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GUY C-P

Home Roasters in the UK: what are the options?

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Hi All,

 

im afer thoughts and reconendations for a home coffee roaster ans thought there dosn't seem to be a topic listing all the options in the UK!

 

im starting off having never roasted however i want to get a roaster that is going to be able to product a close to commercial (a speciality roaster) coffee.

 

as far as i can see there are the options

Gene Cafe from BB @ £500 - a small roaster, great to learn on but maybe a little limited on control. Un-modified it will do on OK job of roasting 250g from what i can tell in the threads.

Hottop roaster from the London warehouse (i emailed the supplier through the e-portal last week) @£1450 + £80pp this will allow you to have greater control with both fan and heat, also giving the ability to connect to software such as Artisan. it will roast you upto 250g.

 

Cormorant CR600 £c.1600 this is Gas roaster and looks the business (looks are subjective) and will roast up to 600g per batch. I do have a concern that its not CE rated. Again this roaster will give control over heat, fan and drum speed. this also has the ability (with additional thermocouples, allowing software connection).

 

Then we are on to the Amazon Dalian and Aillio Bullet, im less aware of these but 

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TAKE 2! 😊

Hi All,

I'm after thoughts and recommendations for a home coffee roaster and thought there don't seem to be a topic listing all the current 2019 options in the UK!

As far as i can see there are the options:

Gene Cafe from BB @ £500 - a small electric roaster, great to learn on but maybe a little limited on control. Un-modified it will do on OK job of roasting 250g from what i can tell in the threads.

Hottop roaster from the London warehouse (i emailed the supplier through the e-portal last week) @£,1450 + £80pp this will allow you to have greater control with both fan and heat (electrically powered), also giving the ability to connect to software such as Artisan. It will roast you up to 250g plus give you the tools to mirror a roast saved profile for consistency.

Cormorant CR600 c.£1600 this is Gas roaster and looks the business (looks are subjective) and will roast up to 600g per batch. I do have a concern that its not CE rated. Again this roaster will give control over heat, fan and drum speed. this also has the ability (with additional thermocouples, allowing software connection).

Then we are on to the Amazon Dalian and Aillio Bullet, i'm less aware of these but both are in the region of £2,500 but come with all the bells and whistles you would expect at this price point. Both of these are capable of roasting 1kg in a single batch but at this point i now start to think..... how much do i need to roast at a time? I'm not commercial and neither have a wish to. But is this the price you have to pay for a decent roaster?

What is going to have the capability closely match that of a specialty roaster with regards to capability? (excluding the roasters skill in this instance). 

Thoughts and other recommendations would be welcome.

A small line about me:

I love GREAT coffee, I tend to get thought about 1.5kg - 2kg a month and i use my Rocket espresso machine and filter. I have a passion for coffee and look forward to turning my hands to home roasting. I understand that whilst you may save cost long run, i am more interested in the challenge and learning the skill. that said im not sure dropping £2k+ is the best idea unless this is really going to give you the key to great roasting for many years (the machine will payback over its life time). 

I'm starting off and have never home roasted however i want to get a roaster that is going to be able to product a close to commercial (a specialty roaster) coffee and last a good few years allowing me to learn and improve my roasting skills.

Thanks Guy 

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Hi.

I don't currently roast, I'm sure others will chip in who do, but I'm in the same boat as you in that I'm looking to start roasting and have been researching. From what I gather the Gene Cafe with a few mods will get you very close to a pro roast once you learn what works best for you. I've been very impressed with the picks and vids I've seen with regards to the evenness of roasts. I'm after the cheapest option that isn't a frustrating toy and it looks like this is the one to go for in the UK.

A couple of things you may want to consider with regards to your opening post are that the Amazon Dalian is closer to £4000 and even if you can get very cheap greens compared to buying the same bean already roasted, if you factor in running costs, occasional mistakes with new beans and any repairs and servicing bills that crop up along the way it'll probably take well over a decade to pay for itself. It'd be much better to consider purchase as the cost of partaking in the hobby and if you break even one day, all the better. You'd have a much better chance of saving cash with a much cheaper machine, but if you can afford the best, is that what you really want? 

