Mine came from greenbeanery, great place to get beans and gear around here. I'm a tad confused on the measurement, do you mean the depth of the bean chamber? Top of the glass bit to the bottom of the screen?
No. If you drilled a hole in the top center of the cover, to stick a probe down into the bean mass, eventually that probe would contact the screen at the bottom of the roast chamber. What is that distance? I know you will have to do some estimating. +/- a couple of cm would be good enough.
am still learning this thing getting to like it more but not producing roasts that equal the 8 but that may be the beans themselves i got the espresso sampler from sm which is only $20 for 8 pounds hard to pass up, not my usual espresso blend have been trying to run a 2 minute cycle on low with fan on high to dry the beans out to straw color then i switch off and switch on for full cycle this works well the timing setup on the 500 is not good you can't preset a time, you have to start a roast and then bump up in increments of 10 seconds, it's clunky as you cut the power on each bump much easier to start a 5.9 minutes cycle and then let it run right down and then switch off and then on again for a new cycle so if you are obsessive about roasting profiles this is not the machine for you however, you do get very nice control over the fan and the temperature so, if you have good power, and you learn the fan and the temp setting you could probably produce some very nice profiles i personally am not that interested in that level of precision i keep charging at 100 sweet maria recommends 90 but i get 60 on my 8, why would i spend the money to add only 30 ? i wanted the full 120 and i think that might actually be part of the problem i think i might actually need the full 120 to get a mass that heats up well enough i get first crack at about 3 and second at about 8 sm recommends low heat and high fan and only 90 g that just doesn't seem to work for me i think my line voltage is good because the 8 on the same outlet is doing fine i don't have a regulator or thermocouple or any other equipment the design seems clunky on this thing but i am warming up to it a bit kind of wish i just bought another 8 so i could run 2 8's at the same time
I'm new here - not sure if it's cool to reply to a thread this old (four months since last post) but the thread seems right on target for my questions/comments.
So .. I'm just getting started with home roasting - read a lot online and was all ready to try and find a poppery - but ended up buying an SR300 and 8lb espresso sampler from SM.
I've been trying various techniques - but so far everything I've roasted has tasted pretty grassy. The best results I've have so far have been the following technique but it still isn't right yet:
I start with about 90 grams and for the first 3-4 minutes I stir the beans and also cycle the cooling for a few seconds every 20 seconds of heat (trying to keep the heat around 250-275F range - no heat or fan control on the SR300 so I cycle between cooling and heating). I think having the top off - to stir - also helps keep the heat lower and help the agitation as the top seems to slow down the air flow a little. This gets me a pretty even beginning and lightens up the beans to where they aggitate pretty well without any more stirring. So I put the top back on and let it run to 1C then start watching closely.
I've tried various times of continued roasting after 1C - I'm not sure I can "hear" 2C but I can see that a few beans do open up more (and occasionally explode a small piece off the outside) so I believe this is 2C happening but it doesn't seem to get more than a few of the beans.
I still find that I have to roast them pretty dark before the grassy taste starts to go away - but they don't look nearly as dark on the outside if I do the slow stirring warmup (if I just turn it on and let it go, I'll get 1C about 3 minutes and the beans will still taste grassy even though they get so dark they look like french roast on the outside) - I just think the roaster is toasting the ouside way too fast and not getting the heat into the center of the bean.
I'm also worried that I may be baking the beans now - I notice that my roasted beans are pretty hard compared to store bought (Peet's) beans. Peet's beans are light and crunchy (like rice crispies almost) while my beans take a fair bit of pressure to get them to crunch.
Anyway --- that's been my experience with it so far. I've roasted maybe 3 pounds so far and I keep trying different methods and keep notes so if something works I'll be able to remember what I did.
Would appreciate any tips from anyone getting good results with the SR300.
Just to be clear on roasting with the top off: What happens is that you get MORE air flow and are able to stir to improve the agitation. But if the heat input is the same, you get lower temperature air at this higher flow.
But as the roast progresses, the beans lose moisture and get lighter. So you can put the top back on and still get adequate agitation by air-flow (and get higher air temperature).
And, the more beans you have in the charge, the lower the air flow and the higher the roasting temperature. So you do actually have a way of increasing the roasting temp: Roast more beans. You should aim for a charge size that gives you adequate agitation (after the first 3 minutes).
The first crack (1CR) is sharp and easy to hear, just like corn popping. The second crack (2CR) is more subtle and is like tiny crackles.
What are your times, to the 1CR and then to the 2CR?
>snip< For $160 (almost half the cost of a Behmor) you can have fresh roasted coffee at home. Even with the variations in roast degree, you are going to have good coffee. The base model is only $109. For the price, it looks pretty good to me. Its hard to say though without trying it myself.
...and for 140 USD you can get one with an auger and a smoke eater....add another 200USD for a Kill-A-Watt, a MBT probe, and a Variac and you have a roaster that actually works. Furthermore, unlike the Behmor, you can see what's going on...you pays your money and you takes your choice....
OK ... I've solved the problem with the help of the good people that make the FreshRoast SR300. I called them and they explained something to me that I wouldn't have thought of.
I have been doing the method that Sweet Maria's suggests on their YouTube video. I leave the top off for the first 2 minutes and either stir the beans or take the container off and shake it every so often (or a combination of both stirring and shaking). And I get to first crack when I expect to - but it just wouldn't get any hotter or get to second crack (except with a few really easy beans - but the harder blends just wouldn't get dark and tasted awful).
They told me that when you run it with the top off you get chaff sucked into the air intake in such a way that it causes the thermostat to keep cycling the heat off (and that would explain why I was seeing the timer readout get brighter and dimmer - cycling the heat on and off when I was trying to get to second crack).
I took the glass container off and rolled up a newspaper (they suggested an air compressor but I don't have one) and fit it snug in the top of the roaster where the glass cannister should go - then I blew really hard back through the roaster and tons of chaff shot out the bottom of the roaster. I did this several times until no more chaff came out.
Did a couple of roasts and got to second crack and a beautiful dark roast.
SO DON"T ROAST WITH THE TOP OFF -- instead use the suggestion of running it for a minute at the beginning and then cycling the cooling for bit to get the moisture out of the beans and then restart the roasting - all of that with the top in place.
bloozman Senior Member Joined: 7 May 2011 Posts: 1 Location: Ontario Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat May 7, 2011, 5:38am Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
I received one as a gift last year and we really like it. I disagree with the video on Sweet Maria's as there has never been an inadequate flow of air and the batch roasts evenly every time. Up until I dropped the glass carafe last night! and they are back ordered on this item at the place I bought the original unit. Must be a lot of people dropping them
zane9 Senior Member Joined: 7 Jul 2009 Posts: 32 Location: Oakville Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat May 21, 2011, 8:16am Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
Nice to see that this thread is still alive!
I'm pleased with the SR500. I get consistent results from roast to roast. I use 4 scant measures of beans from the supplied measurer. I do push the timer to a total of 9.9 (rather than using the default 5.9). I allow the first few minutes to run at a low heat/high fan combo, which gives overall colour and good circulation to the beans. I slowly lower the fan speed and increase the heat, and first crack kicks in around minute 4.5. From that point it's a matter of preference. I play with the settings until I have the desired roast profile. We like a roast on the darker side, and trick is to ensure thorough roasting without scorching.
I've not messed around with any enhanced stirring techniques described in this thread.
For cleanup, I use a 1" paint brush to ensure the chaff is swept out completely. Every few weeks I'll use some compressed air to make sure chaff isn't lurking anywhere.
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