ricardo_dacosta Senior Member Joined: 30 Jul 2013 Posts: 32 Location: Montclair Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 3:38pm Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
(I was actually considering the SonoFresco but after reading some of the reviews on this site (Click Here (coffeegeek.com)) am afraid it might be costly in the long run. How long have you had yours? and has the glass chamber or any other parts broke as has happened to others? Thanks!
I chose the Sonofresco over the Coffee Crafter roaster because Sonofresco has been around for a while. I was able to find mine used for $1750. (1.4 lb model). New they go for around $2,400. Amazon has them for sale too. IMO this would be a good starting point. It can roast 1/4 lb(666 g) in under 20 min. To hit your 15 lb per week capacity you would only have to roast 3 times a day, 5 days a week or half a days time. Some people think it's not the greatest roaster but from what I have seen it's built to take a beating. As long as the temp probe stays clean it hits the roast target. Yes right now it only has 0-9 profile settings Cinnamon - Spanish roast which IMO is awesome. :p They are working on a new control board that will allow you to roast custom profiles via Laptop/PC which should be available next year.
Breeze Senior Member Joined: 3 Dec 2006 Posts: 748 Location: St. Croix, V.I. Expertise: Pro Roaster
Espresso: Pasquini Livia S Grinder: Mazzer Mini/Rocky Drip: TechniVorm/Krups MB Roaster: Toper 1 kilo
Posted Thu Aug 8, 2013, 4:52am Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
I go thru about 12-15lbs a week in a small stand I run. I have been slowly learning about good coffee and am at the point where I would like to get into roasting my own beans. I would want to start with something small, roast 3 lbs a day or so. I have been reading reviews of different home roasters on this site. Will a home roaster be too much for 2-3 pounds a day? What would be my next step if not a home roaster?
A home roaster will get old fast (figuratively and literally) for three pounds a day
I've been roasting commercially on a 1 kilo Toper gas fired for a few years now. My average weekly quantity is 30 pounds and I find a 2.2 pound drum perfect for my little market. I would imagine that current pricing on this roaster is North of $5,000, plus shipping, etc. Diedrich, for instance is more expensive than Toper, albeit a more sophisticated machine. Double the capacity from that and rule of thumb says the price nearly doubles as well.
Comment was made, from the land of regulation about all the BS you can run into with the local authorities. That must be considered but here, there is virtually no regulation of anything so for me it was easy. (Correction: Here there are regulations for everything but they are so complex that no one understands them and no one is interested in enforcement) The only hard and fast rule is not to wave the red flag in front of the bull but I guess that applies anywhere!
Posted Thu Aug 8, 2013, 6:25am Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
I was actually considering the SonoFresco but after reading some of the reviews on this site (Click Here (coffeegeek.com)) am afraid it might be costly in the long run. How long have you had yours? and has the glass chamber or any other parts broke as has happened to others? Thanks!
I have only had mine for 2+ months but it's my primary roaster. The Glass chamber is obviously breakable but I would prefer glass over any other material as a roast chamber IMO wouldn't be a good idea if I want the roast process to be visible. I just replaced the temp probe and it has since roasted amazingly. IME so far I feel the only expenses down the road will be future temp probe replacement for $75 or so but I plan to just build and install my own. The manual tells how to hold the chamber so you don't drop it and I rarely leave the table with it when I bag my coffee. All of the parts on the roaster are thick solid metal. I have read that other Sonofresco users are able to roast hundreds of times before having to replace anything. I could see the control board eventually needing to be replaced but the beauty of the heat source in the Sono only directs heat into the chamber (in shot burner). Air around the chamber that escapes a bit is cold.
Main reason I bought it was for the auto feature and roast visibility. Also waiting for the new board to release (allows for custom roasting)
If you use the Sono roaster properly as they state it's great.
After reading the review you posted here is what I have come up with
Breaking the chamber. It's made of Pyrex so it's pretty durable but not unbreakable. I have knocked it a few times, nothin.
Cost for the roaster is high? Yes I assume to make a profit. Materials and internal would run to close to $1000 + they hand build them all.
Profiles. Are based on roast temp - cooling from beans to temp probe. If you got a clean probe and a vent attached to make sure no cold air mixes at the top of the roaster to throw off the temp probe you won't have a problem. Once it hits it's target it kills the heat.
Cool down between roasts? Nope. Spoke with Sono it's built to roast back to back 24/7.
Cleaning: Does only take about 1 min.
Output: 30,000BTU? No it uses approx 14,000 BTU per roast. Same as a 2 burner BBQ.
+1 and my alternative would be .56 kWh alternating current!
I also like flame over resistance heat, profile wise, applied to an iron drum. GermantownRob has IR gas ala Diedrich which I dream of in my wilder moments but I'm a basic guy. Advancing to gas for roasting the blessed beans is enough. Cooking anything else, it's Carbon/Charcoal. My grandfather said, "Propane may not be evil but smelling it reminds me of the devil farting".
Down vote for electric machines, just my opinion. Even if the cost of juice for resistance heaters is normal, lifespan is questionable. I have six years or so on a Honeywell valve and burner head with no issues. Burning out Edison elements seems inevitable as incandescent light bulbs have proven to be. Creating heat with resistance is like paddling up stream, hard and exhausting.
DavecUK Senior Member Joined: 21 Sep 2005 Posts: 1,393 Location: UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Aug 9, 2013, 3:52am Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
The 1kg Gene Cafe CBR 1200 would exactly suit your needs, perhaps wait until it's available in the US. It is nothing like it's smaller cousin, the 300g Gene cafe and is a proper commercial/not home roaster. I would advise a 240V supply if you can get one as it's electric and draws 3.2 or 3.3Kw.
oldgearhead Senior Member Joined: 25 Jan 2010 Posts: 389 Location: Go Colts! Expertise: I like coffee
Grinder: Virtuoso by Baratza Drip: Chemex,Dilongi DCM900 Roaster: 1/2K Fluid-bed
Posted Fri Aug 9, 2013, 8:53am Subject: Re: roaster suggestion for 15lbs a week
At only 3.3Kw, I wouldn't wait for a 1 Kg (2.2 pounds) roaster.. One good heat gun element is 1.5 Kw. If you like electric go 'Art5', if you like gas, go Sono Fresco... / Does the 1 Kg Gene' have bean mass temperature probe?
The 'commercial' Gene' at 3.3kw would be capable of roasting 2.2 pounds at a time in 'favorable' ambient temperature. Both the 'Ar5' or the Sono Fresco have more than twice the available heating power..
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