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Dalian Power Mod


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Afternoon All,

I was wondering how many who has the Dalian roaster has done the power modification setup? I'm just getting a high wattage (2700+Watts), so wanting to reduce the watts to help slow the roast of the beans since FC is happening at 8/9 mins. I also understand from reading about roasting that power should be gradually eased to the roaster over the course of the roast especially after FC ends. I have already reduced the presets to 191 (BT) and 232 (AT) trying to reduce the max temps the beans get to.

For people who has done the mod have you had any issues with the roaster - has it worked ok?

Spoken to support at BB and they obviously would not give any advice and state it would void all warranty's, etc.

Grateful for any advice.

Thanks

Phil.

Edited by Dartmoor Coffee
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Hi All, Many thanks for your inputs - much appreciated. @Rob1 - yes 180 days. Just checked my 180 days is up next Saturday although they've gave me a couple of extra weeks due to covid-19 an

I usually roast with the Cooling Tray damper open fully, and use the SD to control the roast ROR. This avoids swirls of air in the roast chamber affecting readings....I like to pull minimum air, enoug

The warranty is only for 180 days isn't it?  I thought an idea to control the temp through and after first crack would be to have the element switch off entirely at a set point (depending on how

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The warranty is only for 180 days isn't it? 

I thought an idea to control the temp through and after first crack would be to have the element switch off entirely at a set point (depending on how quickly you want the beans to get through first and the final temp you want) so the momentum and residual heat provides a naturally declining ROR? I could see why reducing the power to the heating element prior to this point over time would be ideal to get a more even roast going into first. Continuing to apply heat after FC in a 1kg drum roaster seems odd unless you're going for a dark roast, but I'm just guessing at that. 

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I find the on/off switch works quite well.

I also have my PIDs set a lot lower than most----after advice from an old hand! I go for [email protected],  AT @ 220.  I can expect 1C  any time after 175C

I also find that after the first 2 kilos,  BT and AT are pretty much level pegging.

I also do something that may be peculiar to my set up and environment. I aim to get 1C  in the 10 to 11 minute bracket. If the ROR is spanking along and 160C is reached before 6 minutes, I turn the heat off for, (depending on ambient and ROR)  say 5 to 20 seconds and consider the SD setting. I now rarely have to go wider than 4cm on SD. 10 to 11 minute 1C doesn't always work out, but that is the target!

The PID often turns off the heat during 1C. I then consider how much 1st is left plus AT plus SD setting and whether it needs closing a tad.

So when you asked for info from folk who have done the mod, when I plainly haven't why have I replied? 

Mainly to suggest  before doing the mod, you do more roasts with the machine 'as is' to get a real 'seat of the pants' feel to it. Those controls can be very sensitive especially with our temperate climate.  

Good luck with your venture!

 

 

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This isn't a direct answer to your question but I found it relatively easy to modulate the ror using the air dampers on the machine.

Why do you feel FC at 8/9 minutes is a bad thing just out of curiosity? What do you feel is wrong with the coffee you are producing?

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Hi All,

Many thanks for your inputs - much appreciated.

@Rob1 - yes 180 days. Just checked my 180 days is up next Saturday although they've gave me a couple of extra weeks due to covid-19 and not being able to use it. 180 days has gone quickly. Turning off heat is possible, but you need to turn off at the correct moment to prevent a crash or rise, but I also read you should reduce heat before FC as well.

@Batian - yes I will try turning down my presets even further. Will take it to 185 / 220 for testing. Fair comment about doing more testing. With only a few days left on warranty it can wait. I have bought the voltage regulator but not expensive and it can wait.

@Beeroclock - £3500. Yes expensive piece of equipment or perhaps provide as an option. You pay extra for the mod pre-done.

@BlackCatCoffee - I'm trying cupping after my roasts and the taste is not brilliant. Bit bland / earthy. Not bad, but when compared to other coffee (bought some Rave), you can taste the difference. It may be my coffee since I purchased older coffee for testing. Regarding FC times I totally agree and it has been my thoughts. Reading books and looking online a lot of them have FC times of 8/9 minutes so thought OK. Just other people using Dalian have FC of 10 mins + so makes me think am I baking mine too fast?

