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Commercial roaster

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  • Commercial roaster

    Anyone wandering around the Bay lately may have noticed a 7kg Balestra roaster being "won" (ie purchased) after 39 bids.

    (Maybe an Adelaide CSer picked it up? - No, not me - too far to drive and wouldnt fit in the boot. ;D)

    Balestras spiel is they roast by "air circulation (convection) and not infrared gas, with indirect heating". Is this like a giant Crazy Popper? Has anyone any thoughts on the merits or otherwise of this system as opposed to traditional drum roasters (Diedrich, Has Garanti ?). Would it give similar quality results?

    Also just mentions an "exhaust pipe", no afterburner. Is this a cleaner system?

    Anyway, at about 70% off advised new price 3 yrs ago, if in good nick and lightly used as quoted, appears a good buy. Of course, on the Bay its caveat emptor.

  • #2
    Re: Commercial roaster

    The Balestras are Italian and I think use a perforated drum. The flame system is set low down in the unit to heat firebricks in the larger sized roasters, so I would be a bit concerned as to the amount of control over temperature settings and response times to any adjustments required.

    "Exhaust pipe" just means the smoke has a path to get out, like a chimney - it wont eliminate smoke and odour on its own.


    • #3
      Re: Commercial roaster

      Thanks Dennis,

      I was just wondering as Id also seen other roasters talking up their new "air-flow" roaster systems as the best thing since sliced bread. Are they just talking up their businesses or are there any benefits in it and how do they compare to conventional drum roasters.

      Purely amateur interest from an uneducated onlooker : . Still trying to get my Corretto roasts down pat.

      (Getting Dudley ready to rock n roll?)



      • #4
        Re: Commercial roaster

        Air flow is important Greg. As far as Im aware, all commercial roasters have a version of some sort or another. If not, you would end up with a drum full of roasted beans and chaff.

        Personally, I dont like the idea of a perforated drum as I think it would be even more exposed to the gases produced by the flame.

        I think the idea of having a combination of conductive, convection and radiant gives the roaster the opportunity of more flexibility, control and variation. Then again, having more variables can also make the process more complex.


        • #5
          Re: Commercial roaster

          The debate of air Vs drum roasted coffee has run cicles around itsself sooo many times. Basically, if we use a fluid bed as an example of air roasted, you are talking about convection Vs conduction heat. Drum roasters are a more traditional stlye roaster while air roasters are relatively new to the scene.

          Air roasters produce a beautiful clean flavour with no naunces from the drum, smokyness being the main one.
          Drum roasters give the coffee a greater body, but can lose some of the cleanliness of flavour.

          In saying that all drum roasters use airflow, some more than others. The Diedrich are known for using alot of airflow compared to their counterparts. And there are a number of other ways of effecting the resulting characteristics of the bean.

          At the end of the day its about style. Roasters(people) will have a particular style and if either of these roasters can achieve your style as a roaster than that is the best option. As a consumer its all about drinking what you like.