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Thread: First Roast Failure

  1. #1
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    First Roast Failure

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well it had to happen some time, I had my first roast failure today although i suspect its a culmination of the following symptoms i have been experiencing over the last 20 roasts or so.

    I generally set my HG to 550deg, ramp back to 500deg when the temp gets to about 160 at approx 8 mins and then back to 450 when FC generally starts about 9:30 at about 180deg. This has been fairly consistent for the last 6 - 12 months ever since i started to partially cover over the BM pan to improve roast consistency.

    What has started to happen now is that the roast will get to about 100deg and the increase in temp per minute will flatten out to about 6deg per min and stay there for a minute or so and then suddenly jump up to 35 - 45 increase per minute, all the while the display on the HG is showing 550deg.

    I have also noticed that the beans that the HG are pointing to are roasting much quicker than the others even though there is the same agitation that there has always been since i started roasting more than two years ago. I can understand this with a small roast where the beans cannot be moved around sufficiently causing some to stay below the HG for prolonged periods but generally this isnt an issue for a 500gm roast.

    So my questions are, does this sound like a dying HG or perhaps a dying DMM or probe.

    Interested in the thoughts of you experts on this one.

    Thanks

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Hmmm,

    Definitely sounds like a heat source issue going on there Mal. Have you tried setting up, sans beans, with just the heatgun and monitored its output temperature over a similar period as for a roast? This would give you definitive data on what might be happening.... :-?

    Mal.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Wow, is it a full moon or something? Ive had similar issues with my HG recently, and today it died.

    just as FC was occuring, the temperature dropped by about 20 degrees even though I hadnt touched the HG. I tried to correct it and all of a sudden the heat raced away and SC and RSC occured simultaneously, smoke everywhere, oil on the beans.

    Afterwards I tried to turn the HG back on to do another roast as the first was spoilt and got nothing. It heated up, but no air flow. Luckily bunnings didnt ask any questions.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 36343830303E3924570 link=1240731476/2#2 date=1240739667
    Wow, is it a full moon or something? Ive had similar issues with my HG recently, and today it died.

    just as FC was occuring, the temperature dropped by about 20 degrees even though I hadnt touched the HG. I tried to correct it and all of a sudden the heat raced away and SC and RSC occured simultaneously, smoke everywhere, oil on the beans.

    Afterwards I tried to turn the HG back on to do another roast as the first was spoilt and got nothing. It heated up, but no air flow. Luckily bunnings didnt ask any questions.
    I had to replace my Ryobi recently after 198 roasts, it just died, no fluctuations that I noticed, took it to Bunnings and they replaced it with a newby with a new warranty, hopefully Ill get another 190 roasts out of this one!!! ;) ;)

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Id done 13 roasts. Always let it cool before turning it off and had mesh over the inlets to prevent chaff making its way in to the HG. Mine was a Ryobim, the basic model.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Thanks for the prompt replies.

    Mal - i havent tried that, do you know if there will be an issue with 550deg directly onto the bread pan rather than directed at the beans, i can easily do the test and see what happens but not sure on what the head will do to the coating of the pan?

    ACog - perhaps it is a full moon

    My HG, a Bosch PHG 630 DCE has done in excess of 300 roasts over the 28 months it has been running and on that basis i have no hesitation in purchasing another one to replace it if it is in fact on its way out.

    I am planning to build the KK roaster as well but just dont have the time to do it at the moment, it would be simple if work didnt get in the way. >:(

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 606D6E60020 link=1240731476/5#5 date=1240741571
    Mal - i havent tried that, do you know if there will be an issue with 550deg directly onto the bread pan rather than directed at the beans, i can easily do the test and see what happens but not sure on what the head will do to the coating of the pan?
    I was thinking that you could use some other receptacle just for this exercise.... ~550C would be more than I would be happy to heat an empty pan up to...

