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qualin
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qualin
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Posted Tue Jul 23, 2013, 1:12am
Subject: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

So, I've been contemplating roasting my own beans for a while, but I'm running into a bit of a dilemma and I'm wondering if any of you have any ideas which would help me out here.

In our house, which is a small 1000 sq.ft 3-level split, we have two birds, a budgie and a cockatiel. They're very sensitive to particulates being in the air. My wife gets nervous every time she leaves a pan smoking on the stove or accidentally burns something.  If we had a carbon monoxide leak, they'd be the first to pack it in. (There was a reason why they used canaries in coal mines, budgies are just as sensitive!)

The Behmor roaster seems like a good idea to buy, but I am concerned it would really stink up the house and hurt the birds. It doesn't look like it can vent somewhere.

I also contemplated the idea of roasting beans out in the garage. While it wouldn't be a problem in late spring, summer and early fall, being in Canada we have winter for 8 months out of the year and the interior of the garage, even though it is an insulated one, would fall to -20 C to -30 C in some instances. That really sucks, waiting around when it is that cold outside. I get a feeling it would be hard to roast coffee with mittens on.

Even running a space heater in the garage for hours at a time will only bring up the temperature up no more than 10 C.

It's my understanding that the Behmor won't even try to work when it is too cold and won't heat up. This sucks. I could consider using a propane roaster, but the price of them seem sky-high and I'm considered about carbon monoxide build up. The garage does have a window I can vent out or I could leave the door of the garage open a crack. However, in -30 C, that's no fun. (Also, wouldn't propane affect the taste of the beans as well?)

This gives me a good reason to contemplate putting in a 6000 watt electric garage heater. However, in doing this, if the heater is operating, there would be a noticeable voltage dip and I understand the Behmor doesn't take well to this.

Now, if there was a roaster out there which could vent to an outside window, like a portable air conditioner, I could put the roaster in my bedroom, close the door and there wouldn't be a chance the birds would be exposed to any smoke. Although, the only concern with this, is that someone visiting my house will be confused seeing a roaster in the bedroom. :-)

I only really anticipate that I'd roast a 1 kg batch of beans about once a month, or a half kilogram every two weeks.

So, I'm wondering... what would be the best solution?

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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JKalpin
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Posted Tue Jul 23, 2013, 6:39am
Subject: Re: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

I roast on the kitchen stove with the range-fan on low.  The Behmor smoke afterburner works very well.  I get smoke for a minute or so at the start of cooling, where the Behmor fan speeds up and there is a bit of smoke released around the door seal.  I have never set off the smoke detector, even after 2 roasts.

Nevertheless, there is smell, not like coffee, like burnt toast that I hardly notice but my wife does.  

If you have demand metering I don't suggest you put in a 6 KW garage heater; power costs would be way more than the cost of the roaster.  

Why don't you put the birds in an upstairs bedroom when you roast?  (That's the low-cost solution.)

I don't like your idea of roasting 1kg once a month.  Half a kg every 2 weeks is more sensible because the best results are between 3 and 17 days after roasting.  I suggest you set your batch-size to match your usage.  I roast 10 oz (green) = 8.2 oz (roasted) every week or 10 days.  The smaller the batch-size the less the smell.  But also, a smaller batch (in the Behmor) roasts faster.  My 10 oz batches have roast-times of around 15 minutes.  Low line-voltage can extend the roast-time ...to the edge of 'baked beans'.  And I would NEVER attempt to roast a batch of 1 kg.

 
Jerry
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Cammie
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Posted Tue Jul 23, 2013, 8:29am
Subject: Re: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

I live in a home similar to the size you describe and I have pet birds.  I simply would not take the risk roasting inside the house.  Like your wife, I am careful not to overheat pans or use any Teflon covered pans/utensils.  The weather is temperate here so I can usually roast all year around outside.  But, my solution has been to install a small shed on my small back patio.  It's adequately vented and just large enough to use a small space heater if needed (I have not found this necessary because the shed gets warm enough just from the roasting). And, it's such a pleasure just to walk outside, unlock the shed and get started without all the moving equipment back and forth as well. Tuff Shed has one of their manufacturing plants here in Southern California and I was lucky to find one of their sample sheds (a smaller version of their smallest lean to shed that they place in home centers so customers can see a sample) at a very low price.  The shed fits perfectly in the small amount of space I have available and nicely holds a small stool, scales, a bean cooler, my roasters, a bulk grinder, bags, sealers and parts and instructions for all my coffee equipment.
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sae
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Posted Tue Jul 23, 2013, 10:46am
Subject: Re: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

I roast in my non-insulated garage and it gets to -40*C in there some days.  The behmor works ok in this temperature and you'll still get good times for first and second crack.  I leave the behmor indoors to bring it to room temperature, put my beans in and then take it out to the garage.  The advantage of it being very cold is that your cooling time is very fast :)
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Burner0000
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Posted Tue Jul 23, 2013, 11:24am
Subject: Re: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

As sae said if you store your roaster indoors roasting outside or in your garage work fine as if you were indoors anyways. The inside of the roaster reaches 300'F in about a minute.  I used to store mine in a bin with other coffee supplies inside.  

