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Thread: FZ-RR 700 Baby Roaster

  1. #451
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    Thanks all. I have had some success positioning the drum slightly off centre over the flame of my camp stove and it seems to be working better. I do have the same issue as iaindb though where it is difficult to lift the drum from the gears without the whole stand coming as well. Have had some success twist and lift as mentioned, but sometimes easier to stop the motor and lift off.

    I have been running this outside as wasn't sure about the smoke/chaff mess situation but have been getting variable results due to changes in air temp/wind/etc affecting the flame, so am thinking of moving it into the garage.

  2. #452
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    I've found that the wind is a big nuisance as well! What I've been doing over my first 3.5kg of Andy's greens, is noting down all the roast events that I can detect along with the time (from the timer on my phone), including first crack start & stop, second crack start & stop, vapour, smoke, chaff, excited sounds (talking about temperature excitement, not me! The beans initially are quiet when rolling, then they sound noisy, then they start to jump a bit), smells and colour tests. I also make notes on the roast total time, colour & evenness, taste, oil, gas, date, time, etc.

    This is all in a column, and then across the page I'll have each roast over time. The point is after a while I care less about the wind and weather, and instead make tiny adjustments to the flame based on how fast or slow I reach the next stage of roasting. Apart from forgetting to shake, this is starting to give me a pretty consistent decent quality output.

    Although sometimes the wet season winds will blow out the flame completely... I might have to manufacture some sort of wind shield...

  3. #453
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    Great stuff iaindb! I have a spreadsheet on my laptop similar to this but I haven't really been using it as yet. So far just focussing on the timings of 1st/2nd crack and watching the smoke, flame level, etc. It could be just me but the vapours all smell the same to me.... that of burning green plants.... end results are getting better and tasting good though.

    How do approach the temp/flame levels - eg. go hard early and cut back after 1st crack or keep it steady, etc?

  4. #454
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    I found it easier to keep a notepad and pen in the roast box, then there's no need to collect tools before I start.

    This is just me, but to overcome the thermal inertia I give it about 3/4 or more flame to start off. I'll tweak that a little depending on how fast it seems to be going. At first crack, you may need to push it a bit more, as it takes more energy to excite the beans to cracking point!

    During or at the end of first crack I'll cut it right down to 1/4 (I've also experimented with 0 flame for 1 min), and use this as an opportunity to inspect a couple and give it a good shake off the flame. Then back on around 1/4-1/2 until second crack.

    I was completely surprised by that green-bamboo smell. I had no idea green beans smelt like that. Smell the smoke after first crack and see if it reminds you of any flavours. If I don't roast it right I can pick up a sour smell in the smoke that I can also taste in the extraction... Sometimes I also eat half a bean when I've finished, just to get the nose & taste buds working together!

    I'm only starting on this journey though so don't take my words as gold. Experiment and report!

  5. #455
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    CCooke - after encountering similar issues to yourself when I first used the baby roaster, I went to Bunnings and bought a can of WD40 with the attachable plastic nozzle thingamajig. Then every time I use the roaster I hit up the cogs and the support at each end with a little squirt to lubricate. When I lift it out to give it a little shake, it comes out easier plus the motor is noticeably less tired sounding.

  6. #456
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    Thanks Aaron.

  7. #457
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    Dec 2014
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    Hello CoffeeSnobs!


    I'm a recently-joined member from your American suburb, Kentucky to be exact. Let me just start by saluting you as having the most informative and least acrimonious blog of any I think I've ever read!


    I rewarded myself upon completion of grad school (Nurse Practitioner) with the purchase of a demo model FZ-RR-700 (motorized) about a month ago, as far as I can tell the last one for sale in all of North America. Maybe I can start a movement here...


    Background-
    I've been roasting for about 3 years on a Poppery I, with fan and heater separated, dimmer switch on the heater line, and a grill thermometer drilled down into the bottom part of the chamber (pic below). I've explored about every variation of ramp and soak possible and have gotten some enjoyable roasts, but rarely anything to knock my socks off. But then I'm no aficionado of berry notes and turbinado finishes...I just know if I like it or not.


