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Thread: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

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    Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Saw an ad for a "Lumina Signature" branded "Healthy Fryer" which is to be sold at my local Aldi store from the 27th, which looks suspiciously like a Breville UK product: Breville Halo Health Fryer (model VDF065 or VDF084) to the extent that I suspect they may be the same product with different branding.

    If so, then for $100 its a fan-forced 1200Watt halogen convection oven with a stirring mechanism, but without temperature controls. The stirring arm appears to be plastic but it is designed to be optional, and it seems like it is designed to remain stationary while the bowl moves around it (if so perhaps this makes it easier to use a bent piece of wire instead?)

    How suitable does this sound for home roasting, say compared to a popcorn popper? (nb: Ill guess Id have to wait until it is instore to confirm above speculation). The biggest concern that jumps out at me is how well it would deal with chaff...

    To be entirely honest Im not sure I am willing to try this. Apart from curiousity at what seems to be a device combining features from the "Stir crazy/Turbo oven coffee roasters" Ive seen details of people using online, Im posting this incase more experienced people want to take a punt on trying this one (hopefully not blaming me if / when it turns out not to be a good roaster or a fire hazard).


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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    If it fits that description it sounds like it could be pretty good, easy to add temperature control to as well, I doubt the stirrer could be plastic, though I suppose if its removable you could remove it for hotter stuff.

    Probably worth looking at.

    Even if the stirring mech isnt suitable its potentially useful in a KKTO style roaster.

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    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D2535223034332235470 link=1340358979/1#1 date=1340359855
    Probably worth looking at.
    Ill second that :)

    Steve

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    I had a closer look at it before posting

    This devise will probably work if the mixing action actually mixes the beans instead of pushing them around (so a mod may be needed)

    It also has a capacity of 2.4 liters
    That limits the amount of beans one can roast

    Also due to its closed nature (similarity to the KKTO) I cant tell how the chaff will be separated

    KK

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Well I decided to get one. It looks like they sold them pretty quickly as by midday the first store I tried had sold out and I bought the 2nd last one from another store.

    I have also ordered my first batch of green beans from the site and will update you all when I have beans and can try my first ever roast.

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Excellent, does it match your description in the OP? Plastic stirrer or not?

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    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Great Nat, look forward to your next installment on the "Natroaster"

    Steve :)

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Can confirm the stirrer is plastic over metal - on the bottom it is labeled with Plastic symbol 7, "PA6", which I think means its a type of nylon called "nylon 6" or "polycaprolactam".

    Did some cooking with it (ie. not coffee roasting) last night and the surface of the plastic stirrer has developed some cracks to the metal beneath. Unsure if this is a manufacturing fault with mine or a design issue (the metal shows through near where the cracks developed so I figure maybe it mine was positioned improperly when the metal was put into the plastic mold).

    Packaging describes unit as having "1000 ~ 1200 Watts of power".

    Programming is disappointing. When not in use left button adds minutes to the timer and the right button starts cooking. Once cooking has started minutes dont seem to be able to be changed. Holding the button will stop the cooking and reset the timer to zero but also stops the fan, however when the timer runs out the fan keeps going for a few minutes and the unit beeps periodically. It would be nice to be able to add/subtract minutes after cooking has started.

    When the thermostat kicks in to turn off the halogen bulb it also stops rotating the bowl/stirrer, but the fan keeps going. I had expected the bowl/stirrer would continue to turn.

    nb. bowl rotates and a small arm rotates along with it. Stirring happens due to interaction between this arm which is on a spring, and the U shaped piece that follows the shape of the bowl and doesnt rotate - still unsure whether this will stirr coffee enough. The arm stays close (mostly within maybe 2mm) to the bowl / U shaped piece as it travels - it did ok at not getting stuck with in a brief test with popcorn kernels, but some didnt get much movement. Coffee beans being slightly bigger I hope will fair better.

    Hot air vents from the bottom of the clear plastic top (see photo in OP) which has maybe 1mm lumps spaced arounds its base so that it leaves a gap when the the unit is closed. If chaff is liberated from the beans then I guess it will be free to fly out of this gap.