    Mal.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    An update for you.
    Went and bought another Bosch PHG 630 DCE HG yesterday and did a roast today and got exactly the same problem yet again.
    First thought was that it was the beans as this was the first times i had tried to do a batch of the El Salvador El Boqueron Co Op bean, it even started to FC on some beans at 150deg.
    So I thought i would to a tried and trusted Indian Tiger mountain and found early on that the temp reading would drop off just the same again so i ran and got a different thermocouple and swapped it out and the temps then climbed dramatically.
    I also found that FC started 20deg higher than normal and the roast eneded about 215deg where previously i would struggle to get the temp consistently over the 200deg mark.

    So another question for you all, even with out the fact that the solid probe has failed, is one type more accurate than the other, ie. Solid Probe vs wire

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B66656B090 link=1240731476/7#7 date=1241328245

    So another question for you all, even with out the fact that the solid probe has failed, is one type more accurate than the other, ie. Solid Probe vs wire

    Mal
    YES... Every probe behaves differently and has different specs.. Some you can kill very easily as the junction point fails under heat (bonding) and if you lead get damaged or twisted that will also cause issues.

    Google is you friend...

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Another Update
    Did another roast this afternoon with a different thermocouple, used the bead type rather than the probe but had the same type of result.

    The weird thing about the temperature logging was that it was all over the place, at one point dropping 4 degrees in a couple of seconds then increasing the same a few seconds later.

    This now leads me to think that perhaps the issue is the DMM itself.
    Attached is the CSV file from the roast monitor software for those who may be able to shed some light but i am completely baffled now.

    With the two roasts today i managed to scour through and remove the unroasted beans and have salvaged the roasts but will try a roast again next weekend and see what occurs.

    Mal


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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Hmmm,

    I think the Probe type t/couple is more suitable than the small bead junction type, as the latter is a lot more sensitive and will follow slight temperature variations much more quickly, and obviously too. The site of the t/c will also affect the manner in which it reads the temp. as well. That test you did that resulted in a +20 degree shift sounds closer to reality than your previous probes efforts, especially if it is repeatable and might be worth pursuing.

    As far as the meter is concerned, I guess if you can borrow another similar DMM and try your probes out in that, it should become obvious if there is a problem with your DMM. That latest profile looks pretty typical of that from a small bead t/c that is possibly sitting in a void occasionally (when the temperature takes a dive). Could also be related to a bad connection in the t/c path or under the terminals in the meter. Testing as per above should identify which it is though....

    All the best mate,
    Mal.


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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 282526284A0 link=1240731476/9#9 date=1241342577
    Another Update
    Did another roast this afternoon with a different thermocouple, used the bead type rather than the probe but had the same type of result.

    The weird thing about the temperature logging was that it was all over the place, at one point dropping 4 degrees in a couple of seconds then increasing the same a few seconds later.

    This now leads me to think that perhaps the issue is the DMM itself.
    Attached is the CSV file from the roast monitor software for those who may be able to shed some light but i am completely baffled now.

    With the two roasts today i managed to scour through and remove the unroasted beans and have salvaged the roasts but will try a roast again next weekend and see what occurs.

    Mal
    So much noise that I would have to be looking at the Mounting / Connector / Data-USB connector and or the DMM / Logger that your using.. Or even the PC / Software :-)

    Way to noisy....

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    I think next on the agenda is a walk down to Jaycar to buy a new probe type t/couple and see how that goes and if its still all over the shot then i guess its a look at the DMM.

    The software is the roast monitor from here that has been fairly stable over the past year, although its running on Win 2K on an old dell laptop, it doesnt appear to have changed in anyway.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Dont think its a software problem to be honest, looks more alike a hardware issue. Anyway, will soon find out...

    Mal.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    After a little more thought i think its the DMM.
    I used to use the bead type t/couple before moving to the probe, the roast temps were fairly consistent with the bead type and never all over the shot like i had the other day so what are the chances that both t/couples go on the fritz as apposed to the actual DMM??

    Anyone living in the SE suburbs of Melb got a spare DMM with serial connection they can lend me to test? The other option is to purchase a new USB model from Andy straight up and take the gamble.

