Posted Mon Feb 10, 2014, 11:35am Subject: Re: Home Coffee Roasting Safety
My roasting "authorities," (Dan Joliff, Mike Perry, etc.) say that for most roaster fires (almost always chaff or over-roast fires) an ordinary spritz bottle filled with water is all you need as an extinguisher. Not only that, it's all you really want.
There's almost never a need for a chemically charged fire extinguisher. And since they can destroy a roaster (or at least make for a difficult clean-up), they're not a good first resort.
But "almost never" is not the same thing as "never ever." Why not have an extinguisher around in case the chaff fire does something dangerous like spread to a structure? We have an ABC one size bigger than we could conceivably need, hung in our roasting / smoking / grilling patio. Better safe than sorry. Besides, it looks cool.
By far, the most important safety measure is being there and paying attention.NEVER EVER LEAVE AN ACTIVE ROAST FOR ANY REASON.
moosepucky Senior Member Joined: 6 Jun 2009 Posts: 155 Location: USA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto Grinder: Super Jolly - Forte BG -... Vac Pot: Cona - Santos Drip: Bodum - Chemex - Hario -... Roaster: Hottop KN-8828-B
Posted Wed Feb 19, 2014, 6:39am Subject: Re: Home Coffee Roasting Safety
Public service announcement worth repeating:
Even if you never roasted coffee, a fire extinguisher is the best insurance you can buy for less than 20 bucks. If youíre a coffee roaster, it may just be your best friend. Choose a fire extinguisher intended for kitchen or garage useÖ more specifically, a dry chemical model thatís rated for oil, electrical and wood fires.
2) Mount that extinguisher near your roaster. Note that I donít say *above* your roaster, but *near* it. Youíll want to be able to grab that extinguisher without having to reach over a burning roaster. Better still, get two, and place one near, and one on the other side of the room. (While Iím not exactly paranoid, I have three extinguishers strategically located in my garage where I do most of my roasting.)
3) Never leave your coffee roasting unattended. Never ó ever! ó walk away with a roast in progress. Iíll admit itÖ I used to have a laissez faire attitude toward roasting. Iíd start a roast and wander off to do other things for 10 or 15 minutes while the roast progressed. I got an attitude adjustment one day when roasting a batch of Yemen coffee ó a batch that had some odd-sized and curiously-shaped beans ó some of which wedged between the seams and completely jammed up the drum in my roaster. I was lucky. I was just the other side of the garage when I heard the jam occur. If I hadnít been on the scene it may have been only a matter of moments before those beans ó no longer happily tumbling ó burst into flame.
4) A clean roaster is a happy roaster. Not only does a clean coffee roaster do itís job more efficiently, itís also far, far safer. No matter what kind of roaster you have, regularly clean-up the chaff ó the papery skin thatís released by roasting coffee beans. I clean chaff from my roaster between each and every roast. Bonus tip: Donít vacuum chaff out of a hot roaster! Smoldering bits of chaff that would probably be of no consequence at all left in your roaster until it cools could ignite in dramatic fashion should you fuel them with a lot of wind. While your roaster can probably take the heat, chances are your shop-vac wonít.
5) Donít disable your home smoke-alarm just because your coffee roasting sets it off. Get better ventilation, roast outdoors, or just learn to enjoy the occasional test of your smoke alarm. That way you can rest assured itíll be there if you need it.
Rascally Senior Member Joined: 9 Feb 2014 Posts: 2 Location: Ontario Canada Expertise: Just starting
Posted Wed Feb 19, 2014, 10:36pm Subject: Re: Home Coffee Roasting Safety
I'd like to post my question again...
Does anyone have experience refurbishing a roaster after it has been sprayed with fire extinguisher chemical?
- ref: mono-ammonium phosphate and ammonium sulphate
My roaster (a Diedrich IR series) was doused with an ABC fire extinguisher. The dust cloud may have travelled up the drum exhaust duct and into the drum (450 deg.F) My research, as a layman, has me thinking that a simple cleanup is all that's needed. (breather, vinyl gloves, and goggles for personal safety, scraper, wire brush, vacuum, repeat, and repeat again, water wash down.)
I'm hoping to find information from a Roaster who has gone down this road before me...
It is always best to start a new topic if your question is not a continuation of an existing one.
Your question about your personal roaster is not part of roaster safety so it would be best to start a new topic in the home roasting area using a title that will bring some one in who can help. A title like "How to clean fire extinguisher residue from roaster" will let everyone know what your topic is about whereas your question buried within the "home roasting safety" thread will not be seen and not responded to (as you have found out).
Only trying to be helpful so you can get some answers since I can't answer your question
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