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Thread: Hottop Roasting

  1. #1
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    Hottop Roasting

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Am playing with a new Hottop and would like some advice. The very first roast with the Hottop was a Columbian Supreme bean which went into the garbage because I panicked and dropped the beans too soon - sour notes (yes, I did cup them). *The next batch , apart from adjusting the time (21.50) and final temp, was run on auto program with the machine doing its own thing and it was quite a quick roast - ten mins to go and 204 fc with beans dumped at 217 but lost track of time because of all the excitment - after three days rest - well its not the best coffee but neither is the Bazil Natural *which was the next to be roasted. *Set timer for 20.00 and let run on auto, 7.5 mins to go hit 207 fc, 5 mins to go 218 rolling sc and dumped but I dont believe the roast went for too long however, as with the Columbian I dont look forward to my morning coffee using the self roasted beans and now understand descriptions like fur on the tongueand lasting taste on the palate. Now, Im sorta getting to my question. The next roast was Ethiopian Gambella *and roasted using the sample program which came with the machine (I think they are Greg Pulmans). The beans hit *fc @196 (but it was a very quiet fc) with 7 mins to go, the temp then slowly climbed to 204 at 20.00 when they were dumped but I dont think there was a sc. *The roast was reasonably dark and certainly as dark as the other roasts which hit higher temperatures and roasted a lot quicker. I havent sampled the roast yet and wont for a few days yet because the experience of the other two roasts has sent me to the supermarket *so I have something to look forward to in the morning coffee. Got the picture! *The question is: *slow roast vs quick roast which is the better way to go? Or is there not a definitive answer

  2. #2
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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 667C637E78697E0C0 link=1255931577/0#0 date=1255931577
    The question is: *slow roast vs quick roast which is the better way to go?

    It really depends whose theory you subscribe to. *Personally, I like to get to FC as quick as I can and then stretch out first to 2nd as long as I can without going flat or negative. *There are a few caveats involved here but first things first, welcome to CS and congrats on getting yourself a Hottop! *:)


    My first roasts in the Hottop (P model) were on Auto and I cant say they blew my hair back so then I moved to manual. *I used Randy Gs program as a starting point to build my own profile. *Go to *http://www.espressomyespresso.com/ and click the "Improved Roast Profiling" link under the "Coffee College" heading. *If you havent come across this site before, it is quite frankly, brilliant. *


    So after starting with that profile, I noticed that the heating element kept turning off (bad). *This will depend on many things including (but not limited to) the beans, the environmental temperature, the size of your "load", the voltage of your machine, etc etc. *So after making some systematic adjustments I managed to keep the temperature target above the actual thus consistent heat application. *This is important for a few reasons:

    1. A limitation of the P model is that although you can set the segment temp target, segment length and fan speed (sounds good right?); you cant control how the roaster achieves that target (ba baoww). *The P is an all or nothing roaster. *It will apply full power to the heating element until it reaches its target and then turn the power off. *In a perfect world, it would apply power to achieve target temp at the end of the segment. *If this "nothing" part of the all or nothing arrangement occurs in the last 30 sec of the segment, its not the end of the world. *The roaster and bean mass combo should have enough thermal inertia to keep you from stalling the roast (temperature profile flat or negative). *However, if more than about 30 sec passes you come to the next problem....the heating element.

    2. *Just like an electric stove, the Hottops heating element takes some time to warm up. *The resulting delay means its easier to keep it going (element on). *If you do start to play around, you have to anticipate when you will need heat and make that demand BEFORE its needed.

    So having created a program that would result in a consistent rise in bean mass temp, the next task was to flatten out the profile between first and second crack. *You can vent the chamber by lifting off the bean chute cover and to even greater effect, lifting the removeable filter out of its slot. *Not the latter will cause occasional pieces of chaff to be blown out the back. *No biggie...unless you like to roast on white linen *:P * The last (and initially most difficult way due to the poor reaction time of an electric element) is to manually reduce and increase the target temp mid segment, effectively cycling through power on and power off. *It does take some practice but works well when youre used to it.


