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How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
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FlyRod
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FlyRod
Joined: 5 Sep 2007
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Location: Modesto California
Expertise: I love coffee

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Posted Tue Jun 9, 2009, 4:09pm
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

I spent 20 bucks on a heatgun, grabbed a metal bowl and wooden spoon out of the kitchen, put on some gloves and roasted the best tasting coffee I had ever had. Almost two years later, I dont regret a minute of the effort. All my friends think I know everything there is to know about coffee, I tell them they can do the same thing if they invest 20 bucks. I have remodeled my kitchen and built a custom Cherry wood coffee bar with a granite serving top. Life is good and I am never out of excellent coffee. Let the pros roast all they want, mine still tastes better to me.
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Breeze
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Breeze
Joined: 3 Dec 2006
Posts: 766
Location: St. Croix, V.I.
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
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Roaster: Toper 1 kilo
Posted Tue Jun 9, 2009, 4:11pm
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

GVDub Said:

As Jon pointed out elsewhere, in the end, it's the roaster, not the machine, but when you can combine knowledge with 'feel', you can make art (or at least artisan-quality roasts). Someday, I hope to get there.

Posted June 9, 2009 link

Amen!  With the understanding of what it takes "to get there", you will.  

I'm doing a Chinese knock off and building a 50 kilo Behmor......will report back later.
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brentling
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brentling
Joined: 25 Sep 2002
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Location: Auckland
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Posted Tue Jun 9, 2009, 5:07pm
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

I will pipe in with my thoughts...

I sort of skipped through the video.

We have a 15 Kg / 30 Pound roaster, and 5 kg / 10 pound and a 1 kg / 2 pound, and somewhere we have a little home roaster as well...

the biggest difference between the home and commercial is as someone pointed out - the temperature control. However there is a caveat there - there is only so much "temperature" you can call up. The bigger roasters have the advantage that in essence you have finer control over the heat, as small changes on a small roaster are proportinally bigger. But when that sucker won't heat up, there is little you can do, and you have to know when to stop trying to heat things up as well. Automation is to me a curious thing, and not I suspect that suited to boutique / artisan operations. I could be wrong.

The difference between home roasters and commercial roasters then could come down to "number of roasts" (of the same coffee), or in simpler language - experience.

By that as an example, we had a gas supply issue mid roast a while back, this caused a delay mid roast. Because my wife has roasted thousands of batches, and is using the roaster on a very regular basis, she was able to recover the roast - testing after said she got it right. That is the skill that the commercial roasters bring to the table - the ability to consistantly repeat a roast profile.

There isn't anything particular stopping a home roaster consistently repeating a roast profile, other than the variety of options on offer to experiment make the measure of consistency more difficult.

(Point to note, I got banned by my wife from roasting years ago after a near um exciting roast that came out a bit darker, ok a lot darker than it should have, so I don't roast much at all now)

Brent
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Tue Jun 9, 2009, 6:30pm
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

Was it Steven Wright that said can you compare an apple that you grew yourself with an orange you bought from a store?

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

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farmroast
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farmroast
Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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Posted Tue Jun 9, 2009, 6:59pm
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

I did get a chuckle out of the woman's other video on scrambled eggs with an espresso steam wand.
Eggs

 
Ed Bourgeois... LMWDP #167
please visit my blog
http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
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wideasleep1
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wideasleep1
Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 1,612
Location: Tiburon,Ca
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: VBMDoubleDomo
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Roaster: IR1 and 2,SC/TO,Behmor
Posted Tue Jun 9, 2009, 7:16pm
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

farmroast Said:

I did get a chuckle out of the woman's other video on scrambled eggs with an espresso steam wand.
Eggs

Posted June 9, 2009 link

Don't try this at home...an espresso machine is not purposed for setting egg, and cleanup was NOT worthwhile...stick to a buttered teflon fry/crepe pan! :D

Breeze! Totally looking forward to what you produce! Spill a few beans on your design! :D
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espressoaddict
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Posted Tue Jun 9, 2009, 7:45pm
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

swines Said:

Does that provide enough "enlightenment" for you....?

Posted June 9, 2009 link

More than what I was expecting.  Great explanation!   Thanks!  Keep up the good work.
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Breeze
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Breeze
Joined: 3 Dec 2006
Posts: 766
Location: St. Croix, V.I.
Expertise: Pro Roaster

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: TechniVorm/Krups MB
Roaster: Toper 1 kilo
Posted Wed Jun 10, 2009, 4:28am
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

Having come down on the side that says a home appliance, can with care and caution produce an excellent roast, I do have a comment relative to mass.   With larger capacities there are two distinct mass increases, the machine and the beans.   While the increased thermal mass of the machine is simply going to be present in a larger machine, and has benefit in larger roast charges, there is an advantage of the bean mass, in and of itself.   Try controlling a roast with ten beans.   This would be very difficult, I think.  Compare an 8oz roast then to a 40 oz roast, or a 40 pound roast.   I feel that an increased bean mass adds to stability in the roast and enhances the process.  

The only other advantage on a commercial drum, other than the auto process controls, which I do not have, nor have ever used, would be the ability to vary the air flow, either manually or automatically.   It still comes down to sight, smell and sound, the personal contribution.
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farmroast
Senior Member
farmroast
Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 1,449
Location: Amherst MA.
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Strega,Cremina, MCAL...
Grinder: Majors, Dienes
Vac Pot: Hellem10
Drip: CCD, and more
Roaster: 1kg. DreamRoast
Posted Wed Jun 10, 2009, 5:26am
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

My pet peeve with many home roasters are cheap thermostats with wide and inaccurate swings, some causing 30-50 degree ET drops.

 
Ed Bourgeois... LMWDP #167
please visit my blog
http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,156
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

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Posted Wed Jun 10, 2009, 8:39am
Subject: Re: How a home roaster cannot compare to a high tech commericial roaster
 

Technology is awesome and I love to use it to my advantage, however when something gets in the way of letting  technology  work what does a person do? What if you travel some where and can't take equipment with you? All I need is a way to make fire, a pan, some greens and I can make a great cup of Joe. I could use more practice with this method but I can at least count on good results. Tom at SM's  revisited the stove top roast and it has it's limitations, his blind cupping scores come in 4 points less for pan roasting compared to an air popper and  "The Air Popper batch compared very favorably to the Probat drum roast, surprisingly." To me 4 points less compared to nothing sounds great and it is even better when I am 4 weeks from civilization drinking a fresh roast or simply roasting in a power outage adds a point or 2 back in my mouth just because of the accomplishment. I will drink any roaster's coffee and make up my own mind of how it tastes, some make me realize how much more I need to learn.
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