For what it's worth, I have heard great things about the Huky 500.
While much better than a Behmor, "pretty good at the price" is also a fair description of the Huky. A lot more goodness, true; but at a lot more price. At least the Huky turns the major corner of profiling and (with thermocouples) provides the roaster with enough information, power and airflow to execute standard profiles like 5:30 - 3:00 - 3:00 successfully.
A Huky is far from the last word in "control," and certainly not in refinement. But the next step up in Chinese made 500g roasters, like the Bella Mini 500 or Yang Chia 800n, is about twice as expensive.
Worth it? Depends.
For me, just like the step from Hot Top to Huky wasn't worth the price, the step from Huky to pro-style Chinese roaster wasn't either. On the other hand, the step beyond Chinese built roasters to an American made roaster was. "Value" is relative. After more than a hundred pounds with my USRC, I'm convinced the decision was right for me.
This is one of the few times you can pick your relatives, but one of many where you make your own choices.
hankua Senior Member Joined: 29 Aug 2009 Posts: 237 Location: Jacksonville, Florida Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Salvatore One Black Grinder: Pharos,Rossi RR45OD, Lido,... Drip: CCD Roaster: Yang-Chia 800n
Posted Tue Feb 18, 2014, 7:45am Subject: Re: Buying my first roaster
Wow this is a great thread for the OP and reference. I pretty much agree with everything that's been said. BDL really broke down the machine types in an easy to read format.
Behmor works if your roasting for yourself or friends; there is a cool down cycle not really a back to back machine. Behmor needs to be vented along with every other roaster IMHO. People living in cold climates have special considerations; apartments, basements, garages, kitchens??
The easiest way to learn about roasting coffee? Go hang out or work part time in a Roastery. Those folks are up to their eyeballs in coffee every minute, although there are major differences roasting 10lbs vs 8oz.
Gas vs electric? Working with gas allows more fine tuning the flame, with electric you learn how to control the element heat lag. Which one is better depends on how/where the machine is set up.
I just picked up a used Huky and it's pretty amazing to look at. Workmanship is way over the top; there are all kind of accessories/options to choose from. Ventilated or solid drum, 48rpm or 72rpm motor; all the thermocouples you could think about...
Huky was designed as a hobbyist machine but is also being used by professionals in the coffee trade, same for the Quest. USRC 1lb, SF1, Mini500 etc. are the ultimate small roasters; no need for upgrading at this level. Are they worth the huge price tag? I'm biased; love my Mini500!
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