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Coffee Roasting Methods Discussion

I am starting this tread so B&B members can post the coffee bean roasting system they have, are considering buying, or have used in the past.

It does not matter if you roast in a pan on the stove or use a multi thousand dollar commercial coffee roaster as a business, feel free to join in this thread and talk coffee roasting with the B&B members.

The thread can also encompass and talk about the modifications you have made to your coffee roasters or talk about modifications you are considering making so that we can help each other become better coffee roasters and enjoy our roasted coffee.





I have a hottop 8828-B. The early generation B-2 model with the button type thermocouple in the roasting chamber.

The modifications I have done to the roaster so far are:

  1. Put a 3 way switch in for the main fan so that I can have it set to run with the roaster's computer or manual be turned on to full independent of the roaster's computer and can manually switch the fan off.
  2. Placed a momentary interrupt button inline with the thermocouple so that I can "fool" the roaster into thinking the chamber temperature is 0 (zero) so that I can do back to back roasts with out waiting for the roaster to cool down below 165º to start another roast cycle
  3. Switched the bean cooler stirrer so that I can run it independent from the roaster's computer and keep it on after the roaster auto-powers down.





 
What I WANT to do to my hottop is add a HTC + TC4C controller and interface the roaster with my laptop so that I an run the roaster from and log the roast to my laptop computer.


 
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I'm using this controller on my fluidbed with roastlogger software. I have heard great things about it with a hottop.
 
Have any of our Behmor 1600 roaster owners modified theirs? Mine is still stock with no mods. I saw one project where someone added some manual override switches and a temperature probe to measure temperatures inside the roaster. But due to the design of the drum and not having any easy way to insert a probe into the basket, it is very difficult if not impossible to get any bean temperature readings. I do sometimes open the door just before 1st crack or at other times to slow the roast, but it is hard to know when/why to do that and its effect on the taste.
 
Mick, I have a HTC+TC4C on order along with a plethora of supplies to add ET and BT thermocouples. I know I'm jumping the gun, since I just got my roaster, but I'm a tinkerer and totally believe in "Go Big or Go Home."

I think I'm going to skip RoastLogger and go directly to Artisan for my control system. Hopefully everything will deliver in the next couple weeks and I'll start fabricating. I hope to be mostly automated within the month!
 
Mick, I have a HTC+TC4C on order along with a plethora of supplies to add ET and BT thermocouples. I know I'm jumping the gun, since I just got my roaster, but I'm a tinkerer and totally believe in "Go Big or Go Home."

I think I'm going to skip RoastLogger and go directly to Artisan for my control system. Hopefully everything will deliver in the next couple weeks and I'll start fabricating. I hope to be mostly automated within the month!
I had Jim build me a keyboard interface board and include the keyboard along with a board kit enclosure.

I am going to "try" to umbilical the external boards and 2 probes from the Hottop to the external stand alone controller/logger. From the stand alone I can either USB to the laptop or take it inside and download the stored log data on my work station.

Now I am stuck on which K type probe to get. The ones Hottop sells that are panel mount or the Delta ones that will require some form of custom attachment. Both have good and bad points and so far neither has won out over the other. @ $45 a pop I can't justify getting two of each to "play with" and find out :sad:

Also just picked up an Amprob TMD-56 (dual channel data-logging meter).... Gee I go from "au natural" to "mr. automation" in one day. gees... I need a nap
 
I went with the Omega T/Cs that seem to eventually get recommended at the various roasting sites. The fiberglass coated, bare sensor. I'm going to JB Weld some compression fittings that will hold a small length of 1/4" stainless tubing into the rear of the drum. This should allow me to change out the T/Cs if they ever get damaged without much hassle. It should also allow me to adjust how far the T/C sticks into the chamber without much hassle. I totally stole the design from Rick G over at Home-Barrista.

I'll take photo's of the process when I get started and post it here.

I like your idea of making everything external/removable, but I don't know how often I would not have my laptop around to run a roast. I would just be another box to lug around...if I had your cart setup, it would be a different story.
 
I like your idea of making everything external/removable, but I don't know how often I would not have my laptop around to run a roast. I would just be another box to lug around...if I had your cart setup, it would be a different story.
My concerns were two fold:

1) heat shortening the lifespan of the electronics and chaff possibly shorting one of the boards or clogging up and over heating them

2) doing permanent internal modifications to the Hottop that would be "difficult" to undo.

