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thCapn
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Portland, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 8, 2014, 3:16pm
Subject: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

Took it apart, cleaned, lubed, etc. Whereas before the cleaning the temp was maxxing at 460F with the chaff exit clogging up and the thermostat switching off & on, it gets up to 467 now before cycling the heat and the chaff exit clogging.

Either the fan has lost it's oomph, the thermostat has gone wonky or the chaff sweeper flap isn't doing it's job. I can see how cleaning added some fan power to get another seven degrees. Now I'm beginning to suspect the problem is the chaff sweeper flap.

What should I look for when examining the flap for problems that might lead to this symptom?

--
th' Cap'n
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,453
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 8, 2014, 5:16pm
Subject: Re: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

Check none of the slats at the exit of the chamber are bent, ensure they're all straight and in line. Ensure the metal centre piece (which holds the chaff flapper thing) of the roasting chamber is all the way down.
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BoldJava
Senior Member
BoldJava
Joined: 2 Jun 2006
Posts: 1,537
Location: St Paul, MN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: '82 Oly Cremina 67
Grinder: Macap MC4 Doserless Stepped
Vac Pot: Yamas
Drip: Hario, Beehouse, Cilio, Kone...
Roaster: RK Drum and Gene
Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 6:38am
Subject: Re: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

thCapn Said:

Took it apart, cleaned, lubed, etc. Whereas before the cleaning the temp was maxxing at 460F with the chaff exit clogging up and the thermostat switching off & on, it gets up to 467 now before cycling the heat and the chaff exit clogging.

...
--
th' Cap'n

Posted May 8, 2014 link

How old is the heater?  After a period of time, the heater coils lose the capacity to convert electricity (diminished resistance) to heat and the temps will suffer.

 
"On the trail for the goats' grail..."

Dave Borton
St Paul, MN
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svyerkgeniiy
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 380
Location: New York City, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: (-ish) Bialetti moka pot
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Yama (large 8-cup)
Drip: Technivorm KBT; Clever...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 8:05am
Subject: Re: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

The Gene has always had heater reliability problems.

The original heating system was rated only for 110V, and anything above that (115 or 120 is common) would damage it over time and cause the system to lose heating capacity.  In my case I found that the heater would cut off before reaching temperature, perhaps it was some self-protection thing.  When I contacted the supplier, he informed me of the issue and eventually sent out a higher-rated unit.  However, I found I still had similar problems later, it was tricky to keep the temps up and the heat would cut out unexpectedly.

Soon after that I broke a plastic internal gear and never went back to the Gene.  (I did get replacement parts, I just never put it back together properly and left it.)  Now I use a Behmor but I do miss the control of the Gene.  But the whole temp control finickyness put me off of it.  I roasted probably a whole 30 or 50lbs through it

EDIT: Did you check the fan intake for cleanness?  That can cause reduced airflow, mine was gunked up at one point when the distributor recommended I check it.

--dv

 
Donald Varona
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BatchCoffee
Senior Member
BatchCoffee
Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Plymouth, MA
Expertise: Professional

Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 8:27am
Subject: Re: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

Good morning. Batch Coffee is the US Importer of the Gene Cafes. Sorry you're having trouble with it. Did make sure to clean the bottom of the roaster (the plastic grate, which is the air intake for the fan)? If you're still having trouble after doing this, feel free to contact directly at support@batchcoffee.com.
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thCapn
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Portland, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri May 9, 2014, 1:30pm
Subject: Re: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

Thanks fore the replies.

Yes, everything was cleaned well, compressed air, power vac, wiping and swabbing, disassembly and reassembly, etc. The heating unit is only about a year old and I'm getting a reasonably consistent 112V from the wall. The outlet vent fins in the chamber are in good condition.

Anyway, I think I've found the culprit: The chaff flap in the roasting chamber.

The flap has little ridges in it that match the fins in the outlet vent. The ridges help push the chaff through the vent as the flap sweeps over it. The flap on my Gene is very worn down and the ridges are almost gone. Hence, the ability of the flap to push chaff out is greatly reduced, which leads to chaff clogging the outlet, which leads to reduced airflow, which leads to temp problems, etcetera, etcetera.

I was able to visually compare the flap on my Gene to the demo unit at the local coffee geek shop here in Portland, Oregon, Mr. Green Beans. The difference is very obvious.

I ordered a replacement flap through the shop.
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BoldJava
Senior Member
BoldJava
Joined: 2 Jun 2006
Posts: 1,537
Location: St Paul, MN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: '82 Oly Cremina 67
Grinder: Macap MC4 Doserless Stepped
Vac Pot: Yamas
Drip: Hario, Beehouse, Cilio, Kone...
Roaster: RK Drum and Gene
Posted Sat May 10, 2014, 7:35am
Subject: Re: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

thCapn Said:

Thanks fore the replies.

Yes, everything was cleaned well, compressed air, power vac, wiping and swabbing, disassembly and reassembly, etc. The heating unit is only about a year old and I'm getting a reasonably consistent 112V from the wall. The outlet vent fins in the chamber are in good condition.

...

Posted May 9, 2014 link

FWIW, I found 112V inadequate voltage for the Gene and use an old variac to keep the voltage at 119.7 while roasting.

 
"On the trail for the goats' grail..."

Dave Borton
St Paul, MN
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,453
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat May 10, 2014, 8:40am
Subject: Re: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

thCapn Said:

Thanks fore the replies.

Yes, everything was cleaned well, compressed air, power vac, wiping and swabbing, disassembly and reassembly, etc. The heating unit is only about a year old and I'm getting a reasonably consistent 112V from the wall. The outlet vent fins in the chamber are in good condition.

Anyway, I think I've found the culprit: The chaff flap in the roasting chamber.

The flap has little ridges in it that match the fins in the outlet vent. The ridges help push the chaff through the vent as the flap sweeps over it. The flap on my Gene is very worn down and the ridges are almost gone. Hence, the ability of the flap to push chaff out is greatly reduced, which leads to chaff clogging the outlet, which leads to reduced airflow, which leads to temp problems, etcetera, etcetera.

I was able to visually compare the flap on my Gene to the demo unit at the local coffee geek shop here in Portland, Oregon, Mr. Green Beans. The difference is very obvious.

I ordered a replacement flap through the shop.

Posted May 9, 2014 link

While your waiting, get your existing flap and with a small needle file you should be able to reprofile it......there is usually enough slack in the rings holding the flap for this to work fine 1 time. You can do this without removing it from the machine, just withdraw the central piece from the roasting chamber.
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thCapn
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Portland, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun May 11, 2014, 7:59am
Subject: Re: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

Good idea on the filing, thanks.

The Variac is a consideration. I have other budget priorities right now, though.
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merlot85
Junior Member


Joined: 27 Sep 2014
Posts: 1
Location: LI, NY
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: baratza encore
Roaster: gene cafe
Posted Sat Sep 27, 2014, 1:14pm
Subject: Re: Gene Cafe still not getting up to temp after cleaning
 

My Gene Cafe is 6 yrs old and I roast 3 or 4 batches about every 2 weeks. Over the period of about 3 months the temp was not getting up to max setting and finally would not go over 400 deg. It would take 20 minutes to roast a batch with poor results. After reading many comments on this site I was pretty sure it was an air flow issue but after cleaning and vacuuming all inlet and outlets and making sure fan screen was clear, same problem. So I took it apart, pulled the heater out to get to the fan and OMG. The fan blades were packed with dust that I couldn't even vacuum out.  I scraped each blade until they were all clean, put everything back together and VOILA, my roaster is like new.  Thanks to a lot of the comments on this site I was able to fix it.
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