 

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Start with a gene, modify if needed. Simple to learn on, easy to use  (just fired mine up for the first time in ages this evening, 2x 250g in 2x 209g out time taken just short of an hour)

You will need to add another £1000 to your estimate for a Dalian by the way, this being my other roaster which is a joy to use (there are a couple of threads on here that detail use etc). In terms of being close to commercial there are a couple of members doing just that with this roaster @Hasi for one produces some truly tasty beans from his that I have experience of ( I like my own of course but am biased so can't comment if mine up to same standard)

Payback is a strange concept in that outside of commercial use it's a very personal idea of what a roaster is worth to you in monetary, time and quality terms. Can only reference the Gene and the Dalian as these are what have used, both should last many years and have so far. 200 +roasts in the gene (1 cracked roast chamber replaced under warranty from BB) and over 300kg in the Dalian ( 1 resistor for £2.50 and some high temp grease for servicing).

The difference in cost new between the two, £500 and £3500 is a bit of a gulf but you can always sell on the gene on here for a fair proportion of what you paid for it 

Hope of help and good luck

John

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Roasters: BB Dalian Amazon 1kg -Power contolled GeneCafe 101- 106Kg of greens - Tonino

Espresso: Londinium L2 - Gaggia G105 - Silvia v3 Mr.Shades PID'-d - Faema E92a2 (Project) - MyPressi Twist - VST baskets / Motta Europa (350/500/750ml) - Torr Ti 58.55 & Goldfinger flat 58.4 TiBlack, Pullman 51.4 - Acaia x2

Grinders: Flats: Compak R120 - NS Mythos plus Conics: Compak K10PB - Lido 3

Brewed: Behmor Brazen - Moccamaster KBGT471 - Aeropress - V60 - Cona model D - Clever - Mizudashi - 8-10 + 6 cup Chemex

Water: BWT Bestmax V Refrac: VST III

and a Puq Press not in a pear tree..

 

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I started with the Gene, very happy with the roaster and never felt I needed to do the mod. I'm now roasting on the Cormorant and I'm very happy with this roaster.

I normally roast 500g on the Cormorant compaired to 250g on the Gene which suits me well. If you mess the roast up It's not so much to bin, I've not had to bin any yet.

You can get a Gene straight away from BB but if you wanted a Cormorant I think the wait time at the moment is March 2020 going by a thread on HB.


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

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I've been using a Gene for 3 years, did the dimmer mod and get great results with it. Another plus for it is that pretty much every component is replaceable and easily available from BB, so you could also buy a used one and it should have years left in it. It takes a bit of getting used to and some time to find your own sweet spot, but I guess that's true of any roaster. It's a great little machine.

Eventually I'll go for a Cormorant, but I have other things to spend my money on right now.


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Kaffelogic Nano 7 is the bees knees.  It is a small PID-plus controlled, profile following hot-air roaster. Kaffelogic a small company based in Dunedin, New Zealand, used NZ's PledgeMe for kick-starting and getting funding so as to be able to fully tool up and seek finally electrical approval for their small 120g profile following roaster.

I was an early backer and received my machine in April and so far have done 133 roasts. It performs very well. It comes with its own software - Kaffelogic Profile Management Studio - that allows the designing of roast profiles to match bean requirements. There are some profiles from the manufacturer and now NZ users are now starting to upload their own. See Kaffelogic.com/community. All profiles are logged to a USB stick plugged into the machine during roasting.

The KPMS software is compatible with Windows, Linux and I think Mac. It has grown in sophistication since  April and allows full control over the drying, Maillard and development phases. The machine sits under a cooker hood whilst it does its roast. and is attractive enough to keep on a kitchen counter for daily use. Some coffees are quite pleasant next morning, after a night-before roast, whilst others need time to settle.

I understand Kaffelogic are in preliminary discussion with BellaBarista and others to bring the machine to the UK market.