Two K type panel mount jacks and a 8 connecter panel mount plug are all that will be on the Hottop and this will allow me to use either the remote logger/controller (HTC+TC4C) or the Amprobe meter as either will plug into the K type jacks.

This is what the LCDapterC, with LCD will look like once it gets built. All will go into a small kit box/enclosure. Should be about 1/10 the size of the laptop and will be a stand alone controller/logger with Artisan pre-loaded on it.


 
Looks like a pretty sweet setup. Can't wait to see how it all goes.

-Edit-

Actually, will it only be one 8-pin connector for the HotTop or 2 (in/out)? Also, I saw a video of a similar setup to what you'll have but with the addition of Bluetooth. The guy then could control the whole thing from his phone.
 
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Looks like a pretty sweet setup. Can't wait to see how it all goes.
My Ampro TMD-56 meter is at the PO waiting for me. It is a small branch PO so they only sort into the boxes on Saturday (no counter service) so I will pick it up on Monday.

Not sure how long before the controller/logger gets here as it needs to be build.

I am waiting until I get all of the "bits" before deciding on what I need to fabricate in the way of other panel mounts and cabling.

-Edit-

Actually, will it only be one 8-pin connector for the HotTop or 2 (in/out)? Also, I saw a video of a similar setup to what you'll have but with the addition of Bluetooth. The guy then could control the whole thing from his phone.
Yes but my land line phone might not work well with the blue tooth set up :001_smile.

Not been a big fan of cell phones. I do have one but it stays powered down in a drawer when I do not want to make an outgoing call. I have everything except phone service disabled. No voice mail, no forwarding, no text, nada. My flip cell is about as dumb as I can make it. I want a phone, not a pocket computer and I DO NOT want to be bothered with a ringing phone everywhere I go. I am really not all that important that I need to be "touched" by everybody at all hours of the day and night.

I do have built in blue tooth on my old X-300 laptop. hummmm now you've got me thinking again ¿ Egads!?!?!?! What have you done!!!
 
¿ Egads!?!?!?! What have you done!!!
Isn't that what this site is all about...spending other people's money!

Anyway, phase one of the upgrade is in progress. I built my k-type t/c's tonight and also got my shipping notice for the HTC+TC4C. Now all I have to do is sack up and tear apart the HotTop and put a couple holes in it. I'm a little nervous about that part, but the idea of being able to do automatic logging and a near automated roast is very appealing to me.

Anyway, here's a look at the T/C's I'll be installing.

 
Got even closer today, my HTC+TC4C preloaded with an aArtisan sketch came in today. I hope to tear down the HotTop this weekend.

 
Looks like today is xmas for everyone.

Got my parts in today also.

The HTC will go inside the roaster (small blue board in the pic)



The TC4C and LCD interface will connect via some form of umbilical that I will need to fabricate. There will be K type thermocouple panel mount plugs somewhere on the Hottop (need to rip it down to decide where) but everything should be nice and portable.

I like the clear plastic kit box everything fits nicely within. Jim sure does a killer job doesn't he?




 
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Looks great! I'm hoping to start the tear down tomorrow and set my thermocouples with the JB Weld early enough to have the roaster up and running by Sunday. We'll see though.

I did test out the board last night and my T/C's look like they're reading pretty accurately at least at 0 and 212*F.
 
I got the Omega ready made probes. K-type, fiber glass jacket, exposed probe tip, 20awg. We use a lot of T/Cs at work and we source them from Omega. They're pretty sturdy and I'm making them easily removable in case I ever need to repair or replace them. They should easily outlast the roaster though. The ones at work run through thousands of cycles and the connectors wear out before the actual T/C wire.
 
I've been a busy boy this morning. I took the roaster completely apart:





Mounted my USB Port:



and drilled and JB Welded my compression fittings for the thermocouples:





Now fingers crossed that the JB Weld holds and I didn't bond anything I didn't want to.

The rest of the mod will happened tomorrow after everything dries.
 
Ooo Ahhhh love that new roaster smell.... Looks NICE.

Mine has been around the block a few times by comparison :lol:

It is also apart for its quarterly cleaning. I still have not decided on the thermocouples yet so it will more than likely go back together for another couple pounds before I get all the parts to start.





 
Finished the upgrade late last night and just ran it this afternoon. I didn't take any photos of the unit running, but it ran really well. It's really nice to be able to see all the different temps during the roast. It also appears that the default T/C in the hottop was only about 10*F hotter than the Beam Temp being read by the new T/C's.

Hopefully, this setup will last a long time.
 
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