    That broadly covers the Hottop side of things. *All thats left to discuss is the bean mass and what the hell is happening to it! *I would strongly recommend a digital multi-meter and thermocouple from Bean Bay ("DMM"). *The temperature on the control panel is from the button like thermocouple on the back chamber wall. *If you take off the front cover and look up the barrel youll see it on the right had side, above the bean exit chute door with a securing screw top and bottom. *Anyway, this measures the chamber temperature but is quite different from the bean mass temperature. *Without a whole heap of sophisticated equipment, the best temp info you can get is from a thermocouple stuck deep into the bean mass. *It effectively measures the air temp between beans...as good as were going to get. *Warren a.k.a. "Top Shot" has produced a great how-to on installing a CS DMM TC into the Hottop. *Just make sure the tip gets far/deep enough into the bean mass or the readings will be unreliable. A search on this site for "Roast Monitor" will lead you to some great software written for the aforementioned DMM. It will plot your bean mass temperature and most importantly let you know the RATE OF CHANGE of that temperature. Priceless.


    Final note: This has been what I do/have done and what works for me. *It is but one method so read around and form your own opinions! * One caution though, make allowances for equipment type. *Ramp times etc vary greatly between roasting methods whether they be popper, coretto, wok, KKTO etc so not all advice will be appropriate for your setup. For example, I found that a drying phase in the roast to do more harm than good. However, Id expect that someone who has shorter roast times and higher temperature rise capability (due different roaster) would certainly benefit.


    Good luck and hope to hear how you fare. *:)


    Epic76


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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 77425B510504320 link=1255931577/1#1 date=1255940867
    Go tohttp://www.espressomyespresso.com/ *
    Thank you. I have found my way to some of the content of the site but not the home page. *Now have a bit of going to bed reading. I guess the answer to my question is what I thought it would be - work it out for myself. :-?

  4. #4
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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Hi Addicted,

    Congrats on your purchase. The B definitely has a bit of a learning curve in terms of driving the controls to get the profile you want, which is why we include those notes youve obviously got a hold of. The Hottop is very good at letting you hear the bean cracks, but theres no doubt some beans crack louder than others. The ones we normally supply with the roasters we sell directly are ones weve found to be pretty loud crackers and easy roasters; if you purchased the roaster through a different retailer youd just have to use what they gave you.

    My advice to you in terms of roasting with the B would be to turn the auto-eject thresholds to maximum - time to 25:00 and temperature to 220. It should never reach either of these which means you eject the roast when its ready, be that at the start of FC or 30 seconds in or whatever you choose.

    As to fast roast / slow roast, generally speaking a fast roast runs the risk of getting tipping (burning the ends of the beans) but brings about a bright roast; a slow roast will be more rounded than bright; too slow and itll be more baked than roasted and taste rather flat. Take that in the context that every variety of bean is different and some are inherently bright or muted so this general rule is only a guide.

    As epic76 has mentioned, a bean mass probe really unlocks the Hottop and is a thoroughly worthwhile investment. Youve obviously purchased one without a pre-installed temperature probe, which is fine, so the best option would be a retro-fitted probe through the bean entry chute. Easy enough to do and doesnt void the units warranty. This really helps give you another level of control altogether.

    Finally, you might like to have a read through the information in our knowledge-base on the Hottop B - http://www.thingscoffee.com.au/kb.php#video-htb. It hasnt been updated for a little while (note to self...) but you may find the notes there and the videos to be of interest.

