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cold war kid

Getting into home roasting.

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Hi.

I've been thinking of getting into home roasting for ages now, but I've enjoyed my dog&hat subscription so much that it's been on a back burner since joining. I am however starting to think again about it as something I'd like to do. I've seen a few different options online, but never seen any at all in operation so although I've been into speciality coffee for the best part of three decades and know all about first crack and the different roast levels and what beans suit each, all the info I have in my head is purely theoretical. I actually have no hands on experience of roasting at all. I was hoping others might be able to point me in the right direction.

I'll be quite specific about my needs as it's usually the best way to get a direct answer.

I have no funds in place, but I'm hoping to save about £500 by early next year. I need a machine that's able to roast at least 120g but up to 300g would be better. It'll be in a garage, so although I have asthma I don't see ventilation being a problem. A product with a lot of info on the net would be almost essential. It would help if I could hear first crack, but would that be essential? I don't think I need all sorts of probes and software but wouldn't like to be so hands on that I need to spin the drum by hand.  I'd prefer new as I'm not good at DIY and don't want to end up with a machine that breaks in a few months and I can't fault diagnose.

Above all it has to give consistent results , or at least capable of it, I don't mind being the weakest link until I learn.

I've seen the Gene Cafe on BellaBarista's website. Is there anything else that fits the bill?

Thanks

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Gene Café really is your best bet for your budget and if bought new from BB comes with DaveC's very well written guide (Funnily enough have just made the same recommendation to a friend in the Manchester area)

You could wait for one to come up second hand but would suggest you buy from a forum member as at least you 'll know its provenance plus there's plenty of guidance for fixes / mods on here and Dave's wiki should you feel up to it (they're not difficult)

Out of the box it's a pretty good roaster and any mods just improve this. Will comfortably work in the 200-250g input range so hit your criteria there as well.

Am sure someone closer will offer to let you get hands on, if not you are always welcome to call in if round my neck of the woods.

John

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43 minutes ago, johnealey said:

, if not you are always welcome to call in if round my neck of the woods.

John

Thank you, but I'm a long way from being on the verge of buying one. While I'm saving I'll do a lot of swotting up.

I'm glad you think the Gene Cafe is a  good choice as it appears to be the one with the most chatter that I can learn from and it's been around a while now.

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How about getting a suitable popcorn popper in the meantime!

you'll be able to pick up quite some insight while having very limited means of control. Phases, colour change, smell, timing, getting used to logging and/or software usage (such as Artisan)...

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16 hours ago, cold war kid said:

Thank you, but I'm a long way from being on the verge of buying one. While I'm saving I'll do a lot of swotting up.

I'm glad you think the Gene Cafe is a  good choice as it appears to be the one with the most chatter that I can learn from and it's been around a while now.

If you aren't in a rush the Gene Cafe comes up for sale used now and again and it might coincide with you having the funds and a good saving. It's what I did in the end, I did need to open it up and clear out the dust and also dismantle the chaff collector and clean that out too. I found I should have done that as soon as I bought it. It then behaved much like adds suggest.

There are a number of sometimes highly contested methods of using them. Youtube, on here and any where else they are mentioned. I think it also pays to bear in mind that 250g is probably it's max capacity and some beans may benefit from using less.

I tried the popcorn roaster route and frankly ok if you want to but ................ all sorts. It's possible to add a triac speed controller to get some control of heat, a switch to turn the heating off so that it can have a cooling cycle even a temperature control. I'd be inclined to just say good luck but there is a chance of roasting rather small quantities of beans. One of the main problems with the variation on what can be used for this sort of thing is adequate stirring of the beans. There are all sorts of ideas on youtube.

Mine awaits completely finishing our kitchen and really I should do it in  the garage which currently is entirely stripped following a roof replacement. 5 roasts before this all started the last 2 of which were fairly successful without any mods. I will be adding the usual mods though to compare.

John

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Another recommendation for Gene Cafe, you might struggle to hear 1st crack, but I was very happy with the results from mine.


Londinium I / Monolith Conical / Macap MC4 / Cormorant CR600 Roaster

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