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  • Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    I have seen various solutions put forward for overcoming the costs associated with Hottop Replcement filters including "washing them in the dishwasher"  [smiley=undecided.gif]. (Note: I tried this just for fun, and it did not work). Some of them such as replacing with an aluminium PC style filter I imagine negates some of the original functionality such as reducing smoke. I personally like to replace them within or even before the Hottop recommendation of 30-40 roasts because a dirty filter appears to impact the roasting profile. It also seems silly to spend good money on a Hottop then circumvent some of its excellent features. [smiley=cool.gif]

    However, I have found an alternative that some may wish to try. I purchased a pack of Rangehood filter replacement material (on Ebay), which includes a Charcoal Odour filter and Grease filter similiar to the material used in the Hottop Filters. The pack includes 2 sheets of each which are each 47cmx57cm, so enough to make a good 30-40 replacements. Its Qualtex Appliance Spare with a Code No. FIL 155. There is also an alternative one that does NOT include the Charcoal filter so be aware. It is supplied by an Electrical and Electronic Repair Service company. It cost me $41.55 delivered.

    I popped out the old filter material from the plastic housing, cut the replacement material to size and popped the housing back together again in the same way as many do who rotate their usual filters. I used 1 layer of the Charcoal and 2 of the Grease filter material, but not sure how necessary that is. The Charcoal filter appears to be of a foam variety unlike the original which was more of a fibre, so was a bit concerned about heat but it seems to work OK so far, (and it is designed for stove rangehoods). I have NOT tested with the Top filter yet, (which probably needs 2 layers of the Charcoal filter only), so not sure if heat would be a problem, although I have prepared one for testing.

    The fan output, by feeling with my hand, (very scientific), the difference between and original the replacement filter air flow, appears to be the same.

    I imagine the original plastic filter housings were not designed to be manipulated in such a way so will kark it eventually and need replacing, but you should be able to prolong their usefulness, and better afford a cleaner filter more often using this alternative. Im also not sure yet how many roasts the replacement material will handle, possibly less than the original.

    Below a picture of the material and filter after 1 roast.

    Graham




  • #2
    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Good find Graham, hope it works well for you.

    A general caveat to bear in mind is that modification of any product away from the manufacturers specifications has the potential to void the manufacturers warranty. Genuine products are normally more expensive than aftermarket ones because theyre made to do a specific job, but at least you know they wont cause any other problems. So a seemingly cheap alternative may turn out to cost more in the long run if youre left to foot a hefty repair bill yourself.

    Greg

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    • #3
      Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

      Arent they only ~$15?, per 40 roasts?........thats 37 cents per roast personally id rather pay that minute cost than run the risk of either voiding warranty or killing the Hottop

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

        The biggest problem with the Hottop filters if you stray away from the standard is depending on version the internal electronics has full control over the fan. In the case of the "D" version if you change airflow excessively it will speed or slow the roast beyond what might be desirable. Also airflow does change roast characteristics which are a consideration. As mine is well outside its warranty period I await your further testing

        True Sully they are not ot much but by the time you add freight (not that thats to much either) to it even if like me you order a couple at a time it is still adding 10-15% or there a bouts to the cost of roasting.

        As to killing a Hottop short of putting a complete baffle over the fan its not likely at all. I had my rear fan die a while back (zero airflow) and apart from a junked roast no other problems as the roast simply ran its course and stopped after completion. Your never going to kill it by excessive airflow so not really a problem that way either.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

          All feedback noted and agreed with.  [smiley=thumbsup.gif] I do in fact still have a good supply of replacement genuine parts which I use as a preference. I prefer to replace mine about every 30 roasts, as they look pretty grotty by then.

          I had actually purchased the material for the Rangehood, (which of course I use when roasting), and noticed how similar it was to the Hottop filter material, and thought it would make an interesting comparison, and good topic for discussion  [smiley=wink.gif]

          I would actually suggest that its a lot closer to the real thing than some of the whacky posts I have read on other websites, such as washing them in the dishwasher or replacing it with a Computer housing style filter. Personally I doubt very much it would "kill" the roaster, and of course warranties have a limited time span.

          Graham

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

            bump, so how did the testing go?

            I am about due for a couple of new rear filters and I was going to order some of this cloth too for a comparison if it seems to be ok.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

              Originally posted by 6067636C646E7B6B6C65020 link=1271808176/5#5 date=1273370631
              bump, so how did the testing go?