Kaffelogic intend to be at London Coffee Fest next year.

Machines are on sale in NZ now and can be imported; The NZ price is 1200 NZ$ ~ roughly £610 but you'll pay import duty on £580 of that at 20%.

If you think this is an Ikawa in another guise - don't. This is a serious roasting machine and is already being used by NZ professional roasters to develop profiles for their coffee.

(My only connection with the company is that I was a backer and received a roaster at cost price for my trouble. But as you may gather, I love it!)

The first appended image shows a pre-production machine finished in stainless steel. Current production machines are black. The second image is a profile log of an actual roast - an experiment with some Ethiopian Yirgacheffe beans. The blue line is the profile; the red line is the actual temperature profile delivered by the roaster; the green line is the rate-of-rise and the brown line is the differential of the rate of rise.

IMG_20190924_150941.jpg

profile.png

Edited by Polly
spelling!

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I had a Gene for a year or so and modded it. My single advice for roasting with the Gene is to make sure you have good mains electricity. Mine had the 240V element - for the UK market - but mains electricity in my home hardly ever went above 237V, going as low as 232V at times. In my opinion, this made roasting outside somewhat challenging, most of the time never able to follow the profiles in the user guide and never really had a roast that I really liked. But that was me. Other people here with the Gene have enjoyed it a lot.

 

 

 

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Hi All,

 

Im new to the Forum but im looking for some help. 

I would like to get into roasting and from looking at videos online etc, the HotTop looks the best. I like the fact you can use the software on the laptop alongside it to help learn about the roast. The question is... Does anyone know anywhere reliable you can purchase this in the UK or Europe?

Many Thanks - James 

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Hi

 

This thread was superb and some great advice. It’s been a busy one at work so a little difficuot to update the forum.

 

i took the plunge and got Gene Cafe from BB a week ago and I’m currently on toast number 5. And Wow, what a learning curve! I feel I have made leaps and bounds just in that short about of time by writing as many notes as I can and cupping the results (after de-gassing) to understand each variation of roast on the final cup.

@iroko how did you feel the Cormorant compared to the Gene Cafe with regards to learning the machine. Did you feel the Gene Cafe set you up well and therefore maybe you were producing good roasts after a few attempts or feel like it was a little more back to square one with all the additional control/variables? Also are you using BT and ET into any software?

 

Thanks Guy. 

Images to follow

 

 

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The results on the beans from El Salvador are pretty good. The beans from Columbia just clog up the air exit and smoke the place out.

Columbia beam is a problem

I have been doing 250g of green beans in

Tried 2 profiles. 

First:

Target temp 1: 245 -> FC

Target Temp 2: 240 for 45 sec -> end

DE: 5min 8 sec

FC: 12 min 15 sec

Dump: 13 min 0

Profile two

Target temp 1: 150 for 6 Min

Target Temp 2: 245 until FC

Target Temp 3: 240 for 45 sec -> end

First crack is very difficult to hear I'm finding and the final cup is smokey but the chamber does fill considerably as the air exit is clogged with chaff. 

 

Any recommendations?

 

 

IMG_20191004_103337.jpg

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I can see some burning but I was expecting much more considering you took it to 245c. I was going to say it's too high but maybe not and maybe you'd gt rid of most of the burning I can see by doing the dimmer mod....

If the chamber is clogging with chaff then drop your charge to something 220g. First crack duration of 45 seconds (assuming it finished when you started the cooling cycle) is a little quick, probably better extending it especially if you're aiming to drop the roast just as the beans have developed through first crack. You could try using a lower max temp to extend but there are other ways such as dropping temp just before FC starts and even dropping a second time as first crack is rolling if it's progressing very quickly.

What does DE mean? 

Hard to see what you were aiming for with profile 2? 

I'm assuming you actually hit your target temp because if not that info is worthless.


ACS Minima (Beta) -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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@Rob1 thank you for the help, really appreciated as I’m still very new to roasting.

 

DE (for me) is Dry end. When I can see no more green in the beans.

