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Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Fresh Roast...  
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JKalpin
Senior Member
JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 785
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Mon May 23, 2011, 1:11pm
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

I roasted for 2 years with my FR+8 (ancestor to the SR300/SR500) and whatever beans I was roasting, I was quite pleased with the outcome.

The experts said that the whole family of machines were too fast and the resulting roasts were uneven.

I almost bought an SR500 ...except that my family 'interfered' and bought me a Behmor for my birthday.  Roasting with the Behmor for a few months I observed a degree of eveness in my roasts that I had never experienced.  Also, the roasting time increased from 7:30 min on the FR+8 to 15 minutes on the Behmor.

And with that new eveness came the ability to select an exact level of roast and repeat it, time after time.

And yet, with uneven roasts ...I was making enjoyable coffee.  I am still puzzling about that.  I wonder:  If I were to roast (say) 100g of 'light', 100g of 'medium' and 100g of 'dark' and blend them, would I get a cup that has the characteristics of all three?  

Was I doing something similar with my FR+8?

 
Jerry
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muddauber
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jun 2011
Posts: 19
Location: Beautiful East Tennessee USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 12, 2011, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

I am absolutely thrilled with my Fresh Roast SR 500. Highly recommended.
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FredK
Senior Member
FredK
Joined: 28 Jun 2009
Posts: 152
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Kyocera hand grinder
Roaster: FreshRoast+8
Posted Wed Jun 29, 2011, 9:55pm
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

After a couple years of use, I recently replaced my FR8 (dropped it and broke the glass container) with the SR500. So far I love it. It's great to have control of the fan and heat independently. It is also better built than the FR8, the plastic is more heavy duty. I've  been able to extend my roasts a few minutes longer than the FR8, the overall control is much better. Plus it holds more, I was doing 75g batches, now doing 115g batches. Love it.
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rwgamer
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 137
Location: United States
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Bodum Bistro Burr
Drip: Melitta
Roaster: Toastmaster 6203 (popper)
Posted Tue Jul 5, 2011, 1:58pm
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

I think there is a misconception that more even roasts should taste better.  I've always believed that a less even roast will taste more complex (which I what I'm always trying to acheive).  Some roasters actually roast the same bean at two levels and combine them so you get the benefits of a light roast (more acidity) with a dark roast (more body).  Even roasts just look better IMO.
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AlanAdler
Senior Member
AlanAdler
Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 698
Location: Palo Alto, Calif
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: AeroPress
Grinder: Baratza - Virtuoso
Roaster: Fresh Roast SR-500
Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 9:11pm
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

I'm getting great roasts with my SR-500.  

It was a replacement for my Plus-8, which had served me well.  I'd been running 4.5 to 5 minute roasts (to Full-City) with the Plus-8.  My method was to fill it to the steel band, which exceeded the recommended fill.  But I'd found that the more coffee in the tube, the hotter and faster the roast.

My first try with the SR-500 was very disappointing.  It was outdoors in about 50F winter temp.  First crack took about 12 minutes and was very wimpy.  But things have greatly improved.  My roasts now take about 5.8 minutes to Full-City.  

Here's my formula:

I roast five scoops or about 140 grams, which of course exceeds the recommended level.  

The entire roast is at high heat, but I vary the fan speed.

For the first 1.5 minutes I run max fan speed.  Then I dial it down as the roast proceeds -- always choosing the slowest speed which still mixes the beans.  This is essential to keep the heat high.

First crack occurs at about 4 minutes and I continue to about ten seconds into second crack -- switching to cool when the beans look just right and dial the fan up to max.  A flashlight helps.  It happens that I'm ending the roast just before it smokes, but I'm guided by the appearance of the beans.

Some comments:

Many are concerned about uniformity of roast.  But I've learned from my heat-gun roasts that non-uniform roasts taste great.  Despite this, my roast is surprisingly uniform, but I wouldn't care if it was ugly.   A few black beans do not degrade the cup at all.  

If you need to add time, pressing the button that adds 0.1 minute is the hard way.  Just turn the heat off for a second then back on to add 5.9 minutes.

Improvements:

I observed that the flow of beans was upwards in the center and downwards on the perimeter of the tube.  But the upward air flow at the perimeter bucks the downward flow of beans.  Also, the beans stalled when moving from the perimeter to the center at the bottom.  So I machined the Teflon funnel which is placed in the bottom of the tube.  This funnel concentrates the upward air flow in the center, where it's needed.  It also feeds the beans from the perimeter to the center at the bottom.  The funnel has permitted me to dial the fan speed even lower while maintaining good mixing and facilitates the high heat that I seek.

I attach pics of the finished roast.  The roasted beans are not oily but do have a slight satin gloss.

I'll post two pics of the Teflon funnel right after this post.

Best regards,

Alan

AlanAdler: Roasted Beans.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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AlanAdler
Senior Member
AlanAdler
Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 698
Location: Palo Alto, Calif
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: AeroPress
Grinder: Baratza - Virtuoso
Roaster: Fresh Roast SR-500
Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 9:12pm
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

Here's the Teflon funnel.