If you are worried just do a 30 sec - 1 min warm up before throwing in the beans.   BTW my Sono is propane and I have roasted the same coffee in either roaster.  I notice almost no difference. No taste due to gas at all.
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Prof
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Posted Tue Jul 23, 2013, 1:03pm
Subject: Re: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

I think the Behmor won't start if its internal temperature is below 45F, so store it inside in the Winter, load it up, and take it outside to roast in your garage.  It will do better than you trying to stay somewhat warm.  Cooling will be a snap.

 
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frcn
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Posted Tue Jul 23, 2013, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

Start the Behmor inside, with no beans. When it reaches about 100F., stop it, take it into the garage and proceed as normal... well, except for the Russian fur hat and Nordic sweater..   ;-)

 
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qualin
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qualin
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Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 12:12am
Subject: Re: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

I think I'll save my pennies and try roasting a small batch of beans inside first, underneath the stove hood. (Which just happens to just recirculate the air, it doesn't vent outside.)
From the sound of things, it sounds like burning toast would put more smoke into the house than this unit would.

If that smokes up the house, which it doesn't sound like it will, then I'll consider roasting in my bedroom with the window open and an air cleaner running.

If that drives my wife nuts, then I'll just consider keeping it warm in the house and bring it out to the garage as needed.

Thanks for all of your input!

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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germantownrob
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Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 4:39am
Subject: Re: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

qualin Said:

I think I'll save my pennies and try roasting a small batch of beans inside first, underneath the stove hood. (Which just happens to just recirculate the air, it doesn't vent outside.)
From the sound of things, it sounds like burning toast would put more smoke into the house than this unit would.

If that smokes up the house, which it doesn't sound like it will, then I'll consider roasting in my bedroom with the window open and an air cleaner running.

If that drives my wife nuts, then I'll just consider keeping it warm in the house and bring it out to the garage as needed.

Thanks for all of your input!

Posted July 24, 2013 link

Hold on a second here. Roasting produces a proportional amount of smoke to the batch size and roast degree being roasted, a half pound of beans in the Behmor taken to second crack even with the afterburner will produce as much smoke as burned toast or more. This is your birds health/life you are willing to play with for a $8 worth of beans? You will be new to roasting so letting the beans go to far is easy or not roasting far enough because of fear of the smoke will take the pleasure of learning a new hobby away, roast outside until you at least know what you are doing.

The Gene Cafe has a good settup for directing the smoke through a dryer hose.
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ThomasK
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Posted Wed Jul 24, 2013, 6:17am
Subject: Re: Sensitive Birds vs Roaster vs Garage Roasting in Winter
 

qualin Said:

I think I'll save my pennies and try roasting a small batch of beans inside first, underneath the stove hood. (Which just happens to just recirculate the air, it doesn't vent outside.)
From the sound of things, it sounds like burning toast would put more smoke into the house than this unit would.

If that smokes up the house, which it doesn't sound like it will, then I'll consider roasting in my bedroom with the window open and an air cleaner running.

If that drives my wife nuts, then I'll just consider keeping it warm in the house and bring it out to the garage as needed.

Thanks for all of your input!

Posted July 24, 2013 link

Let's look at that elephant in the room first.

If it's the birds you're concerned with, you first plan of action should be to get a REAL kitchen fan - not that recirculating cr*p that is a horrible excuse to work around building code and common sense.

These "fans" were created to meet code reqs stating that you must have some kind of fan in a kitchen, and some counties/municipalities not allowing horizontal venting (which would be required in retrofits and conversions) + cheapo/greedy builders + ignorant home buyers = recirculating fans.  Awful, awful, awful performance - not even good with brand new active carbon filter inserts.

Do whatever you need to - get a code exemption if required - but get a proper venting fan first of all.  That'll address the coffee roasting too.  And your birds will have much cleaner air.  

Also, if you have forced air in the house - install a large HEPA filter in the system - and run the system on (assuming either heat or A/C isn't already keeping the air moving) while you roast - that'll also help keep the air clean.
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