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Homeroasters.org » ALL ABOUT ROASTERS » ROASTING SOFTWARE APPS
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Rainfrog's Roastmaster Software
Barrie
Roastmaster software from Rainfrog, Inc.
http://rainfroginc.com/

Most of us understand the general concept of databases and, over the years, many will have kept certain types of data, particularly numeric, on a spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel. Essentially, this is a flat-file database that relates items on the vertical axis to another set on the horizontal axis – the rows and columns with which we are familiar in tables. Some of us have used this for keeping roasting records.
Roastmaster is relational database software introduced some time ago to keep track of all those good things that we roasters would like to remember. It is intended for use with an iPhone, iPod or, most recently, an iPad. I am new to roasting and was in the process of putting together a relational database to keep track of things, using Microsoft Access, when I came across Roastmaster. It looks very useful to me, and I am surprised there is not more discussion about it on the forum. Perhaps this new thread will invite comment from users much more experienced with it than me. I have only owned it a few days, so bear with me.
Let’s go back to the beginning. What exactly is a relational database and how could it help in the world of home roasting? As opposed to the two dimensional flat-file recording permitted by Excel, one can think of a whole series of additional files, each containing key data (that one only needs to enter once) that are all linked together. This permits all sorts of searches and reporting, using related data from any or all the files.
In the case of Roastmaster, the key “page” is where one enters details of each roast but, before we describe that, Roastmaster includes a bean inventory record. You only enter a bean once and the quantity is automatically changed at each roast. On the roast record, there is a place to enter the bean being roasted. A click on the appropriate place brings up the bean inventory list. The bean and the quantity for the roast is entered in the appropriate place, and the inventory is automatically decreased by that amount. If new beans of a type already in the database arrive, you just add the new quantity (Roastmaster then does the math).
There is a separate list for vendors and their details, that one enters once. When a bean is added to the bean inventory list, one is asked the name of the vendor. Click on the row and the vendor list appears – and the name is automatically entered. If it is not there, it can be added to the list for use this time and in the future. Just as with the beans in the roasts and the vendors in the bean list, it is only necessary to enter them once. Thereafter, they are automatically entered as desired – and spelled and formatted the same every time. Thus, you do not have to enter the same information by hand with each roast.
There is a similar section for cupping notes, linked to beans and roasts etc.
As I said at the beginning, the Roasts section is the heart of the whole thing. It is too complete for me to describe it all here, and my present stage of (lack of) familiarity would not permit it. Suffice it to say that one can enter profiles, progams, curves, times, temperatures etc. etc. One ends up with a list of dated roasts, detailed in many ways.
I now have this $9.99 app. on the iPad and have it in action during each roast. So far, I entered a couple of profiles as well as the curve of my “master” run without any beans. Before starting a roast I enter the beans, the roaster, a profile (not a necessity) and get set to start the clock (don’t need a separate count-up timer). I set the temperature to ambient at zero time and then start entering temperatures as the GC warms up. When a step change occurs in the profile, the software warns me to change the settings. Meanwhile a curve is being drawn of temperature versus time, on the same axes as the profile settings. You get the picture. Afterwards, I can go back to the saved information to look at exactly what happened. Meantime, the software is “learning” when 1st and 2nd crack commonly occur and making an adjustment which I have yet to fully understand.
This should be enough to give an idea of what Roastmaster is all about. I hope a few experienced users will show up with comments.
Click on the images to see them a bit larger.

[img][/img]

[img][/img]

[img][/img]
Barrie attached the following images:
sample_roast_page.jpg home_page.jpg inventory_sample.jpg

Edited by Barrie on 05-16-2012 18:28
Barrie (San Diego, CA)
"So much to learn, so little time."
Hottop 2K+., Artisan, Jura Capresso ENA 3 (i.e. espresso).
 
Dan
Very nice. I particularly like the Roast Gauge.
 
http://www.intactamerica.org
John Despres
I just loaded it to my iPad. It looks very nice and I'll give it a trial run this afternoon.