I am planning, but RobotShop is out of stock, in getting connected to Artisan so I can see what exactly is happening during the roasts. Once done I can share the results. I'm also reading Scott Rao's latest book "coffee roasting - best practices", which must say is a very interesting read, and he mentions about the need to continually reduce the temperature throughout the roast (even before FC) even for electric roasters. So seeing how best to get the best possible roast.

Many thanks all again.

Phil.

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8 or 9 minutes is not too long as such. Plenty of people out there are completing roasts in that time. It is all about if you are happy with the coffee in the cup. If you feel it is not developed enough for example then yes perhaps you need think about your profile. I am making the assumption this is a business venture here btw?

As for old coffee - if you put poor coffee in then you will get poor coffee out. It does not matter who is roasting or on what.

Why not order something decent and see how you get on. Or if you feel you want to use Rave as a benchmark then go and get the same coffee from them in both roasted and green and so how your efforts compare.

Good luck with it.

David

 

 

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2 hours ago, BlackCatCoffee said:

8 or 9 minutes is not too long as such. Plenty of people out there are completing roasts in that time. It is all about if you are happy with the coffee in the cup. If you feel it is not developed enough for example then yes perhaps you need think about your profile. I am making the assumption this is a business venture here btw?

As for old coffee - if you put poor coffee in then you will get poor coffee out. It does not matter who is roasting or on what.

Why not order something decent and see how you get on. Or if you feel you want to use Rave as a benchmark then go and get the same coffee from them in both roasted and green and so how your efforts compare.

Good luck with it.

David

 

 

Hi David,

Thanks looking at potential business in long run. Currently part-time since working full-time, but am looking at it to see if I can make a go of it.

Yes I understand about old coffee and know I won't get the flavours or be blown away by it, but still think I should be able to test a nice coffee roast? From my experience by giving to family and friends that I've done so far that the average joe coffee sensors are not used to tasting the flavours in coffee so they've not minded it. I do have some 2017 coffee as well, and BB gave 5KG of 2019 Brazilian coffee with the roaster. Guess I wanting to get my profiling software working so I don't waste the good stuff so practicing on the older stuff.

Will order some newer beans when I can see the profile.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Phil.

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1 hour ago, Dartmoor Coffee said:

Yes I understand about old coffee and know I won't get the flavours or be blown away by it, but still think I should be able to test a nice coffee roast? 

How are you judging the roast if taste isn't part of it? Just wholebean colour vs ground? The profile? 

You're better off buying 30kg-60kg of good coffee to roast. Get a sample for cupping and then see what you can do to with it.

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2 hours ago, Rob1 said:

How are you judging the roast if taste isn't part of it? Just wholebean colour vs ground? The profile? 

You're better off buying 30kg-60kg of good coffee to roast. Get a sample for cupping and then see what you can do to with it.

Hi, Thank you for your response. Since this is a new venture and understood (maybe wrongly) I'd be throwing away 40/50 kg of testing I thought I was being safe with money and not purchase 60kg of new coffee so went for end of stock slightly older coffee for testing. By sound of things that might have been a bad choice. I'm testing on colour, shape of bean (scorching), and also taste. Yes I know the taste will be affected by the age, but was hoping since not really selling yet it was a happy medium between the 2.

Yes might need to get some more coffee. Was hoping to get a big batch through somebody like Falcon when ready, but think they have a min order of bags.

Cupping I'm finding an interesting challenge. I have signed up to do Square Mile Coffee virtual cupping session, which hopefully I will find that useful.

If think I really need to get Artisan working and use the old coffee for testing and achieving the declining ROR correctly. Once done I think I'd be in a better place to purchase new coffee beans.

Does that sound like a plan or more a Baldrick plan 😆.

 

Thanks

Phil.

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4 hours ago, Dartmoor Coffee said:

Was hoping to get a big batch through somebody like Falcon when ready, but think they have a min order of bags.

 

Minimum order from Falcon is one bag, but the postage rate is flat for 1 to 6 bags so if you can, it makes sense to order more. If there's a roaster not too far away that sources from Falcon maybe see if you could hijack one of their orders to cut down on postage until you're ready to order more.

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4 hours ago, CJV8 said:

Minimum order from Falcon is one bag, but the postage rate is flat for 1 to 6 bags so if you can, it makes sense to order more. If there's a roaster not too far away that sources from Falcon maybe see if you could hijack one of their orders to cut down on postage until you're ready to order more.

