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Thread: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

  1. #1
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    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. #2
    Site Sponsor pullman's Avatar
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    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

  3. #3
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    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 ;)

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    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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    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

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    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.

  7. #7
    A_M
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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Quote 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.

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    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #10
    A_M
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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Quote 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

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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Quote 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.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Quote 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

  13. #13
    A_M
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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by 183C353536360C183C203E3C530 link=1271808176/11#11 date=1273387627
    Quote 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

  14. #14
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    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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    Site Sponsor pullman's Avatar
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    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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    A_M
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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by 4471626B626E48030 link=1271808176/13#13 date=1275353971
    here 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.
    Some good feedback..

    When I was using mine... I found that 225 - 275 was very stable and I could manage a few variables, with ease.

    Get to 300 Plus and toss in different beans or those that go really LARGE in size.. Would push me and the HT to its limits... Extending time and playing with the fan filter and position (in - 1/2 in or out)

    But again... It is good to get feedback and allow other users to cross reference.

  17. #17
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Thats interesting to hear AM. I was trying to push it to 300g, so that I ended up closer to 250g roasted, to suit my blending regime. Ill try 275g next time, but bottom line I suppose its a domestic roaster, and peforming excellently within its specs so cant complain.

    Graham

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    A_M
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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by 4174676E676B4D060 link=1271808176/16#16 date=1275426363
    Thats interesting to hear AM. I was trying to push it to 300g, so that I ended up closer to 250g roasted, to suit my blending regime. Ill try 275g next time, but bottom line I suppose its a domestic roaster, and peforming excellently within its specs so cant complain.

    Graham
    GP and I and I am sure others could get a bigger load than 300g done..

    1: It means extra work / care and attention on your part..

    2: The type of beans can be the diff between WIN Vs BIN..


    Would not try 300G plus of MM with a slow and easy profile.. 200 to 225 would be good...

    As you said.. Ya push teh stated limits... IT may work but may not..

  19. #19
    Site Sponsor pullman's Avatar
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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    I posted in some other threads that Ive done 400g and 500g in a HT. A month or so ago I did 520g. Naturally the heating element didnt have the grunt to get a 12 minute first crack but the roast still went OK and more importantly nothing went bang or gave me burnt beans (unlike the one time I tried 320g on a Gene - beans blocked the hot air inlet and charcoaled 20 beans and didnt touch the rest. Recommended? No way; but engineered well enough to still perform valiantly.

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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Thanks for letting us know about your playing Graham :) Got two new ones from Things Coffee last week and I will skip the bay of evil ;)

  21. #21
    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    Re: Hottop Filter Replacement Alternative

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Thats good news GP, I had actually done a few roasts previously using 300g without any issues other than obviously having to adapt the profile, so the filter must have played a big part in the two I struggled with. They were not bad enough to be binned, but definately had a few roast defects.



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