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 797477791B0 link=1240731476/14#14 date=1241440079
    After a little more thought i think its the DMM.
    I used to use the bead type t/couple before moving to the probe, the roast temps were fairly consistent with the bead type and never all over the shot like i had the other day so what are the chances that both t/couples go on the fritz as apposed to the actual DMM??

    Anyone living in the SE suburbs of Melb got a spare DMM with serial connection they can lend me to test? The other option is to purchase a new USB model from Andy straight up and take the gamble.

    Mal

    Just try / test it out on the OVEN or a hotplate and even teh fridge..

    WAIT.... Oh... Crap...Its gorne again... No WAIT..


    HAVE you changes the battery ? With a Good quality battery... Not one of those cheep supermarket type ones... Them and Beans have teh same issue - STALE...

    Then go and run a full test on an Oven and watch it closely... Serial ports etc can cause a drain on teh power and batteries do not always fail the same way...

    At least then you will be better informed and aware..

    If not then I will be in Mel as of teh First of June and we can chat and you can make me coffee ;D

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Hi AM - the batteries were the first item i changed, the current ones in the unit are only about 4 weeks old and are duracell.

    I will try a test on the oven tonight with the bead style probe and see what that shows up or either that use the BBQ with the hood down and can the watch the ramp up and compare the DMM output to the guage on the BQ itself.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 35383B35570 link=1240731476/16#16 date=1241466783
    Hi AM - the batteries were the first item i changed, the current ones in the unit are only about 4 weeks old and are duracell.

    I will try a test on the oven tonight with the bead style probe and see what that shows up or either that use the BBQ with the hood down and can the watch the ramp up and compare the DMM output to the guage on the BQ itself.
    I hoped so but could not find any mention in teh post.. The new Data logging DMM us an optical coupling... So not sure if any dirt could caus what your seeing.

    PS. Even DuraCell fail...

    It is me, but the KIS approach often works.. I would still go a new batch of Batteries:-)

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Well bit the bullet the other day and bought a new USB DMM of bean bay and guess what.
    Same issue us before, totally erratic temp readings, was able to still get a decent roast of PNG wahgi but had to throttle back the heat.

    So new HG, new DMM and still the same issue, i guess the problem may be the laptop??

    I will try another roast tomorrow with a different laptop and see what happens.

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    bolb,
    have you tried plugging the HG into a different mains socket? if the mains connection is electrically "noisy" it MAY cause the HGs control electronics to "lose the plot" intermittently. this could cause different HGs (of the same model)to exhibit the same symptoms.

    Tony

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Havent tried that yet, I run everything on one long powerboard (about 18 sockets in all but not all in use of course)
    I will try a roast tomorrow (working from home ;)) using a different laptop to see how that goes.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    An update for you all.
    Changed laptops tonight so using the new HG, new USB DMM and different laptop i had another uneven roast with temps up and down but not to the same extent as before.
    I have attached an image dump off the screen of the roast.
    Again the temps appear to be more accurate than what i have had in a long while, FC in the 200deg region rather than between 170 - 180deg but still up and down.

    So i now conclude there is only one thing to change. Can you guess???

    Time to change the BM, so "heres one i prepared earlier", I bought a spare one the other year for when my current unit dies and perhaps it now has. Perhaps the agitation is not the same as it once was, i cant say i can see much different but it would make sense if the agitation wasnt sufficient then i would get amounts of less roasted beans and by inference pockets of beans with lower temperatures causing a dip in the probe until it comes in contact with hotter beans once more.

    Will try another roast on the weekend and see what happens.

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Guess what forgot the attachement, here it is


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    Re: First Roast Failure

    weird matey

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 010C0F01630 link=1240731476/21#21 date=1242295412
    An update for you all.
    Changed laptops tonight so using the new HG, new USB DMM and different laptop i had another uneven roast with temps up and down but not to the same extent as before.
    I have attached an image dump off the screen of the roast.
    Again the temps appear to be more accurate than what i have had in a long while, FC in the 200deg region rather than between 170 - 180deg but still up and down.

    So i now conclude there is only one thing to change. Can you guess???