AlanAdler: Funnel.JPG
(Click for larger image)
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AlanAdler
Senior Member
AlanAdler
Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 698
Location: Palo Alto, Calif
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: AeroPress
Grinder: Baratza - Virtuoso
Roaster: Fresh Roast SR-500
Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012, 9:13pm
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

Here's the funnel in the tube.

AlanAdler: Funnel in tube.JPG
(Click for larger image)
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AlanAdler
Senior Member
AlanAdler
Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 698
Location: Palo Alto, Calif
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: AeroPress
Grinder: Baratza - Virtuoso
Roaster: Fresh Roast SR-500
Posted Thu Sep 20, 2012, 3:49pm
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

JKalpin Said:

I roasted for 2 years with my FR+8 (ancestor to the SR300/SR500) and whatever beans I was roasting, I was quite pleased with the outcome.

The experts said that the whole family of machines were too fast and the resulting roasts were uneven.

I almost bought an SR500 ...except that my family 'interfered' and bought me a Behmor for my birthday.  Roasting with the Behmor for a few months I observed a degree of eveness in my roasts that I had never experienced.  Also, the roasting time increased from 7:30 min on the FR+8 to 15 minutes on the Behmor.

And with that new eveness came the ability to select an exact level of roast and repeat it, time after time.

And yet, with uneven roasts ...I was making enjoyable coffee.  I am still puzzling about that.  I wonder:  If I were to roast (say) 100g of 'light', 100g of 'medium' and 100g of 'dark' and blend them, would I get a cup that has the characteristics of all three?  

Was I doing something similar with my FR+8?

Posted May 23, 2011 link

Hi JK,

Forgetting eveness, which I think isn't needed for good taste, how would you rate the taste of your FR+8 vs Behmor?

Best,

Alan
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JKalpin
Senior Member
JKalpin
Joined: 28 Dec 2008
Posts: 785
Location: Thornhill, Ontario Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Aerobie Aeropress
Grinder: Baratza Maestro Plus
Vac Pot: Yama 5-Cup
Drip: Krups Moka Brew, BraZen
Roaster: Freshroast+8, Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Sep 21, 2012, 5:08am
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

AlanAdler Said:

Hi JK,

Forgetting eveness, which I think isn't needed for good taste, how would you rate the taste of your FR+8 vs Behmor?

Posted September 20, 2012 link

Alan,

I have now completed 140 roasts on the Behmor.  Here is what comes to mind:

  1.  I had the FR+8 all tricked out with a router speed control (dimmer) and temperature data-logger and was able to pull the roasts out as long as 8 minutes.  That seemed to improve the taste.

  2.  To support the 8-min-roast I would roast 4 oz at a time.  Big pain in the neck because of small size.

  3.  With the Behmor I eventually ssettled on a 10 oz roast which netted out a bit more than half a pound as roasted.  Then I could start supplying my kids.  My roast times are currently between 15 and 18 minutes.  Interval between the onset of the 1CR and 2CR is typically 2:45 min.

  4.  The roasts were VERY even.

  5.  Once I found the 'sweet-spot' in a particular bean I could repeat it time after time (say, conclude the roast with 10 sec of reluctant 2CR).

  6.  That sweet-spot has better taste than anything I could achieve on the FR+8, doing continual dimmer adjustments and watching the temperature profile.

In conclusion, the Behmor is better for me, at many levels, including the taste of the brew and consistency (of taste), roast after roast as I work my way through (say) 10 lbs of Sumatra.

 
Jerry
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javablood45
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Aug 2012
Posts: 13
Location: ny
Expertise: I live coffee

Grinder: mr.coffe burr grinder
Drip: Mr. coffee
Roaster: sr-500
Posted Fri Sep 21, 2012, 7:07am
Subject: Re: Fresh Roast SR300 SR500 ...Did anyone buy one?
 

I had my eye on an sr-500 for some time, and finally took the plunge.  It's a great little machine for the price, and if you get it through the coffee project it comes with your choice of 5lbs of beans! Awesome deal.  So i set to work roasting, the sr-500 replaced two air poppers i was using, and it's much more than a glorified air popper.  I turn the fan speed max for a min er two for agitation then turn it back to med for the rest of the roast.  You also have the option of low med high heat so you can really 'TUNE' it if you want.  Now the error is all mine but i think this roaster would last a long time given daily or weekly use.  I was doing back to back roasting at 8 lbs a week er so for two months straight, and the heating element started to go, there came with it a metallic whir during the cycle. Don't get me wrong i could still roast with it, i'd have to shut the machine off to reset the 5.9 min clock and i could still get a good degree of roast out of it, it was just too slow a process for me, so i sent it back to freshbeans inc.  I'm still waiting for their diagnosis, but in the mean time i'm getting another one to hold me off.  The price, the free beans, and the easy to use interface really sold me, again i love what i've done (about 40 pounds in three months) and look forward to roasting more of my favorite brew for friends and family.  Would highly recommend this as a starter or for even more expirienced roasters , an upgrade.
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