    I've had my eye on the Behmor for some time but did not care for the idea of having to conjure complicated lies to get it to do what I want. Hottop is well reviewed but prohibitively expensive, and I did not like the frequent and expensive cleaning regimens/filter changes required. On a whim I Googled "gas coffee roaster" and was immediately attracted to the resulting Baby roaster. I knew I wanted one even before devouring all 10 pages of this wonderful blog.


    Stirrer modification-
    Thanks to the field work of several bloggers here, I knew the Baby could handle roughly up to 230 grams. I wanted to be able to roast more than 200 grams because I buy coffee by the pound and this would leave too much leftover loose coffee. 225 grams is just about a half pound, however I had a feeling that I would really need a stirrer for even roasting of the higher amount.


    I enjoyed the separate thread here about stirrer mods, but wound up with an idea of my own. Using a tightly wound 1/4 inch steel spring (repurposed from a bolt reacher from a local hardware store) I attached the two loose ends together with small hose clamps to form a circle (pic below). This perfectly (almost) adapts to the inner curves of the drum, tripping the bean mass slightly twice per turn. Usually about 4-5 beans get trapped during roast, but I can easily release these separately from the main dump by pulling up the spring with a screwdriver and then pushing it back down, even while hot. The beauty of this is I can easily remove the device should I ever decide to roast without it.


    Burner-
    I roast in the garage, so the kitchen stove is not an option (married, y'know!). I started with a propane camp stove that sits on top of the portable tank, but it was too poor on low control and too slippery for the steel roaster base. I then tried a butane burner but the flame lost top end strength after 2 roasts, with half a can of butane left. I don't much like using disposable tanks, anyway. So the bulk of my roasts so far have been on a Trangia alcohol burner (pic below).


    So far I really like it. It wraps the whole bottom of the drum in blue flame (and with denatured meths leaves no significant residue). One burner full of about 3 ounces is enough for the longest roast with just a little left over, and because I refill it each time there is never a question of blowing an expensive roast on running out of fuel at a crucial moment. Heat adjustment involves open burner vs. open simmer ring and manipulating the distance from the drum. I've just ordered a small lab scissor jack to help fine-tune the temp control. I may switch back to propane at some point but right now I'm liking this just fine. It's fun to watch, is totally silent, and it just seems too classy roasting on a classic copper drum with a classic brass burner.


    Roasting-
    I did not have much problem achieving the oft-recommended formula of 10 min to first crack, second crack at about 15 min. But the roasts seemed long on darkness and short on character. It occurred to me that, just as lower bean masses had been noted to result in a much faster heat uptake and quicker first crack, so the larger bean mass of 230 gms might NEED a bit longer for heat uptake. I adjusted my target to about 12 min (+/- 1 min) and then 4-5 min to second crack and have had much better results. Thanks once again for all the well-documented research posted here.


    My biggest problem has been adjusting for an appropriate second crack time with my Trangia. I expected the Baby to require very little additional heat after first crack (according to reports), but I find that I'm stalling the roast and never making it to second crack unless I keep more heat on than the open simmer ring will provide, even when moved fairly close to the drum. I've compensated by alternating between full burn and simmer ring during the coast to second crack. Hopefully I'll be able to do this more reliably with the lab scissor jack.


    Question-
    Unfortunately I didn't plan well for breaking in a new roaster, and have experimented my way through a fairly large stash of pretty nice coffees. I need a suggestion for a good basic coffee origin to by a 5 pound bag of for ongoing experimentation. I ran across some suggestions in this blog but have had a hard time finding them again. Brazillian, I believe it is, that is comfortable with a broad roast range and tends to turn out good yet is not too expensive?


    Thanks in advance for any (and all) suggestions regarding this post.



    chokkidog likes this.

