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Homeroasters.org » ALL ABOUT ROASTERS » HotTop Roaster
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My new HotTop basic and a couple of questions
fatboytx
Hi, just got a hottop basic, after using a popcorn popper for about a year. My popcorn popper would get to 1st crack in about 2:30 and was done by 4:00. So, spending 20 minutes and roasting 250 grams of coffee at a time is all pretty new to me. Got a couple of questions I hope you can help with.

I've run a couple of pounds of coffee through the roaster on Auto mode, ejecting the beans at an indicated 400 degrees. The coffee seems a bit flat tasting. Its good and consistent but can be much better. My Auto mode differs from the profile that is published in my HotTop owners manual. Its very close but does differ a bit.

Notes:

1. my times below are from a stopwatch I start when I press the start button on the roaster.
2. I drop my beans into the machine when it beeps with a charge temp of 167F, which is about 5 mins into roast on my stopwatch.

Observations from my roast:
- 167F at 5:00
- 280F at 12:10
- 300F at 13:00
- 350F some smoke
- 353F at 15:50 ... 1st crack starts but more active at 360F and 16:26 into roast
- 393F at 18:00 and still cracking strong
- 400F at 18:14 .... I EJECT manually ... sounds like 1st crack is ending, maybe done

If I press a button to continue the roast, instead of ejecting, the sounds will quickly transition into another sound unlike 1st crack. It sounds to me like a fire crackling and I worry that the beans are burning. Dang! But I don't think they are. In fact they are not.

So, I am a bit confused. Blame it on using a popcorn popper for so long. Everything seems to be on schedule till I hit 1st crack. Then, the roast just seems to progress very fast and I don't think I ever get to 2nd crack ... not sure. Maybe?

1. is 2:30 about right for 1st crack duration?

2. is the fire sound ... very rapid cackle sounds ... 2nd crack? It happens very soon after 1st crack. Like 1st crack bleeds into this fire crackling sound.

3. if its 2nd crack then ... why so soon? Should it not happen till about 3 mins after my 1st crack ends? Holy cow ... can't imagine how hot my machine would get if it ran an additional 3 mins.

4. my indicated temp must get up to about 420F or so when I hear the fire crackle sounds. Isn't this too hot for coffee beans? My manual shows bean temp is actually 30F higher than indicated. So my beans would be about 450F ! Seriously? Something weird here.

5. if I eject my beans at an indicated 400F ... and if the indicated temp is actually 30F lower than actual bean temperature ... then my beans are ejected with a bean temp of 430F. Too high a BT?

New to home roasters. Loving my hotpot basic. I searched but really didn't find a thread that combined newbie and hottop roasting. Hope you can help.

-FB
Edited by fatboytx on 11-04-2018 03:48
 
Randy G
Is it a new roaster? Is it the KN-8828B-2K? What mode were you using? Knowing those answers I can be more helpful with my comments concerning the times and temperature.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
renatoa
Unrelated to HT model, definitely 2:30 is not right for FC.
Should be in the 6-12 min ballpark, with sweet spot in into 8-10.

2nd is an unknown for me... what is SC ? Grin

Temperatures measured in a popcorn are differently than in a drum roaster, lot of hot air and floating beans beans in a popcorn, I wouldn't rely too much on these readings.
Much important in hot air temp. and this can be measured more reliable than beans.
 
fatboytx
Randy G wrote:

Is it a new roaster? Is it the KN-8828B-2K? What mode were you using? Knowing those answers I can be more helpful with my comments concerning the times and temperature.


Yes its new.
KN-8828B-2K ... basic roaster
Mode? This roaster operates off a stored profile with manual intervention. I use Auto profile.
 
fatboytx
renatoa wrote:

Unrelated to HT model, definitely 2:30 is not right for FC.
Should be in the 6-12 min ballpark, with sweet spot in into 8-10.

2nd is an unknown for me... what is SC ? Grin

Temperatures measured in a popcorn are differently than in a drum roaster, lot of hot air and floating beans beans in a popcorn, I wouldn't rely too much on these readings.
Much important in hot air temp. and this can be measured more reliable than beans.