Thanks, Barrie.
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
ginny
It is a very nice app that has continued to grow, I was given a copy when it came out and I guess it's time I wrote a review.

great tool, I am very bad with any type of list keeping so by the time I have dumped he beans in the roaster I don't have time to hustle up the iPad.
I suppose if I planned when I would be roasting it would be better but I simply never know when I will grab a roaster and burn up some beans!

life up here in the high desert is not the same as living in the city or at the beach!

gin
 
ginny
maybe burner, let me call my buddy in Scottsdale, he roasts and is all windows, poor guy!

-g:P

no he got an iPad...

said there are more apps for droid and Mac OS for roasting.
Edited by ginny on 05-17-2012 05:12
 
atalanta
Thank you. I was interested in how this works. been debating on getting a copy for my touch to "disect" it.
 
ginny
atalanta:

it really is an excellent app, on the smaller screen it shows very well.

their support is great.
-gGrin
 
John Despres
So far, aside from the sexy appearance, I'm not impressed.

Is there a way to create a profile ahead of roasting, or does it only record the info from each roast? I've already built a spreadsheet that records and creates a graph...

Okay, mine doesn't track inventory, but I can glance at the shelves and see that.

I may be missing something, but it seems I just spent $10.59 on something I already have and understand.

Help me, because I want to use it.

John
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
ginny
John it tracks, check your version. how long have you had the app?



http://rainfrogin.../index.php


http://rainfrogin...bases.html

the above may help but there are ? marks on the pages that will take you to the "crash course" for the app

-g
 
Rainfrog Dan
@ginny, Barrie, et al - thanks for the kind words!! :)

I used to keep detailed index cards of all my roasts - way back since my old Swissmar Alpenrost (remember that one? - great roaster). One day I realized, I never bothered to even go back and look through them. So, I wanted something that would do the clerical work for me. iOS was the logical choice, since I don't own a laptop, and my big metal desktop mac is just too heavy to tote to the kitchen.

I'm happy with the way the app is maturing - I hope others are as well. It's a lot of fun to see my baby become a community app, with feedback and ideas from users I probably would not have come up with on my own.

So, if anyone ever have any questions or feedback, just let me know!

Cheers
Danny
 
Rainfrog Dan
John

Any curves you create in a roast reside only in the roast. You'll need to copy and paste them into a profile if you want to use them for multiple roasts.

Profiles (and or programs) are defined in the roaster you are using. You can include as many curves as you like in a profile: any combination of "Control" curves (heat, fan, etc.) and "Reading" curves (your target temp curve). You can enter values manually into a curve, but the easiest way is to enter them during a roast, then copy and paste them into the profile after the roast. (Use the blue curve button near the gauge).

From then on, when you select that roaster and profile in a new roast, the curves will populate automatically. You, then, only need to define any curve(s) you want to use for temperature reading in that roast itself. The next update will automate this process a bit, but that's the workflow for the current version.

I also plan to implement a "Save roast as Profile" feature to speed this up. Hoping to get that in the next update, but may have to wait until the one after that. I'm concentrating on data-logging at the moment.

Any other questions, just let me know.

Danny
 
ginny
Dan:

Thanks for posting. I was over on your forum today and signed up; there is a lot of new interest in your app these days. Hence our new thread for roasting apps only.

I will be posting your link here for our membership. Thanks for allowing our link on your forum. The more we communicate the more we all benefit.

The new version 3 is awesome Dan.



ginny Grin
 
Rainfrog Dan
Ginny: Thanks!!!

I registered here a year ago. It's such a friendly forum - I love it. I told myself I'd become a regular, but then I do what I always do, bury myself in code at nights! :)

I'm anxious to get the next update finished and back to the tutorial videos I've started. It's a big app in a small package, and helping folks past the initial learning curve is something I need to devote some attention to.
 
Barrie
Rainfrog Dan wrote:

Ginny: Thanks!!!