    Good luck!
    Greg

  5. #5
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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Hi addicted
    Have a "B" (with bean mass temp probe) and use it manually, prety much as Greg describes above. I found it took some time to be able to consistently produce reasonable coffee. Am happy with the machine now but kept the packaging it came in for a few months until I was convinced I didnt want to re-sell it.
    There is good information on the net regarding roasting profiles but nothing that will tell you specifically what to do. Bean temperatures will be different for different types of machines as the bean probe temp measures a combination of bean temp and internal air temp within the bean mass.
    I found the coffeeGeek site quite helpfull, do a search for threads on roasting profiles. I found a couple that went into the science behind roasting and talked about rates of temperature increase. There is a lot of info on the net that talks about roasting coffee in general terms but I didnt find it particularly helpfull.
    I am running my roasts through to SC in about 16 min. I aim to slow the temperature increase down to 6 degree per minute (based on bean probe not hottop temp) by the time the temp has reached 165 deg and hold it at that rate of increase for the remainder of the roast. Stop the roast at around 205 deg based on bean type. My Hottop temp display does not follow the bean probe temp closely. This is particularly true towards the end of the roast where the hottop temp is not rising much at all while the bean temp is still rising at 6 deg. Note, these temperatures would only be relevant to a Hottop.

    Stick with it, you can make good coffee. Get a bean temp probe. Keep records of each roast and some form of tasting notes. I manually record temp every 30 seconds for the roast.
    I havent been roasting that long either and still have much to learn but feel that Im producing coffee comparable with your average roaster.

    Tony

  6. #6
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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Quote Originally Posted by 4451464453564F4F4E424D230 link=1255931577/3#3 date=1255953214
    .....turn the auto-eject thresholds to maximum - time to 25:00 and temperature to 220. It should never reach either of these which means you eject the roast when its ready, be that at the start of FC or 30 seconds in or whatever you choose.
    did you really mean second crack?

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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Whoops! :-[ Well spotted Sherlock!

  8. #8
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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Im not sure if this will help, but I have attached my current sample Profile (3 pages, page 2 shows the method), that I use as a guide when roasting on my Hottop. (I obviously store the profiles in the roaster as I go along for re-use). I say current because I create new ones as I experiment. I have a hottopB, and my objective on this profile is to just prevent the Alarm from going off at the 180deg within the 1st 8.5 minutes stage. (Occasionally it still has to be reset). To stop the Roast stalling after the 1st Crack which can happen depending on the bean type & conditions. To prevent "baking" the beans by going on for too long. To roast to CS9-10. Sometimes will have to reset the 110deg Alarm. As Greg suggests I opt for the full 25mins & 120deg, and manaully Unload based on sight, sound and smell. I do have a monitoring themocouple installed so track the profile as well via PC. I have included a recent chart which shows the thermocouple curve (Blue) and the Hotop Temps as captured manually.

    Hope its useful


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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Greg and Graham,
    Thank you for all your help/suggestions and sorry Ive taken so long to read your posts. Spent a fantastic day at Kellyville (one of the Sydney bean pick up points) last Sunday roasting, roasting and roasting and realise that the variances of the Hottop temps are such that one needs to be guided by crack and colour, more than temp. I sampled some *Columbian Supreme and Gambala this morning (both roasted on 31 Oct) and found the taste quite pleasing so I guess Im getting there.

    Jo

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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Greetings,

    Ive just started roasting on a Hottop P and have found various threads throughout CS to start getting a handle on programming the P model to do more than just ramp up through to first crack.

    So, for anyone looking for some segment profiles as a starting point for thir HottopP, I thought Id share a profile (in degrees C) that seems to follow general concensus on drying time and suitable delay between first crack & second crack.

    Due to a backlog of beans Im yet to taste (no hurry), but the profile seemed okay for both Guatemala & Brazilian Santos 250g batchs.* Am looking forward to a lighter roast soon.



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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    FYI the temps are from the display (probe & meter are on order from BeanBay).

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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Re the "Ex Member" flag on the link to this thread
    For the record, my membership was reset & I am very much a current member.

  13. #13
    mft
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    Re: Hottop Roasting

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Hey ben

    Looks like it has been a few months since your first post in this thred, so how is the roasting going now?



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