My thoughts are I will try a roast of 220g of the Columbia and set the temp at 238, wait 1min into FC from FC start (I.e. rolling) then drop to 235.

 

I took the profiles from Roast Rebels;

https://roastrebels.com/en/roasting-knowledge/coffee-roasting/gene-cafe

but I’m learning this may not be best to follow after also reading the Dave C guide that also comes from BB.

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Assuming you've hit rolling in a minute. As I said the set temp is meaningless as you're just setting the point at which the element switches off the actual temp at the various stages is what matters.


ACS Minima (Beta) -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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On 19/10/2019 at 08:43, GUY C-P said:

Hi

 

This thread was superb and some great advice. It’s been a busy one at work so a little difficuot to update the forum.

 

i took the plunge and got Gene Cafe from BB a week ago and I’m currently on toast number 5. And Wow, what a learning curve! I feel I have made leaps and bounds just in that short about of time by writing as many notes as I can and cupping the results (after de-gassing) to understand each variation of roast on the final cup.

@iroko how did you feel the Cormorant compared to the Gene Cafe with regards to learning the machine. Did you feel the Gene Cafe set you up well and therefore maybe you were producing good roasts after a few attempts or feel like it was a little more back to square one with all the additional control/variables? Also are you using BT and ET into any software?

 

Thanks Guy. 

Images to follow

 

 

@GUY C-P The Comorant took a while to get used too with more variables to keep an eye on, but roasting on the Gene set me up well and I haven't binned a roast yet from the Cormorant.

At the moment I'm not using BT/ET thermocouples or any software, but I might in the future. 

For me on the Gene the only time I had to go to 245 was in the depths of winter when voltage was very low. mainly I was between 235/230.

Have you got a voltage meter to check your voltage, when It's low It's harder to roast on the Gene.

I hope your enjoying your roasting.


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

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On 19/10/2019 at 17:04, GUY C-P said:

The results on the beans from El Salvador are pretty good. The beans from Columbia just clog up the air exit and smoke the place out.

Columbia beam is a problem

I have been doing 250g of green beans in

Tried 2 profiles. 

First:

Target temp 1: 245 -> FC

Target Temp 2: 240 for 45 sec -> end

DE: 5min 8 sec

FC: 12 min 15 sec

Dump: 13 min 0

Profile two

Target temp 1: 150 for 6 Min

Target Temp 2: 245 until FC

Target Temp 3: 240 for 45 sec -> end

First crack is very difficult to hear I'm finding and the final cup is smokey but the chamber does fill considerably as the air exit is clogged with chaff. 

 

Any recommendations?

 

 

Your results look surprisingly good. As someone else said above, you are using far higher temps than is normal, but calibration between Gene Cafes has never been great. As a general basic roast  You want a 3 stage roast.

1. 0-4 minutes gentle drying room temp to 180C

2. 0-8/9 minutes main roast 180-220C

3. 8/9 -12 - 14 1st  - 2nd crack 220- 236C (240 max)

The temp of the roast should never go backwards until you decide to end it. After drying the bean you want to put the majority of the heat in and gradually reduced the rate of temp increase as you approach the end. 

 

 


Londinium 1, Pharos, Ceado e37s, Gene Cafe, Aerobie

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Thank you for all the guidance and advice all, after taking a small delivery from Small Batch Roasting I’ll be back to it this weekend!

 

fingers crossed for some better results

3CFB178C-7C2C-4C85-B294-FD175B7DA22C.jpeg

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great little machine. this is how i started roasting. one additional recommendation GUY C-P is that i found i couldnt cool off the bean fast enough within the gene cooling cycle so i actually build a fan cooler tray out of wood etc which i dumped the hot beans onto. this cooled them down is around 30 sec. this stopped me over roasting my beans! mine is similar to this one

 

tray3.jpg

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Hi some great suggestions here! I’m looking at the gene also as a first option, looks like out of stock here in uk at moment, looking into second hand devices also.

