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Looking to move up from Freshroast 500, commercial or DIY roaster?
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Discussions > Coffee > Home Roast > Looking to move...  
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Henrythewound
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Aug 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Tucson, AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 9:27am
Subject: Looking to move up from Freshroast 500, commercial or DIY roaster?
 

I have owned and used iRoast 1 &2 as well as the old Fresh Roast 300 and now the 500. Both iRoasts ended up with overheating problems and lately I feel like the 500 struggles to circulate the beans. I have to shake the roaster for the first several minutes into the roast to avoid badly uneven roasts. I feel like getting consistent roasts is pretty difficult with the 500 but maybe it's just me.

I'm ready for something new but am not completely enthused with the commercial roasters out there right now. According to Sweet Marias, air roasters are better for the lighter roasts I like and I have used most of the commercial air roasters out there and am unimpressed. I know the drum roasters like the 1600 and Hot Top get good reviews but they also cost a bunch of $$$. This leaves me wondering about DIY roasters. Are there any well-regarded plans out there I could follow to make an awesome hot air roaster or am I stuck with the current models? I am no electrical engineer but I can follow plans and don't mind putting in the time and learning along the way.

Any opinions? Best to stalk the used marketplace for a good deal? Branch out into DIY? Suggestions/ideas are appreciated

Thanks
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sversimo
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
Posts: 16
Location: Norway
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Vivi PID
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Tue Apr 23, 2013, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Looking to move up from Freshroast 500, commercial or DIY roaster?
 

DIY is a lot of fun! My project started out with an idea 3 years back and now I`m writhing my master thesis as a mechanical engineer about my roaster. But there are some things you should keep in mind, DIY requires tools, (some) knowledge and time..

Do you have a budget?
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Henrythewound
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Aug 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Tucson, AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013, 8:55am
Subject: Re: Looking to move up from Freshroast 500, commercial or DIY roaster?
 

Well there is always a budget. If I had to spend $1000 to make a really nice DIY machine that would probably be out of the question. From what I've seen on the homeroasters.org page a really nice one can be built for about 1/2 that or less. Of course that assumes you have all the tools and know how to use them. I don't want to end up with a popcorn popper with circuit boards strapped to the sides but I don't want to have to contract with a machine shop either.

This thread was inspiring
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steamer
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steamer
Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 903
Location: socal
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV R
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-B Baratza...
Vac Pot: Krubs Moka Brew, vacPot
Drip: TechV, and many more
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013, 2:40pm
Subject: Re: Looking to move up from Freshroast 500, commercial or DIY roaster?
 

You also have to look at how much coffee you plan on using a week. If you looking at 1-2 pounds or less, then I would look at a Behmor as a used one can go for as low as $100-$150. If your doing 5 pounds a week, then maybe a gas BBQ drum roaster DIY setup.
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Henrythewound
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Aug 2009
Posts: 23
Location: Tucson, AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Apr 25, 2013, 9:15am
Subject: Re: Looking to move up from Freshroast 500, commercial or DIY roaster?
 

1-2 lbs is probably enough for home use. Right now I roast a batch or 2 in the FreshRoast 500 and run out in a couple days and have to roast again. With this method and my procrastination skills I never let the coffee rest like I probably should. Having looked around the last couple of days it appears there is a definite gap between entry level air roasters and up to 1# capacity sample roasters (that Us Roaster Corp roaster sounds awesome). To me there is the Behmor and the Hottop in this range and both are drum roasters. I like the lighter roasts and I hear air roasters are better for this in general (at least you want to be able to roast a batch in under 15 minutes)

I will keep an eye on the used market and will still think about DIY, I really like oldgearhead's DIY roaster I linked earlier
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oldgearhead
Senior Member
oldgearhead
Joined: 25 Jan 2010
Posts: 396
Location: Go Colts!
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso by Baratza
Drip: Chemex,Dilongi DCM900
Roaster: 1/2K Fluid-bed
Posted Fri Apr 26, 2013, 4:40am
Subject: Re: Looking to move up from Freshroast 500, commercial or DIY roaster?
 

Henrythewound Said:

1-2 lbs is probably enough for home use.
>snip<
I will keep an eye on the used market and will still think about DIY, I really like oldgearhead's DIY roaster I linked earlier

Posted April 25, 2013 link

Thank you.
The roaster is still going strong after 22 months. I average three 440 gram loads/week. I have had zero failures. However, even though
almost every part is a re-purposed item, it still cost a bit over 500 USD and I got some free labor from a very good machinist...

Why 440 gram loads? Because bigger loads won't fit in a one-quart Mason jar...
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