  8. #458
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    Welcome!

    As you've found out, adding a few extra grams on top of the 200g only adds time to your roast.

    I find the Brazilian bourbon (reference beanbay) easy to end up with a nice roast. India monsoon Malabar is another one. It enabled me to have something drinkable while other beans (Ethiopian yirgachef) were giving me "third wave" problems (I was under roasting). I'm not sure if these meet your cheap price suggestions.

    Pick a bean, buy a big bag, and work at it until you master the roast, or finish it and want a change. Bigger bags of green beans are cheaper. Take notes, so when you go back to that bean in a few months you can quickly remaster it.

    The exact heat settings can be hard to compare. The combination of climate, gas pressure, and un calibrated stoves make your situation unique.
    Abbrustulaturo likes this.

  9. #459
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    Belgrave
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    In my cocktail shaker roast setup I found that the Tanzania Machare Estate is a good one to start with (currently NOT in green bay) as well as the Colombian Volcan Galeras Supremo.
    chokkidog likes this.

  10. #460
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    Quote Originally Posted by blanyon View Post
    This has really wet my appetite, I have just got a handle on my KKTO and am keen to keep reading. Dont wait too long to update us.
    It's "whet," but how many can spell these days?


    is this roaster available to buy? What about the smoke?

  11. #461
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassWineGuy View Post
    It's "whet," but how many can spell these days?
    The speel chucker said there were no spelling mistakes...

    is this roaster available to buy? What about the smoke?
    The smoke is minimal, but I wouldn't do it inside. You do smell a bit afterwards but it's not nearly as bad as a campfire. Have you had no luck finding an online retailer?

  12. #462
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    Jan 2016
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    Hi
    i know is a "old" thread........i to have the baby roaster but thinking to ad gene cafe from what i can understand the some user have both
    if some one can do comparison pros/cons and and if you can taste a difference and so on.
    and do the gene cafe have same degree of "smoked" taste that baby roaster have with the same bean?
    cheers kreto

  13. #463
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    Mar 2015
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    I was roasting with the Baby Roaster a couple of days ago, and when I lifted the roaster to give it a shake, the bakelite handle split in two and roaster crashed onto the range top. I just missed getting a terrible burn. Of course I had to throw out the roast, but that was the least of my worries.

    I am posting this as a warning other Baby Roaster users. I also have some questions.

    1) Has anyone else had this problem?
    2) Do you think that if I can get the handle replaced or repaired, the Roaster would be safe to use? The handle just cracked in two without any warning whatsoever.
    3) How would you recommend repairing/replacing the handle (if safe to do so)? I contacted Coffee-Tech, but they want about 1/3 the price of the whole roaster just to ship the bakelite part of the handle. I would rather buy a new, safer roaster than invest that much money in a piece of bakelite.

    I tried to post a picture of the broken handle, but I don't know how to download the image.

    Thanks for any insights.
    Last edited by Gail; 18th June 2016 at 03:57 AM. Reason: Image did not dowload

  14. #464
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    Apr 2013
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    Sydney, Hills District
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    How about you put the two halves back on and wrap it with that rubbery silicone tape that is heat resistant.

    Just a thought as I have used the stuff which I bought once at Aldi for things on my Corretto that needed heat resistance.

    I was just thinking about this while doing a roast on my Baby Roaster, which by the way has not had this problem.

    Just a thought.

  15. #465
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    Jan 2017
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    Hello there, I know this is an old thread, but this little roaster has peaked my interest. Does anyone have anymore information or experiences on this? I'm thinking on getting one, so would really like to know more. Also, what's it like to roast inside the home under a cooker hood / extraction fan?

    Does anyone know had the opportunity to compare with a Gene Cafe?

    I am mainly interested in roasting good coffee that I can extract as espresso. Not too fussed about reproducing roasts.

  16. #466
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    Sep 2012
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    Hobart TAS
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    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Have PM'd you.

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