I registered here a year ago. It's such a friendly forum - I love it. I told myself I'd become a regular, but then I do what I always do, bury myself in code at nights! :)

I'm anxious to get the next update finished and back to the tutorial videos I've started. It's a big app in a small package, and helping folks past the initial learning curve is something I need to devote some attention to.

I have/have had two avocations that share one thing in common. They are programming and (regular) writing. In both cases, an evening can go by quickly as one moves on with the project. Somewhere about 10 pm, and then at 12:00, and, again, even at 1:00 am it is very easy to say to yourself "I think I can get this (element) fixed tonight so I will just give it one more tweak." You can get to bed in the wee hours on too many occasions when in that mode/mood. Sorry I don't have a cure for that, Danny. The illness is usually incurable. Fortunately, it is not fatal. Grin
Barrie (San Diego, CA)
"So much to learn, so little time."
Hottop 2K+., Artisan, Jura Capresso ENA 3 (i.e. espresso).
 
fauzi
Ugh... typed up this long response, and my browser crashed! Doh!!

All,

This is a fantastic app, and I have been using it now for several months. It has truly freed me of the Roasting Notebook that I used to keep, and has tons of other useful features...

There are two highlights of this app that I can't rave enough about:

1) Dan's support! He is not only excited and passionate about what he does, but is also open to all sorts of suggestions about how the app can improve. Any questions you may have wil be answered personally very quickly and ensures that your issues get addressed.

2) And this will answer John's query above also: Yes, you can enter profiles into the app. You can have numerous Roasters, each of which can have numerous profiles, and when you start the roast, you can have the app prompt you to change the relevant temps at the appropriate times. But cooler than that, is that, superimposed on teh profile graph (usually in red), you can also take many many temp readings (usually in green), and keep thorough details on how your roaster is ramping up to the relevant heating levels.

Also, on relational DB side, for each roast that you start, it queries previous roasts of similar profiles / coffees / roasters / etc, and gives you tons of information about things like when you can expect your FC/SC. E.g., if you roasted 135 gms of XYZ bean last week and got FC at say 9 min, well, if you are now roasting 115 grams of the same bean, it will provide you with the adjusted expected 1C/2C/ EOR...

Good luck to Dan, and hope this app gains the popularity it deserves.And thanks to the OP for bringing this up.

Fauzi

PS: Dan, still waiting for the cooling feature that we discussed... You know, where there is an additional state of the on/off button where it may turn yellow while you're cooling... :)
 
John Despres
ginny wrote:

John it tracks, check your version. how long have you had the app?



http://rainfrogin.../index.php


http://rainfrogin...bases.html

the above may help but there are ? marks on the pages that will take you to the "crash course" for the app

-g


About 2-4 hours at the point I posted above.
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
John Despres
Okay, I'm hooked! In the category of "Shut up and use it once", I'm in first place.

Yeah, it does a lot my spread sheet does, but Roastmaster wins, hands down.

Things I love:

The count up timer once 1st crack starts; no more mental clock.

Notes - I typed in my profile and, look! the notes appear above the graph.

My spreadsheet is done, over finished, kaput. Don't need it, don't want it. I have a lot to learn, but this is fun!

Thanks, Dan. Great app! I just joined your forum and am headed there now for more learning.

John
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
ginny
John:

I really think you will like this app the longer you use and the nice thing is Dan is constantly working on it; I have an early copy on my iPod touch and the difference from that to the new ver 3 is amazing.

plus I like his graphics...

ginny

have a great weekend.

-gRoflmao
 
John Despres
Oh, yeah. Even with one roast in it, I'm seeing great benefits.

J
Respect the bean.
John Despres
Fresh Roast 8, Gene Cafe, JYTT 1k, Quest M3, Mazzer Mini, Technivorm, various size presses and many more brewers.
 
www.sceneitallproductions.com
jkoll42
If only it was on android as well :@
-Jon
Honey badger 1k, Bunn LPG-2E, Technivorm, Cimbali Max Hybrid, Vibiemme Double Domo V3
 
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