Are there any other options in similar price range of this one? Seen some people mention a behmor too, any views ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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18 minutes ago, Jam1e1 said:

Hi some great suggestions here! I’m looking at the gene also as a first option, looks like out of stock here in uk at moment, looking into second hand devices also.

Are there any other options in similar price range of this one? Seen some people mention a behmor too, any views ?

I just checked the BB site has no 240V roasters, but they do have the 230V roaster, which would be worth getting and then doing the power control Mod on. This way you can roast in any conditions down to freezing and overboost the Gene, but also control temperatures much better. The only thing is to be careful not to go over 11800 ish watts in summer...but then I keep to about 1180W in summer anyway.

When I did the mod, I swapped my 240V element out for the 230V...what I call the stage 2 mod. You won't pop the heating element if you only use the heat you need and don't overboost until it's very cold, where a 240V Gene is incapable of roasting outside.. It will also allow you to roast in voltages as low as 220 or less, where with a normal gene you might as well give up. As an example few days ago the voltage in my area was down to 216V...I was considering roasting in the Dalian, but with my 1kw heater (to keep the place warm) and the roaster going, with the voltage pull down, I just couldn't be bothered. It would have roasted OK but the profile adjustment would have been a PITA and a slight compromise.

You might even find a used modded one on here...

 

P.S. The Stage one and two mods I did were ages ago and fully reversible...but over the years people have come up with much nicer looking Mods and better triac controllers are probably available...but you do need a fine level of control. So a triac that controls it from 500W-max and not 0-max would be better.

Edited by DavecUK
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Crem One 2B DBPP (pre production version), ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DBPP (paddle flow control), Lelit Mara X Prototype, BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK, Eureka Atom Speciality 75, Eureka "Blow UP System", VDT Vibration thing: 145kg assorted greens: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

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38 minutes ago, Jam1e1 said:

Hi some great suggestions here! I’m looking at the gene also as a first option, looks like out of stock here in uk at moment, looking into second hand devices also.

If you are looking at second-hand Gene machines, you might look at my For Sale entry:

 

 

Edited by mathof

Londinium 1, Monolith Flat, Pharos, Lido 3, Chemex, Gene Café, Atago Barista

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Many thanks I’ll have a look at the mod and for sale options!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I just checked the BB site has no 240V roasters, but they do have the 230V roaster, which would be worth getting and then doing the power control Mod on. This way you can roast in any conditions down to freezing and overboost the Gene, but also control temperatures much better. The only thing is to be careful not to go over 11800 ish watts in summer...but then I keep to about 1180W in summer anyway.
When I did the mod, I swapped my 240V element out for the 230V...what I call the stage 2 mod. You won't pop the heating element if you only use the heat you need and don't overboost until it's very cold, where a 240V Gene is incapable of roasting outside.. It will also allow you to roast in voltages as low as 220 or less, where with a normal gene you might as well give up. As an example few days ago the voltage in my area was down to 216V...I was considering roasting in the Dalian, but with my 1kw heater (to keep the place warm) and the roaster going, with the voltage pull down, I just couldn't be bothered. It would have roasted OK but the profile adjustment would have been a PITA and a slight compromise.
You might even find a used modded one on here...
 
P.S. The Stage one and two mods I did were ages ago and fully reversible...but over the years people have come up with much nicer looking Mods and better triac controllers are probably available...but you do need a fine level of control. So a triac that controls it from 500W-max and not 0-max would be better.

This! ^^^^^@Jam1e1.

I had a 240V Gene. It was extremely hard to roast on given the Voltage in my area. At the times I wanted to roast it was never above 239V, usually being 236V and 232V. Saying that, other members get 245V-250V in their areas.

I have done the voltage regulator mod myself based on DavecUK and other members of this forum. It’s fully reversible, but if you go with the 230V element make sure you don’t overload it!

http://coffeetime.wikidot.com/genecafedimmermod2017

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ah nice thanks ! glad i got a soldering iron!! as newer to this, appears there is a bit of an art to it...ill have to check voltage here too then - really useful tips!

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