              I am about due for a couple of new rear filters and I was going to order some of this cloth too for a comparison if it seems to be ok.
              When I had mine... I used a ally mesh fan guard with this same sort of material.. Worked well.

              So did washing the org filters in a coffee cleaner. Trick was to get them dry ASAP..

              Two ways.. I: In the sun or in the dish washer and set to dry ;D

              The other issue for me was that I used the filter manually to decrease / increase air flow by lifting it.... Thus after a while the requirement for the filter to meet factory specs was no longer a requirement.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

                Thats the way I have been currently regulating FC-SC time on mine too so the filters do last fairly well, but a proper fix for the D is in the wind after the Z9 gets rebuilt and less smoke is nicer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

                  I have to admit to not having carried out the extensive testing as yet,  [smiley=embarassed.gif] other than running a couple of roasts using the replacement filter. They were however successful. I had only just recently had a new genuine filter fitted, and it has not reached its limit as yet.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

                    Originally posted by 3E393D323A302535323B5C0 link=1271808176/7#7 date=1273371468
                    Thats the way I have been currently regulating first crack-second crack time on mine too so the filters do last fairly well, but a proper fix for the D is in the wind after the Z9 gets rebuilt and less smoke is nicer.  
                    I started but never finished..

                    Turbo fan and a simple dial controller as used on some PC / CPU fans...

                    1: Simple filter to manage SMOKE..  Hepa  
                    2: Fan speed manual adjusted as per the dial for the profile required..
                    3: Looked at a PID... But ya need to be there any way so could not justfy the $$$

                    Let us know how ya go..

                    PS. Did ya see the gagia lever that went for 440 on the evil place  ;D

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

                      Originally posted by 0D222B293E012D222D2B29212922384C0 link=1271808176/9#9 date=1273371772
                      gagia lever that went for 440 on the evil place
                      I was a watching Keep looking you will find the right one.

                      I already have a dedicated temp ramp controller for stage 2 of the hottop project, dedicated thread to follow I suspect.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

                        Originally posted by 537C7577605F737C7375777F777C66120 link=1271808176/6#6 date=1273371192
                        When I had mine... I used a ally mesh fan guard with this same sort of material..Worked well.
                        AM
                        Did that special S/S super fine wire mesh I gave you work on your hot top as a replacement filter

                        If it did I can send a sample to BF if I can find it in the shed :-?

                        KK

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

                          Originally posted by 183C353536360C183C203E3C530 link=1271808176/11#11 date=1273387627
                          Originally posted by 537C7577605F737C7375777F777C66120 link=1271808176/6#6 date=1273371192
                          When I had mine... I used a ally mesh fan guard with this same sort of material..Worked well.
                          AM
                          Did that special S/S super fine wire mesh I gave you work on your hot top as a replacement filter

                          If it did I can send a sample to BF if I can find it in the shed  :-?

                          KK
                          The super fine stuff I used to make a guard around the top bean inlet and a second around teh door solenoid that drops the beans into the cooling tray.

                          Later models of the HT have this, but the N did not...

                          The issue here was to reduce the amount of chaff that gets back and into the system

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

                            Getting back to the original Topic - An update after more testing of the filters.

                            I have tested the filter on some more roasts, and found that the filter paper appears to clog up a lot quicker than the genuine filter spares. I recently tested 3 roasts, a Brazil PN, an Ethiopian Gamb, and a Guatemala Hue SHB, (300g each), the 1st two using the replacement filter, the Guat using a brand new Genuine filter. The 1st two roasts caused me some angst trying to control them and not that happy with the profile and had some roasting defects, the Guat on the other hand went a lot smoother, and no defects I could detect.

                            There were possibly too many variables in the mix for it to be more scientific than "gut feel", e.g. different beans, experimenting with 300g, wheris I usually do 250g, and I changed the filter paper from 2 layers to 1 after the 1st roast.

                            But my recommendation would to use the replacement filters cautiously. I will probably keep them for emergencies only.

                            But it seemed a good idea at the time [smiley=embarassed.gif]

                            Graham

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                            • #15
                              Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

                              Good thinking nonetheless Graham, thats what keeps CS interesting. And thanks for reporting back your findings too.

                              Greg

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