    After 30 minutes of use the clear plastic was warm to the touch and the outside of the base stayed cool.

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by 202F3A262F20272B227A7C4E0 link=1340358979/7#7 date=1340861367
    Can confirm the stirrer is plastic over metal - on the bottom it is labeled with Plastic symbol 7, "PA6", which I think means its a type of nylon called "nylon 6" or "polycaprolactam".
    Yeah, that sounds about right. Pretty robust stuff so hopefully wont break down into nasties, worst case I imagine it would probably be easy enough to strip it off.

    The control system sounds a bit unfriendly, my main concern would be the thermostat control (timer is not such a big deal for roasting, just set it to 25 mins and you should be all good), its going to be hard to get a consistent profile with a tstat which probably has a good 10-20+ degrees of deadband.

    Sounds like a prime candidate for the modders about the place though.

    Having trouble visualising the stirring mechanism, any chance you could post photos (better yet, a video :) )?

    Not sure how well chaff will get out of such a small gap but if you use something like a vac bean cooler that isnt such a big deal, or if youre modding some slots or similar in the lid would do the trick.

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E5646514347405146340 link=1340358979/8#8 date=1340864202
    Having trouble visualising the stirring mechanism, any chance you could post photos (better yet, a video :) )?
    I plan on trying to capture some pics/video with a mobile ;) Hopefully Ill have green beans to roast tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E5646514347405146340 link=1340358979/8#8 date=1340864202
    Not sure how well chaff will get out of such a small gap but if you use something like a vac bean cooler that isnt such a big deal, or if youre modding some slots or similar in the lid would do the trick.
    Hey, nothing that fancy! Initial cooling technology will be a hand held/shaken 20cm diameter wire mesh sieve and a room/desk fan (transferring beans from roaster to sieve shouldnt be an issue as the pan from the oven comes out with the aid of a clamp on handle)

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E716478717E79757C2422100 link=1340358979/9#9 date=1340871735
    I plan on trying to capture some pics/video with a mobile Wink Hopefully Ill have green beans to roast tomorrow.
    Excellent, thanks :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E716478717E79757C2422100 link=1340358979/9#9 date=1340871735
    Hey, nothing that fancy! Initial cooling technology will be a hand held/shaken 20cm diameter wire mesh sieve and a room/desk fan
    Fair enough, though if you have the bits youll probably find it quicker and easier if you use two sieves/collanders and transfer the beans back and forth between them in front of the fan.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E716478717E79757C2422100 link=1340358979/9#9 date=1340871735
    (transferring beans from roaster to sieve shouldnt be an issue as the pan from the oven comes out with the aid of a clamp on handle)
    I did wonder about that but that sounds nice and easy.

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Quote Originally Posted by 717E6B777E71767A732B2D1F0 link=1340358979/7#7 date=1340861367
    Packaging describes unit as having "1000 ~ 1200 Watts of power"
    That might restrict the volume of coffee you can roast in 20 minutes to <250g odd.

    I would suggest starting with a small amount (100g) to see how long it takes (and if it can get to the 210-220C needed for second crack)

    Look forward to seeing how it goes.

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Well first roast was a learning experience. There were definitely problems but happily the end result is quite drinkable.

    The first thing I learnt is that green coffee has "interesting" aroma which was more pungent and funky than I had expected* :-?

    I started with a 3/4 metric cup of "Brazil Pulped Natural". The roast proceeded rather slowly: gradual and fairly even colour change was observed until the first crack seemed to occur at the 20 minute point :-/ I say "seemed" because there was a single pronounced crack noise at this time but no further sound came from the beans before or after this despite the oven being relatively quiet in operation; visibility remained good throughout the roasting however, so I was able to visually confirm the beans looked like they were going through the first crack.

    Throughout much of the roast I had the oven top ajar (just shy of 1cm at the front, any more and the unit registered it had been opened and stopped cooking) which I found necessary for the chaff to fly out (making a mess) and so that I could poke at beans I felt werent being moved enough.

