Hope somebody will try the electric. I'm sold on a process that doesn't rely entirely on the heat gun and that could do it if the single size accommodates enough of a range of batch sizes. And if we don't hang ourselves on the cords.
Your pot looks interesting. Narrower at the top seems promising. But "heatgun/fonduepot"? I don't know.
Posted Wed Feb 18, 2004, 4:36pm Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
Well, I can report first hand that the Craftsman Variable Temp Industrial Heat Gun works like a champ. Specs are 1500 watts, 2 different airflows ( 9.5 & 17.6 cfm), 6 LED's to indicate temperature (120, 210, 360, 650, 850, 1050 F), 30 oz. with 10 ft. cord. The temp is changed via a large round dial on the back of the gun.
Tempted by a great deal on Ebay, I bought a new Bosch 1943 LED 120-1100 degree heatgun for $ 72. Except for some minor cosmetic changes, I think that this unit, the Craftsman and the Steinel HL 2002 LE are all the same unit and seem to have pretty much the same specs. Given that the Craftsman sells new for $ 100, the Bosch for $ 120 and the Steinel for $ 190, the Craftsman is the most cost-effective, unless you find a good deal on the Bay or elsewhere.
I roasted two batches (1.5 cups by volume each) of some Malabar Gold and Liquid Amber for espresso. It was interesting being able to control the temperature and I think I may have been able to do a little bit better job of ramping the temp. I ended up with a nice even roast on both batches. Of note, the highest CFM of this gun, at 17.6 CFM was lower than the 19 or 23 CFM of my Wagner HT 775, so more stirring with a utensil was the order of the day.
At this time, I have used a Wagner HT 1000, Bosch 1943 and a Wagner HT 775. All of them have given satisfactory results, which makes me think that operator technique is perhaps the most important factor. I would have to say, however, that my preference in using them is to grab the HT 775 first (love that CFM!), followed by the Bosch, and the HT 1000 can be the tertiary backup.
Posted Wed Feb 18, 2004, 8:06pm Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
I would have to say, however, that my preference in using them is to grab the HT 775 first (love that CFM!), followed by the Bosch, and the HT 1000 can be the tertiary backup.
I've only used the Wagner 775 and instead have experimented with different roasting vessels. I actually like the mesh colander for larger roasts. I found a stainless mesh strainer that should be good for smaller to medium sized roasts. I'm guessing two cups will be pushing it.
Posted Sat Feb 28, 2004, 9:22am Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
I wish to report two test roasts using a new heatgun. Apparently, as I roast on the front porch, I have become a source of curiosity to some of the neighbors who wonder what the heck I am doing. One neighbor from down the street came over to watch and wanted to know if his heatgun would work. Always looking for new data points, I told him to bring it over.
It was a very serious piece of equipment. It is a Master Appliance HG-751B. It looks very similar to the Wagner HT775\Milwaukee 750 or the heavy-duty Porter Cable heatgun. The specs are 23 CFM, 1680 watts, 14 amps and two temp settings of 750 and 1000 degrees F. This heatgun is apparently designed for industrial use and usually sells for $ 90-100.
Since I was running low on drip/press coffee, I roasted one batch of three cups Red Sea blend and another batch of three cups of New Guinea Kinjabi in the usual manner using the MA heatgun. I do not think it did as good a job as my two primary heatguns: the Wagner HT 775 and the Bosch 1943.
I ramped the roasts using the 750 degree setting and then closed the louvers for the 1000 degree setting and pushed the roasts to first and second crack. Particularly on the high setting, if the gun stopped moving at all, the beans would go to Vienna or Italian roast in the blink of an eye. The combination of the 1000 degree temperatures and the high CFM really transfers a lot of heat to the bean mass. So from that standpoint, it was difficult to get as even a roast as I usually do. The other interesting data point was that this heatgun is a lot heavier than mine, and it was actually fatiguing to hold it for the 12 minutes necessary to roast a pound. Because of the high heat transfer, I finished the roasts a couple of minutes quicker than with my other heatguns.
I think this heatgun has potential with the following technique modifications: the heatgun must be moving constantly, and I would hold the muzzle further away from the surface of the bean mass than I do with my other heatguns. With the high heat transfer, it is less forgiving of inattention or lack of movement, and doing so on the 1000 degree heat setting can result in bean scorching.
heatgunroast Senior Member Joined: 10 Feb 2003 Posts: 360 Location: NYC Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Dalla Corte Grinder: Mazzer Mini; Zass, Baratza... Vac Pot: Royal Balance Brewer (wanna... Drip: Various press and pour-overs Roaster: Heatgun, Dogbowl
Posted Sat Feb 28, 2004, 10:27am Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
I do not think it did as good a job as my two primary heatguns: the Wagner HT 775 and the Bosch 1943.
Confirms my experiences with the Porter Cable you mention
other interesting data point was that this heatgun is a lot heavier than mine, and it was actually fatiguing to hold it
As much a bother as the weight, the Porter Cable has substantially more vibration. Also, much noisier.
I think this heatgun has potential with the following technique modifications:
I'd stress that these are "accommodations" as well as modifications- - - "making do" rather than achieving an optimal process/equipment. Also, since I am so firmly convinced of the importance of stirring technique complementing the heat transfer (for even roasts and helping to assure that beans "never" scorch), I have little use for the heatgun to move/stir the beans. So, by moving the gun far enough from the beans to not have beans blowing uncontrollably, I actually had less heat. Finally (watch out! naive science approaching), I believe there is something like a venturi effect operating with higher cfm. So the 1000 f heated air sucks along cooler air on the way to the beans- - - mitigating the heat transfer. OK, maybe not. Martin
dglex Senior Member Joined: 13 Jan 2013 Posts: 1 Location: Kentucky Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013, 1:13pm Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
I'm curious if there is any new thinking on heat gun selection, especially regarding temperature.
It looks like the Wagner HT775 has a temp range of 750 to 1000 degrees.
I was wondering if this may be a better choice? .......Master Appliance HG-501A 500-750 Degree Fahrenheit 120V Dual Temp Master Heat Gun
I'm curious because of a statement made in 'Home Coffee Roasting'.......page 125......"The beans must be subjected to temperatures between 460F and 530F. These temperatures can be considerably lower if the air around the beans is moving faster, as in hot-air or fluid-bed roasting apparatuses, or higher if the air is moving sluggishly, as it does in home gas ovens."
Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated. I was hoping to use the heat gun method as a way of learning.
Owl Senior Member Joined: 30 May 2011 Posts: 37 Location: US
Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:50am Subject: Re: Which Heat Gun?
I have the 775. You can vary the temp by the distance from the beans. Practice with some cheap beans a couple of times until you get the hang of it. Outside, since there's a bit of smoke. Stir constantly.
There are a couple of good heat gun/dog bowl vids on YouTube.
BTW, it is easy to burn the beans. You want good lighting so you can watch the color. Follow your nose. I go 750 all the way.
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