    Time to change the BM, so "heres one i prepared earlier", I bought a spare one the other year for when my current unit dies and perhaps it now has. Perhaps the agitation is not the same as it once was, i cant say i can see much different but it would make sense if the agitation wasnt sufficient then i would get amounts of less roasted beans and by inference pockets of beans with lower temperatures causing a dip in the probe until it comes in contact with hotter beans once more.

    Will try another roast on the weekend and see what happens.

    Mal
    Any reason for the pattern that appears about every two divisions...

    1: Temp values displayed - Manual or Automatic
    2: If manual, is somthing moving when this is being done ?
    3: Is the BM or Heat gun having an issue - if so why at this frequency.
    4: It seems to then increase to about every 1 division at teh top end..

    It will be something simple.. bet ya...






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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Hi AM
    What appears to be happening is that the temp is dropping, given i am using a brand new HG, DMM and different laptop i can only see the answer being the agitation of the beans causing there to be pockets of beans at a lower temperature.

    Given the uneveness of the roast then this would make sense, i had to sift through and discard all the still green, yellow and all other shades of beans from the roast. The other thing i found is that there was no definitive SC because there was no pause in sounds at all. I normally would have 1 - 2 minutes of no cracks at all between FC and SC but becasue of the uneven roast i was getting cracks all the way through.

    Will try a change of BM either tonight or tomorrow, work permitting.

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    A couple of months back I was getting very uneven roasts and could not work out what I was doing differently, the HG was fine, DMM was logging perfectly?? After pulling the roast there were all different coloured beans which suggested pockets of beans were not agitating in the bucket, I checked the paddle and could not ascertain if it had worn down a little over 200 roasts so I fabricated an extension for the paddle out of galvanised and gave it a go, wow the beans were lively after that but alas half of them ended up on the floor, I have since made an extenstion out of heavy duty foil that raises the height of the bucket rim by about 5 centimeters, with the extra agitation I am now getting lovely even roasts once more and the added bonus of the chaff totally clearing the bucket leaving chaffless roasts which was an unplanned bonus.
    Dont know if this is relevant, but worth a mention!!

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Sounds just like my issue Greenman.
    I would have easily done 250+ roasts in the beast.
    My first stop will be to try my spare BM and see what happens and then perhaps extend the paddle depending on the result.

    Thanks for your update.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Mal,

    have you considered that maybe the power to your HG is not clean? Perhaps theres something in your house or street drawing huge amounts of power every few minutes, which is showing up in your graph above.

    I know didly squat about electricity so the other Mal might have more to input here.

    Perhaps get a UPS for your heat gun to smoothen out the power supply ;D

  30. #30
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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 232E2D23410 link=1240731476/25#25 date=1242331497
    Hi AM
    What appears to be happening is that the temp is dropping, given i am using a brand new HG, DMM and different laptop i can only see the answer being the agitation of the beans causing there to be pockets of beans at a lower temperature.
    Looks more like the built-in hysteresis of the controller in the heatgun, to me. Which probe are you using in the bean mass now Mal? Is it the stainless 3mm x 100mm probe or the small bead type?

    Mal.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C41454944280 link=1240731476/29#29 date=1242369287
    Quote Originally Posted by 232E2D23410 link=1240731476/25#25 date=1242331497
    Hi AM
    What appears to be happening is that the temp is dropping, given i am using a brand new HG, DMM and different laptop i can only see the answer being the agitation of the beans causing there to be pockets of beans at a lower temperature.
    Looks more like the built-in hysteresis of the controller in the heatgun, to me. Which probe are you using in the bean mass now Mal? If it is the stainless 3mm x 100mm probe or the small bead type?

    Mal.
    Mal... I was thinking the same... But did not want to bias a response... But that pattern look way to repeatable... Dammed Engs are just anal.... But by God were GOOD ;)

  32. #32
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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B545D5F48775B545B5D5F575F544E3A0 link=1240731476/30#30 date=1242372331
    Mal... I was thinking the same... But did not want to bias a response... But that pattern look way to repeatable... *Dammed Engs are just anal.... *But by God were GOOD *;)
    8-) ;)

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    HI AM/Mal

    I am using the 3mm x 100mm probe that came with the new DMM.
    I am using the brand new HG, how would dirty power cause this without it showing on the temp readout on the HG, it shows a constant 500deg until i lower it after FC and i have been using this level of heat ever since i started to partially cover the bread pan months ago??