I said 2:30 was duration of 1st crack. Your saying 1st crack should be longer?
I don't see SC in my notes above but I would have meant 2nd crack.
 
fatboytx
Found audio clips of 1st and 2nd crack on Sweet Marias website. This following text clip kind of explains what I am hearing during my roasts.

As you listen to the clips posted below - notice that wet process coffees tend to have more time between first and second crack; dry process coffees have a more drawn out first crack and first can seem to run right into second. A drum roast is a longer overall roast time, so the time between first and second crack in longer; in an air roast, the whole process is more condensed, so the time between the cracks is more tighter.

So, I think my 1st crack is running smack into the 2nd crack with just a slight pause. I gotta believe the fire crackling sound is in fact 2nd crack. -FB
Edited by fatboytx on 11-04-2018 05:32
 
renatoa
"My popcorn popper would get to 1st crack in about 2:30..." these are the 2:30 minutes I wrote aren't OK.

Yes, SC is second crack, and 3rd wave roasting school tell us that is a forbidden territory Grin
Kidding...
 
Randy G
The Hottop auto programs are OK, but why spend all that money and then not use the capabilities of a very good roaster?

Your roast is taking too long and first and second is running together because there is too much heat at the end and not enough in the early stages. Use 100% heat to start with 0 fan. Add beans at about 225F (ignore the add beans beep). When smoke gets visible more that a thin wisp set fan to 1. Just before 1st begins (at about 360) set heat to 95%. As first gets active you can turn down heat to 85% and around time 1st ends (about 380-385) set heat to 70% and fan to 2. Second should start at around 400. At the first few clicks of second, manually eject.

Another trick that sometimes works, depending on how the factory has messed with the programming in the current batch of boards, run an empty roast (no beans). Start with 100% heat and 0% fan. Once the add beans signal ends, set heat to 99%, wait about 3 to 5 seconds then set it back to 100%. Then set fan to 1, wait a few seconds, then set it back to 0. If the program tries to make a change after that set it back to 100 and 0. Let it run about 5 minutes then eject. When it asks, save the program to a memory location (and remember it). This gives you a Full manual program to use in the future. When you do use it, just remember not to save it into the same location in memory or you have to do it all over again.

Go to YouTube and search for: Mill City Roasters "Roaster School." They are excellent. You will not be able to use all the info, but it will be helpful.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
fatboytx
Thanks! I'll make the changes you mention above and save as a profile. Then, I'll make the fully manual profile. Not sure I am ready for full manual yet. :) And thanks for the link to mill city youtube clips. -FB
 
Randy G
fatboytx wrote:

Thanks! I'll make the changes you mention above and save as a profile. Then, I'll make the fully manual profile. Not sure I am ready for full manual yet. :) And thanks for the link to mill city youtube clips. -FB


You're welcome! I have been home roasting since late 2000, and started on Hottops in 2002 (longer than anyone in the USA). I found the Mill City videos and learned a number of things from them.

Manual roasting is pretty simple. Just remember, NEVER LEAVE A RUNNING ROASTER UNATTENDED!! There is a reason I put that phrase in the manual so many times! The later models safety programming was very good from what I saw from the last few models while they were still my client. You have to work at setting one on fire, but it is not impossible, so be sure to read the safety warnings.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
snwcmpr
When I roasted with the HT I dropped the beans much later. At 350°-375°.

Randy can clarify the differences between the B that I had and the one you have. I am sure the temp readout is different.
Anyway I did better when I dumped with a hotter roaster. NOW ... TO HOT will scorch the beans.
Backwoods Roaster
"I wish I could taste as well as I wish I could roast."
 
Randy G
I wish I knew all the differences between the models- even within the KN-8828B-2K (one of the two current B models so far as I know, the other being the KN-8828B-2K+) had changes made to them over the years in terms of programming. Personally, charge temperatures above around 275 made little difference and sped up the turning point. Beyond that, I did charge once at about 350 and noticed some scorching.

And if you decide to upgrade yours, if it is one of the newer ones with the control panel protruding about 1/2" off the side panel, all you should need is the "+" replacement control panel and one additional K thermocouple. But you will have to check with them.

Life's too short to drink bad coffee.
 
http://www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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