With a few mods, the best pound for pound roaster that money can buy
Positive Product Points
With a few mods, the best pound for pound roaster that money can buy Large capacity Great cooling cycle Roasts beans of all sizes
Negative Product Points
Noise Unreliable power relay
I have been roasting coffee for several years now. I started with a popper, moved up to a HWG a couple of years ago and last year I went all out and got an ALP.
The HWG is my most used roaster by far…. I have roasted ~50lb’s of coffee in this machine and it is still going strong.
First, anybody that has or wants an HWG should read Dung Truongs’ PDF on how to supercharge your HWG (google will find it).
My setup is a little different than most. I roast outdoors with the top off (Chaf clogged the screen and restricted the airflow too much). I bought a $5 BBQ thermometer at Home Depot, which has a clip that attaches to the glass chamber. I plug the unit into a 5A variac (with a 15 amp fuse) that I got from coffeebeancorral. I set the variac at ~95V and the timer at 15. These setting provide a profile very close to the “hottop” standard (3 min to 300, 8 min to 400, finish 1 to 5 depending on roast). When the temp approaches 400 and or 10 minutes, I crank the voltage up to 120/130 and finish the roast quickly depending on roast level. I usually roast ONE CUP of green beans with this arrangement (I have made the Dung Truong mods).
The power relay went out after about a year. I simply bypassed the relay with a 20A switch from the depot (~$3). I drilled a ½” hole on the side to mount the switch. This provides a way to remove heat and run an extended cooling cycle. The timer will still cut the heat off for the last 3 minutes of the roast cycle as well. I have seen another recommendation on alt.coffee that I will post here (I have not tried this…yet).
Thanks to Jeff C. on alt.coffee If anyone out there is having problems with the relay on their Hearthware Gourmet, I've found what seems to be an acceptable substitute for the original equipment part. It's an Omron G2R-1-E-DC12. The part from Digikey (www.digikey.com) is $3.48 (Digikey part number Z848-ND). Thanks to Jeff C. on alt.coffee
The reason that this roaster gets used more is because it can roast all sizes of beans (which the Alp cannot). My current favorite is Yemen Mocha and other small bean coffees, all of which gets caught in the drum on the Alp.
Sweet Marias' simply my favorite place to buy green coffee and accessories