    Tomorrow, I will do as suggested first and use a different power source socket and see if that makes a difference.

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Hi again Mal,

    Dont think its a case of dirty power supply and the fact that youre using the 3x100mm probe will damp out most unusual oscillations due to the particular roasting setup you have. What is meant by dirty power or noise is a superimposed series of waveforms, spikes or dips within the standard sine wave of the power system.

    This can be caused by a large number of varying conditions within your local power reticulation network - from bad HT connections in switch-yard apparatus or distribution kiosk transformers that cause significant voltage fluctuations under load - to phase shifts and switching transients due to local industrial use of variable frequency drives, large high frequency welding operations, large reactive load variations, etc.

    If youre not within close proximity to a heavy industrial estate or some such thing, it isnt likely that you will be experiencing a disturbed power supply. Most power authorities are very touchy about the quality of the power within their area of responsibility and come down hard n fast on any industrial consumer who is not doing the right thing.

    Notwithstanding any of this though, if you happen to be unfortunate enough to live very close to such an area and experience other power related problems, you might have to consider having a whole of house Power Conditioner installed. 99% of ordinary Aussie consumers dont need to worry about such things though. Hope this helps a bit mate.... :)

    Mal.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Hi Mal
    All i can do is try a different power socket rather than the power rail i currently use and then if no different i will swap the existing BM for the spare one under my desk and see what happens.
    Stay tuned, will let you know tomorrow.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B36353B590 link=1240731476/34#34 date=1242394380
    Hi Mal
    All i can do is try a different power socket rather than the power rail i currently use and then if no different i will swap the existing BM for the spare one under my desk and see what happens.
    Stay tuned, will let you know tomorrow.
    As per Mals comment --- On teh HG... Try running at a lower temp and see what happens.. It may bean a smaller batch of beans... But so what ?

    It may well prove something.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    AM
    That starting temp and 500gm roasts is where i find the most consistency in roasting and have done for the past 2 years.
    I dont see any point in changing known good variables at this stage.

    Mal

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Quote Originally Posted by 686566680A0 link=1240731476/36#36 date=1242435788
    AM
    That starting temp and 500gm roasts is where i find the most consistency in roasting and have done for the past 2 years.
    I dont see any point in changing known good variables at this stage.

    Mal
    It was not about the roast...

    It was to do with checking the response of the HG.. And to see what impact it had on those steps that your seeing...

    Looked at a couple of HT roasts and others and even doing a check on other electric heating devices ... Your pattern is out of the normal... While we know that... The issue is to track down the Cause...

    And to do it correctly... One thing at a time and repeat to confirm..

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    BIG SUCCESS
    Well its all good once more, I swapped the BM over to my spare and had probably the most even roast ever done.
    This BM has a smaller bowl and the agitation while the same in terms of the 5 minute pulsing, does a double spin each pulse and then at 5 mins it becomes continuous in one direction only.

    When i compared this to the old BM, well there really isnt any comparison so the old BM is cactus and not being used again, i will look for another BM the same as the newer one i just used.

    The old BM/bowl/paddle etc i will put on the "pay it forward" thread.

    Here is the graph of the roast.

    Mal


  40. #40
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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Well.... :-?

    Whoda thought. The BM was the culprit; just goes to show how difficult it can be to diagnose problems via the printed word alone. Anyway mate, glad to see that Roasthouse "bolb" is back on line... 8-)

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: First Roast Failure

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Thanks Mal

    The only problem now is that i have to tune my ears to the 2nd crack as this machine is noiser than the last due to the increase of adjitation so the last roast was by colour and it was about CS9 i from what i can tell.

    Just did two roasts of Decaf as well for work and are much more consistent across the roast as well.

    Mal



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