    At the 25 minute mark I bumped the stirrer out of place and beans went under it meaning it ceased to function and couldnt be reseated without a major disruption to the roast. Rather than lose temp I removed it and found I could agitate the beans enough in the rotating bowl by slowly tipping the machine to and fro occasionally.

    When I halted the roast at 30 minutes, without reaching a second crack, I expected the worst. The roast was fairly even but not as even as I would have liked. I quite like espresso from medium roasts, which was the appearance of the beans at this point, but I was concerned whether the longer roasting time taken to reach this point would result in something drinkable.

    Cool down in the sieve in front of a room fan was quick and removed most of the remaining chaff left on the beans (though a bit remains) and after around a minute I was putting what I had into a bag.

    After one hour my curiosity got the better of me and transferred some beans into the grinder. I let the grounds sit for a minute or so before I put them in the portafilter, which I hoped would allow a bit more degassing (which may have worked because I didnt get excessive crema)

    The resulting shot tasted good to me :D maybe a strong chocolate bass note complemented with a bright/sour taste a bit like bourbon that wasnt overpowering, not sweet but definitely sweet enough not to warrant any adulteration with sugar. Oddly reminiscent in flavour to cold brewed coffee, and something which I was pleasantly surprised with.

    Stirring video (taken at start of roast)

    NB: Pics look a bit "washed out". Roast is a bit darker than it appears in the pic below.




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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Nice looking roast for a first attempt.

    It seems a little long from your description and Im not sure about leaving the top ajar.

    I would try less beans next time and leaving the top closed. That will keep the heat in and allow the beans to get hotter.

    Stick some of this first roast aside for a couple of days and then try it again. It should improve with a bit of a rest.

    Well done and welcome to home roasting!

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Congratulations on your first roast, looks pretty good.

    Pity about the stirring action leaving that bed of beans beside the arm (?) they dont seem to get much movement, I assume these are the beans you were manually stirring?

    How often did you see the halogen heater go off during the roast? And for about how long each time?

    Also seconding Andys suggestion to try with the lid closed next time, the chaff staying in the bowl isnt a major issue because (as you found) your cooler will mostly blow it all away.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of home roasting :)

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Thanks guys! Not quite as good as yours first roasts jbrewster, but Ill see what I can do with my next roast.

    Quote Originally Posted by 696171667470776671030 link=1340358979/14#14 date=1341015759
    Pity about the stirring action leaving that bed of beans beside the arm (?) they dont seem to get much movement, I assume these are the beans you were manually stirring?
    Yep, those are the ones I couldnt help poking at to "move along", though because I guess there should be a reasonable convection current at the bowls outer edge maybe those beans arent too badly off.

    Quote Originally Posted by 696171667470776671030 link=1340358979/14#14 date=1341015759
    How often did you see the halogen heater go off during the roast? And for about how long each time?
    After about 10 minutes, I recall it being something like 20 seconds off every minute or two. Staying off a bit longer if the top was closed.


    EDIT: The cracks which appeared on the plastic stirring arm after the first use with potato have continued to grow with sucessive cooking use. Ive decided to take it back to Aldi for a refund. Will have to find another roasting method...

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    Re: Aldi Healthy Fryer - Possible roaster?

    Behmor Coffee Roaster
    Quote Originally Posted by 2926332F26292E222B7375470 link=1340358979/15#15 date=1341034161
    Not quite as good as yours first roasts jbrewster, but Ill see what I can do with my next roast.
    Thanks :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 2926332F26292E222B7375470 link=1340358979/15#15 date=1341034161
    EDIT: The cracks which appeared on the plastic stirring arm after the first use with potato have continued to grow with sucessive cooking use. Ive decided to take it back to Aldi for a refund. Will have to find another roasting method...
    Fair enough, and good luck (probably best you dont tell them you used it for roasting coffee though...).

    I can thoroughly recommend a Corretto setup :) a basic setup is achievable for less than what you paid for the fryer, but by its nature, may or may not be practical for you.

    An interesting experiment, at least and youve cut your teeth on home roasting now (and it sounds like youve caught the bug as a result) :D



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