Hi @CJV8,

Just looking and it was DRWakefield that there is a minimum order of 5 bags.

Phil.

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Small batch roasting may be your best bet whilst getting up and running, if you not already using them :) old beans that may be past their best may not teach you anything more than how to roast old beans, if that makes sense

You can also enter figures in for bean and air temp manually into artisan: config>device>et/bt>meter, pick none then tick boxes for et and bt curves (LCD's also if you like).

All dalians will behave slightly differently due to changes in voltage etc so take these as what I use, that may not work for you: PID settings, BT 180c, AT 220c with 1C, like @Batian ,occurring between 175 and 179c. I drop at 180 on both PIDS once heated up on a non power controlled machine pulling approx 2500 watts with cooling damper at 3,sd closed for first 3 mins then opened to 3 till just before 1C, dependant on temp rise, then 5>7 etc. on drop open up the cooling damper and reduce sd to 1. My voltage is high here, hovering around the 250v mark

If you not comfortable with cupping, leave for 7 days in whatever method you bag in to exclude air and try as you would normally, using this as your guide. Previous post above of buying some roasted and green beans is a good idea as can tell you how close or not you are, coffeecompass do 2kg green of their 500g roasted.

Hope of help and best of luck

John

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Hi @johnealey, Thank you for your suggestion. Had a message from another member whose suggested about joining his bag sharing so looking at that avenue especially till I need to purchase full bags myself.

Regarding Artisan I do manually enter figures at the moment, after the roast, although the ROR line doesn't appear correctly as per our screenshots. It is something I need to investigate. Got a roast to add to Artisan so will look later. When I do another roast I was going to look at @Batian suggestion and reduce the presets to 185c / 220c to see how that helps. Maybe reduce CD to 3 as well (currently it is at 5).

Thanks

Phil.

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Hi @Dartmoor Coffee

you could have artisan going live and enter temps (event button) every 30 seconds which will graph in real time for you, is what I do as well as keep a paper copy going. Is a bit hairy the first time you do it this way bit soon get into a rhythm, works for me nearing 400 roasts since started doing this.

RoR curve used to appear live in previous versions not sure it still does in current versions (am still using 1.5.0 which is fine for me) if you right clicked on the graph (when entering data live) and picked event, it seemed to update the RoR and "show" itself.

Remember that the cooling / smoke dampers are co-dependant in that when you close down the cooling more air is available to the Smoke damper and vice versa.

If you weren't aware, you can also have a "background" roast in Artisan to follow: Roast> Background>Config tab> Load and then navigate to where a previous roast was then use that to fine tune your live roast.

Hope of help

John

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Hi @johnealey,,

Currently roasting 1kg batches. You must have 4 arms to have Artisan going live with entering every 30 secs, entering manually on paper, and then checking tryer, etc. as well 😀. I will check ROR settings later tonight.

Thanks about the background image - was wondering about that, but hadn't looked since wasn't in the place needing it yet.

Phil.

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  • 5 months later...

Hello all,

Can anyone please advise on the power mod?  Hoping @DavecUKwill chime in!

If I follow this cable that goes into the back of the drum into the heating element (right hand side because its away from the belt).
 
 
It will appear as the cable on the left (not the right) behind the control panel.  Which is not as the finger is pointing at in the guide.
 
 
So I need to know which cable of the two I should be hacking into.  One of these cables goes into the main roaster power switch (circular red and yellow switch on the front panel)
 
and the other goes into some kind of transformer/coiled cable component behind the control panel (Pictured just to left of Daves index finger).
 
Any help would be appreciated!
 
Cheers
 
 
 
 
 
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Is the little box a relay to turn the element on/off when it reaches temperature?

I don't think I've read the guide but if it's the same as the famous Gene dimmer mod, you want to just wire the dimmer into the circuit placed between the heating element and terminal block so power passes through the controller to get to the heating element and from there things are unchanged. Trace the wire from the heating element to the terminal block, remove from terminal block and connect to your SCR module, wire other end of SCR to the terminal block in place of the wire you just removed with appropriately rated wire to carry mains voltage.

In case I'm wrong, thoroughly read the guide again and pay attention to the little details of what connects where.

A little disclaimer In case you don't know what you're doing: Proceed at your own risk. Make sure the roaster is unplugged. Don't touch any capacitors. Make sure your connections are good and won't work loose. 

Edited by Rob1
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