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2002
Posts: 777
Location: Mill Creek, Washington, USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Livia 90 semi
Grinder: Rocky doserless
Drip: Capresso MT 500
Roaster: Behmor and HG/DB
Posted Mon Jan 19, 2004, 6:55pm
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

jliedeka Said:

I'd like to find a clay pot or bowl that my roasting bowl just fits inside.  

Posted January 19, 2004 link

Jim, I wonder if a clay/terra cotta pot or planter at a home improvement store/garden supply/nursery would work, and be cheap to boot.

 
Regards,

Michael Lloyd
Mill Creek, Washington  USA
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COBoy
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Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 50
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europicolla
Grinder: Kitchenaid A9 burr
Vac Pot: none
Drip: French press
Roaster: Heat gun - Milwaukee 1220
Posted Tue Jan 20, 2004, 2:07pm
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

I've gone (almost) to the Dark Side of the heat gun.  I think I'm going to try to find the cheapest possible heat gun in town.  I'll report back if the thing craps out on me (2 popcorn poppers already have so I'm used to this).  I read some Amazon.com reviews about heat guns and it sounds like the cheap models should be more than adequate for roasting.  These tools are normally used for stripping paint and they run them all day long as opposed to using it for 10-20 minutes for coffee roasting.  I'm under the impression that a high-end pro heat gun is overkill for the purpose of roasting.  I guess I'll soon find out if I'm right.
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MGLloyd
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Oct 2002
Posts: 777
Location: Mill Creek, Washington, USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Livia 90 semi
Grinder: Rocky doserless
Drip: Capresso MT 500
Roaster: Behmor and HG/DB
Posted Tue Jan 20, 2004, 5:36pm
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

Based on a number of other posts, the heatgun should be capable of at least 500 degrees F., and have an airvelocity of at least 14 cubic feet per minute.  It seems that going under these specifications seems to lead to disappointing results, by user reports.

 
Regards,

Michael Lloyd
Mill Creek, Washington  USA
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ChrisJ
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Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Posts: 21
Location: US Midwest
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Silvia w/ PID
Grinder: Rocky, Zass, KA A9
Vac Pot: Santos
Drip: Melitta porcelain pourover
Roaster: HGDB, I-Roast
Posted Wed Jan 21, 2004, 8:03pm
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

I just joined the HG/DB crowd this evening, having received today a Northern Tools refurbed Wagner/Milwaukee gun mentioned in another thread.  I had previously purchased and returned, without using, a cheaper (when purchased new) Wagner model (HT3000), and I'm glad I held out for the 775/750.  The latter definitely moves more air, and feels like it should last a lot longer.  It's still a bit less air movement than I expected, however.  

I roasted 8 oz. of Vivace's Dulce blend.  Reached 1st crack around 6:30, and terminated roast at 16:00, at what I would call full city+.  Being a new roaster (half a dozen batches or so in a Toastmaster popper), and working with blended greens, I'm not exactly sure how far through 2nd crack I got.  I used a 64 oz. dog bowl, nestled inside a larger stainless mixing bowl for insulation.  I was in my garage, with ambient temps in the low 40's, and a fair amount of breeze moving through the doors.  

The roast looks very even, and at this point, not having tasted it, I'm more than satisfied with the experience.  My only preference would have been slightly more agitation from the gun's air.  Even well into the roast, I found myself stirring with the handle of a wooden spoon quite a bit.  I'm not sure this was truly necessary, but it sure felt like a good idea, given that only beans I could move with the gun were those within a half inch or so of the nozzle's tip.  I was worried about beans cooling off, even when constantly moving the gun across and around the bean mass.

I'm not too fond of this Dulce blend, which is why I chose to experiment on it rather than other greens I've got on hand.  It seems to benefit from a rest of about 48 hours, so it'll be a bit before I've got a taste impression.  I'll be sure to report back.

In summary: this method looks to be much better suited to my needs than an unmodified popper, due to larger batch size and greater control.  The only other device that I'm tempted to try at this point is the Hottop, but given the price difference, the HG/DB is a much easier first step.

Chris J.
Indiana
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marcus
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Posts: 116
Location: NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale;Isomac...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini;Rancilio Rocky
Vac Pot: Bodum mini-eSantos
Drip: only at work
Roaster: BBQ drum, Heatgun
Posted Fri Jan 23, 2004, 8:14am
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

Chiming in with my first roast.  Bought the Wagner HT775 at Lowes for $58.  Borrowed my boxer's 64oz stainless bowl (yes, I thoroughly cleaned and disinfected).  Took SM Classic Italian blend and I put two cups by volume in there, got a wooden spoon, oven mit, timer.    Fired up the gun and started working the beans.  It seemed like not a lot was happening at the open position (500) but after about 6 minutes I could see they were lightening up, I increased to the closed position and started actually agitating the beans with the nozzle.  I brought the bean mass to first crack at around 9:00 and just tried to keep it going, stirring with the spoon.  Went back to 500 and backed off a little.  I finished the roast at about 14:00.  Tried to use the cooling but not sure it was any better than just tossing them in the collander.  It was about 35degrees out.  Overall I'm pretty satisfied by what I saw and heard.  I may have taken the beans further into (through?) second crack than I would have liked.  There were many small "shy fellows" who stayed tan and got no darker -- this is not something I have experienced with my FR+.  On the other hand, in about 20 minutes I had over 1/2lb of roasted espresso.  If this stuff tastes good I am not going back to the FR+!
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JohnDoe
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Aug 2003
Posts: 459
Location: Philly burbs
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Maestro+
Vac Pot: Yama, Infuze, Santos
Drip: Manual;Melitta Clarity
Roaster: Z&D;Split-Fan P1;Hot-Rod FR+...
Posted Fri Jan 23, 2004, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

ChrisJ Said:

My only preference would have been slightly more agitation from the gun's air.  Even well into the roast, I found myself stirring with the handle of a wooden spoon quite a bit.  I'm not sure this was truly necessary, but it sure felt like a good idea, given that only beans I could move with the gun were those within a half inch or so of the nozzle's tip.  I was worried about beans cooling off, even when constantly moving the gun across and around the bean mass.

Posted January 21, 2004 link

Yes, I use the same gun and would prefer to have more air movement... or at least the ability for more.  However, as a previous post mentioned.. if you get too much air movement you then risk having beans blown out of the bowl (depending on bowl/amt of beans).  I woud assume the higher CFM would also be noisier.  I haven't established my routine yet.. but I do end up using the spoon quite a bit to ensure an even roast.  When I feel I should be hitting 1st or 2nd crack, I use the nozzle of the gun to stir and it doesn't take long before it reaches the proper temps.  Also- for $30, I can't complain...


marcus Said:

Tried to use the cooling but not sure it was any better than just tossing them in the collander

Posted January 23, 2004 link

Maybe others have tried this.. but I don't think the cool feature is effective enough to cool the beans quickly.  I use the collandar/fan method myself.  From what I have read, the cool feature is more often used to extend the life of the gun.
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COBoy
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Nov 2003
Posts: 50
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europicolla
Grinder: Kitchenaid A9 burr
Vac Pot: none
Drip: French press
Roaster: Heat gun - Milwaukee 1220
Posted Fri Jan 23, 2004, 11:20am
Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
 

Got my heat gun yesterday -

Ace Hardware Dual Temperature Heat Gun (20176N)
1200 Watts
750 deg or 1000 deg
CFM unknown
$21.99

I bought this locally but online it's $17.99.  The heat gun doesn't blow the beans enough on its own so I stirred the entire time I was roasting.  Which is fine by me but I'll have to report back more details after I get 20 roasts under my belt.
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